Tag Archives: Skye

MacKay Family

John MacKay, aged 52, and six younger MacKays were included together at the end of the initial passenger list for the Blenheim and in the subsequent lists. It has been assumed that they were a family:

  • John MacKay, 52, shepherd
  • John MacKay, 28, shepherd
  • Donald MacKay, 25, shepherd
  • Sarah MacKay, 19, dairymaid
  • Lachlan MacKay, 16, cowherd
  • Hector MacKay, 14, cowherd
  • Colin MacKay, 10

Return to The Blenheim People.

Little information has been found about this family apart from John MacKay junior.  The family came from Skye.

In Poyntzfield, Margaret McKenzie’s reminiscences include references to the McKays living at Kaiwarra in the late 1840s – a playmate named Flora McKay, and “the death of Hector McKay’s little half-caste boy…”

Lists of persons qualified to serve as jurors in the district of Port Nicholson in 1845, 1848-1850 include Donald McKay, Kai Warra Road, carpenter and labourer (1848), and John McKay, Kai Warra Road (Porirua Rd in 1849), labourer, up to 1849, with Lachlin McKay, Kai Warra Road, labourer, also listed for 1848-1849.

John MacKay Snr

John McKay, senior, was described as a shepherd of 52 on the Blenheim passenger list, and is likely to have come from the Isle of Eigg, to the south of Skye.

No further information has been established for John MacKay.

John McKay Jnr

John McKay was described as a shepherd of 28 on the Blenheim passenger list, indicating a birth year of around 1812.

John McKay married Rachael McQuarrie, also a passenger on the Blenheim (see Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern). In a letter to her sister Isabella, written from Petone on 8 November 1841, Jessie Campbell says, “My Skye servant has got married, she was so plain looking I thought I was sure to have her for some time. Her husband is a smart good looking young man who came out in the Blenheim from Skye.”

On the Blenheim passenger list Rachael McQuarrie was described as a housemaid and cook, aged 27, and featured frequently in Jessie Campbell’s Journal as “my Skye servant”.

New Zealand BDM registration records that John McKay, agricultural labourer, formerly of the island of Egg, and Rachael McQuarrie, daughter of Donald McQuarrie parish of Bracadale, Isle of Skye, now of Port Nicholson, were married on 11 August 1841. The celebrant was John McFarlane, Minister.

New Zealand BDM records indicate that a Christian MacKay was born on 9 October 1849 to Rachel and John MacKay.

It seems likely that John and Rachael McKay moved to Turakina at some point.

According to New Zealand BDM records, a Rachael MacKay died on 17 August 1855, although the registration year was 1848 and her age was given as 36.

No additional information has been established for John MacKay and Rachael (McQuarrie) Mackay.

Donald MacKay

Donald Mackay was a shepherd of 25 when he embarked on the Blenheim in 1840.

A Donald McKay, Kai Warra Road, carpenter and labourer, was listed as a prospective juror in 1848.

No further information has been established for Donald MacKay.

Sarah MacKay

Sarah MacKay was described as a dairymaid of 19 in the Blenheim passenger list.

No further information has been established for Sarah MacKay.

Lachlan MacKay

The Blenheim passenger list showed Lachlan MacKay as a cowherd of 16.

A Lachlin McKay, Kai Warra Road, labourer, was listed as a prospective juror for 1848-1849.

No further information has been established for Lachlan MacKay.

Hector MacKay

Hector MacKay was a cowherd of 14 when he sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

As noted above, in Poyntzfield, Margaret McKenzie refers, in the late 1840s, to “the death of Hector McKay’s little half-caste boy…”

No further information has been established for Hector MacKay.

Colin MacKay

Colin MacKay was noted as being 10 years old on the Blenheim passenger list.

No further information has been established for Colin MacKay.


Donald and Mary Ferguson

The Blenheim embarkation and subsequent passenger lists included the family of Donald and Mary Ferguson:

  • Donald Ferguson, 36, miller
  • Mary Ferguson, 35
  • Marion Ferguson, 9
  • Donald Ferguson, 7

A John Ferguson from Skye, 50, miller and wright, with his wife of 46 and 2 children, were included on the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, but this family was not on the embarkation or subsequent lists.

Spelling: The name has been spelled both “Ferguson” and “Fergusson” in the sources used.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Donald Ferguson and Mary McLean

Donald Ferguson was described as a miller of 36 in the Blenheim passenger list, while his wife Mary’s age was given as 35.

Donald and Mary came from Skye.

From the death registration of their son Alexander, it can be confirmed that Mary’s maiden name was McLean.

