George McRAE of Blairich, Scotland - settler of Nelson 1842 :: Genealogy
<< Previous - Next >>

George McRAE of Blairich, Scotland - settler of Nelson 1842

Journal by ngairedith

This is the 'other' George McRae who was a settler of Nelson the same time (but arriving 8 years earlier) as this George McRae

'This' George McRae was born 1800 in Blairich, Scotland
- a son of Roderick MacRAE & Catherine LESLIE
He emigrated on the MARY ANN, arriving in Nelson on the 8 Feb 1842

With him was:
* his wife Ellen have seen Helen (nee SUTHERLAND 1802-1879) aged 38
- they married 24 Nov 1820 in Red River (now Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada

* daughter Catherine McRae aged 19
- born in Red River
- she married Charles Augustus VALLANCE (1819-1882) & lived in the Wairarapa
- their known children:
* 1853 - 1888 James Charles Vallance
* 1856 - 1884 Henry William Vallance
* 1858 - 1945 Hannah Matilda Vallance
* 1859 - 1920 Alice Vallance
* 1862 - 1948 Isabella Vallance
* 1863 - 1933 Charles Frederick Vallance
* 1865 - 1965 Eliza Christy Vallance
* 1867 - 1903 Philip Augustus Vallance
- she died Sept 1875 aged 53

* daughter Isabella McRae aged 17
- born in Red River
- she married William HARKNESS in 1849 & lived in Richmond
- she died in Jan 1881 aged 57

* son William McRae aged 15
- possibly born in Scotland
- he married Sarah Fanny HARRISON in 1856 & settled in ?Waipapa,? Kaikoura
- he died in 1870 aged 44

* daughter Margaret McRae aged 13
- she lived in Richmond

* daughter Mary/Marjory McRae aged 11
- she married Alexander MOWAT in 1850 & lived at ?Altimarlock,? Awatere
- they had at least 10 children:
* 1851 - 1926 Helen McRae Mowat
* 1852 - 1896 Barbara Gunn Drummond Mowat
- married John Wickliffe McWhir Daly Nicholson (1848-1883)
* 1854 - 1906 Sarah Mcrae Mowat
* 1856 - 1941 Kenneth Phin Mowat
* 1858 - 1936 Kate McRae Mowat (married Alexander Clarence McRae in 1887)
* 1860 - 1932 Alexander Mowat
* 1863 - John Tinline Mowat
* 1864 - 1897 Henry Mowat
* 1867 - 1915 Thomas Renwick Mowat
* 1869 - ? unnamed Mowat

* son Phillip Roderick McRae aged 4
- he married Bertha SCOTT in 1861 & settled in ?Blairich,? Awatere
- their 2 known children:
* 1862 - 1957 Laura Beatrice McRae
* 1864 - 1944 George Richard McRae
- Phillip died in July 1888 aged 51

* son Nehemiah McRae aged 2
- he was drowned while attempting to cross the Awatere river in 1872 aged 33
Nelson Examiner & NZ Chronicle, 25 May 1872
... The Marlborough Express, of Saturday last, gives the following evidence taken at the inquest held at Blainch on the body of the deceased, on Thursday', the 16th instant, before H. Williams, Esq., Coroner; Mr C. Canning was foreman: ?
Richard Jackson, a shepherd in the employ of deceased, deposed: That he left home in company with Mr. McRae, William Shearman, and Samuel Schutter on Wednesday, the 15th instant, for the purpose of pig-hunting; they afterwards returned to Weld's Hill cutting for the purpose of returning home to Weld's Hill. Having crossed the ford in the morning, witness suggested to Mr. McRae that the river was very high, and he had better unsling his rifle, to which he replied there was no fear, but they must follow him, as he would take the lead. They went up the steam till the water came over their saddles, the deceased then made straight for the landing on the other side, when the horse went suddenly head first under water, and rolled heels up; when witness saw the deceased again, he had one foot in the stirrup iron over the saddle, and one hand holding the bridle; he was pulling the horse round and round, and that was the last he saw of him until he had pulled the horse round on the other side of the bank. Deceased called out, "Farewell, remember me."
No assistance could be rendered to him. The horse came out about two chains higher up the river than witness. He could not render the deceased any assistance. He saw him let go his hold of the horse. He was sensible at the time, and his rifle was still over his shoulder. He did not know whether the deceased was injured or not. He believed the water must have been fully twelve feet deep. The other men had been left killing pigs. Mr. M'Rae was drowned about a hundred yards from where witness was standing. The horse was a quiet one, and accustomed to the ford. Both horses had to swim, as the river was flooded. Witness did not succeed in crossing, but returned. Did not know whether the deceased could swim or not, but was sure nothing could have been done to save him. Edwin Trolove (brother-in-law), sheepfarmer, residing at Woodbank, Clarence, deposed, that having heard that Nehemiah M'Rae had been washed off his horse on Wednesday, the 15th instant, he went to the river and rode down the bank until he saw the body of deceased in the water; he dragged it out, and some men coming up, they rubbed the body to restore animation. Witness then went to Mr. Mowatt's (another brother-in-law) for a horse and trap to convey the body home; he found deceased about a quarter of a mile below the ford; it was quite cold, as he supposed it to have been in the water about an hour and a-half; it was not much bruised, the rifle was not on the body ; his watch was in his pocket, and his ring on his finger. The time by the watch was twenty minutes to two; did not think the deceased could swim, or that anything could have been done to save him.
The verdict was " Accidentally Drowned."

