Jan 292019
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.

Bringans Family in New Zealand

Alexander Bringans with wife Janet Mitchell, and what are presumed to be their first 2 children Mary Bringans and Bethia Bringans. Photo taken in New Zealand about 1862.

Bringans is another unusual name. This came about when one of my great great grandfathers  Alexander Breingan, son of Duncan Breingan and Mary Gilmour, born in 1828 in Clackmannanshire, Scotland married in Scotland as Alexander Bringans. Shortly after, he emigrated to New Zealand bringing [sic] the name Bringans with him, a name which all of his direct male descendants now bear. The name Breingan has carried on with distant relatives still living in Scotland, the USA and no doubt other places too. Through an AOL Help forum many years ago, I met online, and later in real life, a 5th cousin Timothy Breingan of California, descended from one of Alexander’s siblings.

This page on my genealogy site contains information on all of the surnames in my genealogy database, with the Top 50 by usage listed.

So with this one finished, I’m now “only” about 8 days behind on getting Week 4 written – onwards an upwards…


 Posted by at 6:52 am

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