Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 40

Biography and image contributed by Jennifer Gibson, great-grandaughter and the late (Margaret) Rose Gilbert, granddaughter

Maggie Muirhead

Mrs Margaret Ann Muirhead was born on 6 September 1859 in Yorkshire, England. Sadly, her mother Margaret (nee Brown) died giving birth to her, aged 19. Her father Charles Lawson occupation was a tailor. Her parents married in Ripon, York, England on 13 December 1858. On 8 September 1859 she was baptized in Leeds, West Yorkshire (non conformist records). In 1865 Alice in Wonderland was written nearby, and may be why she called one daughter Alice. The ground nearby is chalky so sink holes sometimes appeared.

About 1873 Margaret travelled to New Zealand aged 14. In New Zealand on 20 January 1877 she married John Muirhead and had her first eight children; Mary, Jack, Alex, David, Margaret, Katie and some who died young.

Her occupation was listed as domestic servant and, in 1896, as charwoman. Sadly, her first husband John died in 1891.

She must have been special as on 30 May 1894 Margaret married James Annan Ramsay (from Larnark Scotland). Margaret then had four more children; Alice Suttie, Mary Horn, James Annan (Ben) and Alexander Morrison. Margaret played the piano and harmonium. Her second husband was musical and played piano, banjo, wind instruments and organ. There were happy musical evenings and fun times in the home with family friends and a variety of people and musicians attending – violinists and piano accordions. They had to finish right on time – because of the neighbours. James, a fisherman in New Zealand and a remittance man; a lawyer not allowed to practice in New Zealand but gave free advice to anyone who asked! He died on 23 March 1921.

Margaret was a widow for ten years and died on 26 June 1931 and is buried in Southern Cemetery Dunedin.

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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