Tag Archives: Trislaig

Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson

In the passenger lists for the Blenheim Donald Cameron is recorded as a labourer of 52, from Trishilaig, with the note by Donald McDonald:

This man and his family have been known to me all my life & are a very industrious family. The same remark applies to his brother and his family who are next to him but one on the list, they have besides excellent Certificates.

The list included:

  • Donald Cameron, 52, labourer
  • Mary McPherson, 40, his wife
  • John Cameron, 24, quarrier, his son
  • Allan Cameron, 22, quarrier, his son
  • Donald Cameron, 20, shoemaker, his son
  • Duncan Cameron, 18, shepherd, his son
  • Ewen Cameron, 17, ploughman, his son
  • Alexander Cameron, 15, cowherd, his son
  • James Cameron, 14, cowherd, his son
  • George Cameron, 9, his son
  • Mary Cameron, 26, dairymaid, his daughter
  • Ann Cameron, 12, his daughter.

Also on board were Donald and Mary’s oldest daughter, Jane, wife of Dugald McLachlan, and the family of Donald’s brother Ewen Cameron.

Donald Cameron was called “Cooper” or “Bane”  (fair) to distinguish him from the other Donald Camerons.


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Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) records the birth of Donald Cameron, son to Angus Cameron and Mary Cameron, Corveg, on 28 April 1776, making him rather older than the 52 noted in the Blenheim list.

Mary McPherson was born around 1790, so was also older than the listed 40.

The couple were married around 1807 and were living in Inverscaddle when their first child, Jane, was born in 1808, but by the time of the next recorded birth, of John  in 1812 they were at Trislaig, across Loch Linnhe from Fort William, and seemed to have remained there until their departure for New Zealand in 1840.  There are no records of births between John in 1812 and James in 1825, but if the ages given in the Blenheim passenger list are correct (and the younger children are about right), then there may have been others who died in infancy or did not travel.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) recorded that Ewin and Mary, son and daughter to Donald Cameron, Trislaig, and Mary McPherson, his wife, were born  on 1st current, and baptized on 6 January 1829.  These twins were not on the voyage to New Zealand, so presumably died before 1840, but it is strange that they were given the same names as those held by older siblings.

Donald and Mary and their family had moved on from Wellington to Turakina by 1850 and farmed there for the rest of their lives.  In his book Early Rangitikei, Sir James Wilson wrote:

A second family of Camerons, of Turakina, was that of Donald “Bane,” whose family consisted of John, Allan, Duncan, Sandy, James, and George, Mrs McLauchlan (afterwards Mrs Brabazon), Mrs Grant (Mrs A.K. Simpson’s mother), and Mrs Alick McDonald…

The family is also mentioned in the reminisces of Eliza McKenzie, daughter of Thomas Urquhart McKenzie and Blenheim emigrant Margaret Fraser, published in Rob Knight’s Poyntzfield, “…but we lost interest in the subject sooner than we would owing to a more intimate interest – namely of the arrival of the Grant family in Turakina, They had come out in the same ship as my Grandfather and his family and we had always known them – that is to say we were friends. We children were sorry that their place was not near. It was away past McQuarrie’s, and their first whare was built on the flat opposite the old ‘Makiri’ homestead, occupied by its first owner Donald Cameron. ‘The Cooper’ he was called in Wellington, but here he soon took on the ‘Cameron Makiri’ that seemed natural. I liked to go to that house on account of the furniture. Not like other houses but made of queer shaped branches and roots put aside from time to time, we were told it was ‘Rustic’. Mr and Mrs Cameron were Mrs Grant’s parents – were also ‘Little Annie’s’ and others not so interesting,” and “On our way out to the beach we passed the house of ‘Cameron Makiri’. (In Wellington he was called Donald the Cooper.) The old man, calling his grand-daughter with him went with us as far as the sand hills, said ‘Good-bye’ in solemn Gaelic and we went on.”

Donald died in 1854,  and Mary on 15 February 1874 at Turakina, aged 84.  A memorial plaque has been reinstated, with additional references, at the Makirikiri Private Cemetery on land that was part of their farm.  It reads:

Sacred to the Memory of Donald Cameron native of Argyle Shire Scotland, died at Turakina 1854 aged 78 years, and of Donald Cameron son of the above died at Turakina Sept 15th 1851 aged 30 years & of his son Donald Cameron died April 6th. 1851 aged 6 months and of George Cameron son of the above died at Turakina 1856 aged 24 years and of Alexander Cameron son of the above died at Turakina June 7th. 1860 aged 32 years and of Mary Cameron died at the Makirikiri 15th. Feby 1874 aged 84 years. Also sons, Allan died 1878, aged 60, John born 1816 & Ewen born 1823 died in Wellington prior 1850, James born 1828 died?

Mary Cameron

Mary Cameron was born on 12 August 1813 , probably at Trislaig in the parish of Kilmallie (Argyll).

The initial Blenheim passenger listed a Janet Cameron,  26, dairymaid, as the daughter of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson.   The embarkation list had her as Mary, 26, but in the subsequent lists she was back to being Janet.  Possibly the confusion arose because Mary’s older sister Jane was planning to travel with them, and eventually did so but with her new husband Dugald McLachlan and his family.

Mary Cameron married Alexander Grant, another Blenheim passenger, on 29 January 1841, a month after their arrival in New Zealand.  Their story is continued at Alexander Grant and Mary Cameron.

Mary (Cameron) Grant died on 21 April 1895, aged 82.

Alexander and Mary had nine children, not all surviving infancy:

  • John Grant, born in 1841, died in 1843.
  • Catherine Grant, born in 1843, died in 1918, married Robert Kirkpatrick Simpson in 1863.
  • John Archibald Grant, born in 1845, died in 1845.
  • Ewen Grant, born in 1846, died in 1920.
  • Mary Cameron Grant, born in 1848, died in 1938, married James McDonald in 1874.
  • John Grant, born in 1850, died in 1942, married Mary Shove in 1885.
  • Elizabeth Grant, born in 1851, died in 1878.
  • Duncan Donald Grant, born in 1853, died in 1900.
  • Betsy Grant, born in 1857, died in 1947 in Australia, married Alexander Fraser McRae in 1891.
John Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for 1812, recorded the baptism of a John Cameron, son of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson of Trinslack, on 12 May.  it is not clear if this is the John who travelled to New Zealand.

John’s age was given a 24 on the Blenheim passenger lists, suggesting a birth year of around 1815-16, but if this is the same John he would have been 28.  He was described as a quarrier.

John Cameron apparently died by drowning, possibly in Wellington harbour, although his inclusion in the Early Rangitikei reference suggests he may have moved to Turakina by 1850.

Allan Cameron

Allan Cameron was described as a quarrier of 22 in the Blenheim passenger list, indicating he was born around 1817-18.

Margaret Perry’s diary, around 1863, notes,”Old Granny Cammeron lived not far off in an old whare with clay walls, and her son Allan,…”.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 March 1878 reported, “March 4. Allan Cameron, a settler, was found drowned in the Turakina river this morning.  Deceased was last seen on the racecourse on Friday.”   New Zealand BDM records suggest that he was 61 years old at the time.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 6 March 1878 reported:

An inquest was held to-day at Belvie’s Railway Hotel, on the body of Allen Cameron, before Mr Ross, coroner, and a jury, of which Mr A. Simpson was chosen foreman. The jury having been sworn, Joseph Henderson was the first witness called, who deposed to having seen deceased on the racecourse on Friday last, at 6 p.m.; deceased was the worse of drink. Mr Duncan Grant stated that he was a nephew of deceased; he saw him last on Friday, on the racecourse; he missed him since then; on Monday last went to look for him, and found his body in the Turakina river, at the foot of a high bank; deceased must have fallen 40 feet; was unable to get him out alone, so went for assistance; Mr Archibald Cameron and Mr Mclnnes helped him to get the body out; deceased was quite dead; he was about 61 years of age. Mr McInnes said he was called to help to pull deceased out of the water; recognised the body as the same. The Coroner summed up the evidence, and the jury returned a verdict of found drowned.

Donald Cameron jnr

Donald Cameron was described as a shoemaker of 20 in the Blenheim passenger list, suggesting a birth year around 1820.

The list of persons qualified to serve as jurors in the district of Port Nicholson included Donald Cameron, jun, as a labourer, Kai warra Road in 1845; and a shoemaker, at Willis Street in 1846 and at Lambton Quay in 1847-1850.  A Donald Cameron, Kai warra Road was also listed as a shoemaker in 1845.

