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lunes, 27 de febrero de 2012

The Bare Facts

Andrew Williamson in later life.
(Thanks to Laurie Ann Rands)
Andrew Williamson was born on 15 January 1836 in Crawfordjohn, Scotland, to John Williamson and Helen, nee Welsh. He was the 6th of 7 children. His father died in 1857, and during the next few years the family broke up. Thomas, the eldest brother, died in 1859. John and Robert moved south and settled in Swindon, England. Only Mary stayed in Crawfordjohn where she married a Lanarkshire man. No more is known of Andrew until on 1 October 1866, now 30 years old, he turns up at the Registry Office in Alexandra in Central Otago, New Zealand, to marry Ellen Balling (b. Jersey, England, 1835). Seven months later, on 1 March 1867 , a  stillborn child was delivered. Another child would be born on 23 July 1868. Three days later both the mother and the second child were also dead.

Andrew then married Ellen Whelan (born in  Limerick , Ireland in 1841) at the Dunstan Registry Office on 13 February 1869, just 7 months after losing his first family.  The first of 8 children, John, was born in Outram on 14 October the same year. Seven more would follow at regular intervals Ellen, born in Dunstan in 1871, Robert in Clyde in 1873,  then Mary in 1876, Jane in 1878, Ada in 1881, Andrew in 1883 and Alice in 1887 were all born in the Nevis Valley. Andrew died there in 1912 at the age of 76, and is buried in an unmarked grave.


In 1871, the date of this clipping from the Otago Times, he was still prospecting around the Dunstan area:

Messrs. Williamson and Co. have abandoned their claim on the West bank of the Molyneux (between Clyde and Alexandra), and are now prospecting at the foot of the Dunstan Range. They have struck payable gold nearly everywhere, and if water were obtainable, they state they have found ground that would afford remunerative employment for a large number of miners for many years to come.

But water with a good head to drive a sluicing nozzle is rare in those parts. Apparently the Dunstan prospect didn’t work out and they either had to turn back towards Clyde or carry on over the Carrick Range to the Nevis. Robert was the last of his children born outside the valley. By 1876, when Mary was born, Andrew must have been working a claim in the Nevis Valey and had brought his family to join him.





This, from the Otago Witness dated 21 August 1901 is about the death of Ellen Whelan, my great grandmother. It corroborates the indirect evidence provided by the birth registry that the family established residence at Nevis soon after Robert was born:
The third death, came as a shock to almost everyone. It was that of Mrs Andrew Williamson, who, with her husband and small family, came to the Nevis in the early seventies from Clyde, where they had been residing for some years. Mrs Williamson had been ailing for some time past, suffering from chronic bronchitis, but no one imagined that her end was so near. She passed peacefully away from her sorrowing friends at 8 o'clock on Saturday evening, 3rd inst.

3 comentarios:

  1. My dear James, You will never regret this move. Like a mine shaft opening, this will bring you many like minded poeople, and one day the nugget you are searching for will be laid bare. Good luck, Marco Polo. Bob

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  2. Bonjour, Senor. Was ist das? Nice Photos. Ive never seen that one with Andrew and his children before. Its a good one. Any idea when and where it was taken?
    Where ist your Thumbs up Clikker? Its OK.
    Thank you very much, John Rossiter. Christchurch, New Zealand.

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