Saturday, 14 March 2015

Family History - the McLeans

We've had a family history search come our way lately - actually several - but this one came with photos.

The person is looking for information to do with the McLean family who originally came from the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Parents were Charles and Christina McLean. They had about 9 children, three of whom came to NZ about 1911 (or before). The sons who came were Donald (1884-1966), Callum Campbell (1885-1918), and Donald Archibald (1889-1977).

Ada & Donald McLean c 1918
Donald, the elder with no middle name, enlisted for WWI from Otautau in early 1915. While overseas, he married Ada Norton in England in 1918. They had a son, Donald William Charles (1919-1986) who was brought up in Otautau. Donald had a brief business as a bootmaker in Otautau - his father, Charles, was a shoemaker back in Salen, Scotland. The son, Donald William Charles, ended up in the electrical trade in Riverton. He married Violet Hanifin.

We're looking for any information on Ada McLean nee Norton. She is buried in the Riverton Cemetery as is Callum Campbell, Donald's brother. Is she from a family in NZ or did she come from England?

She died in 1922, aged 30, but we wonder if she had any other children before then.

We're also looking for the identities of the people in the following photos.

Ada and son but who are the others?
In this photo, the woman reclining is Ada McLean and probably her son, Donald William Charles. We'd like to know who the girls and woman kneeling at the back are. Nieces? Cousins? Is this Ada's mother?

Then there are these two women whose names were written on the backs of the photos but with no surname. They look like sisters and probably dated more recently than the rest of the photos. Do you know them or their connection with the McLeans?
Martha 
Winnie






Ada & Donald McLean
The last photo is Ada & Donald again as a young couple. After Ada passed away, Donald remarried in 1930 to Georgina Rose Tweedie (1900-1990). We are looking for any information on her and whether they had any children. Donald is buried in the Wairio Cemetery. Georgina was cremated and buried in Green Park Cemetery in Dunedin.

If you can help in any way, please contact us via email. Thanks!

We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and at your request.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

1 - Roll of Honour - Eugene Tangney

This is the first of a series of posts on Otautau's WWI Roll of Honour. The men on the war memorial will be highlighted as well as the men who, for one reason or another, did not get their name on the memorial. 

There were many perils the men faced - not only the prospect of being killed in action but also catching a disease in the midst of the war and not being able to recover from it. We will be listing these men starting with who died first.

8/492 Private Tangney

The first person from Otautau to lose his life in WWI was Eugene Tangney. He was born in Invercargill in 1889, the eldest son of Patrick & Isabella Tangney. His father was a railway surfaceman in Otautau. Eugene went to Otautau School and later became a timber tallyman for nine years for the Southland Sawmilling Co. in Pukewao.

We have no picture of him but his military file described him as 5 ft 7 1/2 inches (about 170 cm), with grey eyes and light brown hair. He was of Roman Catholic faith.

Private Tangney enlisted on 15 Aug 1914 soon after the war began. He was a member of the 8th Company (Southland) for the Otago Infantry Regiment. After his training, he would’ve been preparing for the treacherous landing at Gallipoli with his regiment but he contracted pneumonia a week beforehand and died in Lemnos, Greece, 24 Apr 1915, aged 26 years.

His death was reported throughout New Zealand newspapers as he was also a noted athlete.
“Private Tangney’s career as an athlete was a short but brilliant one. He was a natural long distance runner, and like many others was discovered by accident.”
—The Press, 6 May 1915
Private Tangney had a short life but his death in the Great War was honoured by inclusion on Otautau's war memorial which was unveiled in 1922. This memorial helps us reflect on life, death, war, and our role as citizens.

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Update of WWI Soldiers Photos Needed

We've gotten about 18 photos since our last post - most from Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. Many thanks to Toitū! Here is the updated list of WWI soldiers whose photos we are seeking. Please have a look and let us know if you know how to obtain a photo of one of these men.

James Robert Ewen Beck (49323) - horse trainer in Winton; discharged with diabetes; died at Wairio.

William James Butler (18958) - worked in Merrivale; killed in action 14 Jun 1917.

William Clark - no information on him.

Albert Ernest Dove (9/693) - an Australian who was working in Orawia when he enlisted; died of wounds in 1918, France.

William Healey (11279) - labourer at Woodlaw; died of TB, 1918.

