Austen Family History


Aiken Family Chart #1.
Last Updated Feburary 2011.

Elizabeth Reid Aiken
Born, 27 May 1850, Nelson, NZ
Married, Robert Austen Young, 21 August 1873
Died, 1 June 1910

George Aiken
Born 1823
Married 1844
Died, 21 October 1894
Robert Aiken
Born 1799
Died 1848
James Aiken
Born 1756
Married July 1797
Died 1829
John Aiken
Born 14 Feb 1682
Married 2 June 1715
Died 1759
William Aiken
Janet Craig
Born abt 1695
Married 2 June 1715
John Craig
 
Elizabeth Russell
Born 1777
Married July 1797
Died 2 January 1857
John Russell
 
Jean

Janet Steele
Born 1802
Died 1885

George Steel    
Margaret Hutcheson    

Janet McFarlane Gardiner
Born, 1826
Married 1844

Died, 1 April 1871

William Gardiner
Born 1803
Married 27 June 1823
Died 2 September 1869

     
     

Margaret Reid
Born 6 June 1801
Died 13 October 1887

Henry Reid
Born, 14 November 1798
Married 25 June 1998
   
 
Janet McFarlane    

Biographical Details:

Elizabeth Reid Aiken
Born, 27 May 1850, Nelson, NZ
Married, Robert Austen Young, 21 August 1873, Greymouth, Westcoast, NZ
Died, 1 June 1910

Their marriage was listed as "Young-Aiken. On the 21st August, at the residence of the bride's father, by the Rev. J. Mackintosh, Robert A. Young, C.E., to Elizabeth Reid, third daughter of George Aiken, Greymouth." Grey River Argus, 22 August 1873.

 

 

 

 

Back to top


Biographical Details:

George Aiken Born 17 September 1823, in Glasgow, Scotland
Had arrived in Nelson, New Zealand, before July 1843
Married, Janet McFarlane Gardiner 23 September 1844
Died, 21 October 1894, Queensland, Australia.

I am indebted to Australian Aiken descendants for both improving the accuracy of this information and supplying most of the Australian information. Please note, there is no connection between this Aiken family and Mr. Alexander Aitken (that's with a 'T') who was also a Nelson shop keeper & auctioneer (in Bridge Street) around the same time as George Aiken's store and auctioneering activities in Trafalgar Street.

 

George's early life (1823-1844)

Nothing has yet been found of George's life prior to arrival in New Zealand. His obituary, written by his surviving Australian based descendants over fifty years later, simply stated he arrived in Nelson in 1840. This year is most unlikely as the first colonists (via the New Zealand Company) arrived in 1841 and there is no record (and these sailings are well documented) of an Aiken on any of these early ships. My assumption is that George independently (not part of the NZ Company settlers) made his way to Nelson and did so due to presence of the Gardiner family. Later, two of George's bothers also independently made their way to Nelson.

Regardless of how he got to Nelson, he was there by July 1843 - which is when he put his name to a newspaper printed list of those subscribing to send a Deputation to Auckland (which was then the capital of NZ and home of the Colony's Governor). The purpose of the Deputation was to seek the arrest of the Ngati Toa chiefs following the Wairau Affray. (Nelson Examiner, 29 July 1843)

By February 1844 he is residing in Auckland Point (near the Nelson port) and is a Shopman. (List of those qualified to serve a jurors, Nelson Examiner, 17 February 1844)

On 23 September 1844 he marries Janet McFarlane Gardiner. He is 21 and the bride aged 19. There is indubitably a connection through the Nelson Presbyterian Church as he and Janet's father William Gardiner are very active in establishing a presence for the Church at this time. There is also a family connection - it appears that the Aiken and Gardiner families are already interconnected back in Scotland and later George's younger sister, Janet Aiken marries Robert Gardiner in 1852 (in Scotland), and his younger brother Robert marries Ann Reid Gardiner in 1855 (in Nelson). The wedding is announced in the Glasgow Herald, 2 May 1845 as:

At Nelson, New Zealand, on the 23rd September 1844, by the Rev. C. L. Reay, Mr George Aiken, eldest son of Robert Aiken Esq., farmer, Dumbartonshire, to Janet, eldest daughter of Mr. William Gardner, rope maker, Nelson, all formerly of Glasgow.

 

George's retail / auctioneering career (1845-1862)

It seems that George works as a clerk / writing clerk, then as a shopman, and by 1851 he establishes his own shop.

He is listed as a 'clerk' living in Waimea Road in the 1845-6 List of Jurors. He appears in the Rate Returns section of the NZ Gazette 1845 (page 29) as a "shopman" in Nelson. A year later he is a 'writing clerk' in Trafalgar Street in the 1846-7 List of Jurors.

He co-signs in 1848, along with just about every other Nelson resident, a petition for a "fair share of the public expenditure for roads and bridges" from the Governor. (Nelson Examiner, 9 Sept 1848)

His Australian descendants report he was involved in the establishment of the Presbyterian Church in Nelson. In 1848 the local Presbyterian community seeks to establish a proper Church building in Nelson. They purchase the land and commence fundraising via monthly subscription. On 15 July 1848 the Nelson Examiner lists George Aiken as one of the subscription collectors for Nelson Town and William Gardiner (his father in-law) for Waimea East.

In the 1849 Nelson Census he is listed at living in Suburban South, Nelson - his neighbor is his wife's family - the Gardiners. His occupation is 'Clerk' but in the remarks it's noted he is actually 'Cordage drying' (presumably for the Gardiner's rope making activities next door) and he has 104 sheep.

In December 1849 he's working at Auckland Point (near the port) and acting as a person from whom you can buy tickets for public addresses from the Presbyterian Church - which are held for the benefit of the Church building fund.

In the February 1850 list of Juror's (for 1850-1851) he is listed as a Clerk, living in Suburban South, Nelson. They must move around this time to Hardy Street as their third child, Elizabeth Reid Aiken, is born 27 May 1850, in the family home in Hardy Street, Nelson.

He appears in the Nelson Examiner on 11 Jan 1851:

Anniversary Meeting. — On the evening of the 24th December a very interesting Meeting was held in the Presbyterian Church, being the first Anniversary of its opening. Addresses were delivered by the Rev. Mr. Nicholson, who was called to the chair, and by Messrs. Aiken, Gardner, Campbell, Daniells, and McArtney. The Sacred Music was conducted by Mr. Charles Bonnington, with a skill, taste, and judgment which merited all approbation, and he was supported most efficiently by a party of friends, who are never backward with their aid on such harmonious occasion.

In the 1851 list of Nelson Juror's he's listed as a 'Writing Clerk', living in Waimea Road.

In late 1851 George opens the 'Nelson Emporium' - Nelson Examiner, 22 Nov 1851. George is then 28 years of age.

 

 

Above, an photograph published in the 1906 Cyclopedia of NZ for Trafalgar Street. I would imagine this image was taken towards the end of the decade. The corner of George Aiken's Aucton room is just discrinable on the right - look for the small gap between the rows that is Hardy Street (then is lighter patch on the road) and the white building on the corner is the Auction room.

In the 1852-53, 1853-54, and again in the 1854-55 list of Juror's for Nelson he is listed as being a storekeeper, in Trafalgar Street. He also appears in 1852 where he is listed as a petitioner for Nelson to be recognised as a Municipality.

In 1853 he advertises sailing and ticket purchases for the schooner Catherine. It is unknown if he has a commercial interest in the boat or just acts as the ticket agent - I would assume the later.

In September 1853 he appears in the Nelson Examiner advertising the contents of newly arrived cases of Toys and Saddlery, as George Aiken of the Nelson Emporium.

In 1855 he appears as the Secretary of the Decons' Court (part of the Nelson Presbyterian Church) - Nelson Examiner - 27 June 1855.

In February 1856 Mrs Aiken of Hardy St is advertising for a female servant.

Also in February 1856 George opens a new building the "New Iron Store" in Trafalgar Street, Nelson. This building is described in the 1857 Rating Roll as a 20 by 40 foot 1 room building constructed in Iron.

