Tag Archives: Wanganui

John Cameron and Janet McGregor

According to the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, John Cameron was from Achranach, and were recommended by Sheriff Gregorson and his Parish Minister.  The family included:

  • John Cameron, 49, labourer
  • Janet McGregor, his wife, 44
  • John Cameron, his son, 26, ploughman
  • Angus Cameron, his son, 24, labourer
  • Charles Cameron, his son, 20, labourer
  • Duncan Cameron, his son, 17, cowherd
  • Allan Cameron, his son, 15, cowherd
  • Anne Cameron, his daughter, 12
  • Archibald Cameron, his son, 9
  • Dugald Cameron, his son, 7
  • Marjory Cameron, his daughter, 5

Return to The Blenheim People.


John Cameron and Janet McGregor

John Cameron, known as John “Mor’ Cameron, meaning Big John Cameron, was born probably at Invermaillie in Inverness-shire, near Achnacarry in Lochaber, in the parish of Kilmallie.  His parents were Angus Cameron and Anne McIntyre. The age of 100 given in reports of his death was probably overstated, 90 being more likely, giving a birth year of around 1790.

At some point, John Cameron must have moved to Morvern. Achranach (or Achranich) was part of the Ardtornish estate at the head of Loch Aline in the parish of Morven, in Argyll.    John Gregorson purchased the estate in 1819, having previously rented it from the Duke of Argyll, and for a time was Sheriff for the district. Achnagoun/Achnagaun is near to Achranich.

Based on information provided for her death registration, Janet McGregor was born in Argyll, Scotland to John McGregor, farmer, and Ann St Clair, and was married at Lismore to John Cameron when she was 17 years old. If she was 94 at the time of her death this would put the marriage in 1803, but it is more likely that her age was around 84, which would put the marriage in 1813, a better match for the birth information for her children and their name order, and her birth year as around 1796.

In any event, the family of John Cameron and Janet McGregor which set sail on the Blenheim in 1840 included 7 sons and 2 daughters.

After arriving in New Zealand, John Cameron may have worked on the road from Kaiwarra to Wellington, but later explored in the Wairarapa and obtained a property on the shores of Lake Wairarapa.

During this period, Angus Cameron was drowned in Lake Wairarapa and then his brother Duncan was drowned in Cook Strait.

In 1850, the Wairarapa farm was sold to Charles Matthews, and the Camerons moved initially to Porirua, and then to Turakina, where they were among the first settlers. Their first property in the Rangitikei was called “Invermaillie”, but after a few years John and Janet moved to another property up the Turakina Valley which they called “Glenmore”.  They later moved to Mangahoe in the Hunterville district, before returning to Turakina.

Janet (McGregor) Cameron died on 9 November 1880, with her age given as 94. Her death registration noted that she died at Turakina Valley. She was the daughter of John McGregor and Ann St Clair; born in Argyllshire, Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 40 years; was married at Lismore, Scotland, to John Cameron when she was 17; and had 4 sons and 2 daughters living. The informant was her grandson, John Baldwin, Turakina Valley.

The Wanganui Herald of 13 November 1880 reported, “There has passed away at her residence up the Turakina Valley, a very old resident of that district, in the person of Mrs John Cameron, senior. The old lady was approaching her hundredth year, and till recently enjoyed the use of all her faculties, and was remarkably active considering her very advanced age.”

The Grey River Argus of 24 November 1880 carried a report of the funeral: “The Highland customs are even in the north of Scotland rapidly passing away. A funeral in the old style is seldom witnessed in Scotland now save in the case when a representative of the nobility ‘shuffles off this mortal coil.’ One would hardly expect, therefore to see a real Highland funeral here at the Antipodes. Yet such a funeral was that of the late Mrs John Cameron, who, at the ripe age of 94, was gathered to the lap of mother earth at Turakina recently. The customs of the Gael, which were in vogue a century ago, were rigidly observed, The husband of the deceased lady, though 102 years old, prescribed all the dirges which were to be played on the bagpipes at the funeral of the wife who had shared his joys and sorrows for 77 years. The cortege was the largest ever seen in the district, and amongst the mourners were many of the oldest settlers of the West Coast. It was not only by Europeans that Mrs Cameron’s death was lamented; about 40 Maoris met the sad procession with weeping willows, and their wailing cry drowned the notes of the bagpipe.”

John Cameron died little more than two months later on 19 January 1881.  His age was given as 100 years but was more likely to have been 90.  The Wanganui Herald of 20 January 1881 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – Died at his residence, Turakina Valley, on Wednesday, January 19th, Mr John Cameron, senior, at the advanced age of 100 years.  The funeral will leave his late residence, on Saturday, the 22nd inst., at 1 o’clock precisely.  All friends are invited to attend.”  The funeral was reported in the Wanganui Herald of 24 January 1881:

FUNERAL OF THE LATE JOHN CAMERON OF TURAKINA,
The earthly remains of this venerable old gentleman were interred in the Turakina Cemetry on Saturday last. The funeral cortege was the largest ever seen in the district, among the number being nearly all the old pioneers of settlement on the coast. The procession started from the late residence of the departed in the Turakina Valley, and entered the township in the following order. Two carriages containing the pall-bearers, the Minister (Rev. J. Ross), the undertaker and piper. Then came the hearse, followed by two carriages containing the nearer relatives as chief mourners. The carriages were followed by eight grand-daughters on horseback and more than that number of grandsons, also riding. Then came eight carriages filled with friends and neighbors, followed by about 60 others on horseback. As the cortege rounded the Valley road into the Turakina road the pedestrians to the number of 60 or more formed in file and followed on. The cemetery was also attended by a large number of women and children. As the grand-daughters entered the Cemetry they were each handed a wreath of flowers which were dropped into the grave at the conclusion of the services. The Rev. J. Ross performed the last sad rites, delivering an impressive address suitable to the occasion. Business in the township was entirely suspended during the day.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 1 February published the following obituary:

THE LATE MR J CAMERON.
(FROM A CORRESPONDENT.) On my return from the funeral of the late John Cameron, senr., of Turakina, I fully intended to have sent you a full description of it, but I found every part of the ceremony so much the same as that adopted at the funeral of his wife, who departed this life about two months ago, that a repetition would not have been interesting to many of your readers. I will, however, give a brief account of the last days of the old man, and a short biographical sketch of a few of his ancestors, which I hope will be interesting, at least to his friends and neighbours, among whom he has sojourned for the last forty years.
On the 19th January, 1881, at the ripe age of a hundred years, old John Cameron passed away from the midst of his family, deeply lamented and regretted. He had been ailing for some time previous, but, excepting the decay of nature, there was nothing painful attending his latter days. Saturday, January 22nd, was fixed for the funeral, and, as the day was remarkably fine the attendance exceeded that at the funeral of his wife. At 1.30 p.m., the pipes commenced ‘Return no More’ and the procession moved on from his residence, some hundred and fifty horsemen and several conveyances following. As on the former occasion, when the cortege reached Glenmore, the residence of his son Archibald, a halt of ten minutes was made for refreshment, and here many joined the procession, which with others at the village was swelled to upwards of two hundred. Business was entirely suspended, and the whole of the inhabitants were in attendance at the graveyard. The Rev. John Ross performed the service and gave a very impressive address, which was listened to with silent attention, and the scene and the grave thus closed over one of the best and noblest specimens of our nature and the pride of his family. His stalwart frame, manly bearing, and simple honesty and generosity will be long remembered by all whose lot it has been to enjoy his acquaintance and friendship. To allow one, who has contributed so largely to advance and promote the interests of our adopted country by his own industry, as well as that of a large family who accompanied him here nearly forty years ago in the ship Blenheim, to pass away without comment, would be a reproach to the community, and I can only wish that some one more able to do justice to his memory had taken up the task. However, to me it is a labour of love, and if critics will let it pass, and you consider it worth a place in your columns, I shall feel well repaid. During the few days that have elapsed since the funeral I have endeavoured to collect some little information about the ancestors of our departed friend, and I learn that they have all descended from the clansmen of the Great Lochiel, whose attachment to the House of Stuart, and his determination against his own judgment to share the fortunes of the Pretender, or, to use his own words, of “His Prince,” proved not only disastrous to his followers, but fatal to himself. Mr Cameron’s great grandfather, Dugald McDugald, followed him at Preston Pans, where he fell after cutting to pieces with his broadsword many of the muskets of the enemy. His grandfather fell at Culloden, and his father died at the age of eighty-eight. His family consisted of eleven sons and three daughters. Charles was mortally wounded with Abercromby in Egypt. Alexander served in Holland, and was paymaster of the regiment. Dugald served in Ireland, and was cut down by a cannon-ball while engaged with the French. The regiment lost its colours, but next day the whole of the French were made prisoners, and the colours recovered. Evan and John served with Fassifern, in the 92nd Highlanders, all through the Peninsula War and at Waterloo, where they fell with their chief. One settled in America; two others came with John to New Zealand. One of them, Allan, was considered the most powerful and best built man in Wellington. Angus died in Turakina, aged eighty-four, the other died in the Highlands. Mr Cameron was accompanied to New Zealand by his wife, seven sons, and two daughters, who with four of the sons survive him. They are all settled in the neighbourhood of Turakina, where, with their families, they may form the nucleus of a clan wealthier, if not so powerful or so warlike as their forefathers.

