19 January 2009

The Morro Velho Gordons...

...is the name of the article in the NZ Genealogist magazine I found in my local library this morning. An interesting article on the family, while the details are more fleshed out they are very similar to those I wrote about yesterday. However, it does answer my question as to why these documents ended up in NZ. I quote from the article:-

Five children were born to them [James & Mary Gordon] but Mary, the youngest, was the only one not to pre-decease her father. James' and Mary's youngest son, John Stevenson, was the first to die. He contracted scarlet fever during a spell of leave which the family spend in the UK. He was only seven. James Muter Anderson, known as Anderson, sadly died an accidental death at age 30. In 1875, when acting as superintendent of the mine during his parents' absence, he slipped and fell among some machinery. He head was crushed, causing instantaneous death. The eldest son William Newell, a gentleman tutor, never married and died in England of a chest infection at age 55.

The elder daughter, Jane Grieve Gordon, had married Henry Frederick Meadows at Morro Velho in 1862. Their son, Frederick Gordon Meadows, was born there in 1863 and their daughter Annie Eugenia in 1866. This family returned to England for a time and then emigrated to New Zealand, eventually settling in Sheffield, Canterbury. After her mother's death Jane suffered a paroxysm of grief. She returned to London for a spell but this did not cure the melancholia from which she suffered until her death in 1892 of heart disease, at age 50.

The baby of the family, Mary Anderson, proved the most robust. She married James Crichton Bushnan* at Morro Velho. It seems likely that James was a relative as his father's Christian names were John Stevenson, the same as Mary's youngest brother. Ship voyages obviously did not daunt Mary, as she made a visit to New Zealand. The gold nugget which she'd had in her possession was donated to the British Museum.

* The various sources I found give James' surname as Bushman.

james-newell-gordon-small mary-mcqueen-anderson-small

Original photographs taken in 1868 by Augusto Riedel. Reproductions by Foto Fiddlers.

  • Reference
  • NZ Genealogist Nov/Dec 1998 - written by Margaret McGavin, great-granddaughter of Jane & Henry Meadows.

1 comment:

roblock said...

Bushnan is correct - the story of how Buchanan became Bushnan is told in an 1857 note in Notes and Queries. (Google Books)