Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 181

Biographical information provided by Lillie Le Dorré for the He Tohu exhibition:

Emma McBean (nee Rowell) was born in New Zealand in 1869, to parents James and Emma Rowell (nee Martin). The Rowell’s were one of Canterbury’s first pioneer families. Emma was one of eleven children, of which there were four sons and seven daughters.

Emma married George McBean in 1891. George was born at Rolleston about 1866, the only child of Mr and Mrs George McBean, who were early settlers of the district. Emma and George lived at Waihora, Springston South in Canterbury. George had purchased the land in 1888 on his own accord.

Together they had four children: Isabella Maude (born 1892), James Douglas (1893), George Allan (1895), and Freda Rowell (1907). Their son James died in March 1917 after being discharged from the army due to a chronic ear condition. He had returned to Waihora to work for his father, and was buried at St Mary’s churchyard after a large funeral.

George and Emma were highly respected members of their community. George was instrumental in the establishment of the Springston South School, and Emma held charity events at their home, raising funds for causes such as St. George’s Hospital and the Influenza Relief Fund. George was noted as being one of the most successful farmers in the district, and was known for his exhibitions of stud Southdown sheep at the local Agricultural and Pastoral shows.

Emma died in 1943, aged 74. George died in October 1939. They are buried together, along with son James, at St Mary’s Churchyard in Springston. 

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

How to cite this page

'Emma McBean', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 31-Aug-2017

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