The picture above is the destination of most of our ancestors – Koputai or Otago Harbour showing Dunedin in its early days!
Introduction to the Families
First look at people
The Taieri Allans
The Allans were a very large family. Their history has been written up twice. The most significant work is The Taieri Allans by John Thompson Allan which is available on this site under histories.
Agness Allan & John Allen (the Allans) were from families of weavers and small farmers, so were doubtless affected by these upheavals. In 1842, therefore, they emigrated to New Zealand with their four sons and three daughters.They were religious dissenters and had attended the Burgher Kirk, in Kilmarnock, one of many sects that split from the Church of Scotland during the 18th century. On 4 July 1842, John and Agness and the children sailed from Cumbrae on the barque New Zealand, arriving in Nelson on 3 November 1842. John apparently had a small property at Richmond. They moved on to Otago in 1844, over three years before the official settlement began. This was largely as a result of difficulties with land title in Nelson, challenging economic conditions and the so-called Wairau Massacre. The Allans initially lived at Andersons Bay but in 1850 moved to the Taieri where John built a house on the farm he called Bellfield. He became the first elder of the East Taieri Presbyterian Church and in 1854 a member of the first Otago Presbytery. He died in 1863.
The picture is of his son, James H Allan and his wife Jane Sutcliffe.
The Sargisons were relatively late settlers, arriving on the Wellington in Dec. 1874. The ship, incidentally, was of 1,250 tons, new and built for Patrick Henderson which later amalgamated with Shaw Savill. This ship was approximately twice the tonnage of the Philip Laing, Such was the demand for emigration and the advancement of technology! Aboard were Henry (Harry) Griffen Sargison , born in December 1856 at Parson Grove, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and his elder brother, William George Sargison, born in 1852. They each purchased land in Waitatiti – Merchiston. The descent line is through Henry Harry Griffen Sargison who was born in Parsons Drove, Cambridgeshire in December 1856; his father, Michael, was 26 and his mother, Jane, was 29. The Griffen in his name came from his mother’s surname but why it was spelt differently (but not consistently) is unknown. Multiple spellings of names were not unusual. On 15 May 1876, Harry married Mary Ann Horne from Leverington in Cambridgeshire. Harry and his brother, and the Horne family had all emigrated to Otago aboard the same ship the previous year.
The Waitaki Cunninghams
The Waitaki Cunninghams
The Cunningham line came (via Australia) to Otago in 1861, first to Tuapeka (Lawrence) and then to the Waitaki Valley. Their son, James who was born in Tuapeka in 1861. Robert was a shopkeeper and undoubtedly benefited from the gold rush at nearby Gabriel’s Gully where gold was found in 1861. James became a large landowner.
One of Robert’s children was George Cunningham whose daughter was Georgina Betson Cunningham (1878-1912) . Her father died in the Waitaki River before her birth Her mother, Annie Jack, died when she was only 5. She married James Henry Sargison, a school teacher. Tragically, she in turn died when her son Eric Duncan Sargison was only 4.