When were they born?
I have recently asked someone to help find some information after I found an age discrepancy across 2 records relating to travel. I expected a simple answer of yes, here is the information, or no the information no longer exists. What I got was a whole line of new questions regarding the ages of my ancestors who came out from Scotland in 1840.
This first age discrepancy that I found was with Donald Cameron (jnr) who migrated to New Zealand during the last quarter of 1840. In a supporting document given out at the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the ship “Blenheim” in 1990 has the age of Donald Cameron as 15 (at time of travel). However in the recent document (and subsequent live online document) “The Blenheim People” has Donald Cameron’s age as 16.
I tried to do some initial research into this discrepancy. I found that the earlier figure appears to have been sourced from the N.Z. Gazette 2 Jan 1840, some time before the voyage which was left Scotland in August of that year. I attempted to find this document online however I had no luck. It appears that the Papers Past website although having this paper archived, did not have it for the date I was interested in.
The later date comes from the embarkation list (in its original form) which has been uploaded to FamilySearch website. This handwritten document states where and when the ship left, who captained it, and lists all the passengers with their genders and ages in family groups. This document is very convincing to indicate the ages of people given at the time of departure.
There are other variations of age between the two documents for this family group and they are as follows;
- Son, Alexander 16 and 17
- Son Donald 15 and 16
- Son John 9 and 10
- Son Duncan 6 and 8
Also worthy of noting, is that during the construction of the motorway in the 1960s, the grave, along with nearly 3500 other bodies were exhumed and moved to a common vault. As a result the headstone relocated to another place in the cemetery.
My researcher found variances between this inscription and the supporting death records displayed in the BDM website (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/home). I will break each record down as she found them;
Sacred to the memory of Donald CAMERON Senr., d. 12 February 1860, a. 75
Donald CAMERON, d. 27 June 1866, a. 38
Anne CAMERON, wife of Dugald CAMERON, d. 30 April 1870, a. 26
Christina CAMERON, wife of Donald CAMERON Senr, d. 18 December 1872, a. 75
Dugald CAMERON, d. 16 March 1873, a. 50
Christina Anne CAMERON, dau of Dugald CAMERON, 3 September 1877, aged 14 years
Christina CAMERON dau of Alexander CAMERON, d. 26 October 1878, a. 19 years
Alexander CAMERON, d. 19 December 1899, a. 76
Also of Hugh CAMERON, son of above Alexander CAMERON, who died 21 December 1910, a. 47
also Mary CAMERON wife of Alexander CAMERON, who died at Mangapakeha, 11 October 1911, a. 77
[UPDATE 31/10/2019] It has been brought to my Attention that there is another body in that grave that is not included on the headstone.
Donald died 1866 aged 1 year 10 months (Public Cemetery Register).
The BDM has him aged 1 year.
As a result I will need to probably order some documents, some further research is being done by the Friends of Bolton Street Memorial Cemetery. I am now on the hunt for further documents. Where the dates are slightly different might be differences in death date and burial date, I will continue to update my Ancestry tree with new information as I find it.
Although a timely process, I have discovered how to add custom repositories and use online sources as custom sources. I have found this useful when adding information from FamilySearch.org, which ancestry do not use as a resource, but you can add it as a repository with details about the website, then add source references to particular urls targeted at particular individuals. Then download images and attach that to the resource.
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