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.
These are family stories from some of our members.