From the Makirikiri memorial, Donald was married, and had a child born around October 1850 who died on 6 April 1851. New Zealand BDM records show that a Donald Cameron and Mary Robertson Mitchell were married on 18 March 1850, and that a son Donald Cameron was born on 24 October 1850 to Donald and Mary Cameron.

Mary Robertson was born in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, on 6 May 1821, and may have emigrated on the Lady Nugent, which arrived in Wellington in March 1841.  A Mary Robertson, 18, servant, was included on the passenger list.  On 15 April 1844, Mary Robertson, daughter of Mr Robertson of Blair Gowrie, Perthshire, married Francis Mitchell, an agriculturalist, formerly of Logie, Perthshire.  Francis Mitchell had arrived in Wellington on the Martha Ridgeway in July 1840.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 12 April 1848 carried a report of the death of Francis Mitchell, apparently at sea after an absence of two years, having left his wife and young child in Wellington in January 1846.

Donald Cameron died on 15 September 1851, aged 30.

After Donald’s death, it appears that Mary (Robertson) Cameron , formerly Mitchell, married John Cameron on 25 September 1855.  John Cameron, the son of John Cameron and Janet McGregor, was also on the Blenheim, and the posting for that family provides further information on Mary Robertson.

Mary (Robertson) Cameron died on 5 June 1887.  Her death registration noted that she was 66, her father was given as Alexander Robinson, carrier, she was born in Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 40 years, and was married in Wanganui to John Cameron.  She had three female children living, aged 30, 28 and 27.  The cause of death was dropsy.  There was no reference to any of her other marriages.

Donald and Mary had one child:

  • Donald Cameron, born in 1850, died in 1851.
Duncan Cameron

Duncan Cameron was a shepherd of 18 on the Blenheim passenger list, indicating he was born around 1821-22.

Duncan was referred to in Early Rangitikei but was not included on the Makirikiri memorial plaque.

No further information has been established regarding Duncan Cameron.

Ewen Cameron

Ewen Cameron was described as a ploughman of 17 on the Blenheim passenger list, meaning he was born around 1822-23.

The History of the Parewanui district and schools incorrectly states that this Ewen Cameron married Sarah McKinnon, but that was a Ewen Cameron from another Turakina, but non-Blenheim, family of Camerons.

The reference in Early Rangitikei noted above does not include a Ewen or Hugh, suggesting that he may have died or gone elsewhere before the family moved to Turakina.

No further information has been established for Ewen Cameron.

Alexander Cameron

The Blenheim passenger list described Alexander Cameron as a cowherd of 15, suggesting he was born around 1824.

According to the Makirikiri memorial, Alexander Cameron died on 7 June 1860 at Turakina aged 32.  New Zealand BDM records confirm the date but give his age as 34.

The History of the Parewanui district and schools incorrectly states that this Alexander Cameron married Jemima McDonell, but in fact it appears that he did not marry, and his estate administration involved his mother, Mary Cameron (who signed documents with her mark “X”), John Cameron, the younger (son of John Cameron and Janet McGregor, who married the widow of Donald Cameron jnr above), and James Stewart, both of Turakina.  Alexander was described as a farmer of Turakina in the probate documents.

James Cameron

According to the Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1825, James, son of Donald Cameron in Trislaig and Mary McPherson, was born on 24 October and baptized on 1 November.

In the Blenheim passenger list James was described as a cowherd of 14.

James is referred to Early Rangitikei and is included on the Makirikiri memorial, but with a date of death unknown.

No further information has been established for James Cameron.

Ann Christian Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) records that Ann Christian, daughter of Donald Cameron crofter in Trinsleig and Mary McPherson was born on 27 ulto, [i.e. November] and baptized on 27 December 1827.

The Blenheim passenger list included 12 year-old Ann Cameron.

In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie described a picnic on Somes Island in 1848 or 1849, “Most of the company we were acquainted with, and were pleased to see amongst them ‘Little Annie Cameron’ (The cooper). It was so nice just to look at her….Near her was sitting ‘Alick’ called so by all present and genial to all, and a member of a proud Scottish family as he was. He too had come out in the Blenheim but as a passenger with some others, not as immigrant, and I feel now that neither he nor the rest of the party forgot that fact.”

Annie Cameron married Alexander McDonald on 13 January 1852, and more details of their life can be found at Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings.

Ann Christian (Cameron) McDonald died on 26 February 1898.

Annie and Alexander had possibly eight children [details require confirmation and completion]:

  • Mary McDonald, born in 1854, died in 1939, married Alexander Dundas in 1878.
  • Annie McDonald, born in 1855, married (1) Henry Seegers Palmerson, (2) George Latta Rodaway Scott in 1891.
  • Donald McDonald, born in 1857.
  • Adam Alexander McDonald, born in 1860, died in 1940, married Mary Helen Sarah Dundas in 1898.
  • Ada McDonald, born in 1863, married John Henry Lee Macintyre in 1887.
  • Catherine McDonald.
  • Georgina McDonald, born in 1866, died in 1945, married Alfred Richard Lyons in 1889.
  • Margaret McDonald, born in 1869, died in 1924, married Edward Cyril Morley Netherclift in 1897.
George Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1831 shows that George, son to Donald Cameron, crofter Trislack, and Mary McPherson, was born on 11 February and baptized on 16 February.

George Cameron is referred to in Early Rangitikei and was included in the original Makirikiri memorial.

George Cameron died in 1856 aged 24.


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Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun

This family were noted as coming from Trishilaig in the initial Blenheim passenger list, with Ewen being the brother to Donald Cameron, the subject of Donald McDonald’s comments, “This man and his family have been known to me all my life & are a very industrious family.  The same remark applies to his brother and his family who is next to him but one in this list, they have besides excellent Certificates.”

The large family was made up of:

  • Ewen Cameron, 50, tailor
  • Maria Colquhoun, his wife, 46
  • Mary Cameron, his daughter, 28, chambermaid
  • Flora Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
  • Marjory Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
  • Jane Cameron, his daughter,22, housemaid
  • John Cameron, his son, 20, shepherd – crossed out on initial list, and not included in subsequent lists
  • Charles Cameron, his son, 18, labourer
  • Sarah Cameron, his daughter, 16
  • Allan Cameron, his son, 14, cowherd
  • Donald Cameron, his son, 12, cowherd
  • Margaret Cameron, his daughter, 9
  • Anne Cameron, his daughter, 7
  • Catherine Cameron, his daughter, 4

Ewen and Maria’s son John Cameron did not travel on the Blenheim – he married Catherine Black in 1840. The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1820 records that John Cameron, son of Ewen Cameron at Gearidh and Maria Colquhoun his spouse was born 4th and baptized 9th April.  John Cameron died on 16 December 1872 at Bailevolan, Lismore.  The registration in the parish of Lismore in the county of Argyll noted that he was a lime burner of 53, married to Catherine Black, and his parents were Hugh Cameron, teacher, deceased, and Sarah Colquhoun.  The informant was his son, Hugh Cameron.

Return to The Blenheim People.


Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for 1783 recorded the birth of Ewen Cameron, son to Angus Cameron and Mary Cameron, Corvig, on 11 June.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) recorded the marriage on 28 February 1811 of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun, at Inverscaddle.

Information from the birth registrations of their children shows that Ewen and Maria lived in Ardgour, the southern part of the Kilmallie parish to the west of Loch Eil.   Inverscaddle was at the mouth of Glenscaddle, north of the Corran Ferry, and Gerridh was to the south, on Linnhe Loch.  Despite the notation in the Blenheim passenger list, it does not appear that they lived at Trislaig, which was at the northern end of Ardgour, opposite Fort William.

Ewen Cameron was actually 57 when he sailed on the Blenheim. A record of Maria’s birth has not been confirmed.

Ewen Cameron, sometimes known as Hugh Cameron, lived in Kaiwarra and worked as a tailor, as confirmed by Juror lists.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 December 1848 reported the death of Ewen Cameron as follows:

A fatal accident occurred on Wednesday last to Mr. Ewen Cameron, who resided on the road to Kaiwarra. On his return home about eight o’clock in the evening, in walking too near the edge of the steep ravine or gulley in front of his house his foot unfortunately slipped, and he fell head foremost, and his head striking a projecting piece of rock he was killed on the spot. The body was discovered by his family the next morning lying in the ravine. An inquest was held on the body by Dr. Fitzgerald the Coroner, yesterday, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The deceased was very much and deservedly respected as an honest man and an industrious settler, and had brought up a very numerous family with great credit and propriety.

