Given names: 
Given address: 
Park Side Caversham
Sheet No: 38

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Mary Gordon was born in 1853 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland – the daughter of Robert Gordon & Magdalene Napier, both from Scotland.

In 1874 Mary married David Swan in Gateshead, Durham. They had four children, one dying in infancy before they emigrated to Otago on the “Taranaki” in 1879. They had another seven children after their arrival in Dunedin.

Mary Swan made the news in 1898 when a house they had just bought at auction burnt down in mysterious circumstances. The next year their son Nicholas drowned while boating in the Otago Harbour and, in 1918, another son was killed in action “somewhere in France”.

According to her obituary, Mary was a prominent worker in the Methodist Church and a capable business woman.

Her husband David died in 1919 and Mary died on 1 March 1929. They are buried together in the Southern Cemetery.


Otago Nominal Index

See also Caversham research databases

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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