Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sievwrights in New Zealand

I have been doing some work today on the descendants of Colin Sievwright who went to New Zealand.

David Burnett Sievwright 1845-1931 (tree here) and his family emigrated some time between 1873- 1881*. He was a shoemaker. I wasn't making too much progress until I tried a google search. I am indebted to the New Zealand government for putting old newspapers online.

I found several mentions of their daughter Annie McKenzie Sievwright including her getting school prizes in 1881 for buttonholes and good attendance.

There are several court cases in which D B Sievwright appears involving fairly petty squabbles and verbal abuse. I particularly enjoyed the one in 1882 where a man is accused of assaulting Mrs Sievwright (Helen Grant). It seems a cow got into their garden and when the owner Mason came to retrieve it she demanded money for the damage. The judge dismissed the case saying "Mrs Sievwright was possessed of a hasty temper and it was evident she had no control over herself at the time and did not know what occurred."

Their son, James Dickson Sievwright 1863-1947 was a journalist and he too was involved in a court case involving slander over a business deal that went sour. He was defended by a Mr A B Sievwright which turns out to be his son Archibald Burnett Sievwright 1890-1978 who graduated LLB in 1913 and whose photo above is published here

* Update: they arrived on the Oamaru in Otago on  17 Feb 1875 having left Glasgow on 30 November the previous year. Record here.

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