As recorded in Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalling her Kaiwarra memories, wrote, “By far the most tremendous episode of that period was the death of ‘Cameron, the Tailor’. He was found dead on the rocky path leading up from the beach to his house. Inquiries showed that he had left the ‘Highlander Inn’ at about nine in the evening and was not seen again alive. He had evidently slipped in the darkness, and struck his head against the wall of rock bordering the way.”

After Ewen’s death most of the younger members of the family appear to have moved to Auckland with their sister Jane and brother-in-law Alexander Alison, and where several of the daughters married mariners. In 1861 Sarah and Catherine went to the Otago goldfields with their husbands, apparently taking their aged mother with them, because Maria Cameron died at Blue Spur, Otago, on 28 December 1874. Blue Spur was in Tuapeka County, near Lawrence.

The Tuapeka Times of 7 January 1874 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 28th December, at the residence of James Campbell, Blue Spur, Maria Cameron, relict of the late Ewen Cameron, of Kaiwarra, Wellington.”  The death registration contains no information, other than the date of death, her name and age, 85, and cause of death, “old age”.  The informant was the local undertaker.

Mary Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll), records that Mary, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Peggy Colquhoun of Glenscaddle, was baptized on 24 January 1812.

Mary Cameron was described as a chambermaid of 28 in the Blenheim passenger list.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage on 5 February 1841 of Mary Cameron and Peter McGrigor, barely six weeks after the arrival of the Blenheim.

The New Zealand Colonist and Port Nicholson Advertiser of 16 August 1842 reported on a narrow escape from drowning, “Last Thursday, a boat laden with wood from Petoni, bound for Te Aro, with Charles Cameron, Peter M’Gregor, and a sailor; it was blowing very hard at the time and the boat being deeply laden, Cameron recommended M’Gregor not to leave, and if he did he might go by himself, as he (Cameron) would walk it, M’Gregor said he would chance it and left accordingly with the other boatman. They proceeded as far as Ngaurangi in safety, when a gust of wind upset the boat, and the men were thrown into the sea, the upper part of the cargo being washed away, the boat again righted, and the men got into her, although she was full of water, and were drifting out to sea all night, sometimes clinging to the outside of the boat, being frequently washed overboard. About nine o’clock the following morning, some natives rescued them from a watery grave, near Barrett’s reef, and brought them ashore more dead than alive. ”  It is not known if the Charles Cameron referred to was Peter McGregor’s brother-in-law.

Peter M’Gregor, Kai Warra, road, labourer, was on the list of prospective jurors for Port Nicholson in 1845.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 15 July 1846 carried the Death Notice: “Died – on Saturday, the 11th inst., Mary, the wife of Mr. P. M’Gregor, and eldest daughter of Mr. Ewen Cameron, Tailor, of Kai Wara.”

Mary and Peter appear to have had one child:

  • Mary McGregor, born in 1842.

Little further information has been established for Peter McGregor or his daughter Mary. However, Margaret Perry, in her diary covering the period between 1865 and 1867, in talking about her Auntie (Marjory Cameron, see below), mentioned a Dan Richardson who had married a niece of Auntie’s and she had died.  A Daniel Richardson married a Mary McGregor on 2 April 1861. A Mary Richardson died on 7 March 1865 aged 22. A child, Ellen Mary Richardson, daughter of Daniel and Mary Richardson, was born on 17 September 1864 and died on 18 January 1865, aged 4 months.

Flora Cameron

In the Blenheim passenger list, Flora was described as a housemaid of 26, suggesting that her birth was probably in 1814.

Flora Cameron and Thomas Ritchie Simson were married on 3 October 1844 in Wellington.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 19 October 1844 included the Notice: “Married – On the 3rd instant, by the Rev. J. Macfarlane, Mr Thomas Richie Simpson, formerly of Glasgow, to Flora, daughter of Hugh Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Invernesshire.”

It seems from Electoral Roll records that the Simsons farmed at Turakina for a period, but by the time of their mother’s death in 1886 the sons had moved to Opunake, although their father was in Wanganui.

The Hawera and Normanby Star of 26 November 1886 included the Death Notice: “Simson – on the 21st instant, at the residence of her sons, Taungatara, near Opunake, Flora, the beloved wife of Mr Thomas R Simson.  She was the second daughter of Mr Hugh Cameron of Kaiwarra, Wellington, who has long preceded her to the grave.  The family arrived in Wellington in 1840; and she has passed away at the age of 66 years.”

Thomas Ritchie Simson died in 1907 aged 88, at Wanganui Hospital.  The Wanganui Herald of 3 September 1907 carried the Death Notice: “Simson – At the Wanganui Hospital, on Sunday, 1st September, Thomas Simson, aged 88 years.”.

Flora and Thomas had at least two children:

  • Charles Simson, born in 1849.
  • David Cameron Simson, born in 1851, died in 1901, married Elizabeth Putt in 1888.
Marjory Cameron

Marjory (Mysie) Cameron was described as a housemaid of 24 in the Blenheim passenger list., indicating she was born around 1816.

Marjory Cameron married John McQuarrie in 1844.  John McQuarrie, son of Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern, was also on board the Blenheim, described as a joiner of 18. The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 3 January 1844 carried the Married 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.”

Marjory Cameron was the “Auntie” referred to in Margaret Perry’s diaries. The couple moved to Rangitikei, and Margaret Perry wrote, “I used very often go and stop with Uncle and Auntie in the Valley, Uncle like all the McQuarries used to drink heavily; when he would come home, he was a perfect madman, he would set to work and throw chairs tables and crockery outside the door, Auntie and I used to run and hide, in the bush till the storm was over and all was quiet, then we would go in and find him fast asleep; then we would set to work and gather up the pieces and put all straight.  After a while they left the Valley, and went to live in a four-roomed cottage in Turakina.  Uncle got very ill and the doctors told him that drink was killing him.”

John McQuarrie died on 10 December 1865.  Mysie McQuarrie married George Perry on 14 February 1867.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Marjory Perry died on 26 March 1903 aged 87.  Her death registration indicates that she was a widow, and died at Devonport from heart failure and senility.  Her parents were listed as Hugh Cameron, tailor, and her mother’s maiden surname was Colquhoun.  Marjory was born in Argyleshire and had been in New Zealand for 63 years.  She was married first in Wellington to Hugh [sic] McQuarrie when she was 22, and secondly in Turakina to George Perry.  There were no living children.  The informant was W H Burgess, authorised agent.  William Henry Burgess was Marjory’s brother-in-law, the widower of her sister Margaret.

Jane Cameron

Jane Cameron was listed as a housemaid of 22 when she travelled on the Blenheim in 1840.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 22 November 1845 contained the Marriage Notice: Married, on the 17th November instant, Mr Alexander Allison, formerly of Inverness, Shipwright, now of H.M. Colonial Brig “Victoria,” to Jane, third daughter of Mr Ewen Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Agyleshire.”

Alexander Alison was a ship’s carpenter who came to Nelson in the early 1840s.  The family moved to Auckland in 1848, settling in Devonport in 1854, where Alexander continued his trade as a boat-builder.

Alexander Alison died in 1887.  The New Zealand Herald of 27 June 1887 carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR. A. ALISON, SEN.
It is with much regret we have to announce the decease of another of the old identities of Auckland, in the person of Mr. Alexander Alison, sen., who has been ailing for some weeks past, and who died peacefully at his residence, Devonport, yesterday morning, at half-past eleven, at the advanced age of 7S years. The deceased gentleman, who was a native of Inverness, Scotland, arrived at Nelson some fifty years ago, but shortly afterwards chose Auckland as his place of residence, and has lived at Devonport over thirty years. The deceased was a man of sterling qualities, of a warm-hearted and genial disposition, and highly respected by a wide circle of friends. He leaves a widow and three sons, each of whom are grown up and married, and hold prominent positions, to mourn his loss. The funeral is announced to take place at Devonport to-morrow (Tuesday), at three o’clock.

The New Zealand Herald of 6 February 1893 carried the Death Notice: “Alison – On Saturday, February 4 1893, at her late residence, Beach Road, Devonport, Jane, relict of the late Alexander Alison, Esq., aged 78 years. Interred at Devonport Cemetery.”

Jane and Alexander had at least four children who lived beyond infancy:

  • Alexander Alison, born in 1846, died in 1923, married Annie Stokoe in 1868.
  • Roderick Alison, born in 1850, died in 1882.
  • Ewen William Alison, born in 1852, died in 1945, married Mary Ann Coleman in 1876.
  • Duncan Donald Tobias Alison, born in 1856, died in 1935, married Emma Lyons in 1884.