In 1856 George starts advertising sales by auction - first at the Richmond Fair Grounds (Nelson Examiner, 27 June 1857) and then at his Trafalgar Street shops (Nelson Examiner, 8 July 1857).

He appears on the 1857-8 list of Jurors, as being a Storekeeper, at Nelson. This list of Jurors also shows John Aiken (younger brother of George) as a shopman - I assume in George's store.

He applies for a license to run a Hotel in Trafalgar Street (Nelson Examiner, 22 April 1857). I have not been able to find either this being granted nor any record of him running a Hotel. He does, however, becomes a licensed auctioneer on 25 April 1857:

In March 1857 he seconds the motion to dissolve the Nelson Coast Steam Navigation Company. Given the circumstances it would appear that investors (and I assume George is among those) are unhappy with aspects of the Company. They are unsuccessful. The Company eventually raises more funding and purchases a steamer which by 1859 appears to be a successful venture.

 

Above: looking up Trafalgar Street at its intersection with Hardy Street, Nelson, circa 1860. George Aiken's Auction House is not visible as it would be behind the cattle on the left hand side.


In the period 1856-1860 he appears in the Nelson Examiner in almost every edition, and generally several times in each, advertising his shop, his auctions, and slightly less frequently; house, section, estate, farm animals for sale/auction at varying locations around Nelson/Richmond/Collingwood.

He actively defends his commission income, in George Aiken v. Moses Coleman, George obtains his commission income after the vendor of a Horse who had engaged George to sell it then sells the Horse privately. (The Colonist, 19 March 1858)

I assume he maintains a very active role/involvement with the Presbyterian Church as he uses Rev. Calder surname when naming his seventh child, William Calder Aiken, born 21 April 1858.

In the 1858 Rates assessment George's property has become large. He's assessed at owing £8 15s 11d which at the rate of one penny farthing per pound equates to property assets of £1,616. (The Colonist, 30 November 1858)

In the 1859 'The Nelson Directory' he's listed as an Auctioneer. And, in the 1860 list of Juror's he is listed as being a Nelson storekeeper.

I assume things are tough (or the competition is) for Nelson Auctioneers in 1859 as their number drops from six to three. It's worth noting that George Aiken's brother, Robert Aiken, has a management role at one of his competitors - N. Edwards & Co.

Then soon afterwards, George appears to move away from general shopkeeping and household item auctions. The following appears in the Nelson Examiner on 2 April 1859.

 

The beginning of the end...

I suspect things have started to get tough for George around this time.

In the 1858 rating roll he has leased out his Iron Store (Town Section 166 in Hardy Street) - but still occupying his Auction Room.

In October 1859 his Auction Room and Iron Store (both Town Section 166) are recorded as Unoccupied in the Rating Roll and with ownership now with Morrisson & Sclanders.

Yet, in November he's advertising an Auction in his sale room in Trafalgar Street. (The Colonist, 11 November 1859)

He sells his quarter acre (town section 430) which was occupied by a Wooden Horse Stable around late 1859 - rating value of

His Nile street house (Wooden, six rooms, built 1856, Town Section 432, no longer visible as it is now occupied by a modern commercial building) is sold sometime between October 1859 and October 1860 to Rev. Biss. The property had a rating value of £ 350 in 1857. This house is notably close to the Presbyterian Church in Nile Street.

Around this time he moves his family to a smaller house at Town Section 660 (see below, now facing Rutherford Street). This is a quarter acre with a four room timber house constructed in 1855. It is owned by J Gardiner (I suspect a typo and its really W Gardiner, his father in-law). Rating value of £140. Interestingly, his brother, John Aiken, resides next door on his own quarter acre also in a four room timber house constructed in 1855 but with a rating value of £120. John has moved a short distance to Bronti Street by 1868. George Aiken remains at this address until 1872 (last rating roll he appears on) and I assume his departure coincides with the death of William Gardiner - the house owner.

Above: Rutherford Street, January 2011. It appears the houses on Town Section 660 have been replaced by the Chelsea Park Motor Lodge (partially visible on the right). However, there are a series of early settler houses remaining next to this address and it is safe to assume that George Aiken's house would have been very similar to these and also facing the street in the same manner.

In 1860 he renews his auctioneer licence, he is again one of the three in town, (Nelson Examiner, 25 Jan 1860) and has a daughter, Henrietta Frances Aiken, born 26 May 1860 in Nelson. George is then aged 37.

In late May Nelson is drenched with ten straight days of heavy rain. There is wide wide spread flooding including that in Halifax / Nile Street Mr. Aiken's bridges were entirely swept away. (The Colonist, 1 June 1860).

In August 1860 he is listed as a member of the Nelson Regiment of the Militia - Nelson Examiner 8 August 1860. This must have been a short involvement as no further mention of him is made and in the 1862 return which lists all members he does not appear.

The last advertisement he places appears in the 11 August 1860 issue of the Nelson Examiner.

 

Then bankruptcy...

Prior to August 1860 George's advertisements have appeared, and often three or four, in each issue of the Nelson Examiner. After this date the adverts cease, he does not appear to be publicly connected with Church activities, nor does he appear in lists of Nelson gentlemen supporting candidates for Provincial Government.

George Aiken's financial position is grim. The Nelson Colonist (24 November 1863) covers in brief the Insolvency Court hearing on 23 November 1863. There is no mention of how he managed to achieve this level of debt and his occupation is described as 'storekeeper and auctioneer'.

Liabilities £ 2,561
Assets £    312
  ---------
Deficiency £ 2,249

 

In August 1860 his brother's firm is auctioning off his own personal effects - Nelson Examiner on 15 August 1860.

And, then on 18 August 1860 the following appears in the Nelson Examiner:

And, again on 22 August:

And on 5 September he at the Resident Magistrate's Court. "G. Aiken (late auctioneer) was summoned by T. C. Batchelor, for £6 5s. 4d. Debt admitted by the defendant writing a letter to the plaintiff acknowledging the amount. Judgment for the amount with 3s. costs. (The Colonist, 7 Sept 1860).

And, on 15 September:

And, the finally, on 14 November 1860:

He appears to have found work as a Wharfinger:

This role I believe is best defined as

'a person who is the keeper or owner of a wharf. The wharfinger took custody of and was responsible for goods delivered to the wharf, typically had an office on the wharf or dock, and was responsible for day-to-day activities including slipways, keeping tide tables and resolving disputes.'

He is in this role at least during November 1861 to January 1862 as he gives evidence in J.A. Langford v. Thomas Cawthron over a disputed shipment of five case of oranges (a case is worth £2 18s). George Aiken is the Wharfinger and gives evidence of five where receipted (The Colonist, 10 January 1862).

 

In 1863 he fractures his left elbow (Nelson Examiner until 22 September 1863):

And the bankruptcy keeps going...

And going... 14 May 1864

And going...

On 28 July 1864 his second daughter Jessie Marshall Aiken marries Nehemiah McRae. The marriage is performed by Rev. P Calder. The marriage listing of this in the Nelson Examiner, 30 July 1864, unusually for this type of notice does not mention George Aiken's occupation.

In 1864 he bids for the three year lease for Nelson's Government Wharf (Colonist, 9 September 1864). While he is unsuccessful he was close, the wining bid was £860, George's bid £805 and the only other bid £550. It would interesting to know how he could have funded this annual expense as in November the pervious year he was over £2,000 in debt.

In 1865 he appears on the list of those supporting John Wallis Barnicoat for the position of Superintendent - Nelson Examiner 21 March 1865.

In the 1866 Nelson Rate demand is one penny per pound of property valuation. George's Rate is listed as £1 which would equate his property ownership is now £240. (The Colonist, 6 March 1866).

In the NZ Directory 1866/7 (Stevens & Batholomew) he listed as a Wharfinger, Haven Road, with a residence of Waimea Street, Nelson.

In January 1867 he gives evidence as the clerk for Mr Robert Levien over disputed payment for a truss of hay (value £1 13s) which he had delivered. (The Colonist, 8 January 1867)

Initially, it appears he has returned to being a Commission Agent - as seen in the following from the Nelson Examiner 15 October 1867 - but I gather this activity is as the Wharfinger on behalf of the Wharf owner.