In Early Rangitikei, Sir James Wilson, noted (pp 85-86):

The Fergussons, whose land joined his [Mr Paulin] on the north, came out in the same vessel as the Frasers. They came from Skye. Donald and Sarah came with their people in the Blenheim, and Alexander was born in Wellington. Donald and Alexander Fergusson were very good settlers and much respected: Donald has departed, and all their descendants have left the district, but Alexander Fergusson still lives in the neighbourhood.

Lists of persons qualified to serve as jurors for the district of Port Nicholson, published between 1845 and 1850, included Donald Ferguson, Kai warra Road, cartwright, and in 1850, wheelwright. In 1847, Donald Ferguson, cartwright, published a notice in the Wellington Independent of 24 February advising that he would not be accountable for any debts contracted by his wife.

It is possible that Mary Ferguson died before the family moved to the Rangitikei district.

The Wanganui Herald of 15 February 1888 published, as an historical document, an 1864 petition from the electors of Wanganui and Rangitikei to the Governor, Sir George Grey, seeking to establish a separate province. The petition had 273 names attached to it, including Donald Ferguson, senior, farmer, and Donald Ferguson, junior, farmer.

Donald Ferguson died on 15 April 1880, aged 75. The Wanganui Herald of 22 April 1880, reported: “The funeral of an old identity (Donald Ferguson) passed along the principal streets to the Clifton cemetery on Monday. As I noticed many old and toilworn pioneers in the cavalcade, it is to be presumed that he was one of the early emigrants to the Colony. He had been bedridden for many years prior to his death, so he was deprived the enjoyment of participating in or even witnessing the progress his adopted country had made in telegraphs, railways, and steamboats during his location in it.”

Donald and Mary had a further child, Alexander, with some question as to whether he was the sixth child born on board the Blenheim on its voyage.

In her Journal, Jessie Campbell wrote, on 15 December 1840, “A woman delivered of a son last night, this makes the sixth child born on board and all very fine, thriving children, this woman with all her former confinements had long and difficult labours, yesterday evening she did not feel herself very well, the Dr. desired her to go into the hospital, she thought they would have plenty of time to remove after she was taken ill, however matters came so quick upon her that the child was born before she could be removed: Dr C was very angry at her and no wonder, think how unpleasant for him going about her before so many women and married men who sleep in the same place. To crown all not one stitch had she prepared for the child, it was rolled in an old petticoat of the mother’s. She is a carpenter’s wife from Skye. All the other women had their baby things so neat and tidy particularly the low country woman.”

In a letter to the Rangitikei Advocate, published in the Manawatu Standard of 31 December 1912, Donald Fraser, in listing the surviving Blenheim passengers, said. “…and Mr Alexander Ferguson, of the Upper Tutaenui, was also born on the voyage…”

However, Sir James Wilson, in Early Rangitikei, as quoted above, suggests that Alexander was born in Wellington, and the age and place of birth given for him in his death registration would appear to confirm this. One possibility could be that the Alexander born on the voyage died, and the name was given to the next born.

Electoral Rolls show that Alexander Ferguson was in the Rangitikei district with his father and brother in 1875-76, and was a farmer at Silverhope, north-east of Marton, in 1905-06, and at Calico Line, Marton in 1911 and 1914.

Alexander Ferguson died on 7 August 1917 at Marton, with his age given as 73.  His parents were Donald Ferguson and Mary McLean, he was born in Wellington and he was not married.

Marion (Sarah) Ferguson

Marion Ferguson was 9 when she boarded the Blenheim, putting her birth year around 1831. Sarah is the anglicized form of Marion.

From the reference in Early Rangitikei it seems likely that Sarah Ferguson went to the Rangitikei district with her father and brother.

There is a record of a Sarah Ferguson marrying George Douglas in 1853 in Christchurch.  George Douglas had settled in Canterbury in 1850 and managed several runs before purchasing his own at Broomfield.  George and Sarah had at least three children before she died in 1867 aged 36, so the birth year is about right.  However, it has not been possible, to date, to confirm whether or not this is the Marion (Sarah) Ferguson who travelled on the Blenheim.

Donald Ferguson

Donald Ferguson was 7 years old when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family.

The Wellington Independent of 3 May 1864 carried the Wedding Notice: “Ferguson-Sutherland – At Lyall’s bay, April 22, by the Rev John Moir, Mr Donald Ferguson, of Rangitikei, to Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Sutherland, Esq.”