The New Zealand Dictionary of Biography has an entry for Ewen William Alison, noting that he was born in Auckland on leap day, 29 February 1852, the son of Jane Cameron and her husband Alexander Alison, a shipwright. At the age of 15 Ewen went off to look for gold in the Thames goldrush, and made sufficient money to join his brother in a butchery partnership in Devonport.  He went on to become a businessman involved in shipping and property, and was active in local and national government.  Ewen married Mary Ann Coleman on 26 July 1876, and they were to have four sons and two daughters.  His main claim to fame was to found and develop the Devonport Steam Ferry Company Limited, with his brother Alexander.  Ewen Alison died on 6 June 1945 at the age of 93.

Charles McLean Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1822, records the baptism of Charles McLean Cameron son to Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colquhoun in Gearidh on 28 July, born on 20th Curr. [of the current month].

In the Blenheim passenger list Charles McLean Cameron was described as a labourer of 18.

It seems that by the late-1840s Charles was travelling around New Zealand and was in partnership with Robert Waitt (who married Catherine McDonald) in a contract to supply British troops.  After working with John Wade at the Wellington Brewery, Charles established the Kaiwarra Brewery, but passed it on to his brother Allan, apparently when he took up trading with the Chatham Islands and then Australia.  He returned to New Zealand and purchased a farm at Karaka, near Auckland, but a letter from Duncan Campbell to his brother-in-law Donald McKinnon in July 1861 reported that “Charles Cameron sold his farm in New Zealand 2 years ago for £2,000 he went to Twofold Bay and he lost all.”

The John Cameron Letters include a letter from John Cameron of Marangai to Charles McL Cameron Esq., 35 Great Castle Street, W. London, dated 9 September 1882, which reads:

My Dear Charlie
Your letter of the 24 June I recd about a fortnight ago. I was delighted to hear from you and so was all your old friends and acquaintances about Turakino. We all thought that you had your departure taken to the other world long ago, never hearing from you. We are all much pleased to think that we were wrong, and that there is a chance of seeing you again. Well – in reply to your queries. Your sister that was married to John McQuarie is married again to a man named Perry and I believe is very comfortable I haven’t seen her for a long time. Hitherto they have been living at Turakino but I was told a few days ago that they had shifted down to near Rangatikei on the road to Bulls – I was told that he had taken a small farm there. Mrs Perry – near Bulls – Rangatikei – Wellington – N.Z. I think will find her – of your brother Donald I know nothing or next to nothing – I was asking Charlie Cameron a few days ago if he could tell me anything about him. He says that at one time he heard that he left Hokitika and went to Tauranga but that he heard afterwards that he went back again to Hokitika – that was all he could tell me about him. Of your cousins Donald Bane’s family there are only three of them alive Mrs Grant, Mrs McDonald and Mrs Brabason, all the sons are dead. The Grants have a very nice place at Turakino and are thoroughly independent, Alec McDonald and his family have a fine place on the Oroua Stream about halfway between the Rangitikei and Manawatu Rivers. This is all I know about your relations, of your other fellow passengers on the Blenheim there are several of them still in Turakino – Old John Cameron and wife only died last year within a few weeks of each other. I believe the old man was quite 100 years old – his eldest son John was killed by a tree falling on him when he was felling – Charlie and Archi have both got fine places in Turakino with large grown up famileis and thoroughly independent.
If you ever come to see us again you will find the country very much altered. We have a fine bridge across the Wanganui river opposite the centre of the Town. And a railway opening from Manawatu to Patea and will soon be open all the way to Waitara on the north side of New Plymouth. There is also a railway in course of being formed from Wellington to the Manawatu to join on to the New Plymouth railway, and there is a line to be taken somewhere from the West Coast right up through Taupo into the Waikato to join on to the Auckland railway. Altogehter the country is going ahead notwithstanding the very slack times that Farmers are having and all those public works going ahead make it all the wose for the poor Farmers for it helps to keep the price of labour up sa high as ever. Sheep and cattle are lower now than they have been for many years and the wool market is exceedingly low the lat sales were the lowest we have had for years notwithstanding which land keeps up its price – It is not unusual to hear of properties changing hands at from £10 to £20 an acre. We are looking forward to be able to get ris of our surplus beef and mutton by this freezing process several cargoes have been sent home with great success – some sent from Dunedin was sold in London as English Down mutton. Native difficulty I think is settled now I dont think there is much dange of any more disturbances of any consequence. We are geting too strong for them our volunteer and militia corps are well trained and well armed and amount in the agregate to several thousands and the Maories know it and are afraid of them. They are also wide awake enough to see that in all the wars they have had with Europeans that tho thye may occasionally have a success in the long run they have always the worst of it – they are beginning to find out there is more to be gained by legislating than fighting. Write me on receipt of this and let me know if there is any chance of your coming back to New Zealand, and as you say that tou are still a Batchelor you might be able to pick up a buxom hussey that would keep you comfortable in your old age.

It is not clear when Charles McLean Cameron returned to New Zealand.

The 1905-1906 Electoral Roll for Eden in Auckland, records Charles McLean Cameron, inmate, at Costley Home.  The Costley Home for the Aged Poor, was originally located within the Auckland Hospital grounds, but in 1890 moved to Epsom.

New Zealand BDM records have the death of a Charles McLean Cameron on 1 April 1909, aged 87.

Sarah Cameron

Sarah Cameron was 16 when she sailed on the Blenheim with her family.

In 1851, Sarah married Duncan Campbell, a master mariner.  The Wellington Independent of 27 September 1851 carried the notice: “Married – On the 29th inst., by license, at St Paul’s, by the Rev. J.F. Churton, Mr Duncan Campbell, of Auckland, to Sarah, fifth daughter of the late Mr. Ewen Cameron of Wellington. ”

Duncan Campbell was born in Perthshire, Scotland and was a half-brother of James Campbell who married Sarah’s sister Catherine Cameron.  It is not clear when he came to New Zealand.

In the early 1850s Duncan Campbell was the skipper of the Benlomond, a 35 ton schooner in the coastal trade. According to Electoral Roll records the family was living at Nelson Street, Auckland, in 1856.

It appears that the family moved to Gabriel’s Gully, Otago in 1861.

Sarah Campbell died on 24 February 1863 in Lawrence, Otago, a few weeks after giving birth to Mary.  The Daily Southern Cross of 21 March 1863 carried the following Death Notice: “On February 24th, at the Molyneux, Province of Otago, Sarah, the beloved wife of Mr Duncan Campbell. She leaves six children with her sorrowing husband to lament her loss.”

In 1872 Duncan Campbell was appointed to be teacher at the Tuapeka Mouth School.  An inspector’s report noted that he was untrained and only on trial, and it was doubtful if he would succeed as a teacher.  He then took up farming in the district.

Duncan Campbell died in October 1875.  He was found drowned in the Molyneux River in Otago.  The Tuapeka Times of 6 October 1875 reported:

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF A SETTLER.
We learn that Mr. Duncan Campbell, settler at Tuapeka Mouth, has disappeared in rather a mysterious manner. It appears that on Sunday evening Mr. Campbell crossed a man from the west side of the river to Dalhousie, and remained with the boat whilst the passenger went up to the township, promising to return in a few minutes. The man was longer than he anticipated, and on his return to the river bank was surprised at not to find either the boat or Mr. Campbell who has not yet been seen or heard of. Search was made by the residents of Dalhouse without avail, and up to the hour of our going to press, neither Campbell nor the boat had been heard of. Mr. A. M’Beath gave information to the police last evening, and they started away to assist in the search.

