I have long been interested in the Campbell family and their life in New Zealand and Northern Ireland and the journey from Northern Ireland to Mt Bruce. Here I have put together what I have learnt from a recent trip to Northern Ireland and some genealogical research.
What we knew Ian's great great grandparents, John and Jane (nee Palmer) Campbell, emigrated from Northern Ireland to NZ, with their four children, in 1841. Jane died on the voyage and John settled in Karori, Wellington. He remarried and had further children. Two sons from the first marriage, Hugh and John, arrived in the Wairarapa about 1860. Family Connections John (02) and Jane Campbell were part of a large extended family with several intermarriages and close connections. Others research of these families complements my own findings as to where the Campbell family lived in Northern Ireland. The Martin and Hughey families are linked to the Campbell's through three Espie sisters. There are also links both in Northern Ireland and New Zealand to Port and Palmer families, the details of these I have not yet discovered.
You can see that John (02) is the son of John (01) who married Eliza Espie. Eliza's sister Jane married Hugh (01) Campbell who just happens to be John (01)'s brother! Jane and Hugh Campbell's daughter Mary Ann married William Hughey and they emigrated to NZ in 1840. Ian remembers Reta talking about Hughey cousins. The other interesting link is Eliza's sister Jane who was the second wife of John Martin. Both Sarah and John died of Tyhpus in 1838. Their children emigrated to NZ on the Lady Nugent with John and Jane Campbell. Their son John is well a known figure whom Martinbrough is named after. Information gathered by others shows that in the early 1800's this extended family lived in the Moneymore and Lecumpher area. Lecumpher is a townland (a small rural area distinct from a town) only 4 miles north of the town of Moneymore.
John Campbell married Jane Palmer The church record of John(02) and Jane's wedding records John as of Lecumpher Parish. Married: 28 December 1829 in First Moneymore Presbyterian Church, Moneymore, County Londonderry John Campbell of Lecomfer Congregation to Jane Palmer of Kinness, Moneymore Congregation (Kinness probably refers to the townland of Caneese which is situated 3 miles west of the town of Moneymore.) Witnesses: John Harkness and James Kessock
We know from emigration and shipping records that John and Jane and their four children aged 2 to 9 years sailed from Graves End (England) on 21 October 1840 aboard the "Lady Nugent". They had free passage as emigrant labourers, recommended by Dr Robert Espie (John's Uncle). Jane died of Typhus on Christmas day and was buried at sea. John and the children landed in New Zealand at Wellington on 17 March 1941. "Dr Espie had been a surgeon in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, after which he was employed in convict ships to Australia as a naval surgeon and agent, doing 9 trips between 1816 and 1836. While he had a brother, George, who was a boat builder in Hobart, there is no record of Dr Robert Espie visiting New Zealand, and no obvious reason why he advised emigration to New Zealand rather than to Australia." Guthrie website. The Espie book suggests Dr Espie was employed as an agent for the New Zealand company. Dr Espie was also recommended the Martin family as emigrants. They sailed on the same voyage as John and Jane Campbell. William and Mary Hughey were also recommended by Robert Espie, they sailed on the Martha Ridgeway arriving in Port Nicholson on 14 Nov 1840. Why did they emigrate? The potato famine? They actually left before the potato famine, one can only assume times were hard and emigrating offered new hope for the families.