Elizabeth Sutherland was born around 1845, the daughter of  Alexander Sutherland and Elizabeth MacKay who arrived in Wellington on 31 January 1840 on the Oriental. As outlined in The Streets of My City, Elizabeth’s father, Alexander Sutherland, was allotted his one hundred acres at Lyall Bay, and subsequently bought more land from absentee owners as well as from adjoining neighbours. He obtained sheep from Australia, and farmed at Lyall Bay successfully for some years, but felt the need for more pasture, and in the late 1850s purchased a block in the Pahaua Valley of Wairarapa (Ngaipu).

The Wanganui Chronicle in June and July 1876 in a number of items from their Bulls correspondent, reported on the death of the eldest daughter of Mr Donald Ferguson from diphtheria, and shortly afterwards the death of his little boy, aged 10, from the same cause. They are buried at Bulls with their grandfather.

Donald Ferguson died on 4 October 1894, aged 59. The Feilding Star of 6 October 1894 reported, “The death is announced of an old and respected Rangitikei settler, Mr Donald Fergusson, of Upper Tutaenui. He had been resident in New Zealand for 53 years.”

Elizabeth (Sutherland) Ferguson died on 25 June 1929, aged 84.  The Evening Post of 29 June 1929 carried the Death Notice: “Ferguson – On the 25th June, 1929, at the residence of her daughter (Mrs D. Matheson, Wanganui) (late of Stanley street, Wellington), Elizabeth, relict of the late Dr. Ferguson, and last surviving daughter of the late Alexander Sutherland of Lyall Bay, Wellington; aged 84 years.  Deeply regretted.”

Donald and Elizabeth had at least five children:

  • Katherine McLean Ferguson, born in 1865, died in 1876.
  • Donald Ferguson, born in 1866, died in 1876.
  • Elizabeth Jane Ferguson, born in 1869, died in 1939, married Joseph Warring in 1892.
  • John Douglas Ferguson, born in 1872, died in 1963, married Catherine Matheson in 1897.
  • Marion Alice Ferguson, born in 1874, died in 1943, married Dugald Matheson in 1895.


Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern

In the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, this family was noted by Donald McDonald as coming from Borline, and were “Recommended by Hugh MacAskil Esq. of Tallasker in whose Family MacQuarrie has ever been – Tallasker is to pay for the children.”

In the initial list the family comprised of:

  • Donald MacQuarrie, 54, labourer
  • Margaret McEachern, 53, his wife
  • Mary MacQuarrie, 32, his daughter, dairymaid
  • Rachael MacQuarrie, 27, his daughter, housemaid and cook
  • Jane MacQuarrie, 25, his daughter, housemaid
  • Angus MacQuarrie, 23, his son, cooper
  • Donald MacQuarrie, 21, his son, sailor
  • John MacQuarrie, 19, his son, joiner
  • Alexander MacQuarrie, 17, his son, labourer
  • Hugh MacQuarrie, 14, his son, cowherd
  • Isabella MacQuarrie, 3, his grandaughter
  • Mary MacQuarrie, 7, his grandaughter
  • John MacQuarrie, 3, his grandson

Subsequent lists did not include or crossed out daughter Mary, son Donald, and grandaughter Isabella. However, Isabella was probably the McQuarrie child who died on 6 October 1840 while at sea, as noted in Jessie Campbell’s Journal, so it may well be the case that she travelled anyway.

The entries for Jane McQuarrie, daughter, and Mary McQuarrie, grandaughter, should probably have been recorded as Jane Fraser and Mary Fraser, since Jane was the widow of a Fraser. Information relating to this family has been drawn from the diary of Margaret Barrett, nee Perry, a daughter of Mary Fraser and grandaughter of Jane McQuarrie.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern

Borline, the place where the McQuarrie family lived at the time of the compilation of the initial Blenheim passenger list, is in the parish of Bracadale, Isle of Skye.

Donald McQuarrie died on 7 October 1860, aged 85, and is buried in Turakina.

Margaret McQuarrie died on 12 May 1850, aged 70.

In her Diary, Margaret Perry notes, “I remember once father taking me out to Turakina to Aunties when she lived with Uncle in a nice large house in the gully; and I have a faint recollection of seeing my great-grandfather, Donald McQuarrie, a greyheaded man sitting in the corner in an arm-chair.”

