James BLYTH[1, 2, 3]

Male 1801 - 1862  (61 years)


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  • Name James BLYTH 
    • JAMES BLYTH and ANN LAING
      James, the son of David Blyth and Janet Anderson, was born in Cupar, Fifeshire, in 1802. However he was not christened until 16th June 1817.

      As a young man he traveled to South America. From early in 1830 until January 1836 he worked as a carpenter, joiner and cabinetmaker in Lima, Peru. The British Consul General in Peru, Belford Hinton Wilson, was so impressed with James that he wrote him a reference praising his “unimpeachable honesty, sobriety and persevering industry''

      After six years in Peru, which included involvement in a rebellion and the war with Bolivia, James returned to Scotland where on 24 February 1940 in Cupar, he married Ann Laing, daughter of James Laing and Catherine Anderson.

      On 6th November 1841, with their 7-month-old son David, James and Ann sailed for New Zealand on the “Martha Ridgway” via the Cape of Good Hope. Records of the ship show that it was built in Liverpool in 1840 and was “sheathed in felt and yellow metal.” It was described as a “splendid ship constructed expressly for the passenger trade.” She had a “very spacious poop” and was “replete with every arrangement for the comfort and health of the passengers.” The 621 ton sailing ship made its maiden voyage to New Zealand captained by Henry Webb, and after a tempestuous journey, arrived in Nelson on 7th April 1842. James gave his occupation at the time as a joiner. The family later disembarked at Petone, less than two years after the settlement of Wellington. The Martha Ridgway meet an untimely end that same year (1842) when on a trip from New Zealand to Bombay she was wrecked on a reef in the Torres Strait.

      For some years James was a businessman in Wellington. On October the 16th, 17th, 19th and 24th of 1848 Wellington was rocked by earthquakes. Ward's book ‘Early Wellington', describing houses affected by the quakes mentions James's two storied clay house in Dixon street as being “much shaken with one gable down.”

      During his time in Wellington James was a member of the first “Kirk session” of the Church of Scotland which occurred in 1853.

      James appears on the Burgess Roll for the Borough of Wellington in 1842, is shown on the list of persons qualified to serve as jurors for the District of Port Nicholson for 1848 and 1856, and is on the City of Wellington electoral Roll, as a Cabinet Maker of Dixon Street, up until 1858. The Burgess Roll, by way of explanation, was a record of all men granted the freedom of the city. It was an ancient Scottish honor which, among other things, granted the holder a share in government.

      At some time after the birth of his youngest child (Herbert in 1861) James purchased a 2,000 acre property and homestead in the recently settled Wanganui area. He named the homestead “Marybank” in honor of his daughter Mary who coincidentally had been born the same year as the home was completed. The homestead had been built by David Strachan from Kahikatea timber cut and pit sawn on site. It was of a double-gabled design with a front verandah.

      The move to Wanganui would have been a major undertaking in those days as the country had not long been ‘opened up’ and the threat from marauding bands of Maori was very real.
      With true pioneering spirit James entered into the local community determined to establish a viable settlement. He was the first Chairman of the Whangaehu School Committee, a member of the Provincial Council, a Justice of the Peace and an elder of the Presbyterian Church. He was no doubt a well-respected member of the community.

      On the evening of 8th October 1862, less than two years after moving to the area, while returning from visiting the Campbell family at nearby ‘Wiritoa,' James was thrown from his horse and killed.
      On his death the properties “Marybank” at Putiki, and “Blythwood” at Taylorville, were leased out. When Ann died in 1886 the properties were divided up between the couples nine children.
    Born 31 May 1801  Cupar, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Gender Male 
    Died 8 Oct 1862  Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Person ID I2  BlythCarrollFamilyTree
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2016 

    Father David BLYTH,   b. 19 Jan 1777, Cupar, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1867, Cupar, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother Janet ANDERSON,   b. 17 Apr 1778, Cupar, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F7  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ann LAING,   b. 18 Sep 1820, Cupar, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1886, Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Married 24 Feb 1840  Cupar, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Children 
     1. David BLYTH,   b. Abt 1841, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Sep 1899, Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years)
     2. James BLYTH,   b. 1843, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Apr 1911, Whangaehu New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     3. Thomas Laing BLYTH,   b. 1845, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1907  (Age 62 years)
     4. Catherine BLYTH,   b. 1847, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1912  (Age 65 years)
     5. Jessie BLYTH,   b. 1850, Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Mary BLYTH,   b. 1853, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1915  (Age 62 years)
     7. Annie BLYTH,   b. 1855, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1892  (Age 37 years)
     8. William T BLYTH,   b. 1859, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1917  (Age 58 years)
     9. Herbert L BLYTH,   b. 1861, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1933  (Age 72 years)
    Last Modified 7 Aug 2016 
    Family ID F73  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    jamesblyth1800.JPG
    jamesblyth1800.JPG
    jamesblyth1854.jpg
    jamesblyth1854.jpg
    THE PAMPHLET COLLECTION OF SIR ROBERT STOUT- VOLUME 76  WANGANUI OLD SETTLERS.gif
    THE PAMPHLET COLLECTION OF SIR ROBERT STOUT- VOLUME 76 WANGANUI OLD SETTLERS.gif
    James Blyth 1801-1872
    James Blyth 1801-1872