* daughter Sarah McRae aged 7 months on arrival
- she married Edwin TROLOVE 12 August 1862 in Blairich, Awatere & lived in Nelson
- their known children:
* 1863 - 1949 John William Trolove
* 1865 - 1928 George McRae Trolove
* 1867 - 1939 Frank Richard Trolove
* 1869 - 1939 Frederick Edwin Trolove
* 1871 - 1936 Helen Elizabeth Trolove
* 1874 - 1879 Thomas Shaw Trolove
* 1876 - 1877 Emma Sarah Trolove
* 1879 - 1942 Adelaide Mary Trolove
* 1881 - 1962 Isabella May Trolove
* 1884 - 1953 Frances Louise Trolove

* the youngest son, Richard England McRae (1846-1910), was born in Nelson
- named after his father's employer, Richard England, who was killed in the Wairau Massacre
- he married Florence MacSHANE in 1872 at Christ church, Nelson & lived in Manaia
- their first born was Richard 'Nelson' McRae, who was killed from a fall from his horse that he was riding in the Hunters Hack Hurdle Race at the Rangitikei races in September 1899 (again, both families involved with race horses !!)
- In the newspaper report of the accident it states that Nelson was a relative of Mr Roderick McRae (who was a son of the 'other' George) so there is definately a link to be found .... maybe you can help
- their known children were:
* 1875 - 1899 Richard Nelson McRae
* 1879 - 1941 Philip Alexander McRae
* 1881 - 1953 Sydney Charles McRae
* 1884 - 1971 Florence Hilda McRae
* 1891 - 1971 Gordon Egmont McRae

George spent 8 years in Nelson, farming at Waimea South
In 1850 he removed to the Awatere and took up ?Blairich,? and ?Braes of Sutherland?
He died on 3rd September 1864, aged 64, due to an accident (scalded in sheep dip)

from The Awatere
... Mr. George McRae , sometime of Blairich, Scotland, settled in the Awatere in 1850. He was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, in 1800. In response to a call made by Lord Selkirk, for volunteers for a Free Company, he and 200 young men set sail in 1816 for Hudson's Bay, North America. Mr. McRae remained there for six years, during which he was married. In 1822 he returned to the North of Scotland, and took charge of a sheep farm for Major Gilchrist. He had about 9000 sheep under his control, and was in the position for six or seven years, when he left to manage ?Blairich,? where he remained till the first Duke of Sutherland gave him the adjoining farm. On the death of his father, in 1841, Mr. McRae set sail for New Zealand, and landed at Nelson, in 1842, by the ship ?Mary Ann,? on which he brought with him his family of three sons and five daughters. Mr. McRae was for eight years in Nelson, and farmed two sections at Waimea South, and had the whole of 88 Valley for cattle rearing. In 1848, he acquired Lake Roto-iti station, which he sold to Mr. Charles Christie, two years afterwards. In 1850, he removed to the Awatere, and took up ?Blairich,? and ?Braes of Sutherland.?
Mr. McRae died on the 3rd of September, 1864, in consequence of an accident he met whilst dipping sheep. He took great interest in all public affairs, and was one of the founders of the Nelson Institute. His widow died in 1879. Mr. and Mrs McRae had four sons and five daughters.
* The eldest son, Mr. William McRae, of ?Waipapa,? Kaikoura, died in 1870;
* the second, Mr. Phillip McRae, of ?Blairich,? Awatere, in 1888;
* and the third, Mr. Nehemiah McRae, was drowned while attempting to cross the Awatere river in 1872.
* The youngest son, Mr. R. E. McRae, of Manaia, was born in Nelson.
* The eldest daughter, Mrs Vallance, of Wairarapa, died in September, 1875,
* and the second, Mrs Harkness, of Richmond, Nelson, died in January, 1881.
* The third daughter, Miss Margaret McRae, is living in Richmond, Nelson.
* Mrs Mowat, of ?Altimarlock,? Awatere, was the fourth daughter,
* and Mrs Trolove, of Nelson, the fifth and youngest.


Viewed: 3941 times
Likes: 0
by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-04-11 04:59:36

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by ngairedith on 2013-10-12 03:20:42

big thank you to Eburden for her message:
Subject: George McRae
To: ngairedith
From: Eburden
Date: 2013-10-11 19:31:49
George Mcrae was the son of Roderick and Catherine Leslie Mcrae both born and died Rogart in Sutherlandshire Scotland
Thank you for your notes which I will add to the book I am reading called Gone For Good.
I just picked it up in Kerkeri Northland New Zealand on my Spring holiday
All about the branch that moved to Ireland and the back to Scotland and finally nelson in New Zealand
not my family but interested in genealogy and some of my family came to nelson so I hoped to get more of a picture of the time and place
Little printed tree in the back and some photos.
I could copy the tree if you don't have the book
if you live in nz I could send the book after I have read it as it was only a holiday read. it cost me eight dollars nz so that plus postage would be fine. otherwise I will pop it into the genealogy library if they don't have a copy

thank you Eburden for your kind offer, I am adding your message here in case a descendant would like the book. Maybe you are prepared to hang on to it for a little while in case someone reading this posting would like to have it

If you would like this book please leave a comment below and I will put you in touch with each other

by ngairedith on 2013-10-12 03:24:39

ps - Eburden mentions that in the book it mentions 'the other George McRae' who was already in New Zealand and met them with his family in Nelson on their arrival so they are definitely related

by Selene on 2016-09-01 17:48:49

George McRae and his family are the subject of a family history book published by Catherine Holst in 1964 and titled "From Red River to Blairich". It may be difficult to source, but it should be possible to interloan a copy through your local library.

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.