Rachael McQuarrie

Rachael McQuarrie was a housemaid and cook of 27 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

It seems likely that Rachael was Jessie Campbell’s Skye servant as described in her Journal.  Early in the voyage the Skye servant was often sick and Jessie was not very kind in her descriptions of her, “she is so stupid and heavy she makes herself worse than she really is, wonder Mrs Mac? could recommend such a person even if she is a good cook,” and “Capt. Gray said he never saw much a hulk of a woman, if I put jacket and trousers on her she would do better for a sailor than a nurse.”   Jessie Campbell also noted, “My Skye woman made her appearance in wretched plight, think she is not so ill as she says, told her father I must engage another,”  so her father was on the ship.  Also, an entry on 30 September 1840 noted, “A niece of my Skye maid very ill, threatened with water in the head, she was very sickly when she came on board, she is about 3 years old.” Subsequent entries comment on the health of the McQuarrie child and death on 6 October 1840.  Once the Skye servant, who is never given a name, improved her health, there were kinder remarks, “My Skye maid has improved very much, she is so careful and interested in the children,” and “I forgot to mention that when a sheep is killed my Skye maid is employed to make a haggis, and very good she makes it,” although she also records that Captain Grey was “very angry” when the Skye maid refused to make a haggis on Sunday.

In a letter to her sister Isabella, written from Petone on 8 November 1841, Jessie Campbell says, “My Skye servant has got married, she was so plain looking I thought I was sure to have her for some time. Her husband is a smart good looking young man who came out in the Blenheim from Skye.” 

In 1841 Rachael McQuarrie married John MacKay who was also a Blenheim passenger.   New Zealand BDM registration records that John McKay, agricultural labourer, formerly of the island of Egg, and Rachael McQuarrie, daughter of Donald McQuarrie parish of Bracadale, Isle of Sky, now of Port Nicholson, were married on 11 August 1841. The celebrant was John McFarlane, Minister.

According to New Zealand BDM records, a Rachael MacKay died on 17 August 1855, although the registration year was 1848 and her age was 36.

It appears that Rachael and John may have had a daughter, Christina, born on 9 October 1849 in Wellington.

Jane (McQuarrie) Fraser

As noted above, Jane McQuarrie or Fraser, was the widow of a Fraser.  In the Blenheim passenger list she was listed as a housemaid of 25.

From Margaret Perry’s diary, it seems that Jane Fraser lived in Wellington, with occasional trips to Turakina to stay with her daughter.

Jane Fraser died on 6 July 1863, aged 47.

Angus McQuarrie

In the Blenheim passenger list, Angus McQuarrie was identified as a cooper, with his age given as 23, meaning he was born around 1817.

In the Electoral Rolls for the Napier district of Hawke’s Bay in the 1850s, Angus McQuarrie is listed as a stockholder living at Petane, with his qualification being leasehold property at Petane.

An Angus McQuarrie died in 1859, aged 45.  The Hawkes Bay Herald of 12 February 1859 carried a report of the inquest into Angus McQuarrie’s death by drowning at Petane (now Bay View).   It appears that Angus and his companion, William Henry Thompson, had been drinking.   Angus had passed out on the beach and when Thompson and some local Maoris found him in the morning he had drowned.

John McQuarrie

John McQuarrie was listed as a joiner of 19 in the Blenheim passenger lists.

John McQuarrie married Marjory (Mysie) Cameron on 1 January 1844.  Mysie Cameron was the daughter of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun, and had also been a passenger on the Blenheim.  The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 3 January 1844 carried the Notice: “On the 1st inst., by the Rev. John Macfarlane, Mr John M’Quarrie, formerly of Invernessshire, carpenter, to Marjory, daughter of Mr Hugh Cameron, formerly of Ardgone, Argyleshire, now of Wellington.”

The list of persons qualifying as jurors for the District of Port Nicholson in 1845, 1847-1848, and 1850 included John McQuarry, Kai Warra, carpenter.

In Electoral Rolls for Wanganui and Rangitikei in the 1850s and 1860s, John McQuarry was listed as a settler at Turakina, owning freehold land there.

John McQuarrie died on 10 December 1865.

After his death Marjory (Cameron) McQuarrie married George Perry in 1867.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 13 April 1899 reported, “In the Supreme Court (in Chambers) yesterday, before C.C. Kettle, Esq., Registrar, in re John McQuarrie, late of Turakina, farmer, deceased, on the motion of Mr Watt, probate was granted to Margery Perry and Charles Cameron, the executors named in the will. Date of will, 4th February 1860; date of death, 10th December, 1865.”

Marjory (Cameron) Perry, formerly McQuarrie died in Devonport on 26 March 1903, aged 87.

Alexander McQuarrie

Alexander McQuarrie was a labourer of 17 when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Alexander McQuarrie was a member of the Kettle survey party to Otago in 1846-47.

The list of persons qualifying as jurors for the District of Port Nicholson in 1845 and 1848 included Alexander McQuarry, Tinakori Road, carpenter, in 1849 listed at Lambton Quay, and in 1850 listed at Kai Warra.

It seems likely that Alexander McQuarrie and his brother Hugh spent some time in the militia.