As noted in the newspaper article quoted above, there is a suggestion that two brothers of John Cameron also emigrated to New Zealand, including Allan Cameron, who came out on the Blenheim (see Allan Cameron and Janet Grant), and an Angus Cameron, who died in Turakina aged 84. The passenger list does not refer to any relationship between the families, unlike that referred to in the comments on Donald Cameron and Ewen Cameron, both of Trislaig, which identified them as brothers, or between Dugald Cameron of Glenmore and his brother Duncan, who did not embark. Possibly this was because unlike the others referred to, John and Allan Cameron were not personally known to Donald McDonald, and in any event, Allan Cameron did not appear on the main list in which comments were made. However, in The History of the Camerons of Springhill, material from Robert Cameron’s journal in describing the voyage of the Blenheim, refers to advice he received from his father’s cousin, Charles Cameron, who was around 18 at the time of the voyage. The fact that both families were involved in the illicit distillation of spirits, one in Turakina and the other in Gollans Valley might also suggest a common heritage. The evidence is less clear in relation to Angus Cameron, who emigrated on the John McVicar in 1857 with his wife and two of his children, and was joined at Turakina in 1864 by his older son Duncan and his family. Angus Cameron was in fact 80 when he died, and his parents were Angus Cameron and Annie (or Mary) McMillan, which would mean at the least a different mother from John Cameron. The newspaper obituary for Angus Cameron in the Wanganui Chronicle of 6 June 1876, and family references, do suggest a relationship, but its nature cannot be confirmed as necessarily familial.

John Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son John was born on 6 January 1816.

The Blenheim passenger list had John Cameron as a ploughman of 26.

On 25 September 1855 John Cameron married Mary (Robertson) Cameron, formerly Mitchell, widow of Donald Cameron.  Donald Cameron, the son of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson, was also on the Blenheim.

Mary (Robertson) Cameron, formerly Mitchell, died on 5 June 1887.  Her death registration noted that she was 66, her father was 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.

John and Mary had three children:

  • Margery (Mysie) McGregor Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1915, married Robert James McAlley in 1883.
  • Janet Robertson Cameron, born in 1859, married Thomas Reid Dodson in 1886.
  • Frances Mitchell Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1936, married James Alexander Bailey in 1882.
Angus Cameron

Angus Cameron was described as a labourer of 24 on the Blenheim passenger list.

Angus was apparently drowned in Lake Wairarapa.

Charles Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern records that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son “John” was born on 14 September 1820.  While the name given is not Charles, the rest of the facts appear to fit, so perhaps there was a mistake somewhere along the line.

Charles Cameron was a labourer of 20 when he sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Charles Cameron married Catherine McKinnon on 1 January 1860.

Catherine McKinnon was born around 1833 in Morvern, Argyll, Scotland.

Charles Cameron
Charles Cameron

Charles Cameron appears to have led a busy and eventful life, with frequent appearances in court disputes, active in local affairs, a range of sporting and cultural activities, and a successful  farmer and cattle-breeder.   In Early Rangitikei , Sir James Wilson in writing about Turakina settlers noted, “One of the most familiar figures was ‘Charlie Cameron,’  who for long was in partnership with Mr Alick Simpson.  Mr Cameron had ‘got’ the Gaelic: he died quite lately, over eighty years of age.  A fine stamp of a hardy old Highlander.”

In 1869 Charles Cameron faced a charge of  the illicit distillation of spirits. In April 1869 police found a still on Charles Cameron’s property in the Turakina Valley and initially charged John Cameron, senior, and Ewen (Hugh) McIntosh, but these charges were withdrawn and new charges brought against Charles and Dugald Cameron.  The Wanganui Herald of 28 May 1869 reported on the outcome of a hearing before the Resident Magistrates Court in the case of Collector of Customs v Chas. and Dugald Cameron. The Resident Magistrate, Walter Buller, Esq., noted that the Distillation Act carried a presumption that if an unlicensed still was found on the certain premises then guilty knowledge on the part of the owner of the premises is presumed, and a conviction must follow, but the Act enabled the Court to give the accused the benefit of any doubt that might exist as to any real complicity in the offence by allowing a very wide discretion as to the measure of punishment, ranging from a fine of £50 to a term of imprisonment. In the present case, the Magistrate noted, there was no direct evidence before the Court to connect the defendants with the illicit distillation that had been carried on, or with any participation in the profits arising therefrom, and he therefore fined each defendant £50 and a moiety of costs.  An appeal against the conviction failed.

Charles Cameron died on 12 February 1909, aged 89. The Wanganui Herald of 13 February 1909 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 12th inst., at the residence of his son-in-law (Mr W. Chapman Fordell), Charles Cameron, native of Morven, Scotland; aged 89 years.” The Wanganui Herald of 12 February 1909 carried the following obituary:

Mr Charles Cameron, of Wangaehu
It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of another of our sturdy old pioneers in the person of Mr Charles Cameron, of Ratamapua, Wangaehu, and formerly of Invermarlie, Turakina. The deceased gentleman, who was the eldest son of the late John Cameron, of the Turakina Valley, was in his ninetieth year, and enjoyed excellent health up to within a few days of his death, in fact he rode up to Fordell, and came on to town on the morning of the Caledonian sports on January 22nd last, and as usual took a prominent part in the day’s proceedings. But he had, nevertheless, a presentment that the sands of time had nearly run their course with him, and, in bidding good-bye to many of his old cronies, he said he felt that that was his last outing, and that they must not forget him when next they met, as he would then be “a silent member of a doleful cortege.” On his return journey home, not feeling well, he stayed with Mrs Wm. Chapman, Fordell, where he passed away after a few days’ illness. The deceased was a true type of a real old Hielan’ Laird, a man of sterling integrity whose word was his bond. Hospitable almost to a fault, his door was always open, and no one ever passed his home without being asked to come in and have a meal and a night’s lodging if necessary. He was a man of the most genial disposition, but he lacked not the Highland temper, and he proved a doughty warrior when any man dared to disparage the men of Auld Scotia. But quick as he was to anger as quick was he to shake hands and be friends again, and all those who had the pleasure of sharing in that friendship might well be proud of knowing one who was always a friend, come weal or woe. The “Commodore” as he was familiarly called by the old identities will be greatly missed by his large circle of friends and relatives, and to all the latter we beg to tender our deepest sympathy. The late Mr Cameron leaves a widow and grown up family, among whom are Mrs James Higgie (Okoia), Mrs William Chapman (Fordell), Mr D. Cameron (Fordell) and Mrs Charles Cameron, jnr. (Turakina Valley), also a number of grand-children besides a brother (Mr Dougald Cameron), and a sister (Mrs Cumberland McDonell) and a very large circle of near relatives to mourn his loss.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 16 February 1909 published a report of the funeral:

There was an exceedingly large attendance of mourners at the funeral of the late Mr Charles Cameron, of Wangaehu Valley, which took place on Sunday. The remains were conveyed from Fordell to Turakina, and amongst vehicles which followed were two brakes containing some twenty-six members of the Wanganui Caledonian Society, which body the deceased had been prominently connected since its inauguration thirty years ago. A very large number of settlers followed the procession, which was about a mile in length. As the procession wended its way past the house to the main road, on past Wangaehu, and again on arrival at Turakina, the laments “The Land of Leal,” “Lord Lovett’s Lament,” “Flowers of the Forest,” were played by Pipers Mackenzie Forbes, C. McDonald, and Muirhead. There was a very large crowd of sorrowing friends waiting the arrival of the cortege in Turakina. The service at the house was conducted by the Rev. Mr Ross, that at the graveside by the Rev. R. McCully. The pall-bearers were the following members of the Caledonian Society:—Messrs T. Copeland, Jas. Dempsey, R. G. McNiven, D. Stewart, A. Strachan, and D. Urquhart. Many handsome wreaths were laid on the grave, one of the most noticeable being that sent by the Wanganui Caledonian Society. This wreath was a magnificent one and was finished with Cameron tartan.

Catherine (McKinnon) Cameron died on 1 June 1917, aged 84.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 2 June 1917 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 1st inst., at Okoia, Catherine, widow of the late Charles Cameron, aged 84 years.”

Charles and Catherine had six children:

  • John Cameron, born in 1861.
  • Duncan Cameron, born in 1863, married Eliza McDonell (cousin) in 1888.
  • Elizabeth Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1906, married John Baldwin (cousin) in 1888.
  • Janet Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1959, married James Higgie in 1884.
  • Sarah Cameron, born in 1868, died in 1913, married William Chapman in 1891.
  • Charles Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1969, married Jessie Paton Templeton Robson in 1908.
Duncan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son Duncan was born on 23 July 1823.

Duncan Cameron was a cowherd of 17 on the Blenheim passenger list.

Duncan Cameron was apparently drowned in Cook Strait

Allan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, Achnagaune and Janet McGregor, a lawful son Allan was born on 19 September 1825.

Allan Cameron was a cowherd of 15 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Allan Cameron, farmer, died on 24 October 1895 at Mangahoe, aged 70.  His death registration noted that his parents were John Cameron, farmer, and Janet McGregor; he was born in Morvern, Argyllshire, Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 55 years; and was unmarried.  The cause of death was asthma and old age.

Anne Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagaune, and Janet McGregor, a lawful daughter Anne was born on 23 March 1828.

Anne Cameron was 12 years old when she accompanied her family on the Blenheim in 1840.

Anne Cameron married Francis Baldwin on 13 August 1852.

Francis Baldwin was born around 1823 in Brighton, Sussex, England

Francis Baldwin died on 10 March 1904.  The Wanganui Herald of 10 March 1904 carried the Death Notice: “Baldwin – At St John’s Hill, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs H Earle; Francis Baldwin, of Turakina Valley; aged 81 years.  Died March 10 1904.”  The Wairarapa Times of 14 March 1904 reported, “The death is announced in the Wanganui papers of Mr Francis Baldwin, a well-known old colonist, at the age of 81.  He was for some time the proprietor of the Red Lion Hotel, and was well-known to many old Wairarapa settlers.  At one time, – away back in the sixties – he was engaged in shipping cattle from Wanganui to Auckland, and bringing back sheep.”