James Duncan Laing (32862) - from Dipton; killed in action, 1918.

Arthur David Lindsay (45102) - Strathmore, Otautau, farmer; died of influenza, Invercargill, 1918.

Joseph McAfee (42688) - from Otautau; died, 1918.

Daniel McKenzie (8/1786) - from Scotland and worked in Otautau; killed in action, 1916.

John Morris (45538) - Australian working at Scotts Gap; died of wounds, 1917.

Donald Muir (8/1808) - Scot working at Linton Park, Otautau; died of wounds, 1917.

Walter James Powell (18939) - from Scotts Gap; died of wounds, 1917.

Arthur John Scott - no information.

Eugene Tangney (8/492) - worked at Pukewao; died of pneumonia, Egypt, 1915.

If you received this as an email, you can see make comments by clicking on the title which will take you to the blog. We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and at your request.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Last Call for WWI Photos

The centenary of the Anzacs landing at Gallipoli is near, and we are still looking for photos of the men listed on the Otautau War memorial for our display.

We've gotten a good response from the public so far and are very grateful as most of these men are not found in other sources such as the Auckland War Memorial database or newspapers.

Here is an updated list of photos that we still need. Serial numbers and where they were born are included for accurate identification.

Leonard Allen (27426) - an Australian who was living and working in Wairio when he enlisted for the war. He was killed in action 7 Jun 1917.

Joseph Beck Ayton (61169) - lived and worked in Aparima.

James Robert Ewen Beck (49323) - horse trainer in Winton; discharged with diabetes; died at Wairio.

William George Napier Brown (22226)

William James Butler (18958) - worked in Merrivale; killed in action 14 Jun 1917.

William Clark - no information on him.

Albert Ernest Dove (9/693) - an Australian who was working in Orawia when he enlisted; died of wounds in 1918, France.

Peter Ellis (41078) - from Wairio; killed in action at Passchendaele.

Albert Walter Findlater (47016) - blacksmith in Otautau; killed in action 1918.

Michael Henry Ford (9/816) - from Heddon Bush; discharged from war and died at Heddon Bush.

Robert Emmet Ford (18983) - blacksmith at Orawia; killed at Messines.

Sydney Ford (8/3900) - Otautau farmer; killed at Somme.

Oliver Daly Gavigan (48193) - Otautau farmer; died of wounds, 1918.

William Healey (11279) - labourer at Woodlaw; died of TB, 1918.

Peter Thomas Johnston (24/199) - from Avondale; killed at Passchendaele.

Francis Andrew Laidlaw (8/3938) - from Isla Bank; killed at the Somme, 1916.

James Duncan Laing (32862) - from Dipton; killed in action, 1918.

Arthur David Lindsay (45102) - Strathmore, Otautau, farmer; died of influenza, Invercargill, 1918.

Joseph McAfee (42688) - from Otautau; died, 1918.

Douglas Victor McCaw (71042) - farm cadet, Otautau; died of disease, 1918.

Daniel McKenzie (8/1786) - from Scotland and worked in Otautau; killed in action, 1916.

John Morris (45538) - Australian working at Scotts Gap; died of wounds, 1917.

Donald Muir (8/1808) - Scot working at Linton Park, Otautau; died of wounds, 1917.

Patrick O'Shaughnessy (36882) - from Ireland, worked in Otautau; killed in action, 1917.

Ernest John Pay (8/3996) - Ryal Bush cheesemaker; killed in action at the Somme.

Walter James Powell (18939) - from Scotts Gap; died of wounds, 1917.

Arthur John Scott - no information.

Eugene Tangney (8/492) - worked at Pukewao; died of pneumonia, Egypt, 1915.

Edward Richard Thomas (9/350) - Otautau contractor; killed at Gallipoli, 1915.

Andrew Hannah Ward (33046) - from Thornbury; killed at Passchendaele, 1917.

If you have a photo of one of these men, please email us. Thanks!

If you received this as an email, you can see the original (and perhaps updated) post and make comments by clicking on the title which will take you to the blog. We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and at your request.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Positions Available

We're looking for new people to fill vacant positions at the museum. We need a Collection Manager and a Display Manager as soon as possible. No experience necessary. Please drop us a line here to find out more.

By the way, if you received this as an email, you can see this post in all its glory and make comments by clicking on the title which will take you to the blog. We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and at your request.