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Selina Davison

Signed family name
Signed given name
Given address
Sheet number

Biography contributed by Clare Cramond

Selina Davison was born Selina Morgan on 7 August 1844 at 6 Wellington Terrace, Bedminster, Bristol, England. She was baptised at St Paul’s Bedminster. Her father, Henry Virgo Morgan was in the printing trade and her mother was Catherine Sophia Schubert.

Selina married John Robert Burdett-Stuart in 1863 and their son Francis Antonio was born in 1864 and daughter Blanche Kate (Kittie) was born in 1867. Sometime that same year, her husband passed away and Selina was left a widow with a baby daughter.

That same year, confusion arises as Selina Morgan is listed as sailing to New Zealand in 1867 on the Blue Jacket with her parents. But her place may have been taken by her sister Henrietta Deal Morgan who was 14 years of age. Then in 1870 Selina Stuart appears in the passenger list for the Zealandia. In the alphabetical list she is with Kate Stuart, 3 years. Later in the Single Women list, she is listed with Francis O, six and a half years. 

There are no records of Selina returning to England but three years later in 1873, she sailed back to New Zealand on the Edwin Fox. Her occupation is Housekeeper from Somerset and she is with Blanche K Stuart, six years. Selina is noted as the Matron for the voyage. Various accounts of the voyage describe incidents – the ship had to be repaired in Brest, France and several people died. Selina and Kittie landed at Port Lyttleton in June, 1873. On arrival the ship was quarantined for a few days due to fever on board, then the passengers were allowed to disembark and move to the immigrants’ barracks.  

In 1881, Selina married John Davison, an Ashburton clerk, who worked his way to positions on the School Board, the Racing Club and was an elected member of the Borough Council.

Selina signed the Women’s Suffrage Petition in 1893 in Ashburton, signing just above her daughter Kittie Davison (Blanche Kate Burdett-Stuart) who signed under her step-father’s surname. By then, Selina’s son Francis was living at Chertsey with his wife and working as a Water Ranger. Their daughter Kate Augusta Burdett-Stuart was born in 1894.

Selina’s father died in 1895 at her sister Henrietta Smith’s home in Christchurch. The 1896 Electoral Roll lists 'Davison, Selina, Ashburton, domestic duties, freehold town section 1181', so she had become a property owner. Sadly, Kittie died in 1899 in Christchurch and newspaper reports note her prolonged illness. Selina’s mother died in 1901, while living with her in Ashburton.

Selina Morgan Burdett-Stuart Davison died on 12 November 1907 and was buried two days later at Ashburton.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, Vol XI, Page 64

Bristol, England, Church of England Baptisms 1813-1922, Bedminster St Paul, Bishops Transcript 1843-1869 No 38

Bristol, England, Church of England Baptisms 1813-1922, Bristol Redcliffe St Mary Parish 1860-1876 No 1722/3

'New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973', FamilySearch ( : Wed Nov 01 04:55:20 UTC 2023), Entry for Henry V Morgan, 30 Aug 1867.

'New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973', FamilySearch ( : Wed Nov 01 10:11:32 UTC 2023), Entry for Selina Stuart, 23 Dec 1870.

'New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973', FamilySearch ( : Wed Nov 01 14:13:24 UTC 2023), Entry for Selina Stewart, 28 Jun 1873. Lyttleton Times, Volume XI, Issue 3885, 8 July 1873, page 2 Star, Issue 1667, 30 June 1873, Page 2 Timaru Herald, Volume XIX, Issue 911, 30 June 1873, Page 3 Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXI, Issue 5234, 18 March 1901, Page 3

Births Deaths and Marriages Online Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXIX, Issue 7333, 13 November 1907, Page 3

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