In December 1867 his eldest daughter, Margaret Aiken, marries in the residence of the brides Uncle, (Robert Aiken) Willow Bank, Canterbury.

George tries his luck in Picton - Marlborough Express 28 November 1868:

By 1869 he described himself as a Writing Clerk in Nelson - when witnessing the Will of William Gardiner (his father in-law) - image below.

The following appears in the Nelson Evening Mail - 3 September 1869. It should be noted that George's house is around 300 metres from the Old Cemetery (now Fairfield Park) and William Gardiners house is around 2 kilometers away and over a hill.

 

He appears in the Rates set for 1870 with a ratable value of £240 (The Colonist, 17 December 1869)

On 1 April 1871, his wife dies at their residence in Waimea Road, Nelson. He's now a 48 year old widower with dependant children aged; 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17.

The news gets worse... In November 1871 his house is sold in a mortgagee sale (Nelson Examiner, 11 Nov 1871).

George has left Nelson by May 1872, as his no longer entitled to vote in Nelson as he is no longer a householder - while it's possible he is being accommodated elsewhere in Nelson (as a Guest) I think it is much more likely he has already moved to Greymouth. (The Colonist, 3 May 1872)

In May 1872 the husband of Jessie Aiken dies. Jessie is then 25 years old, two months pregnant and has four children under the age of 7.

Around this time his last local relative, his brother Robert leaves Nelson.

In March 1873; George has definitely relocated to Greymouth and employed as a 'writing clerk', and he is still in some financial difficulty.

TAKE NOTICE that GEORGE AIKEN, formerly of Nelson, in the Province of Nelson, but now of Greymouth, in the County of Westland, writing clerk, a debtor, did, on the twenty-first day of March, 1873, file in the District Court of the County of Westland, holden at Greymouth, a deed of arrangement with his creditors, bearing date the fourteenth day of March, 1873, and made between the said debtor of the first part; Joseph Auty Harley, of Greymouth aforesaid, brewer, as trustee, of the second part; and the several other persons, creditors of the said debtor, of the third part. A. R. GUINNESS, Solicitor for the debtor.
Grey River Argus, page 3, 22 March 1873

All persons who have claims against Mr. George Aiken, of Greymouth are requested to send them to the Office of Mr. George Harper, Trafalgar street, Nelson not later than May 1, 1873. The Colonist, 29 April 1873

TAKE NOTICE that an application will be made to the District Court of the County of Westland, holden at Greymouth, on THURSDAY, the TWELFTH day of JUNE, 1873, at Ten o'clock in the forenoon, at the Court House, Greymouth, for a declaration of the complete execution of a Deed of Composition dated the 14th day of March 1873, and made between GEORGE AIKEN, formerly of Nelson, in the Province of Nelson, but now of Greymouth, aforesaid, Writing Clerk, a debtor, of the first part; Joseph Auty Harley, of Greymouth, aforesaid, Brewer, as trustee of the second part; and all the Creditors, of the said George Aiken of the third part. A. R. GUINNESS, Solicitor for the said debtor.
Grey River Argus, page 3, 11 June 1873

In August 1873 he is at resident in Tainui Street, Greymouth. At this address he hosts the wedding of his daughter Elizabeth to Robert Austen Young.

Above, Men on Tainui Street, Greymouth, circa 1875. A Methodist church and a (fire tower?) are in the background. Water behind the men suggests there may have been a flood.

 

In 1881, then aged 58, he effectively retires to North Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. Where he lives with with (or near) his three sons who are already settled there. It is there he dies in 22 October 1894.

Obit, Mr George Aiken (born, Glasgow 1823, Died Queensland 1894), Source: The Colonist (November 6, 1894)
“DEATH OF AN OLD NELSONIAN. – We regret to chronicle the death of one of our most respected citizens, in the person of Mr George Aiken, sen, (formerly of Nelson), which occurred suddenly at his residence, North Bundaberg, at 3.30 p.m. yesterday, (says Bundaberg ‘Mail,’ Queensland, of October 22nd). In the morning the deceased gentleman had complained of a difficulty of breathing to his youngest son, but it passed off, and he partook of a hearty dinner, as usual. Shortly after three o’clock, when conversing again with his son apparently perfectly well. A cold perspiration came over his body, and Mr Aiken, jun., at once offered to send for the doctor, but that passed off, too, when suddenly the difficulty in breathing again came on, and in two minutes life had fled. (The) deceased’s only words being “Oh George, George.” Dr Thomas was at once summoned, and arrived before four o’clock, but life was extinct. Mr Aiken was one of our earliest Australian colonists. He was born in Glasgow in the year 1823, and had therefore more than reached the allotted span. He arrived at Nelson, New Zealand, in 1840, and took an active part in the settlement and progress of his adopted home, his descendants to the second and third generations being scattered over the Colony in various parts. In 1881 he came to Bundaberg, and has lived with his three sons here since then, except for a few months four years ago, when he visited the old scenes of his early colonial life.”

George & Janet Aiken had eight children:

Above, this appears to be photograph from a christening on the Westcoast. The priest on the right is probably Rev. J. R Bart (he seems to have been present for all such events) and the location is either in Greymouth (most likely) or alternatively 'Willow Bank' in Canterbury.

In the back row the husbands are (L-R) Frederick Wright, and brothers Henry Young and Robert Young. In the front row are three Aiken sisters (L-R) Margaret, Annie, Elizabeth

The baby is most likely Andrew Davidson Young (b. 1884) or Howell Young (b. 1885)

 

  1. Margaret Russell Aiken, born 27 May 1845 in Nelson, NZ. Married Frederick Wright (he died around 1910) on 19 December 1867 at Willow Bank Canterbury. Margaret died in June 1926. Known by the Young family for many generations as the Wright family of the South Island.

    Those interested in this branch of the family should try and locate a copy of "A HISTORY OF THE WRIGHT FAMILY, ONE HUNDRED YEARS AT 'MOUNTAIN VIEW' ANNAT,[CANTERBURY] 1892 - 1992." Compiled by Cecily Wright.

    Nelson Examiner, 26 December 1867.
    On the 19th December, at the residence of the bride's uncle, Willow Bank, Canterbury, by the Rev. John Campbell, Frederick, second son of T. Wright, Esq., late of Tiverton, Devon, England, to Margaret, eldest daughter of Mr. George Aiken, Nelson.



    Above: Frederick Wright (as appears in the 1903 Cyclopedia of NZ.

    Below: Frederick Wright about 1884/5.

    The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Canterbury Provincial District) 1903:
    MR. FREDERICK WRIGHT, sometime of “Riversdale,” Dunsandel, was born at Tiverton, Devonshire, England, and was brought up to agriculture on his father's farm. In 1853 he came to New Zealand in the sailing ship “Mermaid,” and landed at Lyttelton. For a year or two he farmed in conjunction with his brother, and was then farming on his own account for eighteen or twenty years, at Springston, where he had a property of 400 acres. Having sold his land at Springston, he bought 700 acres in the Dunsandel district, and gave the name of “Riversdale” to his estate. There he carried on mixed farming up to the time of his death, which took place on the 16th of November, 1902. Mr. Wright paid special attention to the breeding of English Leicesters, of which he had a stud flock, and won many prizes at the Christchurch, Leeston and Ashburton shows. His reputation as a breeder led to his being asked from time to time to serve as a judge of Leicester sheep at Timaru, Dunedin, and other places. He was a member of the Dunsandel Domain Board for many years, and took a great interest in the welfare of the district. In 1867 he married Miss Aiken, eldest daughter of Mr. George Aiken, of Nelson, and six sons and four daughters were born of the union. Four of the sons are now (1903) farming on their own account, three of them being married, and one is studying at St. John's College Auckland, in preparation for the ministry of the Church of England.

