Robert & Eliza Jane McMEEKAN - Springston, Christchurch :: Genealogy
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Robert & Eliza Jane McMEEKAN - Springston, Christchurch

Journal by ngairedith

A TIME LINE for McMEEKAN in New Zealand
- written for rushwa and the query looking for Robert McMeekan

sometime in the 1850s Robert McMEEKAN & Eliza Jane WITHERS arrived in New Zealand and settled in Springston, Christchurch

SEE NOTES below for the tentative list of children for Robert & Eliza Jane

A large and very interesting profile on Springston with bios and photos on its early settlers, written about 1900 can be read here:
SPRINGSTON - it mentions the McMeekans

in 1865
William McMeekan was born in Springston
- the eldest son of Robert & Eliza Jane McMeekan
- (if he was the eldest he was born prior to 1870 when Alexander was born - see notes for children list)
- he married Sarah Truman TAYLOR in Springston Wesleyan Church on 2 April 1896. PHOTO of William & Sarah McMeekan
- they had 2 sons and a daughter:
* 1897 - 1954 Kathleen Annie McMeekan
- Kathlen married Alfred WEBB in 1920
* 23 Dec 1899 - 1985 Robert Wilson McMeekan
- Robert married Aileen Jean GUTHRIE (1901-1997) in 1929
- Robert served in WWII as a Corporal with the N.Z.E.F. He was wounded in August 1842. His wife was listed as next of kin, living in Kirwee. He returned to NZ in September/October 1942
* 1902 - ???? William Edward McMeekan
- Drummond & Lily also had a son William Edward McMeekan in 1902 ??
- one of them married Annie Joan McKAY in 1928

in October 1869 there were 7 or 8 Gold Prospecting parties out in the various parts of the southern districts. The McMeekan party was up at the Waiho river prospecting for gold

in 1870 An Alexander McMEEKAN was born in Springston, and (I think) a possible son of Robert & Eliza Jane. There is a great deal of info on Alexander which will be added here later:
(so far) ... Councillor Alexander McMeekan was first elected to the Sydenham Borough Council in 1899, and was re-elected in 1901. He was born at Springston, Canterbury, and was for some years in business as a commission agent. He was afterwards in business as a baker and storekeeper at Apiti, in the North Island, and also as a baker, pastrycook, confectioner, and caterer, in Colombo Street, Christchurch and had a business in Cashel Street, Sydenham in 1900

also written about Alexander in 1897 and taken from NZETC:
... McMeekan, Alexander Nelson, Baker and General Storekeeper, Main Street, Apiti. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. The shop is a one-story wooden building, with residence attached, and Mr. McMcekan has succeeded in establishing a business which is steadily increasing throughout the surrounding district, goods being delivered by pack-horses in the back-blocks. Born in Springston, Canterbury, in 1870, he was employed by Messrs. Howard and Dartnall, merchants, at Springston, with whom he served seven years. In the North Island he established himself in Levin, but sold out after twelve months, starting his present buisness in March, 1896. He is a member of the local school committee and the Apiti Sports Club, and is captain of the local cricket club. Mr. McMcekan holds the position of agent for the South British Insurance Company. Mrs. McMeekan is a daughter of Mr. J. Kime, Springston. Canterbury.

in March 1886 there was a Private McMeekan of the Waikari Rifles (Otago) who participated in the finals of the Rifle Championships

on 12 February 1888, Robert McMeekan's wife, Eliza Jane, died aged 60. She is buried with him in Springston Cemetery (see 1895 below for link to their headstone photo)

on 1 December 1895 ROBERT McMEEKAN died in Sprinston aged 60
- he is buried in Springston Cemetey which is run by the Selwyn District Council
- a PHOTO of the headstone of Robert & Eliza Jane McMeekan

12 February 1932
... The death occurred recently, at the residence of his sister, *Mrs Steve KEAST, Springton, of Mr Richard McMeekan, a resident who was held in high regards. The second son of the late Mr Robert McMeekan, an early settler in the Springston district, Mr Richard McMeekan was a man of retiring disposition and resided for many years in the Kirwee district where he was greatly respected.

A large number of friends attended the funeral, the interment taking place at the Springton Cemetery. The burial service was read by the Rev. J. SOUTHERN, minister of the Springston Methodist circuit, and the bearers were Messrs Edward and Robert McMEEKAN (nephews), C. VICTOR, L. DOWN and M. BRAY

*this sister was Eliza Jane McMeekan (1869-1934) who married Stephen James Keast (1872-1943) in 1898. In March 1938 they were visiting her sister Mrs D. A. MeMeekan who were then living in Kumara on the West Coast. Eliza died in 1934 aged 65. her OBITUARY (has many family members names at that link)

in October 1933 the McMeekan family were one of many who sent wreaths on the death of George SCHROEDER (1904-1933) who was born at Greenpark