In the Electoral Rolls for Franklyn and Thames in 1870-71 and 1875-76, Alexander and his brother Hugh were listed at Tapu Creek, Thames.  In 1890 they were both at Whangaruru in the Bay of Islands and described as carpenters.  In 1896 they were at the same place but now described as settlers.

Alexander McQuarrie died in 1907, aged 80.

Hugh McQuarrie

Hugh McQuarrie was listed as a cowherd of 14 in the Blenheim passenger lists.

From Electoral Rolls it appears that Hugh lived with his brother Alexander, first in the Thames area, then in Northland.

Hugh McQuarrie died in 1901, aged 73.

Isabella McQuarrie

Isabella McQuarrie, granddaughter of Donald and Margaret McQuarrie, was crossed out in the interim and arrival lists and did not appear on the embarkation list. However, a female McQuarrie child, aged 3, did die at sea on 6 October 1840. In her Journal, Jessie Campbell noted on 30 September 1840, “A niece of my Skye maid very ill, threatened with water in the head, she was sickly when she came aboard, she is about [3] years old.” The next day she noted “Macquarrie’s child rather better,” and four days later “the Macquarrie child better.” However, on 6 October she reported, “The Macquarrie’s child has just expired, her complaint general debility and latterly water in the head.”

On this basis, the assumption must be that although crossed off the list, Isabella did in fact make the voyage. The alternative is that the child who died was John McQuarrie, also 3 years old, but that would assume a significant error by Jessie Campbell that does not seem reasonable.

It is not clear who Isabella’s parents were.

Mary [McQuarrie] Fraser

As noted above, Mary was the daughter of Jane McQuarrie and a Mr Fraser.  In the Blenheim passenger list her age was given as 7 years old, and she was the grandaughter of Donald McQuarrie.

In 1852, Mary Fraser married Robert Perry, a private in the 65th Regiment.

Mary Perry died on 29 June 1879 at Makirikiri, Turakina.

Mary and Robert may have had 10 children:

  • Alexander (Sandy) John Perry, born in 1852, died in 1894, married Maria Hempseed in 1878.
  • Margaret (Maggie) Perry, born in 1855, married Edwin Barrett in 1890.
  • Jane Perry, born in 1856, died in 1932, married Walter Taylor in 1874.
  • Margery Perry, born in 1859, married Thomas Riley Taylor in 1876.
  • Mary Perry, born in 1862, married William Gibson in 1882.
  • Douglas Robert Rogers Perry, born in 1865, died in 1922, married Mary Mitchell in 1889.
  • John Perry.
  • George Perry, born in 1868, died in 1918?
  • Edward (Ted) Perry, born in 1873.
  • Emily Florence Perry, born in 1875, married Edwin Miller in 1896.
John McQuarrie

John McQuarrie, grandson of Donald McQuarrie, was 3 years old when he travelled to Wellington on the Blenheim in 1840.   It is not clear who his parents were.

No other information has been established for John McQuarrie.


John McKinnon

A John McKinnon, 20, labourer from Borline, Skye, recommended by Tallasker, appeared on the initial list of passengers on the Blenheim, with his name crossed out, but then added again at the end of the list. He was also included on subsequent lists.

Return to The Blenheim People.

The following information requires confirmation.

John McKinnon may not have stayed long in Wellington. Along with 50-60 settlers, including several from the Blenheim,  a John McKinnon left for Hobart on the Lord Sidmouth on 4 February 1841, barely six weeks after arrival.

The Colonial Times of Hobart, in its edition of 23 February 1841, noted that:

The passengers arrived by the Lord Sidmouth, who are about sixty in number, amongst other unfavourable reports state, that, in consequence of the frequency of earthquakes, of which several shocks had been experienced by the settlers since their arrival, they dare not build stone buildings of any size. We were not before aware that the Colony was visited by such a calamity, and we trust the report will turn out to be unfounded. We give it, however, as we received it; and shall be most happy to have it in our power to contradict the assertion.

The same issue of the newspaper also published the list of passengers who arrived on the Lord Sidmouth on 19 February,

FEB. 19.-Arrived the barque Lord Sidmouth, Marr master, from Port Nicholson 4th inst. Passengers – Mr. Hind, Mr. W. Blyth, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Sutherland, Miss M. Rankin, H. Goodwin, wife, .and 6 children, G. Boonger and wife, G. Murray and ‘wife, J. Blyth and wife, C. Morris, wife, and 6 children, P. Shields, S. Wilson, J. Gordon, M. Briton, R. Whitewood, J. Cromworth, – Walker and wife, T. Bonnie, J. Stephens and wife, – Kilgrove, wife, and 5 children, H. M’Kinnon, J M’Kinnon, J. Hichman, wife, and child, J. Lockwood, J. Simmons, J. Chisom, M. M’Eachan, – Eago, P. Lanachar, and Mrs. O’Brien.