The Tuapeka Times of 9 October 1875 was able to shed more light on the disappearance, noting that Duncan Campbell provided a ferry service and on the day in question had brought over two men then adjourned to public house at Tuapeka Mouth, and was observed as being “slightly the worse for liquor.” It appeared that he may have gone to sleep in the boat while awaiting the later passenger and been carried down by the current, and somehow fallen in the river. The report went on to note:

The missing-man was an old resident in the district having come from the North Island about the first the Gabriels Gully rush. He followed digging for sometime, and subsequently became a mining agent in Lawrence. Being a man of good education, and possessing a fair share of natural talent, he was subsequently appointed Schoolmaster at Tuapeka Mouth, a situation which he resigned only a few months ago, when he took to farming, following it up to the time of bis disappearance. He was well known throughout the district; his obliging disposition and genial character rendering him generally well liked in the place.
A correspondent writes: Not a few in and about the district of Gabriels will read with feelings of melancholy interest the circumstances attending the sad end of poor old Duncan Campbell. He was in many respects of the word a coupling link between New Zealand of the past and New Zealand of the present. The date of his advent in this colony is somewhat obscure, but it is understood he got here about the latter part of the decade ending ’30 or beginning of ’40. When I say here, I mean Auckland, as you must be aware the southern provinces were little known of in those primitive days. The last time I saw him was only a few weeks ago, and he then presented all the animated appearance of a hale hearty old man who had yet many days to live. Nothing delighted him better than to recall the old times and early associations, when British rule was to a great extent subservient to Maori custom. On the occasion to which I allude he was in company with another of the old New Zealand School a resident about Tokomairiro. To hear these two old “fogies” recite their early adventures in the Northern territory was a perfect treat. The name and surname of a leading minister of the Colonial Cabinet was mixed up with one of their exploits the burden of the narrative being that they had only one blue blanket amongst the three of them, and that thus gaudily attired they set out to pay court to a tatooed damsel, possessed of great personal attractions. The conclusions indulged in by these two worthies in drawing parallels between the third occupant of the blue blanket engaged upon this escapade, and his present occupation as leader of the House of Representatives, were whimsical in the extreme. With their recollection still fresh upon my memory the intelligence of his sad end comes home to me with all the force and effect of one of those rude shocks which teaches us too truly that in the midst of life we arc in death.

The Otago Daily Times of 24 November 1875 reported:

Our Lawrence correspondent inform us by telegraph that the body of Duncan Campbell was found on the bank of the river at the mouth of a small! creek 13 miles below Tuapeka Mouth by Mr John Tyson some days ago. The body was brought up to Tuapeka Mouth, an inquest was held by the Coroner, and a verdict returned, ”Found Drowned.” A large number of friends followed the remains to the Lawrence Cemetery.

Sarah and Duncan had at least seven children:

  • Margaret Campbell, born in 1852, died in 1917, married John Glass in 1871.
  • Maria Campbell, born in 1854, died in 1947, married Andrew McBeath in 1875.
  • Donald Campbell, born in 1855.
  • Duncan Campbell, born in 1857, died in 1938, married Mary McFadzien in 1885.
  • Euphemia Campbell, born in 1859, died in 1942, married George Anderson Laidlaw in 1879.
  • Sarah Campbell, born in 1862, died in 1862.
  • Mary Campbell, born in 1863, died in 1944, married William Rainsford Bennett in 1884.
Allan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for baptisms from Corran in 1826, recorded the baptism on 3 September of Allan, son of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun in Girah, Ardgour, born on the 22nd of August.

On the passenger list for the Blenheim in 1840, Allan was described as a cowherd of 14.

The reference in Early Wellington to the death in 1846 of a son of Mr Hugh Cameron, who died of consumption, aged 21, which is confirmed by Bolton St Cemetery records, is not this Allan Cameron.  Advertisements in Wellington newspapers in 1850 show that “A D C Cameron” was taking over the Kaiwarra Brewery from his brother Charles.

Bolton St Cemetery records include a reference to “A I C Cameron”, but no further information has been established for Allan Cameron.

Donald Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) in listing baptisms from Corran and Balacolish, recorded that Donald, son of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun in Ginah, was born on the 25th of December 1828 and baptised on 4 January 1829.

Donald Cameron was a cowherd of 12 in the Blenheim passenger list.

No further information has been established for Donald Cameron, apart from a suggestion that he may have gone to the Victorian goldfields.

Margaret Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Margaret, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colqhuhon, Gearradh, was born 1st April 1831, and baptised on 24 April 1831.

Margaret Cameron was 9 when she travelled on the Blenheim with her family.

New Zealand BDM records show that Margaret Cameron married William Henry Burgess on 26 March 1862.

William Henry Burgess was the son of James William Burgess and Elizabeth Blackburn, and was born in London on 14 March 1834. He became a mariner, like his brother Isaac Burgess, who was the Auckland Harbourmaster for many years, and also lived on the North Shore.

Electoral Rolls for 1870-1876 show that William Henry Burgess lived at North Head, on Auckland’s North Shore, and from 1880 at Devonport, when his occupation was given as pilot, and mariner from 1890 to 1906.

According to New Zealand BDM records Margaret Burgess died on 18 November 1894, aged 60. The New Zealand Herald of 20 November carried the following Death Notice: “Burgess – On Sunday, November 18, at her residence, Devonport, Margaret, the beloved wife of Captain W.H.Burgess, aged 60 years.”

William Henry Burgess died on 8 March 1912, aged 77. The New Zealand Herald of 13 March 1912 carried the following obituary:

Captain William Henry Burgess, brother of the late Captain Isaac Burgess, for many years harbourmaster at Auckland, died at Devonport on Friday, in his 78th year. Born in Limehouse, London, in 1834 deceased, like his forefathers, took to the sea, and shipped as boy on the ship City of Poonah, bound for India. On his return he joined the barque Lord William Bentinck, which arrived in Auckland with troops on board on August 26, 1850. After serving in various capacities in the brigs Invincible and Kestrel, the steamer William Denny, and the brigantine Despatch, he entered the pilot service in 1858, remaining there until 1884 – a service of 26 years. Many of the early arrivals will remember Captain Burgess as being the first person they met in the new land, when he came aboard to pilot them in. After leaving the pilot service he served on the coast in the steamer Waitaki, and then in the Devonport lorry service. Retiring on account of ill-health he lived quietly at his home at Devonport. Captain Burgess passed through all the hardships of the early seafaring days, from ship’s boy to the holder of a deep sea ticket. At Parnell, in 1862, he was married to Margaret Cameron, of Argylshire, Scotland, by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. He leaves two sons, four daughters, and nine grandchildren.

Margaret and William had at least seven children:

  • Alice Maria Burgess, born in 1863, died in 1954, married Charles Frederick Taine in 1895.
  • Clara Margaret Burgess, born in 1865, died in 1950, married Henry Dugald McKellar in 1890.
  • William Isaac Burgess, born in 1866, died in 1869.
  • Flora Cameron Burgess, born in 1868, died in 1945 (Australia), married George William Phillips in 1905.
  • James William Burgess, born in 1870, died in 1952, married Bertha Lucie Barlow in 1904.
  • Maud Jane Burgess, born in 1871.
  • Herbert Donald Burgess, born in 1876, died in 1966.
Ann Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Ann, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colqhuhoun, Gearrigh, was born on 8th April 1833, and baptised on 15 April 1833.

The Blenheim passenger list recorded Anne as 7 years old in 1840.

Annie Cameron, married Donald McLeod McKinnon in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on 23 January 1853.

Donald McKinnon was born on the Isle of Skye, the son of Malcolm McKinnon and Euphemia McLeod.  The family emigrated to Australia on the Midlothian in 1837, and settled in the Maitland area of New South Wales. Donald went to school for a while before leaving to go to sea, working in the whaling industry off New Zealand, and presumably met Ann in Auckland, possibly through her brother-in-law Duncan Campbell.

Ann McKinnon died on 21 June 1881 at Wingham, NSW, aged 45.

Donald McKinnon died on 21 April 1891.  The Australian Town and Country Journal of 2 May 1891 carried the following Notice:

Taree – April 27th
Death.- On Tuesday morning, at his residence, Glen Ora, Clarksons Crossing, after a somewhat protracted illness, died Mr. Donald M’Leod M’Kinnon, at the age of 67 years. The deceased gentleman was a native of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and had resided on the Manning from about 1856 until 1862, when he removed to the Walambra district, where he lived up to the time of his death.
His wife has been dead for several years, but four sons and daughters, all grown up, are left to mourn their loss. The departed gentleman was the father of Mr. Hugh M’Kinnon, commission agent, of Sydney, and was well known and much esteemed and respected.
The funeral, which was very largely attended, took place in the Taree Estate Cemetery, when the Rev. S. P. Stewart officiated at the grave.

Ann and Donald had at least eleven children:

  • Malcolm McKinnon, born in 1853, died in 1908, married Catherine Emily Brewer in 1887.
  • Hugh McKinnon, born in 1855, died in 1930.
  • Donald McLeod McKinnon, born in 1857, died in 1922, married Sarah Jane Cox in 1884.
  • Euphemia McKinnon, born in 1859, died in 1915, married Thomas Richard McCartney in 1883.
  • Charles William McKinnon, born in 1861, died in 1940, married Catherine Taylor in 1923.
  • John McKinnon, born in 1863, died in 1863.
  • Maria Flora McKinnon, born in 1864, died in 1935.
  • Ann McKinnon, born in 1867, died in 1952, married Henry Miles in 1902.
  • Harriet Frances McKinnon, born in 1870, died in 1948.
  • Mary Jane McKinnon, born in 1873, died in 1948.
  • Catherine Mary McKinnon, born in 1879, died in 1962, married Eric Hugh Stuart McMaster in 1911.
Catherine Cameron

Catherine Cameron was 4 years old when she sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

The Daily Southern Cross of 21 April 1857 carried the Notice: “Married. At the North Shore, on the 16th instant, by the Rev. Mr Heywood, Mr James Campbell, youngest son of the late Mr Alexander Campbell, farmer, Dundaree, Grandtuly, Perthshire, Scotland, to Catherine Cameron, youngest daughter of the late Mr Ewen Cameron, of Wellington, N.Z.”

