Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 251
West Coast

There are at least two potential candidates for 'Mrs Lamberton' of Crushington. There are also several other members of her family that were registered on the 1893 electoral roll but didn't actually sign the 1893 petition.

The biographies of the Lamberton women below have been contributed by Claire Dawe.

Jeanette Lamberton, Crushington, Inangahua, widow

Jeanette Lamberton

Jeanette (Janet) Lamberton nèe Thompson, born 1814 to George and Elizabeth nèe Boyd Thompson, was the widow of Thomas Lamberton, who had died in 1870 in Kilmarnock. They had married on 26 June 1839. Janet was Thomas's second wife, the first, Ann Wylie Lamberton, having died on 3 February 1838, leaving behind Thomas and their six children.

Janet and Thomas also had six children, two of whom died in infancy, which left them with Thomas, Joseph, William and Janet. Thomas Lamberton senior, Janet's husband, died aged 70 in December 1868 of consumption of the kidneys.

So by 1874 the Lamberton family consisted of mother Janet Lamberton, Thomas and his wife Mary and their two children, Joseph and Elizabeth and their three children, younger brother William and sister Janet.

Janet's three sons, Thomas, Joseph and William were not happy with their work situation in Kilmarnock so decided to take advantage of the Vogel era Emigration Scheme to travel to a new country, New Zealand. For Janet this was a big step at the age of 60 years but the alternative would have been to stay in Kilmarnock on her own. So the Lamberton families firstly travelled by train from Glasgow to London, then had to change trains there to travel to an Emigration Hostel at Blackwall to await the arrival and subsequent loading of their ship Strathnaver. This Emigration Depot had formerly been an hotel but during the Vogel era migration scheme the NZ government had purchased it as a suitable place for emigrants to stay before embarkation.

They arrived in Wellington on 31 August, the voyage having taken 92 days, quite a fast trip compared with some of the other emigrant ships of the time. After disembarkation those passengers not settling in Wellington were taken to an Immigration Hostel in Buckle Street, Mt Cook, then a few days later, embarked on the Paddle Steamer Charles Edward for Greymouth.

Initially they lived with step-family already in New Zealand in Ahaura, as one daughter of the first Lamberton family, Isabella, had married William Cochrane and emigrated to New Zealand where Will managed a road contracting business on the West Coast.

They then moved north to Crushington, near Reefton, so that Janet's sons could work in the quartz mines there. She also went with them so she could help Elizabeth and Joseph and their young family.

She lived in a slab hut built by her sons for her, next door to Elizabeth and Joseph and their family. She kept a good vegetable garden, very useful for the growing grandchildren nearby with family members recalling being told to 'go to Granny's and get some parsley' which they ate with potatoes and whenever they could afford it, bacon and mutton.

Janet lived until the age of 83, dying on 10 February 1897 at Crushington. She had lived in New Zealand for some 22 years.

Sources: Family information, Scotland's People, NZ BDM, Black's Point Museum

Elizabeth Lamberton, Crushington, Inangahua, married woman

Elizabeth Lamberton

Elizabeth nèe Sinclair, born 31 July 1847, was the daughter of Elizabeth nèe McColl/McCaul and James Sinclair. She married Joseph Lamberton in 1867, in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

When they emigrated to New Zealand in 1874, they already had three small children – 2 boys and a girl - and Elizabeth was expecting another baby, due during the voyage. Unfortunately for her, the arrival of the baby was delayed until they were sailing on their way to Greymouth by paddle steamer, with the captain of this vessel growling at her and saying “why could you not wait until we get to Greymouth?”!

They stayed with relatives until Elizabeth was well enough to travel further while her husband went to Crushington near Reefton to see if he could get work in the quartz mines there. Once secured he arranged for two slab huts to be built, one for them and another for “Granny”/ Janet. He then returned to Ahaura and organised transport for the families. They travelled by bullock cart part of the way but to get further to Crushington, as there was no road access at the time, they had to travel, still in the bullock cart up the Inangahua river bed and as it was such a rough jolting trip she had to get out and carry the baby.

Above their little hut was a large tree and she was so afraid it would fall on them in the night that she insisted the menfolk cut it down immediately, while she “sat and cried”. She was so tired and found it all such a contrast from the Kilmarnock she had come from with its much larger population and shops, to the tiny bush settlement they were now to live in.

She soon settled in though and was too busy to “be lonesome”. She did all the knitting including socks/stockings for the men in the family, caps as well She also did all the sewing, initially by hand until they were able to buy a simple sewing machine. For cooking they purchased sacks of flour, sugar and oatmeal and grew their own potatoes and other vegetables. They put all the meat, when they could get some, vegetables and a handful of oatmeal in a pot and hung it on a hook over the fire, then they had soup followed by meat and vegetables and sometime a boiled pudding. They cooked bread and scones in a camp oven. Water was carried from the nearby Inangahua River.

Each Sunday they walked two miles to the Methodist Church at Black's Point, Elizabeth carrying the baby and husband Joseph helping the younger members of the family along. When the Mothers' Union meetings were held Elizabeth hosted some of these with women from miles around coming “just to see the sight of another woman, to have a cup of tea and a crack (chat)”. Elizabeth and Joseph later joined the Salvation Army.