There is no further information established for John McKinnon.


Catherine Cameron, Archibald McQueen and Catherine Cameron, Mary Cameron, Angus Cameron

A group included on the initial list of Blenheim passengers was as follows:

  • Catherine Cameron, Borline, 40, dairymaid
  • Angus McQueen, her son, 21, labourer
  • Catherine McQueen, his wife, 17
  • Angus Cameron, his brother-in-law, 20
  • Mary Cameron, his sister-in-law, 15

In the body of the initial list all of these names were crossed out, but added again at the end were:

  • Angus Cameron, 21, labourer
  • Catherine Cameron (widow), 45
  • Mary Cameron, 15, housemaid
  • Archibald McQueen, 21, labourer
  • Catherine Cameron, 17, housemaid

They were similarly described in the other lists, although  Angus was an agriculturalist.

This post covers all of this family.

Updated information on this family has been provided through the comments below from Jacqui Gee, which have been incorporated into the description.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Catherine Cameron (widow)

Catherine Cameron was listed on the Blenheim arrival list as a widow of 45.

Family tree information on Ancestry.com shows a range of possible marriages. These include to an Angus Cameron (from Mary’s death registration) or to a Ewen Cameron (OPR records show a potential marriage and births, with Catherine’s maiden name as MacPherson or, possibly, McPhee).

No further information on this Catherine Cameron has been established.

Archibald McQueen and Catherine Cameron

According to the Old Parish Register for Bracadale, a parish on the Isle of Skye, Archibald McQueen was born or baptized on 4 February 1819.  His parents were Donald MacQueen and Mary MacLeod, and the witnesses were  John and Mary Shaw.

As noted above, the Old Parish Register for Bracadale recorded the birth, on 18 April 1823, of a Catherine, daughter of Ewen Cameron, Brittle, and Catherine McPherson his wife.

The Old Parish Register for Bracadale records the marriage on 14 March 1840 of Archy McQueen to a Christian Cameron, and this marriage has been listed in family trees on Ancestry.com as relating to Catherine Cameron.

While it is not clear why Archibald McQueen and Catherine Cameron chose not to travel as a married couple, they both emigrated on the Blenheim in 1840, with Catherine Cameron listed in the arrival list as a housemaid of 17 and Archibald McQueen  21, listed next to her.

It appears that Archibald McQueen and his wife travelled to Canterbury in March 1844 to work for the Greenwood Brothers, and then for the Rhodes Brothers in 1847.  They then took up land near Lake Ellesmere in what became known as McQueens Valley.

The Lyttelton Times of 3 November 1855 carried the Birth Notice: “On the 29th ult., the wife of Mr McQueen, Ellesmere Station, of twin sons, one of which survived but a few minutes.”

The Lyttelton Times of 12 September 1860 carried the Death Notice: “Sept 11, at his residence, Ellesmere Station, Mr Archibald McQueen, aged 41 years.”

Catherine McQueen married her second husband John Apps Dockery on 19 June 1865.  Newspapers carried reports of legal action relating to the estate of Archibald McQueen with questions relating to sales of trustee estates (see in particular, the Star of 19 October 1885).

The Star of 2 January 1895 carried the Death Notice: “Dockery.— Dec. 31, after a long and painful illness, Catherine Dockery, of 294, St Asaph Street west; aged sixty-five years. Deeply regretted.”

Catherine Dockery’s death registration noted that her father’s surname was Cameron and he was a shepherd, and her mother’s name was given as Mary.  It was also noted that Catherine was twice married, first in Scotland to Archibald McQueen when she was 16, and second in Christchurch to John Dockery when she was 42.  There was one living male child from her first marriage, aged 45, and five living females aged 31, 33, 35, 38, and 49, while from her second marriage there was one living male aged 27, and one living female aged 24.  [These ages don’t seem to match up]. The informant was her daughter Catherine McQueen.

Catherine (Cameron) Dockery, formerly McQueen, was buried in Addington Cemetery in Christchurch.  The tombstone notes that she was from Lake Ellesmere Station, McQueen’s Valley, Banks Peninsular, born Inverness 1824, died Christchurch 1894, and buried with her are her second and third sons, John McQueen 1851-1884 and Charles McQueen 1857-1889, and her third daughter Catherine.