James Campbell was born in 1835 in Grandtuly, Perthshire, and was a half-brother to Duncan Campbell, who married Catherine’s sister Sarah.

The family was living in Whangaparoa, Auckland, and James was described as a farmer, when the first three children were born. They then moved to Gabriel’s Gully in Otago, and James Campbell was described as a miner in the birth registrations of his children.

Catherine Campbell died on 23 February 1898 at Gabriel’s Gully, Tuapeka, Otago.

James Campbell died on 22 October 1898 at Blue Spur, Otago, through the accidental discharge of a gun.

Catherine and James had at least eleven children:

  • James Campbell, born in 1857, died in 1882.
  • Charles Campbell, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Isobel Patterson Cousins in 1884.
  • Alexander Campbell, born in 1862, died in 1922, married Emma Ida Daniel in 1891.
  • Margaret Campbell, born in 1865, died in 1934, married Samuel Edward Portman Vernon in 1907.
  • Catherine Campbell, born in 1866, died in 1946, married Andrew Barr in 1903.
  • Archibald Campbell, born in 1868, died in 1869.
  • Anne Campbell, born in 1870 (twin), died in 1943, married John McDonald in 1903.
  • Jane Campbell, born in 1870 (twin), died in 1923, married Andrew McGregor in 1900.
  • Maria Campbell, born in 1873, died in 1950, married Albert Swanwick in 1897.
  • Sarah Campbell, born in 1875, died in 1955, married Robert Henry Ledlie in 1898.
  • Isabella Campbell, born in 1877, died in 1882.

Sources:

Dugald McLachlan and Jane Cameron

The initial passenger list for the Blenheim included the McLachlan children – Catherine, 13, housemaid, Alexander 11, Hugh, 8, and Duncan 3 – in the names added at the end, but no parent.  The embarkation list included an additional line for a Jane McLachlan, 13, Hugh’s age given as 10 and Duncan’s age given as 4, and with Dugald, 40,  and Jane, 35, on the same line, with a later line for them both crossed out, including Dugald’s occupation, possibly “weaver”.  The next list had Jane McLachlan, 32, wife of Dugald, several pages away from the others, while the arrival list had them all together again, except for Catherine, who was separated by several lines from the rest of them.  Jane’s age was given as 30.

The initial list also included a Janet Cameron, 26, dairymaid, as the daughter of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson.  First versions of this list may have been prepared as early as January 1840, and Jane Cameron and Dugald McLachlan were not married until 11 February 1840 (second marriages for both of them).

In summary, the family was as follows, bearing in mind that Jane was not the mother of the four older children:

  • Dugald McLachlan, 40
  • Jane McLachlan, 30
  • Catherine McLachlan, 15
  • Alexander McLachlan, 11
  • Hugh McLachlan, 10
  • Duncan McLachlan, 4
  • Isabella McIntyre McLachlan, born at sea.

Return to The Blenheim People.


Dugald McLachlan

Dugald McLachlan was born on 27 November 1793 in Corpach to Louis McLachlan, a weaver, and Isabella McIntyre.

Based on information contained in Dugald’s Family Bible,  Dugald married Ann Abercromby Cleghorn on 31 January 1816.  She was born on 11 January 1797. Their first child was John Cameron McLachlan, born on 27 April 1817, who did not travel to New Zealand.  A son, Ewen, was born in 1820 but probably died before 1831.  There were a number of other sons who did not live beyond infancy.  The other surviving children travelled with their father on the Blenheim.

From family tree information on Ancestry.com, Mary Ann Abercrombie Cleghorn died in 1838.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness), recorded that Dugald McLachlan, weaver, Fort William, and Jane Cameron, Trishlaig, were married on 11 February 1840.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 8 February 1845 and 10 February 1847 published lists of persons qualified to serve as jurors for the district of Port Nicholson, which included Dugald M’Lachlan, Thorndon Quay, labourer.

In April 1852, Dugald McLachlan, landholder, was one of many signatories to a Memorial sent to the Governor, George Grey, expressing concern about the passing of legislation affecting the price and availability of land.

The Wellington Independent of 8 April 1854 in reporting on the inquest into the death by drowning of Private John Dunn, noted that Dugald McLachlan had found the body.

A few weeks later Dugald McLachlan was himself drowned at Wellington on 24 May 1854.  The Wellington Independent of 27 May 1854 carried a report of the inquest:

On Wednesday afternoon, an inquest was held at the Crown and Anchor Inn, Lambton Quay<, touching the death of Dugald M’Lachlan, who had been found lying dead on the sand above the low water mark, opposite the above Inn, about seven o’clock that morning, by a native policeman. From the evidence produced, which was very meagre, it would appear that the deceased was seen to leave the Queen’s Head, Thorndon, about half past nine o’clock, the preceding evening, and that he was the worse for liquor; and that the sentry on duty at the Colonial Treasury, about eleven o’clock, heard a person walk rapidly by the Government House Guard House, and straight down into the sea. It was too dark for him to distinguish who it was and he supposed it to be some maori; not having seen him return, he related the circumstances to a policeman, who obtained a lamp and proceeded to the spot, but found nothing. There was no evidence to show that the person heard going into the water was the deceased. After some deliberation, the Jury returned a verdict to the effect, that the deceased was found lying dead on the beach that morning, apparently drowned; but how he came by his death there was no evidence before the jury to show.

Jane Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) recorded that Jean, daughter to Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson, Inverscaddle, was born on 21 December 1808.

Jane Cameron’s death registration in New Zealand indicates that her first husband was a John McPherson, and they were married when she was 25, i.e. around 1834.  No other record is available nor is it known if there were any children from this marriage.

As noted above, Jane Cameron married Dugald McLachlan on 11 February 1840, and they emigrated to New Zealand in August 1840 with Dugald’s children.  It seems likely that Jane had planned to emigrate on the Blenheim with her parents and siblings anyway.

Jessie Campbell’s Journal entry for 27 October 1840 notes, “An addition made to our number by the birth of a daughter to MacLachlan from Portobello, it is the poor woman’s first child, both doing well.”  [In fact, McLachlan was not from Portobello but from Fort William, and the child may not have been Jane’s first (at 31).]

In addition to the birth at sea, Dugald and Jane had at least five children after their arrival in New Zealand:

  • Mary McLachlan, born in 1841, died in 1932, married William Crawford in 1863.
  • Female infant, born and died in 1842.
  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1843, died in 1925, married James Coombe in 1864.
  • Dugald McLachlan, born in 1848, died in 1918, married Christina McPherson in 1883.
  • Louis McLachlan, born in 1849, died in 1906, married Alice Cameron in 1877.
Grannie Brabazon - Jane (Cameron) Brabazon formerly McLachlan, previously McPherson
Grannie Brabazon – Jane (Cameron) Brabazon, formerly McLachlan, previously McPherson

After Dugald’s death in 1854, Jane and the children moved to Turakina where her parents lived.  Jane married her third husband, Robert Brabazon, on 25 June 1856 and lived at Turakina until her death on 6 August 1897 at Fern Flats, Marton.  The Feilding Star of 9 August 1897 carried the Death Notice: “Brabazon – At Fern Flats, on Friday 6th August, at the residence of her son-in-law (James Coombs), Jane Brabazon, relict of the late Robert Brabazon, Turakina, Aged 88 years.”

Jane’s death registration noted that at the time of her death her daughters were 50 and 48, and her sons were 57, 54 and 52, although this is an error and the sexes of the children were the other way around.

Robert Brabazon died on 9 March 1879. The Wanganui Chronicle of 17-24 November 1879 carried an advertisement inviting tenders “for the lease or purchase of the property of the late Robert Brabazon, of Turakina, consisting of five acres of excellent land, with house thereon, excellently situated, midway between the township and the railway station.”