19 December 1933
Presentation to Mr & Mrs D. A. McMEEKAN
- this was Drummond Anderson McMeekan (1880-1948), a son of Robert & Eliza Jane McMeekan and Drummond's second wife, Caroline 'Carrie' SLOAN (1877-1948) whom he married in 1929. Carrie was the 14th child of John & Catherine SLOAN of Killinchy, County Down, Ireland.
Her Obituary is also written here
- (6 of the Sloan children died within 4 weeks of diptheria, read at Obit)

Drummond's 1st wife was Lily Lena RAPLEY (1879-1923)) who he married in 1899 - 1 of 8 known children of Joshua & Mary Jane RAPLEY

Drummond Anderson & Lily had the following (known) children:
* 1899 - 1973 Lilian Elsie Alma McMeekan
- Lilian married John Haigh JEBSON (1894-1962) in 1924
* 1901 - 1935 Kenneth Drummond McMeekan
- born in Leeston, Christchurch
- Kenneth was the Railway Stationmaster in Picton in 1933. He visited his parents in April that year before going to Wellington on Vacation
- Kenneth died aged 34 on 23 May 1935 at Lewisham Hospital, Christchurch
- his OBITUARY - buried in Plot 53 Block 17A at Sydenham Cemetery
* 1902 - 1950 William Edward McMeekan
- see notes below
* 1904 - 1980 Ida Marjory McMeekan
- Ida married Sydney Alexander CHIDGEY (1906-1987) in 1925
* 1906 - 1920 Leslie Robert McMeekan
- Leslie drowned in the Kirwee School Baths, Christhcurch, aged 14. Miss Sloan, the teacher, who tried to rescue him was from Southbridge. He was a grandson of Mrs Rapley, senior, of Leeston
- he is buried at the Kirwee Public Cemetery
* 1907 - 1972 Vera Mary McMeekan
- Vera married Clarence Soloman James VICTOR (1900-1963) in 1930
- Vera & Clarence spent a week with her parents at the Schoolhouse in Greenpark in May 1933, as did Mr & Mrs A. ULLROCH of St Albans
* 1909 - Lila Catherine McMeekan
- nothing known, but reading her brother Kenneth's obituary she MAY have married G. ULLRICH
* * * because of this large gap between found children, it is likely there were others - can you help fill this gap ?
* 1922 - 1943 Ian Anderson Drummond
- Private 168341 KILLED in ACTION on 28 October 1943, during active service in WWII, in the Soloman Islands whilst serving with the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 36 Infantry Battalion. His parents Drummond & Lily were back living in Sumner, Christchurch at that time ... extracts from the above link (Mr & Mrs D. A. McMeekan) mentions:
... One of the most enjoyable entertainments held in Greenpark (24km south of Christchurch) was given by the pupils of the local school when they held their concert in the Memorial Hall on Friday last.
... a presentation was made to Mr and Mrs McMeekan, who are leaving the district.Mrs McMeekan has been head teacher at the Greenpark School for the past year
... he also spoke of the great help Mr McMeekan had been to the school in training the boys for their sports and also for transporting them to all their games
... Mr Lassen said the committee and parents were extremely sorry to lose the services of such a good teacher as Mrs McMeekan, who was retiring on superannuation. Her replacement was Mr H. M. CAMPBELL, of Willowbridge
- also mentioned:
at the school concert was an Albert McMeekan (in standard II) & an Eon McMeekan (in standard IV)
Mr Robert McMeekan, Springton, paid a visit to Greenpark and was the guest of Mr and Mrs D. McMeekan

on 28 February 1936 John McMeekan, formerly of Springston, died suddenly at Christchurch after an operation for peritonitis aged 58. He was born about 1878 in Springston, a son of ROBERT McMEEKAN.
He was a bootmaker living at 6 Collins St. He was survived by a sister, Mrs M. NEILL of Christchurch and a brother, Drummond Anderson McMeekan of Kumara in the West Coast. He was buried at Sydenham cemetery in Plot 15 Block 18A

in May 1939 Misses Emily & Kitty Sloan, sisters of Caroline (Mrs Drummond McMeekan) stayed with her at Kumara, West Coast

in May 1943 Drummond & Lilly, formerly of the West Coast, were staying with the SLOAN family at Southbridge


in 1866 the Springston Methodist Church Sunday School was opened by Mr J. YATES and position of superintendent had been held by Joseph KIME, W. McMEEKAN & S. J. KEAST (all names connected above)

POSSIBLE list of children for Robert & Eliza Jane McMeekan

we know Willim McMeekan was born in Springston as the ELDEST son SO:
(obviously some birth dates are approx at this time)

