secret garden

By freespiral


Thursdays are days off, we all do our own thing and today, the weather turning dismal, I have been focusing on family history.

I was thrilled to discover a couple of years ago that I had a Kiwi family connection. In 1861 my great great great great uncle John set sail for New Zealand along with his wife Christina and their nine month old baby daughter, Margaret. John was originally from the borders of Scotland, Chirnside in Berwickshire, and the family were all ag labs, rabbit catchers and shepherds to a man. John’s brother, William, my great great great great grandpa was a shepherd and he remained in Scotland, raised a family and behaved. His brother seems a bit more of a live wire. Baby Margaret arrived in October 1860 to the unwed Christina, and John questioned paternity. He went to court to settle the matter and won his appeal. However, three months later he and Christina were married and six months later they were off to New Zealand. Did he jump or was he pushed? They sailed from Glasgow on the Pladda arriving in Port Chalmers 98 days later. They travelled steerage and it cost them 32 pounds. 

John and Christina walked from Port Chalmers to Tokoiti. John carried swag and Christina carried the baby. They found work on a farm and were eventually able to buy their own land in Akatore, which is near Dunedin where many Scots emigrated. Life must have been very tough but they went on to have another 10 children, 9 of whom survived and continued to populate South Island! This rather amazing image was taken to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. You have to look very closely to see them, John has a fine beard ( runs in the family) and Christina has a hat and a stern expression. John was fond of the drink apparently, and a bit of a hypochondriac but he lived until he was 86! Christina reached a respectable 76 and must have been hardy though she was described as having a dormant personality - not sure what that means. She doesn't look remotely dormant. See extra.

Yesterday I found that one of their daughters, Isabelle Anne, is buried very near to Timaru where Rainie lives! Even more weirdly we went to the church associated with the cemetery when Rainie took us on a tiki last year! Isabelle and her husband had a dairy farm - it’s still there Glen Willow, and now highly automated. What a very small world. 

And on a different not. Emirates are now offering 1500 euro towards your funeral should you die from Covid contracted on one of their flights. That's reassuring then.

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