Based on family tree information on Ancestry.com and New Zealand BDM records, Catherine had at least ten children with Archibald McQueen and two with John Apps Dockery:

  • Marion (Sarah) McQueen, born in 1841, died in 1907, married John Hart in 1860.
  • Hugh McQueen, born in 1843, died in 1927, married Martha Upton Waller in 1879.
  • Mary McQueen, born in 1848, married William Bevins in 1865.
  • Catherine McQueen, born in 1850, died in 1946.
  • John McQueen, born in 1851, died in 1884.
  • Christina McQueen, born in 1853, died in 1903, married John Thomas Radford in 1870.
  • Jane McQueen, born in 1854, died in 1939.
  • Charles Donald McQueen, born in 1857, died in 1880.
  • Jean Dean McQueen, born in 1860, died in 1897.
  • Isabella McQueen, born in 1861, died in 1950, married Joseph Hart in 1882.
  • William Robert Apps Dockery, born in 1866, died in 1929, married Carolina Annie Davies in 1886.
  • Lucy Ann Dockery, born in 1868, died in 1902, married Robert Ferguson in 1884.
Mary Cameron

Mary Cameron was listed on the Blenheim arrival list as a housemaid of 15.  This would make her birth around 1825.

It seems likely, from Jessie Campbell’s Journal, that Mary Cameron was Jessie’s maid (but was not the “Skye woman” who was “always sick”, causing Jessie to engage Mary’s sister Catherine).  It appears, therefore, that Catherine also worked as a maid for Mrs McDonald.

On 7 September 1840 Jessie Campbell wrote:

Catherine had Susan at the window and allowed her to throw the lid of the tin pan overboard in which we keep the fresh water, very vexed about it. Mary defended her sister very impertinently, told her to hold her tongue I did not want to hear her opinion about it, Mary continued to answer very impertinently, said a letter would reach Dr. Macleod yet to tell how she was used, told her instantly to walk out of my cabin that Dr. Macleod forgot his duty when he did not teach her the respect due to a Mistress, that I would oblige her to make out the time she was engaged with me after that she might go about her business. Had preserved soup, roast ducks and fowls for dinner. Capt. said if the breeze continued we would be in the latitude of Madiera tomorrow, did not think we would see land. Lat: at noon 36-5 N., Long: 16-46 W.

On 29 October 1840 she noted, “Mrs Macdonald discharged one of her servants for insolence, she is sister to my Mary Cameron, they are a forward, pert set. My maid has been quite spoiled, she has been tolerably obedient and submissive since she and I had a row soon after coming on board; I will not keep her after her six months are out. My Skye maid has improved very much, she is so careful and interested in the children.”

Mary Cameron married Donald Ross in Wellington on 15 October 1845. One of the witnesses was Alexander McQuarrie who also travelled on the Blenheim.

In 1846 Donald Ross and his family sailed on the Mary Catherine to Otago with Charles Kettle’s survey party. The group included Mary’s brother Angus Cameron and Alexander McQuarrie. When the survey was completed around June 1847 many of the party returned to Wellington in the cutter Leven, but were drowned when it was lost after calling at Port Levy on the Banks Peninsular. Most of the married men, including Donald Ross and his family, had stayed behind in Otago.

Donald Ross died on 9 February 1880. An obituary was published in the Illustrated New Zealand Herald of 27 February 1880:

Mr Donald Ross, of Roslyn, who died early on February 9, at the age of seventy-seven, was a native of Ross-Shire, Scotland. He arrived at Wellington from Cape Colony forty years ago. After residing there for six years, he came to Otago with the late Mr Kettle in the year 1846. Mr Edward Martin and Mrs Duthie of Tokomairiro, were of the party. Mr Ross, then newly married, was among the first who reared a roof-tree in Dunedin. After a time he entered the service of the Government, and latterly served as bailiff of the Supreme Court.
Mr Ross was a great walker, making the journey to Invercargill, when the rivers were unbridged and the roads there were none, in three days. Once and again he all but accomplished the journey to Oamaru in a day.

Mary (Cameron) Ross died in 1886.  The death registration shows that Mary Ross, relict of the late Donald Ross, died on 19 February 1886 at Roslyn, in the district of Dunedin.  She was 60, the daughter of Angus Cameron, shepherd, and Catherine Cameron, maiden surname not known.  Mary was born in Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland, and had been in New Zealand for 42 [sic] years.  She was married in Wellington at 18 to Donald Ross.  Mary’s living issue were three males aged 40, 34 and 29, and two females, aged 38 and 25.  The cause of death phthsis pulmonalis, two years, and exhaustion.  The informant was the undertaker.  Mary Ross was buried at Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery with her husband and many of her children.

