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The NICOL Children

Rumour has it that Alexander NICOL and Isabella JARVIE had seventeen children. I can account for thirteen, and will include one other - a child named Ben who was born and died on the Canterbury, en route to New Zealand.

Janet Provan NICOL was the first of Alexander and Isabella's children, born on the 21st of September 1863, in Carluke, Larnarkshire, Scotland. Alexander and Isabella had married in this town just over one year before, on the 2nd of August. Janet was named after her mother's mother - Janet PROVAN. Janet married Arthur PETHERBRIDGE, a railways man who was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, on the 21st of February, 1887 - she was 24, he was 32.

Janet and Arthur had two children in Darfield, one in Culverden, two in Rangiora, one in Christchurch, one in Amberley, and two more in Fendalton, Christchurch - this was nine children in seventeen years, and six homes.

Eight years after the birth of their youngest child, Violet, Janet died. They were living in Motu in the Eastern bay of Plenty, of the North Island, and she is buried there.

Arthur went on to marry again - he returned to Christchurch and married Ellen SOUTHWORTH just over nine months later.

The children of Janet and Arthur are: William, Isabella, Alexander, Robert, Lydia, Arthur, James, Fanny and Violet.

Mary Horn NICOL was born on the 9th of August 1865, also in Carluke. She was named after her father's mother, Mary HORN. Mary married John TROUP on the 13th of September 1885 in Glentunnel. They had one son, James.

I do not know what happened to John TROUP. I have a will of a John TROUP, of Glentunnel from 1897, in which he bequeaths everything to his mother. Mary was certainly known in Glentunnel, as she owned the local store. This apparently was totally destroyed by fire one night. Mary died on the 26th of September 1948, and is buried in the South Malvern Cemetery, Coalgate.

Their son James listed his occupation as a rabbiter, and his will makes interesting reading. While he never married, he left everything to Jean DALBY with whom he apparently lived for a number of years. James died in 1956 and is buried next to his mother.

Alexander NICOL (named for his father) was born on 23 April 1867, in Carluke. He was a miner, and married a local girl (from Whitecliffs, near Glentunnel) Elizabeth LEEMING on 16 July 1891. Alexander worked in the mines near Westport, and was killed at the age of 30 in the Coalbrookdale mine (near Denniston) when a package of explosives detonated. He is buried in the Waimangaroa Cemetery at the bottom of the Denniston hill.

Elizabeth remarried after Alexander's death - to Robert Girton BROWN. I do not know whether Elizabeth had any children either by Alexander or Robert.

Isabella NICOL (named for her mother), was born on the 6th of June 1869, in Carluke. When she was just 20 she married a local landowner - the fifty-three year old Alexander COLVILLE. They had three children - Christina Isabella, Thomas Alexander and Alexander between 1891 and 1896. On the 29th October 1900, Alexander (Isabella's husband) died, leaving Isabella with three children aged nine, seven, and four. Alexander was buried on his youngest son's fourth birthday.

It is possible that Alexander was married before Isabella - there is a record of a marriage of Alexander COLVILLE to Jane MAJOR in 1880.

Alexander's death left Isabella a wealthy woman - in theory. Alexander's will left everything in trust to Isabella, for his children as long as she did not remarry. For fifteen years Isabella remained alone, running the farm. However, a child was born on 1 July 1909. By 1915 Isabella had decided to marry again, to Thomas HAWKINS. I do not know when Isabella died.

James NICOL (named after his mother's father) was born on 7 May 1871, in Carluke. He married Mary REDCLIFF (or RADCLIFFE). They had two children - Daisy Isabella and Basil Alexander, and lived in and around Marshlands (now a part of Christchurch). James died in 1940, in Christchurch, and Mary died in 1954. Many descendants remember "Daisy NICOL" - their eldest child.

Henry NICOL was born on the 7th of February 1873, and married Sarah GAINE (or GENN) on the 31st of March 1902. They had one child - Christina Gladys NICOL. - Many descendants remember "Gladys FEVER". Henry died in 1928 in Glentunnel, after serving in the first world war.

According to rumours, Ben NICOL was born and died on board the Canterbury en route to New Zealand in 1874. I have not been able to prove (or disprove) this.

Agnes NICOL was the first of Alexander and Isabella's children to be born in New Zealand. She arrived on the 18th of August 1875. Strangely, her surname was registered "NICHOL". Agnes married Robert Darling WELSH, and lived much of her life in Kaitangata - where her mother's brother Andrew JARVIE had settled with his family. They had at least one child, Robert.

Jane NICOL was born on the 24th of May 1954, in Templeton (near Christchurch). She married Giovanni CASTALANELLI, a half-Italian from Australia, and lived in Waiuta on the West Coast for most of her life. Jane and John (or Jack COLLINS as he was known) ran the shop in Waiuta, and also a boardinghouse. They had four daughters, two of whom did not live past infancy. Martha and Jean are the surviving daughters.

Jack died in 1947 and was buried in the Reefton Cemetery. Jane died on her 77th birthday in 1954, and was cremated and laid to rest in the Ruru lawn Cemetery in Christchurch. In 1999 she was taken to Reefton, and her ashes are now with Jack.

Elizabeth NICOL was born on the 17th of February 1879 in Glentunnel. She married Edward Deed STANCOMBE in 1909 and had three children around Mrt Grey in North Canterbury. Elizabeth died in 1938 and Edward in 1946. He is buried in the Belfast Cemetery.

Rachel NICOL - our very own Rachel HUNTER! Rachel was born on the 30th of October 1880, in Glentunnel. She married Robert HUNTER on the 18th of March 1903. They had five children - Rachel (Trot) (who married James PETHERBRIDGE, her cousin), Arthur (known as Boy), Andrew (known as Barney), and the twins, Ivy and Myrtle.

Rachel died in 1962 and is buried in the Linwood Cemetery in Christchurch.

John NICOL was born in September 1881, in Glentunnel, and died at the age of nine months.

Andrew or Andy NICOL was born on the 16th of January 1884 in Glentunnel. He lived in Waiuta most of his adult life, and was known as a remarkable gardener. He looked after the Waiuta bathhouse and the hospital grounds. He served as a soldier in the first world war, and died on the 11th of June 1941. He is buried in the Reefton Cemetery, in an unmarked grave.

Arthur NICOL the baby of a very large family. Isabella was 47 when Arthur was born on the 21st of March 1887. Arthur worked in the Denniston mines alongside his eldest brother Alexander, and then went to war. He was killed in France on the 12th of October 1917.

Some statistics:
Fourteen known children
Seven girls and seven boys
The children's names roughly followed the Scottish naming patterns, - mother's mother, father's mother, father, mother, mother's father, father's brother, father's brother, mother's sister,...
Of the sons, two died as infants, two died at 30, the remaining three died at 55, 57 and 69.
Isabella JARVIE lived to a greater age than any of her children reached (87).
Six children were born in Scotland, seven in Canterbury and one on board the ship "The Canterbury".
When Alexander and Isabella emigrated they had six children - aged 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.
One child died overseas, 1 in the North Island, 1 in Waiuta, 1 in Denniston, 1 in Kaitangata and the remaining 12 in and around Christchurch.

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