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52 weeks of hunting

Re Wildcards. I am in the process of writing a book on my gold seeking HAY family- ex Edinburgh, Victoria, and finally Otago NZ. William and Mary Ann had 8 surviving children and as I followed the family's history I found that the four sons and four daughters all went on to lead fascinating lives. One proved a major challenge however as Mollie Hay seemed to disappear off the planet after about 1902 in Picton NZ where she was a teacher. No marriage, no death certificate.
I joined the NZGS and up popped a name of one of the daughters, Margaret, born in Gabriel's Gully. The contact's name was given as Professor John Bullamore Mackie living over the hills from me in Nelson. The Society informed me that he was no longer a member but to try phone books or electoral rolls. I plucked up courage and rang the number and an elderly gentleman's voice answered --Bingo! It was the right person and this was confirmed when asked was Margaret the Hay girl born in the Gully his relative? To my astonishment he replied "yes , that was my mother"! His mother? I did a bit of quick calculating and realised that I was speaking to my GRANDMOTHER'S first cousin and I was 74 at the time! He knew all about the missing Mollie. She had been one of the 20 teachers selected out of 200 applying to go and teach the Boer children in the British concentration camps at the end of the Boer War. 750 went from the Commonwealth
Not only that but when the contract ended she married a Boer farmer - a toy boy of 28- she was now 40. Go Mollie!
She only ever came back to NZ for one visit and outlived Piet and the Professor visited her in a retirement home in Pretoria when she was 97. This marvelous discovery has led to the whole story of the dreaded camps, a book published here on the teachers with at least 15 photos of Mollie, their wills from SA, and marriage and death certificates.. In July this year Professor Mackie died just short of 102 yrs old a true treasure and my wildcard.


3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 6 months ago

52 weeks of hunting

Re Wildcards. I am in the process of writing a book on my gold seeking HAY family- ex Edinburgh, Victoria, and finally Otago NZ. William and Mary Ann had 8 surviving children and as I followed the family's history I found that the four sons and four daughters all went on to lead fascinating lives. One proved a major challenge however as Mollie Hay seemed to disappear off the planet after about 1902 in Picton NZ where she was a teacher. No marriage, no death certificate.
I joined the NZGS and up popped a name of one of the daughters, Margaret, born in Gabriel's Gully. The contact's name was given as Professor John Bullamore Mackie living over the hills from me in Nelson. The Society informed me that he was no longer a member but to try phone books or electoral rolls. I plucked up courage and rang the number and an elderly gentleman's voice answered --Bingo! It was the right person and this was confirmed when asked was Margaret the Hay girl born in the Gully his relative? To my astonishment he replied "yes , that was my mother"! His mother? I did a bit of quick calculating and realised that I was speaking to my GRANDMOTHER'S first cousin and I was 74 at the time! He knew all about the missing Mollie. She had been one of the 20 teachers selected out of 200 applying to go and teach the Boer children in the British concentration camps at the end of the Boer War. 750 went from the Commonwealth
Not only that but when the contract ended she married a Boer farmer - a toy boy of 28- she was now 40. Go Mollie!
She only ever came back to NZ for one visit and outlived Piet and the Professor visited her in a retirement home in Pretoria when she was 97. This marvelous discovery has led to the whole story of the dreaded camps, a book published here on the teachers with at least 15 photos of Mollie, their wills from SA, and marriage and death certificates.. In July this year Professor Mackie died just short of 102 yrs old a true treasure and my wildcard.


ATWOOD John an agricultural labourer from Lincolnshire.Expedition man on the WHITBY