Anne (Cameron) Baldwin died on May 1908.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 22 May 1908 carried the following Death Notice: “Baldwin – On the 21st inst., at the residence of Mr A. Smith, Wilson Street, Anne, relict of the late Francis Baldwin, aged 82 years. Interment at Turakina.” The Wanganui Herald of 23 May 1908 carried the following obituary:

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of another of our pioneers in the person of Mrs. Frank Baldwin, Senr., of the Turakina Valley, who passed away peacefully on Thursday last, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. A. Smith, Wilson Street, Wanganui, at the ripe old age of 82. The deceased lady was a daughter of the late Mr. John Cameron, of Turakina Valley, and sister of Mr. Charles Cameron, of Invermallie. The late Mrs. Baldwin was a native of Morven, Argyleshire, and came to the colony with her parents in 1840, and shared all the vicissitudes of the early settlers, eventually settling down in the Turakina Valley, where she has resided for the better part of half a century. The late Mrs. Baldwin leaves a family of two sons, Messrs. John and Frank Baldwin, and four daughters, Mesdames Smith, Earles, Land [sic], and Miss Baldwin, besides a number of grandchildren, to mourn her loss. The deceased lady was a quiet, unassuming character, and endeared herself to all her friends by her hospitality and her many unostentatious acts of kindness, and of the many hundreds of people who have travelled up and down the Valley, no one was ever known to leave the hospitable roof of Mrs. Baldwin without partaking of her good cheer. The present generation have little knowledge of the hardships and privations of the sturdy pioneers who paved the way for them. They had to bear the heat and burden of the day, and it is with deep regret that we see the ranks of these good old folk depleted by the relentless hand of Death. To the bereaved family we tender our deepest sympathy. The funeral will take place to-morrow (Sunday), reaching the Turakina Cemetery at 2 p.m.

Anne and Francis had at least seven children:

  • John Baldwin, born in 1852, died in 1922, married (1) Elizabeth (Betsy) Cameron (cousin) in 1888, and (2) Rubina May Cowie in 1909.
  • Janet Baldwin, born in 1854, died in 1927, married Henry Earles in 1875.
  • Mary Anne Baldwin, born in 1856, died in 1930, married Alfred Mozart Smith in 1879.
  • Duncan Baldwin, born in 1858, died in 1859.
  • Maria Baldwin, born in 1861, died in 1920, married Charles Laird in 1881.
  • Francis Baldwin, born in 1863, died in 1931.
  • Elizabeth Catherine Baldwin, born in 1870, died in 1923.
Archibald Cameron

Archibald Cameron was 9 years old when he sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

After trying the Wairarapa, the family had moved to Porirua before taking up land in the Rangitikei district.  Archibald had a position in the commissary of the Porirua barracks, and did not immediately move to Turakina with them.  In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalls their family leaving Porirua for Turakina at the end of 1850, “Everything was ready at last, and we were to begin our journey on Monday morning, by being rowed across ‘The Ferry’.  Archie Cameron who lived at Pahatanui near the barracks, because he had something to do with the Commissariat, had arranged to come and take us across in his big boat.  He arrived soon after sunrise – looking as I see now, the impersonation of that early summer morning, so handsome, so happy, so full of life, and with a voice to match. ”

Archibald Cameron married Mary Laird on 4 August 1858.

Archibald Cameron
Archibald Cameron

Archibald Cameron took over the Glenmore property from his father. He suffered a fall from a horse in 1867 which affected his mobility, but went ahead and purchased a section in the Paraekaraetu Block at Hunterville, called Mangahoe. He was active in local affairs, being a member of the Rangitikei County Council and the Rangitikei Highway Board.

Mary (Laird) Cameron died on 21 January 1902. The Wanganui Chronicle carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On January 21, 1902, at Mangahoe, Mary, the beloved wife of Mr Archibald Cameron, aged 66 years.”

The New Zealand Tablet of 30 January 1902 published the following obituary:

MRS. CAMERON, MANGAHOE. I deeply regret (writes our Wanganui correspondent) to record the death of Mrs. Archibald Cameron, of Mangahoe, which occurred very suddenly on Monday morning of last week. Mrs. Cameron, who was 66 years of age, was the daughter of one of those gallant Irish soldiers who have done so much to build up the Empire. Her husband, Mr. Arch. Cameron, is one of the most respected settlers on this coast. He and his wife were always regarded as perfect land marks of hospitality in the early days on the West Coast of this island. We can only give expression to the hope (says the Chronicle) that the rapidly-thinning rank of these forceful and hospitable pioneers, such as the lady whose death we announce to-day, may be filled by successors worthy of the early settlers of this colony. A grown-up family of four sons and four daughters is left to mourn the loss of a good mother. R.I.P.

Archibald Cameron died just two months later on 19 March 1902 at Mangahoe, Hunterville. The Wanganui Chronicle carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – At Mangahoe, Hunterville, on the 19th of March, Archibald Cameron, aged 74 years. Deeply regretted.” The Wanganui Chronicle of 21 March 1902 published the following obituary:

MR. ARCHIBALD CAMERON
It is with deep regret that we have to chronicle the death of one of Wanganui’s old identities, in the person of Mr. Archibald Cameron, of Paraekaraetu, who passed away at his residence, Mangahoe. on Thursday last, at the advanced age of 74 years. The deceased gentleman had only been pre-deceased by his wife by a few weeks, and since her death his strength had gradually failed him until he succumbed on Thursday afternoon. The deceased was third son of the late John Cameron, of Turakina. He landed in the colony when quite a boy, and passed the greater part, of his life on the west coast of the North Island. Some forty years ago he took up his residence in the Turakina Valley, and in the olden days, when the hospitality of the pioneers was proverbial, no more hospitable roof welcomed the stranger than that of Glenmore. Some thirty years ago Mr. Cameron met with a serious accident through a fall from a horse, which deprived him of the use of his limbs to a great extent, but the indomitable pluck of the man was such that notwithstanding his infirmity, he was one of the first to take up land in the Paraekaraetu Block, a then unknown country, and buying a large block of country at Mangahoe, took up bis residence there. For many years he took a foremost part in every movement for the advancement of the country and progress of the district, and was for many years a member of the Rangitikei County Council. Of late years increasing infirmity compelled him to forsake the more active pursuits, and leasing his properties to his sons, he has lived a retired life at Mangahoe. His death removes another old land mark from our midst, and many will miss his cheery manner and kindly disposition. Although a martyr to infirmity, his indomitable courage was such that he always looked at the happy side of things, was ever ready to say a kind word, and do a kindly act. He was a man of the greatest integrity, whose word was his bond, and who always enjoyed the utmost respect of all those who knew him or had the pleasure of coming in contact with him. He leaves a grown up family of four sons and four daughters to mourn their loss—namely, Mr. William Cameron, of Waituna; Mr. Archibald Cameron, of Mangahoe; Mr. John Cameron, of Glenorchy; and Mr. Hugh Cameron, of Glenmore; Mrs. Balmer, Mrs. J. Morgan, Mrs. W. Simpson, and Miss Cameron, to whom we tender our deepest sympathy. The funeral will take place this afternoon, and will reach the town bridge at 2 p.m.

Archibald and Mary had eight children:

  • William John Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1930, married Margaret Eleanor Cameron in 1882.
  • Mary Bridget Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1937, married John Duncan Cameron Balmer in 1886.
  • Janet Agnes Cameron, born in 1863, died in 1932, married John Charles Morgan in 1886.
  • Archibald Cameron, born in 1865, married Catherine Euphemia Gair in 1906.
  • Catherine Cameron, born in 1868, married William Simpson in 1890.
  • John Cameron, born in 1870.
  • Hugh Joseph Cameron, born in 1874, died in 1957, married Helen Jane Spurdle in 1899.
  • Elizabeth Cameron, born in 1877.
Dugald Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, crofter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son Dugald was born on 15 June 1833.

Dugald Cameron married Margaret Mitchell on 27 January 1862.

In 1869 Dugald, with his brother Charles, was tried and convicted of keeping an illicit still (see above under Charles Cameron for details).

Dugald Cameron died on 17 February 1919.  The Death Notice in the Wanganui Chronicle of 18 February 1919 said: “Cameron – On the 17th inst., at Wanganui, Dugald, son of the late John Cameron, Invermaillie, Turakina Valley; aged 86 years.”  The death registration noted that he died at 1 Parnell Street, Wanganui, from Turakina Valley, and that he was a farmer.  His parents were John Cameron, farmer and Janet McGregor; he was born in Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 79 years; was married in Turakina when he was about 32 to Maggie Mitchell, now deceased, and there was no living issue.

Dugald and Margaret may have had children who did not live beyond infancy:

  • Janet McGregor Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1867.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1868.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1877.
Marjory (Mysie) Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, labourer, Achranich, and Janet McGregor a lawful daughter “Mary” was born on 9 July 1835.

Marjory Cameron was 5 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalls their family leaving Porirua for Turakina,  “Mysie was Archie’s sister and housekeeper. (Their father was ‘Big John Cameron’ who with his family came out on the Blenheim with ours).  Mysie was more dignified than her close friend ‘Little Annie’ [Annie (Cameron) McDonald]; but scarcely less beloved, she was so kind.”

Marjory Cameron married Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell on 31 August 1858.

Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell was the son of Archibald McDonell and Annie McRae, and the younger brother of James McDonell, an early Rangitikei settler, who married Anne Cameron, daughter of Donald Cameron and Christian McLean, also Blenheim passengers.

In Early Rangitikei Sir James Wilson noted, “Mrs Cumberland McDonell was a daughter of big John Cameron, of Turakina, and was renowned as a rider.”

Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell died on 24 May 1907, aged 75. The Wanganui Chronicle of 25 May carried the Death Notice: “McDonell – On 24th May, at his residence, 25 Ingestre street, C.R.S. McDonell, aged 75 years. R.I.P.” The Wanganui Herald of 25 May 1907 reported:

Another of Wanganui’s oldest settlers has joined the great majority. Mr C. R. S. McDonell, one of the best known and most highly respected residents in the district, having died last night at the age of 75. The late Mr McDonell was a native of Invernesshire, Scotland, and came out to the colonies in 1852, settling in Victoria for a few years, and then coming on to New Zealand, taking up his residence in Wanganui. He engaged in contracting for some time, and then purchased the Red Lion Hotel, which he conducted for some years. He subsequently owned hotels in Bulls and Turakina, and then entered into farming pursuits in the Turakina district. Two years ago his health failed, and he came into Wanganui to reside. His many friends will regret to hear of his death, and keen sympathy will be felt towards his family – three sons and four daughters in their bereavement.

Marjory (Cameron) McDonell died on 21 October 1914, aged 79. The Wanganui Chronicle carried the Death Notice: “McDonell – On the 21st inst., at her residence, No. 27 Ingestre Street, Marjory, relict of the late Cumberland McDonell, aged 70 years. R.I.P.”

Mysie and Cumberland had at least ten children (there may have been others who died in infancy):

  • Kate McDonell, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • Janet McGregor McDonell, born in 1859, died in 1941, married James Campion (son of Blenheim passenger) in 1883.
  • Eliza McDonell, born in 1861, died in 1896, married Duncan Cameron (cousin) in 1888.
  • John McDonell, born in 1865, died in 1892, married Helen Brookie in 1891.
  • Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell, born in 1866, died in 1866.
  • Annie McDonell, born in 1867, died in 1943, married Francis Herbert Cane in 1894.
  • Charles McDonell, born in 1871, died in 1943, married Mary Sarah Smith in 1895.
  • Alexander Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell, born in 1872, died in 1941, married (1) Margaret Clifford Lucy McDonald in 1899, and (2) Flora Cameron in 1910.
  • Flora McDonell, born in 1875, died in 1954.
  • Mysie McDonell, born in 1879, died in 1946.

Sources:

Photographs:

  • McPhail/McLachlan/Cameron Album: Charles Cameron; Archibald Cameron
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William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William and Janet Nicholl and their family were described in the embarkation and subsequent lists for the Blenheim as coming from Paisley.  The family was listed as follows:

  • William Nicholl, 47, labourer
  • Janet Nicholl, 35
  • John Nicholl, 18, labourer
  • William Nicholl, 16, labourer
  • Charles Nicholl, 13
  • James Nicholl, 10
  • Janet Nicholl, 8

In all lists their name was spelled “Nicholl”.  However, in most documents prior to departure and subsequent to their arrival in New Zealand the spelling “Nicol” was used.


Return to The Blenheim People.


William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William Nicol was born around 1793, and Janet Jamieson around 1805.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, for October 1804, records that a Janet Jamieson, legal daughter of John Jamieson and Janet Cochran, was born 22 ult. and baptized 5 inst, i.e. she was born on 22 September 1804.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, records the proclamation of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson, both in this Parish, on 17 June 1821, and the payment of one shilling for three proclamations. The proclamation of banns was the notice of contract of marriage, read out in the Kirk before the marriage took place. Couples or their ‘cautioners’ (sponsors) were often required to pay a ‘caution’ or security to prove the seriousness of their intentions. Forthcoming marriages were supposed to be proclaimed on three successive Sundays, however, in practice, all three proclamations could be made on the same day on payment of a fee.

William Nicol was described as a labourer of 47 when he emigrated to New Zealand.  William Nicol, Pipitea, labourer, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1845, and in the 1847 to 1849 lists he was described as a tapkeeper,  Lambton Quay.

Janet Nicol died on 19 October 1848.  The Wellington Independent of 25 October 1848 carried the following report:

Died.—At her residence, Lambtonquay, on Thursday last, Mrs. Janet Nicol, aged 43 years.—An Inquest was held the following day at Barrett’s Hotel, on view of the body, before J. Fitzgerald, Esq., M. D., Coroner.—Mr. Nicol being called in stated, on Thursday the 19th instant, I found my wife lying on the floor (about 3 o’clock) apparently in a fit, but unfortunately she was dead; she had not five minutes before served the coxswain of the Fly’s gig, with a bottle of grog; when I went into the room she was lying on the floor amongst broken dishes and water, which must have been capsized at the time she had fallen by the severe shock of an earthquake the large cask in which we kept our, water having been upset. The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict, died of apoplexy.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 19 March 1878 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 17th inst., at the residence of his son, Mr Charles Nicol, Marton, William Nicol, formerly of Paisley, Scotland, aged 80 years.  The funeral will take place today, at half-past 2 p.m.”

John Nicol

John Nicol was described as a labourer of 18 on the Blenheim passenger list.

The Old Parish Register for November 1821 for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that John, son of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson was born on 21 October and baptized on 18 November.

The following information remains to be confirmed as applying to this John Nicol.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage of a John Nichol and E Rori Kapiti on 4 November 1841.  The records also show a birth, name not recorded, parents Betty and John Nicol, on 17 June 1848.

The Wellington Independent of 24 April 1847 published a Notice from the Treasury, Wellington, dated 23 April 1847, giving notice of the issue of Special Publican’s Licences to, among others, John Nicol, Pukarua [Pukerua?]. A John Nicol was also included in the list, published in the Wellington Independent of 13 August 1853,  of Gentlemen who had consented to act as a Committee to secure the return of W B Rhodes, Esq., to represent the Wellington Country District in the General Assembly.  The Electoral Rolls for Wellington and Wellington Country for 1853-64 included a John Nicol, Paekakariki, publican, qualification a household near Wainui.

The Wellington Independent of 16 September 1869 carried a lengthy report of legal proceedings relating to the lease of an accommodation or public house at Paekakariki, on land owned by Betty Nicol, the Maori wife of John Nicol – apparently known as “Scotch Jock”.  The Nicols lived at Waikanae.

William Nicol

William Nicol was a labourer of 16 on the Blenheim passenger list.

William Nicol Jnr, Lambton Quay, servant, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1847.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 July 1847 carried a report of a case in the Resident Magistrate’s Court where William Nicol appeared on a summons to answer the charge of having refused to support the male infant of Caroline Gooden, of which it was alleged he was the father.

The New Zealander of 9 April 1851 published the list of applications for Publicans’ Licenses, noting that if they were all to succeed the number of public houses in Auckland and its neighbourhood would be nearly doubled at once, and suggesting that they should be as much as possible confined to the leading thoroughfares since “In the back and little frequented streets they too frequently become rather nuisances and receptacles of vice.”  William Nicol, Black Bull, Albert St, was on the list of new applicants.  In 1855, William Nicol, Masonic Hotel, Princes street, was on the list of applicants.

William Nicol married Jane Harriet Brown on 9 April 1853 in Auckland.

The Electoral Rolls for Auckland, Southern Division, for 1853-1864 included William Nicol, Princes street, hotel keeper, freehold estate.

William Nicol retired from the Masonic Hotel in 1869, the occasion being recognised by the United Service Lodge of Freemasons, as reported in the New Zealand Herald of 1 April 1869.

Jane Harriet Nicol died in 1875 aged 49.  The Daily Southern Cross of 12 August 1875 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On August 10, at her residence Grey-street, Harriett Jane, the beloved wife of Mr William Nicol, aged 49 years.”

The Wanganui Chronicle of 2 May 1877 noted, “We regret to learn that Mr William Nicol, eldest brother of Mr Charles Nicol, of Marton, died at Auckland on Friday last.  He was for some time the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel at Auckland, but retired into private life some time ago.”  The Auckland Star of 27 April 1877 had carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 27th instant, at Grey-street, Auckland, William Nicol, in the 56th year of his age.”

William and Harriet had at least seven children:

  • William Henry Nicol, born in 1855, died in 1880, married Rachel Darby in 1875.
  • Emily Elizabeth Jane Nicol, born in 1856, married Edgar Patteson Hulme in 1876.
  • Frederick Thomas Nicol, born in 1858, died in 1927.
  • Harriet Annie Nicol, born in 1859, died in 1887.
  • James McNeill Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1904.
  • Alfred Alexander Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1947.
  • Lucy Isabella Nicol, born in 1865, married Donald Alexander McLeod in 1893.

Charles Nicol

Charles Nicol was 13 when he set out with his family on the Blenheim in 1840.

Charles Nicol and Catherine Jane Murray were married on 20 April 1852 at Wanganui.

In 1865 Charles Nicol founded  a bakery business in Marton, which was taken over by his son John Murray Nicol in 1895.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 April 1883 included the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 3rd April, at Marton, Charles Nicol (brother to Mrs. John Cudby, Lower Hutt), aged 55 years.”  An obituary was published in the same issue:

THE LATE MR NICOL.
The funeral of the late Mr Charles Nicol took place yesterday afternoon at the Mount View Cemetery, near Marton. The burial service over the grave was performed by the Rev. Mr Stewart and a great number of friends from Wanganui and all parts of the district paid a last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased by attending his funeral rites. The late Mr Nicol was a very old and respected settler. He came to Port Nicholson in 1840, in the good ship Blenheim (Captain Gray), which landed its passengers at Kaiwarra. Amongst Mr Nicol’s fellow-voyagers were Captain Cameron, of Marangai, Mr Gregor McGregor, and many other of our leading settlers. Mr Nicol learned the trade of baker in Wellington, and in 1848 came to Wanganui, and was employed to bake for Messrs Taylor and Watt. He subsequently became the possessor of the property in Wickstead Pace now owned by’ Mr Henry Churton and here he carried on his business very successfully for many years, during which he held the bread contracts for the troops stationed in Wanganui. Misfortunes, however, came thick upon him due to his own easy good nature, and the misplaced confidence he reposed in his friends. Taking his large family with him, Mr Nicol went some years ago to try his fortune in the new and rising township of Marton, and there he remained until his death on Tuesday last, at the comparatively early age of 54. Mr Nicol leaves behind him many children, all of them growing up, and having before them every prospect of doing well. As a man and a citizen the deceased gentleman was greatly respected, and he will long be missed by his old friends who knew his amiability of temper, unfailing good nature and sterling worth.