    Documents
    James BLyth and Ann Laing
    James BLyth and Ann Laing

  • Notes 
    • JAMES BLYTH and ANN LAING
      James, the son of David Blyth and Janet Anderson, was born in Cupar, Fifeshire, in 1802. However he was not christened until 16th June 1817.

      As a young man he traveled to South America. From early in 1830 until January 1836 he worked as a carpenter, joiner and cabinetmaker in Lima, Peru. The British Consul General in Peru, Belford Hinton Wilson, was so impressed with James that he wrote him a reference praising his “unimpeachable honesty, sobriety and persevering industry''

      After six years in Peru, which included involvement in a rebellion and the war with Bolivia, James returned to Scotland where on 24 February 1940 in Cupar, he married Ann Laing, daughter of James Laing and Catherine Anderson.

      On 6th November 1841, with their 7-month-old son David, James and Ann sailed for New Zealand on the “Martha Ridgway” via the Cape of Good Hope. Records of the ship show that it was built in Liverpool in 1840 and was “sheathed in felt and yellow metal.” It was described as a “splendid ship constructed expressly for the passenger trade.” She had a “very spacious poop” and was “replete with every arrangement for the comfort and health of the passengers.” The 621 ton sailing ship made its maiden voyage to New Zealand captained by Henry Webb, and after a tempestuous journey, arrived in Nelson on 7th April 1842. James gave his occupation at the time as a joiner. The family later disembarked at Petone, less than two years after the settlement of Wellington. The Martha Ridgway meet an untimely end that same year (1842) when on a trip from New Zealand to Bombay she was wrecked on a reef in the Torres Strait.

      For some years James was a businessman in Wellington. On October the 16th, 17th, 19th and 24th of 1848 Wellington was rocked by earthquakes. Ward's book ‘Early Wellington', describing houses affected by the quakes mentions James's two storied clay house in Dixon street as being “much shaken with one gable down.”

      During his time in Wellington James was a member of the first “Kirk session” of the Church of Scotland which occurred in 1853.

      James appears on the Burgess Roll for the Borough of Wellington in 1842, is shown on the list of persons qualified to serve as jurors for the District of Port Nicholson for 1848 and 1856, and is on the City of Wellington electoral Roll, as a Cabinet Maker of Dixon Street, up until 1858. The Burgess Roll, by way of explanation, was a record of all men granted the freedom of the city. It was an ancient Scottish honor which, among other things, granted the holder a share in government.

      At some time after the birth of his youngest child (Herbert in 1861) James purchased a 2,000 acre property and homestead in the recently settled Wanganui area. He named the homestead “Marybank” in honor of his daughter Mary who coincidentally had been born the same year as the home was completed. The homestead had been built by David Strachan from Kahikatea timber cut and pit sawn on site. It was of a double-gabled design with a front verandah.

      The move to Wanganui would have been a major undertaking in those days as the country had not long been ‘opened up’ and the threat from marauding bands of Maori was very real.
      With true pioneering spirit James entered into the local community determined to establish a viable settlement. He was the first Chairman of the Whangaehu School Committee, a member of the Provincial Council, a Justice of the Peace and an elder of the Presbyterian Church. He was no doubt a well-respected member of the community.

      On the evening of 8th October 1862, less than two years after moving to the area, while returning from visiting the Campbell family at nearby ‘Wiritoa,' James was thrown from his horse and killed.
      On his death the properties “Marybank” at Putiki, and “Blythwood” at Taylorville, were leased out. When Ann died in 1886 the properties were divided up between the couples nine children.

      From THE PAMPHLET COLLECTION OF SIR ROBERT STOUT: VOLUME 76

      WANGANUI OLD SETTLERS

      Blyth, James.-This gentleman was an early settler and resided at "Mary Bank" about four miles from the town on the No. 1 Line of road. Mr. Blyth was a Justice of the Peace and Member of the Provincial Council, and a staunch supporter of the late Dr. Featherston, Superintendent of the Wellington Province. He came to an untimely end, however, having been thrown from his horse whilst riding home after dark one evening, his body being picked up by the roadside afterwards by a search party. Mr. Blyth was much respected and his death deeply regretted.

