Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tracking down family origins

I have always wondered about Garret Hopper Clearwater’s arrival in NZ. Everyone says he was working for the Weller Bothers from 1838, but I’ve never seen any documentary proof of that. I suspect it is one of those things he told everyone and it has simply been repeated unquestioned.

So I spent a few hours at The Hocken Library recently looking at documents relating to the Weller Brothers. The third document was the hand-written Journal of Octavius Harwood. It contains an entry for January 18, 1841, which refers to [Garret Hopper] Clearwater. This is the INDEPENDENT proof I was looking for that he was at the settlement before the immigrants arrived in 1848. It also supports the 1838 contention.

Although one of my lens wasn’t working properly (hence the slightly out-of-focus images) I took photos:

The other issue was where Margaret Mulligan [the Grandma Mee Dad used to talk about] was buried. Cemetery records indicated Southern Cemetery in Dunedin, along with her husband Samuel Mee (although she outlived him by almost 40 years). I found the block and probable location of the grave, although I suspect it is the one on which the headstone has fallen face-down! See what I mean:

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