Mary and Donald had at eleven children:

  • Robert Ross, born in 1846, died in 1923, married (1) Mary Beckett in 1869 and (2) Sarah King in 1880.
  • Catherine Ross, born in 1847, died in 1848, married James Familton in 1868.
  • Elizabeth Ross, born in 1848, died in 1869 (drowned in Cobb & Co coach accident).
  • Mary Ross, born in 1850, died in 1872.
  • Isabella Ross, born in 1852, died in 1879, married Daniel Forbes Ross in 1875.
  • Sarah Ross, born in 1855, died in 1872.
  • Angus Cameron Ross, born in 1853, died in 1920, married Elizabeth Hopwood in 1897.
  • John Ross, born in 1857, died in 1909.
  • Janet (Jessie) Dunn Ross, born in 1860, died in 1941, married James Dick in 1887.
  • William Ross, born in 1862, died in 1864.
  • Barbara Ross, born in 1864, died in 1874.
Angus Cameron

Angus Cameron was listed in the Blenheim arrival list as being 21 years old. Other sources suggest that he was born in 1822, so would have been 18 when he travelled on the Blenheim.

The Old Parish Register for Bracadale records the birth on 27 September 1818 of Angus, natural son of Ewen Cameron, Crackinish with [Ket McPhee – name not clear on record].

From information summarised in From Alba to Aotearoa, after working as a roadbuilder in Wellington, Angus travelled to Port Chalmers in February 1846 with his sister Mary and her family as part of the Kettle survey party, and remained in Otago. He became a shepherd and stockman at Kelvin Grove on the Otago Peninsular owned by Archibald Anderson. By May 1848 Angus was a member of the Armed Constabulary, becoming a senior constable in 1851.

On 25 June 1852, Angus Cameron married Mary Niven at the house of his brother-in-law Donald Ross in Dunedin. Their first child was born two days later.

Mary Niven was born on 11 February 1834 at Bonhill, Dumbarton, Scotland, to Dugald Niven and Christian Swan. She travelled to New Zealand on the Philip Laing with her parents, sister, and two brothers, one born on board, arriving at Port Chalmers from Greenock on 15 April 1848.

Angus left the Armed Constabulary in January 1853 and became a shepherd on the Otepopo property of Charles Suisted, and in 1856 moved to the Papakaio Run, then owned by Richard Filleul, where Angus was a shepherd and Mary a cook. By 1858 Angus had purchased land at Otepopo (now Herbert, about 22 km south-west of Oamaru), part of the property where he had previously worked, then a store, and served as postmaster as well as working as a shepherd and drover.

The Otago Witness of 2 July 1859 reported that Angus Cameron of Otepopo, drover, was charged with unlawfully driving 200 sheep through the property of Alexander Fraser at Moeraki without the notice required by law. He pleaded guilty and was fined at the rate of 6d per head with costs.

Angus Cameron died on 3 April 1873 at Otepopo. His death registration noted that he was “about 50 years”, and described him as a settler.  The North Otago Times of 8 April 1873 carried the following report:

Sudden death – A well-known resident of Otepopo, named Angus Cameron, died very suddenly on Thursday morning last, He had been, some days previous, on a visit to Oamaru, and left for home by coach on Thursday. Shortly after his arrival he dropped dead. An inquest was held the following day, at the Royal Hotel, by T.W. Parker, Esq., District Coroner, and a jury, of whom Mr Robert Frame was foreman. Dr Haynes deposed to having made a postmortem examination of the deceased, and found that he had died of syncope, congestion of the lungs, and enlargement of the heart, The heart was double the natural size. The jury returned a verdict of “Died from natural causes”.

Mary (Niven) Cameron died on 27 April 1884, at Invercargill. The Southland Times of 29 April 1884 carried the Death Notice: “CAMERON. — At Ythan street, Invercargill, on the 27th inst. Mary Cameron, widow of the late Angus Cameron, Otepopo, aged 50 years.” Mary died at the house of her mother, Mrs J. Kelly, and is buried in the Kelly/Niven plot at Invercargill’s Eastern Cemetery.

Based on family tree information on Ancestry.com and New Zealand BDM records, Angus and Mary may have had at least nine children [this information requires further clarification and checking]:

  • Elizabeth Nivin Cameron, born in 1852, died in 1935, married James Stark Anderson in 1868.
  • Hugh Cameron, born in 1855, died in 1934, married Margaret Hunter Brown in 1886.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1857, died in 1857.
  • William Cameron, born in 1858, died in 1958.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1860, died in 1940.
  • John Cameron, born in 1862, died in 1929, married Elizabeth Susannah Palmer in 1899.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1940.
  • Alexander Angus Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1922 (on gravestone as Alexander Angus Cameron-McNeil), married Rose Winifred Dykes in 1902 (with registration in names of both Cameron and McNeil).
  • David Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1929.