Catherine Jane (Murray) Nicol died on 16 July 1919 at Marton, aged 89.

Charles and Catherine had at least six children:

  • Mary Nicol, born in 1853, died in 1926, married Thomas Stoddart Lambert, architect, in 1871.
  • Janet Nicol, born in 1854, died in 1919, married John Aitken in 1876.
  • John Murray Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1918, married Emma Sophia Bensemann in 1883.
  • Margaret Kate Nicol, born in 1868.
  • Annie Harriet Nicol, born in 1869, married William Williams in 1903.
  • Ellen McFarlane Nicol, born in 1871, died in 1954, married Robert Joseph Carter in 1895.

James Nicol

James Nicol was 10 years old in 1840 when he sailed on the Blenheim to New Zealand with his family.

James Nicol and Isabella Smith were married on 5 March 1861.

James Nicol died in 1918.  The Wairarapa Age of 23 October 1916 carried the following obituary:

MR. JAMES NICOL. Another of the very early settlers of New Zealand, in the person of Mr James Nicol, passed away at his residence in Church Street, Masterton, about eight o’clock on Saturday morning.  The deceased, who had reached the great age of 85 years was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1831. With his parents he arrived in Wellington in the ship Blenheim on Christmas Day, 1840.   When quite a lad he became associated with horses, and was employed for some time in the stable of the late Dr. Fitzgerald. He afterwards had the mounts on the j horses of Mr St. Hill. In 1846 he rode the mare Bella at Bunham Water, Wellington, and was just defeated on the post.  In 1847 he rode the winner of the Te Aro Steeplechase. Later he owned Retribution, the winner of the first New Zealand Steeplechase, since called the Grand National Steeplechase. He also owned the stallion Riddlesworth, one of the first thoroughbred horses to be imported to the Dominion. In 1852 he went to Australia, and was present at the Bendigo gold rush. For a number of years he drove cattle for Wairarapa settlers round the. “Rocks” to Wellington, before the road was constructed over the Rimutaka. Subsequently he became part owner, with the late Mr Hume, of the Blairlogie station, and later resided at the Lower Taueru. In 1870 he came to Masterton, where he has resided ever since. He owned for many years the freehold of the Empire Hotel and possessed other property interests in the town. He was a splendid judge of horseflesh, and a skilled veterinarian. He was the oldest vestryman of St. Matthew’s Church, and was scrupulously conscientious in all his dealings. He was a member of the Scotch Lodge of Freemasons, and was a Sergeant in the Cavalry in the early days. In 1862 the deceased married Miss Isabella Smith, daughter, of the late Mr John Smith, one of the earliest engineers in Wellington. He leaves a widow, two daughters, and four sons The daughters are. Mrs Vincent Hooper (Auckland) and Mrs W. C. Cargill (Morrinsville). The sons are Messrs John Nicol (Te Aroha), George Nicol (Picton), Private Arthur Nicol (on active service), and Mr Len. Nicol, jeweller, of Masterton. The deceased was highly respected by all with whom he was acquainted, and his death will be deeply, regretted. The funeral takes place to-morrow (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock.

James and Isabella had eight children:

  • William Smith Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1865.
  • Harriet Jane Nicol, born in 1864, died in 1941, married Vincent Hooper in 1885.
  • John Robert Nicol, born in 1867, died in 1959, married Elizabeth Barratt in 1892.
  • George William Nicol, born in 1869, died in 1943, married Katrina Neilson in 1903.
  • Isabella Emily Nicol, born in 1871, married William Clement Cargill in 1894.
  • Frederick James Nicol, born in 1873.
  • Arthur Charles Nicol, born in 1876, died in 1941, married Lillian May Jackson in 1900, divorced in 1910, married Caroline Fanny Whyatt in 1920.
  • Leonard Spencer Nicol, born in 1883, died in 1950, married Stella Maud Clark in 1919.

Janet Nicol

Janet Nicol was 8 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

BDM records show the marriage of Jane Nicholl to John Francis Cudby on 9 November 1849.

John Francis Cudby was born on 28 February 1830 in Ingrave, Essex, England, to John Cudby and Henrietta Clampin.  He emigrated to New Zealand in 1842, aged 13, on the Thomas Sparks.  John’s brother Charles also emigrated to New Zealand in 1857 on the William and Alfred.

John Cudby established a contracting business for earthworks and construction, then added a coaching business, which was taken over by his sons George and Walter.

Janet Cudby died in 1907 aged 74. The Manawatu Standard of 2 November 1907 published the following obituary:

Mrs Janet Cudby, a much-respected resident of the Lower Hutt, died at the family residence yesterday morning, aged 74. The deceased lady, who is survived by her husband, Mr John Cudby, had lived in the Hutt district for a great many years, and went through all the trials of the early settlers. She had been ill for some time. The members of her family have been identified with the Hutt all their lives, and with their father have taken a prominent part in the development of the district.

John Francis Cudby died in 1920, at the age of 90.  The Evening Post of 8 June 1920 carried the Death Notice: “Cudby – On the 8th June, 1920, at his late residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, John Francis Cudby, relict of the late Janet Cudby, in his 91st year. R.I.P.”  The paper also had the following obituary:

MR. J. F. CUDBY
An early settler, who grew up with the Hutt district, Mr. John Francis Cudby, died at his residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, early this morning. Mr. Cudby’s interests from early youth had been in the Hutt Valley, and his history was the history of this fertile district. No one could tell its history better than he himself, for he had experienced the events and times of which he spoke and remembered them, even when he had reached the age where, with many men, the memory becomes dim. He was born in Essex in 1828, and came out to New Zealand with Lord Petre as a lad in 1843 in the ship Commerce Sparks. From the time of his arrival in the country to the day of his death, he resided at Lower Hutt. At first he lived and worked on the Woburn estate. Afterwards he became the owner of large livery stables near the railway station. He retired from active participation in the business some forty years ago, but continued to take a very lively interest in the affairs of the district. He possessed the hard, commonsense which was a distinguishing trait of many early settlers, and this made him a valued member of the Lower Hutt Borough Council for many years. He was also a member of the Licensing Committee, and as a Justice of the Peace for over thirty years was a familiar figure on the Hutt Magistrate’s Court Bench. He resigned from the Commission of the Peace two years ago. In the early days of the Wellington Racing Club he held the office of Clerk of the Course. In friendly society work he was a staunch supporter, and he held the record of seventy years’ membership of the Oddfellows Lodge. Mr. Cudby enjoyed good health, in spite of his years, until two years ago. He leaves a family of five sons and three daughters. The sons are: James, living at Lower Hutt; Charles, at Dannevirke; Henry, Alfredton; George, Rangiora; and Walter, Lower Hutt. The daughters are Mrs. J. Fleet, Petone; Mrs. Turner, Lower Hutt; and Mrs. E. D. Dunne, Wellington. Mrs. Cudby, who was also an early settler, having come out from Paisley, Scotland, in the Janet Nicol [sic], died twelve years ago. At the meeting, of the Hutt County Council this morning, a motion of sympathy was passed with the deceased’s relatives, the members standing as a mark of respect.

Jane and John had nine children:

  • James Cudby, born in 1852, died in 1923.
  • William Cudby, born in 1851, died in 1908, married Emily Frances Rivers in 1883.
  • Charles Cudby, born in 1854, died in 1942, married Emma Catherine McIntosh in 1882.
  • Emma Frances Cudby, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Joseph Frederick Fleet in 1884.
  • Henry Cudby, born in 1860, died in 1946.
  • George Cudby, born in 1862 (registration 1913), died in 1934, married Jane Muirhead in 1896.
  • Henrietta Cudby, born in 1864, died in 1955, married James Turner in 1890.
  • Walter Thomas Cudby, born in 1868, died in 1926.
  • Ada Winifred Cudby, born in 1871, died in 1958, married Edward Dowling Dunne in 1898.

Sources:

John Cameron of Marangai

John Cameron was a cabin passenger on the Blenheim, so was not included on the list of assisted passengers.  Newspaper accounts of the departure and arrival of the Blenheim note that John Cameron was one of the cabin passengers.


Return to The Blenheim People.


John Cameron was a member of the family of Camerons of Callart. According to Somerled MacMillan in Bygone Lochaber, he was born at Lochmaddy, North Uist, on 7 October 1817, the son of Allan Cameron and Mary Campbell, daughter of Duncan Campbell of Ardgour House.

Callart lies on the northern shore of Loch Leven, directly opposite Glencoe, but was forfeited to the Crown because of the participation in the 1745 rising by Allan Cameron, 9th of Callart.  His son John Cameron, 10th of Callart, recovered the estate by payment of a fine, but he then sold Callart to Ewen Cameron of Fassiefern, and was succeeded, as representative of the family, by his brother James.  James’ second son Allan succeeded him as representative of the family, and after serving as Captain and Paymaster of the Lochaber Fencibles, Allan Cameron was factor for Lord MacDonald in North Uist for a period of 27 years and resided at Lochmaddy, where John Cameron was born.

In their history of the Wanganui County, From Sand to Papa, Rex H Voelkerling and Kevin L Stewart devote a chapter to John Cameron as a case study of an early settler in the district.  In this book it is noted, “John initially took up medicine as a career but decided that he was unsuited to this work and studied surveying instead.  Hearing the persuasive propoganda put out by the New Zealand Company and being attracted to the idea of starting afresh in a new country, Cameron travelled to London and purchased a land order.”