1866 - 1922 William McMeekan

1870 - 1930 Alexander Nelson McMeekhan
- married Helen (Ellen) KIME in 1895
- their known children were:
1896 - Doras Irene McMeekan
- Doras married Clifford Frederick MARSH in 1916
1897 - Kathleen Elaine McMeekan
- Kathleen married William James Thomas LESTER in 1922
* 1908 - Percy Campbell McMeekan (see below)
1910 - Henrietta Jean McMeekan
- Henrietta married Arthur Ernest PILCHER in 1929
- son of Alfred PILCHER & Harriet Sarah INGRAM

1871 - ???? Charles Thomas McMeekan

1871 - 1871 Mary McMeekah
- died as an infant

1872 - ???? Phoebe McMeekan

1872 - ???? James McMeekan

1874 - ???? Catherine Amelia McMeekan

1880 - 1948 Drummond Anderson McMeekan
- married Lily Lena RAPLEY in 1899
- married Caroline SLOAN in 1929


* Dr Percy Campbell McMeekan
- SON of Alexander Nelson McMEEKAN & Helen KIME
- grandson of Robert & Eliza Jane McMeekan

A well known University professor, agricultural scientist and administrator and an eminent scientist in New Zealand Campbell Percy "Mac" McMEEKAN B.Agr,Sc. N.Z., PhD. (Canterbury) was born on 29 July 1908 at Otaki, the only son of four children of Alexander Nelson McMeekan, a baker and shopkeeper, and his wife, Helen KIME (1869-1932). His paternal family were Irish and on his maternal side he was of English Methodist origins. Alexander McMeekan?s peripatetic nature disrupted family life and his drinking compromised the family to such an extent that his son was wary of alcohol as a young man.

PHOTO of Campbell Percy McMEEKAN taken in 1943

On 23 December 1932 he married Marjorie Doris CRABB in Palmerston North but did not disclose this to friends for another year; they were to have a son and a daughter. This marriage ended in divorce on 11 March 1966 and on 21 March he married Daintry Elizabeth King WALKER (1915-1989) an agricultural scientist at Ruakura with whom he had owned his Putaruru dairy farm since the mid 1950s
- his 1st wife Marjorie was 1 of 4 daughters & a son of Ernest Hugh & Priscilla CRABB. She died in Australia

Campbell died as he had lived ? as the centre of attention.
On 2 July 1972, after a day?s sailing and drinking in the Hauraki Gulf, McMeekan and two friends returned on the yacht Taitua to the Westhaven Marina. While rowing ashore their overloaded dinghy capsized. The men swam back to the Taitua , but McMeekan, at 17 stone (108kg), was incapable of climbing on board. After about three hours in which his companions tried to get him back on the vessel and to attract attention, they attempted to winch him aboard. This failed and he banged his head on the yacht. From then on he was semi-conscious and, in all, it was about five hours before help arrived. By that time he had drowned. He was survived by his wife and two children.
- A rural road in Putaruru is named after him

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-05-22 01:59:19

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

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by ngairedith on 2011-09-10 21:57:11

by rushwa on 2014-11-19 19:49:29

if ngairedith would like to contact me, I could give her some info regarding Drummond Anderson mcmeekan's family. I am his granddaughter.

by ngairedith on 2014-11-20 03:40:03

hi rushwa,
thank you for your message
If you would like to add your information in the comments boxes below it will also be of great help to other researchers of this family

by rushwa on 2015-01-18 15:55:43

hi ngairedith,i am the daughter of jean(murch) nee mcmeekan,one of Drummond,s daughters.his family were(not necessarily in order of birth),daisy ullrich,vera victor,ida chidgey,jean murch,leila coull,dorothy burley,richard,ronald,ian,albert. these were the children of Drummond and lily lena.the grave at springston of Robert and eliza jane mcmeekan is beautifully kept and I have taken our three sons to visit,thus showing them their geneaological history.drummond and lily lived in kirwee at one time and he was the founder of the kirwee football club which recently celebrated its centenary.coincidentally my husband and my sister,s husbands came from the same area ie Courtenay, where jean,vera,and daisy went to school.more details if you so desire. rushwa

by rushwa on 2015-02-04 20:51:11

hi ngaire I forgot to add elsie jebson as another sister of my mothers. my sister is Beverley Dillon and I am rosemaree gilmour. thank you for replying to me.

by BarbyK on 2017-01-28 02:34:36

Hello Rushwa and Ngaire. I am Barbara, daughter of Margaret Mitchell (nee Jebson) and my grandmother was Elsie Jebson (nee McMeekan). Mum died recently, late last year, and it is unbelievable the amount of family history we have been trawling through. Mainly Jebson but a lot of McMeekan and Rapley as well. I hope to get back into genealogy and collate this in the near future. My grandmother, Elsie, was the eldest child of Drummond and Lily Lena. All 3 of them are buried in the Waddington Cemetery as well as Ian. The wider Jebson family have recently had all the family graves restored as much as possible. Hopefully once I have sorted through this treasure trove I may be able to get back to you with further info.

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