Tag Archives: Victoria

Jane Fraser

The initial passenger list for the Blenheim included a Francis Fraser, 22, housemaid from Fort William, who was noted as being “Niece to D Fraser Smith Corran and will be a member of his family,” but the entry was crossed out.

In the subsequent lists there was a Jane Fraser, 20, listed separately in the interim list and arrival lists, but with the family of Duncan Fraser in the embarkation list.

Some compilations of Blenheim passenger lists identify Jane Fraser as “a sister of Mrs Duncan Fraser” (e.g. Pukehou).  While this description does not appear in any of the contemporary lists prepared by the New Zealand Company, Pukehou and supporting information confirms that Jane was the sister of Marjory Fraser.


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Jane Fraser was born around 1819 to Alexander Fraser and Elizabeth MacDonell.

Jane Fraser was 20 when she emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Jane Fraser was the younger sister of  Marjory Fraser, wife of Duncan Fraser (See Duncan and Marjory Fraser).

Jane Fraser married Thomas Crosbie on 7 February 1842 in Wanganui.

Thomas Crosbie was a shoemaker, a widower who had emigrated in 1841 from Scotland, but his wife and newborn daughter died on the voyage.  They travelled on the Lord William Bentinck, which left Gravesend on 8 January 1841 and arrived in Wellington on 24 May 1841.  The passenger list included Thomas and Isabella Crosbie and two children, but Isabella died on 8 February 1841 aged 28, and Janet Crosbie died on 4 March 1841 aged 6 months. Thomas and Isabella’s son William, born in 1836, survived the voyage. Thomas Crosbie was born on 15 October 1811 at Thornhill, Dumfrieshire, Scotland.

Jane and Thomas had seven children between 1844 and 1853, but then Thomas and his eldest son William went to the goldfields at Ballarat.  Jane and six children followed them not long afterwards, travelling on the Penyard Park in October 1853, and another child was born in Ballarat in 1855.

Jane Fraser died at Ballarat on 10 June 1856, aged 36, of typhus fever. The registration record noted that she was the daughter of Alexander Fraser, publican, Fort Augustus, Inverness, Scotland, and Elizabeth Fraser; she was born at Fort Augustus, and had been in Victoria for 2 years and 9 months; and she was married at “Peatire, Wangui” [Petre, Wanganui], New Zealand at the age of 22 to Thomas Crosbie. Jane’s living children were Thomas, 10; John, 9; Gordon, 7; James, 6; Alexander, 4; Isabella, 3; and Alexandrina, 14 months. The informant was Thomas Crosbie, miner, Ballarat.

Thomas returned to New Zealand with some of the children and died in Dunedin on 3 January 1865.   Donald Fraser went to Ballarat, possibly in the late 1870s and brought back one of the daughters, possibly Isabella Jane, who is buried at the Fraser Cemetery.

William Crosbie remained in Victoria, and married Margaret Speedy in Ballarat in 1868. He died in Ballarat in 1886.

Jane and Thomas had at least nine children, including:

  • Alexander Crosbie, born in 1844, died in 1844.
  • Thomas Crosbie, born in 1846, died in 1883, married Emma Louisa Hillyer, previously Lovegrove, in 1880.
  • John Hugh Crosbie, born in 1847, died in 1914 in Ballarat, Victoria, married Eliza McElwee, formerly Nicoll, previously Mullin, previously Williams, in 1883 in Victoria.
  • Bernard Gordon Crosbie, born in 1848, died in 1896, married Fanny Gell [Hill?] in 1883.
  • James Crosbie, born in 1849, died in 1894 in Queensland, married Jane Dagmore Rowe in 1884 in Queensland.
  • Alexander Crosbie, born in 1851, died in 1898 in New South Wales, married Emma Collier in 1890 in Victoria.
  • Isabella Jane Crosbie, born in 1853, died in 1943.
  • Alexandrina Forbes Crosbie, born in 1855 in Ballarat, Victoria, died in 1863 [possibly under the name of Elizabeth Crosbie].

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Mathew and Margaret Dunnet

In the Blenheim embarkation and subsequent lists, the family was described as follows:

      • Mathew Dunnet, 36, Paisley, labourer, 36
      • Margaret Dunnet, 33, Paisley
      • John Dunnet 7½, Paisley
      • Janet Dunnet, 4, Paisley
      • plus Ellen Thomson Dunnet, born at sea

An Andrew Dunnet, 22, Pulteney, cartwright,  was included in the initial passenger list for the Blenheim but the name was crossed out and did not appear on subsequent lists.

