by Michelle WOOD
Mentioned briefly in the obituary of a first cousin was a relationship to a man I did not have in the tree…so began a hunt which has ended in a small wall. I cannot find the marriage connection that makes Rev. James PATERSON great-uncle to my cousin (3x removed) James Paterson HEWITT.
Read more about this Paterson Brick Wall
My family of interest at the moment is the GRAY family from Ayrshire, Scotland. I knew that James GRAY and his wife Helen (nee MARR), came to NZ in 1863, per ‘Arima’ with 9 daughters ad 4 sons. One of the daughters, Annie, married Thomas Gray SMITH, bootmaker, Mataura and became the common ancestor.
The 1861 census shows them all together in Inch, Wigtown, Ayr, and gave me their Christian names. But trying to find their marriages in NZ with such a common surname was not easy, and it wasn’t until I got Helen’s will that I had proof of who they all married.
Margaret m James Adair Lawrie RICHMOND 1864, Dunedin,
Agnes m David BLAIKIE 1854, Dunedin,
Helen m Alexander COCKBURN 1867, Invercargill,
Jane m William WILKINSON 1863, Invercargill,
Mary m William m William McLEOD 1867, Invercargill,
Janet m Matthew HENDERSON 1874,
John Marr m Jane CAMPBELL about 1871,
Robert m Annie SCRIMGEOUR 1883, Dunedin,
Sarah m Henry RAINES 1879, Invercargill,
Elizabeth m George Stewart McKAY 1877, Invercargill,
James drowned 1865, Invercargill,
William drowned 1865 Invercargill.
I set about putting together each family, and had gathered many wills, certificates etc which I decided to check cemetery records for James and Helen. Imagine my delight when I found a headstone erected by a granddaughter confirming the ship they came on. After searching for this granddaughter and contacting her I was sent a book detailing the family back to 1600’s. A work done as a thesis, it contains a huge amount of detail. A muscle workout just to lift it.
And the moral of the story? Start with local records first!
by Jeni SIMPSON
Dugald LIVINGSTONE, my g-grandfather, b. 1851, Appin, Argyll, Scotland d. 1920 at Simon’s Pass Station, near Twizel, South Canterbury. Dugald had been a shepherd in Argyll and travelled to New Zealand on board the ‘Adamant’ leaving Gravesend 14 July 1875 and arriving 02 December 1875 in Bluff. Dugald married Annie McIVOR, b. 1851 in Glen Orchy, Argyll, Scotland, at the Registry Office, Riverton, 24 Jan 1879.
Dugald and Annie had 5 children:
Dugald John Livingston, b. 27 October 1879, Riverton, m. Florence Emily FISHER, d. 23 Jan 1933, at Fortification;
Read more about the Livingstone Family
FROM LIGHTHOUSES TO FLIGHTLESS BIRDS - MY FAMILY
Paternal side FRASER, LYALL, MAIL
Great grandfather Laurence FRASER emigrated from Walls in Shetland Isles in 1877 and settled in Invercargill. He married Margaret CHRISTIE also from Shetland. Great grandfather David and Martha LYALL came to NZ from Scotland on board the Auckland in 1879.They were stationed on various lighthouses from Puyseger Point in the south to The Brothers in the north. Other names include MAIL from Dunrossness in Shetland South Africa and Invercargill, Pukerau and Midhurst in NZ.
A flightless wren, now extinct, was named after my great grandfather. One story goes that David Lyall discovered the wren when he was keeper at Stephen’s Island. He reported the find and sent a specimen off to a bird specialist. The wren was named Traversia lyalli after the specialist TRAVERS and my great grandfather. Unfortunately the Lyall’s cat eliminated the poor flightless birds so they became extinct soon after. The other story is that workers building the lighthouse caught the wrens and sent them off to museums for their collections in return for money. Between them and the cat, the population was soon decimated.
My Greatest Thrill was to meet a Fraser relation in Shetland and feel so welcomed and at home on the other side of the world. The visit to Finnigarth, the Fraser’s croft was really special, as was a visit to the Croft Museum in Dunrossness where we saw what is reported to be the Fraser family box bed, complete with a sliding door to keep out prying eyes and the cold (Ken thought that the box bed was a cosy place for lovemaking).
Maternal side HENDERSON, CALDER
Great great grandparents Walter HENDERSON and Helen ANDERSON emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1855 from Tundergarth, Dumfrieshire in Scotland. They found it too cold there so immigrated to NZ in1859, settling in the Forest Hill area in1863. Other names associated with the family are THOMPSON, COWIE, GRANT,CLINCH, EVANS, MORTON. George and Mary Ann CALDER came to NZ in 1861 from the Aboyne area of Aberdeen. They settled in the Gropers Bush, Gummies Bush, Oreti areas. Other names associated with this family include OFFICER, (Kincardine, O'Neil, Aberdeen) STANWAY (Runcorn, Cheshire, England),MACKINTOSH, CAMPBELL.
Ken's YOUNGSON, MCGOWN, GEDDES
Ken’s father, Thomas YOUNGSON came to NZ in 1926 with his brother who died a few years later. At this stage I have not found any other Youngson relations in NZ. Ken’s McGOWN family came to NZ from Cumbusnethan in Lanarkshire in 1879 and settled in Tuapeka Mouth. His GEDDES family who were formerly known asO’GRADY lived in Slamannon in Lanarkshire Scotland. Two great uncles came to NZ, Edendale and Huntly, and one to Australia.
by Rhonda WILSON (nee BULLING)
On my mothers side I am researching CAIRNS, LANGFORD, CORCORAN and GILMOUR.