Margaret Perry’s Diaries include references to the Brabazons and McLachlans – “So almost our only friend was old Mrs Brabazon her and Auntie used to talk Gaelic together, which I did not like…” [Mrs Brabazon and Auntie (Marjory Cameron, m John McQuarrie) were first cousins]; “Old Mr and Mrs Brabazon lived next door to Chapmans.  Mr Brabazon was Lewis McLachlans step-father; I used very often to go there of an evening after tea, generally the old man would go to bed and Mrs B would sit by the fire and tell me love-tales about the days when she was young…”.

Catherine Robertson McLachlan

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) recorded the baptism on 5 December 1825 of Katherine Robertson McLachlan, daughter to Dugald McLachlan, weaver in Correbeg, and Ann Abercromie Cleghorn, born 17 November last. The Family Bible has her birthdate as 16 November.

CatherinePoppelwell2
Catherine Robertson (McLachlan) Poppelwell

In 1840 Catherine travelled with her father and step-mother to New Zealand on the Blenheim. There is a family story that soon after disembarking, Catherine pulled from a stream a small boy who was in danger of drowning. He grew up to become Archbishop Francis Redwood, New Zealand’s first home-reared Catholic Archbishop.

Catherine Robertson McLachlan and William Bell Poppelwell were married on 7 March 1843 at the Wellington Courthouse.  William was a seaman from Berwick, and commanded coastal vessels around New Zealand until 1845 when they returned to Scotland for two years, coming back to settle in Otago in 1848, and eventually taking up land at Tokomairiro (now Milton).

The Bruce Herald of 31 August 1883 carried the Death Notice: “Poppelwell – On the 29th inst., at The Glen, Fairfax, William Poppelwell, late of Sunwick, Tokomairiro, after a lingering illness; aged 64 years.”  The same edition carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF AN OTAGO PIONEER.
One of the oldest New Zealand identities, Mr William Poppelwell, breathed his last at his residence, the Glen, Fairfax on Wednesday morning, at the age of 64. Mr Poppelwell arrived at Wellington at the latter end of the year 1841, the ship Tyne, of which he was chief officer. He did not return by that ship, but assumed the command of a vessel trading on the coast, which occupation he followed for about four years. In 1843 he married Miss M’Lachlan, who arrived in Wellington by the ship which brought the second survey party. Mr Poppelwell brought the first vessel up the Dunedin Harbor. She was named the Governor Hobson, and he was commissioned by her owners to deliver her to a Native named Toby, but better known as “Bloody Jack,” at Black Jack’s Point. In 1845, Mr Poppelwell, accompanied by his wife and son, paid a visit Home, taking their passage on the David Malcolm. Among their fellow-passenger’s were Governor Fitzroy, and suite. It was found impossible to round Cape Horn, in consequence of the vast quantity of ice, and it was decided to shape a course through the Straits of Magellan. The captain being ignorant of the locality handed over the command of the ship to Governor Fitzroy, who safely navigated her through. They arrived at the Old Country just six months to a day from the date of their departure. After a stay of a couple of years at Home, Mr Poppelwell and family returned to Otago, arriving here on September 23, 1848, by the ship Blundell. During the voyage out he contributed numerous articles to a manuscript newspaper published on board, copies of which are, we believe, in the Dunedin Museum. After residing about five years in North-East Valley, he came to Tokomairiro, and settled upon a farm, which he named Sunwick, after his father’s place at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and resided there until six years ago. It may be interesting to state that when Mr Poppelwell first came here, there was only one house on the Tokomairiro plain, that he brought the first dray into the district, which took nine days to bring from Dunedin. It had to be got across the Taierii River in sections, the bullocks swimming. Mr Poppelwell years ago took an active part m public matters, but for a long time past he has been confined to his home through illness. He leaves a family of ten, all of whom are grown up, and of whom three daughters and two sons are married.

The Mataura Ensign of 10 March 1900 carried the Death Notice: “Poppelwell – On the 8th March, at Dunedin, Catherine Robertson, relict of the late William Poppelwell, Milton; aged 74 years.  The same edition carried the following obituary:

Concerning the death of Mrs C. R. Popplewell -(mother of Mr D. L. Poppelwell, of Gore), the Bruce Herald states: The deceased lady landed at Wellington in 1840, at the time of the foundation of the Wellington settlement. Here she was married to the late Mr W. Poppelwell, who at that time was mate of the ship Tyne which he afterwards commanded, trading down the coast, and subsequently returned with Mrs Poppelwell to the Old Country. They, however, came back to the colony in the ship Blundell, which arrived at Port Chalmers in 1848, and took up land in the North-East Valley, where they resided till 1853. Mrs Poppelwell and her husband then came to this district, and settled on the well-known property of Sunnick. Here they resided for a number of years. The death of Mr Poppelwell, which occurred in 1883, left a big gap in the family, and in 1885, two years later, Mrs Poppelwell returned to Dunedin, where she has since resided. Mrs Poppelwell’s hospitable and charitable nature is too well known by all the old residents of Tokomairiro to require reiteration here; indeed, the manner in which any person in poor circumstances was treated was a household word amongst the early settlers, and her death will be deeply regretted by all with whom she was acquainted. It might not be out of place to mention that deceased’s husband was the first person to drive a wheeled vehicle from Dunedin to Tokomairiro— a journey which occupied nine days. Mr Poppelwell was also the first chairman of the Tokomairiro Agricultural Society, now the Tokomairiro Farmers’ Club. Mrs Poppelwell leaves a family of eleven to mourn her loss.

Catherine and William had twelve children:

  • George Matthew Bell Poppelwell (1st), born in 1844, died in 1860.
  • Elizabeth Annie Poppelwell, born in 1846 (in Scotland), died in 1929, married James Alexander Henderson in 1871.
  • Catherine Mary Poppelwell, born in 1849, died in 1904, married Dr Alexander J Ferguson in 1869.
  • William Poppelwell, born in 1850, died in 1934, married Elizabeth Henry in 1861.
  • John Poppelwell, born in 1852, died in 1933, married Margaret McCormick in 1879.
  • David Poppelwell, born in 1855, died in 1937.
  • Ann Abercrombie Poppelwell, born in 1857, died in 1935.
  • Charlotte Mary Veronica Poppelwell, born in 1858, married Augustus Henry Syme Mansford in 1882.
  • Sebastian George Alexander Poppelwell, born in 1861, died in 1939, married Margaret Dorothea Pearse in 1891.
  • Dugald Louis Poppelwell, born in 1863, died in 1939, married Norah Greene in 1894.
  • George Matthew Bell Poppelwell (2nd), born in 1864, died in 1910, married Ellen Hartnett in 1892.
  • Mary Frances Poppelwell, born in 1866, died in 1916, married (1) Robert Boyle Monkman in 1890, (2) William Dempster in 1906.
Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) recorded the baptism on 10 September 1828 of Alexander son to Dugald McLachlan, weaver in Fort William, and Mary Ann Abercromie Cleghorn, his wife. According to the Family Bible, he was born on 2 July 1828.Alexander travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand in 1840 with his father and step-mother.

On 13 August 1861, Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan married Mary Argyle Naismith at the Stapleton Registry Office, Coromandel. Mary was the daughter of Henry and Mary Naysmith, and was born at sea on the Duchess of Argyle, which arrived in Auckland from Greenock in October 1842.

Alexander settled in Thames and worked as a sawyer in the Shortland mill. Electoral Roll information has him living at Mackay Street in the Thames electorate from 1875-76 through to 1900. Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan died on 20 March 1902 at Thames.

Mary Argyle Naysmith died on 9 November 1918 in Auckland.

Alexander and Mary had nine children:

  • Richard Louis McLachlan, born in 1862.
  • Henry Alexander McLachlan, born in 1865, died in 1920, married Bridget Sheehan in 1903.
  • Annie Catherine McLachlan, born in 1868, died in 1939, married John Spraggon in 1893.
  • John James McLachlan, born in 1870, died in 1948, married Marie Andersen in 1898.
  • Elizabeth Mary McLachlan, born in 1873, died in 1939, married Edward Donovan in 1904.
  • Janet Isabella McLachlan, born in 1875, died in 1876.
  • Mary Christina McLachlan, born in 1876, died in 1955, married Thomas White in 1909.
  • Margarita Ewena McLachlan, born in 1879, died in 1937, married (1) Bertram von Rotter in 1897, (2) William Cate in 1910.
  • Janet Scott McLachlan, born in 1882, died in 1944, married Charles Henry Stent in 1920.
Hugh (Ewen) McLachlan

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) records the baptism on 18 December 1831 of Ewen McLachlan, son of Dugald, and Ann Cleghorn, Fort William. The Family Bible records that Ewen McLachlan was born on 4 August 1831.

Ewen McLachlan emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family. He was listed as “Hugh” which is an anglicised version of their common Gaelic origin. Around 1858-59 Ewen went to live at Tokomairiro with his sister Catherine and her husband.