John Cameron’s grandmother, Mary Cameron, wife of James Cameron and daughter of Alexander MacSorlie-Cameron, 12th of Glenevis, was the aunt of Jessie Cameron, who married Moses Campbell, making John Cameron and Jessie Campbell first cousins, once-removed. John Cameron and the Campbells were fellow-passenger on the Blenheim, and neighbours and business partners in Wanganui, New Zealand.  Jessie Campbell made no overt reference to the family relationship in her Journal or letters, although she was full of praise for his character and hard work.

In Wanganui John Cameron lived with the Campbells for a period. In a letter of 4 December 1842, Jessie Campbell wrote, “John Cameron has gone to Wellington on business of his own, also to purchase cattle for the section, if he can get any to his mind. We miss him very much, he makes himself very useful, he sleeps on a sofa in the sitting room, makes his bed every evening and in the morning clears everything away and even sweeps the room. I often tell him, what would his friends at home say if they could see him with a scrubbing brush cleaning his canvas trousers or in the evening mending them, he can patch as neatly as I can,” and “Cattle are the only thing that pay here, but it requires judgment, experience and money. Of all this John Cameron is possessed, so that instead of being a burden upon us as George would be, he is a very acquisition. He was busy making oars for the boat when he went away, he intends making some of the doors for our new house, in short he can put his hand to anything, even to the nursing of Willie who is an immense pet of his, besides he is well enough informed to support his own side of an argument rather stiffly which makes him a pleasant companion for the Capt. he is quite au fait in all farming matters and gardening.” In March 1843 she wrote,”John Cameron is still an inmate of our house, and a valuable acquisition he is. He provides so much for the house, such as tea, flour etc. that his living with us is a great assistance besides his own labour which he does not spare. He is the person to do well here, he has so much prudence, good sense, energy of mind and of activity of body. My better half was most fortunate to get him for a partner. He has worked as hard at that new house of ours as if it were his own, I hope it will be his house until he gets a wife.”

Survey work and the allocation of sections of land in Wanganui took longer than expected because of the failure of the New Zealand Company to finalise purchase arrangements in Wanganui with the Maori tribes concerned.  It took until 1848 before Governor Gray brokered a solution and Donald McLean negotiated the details of the purchase.  Up until then John Cameron and Moses Campbell had been working on the land they had selected, although troubles with Maori in 1847 meant that their cattle had to be moved to Waitotara.  Once the land purchase was settled, the Campbells built a house at Wiritoa and John Cameron lived with them and supervised the running of both that property and his adjoining section of Marangai.

In 1853 the partnership with Moses Campbell was terminated, and John Cameron built his own house at Marangai.  In 1863 problems with the Maoris re-emerged.  John Cameron raised a troop of volunteer cavalry from the local area and a blockhouse was constructed.

John Cameron of Marangai
John Cameron of Marangai

In 1863 John Cameron had employed a housekeeper and eventually he married her.  John Cameron and Annie Sutherland were married on 6 June 1865 at Marangai. Annie Sutherland was born in Nova Scotia on 22 October 1832 to Hector Sutherland and Jessie Ferguson.  The family moved to Australia and then to the New Zealand settlement of Waipu, in Northland, in December 1852. Annie (Sutherland) Cameron died on 20 August 1884. The Wanganui Chronicle of 21 August 1884 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 20th instant, at Marangai, Annie, the beloved wife of John Cameron.”

John Cameron died on 6 November 1892, aged 75. The Wanganui Herald carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – At Marangai, Wanganui, on November 6th, John Cameron, aged 76.” The Wanganui Chronicle of 7 November 1892 published the following obituary:

It was with deep regret that we heard yesterday of the death of Captain John Cameron, of Marangai. None of our readers, we are sure, will read of his death without concern, for a kinder heart was not known in the district nor one more entitled to the respect of either rich or poor. Mr Cameron was one of our oldest settlers, and at such a juncture one cannot avoid the thought that the sturdy race of pioneers who have been the very backbone of the country are surely and swiftly passing away from amongst us. Mr Cameron arrived in New Zealand in 1840, over half a century ago, and we believe that at least 50 years of that time have been spent in Wanganui. In the early days of his colonial life the deceased was in partnership with the late Captain Campbell, and the two estates of Marangai and Weretoa were held between them. In the time of the wars Captain Cameron did good service as captain of the Wanganui Cavalry, but for many years before his death he had ceased to take any active interest in Volunteering. He was President of the Wanganui Jockey Club, and a successful horse breeder, although he never ran any of his horses at the races. In character he was quiet and unassuming, and he preferred the quietude of private life to the stir of public business. He was a kind and hospitable friend, and his family of four sons and one daughter will in their bereavement have the sympathy of all with whom he was ever brought into contact. The funeral takes place to-morrow afternoon, leaving Marangai at 1 o’clock.

John and Annie had five children:

  • Allan Cameron, born in 1865, died in 1950, married Maude Mary Ralston in 1892.
  • John Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1915 (WW1, also served in Boer War).
  • Hector Sutherland Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1944, married Eleanor Grierson Robertson in 1906.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1954, married Henry William Wilson in 1897.
  • James Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1916 (WW1, Australian Forces).

Sources:

Photograph:

  • Mr Cameron. Harding, William James, 1826-1899 : Negatives of Wanganui district. Ref: 1/4-008083-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23503123

Captain Moses Campbell and Jessie Cameron

Captain Moses Campbell and his family travelled as cabin passengers on the Blenheim.  Being cabin passengers they were not included in the passenger lists of those receiving free passage. The family included:

  • Captain Moses Campbell, 51
  • Jessie Campbell, 31
  • John Campbell, 8
  • Colin Campbell, 6
  • Louisa Margaret Campbell, 5
  • Susan Campbell, 1
  • Isabella Campbell, 1 (died at sea)

Jessie Campbell kept a detailed journal of the voyage of the Blenheim, and also wrote many letters to family and friends back in Scotland.  This material provides a fascinating view of life on the Blenheim, and in early colonial New Zealand, from Jessie’s perspective (see Jessie Campbell’s Journal and Letters).


Return to The Blenheim People.


Moses Campbell and Jessie Cameron

Moses Campbell was born around 1787, the son of John Campbell of Inverliver and Susan Cameron of Breadalbane.

Moses Campbell served in the  72nd Regiment, the Duke of Albany’s Own Highlanders.  In February 1811 Ensign Moses Campbell was promoted to be Lieutenant without purchase, and in 1828 Lieutenant Moses Campbell from the 72nd Foot was promoted to be Captain of Infantry.  On the death of his father, Moses Campbell left the Army on half-pay and seems to have lived in Glasgow while he tried to sell the estate of Inverliver, on Loch Awe in Argyll.

Moses Campbell and Jessie Cameron were married in 1827, when he was around 40 and she was 19.

Jessie Cameron was the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Cameron of Achnasaul and Louisa Campbell of Glenure.  She was born around 1807 in Kilmallie.

After advertising it for a number of years, Moses Campbell sold the Inverliver Estate in 1836 having already moved to Achindale, near Fort William and the home of Jessie’s family.

Captain Moses Campbell
Captain Moses Campbell
Jessie (Cameron) Campbell
Jessie (Cameron) Campbell

By 1839, the family had decided to emigrate to New Zealand. In that year Moses was allotted two one-hundred-acre sections in Wanganui by the New Zealand Company.  The Morning Post of 4 July 1840 carried the notification from the London Gazette that “Capt. Moses Campbell, upon half-pay Unattached, has been allowed to retire from the army, by the sale of his commission, he being about to become a settler in New South Wales.”

Moses Campbell and Jessie Cameron had at least one child who died before they left for New Zealand in 1840:

  • Susan Ann Campbell, born on 24 October 1830 to Capt. Moses Campbell 72nd, Achandell, and Jessy Cameron, baptized  13 November (OPR, Kilmonivaig).

As cabin passengers and with servants to help with the chores and children, and with additional private food supplies, the Campbells were more comfortable than their fellow-travellers in steerage. Jessie’s Journal provides a valuable record of the voyage and her perception of the experience.  On arrival in Wellington she noted, “The climate would be delightful but for the high winds that prevail.”

On arriving in Wellington it was found that titles to the land in Wanganui were delayed, and in 1841 Captain Campbell sailed to Sydney with a deputation to the Governor.  Although the titles remained unsettled, the family moved to Wanganui in November 1841, travelling on the Clydeside, which was nearly wrecked on the North Spit at the entrance to the Wanganui River.  Moses Campbell formed a partnership with John Cameron, who had also travelled on the Blenheim as a cabin passenger, and while waiting to take possession of their land built a town house.  They also leased land at Putiki and later grazed stock at Kaitoke.

Jessie’s letters home to her family give us some insights into the life they led and the problems they faced, including the continuing issue of finding and keeping servants, not to mention the gossip about her friends and neighbours.

In 1847, the settlement at Wanganui was attacked by Maori and Captain Campbell took his family to Taranaki, where they lived for a several years, returning in 1851 when peace was achieved.  In 1853 Moses Campbell completed the first house at his property “Wiritoa”, which also served as a blockhouse.  The property bordered Lake Wiritoa which was about three miles from Wanganui.  In 1857 the partnership with John Cameron was dissolved.

In 1841, Moses Campbell had been appointed as a magistrate in Wellington Province, and represented Wanganui and Rangitikei in the Wellington Provincial Council from 1857 to 1861.  He was also an elder in the Presbyterian Church in Wanganui.

Moses Campbell died on 20 September 1862, aged 75.