My Great grandmother Hanora Corcoran came to New Zealand on the Gothic arriving in Wellington from London in July 1897 and then to Invercargill where she boarded a train to Centre Bush with only a penny in her pocket. She was met there by her brother-in-law Frank Langford and taken to South Hillend, which took them three hours. She was 22 and had come to live with her sister.
Hanora was the youngest of a family of eleven. Her mother and father were Tom and Catherine Corcoran of Laghtacllow.
She then married Frank's brother Joe and they settled in South Hillend, where the school was later built.
Read more about Hanora Corcoran
by Marg McDOUGALL (nee COCHRANE)
My interest in Genealogy was sparked when I was given a box of papers & photos, collected by my mum and her cousin (both now deceased).
I was born in Gore and have lived all of my life in Southland.
My mother’s family are the CATTO's who have farmed for 134 years at Otikerama near Pukerau and this is where my research is focused.
James Catto arrived in NZ sometime between 1861- 1871 and spent some time on the Taieri before purchasing 199 acres at Otikerama by deferred payment in 1876. In 1879 he married Elizabeth Ellen SHAW, from Drumcliff, Ireland, who came to Port Chalmers with her younger sister on the Peter Denny in July 1874.
My father’s forbearers, John & Elizabeth COCHRANE, emigrated from Backboath, Dundee, Scotland, arriving in Lyttelton in February 1867 aboard The Himalaya. The farming family with seven children settled in the Waimate district and a further five children were born.
In 1987, 120 years of life in NZ was celebrated and a family booklet produced.
My Brick Wall is how and when James Catto came to NZ, where he landed and what he did before purchasing his farm. His obituary and the book Land of Many Hills stated that he came on the ship City of Glasgow in 1866 to Dunedin, but this ship didn’t come to Dunedin until much later. I have found records of James in ploughing matches on the Taieri in June 1871.
Also who were Elizabeth Ellen Shaw’s parents?
Other family Names: BAGRIE, HELLIER, THOMSON, REID.
by Rhonda WILSON
My husband’s parents were Robert George WILSON and Beverly Joy Wilson nee WYBER. Robert George Wilson (known as George) was born 8/1/1930 in Clinton and died 15/12/2002 in Balclutha. His parents were George Wilson and Ethel May Wilson nee FERGUSON.
Robert George Wilson spent all his life in Clinton he drove buses for many years as well as doing shifts on trucks and then driving a bulky before he retired. His wife Beverly Joy Wilson (known as Joy) was born in Milton where she meet George and was married then moving to Clinton where she spent her life with George until after his death. She then moved back to Milton to be closer and have the support of her siblings.
According to George Wilson Senior’s marriage certificate he was born in Kaikoura to Robert Henry Wilson and Sarah Wilson nee WOODS and he was 29. But I can not find any proof of this. I know he is buried in Clinton and when, but no where can I find a birth date. Not even in the family bible.
He and his wife Ethel May were married at Clinton 19/12/1928. It also tells me that his usual residence was Gisborne so I then went looking and think I may have found his parents in a Gisborne Cemetery and that there was a small place called Kaikora North in that region.
Is anyone able to help me or able to point me in the right direction? As for the Fergusons and the Wybers they both go back about five generations in the Clutha District. More about them another time.
By Mary-Kay MARTYN
My interest in genealogy stems from hearing my paternal grandmother (a past member of NZSG) discuss her latest enquiries, findings, and connections on the Martyn Family Tree. In conjunction with her eldest son, I am updating the tree.
My Father's descendants - The MARTYN Family - originate from Stenalees, Cornwall and emigrated, and settled in Oamaru, as business owners. Other lines of this family include: JACKSON, ADAMS and WATSTON.
My Mothers descendants - The SARGENT Family - originate from Morval, Cornwall, emigrated, settled in South Canterbury, as Sheep Farmers. Other lines of this family include: RUSSELL, GILLMAN and SANDERS.
As I had little information on my Mothers family, I have focused my research here.
My Brick Wall - I am struggling to find information about my mother's great-great grandfather - John James Burrows BAIRD.
Born: 23 Sept 1838, Watts Place, Chatham, Kent, England.
Married: Maraea LEE, 23 May 1873 by Bishop Selwyn
Died: 23 Oct 1915, Otautau Buried: Otautau (New) Cemetery, Block CI, Plot 2.
John and “Maria” had 13 children.
I would like to find:
by Bruce CAVANAGH
Family – That six letter word that binds ancestors and descendants alike together
I have had a little more success with my birth mother’s family, with the majority of her paternal side also having origins in England and on her maternal side from both Scotland and Ireland.
I have traced the KENNARD (also known as KENWARD) family back to the 1680’s to Aylesford in Kent and where my 6x gt. grandfather Thomas Kenward was married to Mary BOWLE in 1703.
My 5x gt. Parents were John Kenward & Mary FULLER who were married at Maidstone in 1727.
Read on about the Cavanagh Enigma
by Margaret ALLAN
Frank James KEMSHED was my Great Grandfather, an interesting character. It seems that the name KEMSHEAD or Kemshed is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words KEM – CEMBAN – to comb, and SHEAD or SHED – to separate. From these words were derived the occupations of Kember (male), and Kempster (female) which meant Wool or flax combers or shedders. It used to be a common name in East Anglia when sheep were the main “crop” in that part of the country. The name is apparently pronounced in England as Kemshead. I consider myself fortunate to have gleaned many facts about Frank Kemshed through looking up references on the Papers Past website. Being an uncommon name meant that there were few other conflicting references to sort through.
Read on about Frank James KEMSHED
These are family stories from some of our members.