Ewen McLachlan married Margaret Brown on 25 June 1862.  They had two daughters surviving infancy:

  • Mary McLachlan, born in 1863.
  • Catherine McLachlan, born in 1865.

Following Margaret Brown’s death, Ewen married Margaret Glancey on 21 November 1877. They had several children, possibly including:

  • Lewes [Lewis Dawson] McLachlan, born in 1878, died in 1943.
  • Ewen McLachlan, born in 1880, died in 1966, married Priscilla Isabel Calvert in 1921.
  • Margaret Ann McLachlan, born in 1881, died in 1974, married William Simon Saunders in 1901.
  • Dugald McLachlan, born in 1885, died in 1918 (WW1).
  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1889.
  • Elizabeth McLachlan, born in 1891, died in 1919.
  • Linda McLachlan, born in 1894, died in 1970.
  • John Cameron McLachlan, born in 1895, died in 1966, married Mary Ellen McDougall in 1922.
  • Agnes McLachlan, born in 1897, died in 1944, married Robert George Catherwood in 1927.

Ewen McLachlan died in 1906 at Owaka. In mid-June 1906 a number of newspapers around the country carried the Press Association message that a man named Hugh McLachlan, 74 years of age, was found dead on the railway line near Owaka. Death was believed to be due to natural causes. The Otago Daily Times of 20 June 1906 reported, “The late Ewen M’Pherson M’Lachlan, of Owaka, whose body was found on the railway, was one of the first white men to set foot in the North Island. He had been about 70 years in the colony.” A letter in the Otago Daily Times of 23 June 1906 provided some history of Ewen McLachlan and his family:

“OLD HUGH.” TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,—l saw a paragraph in yesterday’s Daily Times which made reference to the death of an old friend of mine, and I ask permission to correct two mis-statements which it contained. The paragraph says—”The old man Ewan McPherson M’Lachlan, who was found dead on the railway near Owaka, was one of the first white men to set foot in the North Island, He had been about 70 years in the colony.” I have known the man intimately since 1863, and I never heard of his name being “Ewan M’Pherson” but always “Hugh.” Hundreds of the old man’s acquaintances at a distance when they read this remark of mine will be satisfied about the fact of his death—a conclusion they could hardly arrive at when they read of him as “Ewan.”
The other mis-statement, which says that he was one of the first white men to come here, corrects itself, to people who know the history of New Zealand, when it adds that “he had been about 70 years in the colony.” There were white men in this country long before 1836.
My poor old friend, both from his character and his history, deserves a longer obituary notice than has yet been given him. He came with his father and other members of the family to Wellington by the ship Blenheim in 1840, under the auspices of the old New Zealand Company. Often I have heard him tell with a look of pride in his eye where he came from, for he was a Scottish Celt to the core. “I am a Lochaber man, and left Fort William to come here.” the geographical names were music to his ear. He was born in 1831. and was consequently only nine years of age when he arrived in Wellington. The site of the now fine city was then either dense bush or under water, and it had just had its name changed from Britannia to that which it now bears, in compliment to the Duke for services rendered to the New Zealand Company in Parliament. For playmates “old Hughie” as he was called by his friends, had Maori boys. He taught them to spin tops and play marbles, and in the process managed to acquire a knowledge of their language — a knowledge much extended in after years. He used often to speak of the great chiefs he had known in his youth; men whose names have long ago passed into history. Amongst these were the celebrated Ta Rauparaha and his terrible fighting nephew Rangiatea, the leaders in the awful massacre at Wairau, Tamata Waka, and E. Puni, the latter a chief who was mainly instrumental in selling the block on which Wellington now stands. His love for the Maori people was almost a passion up to the day of his death, and his knowledge of them and their ways greater than that of any man I have ever known. The medical adviser of the M’Lachlan family, in those early days, was Dr Knox, one of the two brothers who a decade or so previously had earned an unenviable notoriety through their dealings with the Edinburgh resurrectionists, Burke and Hare.
With pardonable pride Hughie used to tell how he once had a conversation with Sir George Grey. They were each on a pedestrian tour, and met in a disturbed part of the country – I think in Hawke’s Bay. Sir George had a small escort, Hughie was alone, and carrying a swag. When they met and had exchanged greetings, the Governor put his question – “Are you not afraid to travel alone amongst so many disaffected Natives?” and strongly advised my friend to turn back. “I know the Maoris so well, Sir George, that I have no fear,” was the reply. His journey was accomplished in perfect safety.
In 1858 or ‘9 he came south, in charge of some sheep, landing them at Oamaru, their destination. From there he walked to Tokomairiro, and took service with his brother-in-law, the late Mr Poppelwell. In August, 1861, he was mining in Gabriel’s Gully, and since then has been simply a labouring man. He was twice married, and by his first wife had two daughters born to him. By his second wife he had a large family of sons and daughters nearly all grown up.
Speaking of such a man as this, Carlyle, in a noble passage, says:-“0, hardly entreated brother, thou wer’t our conscript on whom the lot fell; in fighting our battles thou wer’t so marred.” In this sense my old friend was emphatically “a conscript.” From early youth until, at the age of 75, he lay down to die, he was engaged in the struggle for bread. Honour sometimes peereth from under the meanest habit, it has been said. How often have I seen and admired it peering from under the soiled and frayed working dress of Hugh M’Lachlan. Light lie the turf on his breast! I am, etc., N
Royal terrace, Caversham, June 2l

Duncan McLachlan

Duncan McLachlan was a child of 4 when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim. According to the Family Bible, he was born on 15 December 1835.

It appears that in 1852, even before his father’s death, Duncan moved south to Tokomairiro to live with his sister Catherine.

Duncan McLachlan married Honora Lynch on 20 April 1862 at Dunedin.

Duncan and Honora had at least five children, possibly including:

  • William McLachlan, born in 1869.
  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1871.
  • Catherine McLachlan, born in 1875, married John Aloysius Henley in 1912.
  • Alice Genevieve McLachlan, died in 1949, married Charles William Henry Chilcott Bremner in 1902.
  • Thomas Duncan McLachlan, born in 1878, died in 1957, married Augusta Mary Duffy in 1915.

Honora Lynch died on 24 June 1891.

Duncan McLachlan died on April 1896. The NZ Tablet of 1 May 1896 reported, “Duncan McLachlan died recently; resident in Milton; born 15 December 1835; native of Fort William, Inverness, Scotland; an old and highly respected resident of Milton; in 1840 his father and family emigrated to Wellington; most of his life was spent in Otago whither he came in 1852, and where his sister had married the late Mr William Poppelwell; a convert for very many years.” The Bruce Herald of 5 May 1896 reported “The funeral of Mr Duncan M’Lachlan took place on Friday afternoon last, the cortege leaving St Mary’s Chapel for Fairfax Cemetery. The late Mr M’Lachlan was a very old resident in Milton and a considerable number of residents attended the funeral. Father Ryan officiated at the grave.”

Isabella McIntyre McLachlan

Isabella McIntyre McLachlan was born on 27 October 1840 on board the Blenheim at a point in the middle of the South Atlantic, and named for Dugald’s mother. The New Zealand birth registration notes that Isabel, daughter of Dugald McLachlan and Jean Cameron both late of the Parish of Kilmallie, spouses, was born on 27th October 1840. The registration was made on 24 January 1840.

Isabella McIntyre married Isaiah Wade Leigh on 15 August 1862.

Isabella Leigh died on 26 September 1914 at Turakina. The Wanganui Chronicle of 28 September 1914 carried the death Notice: “Leigh – On the 26th inst., at her residence, Turakina, Isabella, widow of the late Isaiah Leigh, aged 74 years.” Isaiah Wade Leigh had died in 1900, aged 84.

Isabella and Isaiah appear to have had at least five children:

  • Mary Wade Leigh, born in 1863, married Martin Lee in 1879.
  • Charles Ernest Leigh, born in 1865, died in 1942.
  • Ann Eliza Leigh, born in 1868, married Charles Alexander Whale in 1891.
  • Robert Leigh, born in 1870.
  • George Alexander Leigh, born in 1872, died in 1946, married Annie Kennerley in 1895.

Sources:

Photographs:

  • McPhail/McLachlan/Cameron Album: Jane (Cameron) Brabazon, formerly McLachlan, previously McPherson.
  • Otago University, Hocken Library, Hocken Snapshop (10th Jul 2012): POPPELWELL, Catherine Robertson. In Website Hocken Snapshop. Retrieved 13th Apr 2015 15:23.