Children of George Aiken and Janet M Gardiner


George & Janet Aiken had nine children:

  1. Margaret Russell Aiken, b. 1845
  2. Janet ‘Jessie’ Marshall Aiken, b. 1848
  3. Elizabeth Reid Aiken, b. 1850
  4. Mary “Polly” Fleming Aiken, b. 1852
  5. Anne ‘Annie’ McFarlane Aiken, b. 1854
  6. Robert Steele Aiken, b.1856
  7. William Calder Aiken, b. 1858
  8. Henrietta Frances Aiken, b. 1860
  9. George Aiken, b. 1862

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.
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.

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.
  1. 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.

  2. 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;
    Margaret Fullerton Wright, 1898-2 April 1986 (buried at Waddington Cemetery)

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

Below: Frederick Wright about 1884/5.

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.
Died 27 OCtober 1924, Wellington.

“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.


Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Saturday 25 May 1872

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.”

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.

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.

Elizabeth Reid Aiken

Born 27 May 1850, in the family home in Hardy Street, Nelson.
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.

Mary “Polly” Fleming Aiken

Born 24 June 1852, Nelson
Died aged 16, 22 April 1869 in Nelson.

Anne ‘Annie’ McFarlane Aiken

Born 29 April 1854 in Nelson.
Married Henry William Young (brother of RA Young) on 14 April 1883.
Died January 1924, Rotorua, NZ

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

Robert Steele Aiken

Born 20 April 1856 in Nelson
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

William Calder Aiken

Born on 21 Apr 1858 in Nelson.

Married (1) 9 February 1882 in Queensland

Married (2) 6 November 1902 in Wellington

Dies 28 February 1916

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

Above: 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).

Henrietta Frances Aiken

Born 26 May 1860 in Nelson.
Married in Westport, on 24 February 1881, to Robert Falla.
Died in 1901 in Westport, NZ

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.

Below: Hugh Munro Mackay (1920-1943)

Above: Margery Lucy Cronshaw (1923-2008)

Below: Leonard Munro Falla

George Aiken

Born, 19 October 1862 Nelson.
Married, 31 July 1889 in Queensland.
Died 26 August 1948, Brisbane, Queensland.

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. 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.

Above: George Aiken, b. 1862

Below: Norman and Ruby Aiken