    The children of Frederick & Margaret Wright (as known):

    1. Edwin Wright, Born about 1868 (maybe 7 Oct 1868) and died unmarried aged 21 years.
    2. George Frederick Wright. Born at Springton near Christchurch on 6 Dec 1869. Died 7 Feb 1949. Married Margaret Rebecca Hill (who died 13 Sept 1947 aged 76) on 11 April 1894, at St Thomas, Dunedin.
      He appears the Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District] pub in 1903: "Proprietor of “Mountain View,” is the eldest son of the late Mr. Frederick Wright, of Dunsandel. He was born at Springston, in 1869, where he received his earlier education, and completed his studies at the Boys' High School, Christchurch. He was trained to agriculture on his father's farm, and took a trip round Australia before settling down on his own account. In 1893 he bought his present property, which he has since very successfully carried on. Mr. Wright is a member of the East Malvern Road Board, of which he was for four years chairman, and he has served on the Annat school committee. He is also a member of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Mr. Wright married a daughter of Mr. George Hill, of Dunsandel, and has a family of two sons."

      They had children of;
      1. Leicester Riverton Wright, born 4 April 1895 at Annat, died (accidentally in Papanui) on 31 Oct 1948. Married on 3 Jan 1923 to Stella Agnes Annie Jane Fullerton (b, 9 Aug 1898, died 16 May 1926). Re-married to Hilda Thorne (b, 20 March 1899 and died 2 April 1965). Leicester had a son and daughter from the first marriage.
      2. Quentin Alford Wright, born 5 Dec 1900 in Christchurch, died 29 Sept 1937 in Annat. Married 4 Nov 1926 in Darfield to Winifred Annie Jarman (she was born 13 March 1889). They had three sons and a daughter.
      3. Ruby Nelson Wright, born 7 March 1907 at Christchurch. Married Thomas Harry Moffatt (b 19 March 1898) who served in WW1 and was the son of Walter John Moffatt (a former Mayor of Nelson), they had a son and two daughters.
      4. Margaret Stirling "Peggy" Wright, born 9 April 1913 and died unmarried 30 March 1939.

    3. Jessie Macfarlane Wright, 1877-1879:
      The Grey River Argus.
      Friday, 11 July, 1879.
      Parents should he careful how they leave lucifers lying about their houses, as accidents are continually occurring from children sucking them. Only as recently as Monday an inquest was held at Springfield, Canterbury, in the house of Frederick Wright, to enquire into the cause of death of Jessie Macfarlane Wright, a child eighteen months old. From the evidence of the infant's brother, it appears that she must have crawled out of her cot on to a low chest of drawers, on which a box of wax vesta matches were lying. Dr Guthrie gave evidence that the cause of death was from poisoning, the poisonous substance being the tops of the matches. A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned, no blame being attributable to anyone.

    4. Walter Wright. 1873-. He appears the Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District] pub in 1903: "Farmer, Willowbank Estate, Ellesmere. Mr. Wright was born at Springston, in 1873. His father, Mr Frederick Wright, was a well known farmer at Dunsandel. He was educated at Dunsandel, and at the Boys' High School, Christchurch, and brought up to farming by his father. In conjunction with his eldest brother, he took up land at Annat and Springfield, but the partnership was dissolved after five years, when Mr. W. Wright began on his own account at Kimberley. In 1902 he succeeded his uncle, Mr. Walter Wright, in the ownership of his present estate. The farm consists of about 600 acres, on which he conducts general farming. Mr. Wright keeps a fine flock of English Leicesters for breeding purposes, and annually supplies about 600 fat lambs to the freezing works. He is a member of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Mr. Wright was formerly well known as a runner and footballer, and was a member of the Malvern Mounted Rifles for three years. He married Miss Cogan, of Kimberley.

      He married Annie Jane Colthart (1868-12 May 1899) had children of;
      1. Margaret Fullerton Wright, 1898-2 April 1986 (buried at Waddington Cemetery)


  2. Janet ‘Jessie’ Marshall Aiken, born 1 June 1848 in Nelson. Married Nehemiah McRae on 28 July 1864 in Nelson, and died in 1924. Her age is based on being listed as 17 years on her intention to marry record with her father's consent for her, being a minor, to wed.

    "McRae - Aiken. July 28, at Nelosn, by the Rev. P. Calder, Mr. N. McRae, third son of Mr. George McRae, flockowner, Awatere, province of Marlborough, to Jessie Marshall Aiken, second daughter of Mr. George Aiken, Nelson." (The Colonist, 12 August 1864)

    Mr N McRae, 1839-1872, was the third son of George & Ellen McRae (they arrived in Nelson in 1842, and was a flockowner of Awatere Province of Marlborough). Nehemiah died while crossing the Awatere River 15 May 1872 (see below).

    He deserves more study; it appears he was the first to climb Mount Tapuaenuku (Mt Odin) in May 1864 and had amassed a huge estate, sold at auction in April 1874, which included the Camden Run (25,861 acres & 12,000 sheep), and the Ring Creek Run (9,530 acres & 1,000 sheep), and a further 3,000 surplus sheep. For more information the McRae family I recommend "MacRaes to New Zealand" by Molly J. Akers published in 1994.

    Nehemiah's death can not have easy for Janet as she would have been 25 years old, two months pregnant and already with four children under the age of 7. Presumably there would have also been pressure on her (and the other McRae brothers) to marry to both the support the children and also retain the farm within the family.

    Janet does not appear to have re-married. She dies on 27 October 1924 in Wadestown, Wellington. Which is the same suburb as her daughter Janet Firth.



    Above: View from a garden with a curved drive and lawn in the foreground, bushes and trees at the perimeter, looking towards the foothills and Mount Tapuaenuku ("Mt Odin") in the distance. Painted 1874 by Frederick Weld.


    Above: The Inland Kaikouras from the Awatere Valley, painted by John Gully in 1871.

    They had five children:

    1. Katie Gardner McRae, born 1865 in Wairu, married William Frederick Ward on 17 December 1894, they had three children, she dies in 1955.
    2. Janet "Jessie' McRae, born 9 June 1867 in Benhopai, married Joseph Firth on 8 May 1889 in Christchurch, she died in 1938. Mr Firth was headmaster of Wellington College 1892 to 1921.
    3. George Sutherland McRae, born 2 June 1869 in Welds Hill, married Hilda Reay Collyns 23 May 1898 in Kaikoura, they had 7 children. George dies 3 November 1954 in Waikanae.
    4. William McRae, born 17 May 1871 Weld's Hill, married Ethel Kathleen West in 1902, died 11 August 1930 in Auckland. They had 4 children.
    5. Nehemiah McRae, born 5 February 1873, Nelson, married Effie Mabel Tatham in 1902, they had 2 daughters. He dies 29 July 1944 in Matakana.

      Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Saturday 25 May 1872
      THE LATE FATAL ACCIDENT TO MR. NEHEMIAH McRAE.
      The Marlborough Express, of Saturday last, gives the following evidence taken at the inquest held at Blarich on the body of the deceased, on Thursday, the 16th instant, before H. Williams, Esq., Coroner; Mr C. Canning was foreman:
      — Richard Jackson, a shepherd in the employ of deceased, deposed : That he left home in company with Mr. McRae, William Shearman, and Samuel Schutter on Wednesday, the 15th instant, for the purpose of pig-hunting; they afterwards returned to Weld's Hill cutting for the purpose of returning home to Weld's Hill. Having crossed the ford in the morning, witness suggested to Mr. McRae that the river was very high, and he had better unsling his rifle, to which he replied there was no fear, but they must follow him, as he would take the lead. They went up the steam till the water came over their saddles the deceased then made straight for the landing on the other side, when the horse went suddenly head first under water, and rolled heels up ; when witness saw the deceased again, he had one foot in the stirrup iron over the saddle, and one hand holding the bridle; he was pulling the horse round and round, and that was the last he saw of him until he had pulled the horse round on the other side of the bank. Deceased called out, "Farewell; remember me." No assistance could bo rendered to him. The horse came out about two chains higher up the river than witness. He could not render the deceased any assistance. He saw him let go his hold of the horse. He was sensible at the time, and his rifle was still over his shoulder. He did not know whether the deceased was injured or not. He believed the water must have been fully twelve feet deep. The other men had been left killing pigs. Mr. McRae was drowned about a hundred yards from where witness was standing. The horse was a quiet one, and accustomed to the ford. Both horses had to swim, as the river was flooded. Witness did not succeed in crossing, but returned. Did not know whether the deceased could swim or not, but was sure nothing could have been done to save him. Edwin Trolove, sheepfarmer, residing at Woodbank, Clarence, deposed, that having heard that Nehemiah McRae had been washed off his horse on Wednesday, the 15th instant, he went to the river and rode down the bank until he saw the body of deceased in the water; he dragged it out, and some men coming up, they rubbed the body to restore animation. Witness then went to Mr. Mowatt's for a horse and trap to convey the body home; he found deceased about a quarter of a mile below the ford; it was quite cold, as he supposed it to have been in the water about an hour and a-half; it was not much bruised, the rifle was not on the body; his watch was in his pocket, and his ring on his finger. The time by the watch was twenty minutes to two; did not think the deceased could swim, or that anything could have been done to save him. The verdict was "Accidentally Drowned."



