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Rosalee Shaw - Family History

History of the Shaw Family in Australia

Immigration to New Zealand

In 1865 Thomas and Mary SHAW (nee McINTYRE), together with Thomas' brother David, his wife Janet and their children David, Janet, Charles and Thomas, immigrated from Glasgow to New Zealand aboard the ‘Viola’.

In addition, some of Mary's family immigrated with them, including Donald & James McINTYRE, Daniel & his wife Janet, together with their children Marion, John and Peter.

Also on board was John SHAW, possibly a cousin.

Newspaper Report of Arrival

The Southern Cross April 5th 1865


The ship Viola, Captain Mitchell, arrived in harbour yesterday morning from Glasgow, with a large cargo of general merchandise and 340 Government immigrants. She is consigned to Mr. Walter Grahame. The Viola took her departure on the 8th December, and was detained in the chops of the Channel for ten days. Experienced very light N.E. and S.E. trades. Crossed the equator on the 16th January, in 20' 30 W. longitude, and rounded the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope on the 17th February in 40' S latitude. Ran her easting down between the parallels of 42' and 47' S with moderate weather, passing to the southward of Tasmania. Rounded the North Cape of New Zealand on the 27th March, and encountered heavy S. E. gales for three days. Since then fine weather has prevailed. No vessels connected with the colonies were sighted during the voyage. There have been eight births, and twelve deaths.


Settling in Clevedon

In 1852, one of the first European settlers to arrive in Clevedon was Mr Duncan McNicol and his family. In 1865 a further 150 new immigrants arrived from Scotland on the ship ‘Viola’. After landing at Auckland they went by barge up the Wairoa River to Wairoa (Clevedon) where they decided to settle in the Clevedon Valley and the surrounding districts. Originally covered in thick native bush, the settlers cleared the land resulting in many of them being involved in timber milling and gum digging activities. After clearing, the area was used predominantly for pastoral farming, with some horticultural development in prime soil areas.

Gold Mining in Australia

Family stories tell how the SHAWs migrated first to New Zealand. The "boys" then went gold mining in Australia and, true to family luck, found nothing. It seems they were on their way home to New Zealand when they stopped off in Wallsend (Newcastle NSW) to earn money for the passage home by working in the coal mines. There John met Margaret and that was it. After the children were born John went searching for gold again in Ballarat, Victoria. When Margaret didn't hear news from him for some time, she left the children with family and went looking for him. Thomas was found (according to the story) living with a "French woman" who had a small baby. Margaret brought Thomas back home with her. The story does not tell more, except to say that he was never allowed to forget that he "couldn't be trusted".

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