John ATWOOD b.circa 1805 was from Lincolnshire and an agricultural labourer. He married Jane and had 2 daughters. We don't know when the marriage took place, we don't know Jane's maiden name or of her 2 girls. While he was working in Lower Stratton, Wiltshire, John applied to sail to NZ as one of the NZ Co's Expedition men with Captain Arthur Wakefield. The marriage often attributed to him in Wiltshire is proven completely incorrect as we have a copy of the marriage certificate and it is the wrong John Attwood. In 1841 the ship WHITBY along with the WILL WATCH and the ARROW sailed for NZ with hopes of a new settlement which finally became Nelson.
With JOhn Atwood was my 3 x gr grandfather, John BARNES (see my journal on JB) a boatman from Deal, Kent. The NZ Co had organised the men to go ahead and prepare accommodation etc in preparation for the arrival of their wives and children in a few months time.
The men were contracted for 2 years then were free to make their own way in life. They arrived in Oct 1841 and in early 1843 the infamous ship LLOYDS sailed into the Haven.The men must have been so excited to finally be with their families again
Eagerly scanning the shore would have been a very sad Mary BARNES , 2 of her 4 ch. had died on the voyage. John ATWOOD was longing to see Jane and his little girls arriving at last. Mary's horror would have been complete to find John had gone back on the ARROW to England 2 weeks after arriving. JOhn ATWOOD' wife and ch. never came on board. Grief soon swept through the whole little town- the LLOYDS was a death ship- 65 of the children on board had died on the voyage due to a negligent doctor and a brutal and incompetent captain.
John and Mary very sensibly joined forces and soon started the family of 10 ch. they would have together. John along with my other 3 x gr grandparents William and Harriet GILL farmed on land at Whakapuaka owned by English investors, and appear in the census quite well established.When Governer Grey legally purchased land in the Wairau, Marlborough John ATWOOD and Mary BARNES and family came over in c 1856 and took up land on the Opawa River, Blenheim where they built Sandhills Cottage. Mary sadly died in 1867 and in the following three months John also lost three of the Barnes/Atwood children- one drowning in their stream. He appears a jolly little man, and though he is no relation to me, my 3 x gr grandmother Mary lived with him the rest of her life. They could not marry despite at one stage posting an intention of marriage. Samuel BARNES ( my gr gr grandfather)and his sister Elizabeth both married GILL family members and JA appears to have been kind to his stepchildren. He died at Sandhills in 1886 having had I would think a very good life, owning his own land, something unthinkable in England. He had married again to a Mary Ann GENTRY a widow from Nelson and is buried in Omaka between his two "beloved Mary's" . The clue to finding his wife Jane is that her part of his wages were to be sent c/- the Post Office, Stanground, Peterborough- probably the home of her parents. I have copies of the deeds etc to his land and a copy of his painfully learned signature. I certainly think that my Mary would have had a happier life with him than my grumpy John BARNES!!


2 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago

JAMES family from Neath Abbey Wales. Patternmakers,moved to Bristol,some to NZ and Kansas

William JAMES was born in 1850 in Neath Abbey,Glamorgan, Wales. He was the grandson of a patternmaker,Rees JAMES and his wife Ann MANUEL . His father was Thomas JAMES,also a patternmaker. The family moved to Cardiff then Bristol.
After the 1871 census my gr grandfather William emigrated under the Vogel scheme to Dunedin NZ. Later he trained as a marine engineer with the Union Steamship Co. He married in 1878 a Mary Jane CAMPBELL from Jamaica, Mary proved to have TB and sadly died at 38 yrs leaving a young family including the eldest 12 yrs my grandfather, Frank Howard JAMES and a baby of 4 months, plus Thomas, Charles and a girl Mary Margaret (Mollie) . William did his best for the children, transferring to Wellington and placing them in schools and eventually he resigned from the service. We now have a complete mystery as he was said to have died in a boiler room explosion trying to save his crew on the ship ROTOMAHANA . No such fatality has ever been recorded and we cannot find his death in Australia or NZ The captain did bring Mollie up, so William has served on the ship.
Mary Jane's parents in Jamaica were Mary SMITH and John CAMPBELL - could you have more common names to trace?!!!
William's younger brother Thomas and his wife Alice SCRASE went to Kansas and the railroads. I have written a story of their adventurous life and"met" a 2nd cousin descendant in California. Anyone who could shed light on the mystery of William's death c 1896-190I would be over the moon.Likewise Mary's life and family in Jamaica.The photo is of Mary Jane JAMES (CAMPBELL)


BARNES John and Mary,John was an Expedition man with Captain Arthur Wakefield and the NZ Co to Nelson NZ on the ship WHITBY in 1841.

John BARNES my 3 x gr grandfather was New Zealand's original whingeing POM!!! He was one of the skilled Deal boatmen from Walmer, Kent and was listed in Nelson as the coxswain.He applied to come with Wakefield's settlement To Nelson NZ. they arrived in 1841 but within two weeks John appled to the Captain for discharge! They were under contract for 2 years John claimed he had written to his wife from Teneriffe not to leave England.Captain Wakefield states in his journal that he released John at his own request , that he was a most contentious discontented man . Probably glad to get rid of him! The wives and children were to follow on the ship LLOYDS and indeed was on its way with wife Mary (nee DUNN) and his four children on board. This ship was the scandal of the Europe when it was found that 65 children had died on the voyage, captained by a man who was more used to conveying convicts to Australia.and a doctor who allowed a family on board with whooping cough. Mary arrived with 2 surviving ch. my gr gr grandfather Samuel and his sister Elizabeth. John had jumped aboard the ARROW and had gone. How must Mary have felt to arrive on the other side of the world to wade ashore in a swamp, 2 ch, dead and to find her husband had gone?! John turned up eventually in Deal, had a bigamous marriage with a Harriet WOOD and later lived with a Rebecca REDMAN and had ch. by her, all named BARNES. She was a fisherwoman. John died in Eastry workhouse in 1871. Mary met a JOhn ATWOOD and happily lived with him the rest of her life. See the story of John ATWOOD in my journal

