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My name is Nik Renwick and I started this site in 2010.

I have focused on the early New Zealand settler lines that came from Scotland, Ireland & Canada to New Zealand and the Chatham Islands.

These are the McDonald/O'Donnell line of Waitohi (Picton) <1832 associated with whaling, early trade  & occupation before the NZ wars. Key names are Aldridge; McDonald; Takaroa Makatu. Later settlement of NZ c. 1842 to 1850 has key names of McRae; MCallum; Mowat; Sinclair & Sutherland and for the Chatam islands: Murphy & Renwick.

Strict geneolgy practice has NOT been followed in collecting the information shown here. Instead a gathering of verbal stories, Internet links and documents I've sited have been used to connect the families. I took an interest when 11 years of age, and now 31 years+ later think it worth recording, so here it is.

Key points for future researchers to pick up on are:

Renwick - look at William Renwick b. 1736 of Dolphinton, Lanarkshire, Scotland m. Elizabeth Steven. The Steven link makes sense but the paternal line to John Renwick does not. Our line of Renwicks IS NOT the Dr Renwick of the Sth Island, NZ. However Dr Renwick was the family dr of the MOWAT line hence Thomas Renwick MOWAT.

McDonald - there's hundreds of us descended from the Scotsman John McDonald who claimed he was was in NZ 30 years before  Govenor Gray & other early recorded surveys. Was he an escaped convict, sailor or? His last name seems to have gone from McDonald to McDonnell to O'Donnel. Look at the Picton land records of the 1850s and there he is. John McDonald partnered with a Maori wife. NOT George McDonnell as always recorded in the 20th century.

Sutherland - yes. We are of the Estate, hence the estate names are listed. But it is through a natural link prior 1730. It would be a lifetime project to unravel and it was contested a long time ago in the British legal system.There are thousands in the same position, so....if a Sutherland family member has more information great.

Sinclair - Always close neighbours to Sutherland physically but by the 17th century we were well removed from the Sinclair Estate. Sorry folks but we're Sinclair drapers not earls in the 17th & 18th centuries. However James Sinclair did found the town of Blenhiem, NZ.

Isn't it odd how Sinclair, Sutherland, Mcrae, Mowat, O'Donnell ended up in Malborough, New Zealand in the same century. So I leave this thought:

Our marae is Waikawa, our valley Awatere, homestead Blairich, harbour Waitohi ..all under the the mountain of Tapuae-Ou-Eneku. That is what I found with the help of all those who came before.

 I'm signing off in 2012 after 2 years of recording what I could find. If a family member wants to  restart this site here to contact me or contact the myheritage team and activate the membership. Who knows.

If you wish to become a member too, please click here.   I last updated on Mar 3 2015, and it currently has 49 registered member(s). If you wish to become a member too, please click here.   Enjoy! 


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