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The JARVIE Connection

In 1874, when the NICOL family (Alexander and Isabella, with their children Janet, Mary, Alexander, Isabella, James and Henry) set sail for New Zealand on board the Canterbury from Glasgow, they were not alone. Isabella's brother Andrew JARVIE was on board with his wife Janet and children Elizabeth, Janet, Margaret, Agnes, James, Jane and William.

The NICOL family from the shipping list of the Canterbury

The JARVIE family from the shipping list of the Canterbury

The voyage was about three months, and you have to wonder how the two families coped, with 11 children aged 10 and under, one aged just 8 months at the beginning of the journey, and according to an old story, Isabella pregnant with a baby who was born and died on board the ship.

In 1875 Janet JARVIE gave birth to another son, Andrew Sydenham JARVIE, in Christchurch NZ. Andrew JARVIE settled his family on a section in Kaitangata, Otago, that had first been purchased by a JARVIE in approximately 1850. Who is this mystery Jarvie man? The section is owned today by a descendant of Andrew JARVIE. Within five years Andrew was one of the victims in the horrific Kaitangata Mine Disaster - leaving his wife and eight children to fend for themselves. Janet died in 1920.

It seems that the families kept in contact through the years, with Agnes, Alexander and Isabella's eighth child, marrying Robert Darling WELSH and living in Kaitangata. Jane JARVIE, Andrew and Janet's 5th daughter married John WELSH and also remained in Kaitangata. I do not know whether Robert and John were related, however, it appears likely.

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