Jessie Campbell died on 18 October 1885, aged 78.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 20 October 1885 carried the following obituary:

On Sunday afternoon Mrs Campbell (widow of the late Captain Campbell), one of Wanganui’s oldest and most respected residents, passed peacefully away to her rest. The deceased lady, who was in her 78th year, succumbed to an attack of bronchitis, which an enfeebled system was too weak to resist. Though she had been ailing for about a fortnight, she was only confined to her room for four or five days, and retained perfect possession of her mental faculties to the last. Mrs Campbell, with her husband, arrived in the Colony in the year 1840, landing at Port Nicholson, and soon after coming on to Wanganui, where the family have resided ever since. Among the surviving passengers by the vessel which brought Mr and Mrs Campbell from the Old Country may be mentioned Mr John Cameron, of Marangai, and Mrs Gregor McGregor, of Wilson street, old settlers who have borne the heat and burden of the day. The deceased lady and her husband experienced all the vicissitudes common to the early settlers. On one occasion, during the early Maori troubles, they were obliged by the military to quickly abandon the house in which they were living, at what is now the corner of Wilson and Ridgway-streets, as it was considered a dangerous outpost and likely to invite attack from the natives who were hovering round. The place was therefore vacated, the occupants retiring to the town stockade, which stood on the spot now occupied by the Ship Hotel. The deserted house was partially destroyed by the troops, but the ruins were subsequently taken possession of by the Maoris. These were the days of stirring scenes, numberless stories concerning which have been told by the old residents, whose ranks are now so rapidly thinning. The lady who was the subject of our present notice was much loved and respected for her kindly nature and charitable disposition, evidences of which were abundant in the days gone by. She leaves to mourn her loss four sons and three daughters, all grown up.

Moses Campbell and Jessie Cameron also had six more children after they arrived in New Zealand:

  • William Patrick Campbell, born in 1841, died in 1925, married Annie Edith Powell in 1881.
  • Ewen Alexander Campbell, born in 1843, died in 1934, married (1) Helen Barbara McDonald in 1873, (2) Alice Jane Stedman in 1878.
  • Isabella Elizabeth Campbell, born in 1845, died in 1931, married John Tyleston Wicksteed jnr in 1866.
  • Helen Ann Campbell, born in 1847, died in 1932, married Samuel Roland Garrett in 1873.
  • Robert Andrew Campbell, born in 1850, died in 1904, married Sarah Annie (Daisy) Stedman in 1880.
  • Mary Susan Campbell, born in 1852, died in 1940, married Andrew Cunningham Bruce in 1888.
John Cameron Campbell

The Old Parish Register for Kilmonivaig recorded that John Cameron, son of Capt. Moses Campbell, Achandall, and of Jessy Cameron, was born on 18 September 1832, and baptised on 22 October 1832.

John Cameron Campbell died in 1887, aged 56.  The Wanganui Herald of 24 August 1887 carried the Death Notice: “Campbell.— On the 24th instant, at Wilson Street, John Cameron Campbell, oldest son of the late Captain Campbell, of Wiritoa, aged 66 years. Friends are informed that the Funeral will leave the residence of Mr Robt. A. Campbell, Wilson Street, to morrow (Thursday) afternoon, at 2 30 o’clock.”

Colin Macmillan Campbell

The Old Parish Register for Kilmonivaig recorded that Colin Macmillan, son of Capt. Moses Campbell of 72nd, Achandell and Jessy Cameron, was born on 3 July and baptized on 14 July 1834.

Colin McMillan Campbell died in 1879.

Louisa Margaret Campbell
Louisa Margaret (Campbell) Sheild
Louisa Margaret (Campbell) Sheild

The Old Parish Register for Kilmonivaig recorded that Louisa Margaret, lawful daughter of Captain Moses Campbell and Jessie Cameron, Achnadall, was born on March 19th and baptized on 12 April 1836.

Louisa Margaret Campbell married Richard Thomas Sheild in 1864.

In 1877, Louisa was drowned on 11 September 1877 in the wreck of the Avalanche in the English Channel. Over 100 lives were lost, including many New Zealanders returning from Great Britain. A detailed report was carried in The Times of 13 September 1877, and also later published in the Wanganui Herald of 6 November 1877. In summary:

FULL PARTICULARS OF THE WRECK OF THE AVALANCHE. (special to the post.)
A collision, resulting in the loss of over 100 souls, occurred on the night of the 11th Sept., about 15 miles off Portland, between the Avalanche, of London, bound for Wellington, New Zealand, and the Forest, of Windsor, Nova Scotia. The Avalanche sank almost immediately, only three out of the 94 souls on board being saved. The Forest sank shortly afterwards, and many of her crew were drowned. The collision occurred at 9.15 p.m. on Tuesday, 15 miles south-west from Portland, the Avalanche being on the port tack, and the Forest on the starboard tack. The latter struck the Avalanche amidships, then rebounded and struck her twice further aft, causing her to founder in about three minutes from first striking her. There was no time to launch the boats.

The Times article included the passenger list noting that first cabin passengers included Mrs Sheild, formerly Miss Campbell, on her voyage to Wanganui.

Louisa and Richard had at least four children:

  • Marmaduke Campbell Sheild, born in 1867, died in 1868.
  • Caroline Isabel Sheild, born in 1869, died in 1942. married (1) William Dabbs in 1893, (2) Hugh Stewart in 1899.
  • Rosamunda Louisa Sheild, born in 1874, died in 1969, married Robert Lilburn in 1898 (their youngest child was Douglas Lilburn, composer).
  • Helen Barbara Sheild, born in 1876, died in 1877.
Isabella Eliza Campbell and Susan Ann Campbell

The Old Parish Register for Kilmonivaig recorded that Isabella Eliza and Susan Ann, twin daughters of Capt, Moses Campbell of the 72nd foot, Achnadell, and of Jessy Cameron, were born 24th September 1838 and recorded on 23 October 1838.

Isabella died on board the Blenheim, while Susan died in Wanganui in 1847, apparently of whooping cough.


Sources:

Photographs:

George Ross

George Ross was listed as a blacksmith aged 21 in the Blenheim passenger lists.  His name appeared at the end of the embarkation list, after the Paisley families, but it is not clear if he was from Paisley himself.


Return to The Blenheim People.


George Ross and Annie Hogg

George Ross married Ann Hogg on 30 December 1842 in Wanganui.  It is probable that this is the marriage mentioned in Jessie Campbell’s letter of 4 December 1842 to her sister Isabella, when  referring to the difficulty in obtaining good servants:

I fear I shall be obliged to make this a shorter letter than usual. When I tell you my reason you will not complain, for the last fortnight I may say I have had no servants, the damsel I’ve had since coming here chose to get a beau and left me at 10 minutes notice to prepare for her marriage. I cannot get her place supplied here, the only help I have is from a smart little girl about 12 years old who comes in every evening. You may believe I have very little time –I have tried to write at night when all were gone to rest but felt so sleepy and tired I was obliged to give it up. I wrote some time ago to Wellington, I hope Mrs. McDonald has succeeded in getting a servant for me, the one I had was a most ill tempered gypsy and she is to be married to an excellent steady tradesman, a blacksmith who came out in the Blenheim. I often think what a host of admirers Flora Kennedy would have here—where such drabs get good husbands.

Ann Hogg may well have been the Ann Hogg, aged 17, who arrived in Wellington on the Arab on 15 June 1841, in the company of her parents John Hogg, 37, and Elizabeth Hogg, 39, and her brother John Hogg, 15.

George Ross, a blacksmith, died on 14 April 1870 at Greymouth, aged 51.  The Grey River Argus, of14 April 1870 reported that, “A man named Ross, a blacksmith at Nelson Creek, who has been suffering from swamp fever for some time past, was last right brought down by his mates, and admitted to the Hospital here.”   It appears that George Ross may have been looking for work in the goldfields, while his family stayed in Wanganui.  An advertisement which ran in the Wanganui Herald from 16 April to 3 May 1870 carried the Notice:

BY DEED, bearing date the 16th March, 1870, I, George Ross, of Nelson Creek, in the County of Westland, revoked the power of Attorney given by me to Henry Williams, of Wanganui, horse-dealer, and I hereby warn all persons that the said Henry Williams has no longer my power to act as my agent or otherwise. GEORGE ROSS. Signed by the said George Ross, in the presence of JOHN D. ROBB, M.D.F.R.C.S., Edinburgh.

George and Ann had at least five children:

  • Elizabeth Ross, born in 1843, died in 1931, married (1) Robert Day in 1861, (2) John Champion Young in 1869.
  • George McGregor Ross, born in 1845, died in 1910, married (1) Frances Trice in 1869, (2) Caroline Sancto in 1872.
  • Ann Munro Ross, born in 1847, died in 1873, married Harry Orlando Williams in 1870.
  • Isabella Rosetta Agnes Ross, born in 1849, died in 1910, married Richard O’Halloran Albert Ross in 1869.
  • John Hector Ross, born in 1851, died in 1940.

Sources:

Gregor McGregor

In the initial list of prospective emigrants for the Blenheim Gregor MacGregor was described as a tailor aged 21, from Borline, recommended by Tallasker, but he is crossed out. In the embarkation and arrival lists he is listed as an agriculturalist aged 21.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Gregor McGregor and Catherine Fraser

Gregor McGregor was born on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides in 1818, and was 21 when he emigrated on the Blenheim in 1840.

Gregor McGregor married Catherine Fraser, daughter of Duncan and Marjory Fraser, who had also been on the Blenheim, on 6 November 1841 in Wellington.

