Given names: 
M. C.
Given address: 
Tweed Street
Sheet No: 359

Biography and image supplied by Clare Gleeson.

May Chisholm Erskine (nee Kerr) was born in 1846 to Angus and Margaret Kerr in Glasgow.  In 1848 she travelled with her parents and brother, John, to Sydney as assisted emigrants on the Victory.  In 1863 May, her mother, brother John and two sisters, Isabella and Kate, followed her father to New Zealand on the Maria Gambrill where they settled in Invercargill.  There her father practised as an architect, designing many of Invercargill’s earliest public buildings and other buildings throughout Southland. In 1871 May married Robert Erskine, a stationer born in Scotland. They had four children John Angus (1872-1960), Margaret Cameron (1873-1969), Angus Kerr (1874-1900) and Robert Morton (1879-1902). May’s son, John (Jack) Erskine, studied alongside Ernest Rutherford at Canterbury College and in 1896 won the 1851 Exhibition Research Science scholarship. He subsequently left a substantial bequest to the University of Canterbury where a building and several scholarships are named in his honour.  May died in 1897. May’s mother, Margaret Kerr, and her two sisters, Isabella Campbell Fraser and Kate Stuart Kerr, also signed the petition.

May Erskine and son

May Erskine and her son, John (Jack). Credit: Dr J. A. Campbell

Resources used

DCC Cemetery Records
Papers Past
Family Search
BDM New Zealand
BDM Victoria
Oral histories

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

'M. C. Erskine', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Mar-2019

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