  3. Elizabeth Reid Aiken, born 27 May 1850, in the family home in Hardy Street, Nelson.


  4. Mary "Polly" Fleming Aiken, born 24 June 1852 and died aged 16, 22 April 1869 in Nelson.



  5. Anne ‘Annie’ McFarlane Aiken, born 29 April 1854 in Nelson. Married Henry William Young (brother of RA Young) on 14 April 1883. They have two children (listed with Henry Young) who died young. She appears on the 1893 electoral roll as Anne Aiken 'Married woman' of Reefton.
    In August 1903 her husband dies. She re-marries on 29 July 1918 to Charles Turner. She dies in Rotorua in January 1924.













  6. Robert Steele Aiken, born 20 April 1856 in Nelson and died 16 October 1933, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. He is listed on the Waimea Electoral roll 1867/68 as the freeholder of 18 1/2 acres - part of Section 82, Waimea, south Nelson (probably not this Robert, more likely his Uncle also called Robert Aiken). He is not shown on the 1869 Waimea Electoral roll. Arrived in the Bundaberg area in 1878, taking up land at Gooburrum where he grew sugar cane. He is reported in The Brisbane Courier on 16 July 1885 as 'illegally employing a Polynesian' but escapes without conviction. The Brisbane Courier then reports on 28 June 1888 that "Robert Steele Aiken of Bundaberg, sugar planter" is adjudicated insolvent.

    Following the death of his first wife, Annie, from typhoid fever, he married her sister Frances. His two daughters remained unmarried, and lived out their lives together at Mount Perry Road, North Bundaberg.
    • Married, Annie Jones (b. 1863 d. 18 April 1886)
    • Married, Frances Jane Jones (b. 24 December 1868 d. 30 June 1956), 13 October 1886 in Queensland.

    He had two children:
    1. Millicent Jane Aiken, 2 April 1883-1966
    2. Vivienne Gray Howard Aiken, 27 May 1892-1980

  7. William Calder Aiken, born on 21 Apr 1858 in Nelson. His middle name is clearly from the relatively new Minster of the Trinity Church in Nelson, Rev. Patrick Calder.

    Passed his Civil Service Exam in Greymouth July 1877. Some time after he moved to Australia. Married Clara Smith, 9 February 1882 in Queensland, Australia. He was the Alderman, Bundaberg Town Council from 1883 to 1896. In 1890 he is listed as a Printer, Bourbon Street, Bundaberg. He appears in The Brisbane Courier 8 October 1895 seeking to employ a bookbinder for a few weeks.

    He is quoted in The Brisbane Courier on 15 October 1895, regarding the nay-sayers to a proposed railway line to:

    We rather sympathise with the "Mall." Some of the statements made at a public meeting held on Friday were, however, anything but "bald." They were covered with hair.
    For Instance, Mr. W. C. Aiken encouraged the audience thus ; "It had been urged, and it seemed to be the opinion of some of the leading citizens that it would depreciate the value of town property. The same argument had been employed in Rockhampton some years ago, when It was proposed to construct a line to Port Alma, but the railway was made nevertheless, and the cry had long since died away. Instead of doing the town harm, the extension had increased their trade to £2,000,000, and now it was going to be carried out to Broadwater-almost without asking, the trade would soon rise to £3,000,000. He thought that the export trade of Bundaberg would increase In a like manner." Considering that the line to Port Alma Was never built, and that the idea of building it has been abandoned by the Government in favour of a line to Broadwater, We are tempted to exclaim, in elegant language used by Mr Aiken in another part of the speech, - "What rot! What bosh!"

    He returns to New Zealand and settles in Christchurch in 1896. Soon after has formed a business partnership with Mr Willis. His wife, Clara, dies on 13 February 1900. "On Feb 13th, at "Wainea," Linwood, Christchurch, Clara, beloved wife of William Calder Aiken (formerly of Nelosn), in her 42nd year." (The Colonist, 1 March 1900)

    He re-married in Wellington to a Sarah Murgatroyd (born 29 August 1858, died Auckland 1936) on 6 November 1902. In the 1904 Stones Directory, he listed as living at 58 Gloucester Street, Christchurch, and trading as 'Willis & Aiken' printers located off Cathedral Square. In June 1913 he and Sarah are in the UK - they are recorded as having visited the NZ High Commission office on 9 June. He dies 28 February 1916 - his will lists his occupation as a Printer.

    The printing firm, Willis and Aiken, is still running today. I believe that the two gentleman on the left are Mr. Willis and second from the left is W. C. Aiken.




    He had five children:
    1. Janet "Jessie" Mary Aiken, born 5 December 1882, Queensland, Australia. Attended Christchurch Normal School from July 1896, registration #4342. In 1904 she passes the NZ Universities 'Matriculation and Solicitors' General Knowledge' exams at Canterbury University College. She died unmarried in Christchurch 11 October 1940.
    2. Ethel Clara Aiken, born 9 November 1883, Queensland, Australia. Attended Christchurch Normal School 1896 - Registration #4343 and then Christchurch East 1896-98 registration #99. In June 1914 she passes her St. John Ambulance Association Home Nursing exams. Married 6 Jan 1942 to Robert Henry Lodge (his second wife) - they did not have children. She died in Nelson 25 September 1964.
    3. Charles Nelson Aiken, born 18 July 1886. Attended Christchurch East school (1896-1900) Registration #3227. He marries a Miss Eileen Harriet Crosbie Spooner 27 Oct 1915 and in 1916 he is employed as a printer. He dies 20 May 1948 in Christchurch.
      1. John Douglas Aiken, born 4 Oct 1916 in Lindwood, dies 24 March 1943. Married to Margaret Ruth Reeves, from Port Chalmers, Otago, on 23 Dec 1939. Was a Captain in the NZ Infantry, killed in action at Te Baga Gap in Tunisia, and is buried in the Sfax War Cemetery in Tunisia. Photo to the right is of Capt John Aiken, much more information available here. He had a son; Jon David Aiken (b 28 Sept 1940 and has three children)
      2. Helen Marian Aiken, born 22 Nov 1917 in Lindwood. Married 6 July 1940 to Ronald Wynn Rickerby. They had three daughters (Allison, Adrienne and Lesley).
      3. Rev. David Leslie Aiken, born 2 May 1920 in Lindwood. Known as a missionary in Pakistan. Married 15 April 1947 at Sumner to Elizabeth Jean Bisset. They had four children; Janet Elizabeth, Robert Douglas, Judith Margaret, and Fiona Mary.
    4. Grace Muriel Aiken, born 3 July 1888 in Bundaberg. Attended Christchurch East School from 1897. Married (as his second wife) Frederic William Fedderson - they did not have children.
    5. John William Aiken, born 15 January 1900 in Lindwood. Attended Christchurch East School from May 1905, registration #95. Married to Rita Carson in Westport in 1924. They had two daughters; Ethel Margaret, and Kathleen).