Gregor McGregor
Gregor McGregor
Catherine (Fraser) McGregor
Catherine (Fraser) McGregor

In 1845, concerned by the disturbances with Maori, Gregor and his family moved to New South Wales, where he worked as a stock overseer. They returned to Wellington in March 1849, then in 1851 moved to Turakina. Gregor became manager and shareholder of ‘Annbank” with James Wilson. In 1858 he purchased land in the Matarawa Valley nearer Whanganu. In 1865 the family moved to a new farm in the Matarawa Valley they called ‘Aird’. In 1870 Gregor and Catherine moved to ‘Smithfield’ a 100-acre farm near the Wanganui racecourse.

Gregor McGregor died on 19 May 1876 aged 58, at his residence at Wilton Street, Wanganui.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Wellington Provincial District) for 1897 carried the following entry for Gregor McGregor:

McGregor, Gregor. Settler, Wanganui. Among the early colonists of New Zealand, now passed away, must be numbered Mr. Gregor McGregor. Born in the Island of Uist in 1818, he received a sound grammar school education, and was afterwards apprenticed as a carpenter and boatbuilder. In 1840 he came to New Zealand in the ship “Blenheim,” and had the honour of being one of the first colonists to land in Wellington, where he worked for several years. Upon the breaking out of the Maori war, in 1845, he left New Zealand for New South Wales, taking his wife and family, whose lives were in danger, with him. In 1849 he returned to New Zealand, and entered into partnership with Mr. Wilson, taking up a block of 2000 acres in the Turakina Valley, to which other properties were afterwards added. Mr. McGregor was the first sheep inspector appointed in the district. In 1871 he divided his properties among his family, and went to reside in Wanganui, where he remained till his death, in 1876. Mr. McGregor was married in 1841 to a daughter of Mr. D. Fraser, and left eight sons and six daughters, who are settled in the district. He was a man of strict integrity, whose influence for good was always felt, taking a prominent part in any deserving work, and a consistent upholder of the church. His wife also took a leading part in any charitable or christian work.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 20 May 1876 published the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR GREGOR McGREGOR.
A few days ago we referred to the feeble health of Mr Gregor McGregor, and now it is our painful duty to record his death, which took place at his late residence yesterday evening. The deceased gentleman has lately been suffering from a throat complaint, and a few weeks ago left Wanganui en route for Australia, in the hope that the change of air, climate, and scene might prove beneficial. On his arrival in Wellington he consulted the best medical advice procurable, and was recommended to return home, and to adopt a variety of precautions, with regard to the maintenance of a regular and equable temperature, and a careful avoidance of chills and drafts, by close attention to which it was hoped that he would ultimately be restored to health. But Providence had ruled it otherwise, and a large circle of friends and relatives now mourn his departure from their midst. The cold, chilly, wintry weather doubtless exercised a more or less injurious effect upon his already debilitated system, notwithstanding all the counteracting influences with which, he was so carefully surrounded, which, nevertheless, could scarcely wholly avert the potently penetrating effects of the temperature outside. The deceased gradually sank after his return to Wanganui, and several days ago his friends had abandoned all hope of his recovery. Mr Gregor McGregor was one of the earliest settlers who came to reside in the district, and was one of the pioneers of the olden time, the number of which is being so rapidly thinned of late. As a colonist, Mr McGregor was enterprising and progressive, and as a citizen he was a conscientious and high principled member of the community, by whom he was universally respected for his unwavering integrity, and for his many Christian virtues. He had almost reached the allotted term, and has now passed away to join those near and dear to him when on earth, who are gone before. With respectful sympathy we sincerely join in our condolences with those whose loved and esteemed relative and friend is now cold in death, but whose mournings are of those who look beyond the tomb, where the weary are at rest. Right well has Mr McGregor borne the heat and burthen of the day, in days of yore, when the colonist’s career was liable to sudden and dangerous vicissitudes, of which the settler of to day knows but little, except from the story of the past. But the battle of life for him is now over, and he has gone to receive the reward promised to good and faithful servants. Those who stood around his death bed, previous to his spirit taking its flight, best know how literally fulfilled was the prayer, which so many have breathed as they felt that the night was far spent and the day was at hand, and that for them the impenetrable future had no dread alarms.

The hour of my departure’s near,
I hear the voice that calls me home,
At last, Oh Lord, let trouble cease,
Let thy servant die in peace.

In conclusion, we may append the following brief biographical sketch:- Mr McGregor was, at the time of his death, in his 58th year, having been born in North Uist, Invernesshire, in the year 1818. He left Scotland for New Zealand in 1840, in which year he arrived in the colony. He was one of the first elders of the Presbyterian Church for Wellington, and was appointed for Wanganui over 20 years ago. Of this Church he has been a staunch and liberal supporter, and has now departed steadfast in that faith which he professed and adhered to throughout his life with undeviating constancy and consistency.

Catherine (Fraser) McGregor died on 3 January 1914, aged 90.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 January 1914 carried the following obituary:

Another of our sterling pioneers passed away yesterday in the person, of Mrs Gregor McGregor, senior. The deceased lady was born in Inverness-shire in 1823, and came out to New Zealand in the ship Blenheim, landing at Wellington on December 27th, 1840. Mr. Gregor McGregor, to whom she was married in Wellington two years later, accompanied her on the voyage out. When the Maori war broke out in 1845 Mr Gregor McGregor took his wife and then two children to New South Wales for safety, returning to Wellington in 1849 when the country became more settled. In 1851 Mr McGregor, with the late Mr Wilson and. Captain Daniels, left Wellington on foot. The two latter held scrip from the New Zealand Company, and selected suitable areas at Bulls and at Turakina respectively. Mr McGregor remained some years with Mr Wilson at Turakina and then came on to the Matarawa Valley, where he purchased a farm and settled with his wife and family, subsequently adding to the Matarawa property and acquiring other properties in the Wanganui district. Mr McGregor, who was also a native of Inverness-shire, where he was born in 1818, predeceased his wife, passing away in 1876. For some years past the late Mrs McGregor had resided in Wanganui, spending in peace and quietude the latter years of a strenuous and useful life. A family of five sons and four daughters survive.

Gregor and Catherine had fourteen children:

  • Helen McGregor, born in 1842, died in 1876, married Isaac Sargeant in 1865.
  • John McGregor, born in 1844, died in 1916, married (1) Christian McDonald McGregor in 1871, (2) Florence Ann Beaver in 1896.
  • Duncan McGregor, born in 1845 (NSW, Australia), died in 1923, married Annie Norah Smith in 1869.
  • James McGregor, born in 1847, died in 1849 (NSW, Australia).
  • Jane McGregor, born in 1849, died in 1943, married Gregor McLeod in 1871.
  • Alexander McGregor, born in 1851, died in 1909, married Alice Handley in 1890.
  • Catherine McGregor, born in 1853, died in 1920, married Nathaniel Sutherland in 1874.
  • Margery McGregor, born in 1855, died in 1940, married Hugh Calders in 1873.
  • Gregor McGregor, born in 1857, died in 1942, married (1) Te Pura Manihera in 1879, (2) Paurina Haami in 1921.
  • James McGregor, born in 1859, died in 1945, married Florence Ellen McIlvride (previously Maplesden)  in 1924.
  • Donald McGregor, born in 1861, died in 1864.
  • Matilda McGregor, born in 1863, died in 1894, married Angus MacIntosh in 1891.
  • Mary McGregor, born in 1866, died in 1936.
  • Donald McGregor, born in 1869, died in 1953, married Henrietta Isabella Burr in 1895.

Sources:

Images:

  • McGregor Family

Commemorating Scottish Heritage

BlenheimLogo2Scots settlers played an important role in Wellington’s early years and their descendants are planning to celebrate the richness of that heritage.

On 27 December 2015 it was 175 years since the Blenheim arrived in Wellington with migrants of mainly Highland farmers and their families. To mark the occasion, and to provide an opportunity for all the community to share in the commemoration, a picnic day was held with suitably Scottish themes and events.

The passengers from the Blenheim disembarked at Kaiwharawhara, where they were welcomed and supported by Ngati Tama and their chief Taringakuri, so the family picnic  was held on the 27th of December 2015. Events included Scottish dancing, kilt-making, children’s games, bagpipes and displays.

The venue for the picnic was Onslow College, Burma Road, Khandallah.  Because of access and parking difficulties it was not possible to hold the picnic at Kaiwharawhara Park as in 1990.

See the Picnic Programme and Information Sheet for details of the picnic.

Other functions were held in Auckland and in Wanganui to commemorate the departure of the Blenheim on the 25th of August 1840.  See the posting Whanganui Dinner – Toast to the Emigrants and the comments and photographs on the Facebook Blenheim175 page.

Photographs from the Dinner are available at http://www.traceygrantphotography.co.nz/the-barque-blenheim-gathering/
Password : Blenheim

Memorabilia in the form of brooches, key rings and fridge magnets are also available for purchase – see Blenheim175 Memorabilia.

Many of the settlers eventually moved to the Wanganui, Turakina and Wairarapa districts to take up land.

Contacts:

December 27th, 2015 Picnic at Onslow College:

Hugh McPhail, 7 Westland Road, Mt. Cook, Wellington 6021. Tel. 04 970 9851, email: blenheim175@gmail.com

Wanganui dinner:

Roz & Ewen Grant, Tullochgorum, 2153 SHW3, Turakina, R.D.11, Wanganui 4581. Ph. 06 327 3861. email: tullochgorum@xtra.co.nz

Auckland dinner:

Norman Cameron, 31/37 Natzka Road, Ostend, Waiheke Is. Auckland 1081. Ph. 372 8442. email norman.cameron37@gmail.com

Information about the events and some historical background about the Blenheim and other Scottish people and places in New Zealand can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/Blenheim175

Follow the link to the Blenheim People and to more information about the people who came to New Zealand on her.

Follow the link to Jessie Campbell’s Journal and Letters to get a day-by-day account of the voyage and of how one family settled into life in New Zealand.

Much of the information on this website has now been published as a book – for details go to The Blenheim People As A Book.