Elizabeth eventually had 12 children all of whom lived to a great age. In 1901 they moved to Dannevirke and kept a boarding house for young men. Then in 1909 they moved to Hastings and purchased a small farm with the produce from there going to a restaurant they owned and where their unmarried daughters cooked and waited at tables. Later they built a house which had all the “mod cons” such as electric light! Elizabeth lived to the age of 74.

Sources: Family information, Scotland's People, NZ BDM, Archives NZ, Black's Point Museum

Elizabeth Lamberton, Crushington, Inangahua, spinster

Elizabeth Lamberton

Elizabeth, also known as Bessie, was born in Kilmarnock Scotland on 27 June 1872, the first daughter of Elizabeth and Joseph Lamberton. Although she was only just two years of age when she and her family sailed to New Zealand she could remember her father carrying her on the deck of the Strathnaver, wrapped up warmly as apparently they were south of Stewart Island at the time.

She and her two older brothers and a younger sister were some of the first pupils at the school at Black's Point, when it opened on 15 September 1879. Bessie was 7 years old and, as with her siblings, could read and write before attending school, education being important to their parents who had taught them at home until a school was built.

She helped her mother with the younger children, as the eldest girl did at that time. After leaving school she worked as a dressmaker.

Bessie married Alfred Bullen in 1895 at the Salvation Army Barracks in Reefton, wearing her Salvation Army uniform with a white sash over her right shoulder. They lived firstly in Reefton where Alf and his family had a coach business, then moved to the suburb of Berhampore in Wellington, moving again in 1912 to Hastings. They had eight children, five daughters and three sons. One of these daughters died when aged eleven years after receiving a smallpox vaccination at school – a dirty needle was suspected.

Elizabeth died at the age of 66 following a long illness, her husband having pre-deceased her by 10 years.

Sources: Family information, Scotland's People, Archives NZ, Black's Point Museum

Mary Green Lamberton, Totara Flat, Inangahua, married woman

Mary, born 1839, is assumed to be the daughter of Jane nèe Richmond and William Green of Kilmarnock Scotland . She married Thomas Lamberton in 1871 in Kilmarnock, the eldest of Janet (Jeanette) and Thomas Lamberton's family. They eventually had six children, one of whom, William, was born while they were on board the Strathnaver on their way to New Zealand “within sight of Stewart Island”. Their youngest boy, David, died of diabetes when only 14 years.

Mary's daughter Jane had accompanied them to New Zealand also and she married here and had three daughters. Sadly she died when only 23 so her daughters were also brought up by Mary and Thomas.

Mary and husband Thomas settled on a small farm in Totara Flat, near Ahaura on the West Coast and some 20 miles from Reefton, on the Grey-Reefton section of the railway. As well as looking after her own family and later Jane's children, Mary also helped out with maternity cases, catering for the mother and family both before and after the births, even staying on if there was a need. As she could not ride a horse she used a bicycle and often rode quite a distance in all weathers. On the newly formed roads of those days this was quite an effort.

Grandchildren often stayed and one of those recalled that one day as he banged away with his hammer and nails, these were suddenly taken away by his grandmother. “You do not hammer or make unseemly noises on the Sabbath!” Mary and Thomas and family worshipped at the Ahaura Presbyterian Church.

Daughters Mary and Janet helped their mother at home and as well, all three made refreshments for their son and brother Alexander's catering business at the Totara Flat Railway Station.

Mary Lamberton died on 5 August 1910, aged 63 years. She and her husband Thomas, who had died three years earlier, are both buried in the Ahaura cemetery.

Sources: Family information, Scotland's People, NZBDM,,

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

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about Mrs Lamberton

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Mark Wheelan-Lamont

Posted: 07 Jun 2020

The Lamberton, Thompson/Thomson, Wylie, McColl/McCaul/McCall & Cuthbertson families of Kilmarnock & Kilmaurs, Ayrshire were very tightly interlinked.
My gg-grandparents were also both from this wider grouping of families. My gg-grandmother, Jane (Jeannie) Lamberton, was a daughter of George Lamberton, and niece to Thomas Lamberton snr of this article; Jeannie married George Thomson in 1850.
Jeannie's brother James married Janet Thomson (George's cousin). Janet Thomson Lamberton died in 1848, two weeks after the birth of her youngest son, with her husband following to the grave in 1851, leaving a family of 5 youngsters. The two youngest of these, Grace Lamberton and James Lamberton jnr, were raised by my gg-grandparents in Glasgow.
When my ancestors emigrated to New Zealand [Matakohe, Northland] in 1863 Grace came with them, & was married in Auckland shortly after their arrival to Mr Robert Nesbit Smith whom she met aboard ship en-route to NZ; they settled at Thames. Meanwhile James Lamberton jnr returned to Ayrshire, taking a job with his paternal-uncle John Milloy; he married (1865) to Ann Wylie, great-niece of Ann Wylie Lamberton of this article, & eventually settled in Victoria, Australia.
Further James Stewart, a son of Jeannie & James' sister Margaret, settled in Wellington N.Z.