  8. Henrietta Frances Aiken, born 26 May 1860 in Nelson. Married in Westport, on 24 February 1881, to Robert Falla. Robert was born in Sydney in 1856 and was the oldest son of George Falla, who was listed as a writing clerk in Haven Rd Nelson in the 1852 Juror's list for Nelson and died 1880 in Westport - occupation then listed as merchant, Mary Falla, Roberts mother, died in Westport in 1901.

    This generation were interconnected professionally as Robert Falla worked with his brother in-law R A Young on surveying coal fields.

    Henrietta died in 1901 in Westport, NZ and Robert in Lower Hutt on 11 June 1918.

    Their children,
    1. George Robert Falla born in Westport in 1885 and died in Wellington having contracted the flu in the Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1919.
      Won the mile and half handicap running race - Westport 30 December 1901. Passed his second class Marine Engineer's examination in 1908 and was the second engineer on the steamer Whangape in 1914. Married Minnie Lefroy Stubs (of Lefory Tasmania) in Auckland on 9 May 1911. Listed as a Marine Engineer of Auckland in his 1919 will. They had a daughter, Henrietta Frances Falla, born 4 April 1911 and who died aged 21.
    2. Mary Frances Annie Falla born in Westport on 28 April 1887 and died in Auckland on 13 April 1944. She marries on 5 May 1914 in Wellington to John Mackay (b 29 Jan 1878 dies 26 Nov 1938 in Morrinsville). She won a Victoria University College scholarship January 1901 (then living in Westport). Her photograph album (154 images from 1916 to 1926) is held by the Auckland Museum - Album 507 and labelled 'Mackay Album'. She dies in Auckland in 1944 and was listed as a widow. They had two sons and two daughters:
      1. Alison Mary Mackay, 1915-1998, married to David Brydon Menzies
      2. John Reay Mackay, 1919-1992, married Mary Welsh
      3. Hugh Munro Mackay, (photo right) 1920-1943, was a accountant prior to enlisting. As a Flight Officer with the RNZAF he is killed in a de Havilland Mosquito off France. More information here, and here.
      4. Margery Lucy Mackay, 1923-2008, married Peter Brendan Cronshaw. She was active in researching this branch of the family and contributed to this website. The following was published in the Santa Barbara Independent on 26 March 2008:

        Margery Lucy Cronshaw, 1923 - 2008, Santa Barbara

        Margery Lucy Cronshaw beloved mother and grandmother, passed away March 24, 2008. She was born October 20, 1923 in Morrinsville, New Zealand. After receiving her teaching credential in New Zealand, she taught in a number of different schools in Fiji, Canada, and the Bahamas where she met her husband, Peter Cronshaw (deceased). After moving to Santa Barbara in 1952, Margery taught science at Crane Country Day School and then at Dos Pueblos High School until her retirement in 1988. Margery's passion was to help others, assist at the Montecito History Committee and tutor at various local schools including Crane and Summerland. She enjoyed genealogy, long walks, traveling, and lawn bowling. Margery is survived by her three sons and their wives, Paul (Earla), Ian (Anna), David (Peggy) along with her seven grandchildren; Stephanie, Christopher, Brendan, Melissa, Tristan, Timothy, and Emma; her sister-in-law, Ruby Mackay and several nieces and nephews. She was greatly loved and will be missed by all. No services will be held. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you contribute to your favorite charity.

    3. Olive Dorothy Falla born in Westport on 25 June 1889. She passes her Home Nursing Certificate in 1910 and St. John Ambulance Medallion in 1911. Married in Morrinsville in 1922 to John Barr (b. 1879 in Glasgow dies 25 April 195x in Hastings). Olive dies in 1958. They did not have children.
    4. Leonard Munro Falla born in Westport on 17 Feb 1891. Died unmarried in 1916 - killed in the battle of Somme, France.
      The following was noted in the Grey River Argus on 4 November 1916; "Private Leonard Falla, son of Mr Robert Falla, late of Westport, has been killed in action on October 10th. Private Falla was a native of Westport, being about 23 years of age. He served his apprenticeship as a carpenter in the railway workshops at Westport, and was subsequently transferred to Petone."
      Picture to the right is of Private Falla - more information here.






  9. George Aiken, b, 1862
    George Aiken, born 19 October 1862 Nelson. He settled near Bundaberg as a Cane Farmer. George was one of the earliest Elders in the Bundaberg Presbyterian Church, and was also Session Clerk. Married Louisa Annie Butterworth (b. 1859. d. 5 April 1941), on 31 July 1889 in Queensland, Australia. He died on 26 Aug 1948 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

    He had children of:
    1. 'Percy' William Percival Aiken, born 20 April 1890 in Queensland, married Emily Florence Reid 18 January 1913 in Queensland.
    2. 'Doug' George Douglas Aiken, born 26 May 1891 in Queensland, married Alvena Dorothea Rackemann 28 April 1925.
    3. Above: Norman & Ruby Aiken
      Norman McLeod Aiken, born 8 May 1895 in Bundaberg, Queensland, married Ruby Ellen Broadhurst Zimmerman Friberg 17 September 1925. He died 21 August 1965.
    4. Gladys Eileen Aiken, born 27 November 1896 in Queensland. Married Francis Edward Hoare 5 May 1924 in Queensland.

 

Back to top


Biographical Details:

Robert Aiken

Born, August 1799, Wester, Myvett, New Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Married, about 1822 Janet Steele (of Glentore, 26 Dec 1802 to 6 Dec 1885)
Died, 27 July 1848, Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

The family appears in the 1841 Scotish census living in Craigleen, Cumbernauld, Dumbartonshire, with their children: Janet, James, Janet, Robert, John, Elizabeth and Barton. Their oldest son George Aiken is presumably traveling around this time towards New Zealand.

Above: a painting of the Cumbernauld village area about 1840.

On 27 July 1848 Robert Aiken dies.

In the 1851 Scotish census the now widow Janet Aiken (nee Steele) was living at Craiglinn Farm, Cumbernauld, with daughters Janet, Elizabeth and Mary and son William.

In 1861 widow Janet Aiken (nee Steele) was residing at Craiglinn Cothouse, Cumbernauld with her daughter Mary, and grandson, George Gardner.

In 1881 she was living with her daughter Mary and her husband James Steel at Cairnbog Farm, Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, and it is believed she died in 1885 in Old Monkland, Glasgow.

Robert Aiken and Janet Steel had eleven children:

  • George Aiken, born 17 September 1823 in Glasgow, Scotland. He married Janet Gardiner.
  • James Aiken, born on 28 Feb 1825 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He married Catherine Jackson on 13 Nov 1856 in Shettleston, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He died on 8 Feb 1894 in Dennistoun, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland (Royal Infirmary Glasgow).
  • Robert Aiken, was born 18 Jan 1828 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He died before 1831 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
  • Janet Aiken, born 13 May 1829 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Married Robert Gardner on 1 June 1852 in Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland. She died before 1901 in Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
  • Robert Aiken, born 1 May 1831 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He marries Ann Reid Gardiner (sister of Janet & Robert Gardiner!) on 19 December 1855 in Nelson, New Zealand.

    In 1852 he is listed as a petitioner for Nelson to be recognised as a Municipality. Which places his arrival to NZ prior to this date.

    Married, at Nelson, on the 19th instand, by the Rev. T. D. Nicholson, Mr Robert Aiken, farmer, Waimea East, to Ann Reid, fourth daughter of Mr. Wm. Gardiner, Spring-vale. (The Nelson Examiner, 22 December 1855)

    By 1856 he is living in Waimea-east district on the Nelson Provence - as he is listed as among the supporters of a candidate for the Provincial Council. In March 1856 he is listed as member of the Nelson School Board, along with Mr Gardiner (father in-law) for the 1856 year - Nelson Examiner 31 March 1856.

    In late May 1856, it is reported that William Wallace, a 14 year old employee of Robert Aiken runs away (Nelson Examiner, 7 June 1856).