      PAPERS PAST NZ (NZ Archives), MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
      Wellington Independent, Volume XVI, Issue 1791, 13 November 1862, Page 3

      The Late Mr. James Blyth. - Many of our readers will peruse with feelings of sincere regret, the following extract from the Wanganui Chronicle of the 9th October, narrating the sudden and untimely death of Mr. James Blyth. The deceased gentleman had many friends in Wellington, as well as in other Provinces of New Zealand, and for some years was an elder in the Free Church of Scotland here, and in common with many others, we take the opportunity afforded by the present mournful occasion, to pay a passing tribute of respect to the memory of the departed : - " It is with great pain that we record the sudden decease of Mr. James Blyth, of Marybank. Mr. Blyth was returning home last night, from Dr. Allison's, accompanied by his two eldest sons. He was riding on before, and they followed a short way behind, When they arrived at the gate leading up to the house, they found the horse standing at it without its rider. Returning in search of their father, they found him lying in a ditch at the side of the road near Wiritoa Mill, quite dead. The body was carried into Mr. Wm. Howie's house, and Dr. Gibson sent for, who found that death had been caused by the bursting- of a blood vessel in the brain, and that it must therefore have been instantaneous. No person in the district had a wider and more attached circle of friends than Mr. Blyth, by all of whom his death will be deplored, as occasioning the loss of a most excellent member of society, a most genial companion, a warm-hearted friend, and a consistent Christian. To his amiable widow and family this sudden bereavement must be especially distressing, as from Mr. Blyth's constitution and habits, they might naturally have looked for a long continuance of their domestic felicity
      .

  • Sources 
    1. [S21] Familysearch.org International Genealogical Records, Film #: 457916.

    2. [S21] Familysearch.org International Genealogical Records.

    3. [S92] Ancestry Family Trees, Ancestry Family Trees.

    4. [S19] Scotland Old Parish Records - Births & Baptisms 1564-1855, BLYTHE JAMES 1817 420/00 0030 0374.
      10/06/1817 BLYTHE JAMES DAVID BLYTHE/JANET ANDERSON FR905 M CUPAR /FIFE 420/00 0030 0374

    5. [S63] Registrar of Births, Deaths and Mariages, New Zealand - Death Records, Register of Deaths , Wanganui. James Blyth 8th Oct 1862.

    6. [S71] PAPERS PAST NZ, Wellington Independent, Volume XVI, Issue 1791, 13 November 1862, Page 3.
      PAPERS PAST NZ (NZ Archives), MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS Wellington Independent, Volume XVI, Issue 1791, 13 November 1862, Page 3 The Late Mr. James Blyth. - Many of our readers will peruse with feelings of sincere regret, the following extract from the Wanganui Chronicle of the 9th October, narrating the sudden and untimely death of Mr. James Blyth. The deceased gentleman had many friends in Wellington, as well as in other Provinces of New Zealand, and for some years was an elder in the Free Church of Scotland here, and in common with many others, we take the opportunity afforded by the present mournful occasion, to pay a passing tribute of respect to the memory of the departed : - " It is with great pain that we record the sudden decease of Mr. James Blyth, of Marybank. Mr. Blyth was returning home last night, from Dr. Allison's, accompanied by his two eldest sons. He was riding on before, and they followed a short way behind, When they arrived at the gate leading up to the house, they found the horse standing at it without its rider. Returning in search of their father, they found him lying in a ditch at the side of the road near Wiritoa Mill, quite dead. The body was carried into Mr. Wm. Howie's house, and Dr. Gibson sent for, who found that death had been caused by the bursting- of a blood vessel in the brain, and that it must therefore have been instantaneous. No person in the district had a wider and more attached circle of friends than Mr. Blyth, by all of whom his death will be deplored, as occasioning the loss of a most excellent member of society, a most genial companion, a warm-hearted friend, and a consistent Christian. To his amiable widow and family this sudden bereavement must be especially distressing, as from Mr. Blyth's constitution and habits, they might naturally have looked for a long continuance of their domestic felicity .

    7. [S22] Scotland Old Parish Records - Banns & Marriages 1564-1855, Marriage BLYTH, JAMES_LAING,ANN.
      1 24/02/1840 BLYTH JAMES ANN LAING/FR1216 M CUPAR /FIFE 420/00 0050 0124