CHRISTOPHER - Mary Ann Pearce of Devon to NZ 1874,married James THACKER

Mary Ann Pearce Christopher THACKER was the daughter of Jane CHRISTOPHER a nurse and Rob a joiner. Jane was from Cornwall and her father was believed to have been the mayor of Saltash. Her older brother was a minister and emigrated to New York.
Mary Ann was my gr gr grandmother. The family moved to Plymouth and Jane took in boarders. One of these was a cerain young man called James JOhn THACKER . Mary Ann was a dressmaker and his family lived a little further up the road in James St. James father and brother Albert and George all worked as did James for their father John James THACKER, Their mother was Caroline SMALL James and Mary Ann were married and my gr grandmother FLorence Jane Christopher THACKER was born in 1862. John THACKER AND SONS had a thriving building and masonry business. John died in 1874 and James and family set sail for Napier NZ. I have an account of part of the voyage and a medical shipboard report on Mary Ann. I am seeking more information on the CHRISTOPHERS in both Devon and Cornwall and the USA. Mary died in 1906 and is buried in the old Gorge Cemetery near Woodville NZ The photo is believed to be of Jane CHRISTOPHER


HAY family from Edinburgh,then Victorian goldfields and Otago in 1862. Blenheim in 1889.

William HAY was carpenter, bullder, undertaker, sexton and keen goldseeker! He came from Edinburgh but went to sea we believe as a ship's carpenter and set off for Australia in 1852 - supposed to be on the MONARCH OF LEITH but no such ship and probably FROM Leith. On board was a 16 yr old from London, Mary Ann MERIGAN .They married in Sydney in 1853 and made their way to Victoria and the goldfields.

William had a close relative Matthew HAY who had gone ahead to NZ and the Otago goldfields. He had a store on the Clutha and suggested the HAY family come over as there was plenty of work for a good carpenter. William came ahead and Mary Ann and four ch. arrived on the BENJAMIN HEAPE in 1863 and walked over the bleak mountains to meet William and then more ranges to their hut at Moa Flat.

Four more ch. were born in NZ, The family moved to Tapanui the source of great timber.Eventually they moved to Blenheim and there they ended their days. William died in 1914. I am currently writing a book of the family and the amazingly diverse lives of their children. I would dearly love to break down our brickwall regarding William;s family in Scotland and Mary Ann's in Ireland and England. We don't know the names of either set of parents


QUINLIVAN from County Clare

Thomas QUINLIVAN was the son of Anne O'MALLEY and Edmund QUINLIVAN of County CLare.Thomas was born c 1840 and made his way to the Victorian goldfields. He married at 21 yrs a widow with one daughter we presume in Melbourne. She was Bridget DONNELLY nee KEANE and was also from County Clare.She was some years older. Thomas had a cousin James from Ennystimon but we have no idea of the village or town that Thomas came from .
Thomas and Bridget and stepdaughter Annie St Clair DONNELLY arrived c 1861 we believe seeking the West Coast gold. Their eldest child Thomas Francis, my gr grandfather was born in Havelock Sth in 1864.

Military land was made widely available in Hawera and the family were there and bulding hotels from 1870. Thomas had a great gift with racehorses and indeed went on to found a four generation dynasty of QUINLIVAN racehorse trainers n Hastings. Thomas was also a pretty typical Irishman and was in endless disputes in court where he would carry the County Clare flag to gain support! We are seeking beyond our famous brick wall for more information on the family in Ireland. After Bridget's death Thomas later married Nora also from County CLare. He died in Whanganui in 1912.


THACKERS from Devon. they were builders and mortar masons. NZ in 1874

James John Thacker and his father were builders and mortar masons in Devon. James John married Mary Ann Pearce CHRISTOPHER and together with their sis children they sailed to Napier NZ on the HELEN DENNY in 1874. James was attached to the council , farmed in central Hawkes Bay and became the Govt Inspector of Works He died in Auckland in 1928. Mary Ann is buried in the old Gorge cemetery in HB.
. Florence Jane Christopher THACKER was my gr grandmother and was their eldest child. She married Thomas Francis QUINLIVAN- racehorse trainer of Hastings. Under the Flockhouse scheme a descendant of James' brother arrived in NZ in the 1920's. He had no idea that he had such close relatives settled there since 1874 and I have made contact with his gr grandaughter - it was a revelation to that side of the family.