Given names: 
Given address: 
Port Molyneux
Sheet No: 128
Kaka Point

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Catherine McLean was born on 10 December 1834 in Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland – the daughter of Robert McLean and Flora Jamieson.

Her father died soon after her birth and her mother re-married.

Her step-father died in the 1850s and Catherine’s son James was born in Auchinleck, Ayrshire in 1857.

In 1863 Catherine emigrated to Otago with her mother, siblings and son on the Ben Lomond.

She married Thomas Wright on 7 July 1868 in Dunedin and they had five sons.

The family lived at Green Island for a short time before moving to Port Molyneux where Thomas and his brother Peter kept a dairy farm and undertook contracting work.

A disastrous flood occurred in 1878 which destroyed most of their stock – the family then moved to a nearby house where Thomas died in 1879.

Catherine and her children then lived in 'the old Pilot Station' where she signed the suffrage petition.

She died at her son’s home in Invercargill on 18 August 1907 – she is buried with Thomas in the Romahapa Cemetery.

Her obituary said 'she was a careful, industrious woman and took a great interest in the upbringing of her family and in the affairs of the church at Port Molyneux...Her death removes a very familiar figure from the ranks of the earlier residents of the Port, and there was no one who was more universally and genuinely esteemed than Mrs Wright, and none who was more worthy of it.'


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Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

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