Aiken Family

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

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    

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..

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.

Above: a painting of the Cumbernauld village area about 1840

Biographical Details:

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.
  • bert 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 that he 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.
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 Farm CensusPlace: Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland GRO Reference: 203452
    Dwelling: 1332 Volume: 483 District / Page: 13 / 9
    Forenames Surname Relation Status Sex Age Occupation Where Born
    James STEEL Head M M 37 Farmer Of 13 Arable Employs 2 Old Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
    Mary STEEL Wife M F 34 Farmers Wife Cumbernauld, Dunbarton, Scotland
    John STEEL Son M 8 Scholar Kirkintilloch, Dunbarton, Scotland
    Robert STEEL Son M 6 Scholar Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    James STEEL Son M 6 Scholar Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    Janet STEEL Daur F 4 Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    George STEEL Son M 1 Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    Janet AITKEN Mother In Law W F 78 Farmers Widow New Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
    Robert SHAW Servant U M 38 Farm Servant Old Monkland, Lanark, Scotland
    Alex PATRICK Servant U M 40 Farm Servant Kilsyth, Stirling, Scotland
    Janet SHIELDS Servant U F 21 Gen Dom Serv Kilsyth, 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. 

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.


Biographical Details:

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

Biographical Details:

William Aiken

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