Note on spelling: In different records spellings used include “Mathew” or “Matthew”, “Dunnet” or “Dunnett” and “Barbour” or “Barber”. The text below generally follows the document used.


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Matthew Dunnet and Margaret Barbour

The Old Parish Register for the Paisley parish of Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that Matthew Dunnet, son of John Dunnet and Sarah Sinklar [Sinclair], was born on 3 February and baptized on 19 February 1804.

Margaret Barbour was also born in Paisley in about 1808.

Family trees on Ancestry.com suggest that in addition to  their children John and Janet, there was also a son David, who died before the departure of the Blenheim.

The marriage of Matthew Dunnet and Margaret Barbour was recorded on 8 December 1832 in the parish of Paisley Burgh or Low, and on 9 December 1832 in the parish of Paisley Middle.

In 1840 Matthew and Margaret sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim with their two surviving children John and Janet.  A child, Ellen Thomson Dunnet, was born at sea on the Blenheim.

The family lived in Wellington for 10-11 years, during which time further children were born – Annie (19 April 1843), Sarah (1846), and Margaret (1848-1850).

Annie’s birth registration gave her name as Anne, born 19 April 1843 at Wellington; father Matthew Dunnett, labourer, born at Paisley, High Church parish; mother Margaret Barbour.

The Wellington Independent of 6 April 1850 carried the following item: “Died on Tuesday, April 2, Margaret, daughter of Matthew and Margaret Dunnet, aged 20 months.”  Also, the New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 6 April 1850 had the following: “At Wellington, of croup, on the 2nd inst., Margaret, daughter of Mr and Mrs Dunnett, of Tinakore road, aged 20 months.”

The family moved to Victoria, Australia, sometime around 1851, where Matthew worked as a miner.

Matthew Dunnett died on 2 October 1871 at Dunolly Hospital, Dunolly, Victoria.  He was a miner aged 67, born in Paisley Scotland, 12 years in New Zealand, 20 years in Victoria, married 25 years to Margaret Barber, who he married when he was 28.  His issue included John 37, David deceased, Janet 35?, Ellen deceased, Annie 27, Sarah 25 and Margaret deceased. The cause of death was inflammation and suppuration of the brain, debility, 6 weeks. Mathew was buried at Dunolly Cemetery.

Margaret Dunnett died on 8 April 1882.  She was a widow of 74, born in Paisley Scotland, her father being David Barber, chair manufacturer.  Margaret was 13 years in New Zealand, 29 in Victoria, and was married in Paisley, being married for 25 years to Matthew Dunnet, and was 25 when she married him.  Issue included John 48, Janet 44, Ann 40 and Sarah 38. The cause of death was old age, 5 months. The informant was John Dunnet, son, Ararat.  Margaret was buried at Ararat Cemetery, Victoria.

Annie Dunnet married James Gardner Welsh, a miner, in Inglewood, Victoria, and died in Collingwood, Melbourne on 20 February 1907.  She had 13 children.

No records relating to Sarah Dunnet have been traced, apart from the references in her parents’ death registrations.

John Dunnet

John Dunnet was born on 9 August 1833 and baptized on 26 December 1833, as recorded in the Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, Scotland.  His parents were Matthew Dunnet and Margaret Barbour.

John Dunnet married Mary Anne Lemin in 1868.

John Dunnett died in 1901 in Ararat, Victoria, Australia, aged 68.  His parents were given as Matthew Dunnett and Margaret Barbour.

Janet Dunnet

Janet Dunnet was born, probably in Paisley, around 1836 and was still living in Australia at the time of her mother’s death in 1882.

A Janet Dunnet married a William McAlpine in Victoria in 1866, and they may have had at least five children.

Ellen Thomson Dunnet

Ellen Thomson Dunnett was born at sea on the Blenheim on 16 November 1840 – Jessie Campbell’s Journal for 17 November 1840 notes, “Another added to our number by the birth of a daughter to a man from Risley. Mother and child doing well, this is the 5th birth on board all doing well…Lat.40-23. Long. 37-29.”

The New Zealand birth registration noted that Ellen Thomson, fourth child of Matthew Dunnett and Margaret Barbour both late of Paisley spouses, was born at sea on board of the Blenheim Emigrant Ship 16 November 1840. The registration was made on 24 January 1840.

It appears that Ellen died before 1871 when her father died.


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