    He appears on the 1857-8 list of Jurors, as being a farmer, at Waimea-east (Nelson Examiner, 14 Feb 1857). On 12 November 1861, they appear to have another daughter. In the NZ Directory 1866/7 (Stevens & Batholomew) he listed as 'brewery' Hardy Street, with a residence of Tasman Street, Nelson.

    There is no love lost within the family when it comes to business! in March 1868 he is taken to court by Nath. Edwards and Co. to recover £86 8s 4d (his brother John was the Manager!). (The Colonist, 20 March 1868)

    Robert Aiken appears in the 1881 Electoral roll, as a Farmer, in Springs Road in the electorate of Lincoln.

    Robert dies in 1890.

    Children of Robert and Ann Reid Gardiner:
    • Margaret Aiken, b 28 Sept 1856, Waimea East, Nelson. Married Rev. Paul Wynyard Fairclough F.R.A.S. (b 1852 in South Australia - d 17 April 1917 in Christchurch). They had 3 sons and a daughter. Margaret dies on 3 Jan 1946.
    • Georgina Janet Aiken, b abt 1858/60 in Nelson. She dies 10 Aug 1921 in Canvastown, Springton. Married George Scarlett and they had three daughters.
    • William Aiken, died young.
    • Annie Elizabeth Aiken, b about 1865. Her death is reported as "Aiken - May 31. at Willow Bank, Broadfields, Annie Elizabeth, youngest and beloved daughter of Robert and Annie R. Aiken, aged 18 years, after a few hours' illness. Her end was peace." - The Christchurch Star - 1 June 1883.

    The Evening Post 5 December 1908:
    A very old colonist has passed away, in the person of Mrs. Gammack. Her parents (Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Gardner) arrived in Nelson in 1841. Mr. Gardner came from Scotland, and was a founder of the Presbyterian Church in Nelson. On their arrival their daughter, Annie Reid, was in her sixth year, and she preserved a lively memory of the early struggles, the terrors of the Wairau massacre, and so forth. She married at an early age Mr. Robert Aiken, and came with him to Canterbury about 50 years ago. They ultimately settled at Broadfield, and here Mrs. Aiken was for many years widely known for hospitality and good works, and for her devotion to the Wesleyan Church. About 17 years ago she was married to the late Mr. James Gammack, of Springston. Since his decease she had resided mostly in Christchurch. Her surviving children are Mrs. Fairclough (wife of Rev. P. W. Fairclough), and Mrs. George Scarlett. Mrs. Gammack's death will release another £400 a year for the benefit of the Christchurch Public Library. Mr. Gammack left the institution a bequest which already produces that amount, and another similar sum was to go in the same direction on the death of his widow.

    Notes: Margaret Reid Aiken married Rev Paul Wynyard Faircough in 1878. Georgina Janet Aiken married George Scarlett in 1886.


  • John Aiken, born on 21 Jul 1833 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He died before 1835 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
  • John Aiken, born on 13 May 1835 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He married Celia Garrard in 1861 in Nelson, New Zealand.

    Like his brothers George & Robert there is no record of his arrival in New Zealand. I have throughly checked both spelling versions. He first appears in the 1857-8 list of Jurors, as being a shopman, at Nelson (Nelson Examiner, 14 Feb 1857). I'm guessing he is working at his brother's store. Marries Miss Celia Garrard (daughter of Joseph Garrard of Harwich, Essex) in Nelson on 30 January 1861. (Source Nelson Examiner).

    Is listed as a member of the Volunteer and Militia Force in 1861 as a contender in the shooting competition. (Source Nelson Examiner). A competition he wins, with the prize money of £1,000 - Nelson Examiner 12 July 1861.

    He's living in Waimea Street (now Rutherford Street) by September 1861 and clearly is sick of chickens straying on to his property - Nelson Examiner 11 September 1861:


    In 1860 his brother George moves in next door.

    John is listed as Corporal J. Aiken in the 1862 return of the Number 9 Company, Spring Grove, of the Nelson Rifle Volunteers. In February 1862 he lists this Waimea street house for sale - maybe too many straying chickens? - Nelson Examiner 5 February 1862.

    Mrs. Aiken begs to inform the ladies of Nelson that she has OPENNED those PREMISES in TRAFALGAR STREET lately occupied by Mr. Coates, where she will carry on the business of MILLINERY in all its branches, The stock has been carefully selected from recent importantations, and includes a fashionable assortment of Hats, Bonnets, Ribbons, Velvet, ....
    Nelson Examiner, 16 April 1862.

This appears to be a short lived venture as John Aiken advertises a stock clearance sale of Millinery, on moving premises from Trafalgar Street, Nelson. 1862. (Source Nelson Examiner).

In the NZ Directory 1866/7 (Stevens & Batholomew) he is listed as a clerk at the firm of N Edwards & Co, Bronti Street. He lists his house in Bronti Street in Nelson for sale.

For sale, the house and land in Bronti street, occupied by the undersigned. The House conatins Six room and a Kitchen, Bathroom, Store-room, etc. The ground (one acre) is laid out with furit trees in bearing, shrubs, etc, and a small grass paddock, the whole surrounded with a live fence. John Aiken. (The Colonist, 22 September 1868)

He is unsuccessful as he re-addvertises the house in 1873.

Listed as a Book keeper in Nelson, April 1869. (Source Nelson Examiner), as an Estate Trustee (of a Storekeeper) on January 1871, and working at the Office of Messrs. N. Edwards and Co. (Source Nelson Examiner).

In April 1872 he gives evidence in court where he describes himself as 'managing clerk' Edwards & Co. (The Colonist, 5 April 1872)

In May 1873 he is 'objected to' being an elector in Nelson city because not resident. I now suspect thathe had moved out of the region of a year or two.

He lists his house in Bronti Street in Nelson for sale, 1873:

"The House and Grounds in Bronti street, occupied by me. The former is a building of seven rooms, conveniently arranged with Bath-room, Store, Closet, etc. John Aiken" (The Colonist, 10 October 1873)

He gives evidence in the case of Symons Vowel at the Supreme Court on 2 September 1873 and is described as "accountant and manager of the business of N. Edwards and Co." (Source Nelson Examiner)

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 30 October 1873.
"PRESENTATION TO MR. JOHN AIKEN.
It is our pleasing duty to record an interesting presentation, which took place yesterday afternoon, at the warehouse of Messrs. N. Edwards and Co. Mr. John Aiken, who has filled the position of head-clerk and manger of that firm for a period of over sixteen years, being about to leave the employ and enter into partnership with a new firm shortly to be established in Christchurch, his fellow clerks assembled, and presented him with the following address, accompanied with a handsome diamond ring: Nelson, 27th October, 1873. "John Aiken, Esq."
Dear Sir, — We, the undersigned, your fellow clerks, hearing that you are about to leave Nelson, and the employ of Messrs. N. Edwards and Co., (with whom you have been connected so many years), cannot allow you to depart without an expression of sincere regret, and, at the same time, testifying to the uniform courtesy and good-feeling exhibited by you to us, many of whom have been your coadjutors for a number of years. Herewith we beg to present you with a small remembrance, and request your acceptance of the same, as a token of our esteem and good wishes, and hope that, at future time, and among new associations, it may remind you pleasurably of the many years we have spent together in Nelson. " Trusting that all success may attend you and that you may enjoy every comfort in your new sphere of life — We are, dear sir, yours faithfully, Here follow signatures."

He appears in the 1881 Electoral Roll as a Merchant resident in St Martin's, Heathcote, Christchurch. Attached to the Alexander Turbull Library record related to his photographs he appears to have left NZ around 1887. I suspect he relocates to work at the London office of N. Edwards and Co.

He appears in the 1893 Electoral Roll as a Gentleman, resident in St Martin's, Lyttelton, Christchurch. Celia Aiken also appears, residing at 10 St Martin's with an occupation of "Domestic duties'. In 1901 a John Aiken "of Christchurch who is now in London" comments favorably on the sighting of NZ Butter for sale. Not sure if this is the same John Aiken as the name is hardly uncommon - source Otago Witness 27 February 1901.

