Moffat & Houliston Ancestors Chart

Still trying to get caught up – here’s Week 4 – hopefully only a few days late, with Week 5 hopefully back on time…

“I’d Like to Meet…” There’s a loaded question. Can the list be (almost, at least) infinitely long? Or is it restricted to one person/family. I’d like to meet all my ancestors as I probably could ask each of them at least 5 decent questions.

Moffat & Houliston Ancestors Chart

Pedigree Chart showing Roger’s Moffat and Houliston Ancestors

But lets focus on my Moffat ancestors who made the long journey from Scotland to Australia in 1857, and then on to New Zealand in 1862. The targeted Pedigree Chart to the right (click to see a larger readable version), shows Roger’s earliest known Moffat and Houliston ancestors.

George Moffat – the oldest known Moffat ancestor, died at Coldingham, Berwickshire, Scotland in 1844 (the purple box at top right of the map below), but all that is known about his birth, is that the 1841 British Census shows he was “born in County” – the county being Berwickshire, Scotland. All efforts to find a birth record for him have come up empty so far. Based on what George Moffat, and his wife Isabel Clark named their children, it might be inferred from use of the Scottish Naming Pattern of children that George’s parents might have been Alexander Moffat and Margaret. There is an Alexander Moffat and Margaret Lauder who married in 1784 in Legerwood, Berwickshire, Scotland in 1874. Legerwood is just off the left side of the map, west of Gordon, but no evidence found yet that they might be “my” George’s parents. Continue reading »

 
Bringans Family in New Zealand

For Week 2 I was barely on time with this – this one is now 2 weeks late…

This week’s prompt was “Unusual Name”. I have a few in my family that might fit this requirement…

Houliston is one – a fairly rare Scottish  name that made it to New Zealand in the 1860s and have left behind thousands of descendants – 2,808 by my count –  over the last 150+ years. There aren’t a huge number of people around the world with this name, and a colleague – Andrew Houliston in South Africa – has compiled most of those he has found online and in genealogy databases into a single database that stubbornly refuses to provide any hints of where “my” Robert Houliston’s father, Adam Houliston, came from

Plunket(t) is another one – my father’s Mum’s brother – great uncle John Dewar, married a Gladys Kathleen Plunkett of Tasmania, Australia, who Grandma said in a memo she wrote, was related to William Lee Plunket – the 5th Baron Plunket. He was Governor General of New Zealand from 1904 to 1910, and New Zealand’s Premier Cricket Competition – the Plunket Shield – is named for him. But I’ve found no evidence of that connection so far. But one of Gladys’ grand-daughters, my second cousin Melinda Dewar, is now married to the Marquess of Reading. Continue reading »

 
Two ships, Pladda and Robert Henderson at Port Chalmers, 1861

This week’s prompt for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is “Challenge”. That opens up lots of possibilities – the first is which is the challenge of me getting it done in time. In that I failed – it’s a couple of days into week 3 already…

I decided for this that I’d explore some of the challenges my ancestors faced when deciding to uproot themselves from England and Scotland, and make their way to New Zealand – clear around the other side of the world.

Dad’s Side – Moffat, Houliston, Stoddart, Monfries, Dewar, Bringans, Mitchell

The first ones to leave were William Moffat and his new bride Ellen Houliston. They married in Scotland in 1857, and then immediately after departed on the ship “Titan” to Victoria Australia, where William got a job working in the Victoria Goldfields. What a challenge that must have been to sail almost halfway around the world in search of a dream. A family history compiled in 1960 contains this quote: Continue reading »

 

For the last year I had been following Amy Johnson Crow’s series of prompts for blogging about your ancestors and genealogy research – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – but never quite managed to get started, and almost before I knew it the prompt for Week 52 was upon us, and I hadn’t yet done Week 1. So here we are almost at the end of Week 1 of 2019, and this is my start. This is what Amy sent out for January:

The January Prompts
Week 1 (January 1-7): First
Week 2 (January 8-14): Challenge
Week 3 (January 15-21): Unusual Name
Week 4 (January 22-28): I’d Like to Meet
Week 5 (January 29-February 4): At the Library

Week 1: First
Who was the first ancestor you found who you didn’t personally know? Who was the first ancestor to arrive in the country? Who was the first child in one of your ancestral families? First to go to college? First husband out of a string of many?

I decided not to answer any of those questions, but rather just get my first post completed and published before Week 1 had ended. Continue reading »

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