"Mr. and Mrs. John Aiken, late of Christchurch, who have been resident in England for the past sixteen years, Have arrived back in the Dominion. They are at present staying with their grandniece, Mrs. W. F. Ward, but intend shortly to go on to Nelson and then to Auckland, before settling down for the winter. Mr. Aiken is much interested in the wonderful development of Wellington, as he can remember when "Plimmer's Wharf" occupied the position on which the Bank of New Zealand now stands."
The Evening Post 3 March 1914.

Note: Mrs W. F Ward is Katie Gardner McRae.

John dies in Sumner, Christchurch in early 1918

  • Elizabeth Aiken, born on 27 Aug 1837 in Cumbernauld, Dumbartonshire. She married Robert Carruth on 13 Apr 1873 in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. She died on 9 Mar 1918 in Woodlea, Fraser, Johnstone, Scotland.
  • Barton Aiken, born on 28 Feb 1841 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He died before 1851 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
  • William Aiken, born on 28 Dec 1844 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He married Jane Ritchie in 1872 in High Church, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He died after 1901 in Glasgow, Larnarkshire, Scotland.
  • Mary Aiken, born on 11 February 1847 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Married James Steel (her cousin) in 1872 in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. She was alive in 1901.

    They appear in the East Stirlingshire Census 1881, Kilsyth:

    Address:Cairnbog FarmCensusPlace:Kilsyth, Stirling, ScotlandGRO Reference:203452
    Dwelling:1332Volume:483District / Page:13 / 9
    Forenames Surname Relation Status Sex Age Occupation Where Born
    JamesSTEELHeadMM37Farmer Of 13 Arable Employs 2 Old Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
    MarySTEELWifeMF34Farmers WifeCumbernauld, Dunbarton, Scotland
    JohnSTEELSon M8ScholarKirkintilloch, Dunbarton, Scotland
    RobertSTEELSon M6ScholarKilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    JamesSTEELSon M6ScholarKilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    JanetSTEELDaur F4Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    GeorgeSTEELSon M1Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    JanetAITKENMother In LawWF78Farmers WidowNew Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
    RobertSHAWServantUM38Farm ServantOld Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
    AlexPATRICKServantUM40Farm ServantKilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    JanetSHIELDSServantUF21Gen Dom ServKilsyth, Stirling, Scotland


 

 

From this point on details maybe confused with a unrelated James Aiken.

James Aiken. It is possible that he travelled to NZ and then towards the end of his life returned to Scotland. It should be noted that there isn't yet a definitive link and this could be an unrelated James Aiken.

Assuming that he did travel to NZ to join his siblings - which seems quite probable - there are many James Aiken's found in the South Island newspapers. I have assumed he is the James Aiken the storekeeper in Reefton.

Arrived from London on the Bride (a 580 ton barque) in Auckland 21 June 1858 - source Daily Southern Cross, 22 June 1858.

J. Aiken, is an indignant storekeeper in Nelson Creek replying to a letter to the editor of the Grey River Argus that he has 'always been able to buy more gold that what has been brought into my store." Source, Grey River Argus 3 September 1868.

James Aiken is nominated in Reefton, as a member of the new District Board. Source Grey River Argus, 9 October 1873.

James Aiken, with John Magill, jointly run stores in Moonlight and Reefton (which are within the Nelson province). In 1874 they split and James runs the Reefton Store in his own right. Source, Grey River Argus, 11 February 1874.

Corporal Aiken, is listed as participating in the Volunteer Rifle Match, as part of the Greymouth Rangers. Grey River Argus 25 May 1876.

Corporal Aiken is listed again, Greymouth Rifle Rangers, in the Handicap Challenge Cup. Grey River Argus, 9 October 1877.

"An information was laid on Monday, at Reefton, by Mr James Aiken charging Mr Angus Campbell, hotelkeeper, with having published a libel concerning him in the form of a printed circular issued to the public on or about Saturday, January 29th." Grey River Argus 10 February 1881.

A James I. Aiken was installed as an officer of the Reefton Pacific Lodge of Freemasons - with the role of Treasurer. Source, Grey River Argus 6 July 1882.

James Aiken is elected as a director of the Rainy Creek Company, June 28 1883. Source West Coast Times 29 June 1883.

James I Aiken is a candidate in the Reefton County Council Elections. Source West Coast Times, 29 November 1884. He was unsuccessful.

James J. Aiken has his 5th call to pay for 250 shares in the Golden Fleece United Quartz Mining Company - otherwise he'll forfeit them. Source, Grey River Argus 1 March 1886.

Listed as being recommended for a £30 payment as part of the Old Soldiers and Volunteers' Claims. Source, Evening Post 23 August 1890.

 

Back to top


Biographical Details:

James Aiken
Born 1756 (more likely his father date of birth - in Johnstown, Lanark, Scotland),
more likely born abt 1772, New Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
Married 23 July 1797 in New Monkland, to Elizabeth Russell (born. 1777 Slamannan, Stirlingshire, Scotland and died on 2 Jan 1857 in Faulds, Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland) Died November 1829 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

James & Elizabeth Aiken had ten children:

  1. Jean Aiken, born in 1798 in Wester Myvett, New Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland (christened 22 April 1798). She married James Somerville about 1830 in Scotland. She died in 1878 in Landward, New Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  2. Robert Aiken (eldest son) born August 1799 (christened 25 August 1799) Wester Myvet, New Monkland. He married Janet Steele about 1822 in Scotland, United Kingdom. He died on 27 Jul 1848 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Married Janet, daughter of George Steel, died 1848.
  3. John Aiken, born 29 January 1801, Wester Myvet, New Monkland. Married Janet Belch in 20 December 1841 (she was 20 years younger) in Anderston, Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland. In the 1851 census he was a Spirit, Tea and Tobacco Merchant, employing 21 men and 25 boys. He and Janet were living at 65 Charlotte St, Glasgow St. Andrew, along with two sons and a daughter, two brothers and a sister, and nephew Robert, the brother of our George. He died on 24 Nov 1875 in Cardross, Dumbartonshire, Scotland
  4. Mary Aiken, born 1802 (christened 26 September 1802) in Wester Myvet, New Monkland. She married Robert Sproul on 28 May 1837 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. She died in 1860 in Blythswood, Glasgow, Larnarkshire, Scotland
  5. James Aiken, born 4 February 1805, Wester Myvet, New Monkland. May have died in infancy.
  6. Samuel Aiken, born 2 February 1807, Wester Myvet, New Monkland. May have died in infancy.
  7. Barton Aiken, born 3 September 1809, Wester Myvet, New Monkland. He married Janet Salmon on 15 Apr 1856 in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. He appears in the 1861 Scottish Census, living at 23 Monteith Row, Glasgow St. James, with wife Janet, his sister Janet Aiken (b 1815), Brother-in-law Peter Salmon and servant Jessie Craig. Occupation, Spirit Dealer. In the 1871 census he moved the short distance to 18 Monteith Row, with Jennie Watt (relationship unclear). In the 1881 census he still at 18 Monteith Row, and now with his second wife, Mary and servant Helen McKenzie. He died in 1893 in Kelvin, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
  8. William Aiken, born 11 June 1811 in Wester Myvett, New Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He married Jane M Watson on 7 March 1865 in Blythswood, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  9. Janet Aiken, born 26 February 1815, Faulds, Cumbernauld, Dunbarton. She died about 1889 in Scotland. She appears 1841, Faulds, Cumbernauld. She appears in the 1851 Scottish Census with brother John (3 above), and family in Glasgow. In the 1861 census she's with brother Barton (7 above). In 1871 she is living at 47 Kelvinhaugh St., Anderston, Glasgow. And, 1881, she's at 22 Arlington Street, Barony, Glasgow.
  10. Thomas Aiken, born 4 August 1817, Faulds, Cumbernauld, Dunbarton. May have died in infancy.

 

Back to top


Biographical Details:

John Aiken
Married, Janet Craig, 2 June 1715
Died 1759

Back to top


Biographical Details:

William Aiken

Had three sons and was succeeded by his oldest son, William Aiken. Other sons, John (see above) and Robert.

Back to top