My Great Grandmother was Lucy Rawlings Daughter of James and immigrated to NZ in 1864

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WikiTree profile: James Rawlings
in Genealogy Help by
retagged by Maria Maxwell

4 Answers

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Hi Graeme,   Glad you found WikiTree and your GGM's profile.   Why don't you join us and help extend the family tree !!
by Maria Maxwell G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
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Try a google search for Rawlings & Kaitangata Otago NZ. Otago Early Settlers lists a Rawlins arrived Aukland 1861. Recent (living) Rawlings from the same location m. son of (living) nee Espie. Kaitangata aka Katangata.
by Robert Espie G2G Crew (730 points)
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The full obituary is in Paperspast

<ref>[ OBITUARY.,Western Star, 30 January 1917]</ref>




In the present age of wireless telegraphy, fast steamships, express trains, and flying machines, it almost seems like a story of primeval times to learn that there has been living amongst us one whose history possesses tho primitive charm of the late Mrs Richard James,a history which takes us back to the dawn of settlement in this part of Southland, and reveals to us the sterling qualities of endurance and perseverance the early settlers are possessed of. The late. Mrs Richard James, who passed away at Aparima on the 10th January, was formerly Miss Lucy Margaret Rawlins, and was born in Hobart Town, Tasmania, in 1837, and educated at Richmond, in the Apple Island. After leaving school, she resided with her father, who kept a grocery store at Prosser’s Plain, or as it was better known, Bucklaud. Losing both of her parents when quite young, she lived for several years with ah aunt, whom she also lost, and subsequently lived with a cousin till she left Tasmania in 1863 for Invercargill, to be married to Mr Richard James. From this point, Mrs James’s experience might be likened to the stories of Ralph Connor or Rex Beach in Canadian prairie or bush life. Mr James, of whom a short biographical sketch is given below, went from Gumimies Bush in a dray to meet his prospective bride in Invercargill. The Invercargill of those days was a vastly different place to the up-to-date town present visitors know it. A few wooden buildings and a great many tents were scattered about in the bush, the streets were non-existent, mud tracks for bullock traffic, with a side path for pedestrians, were the nearest approach to streets. On arrival, Mr James could find no trace of Miss Rawlings, who had been unable to obtain accommodation at the then existing hotels. Having seen to the feeding of his horse, Mr James looked round for sleeping space for himself, and was pleased to pay half-a-crown for the right of one blanket and a doss down on the table of what was then the Princess Hotel. Next morning Miss Rawlings and a shipmate duly appeared, having found a night’s rest in the tent of a neighbourly body in the bush.

A start was made for Gummies Bush, via Wallacetown. To find the road in those days was. a fine art, if you deviated and got into a bog you knew you had missed it, and if you succeeded in getting out of the bog without unloading, you were among the fortunates. Alter leaving Invercargill and negotiating the Makarewa, the New River stuck them up, as it was in flood. The boat of an early settler was secured, the horse hitched on behind, and the voyage safely negotiated. A second trip was made to fasten the dray, which was hauled across with a long rope. The Waimatuku and Aparima were both safely crossed, and Gummies Bush reached; here Miss Rawlings lived for about three months with the late Mr and Mrs Hopcroft. Ministers in those days were also few in numbers, and not always get-at-able. Mr James and Miss Rawlings were married in Riverton on 29th April, 1803, by Mr Bailey, who was Registrar in the Western township. Till February, 1861, Mr and Mrs James remained with Mr Hopcroft, when they left for Wreys Bush by bullock express, i.e., a dray without springs. At that time there was only one house in, (Otautau, and Mrs James was the first white woman to settle at Wreys Bush, and lived there for five years before seeing another white woman. Mr James was stockman on Messrs Stevens and Howell’s run, and now of an evening when a friend is round, can tell some amusing stories of these early times. The Lake diggings were at their height, and Wreys Bush was one of the camping grounds for teamsters and diggers on their way to make their pile. Mrs James,who was a hospitable, kindly soul, was often called upon to supply a loaf to some wayfarer, and the bread from her camp oven has strengthened many a weary traveller. Class distinction was not so rife, and it was not necessary to have a card of introduction in moving through the wilds. Mr Ellis’s agent, Mr Cameron, in passing one day, called and nursed the baby while a meal was being cooked.


by Terry Bowden G2G2 (3k points)
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The Royal Mail service was a very indefinite thing. The mails, after reaching Riverton by sea, were conveyed up country by waggon, squatter, shepherd, or any .stray traveller. The rare treat of a trip to Riverton was done in an open dray, and the road was along the banks of the Jacobs. On one such occasion, the worthy couple, with such members of the family as there were, got bogged on the return trip in a creek close to the spot where the homestead now stands, and from which Mrs James has now left for the Great Beyond. The dray stuck, and  father and mother each had to carry a child to Wreys Bush, six miles away. Crab holes, tussocks, and boggy parts formed a good part of the journey, and Mr James had to carry wife and children in turn across the worst parts. From Gropers to Wreys Bush no fence was to be seen, and the neighbours were certainly not crowded. Mr Martin, of Waicola Station, Captain Raymond, of Avondale and Heddon Bush, and Captain Holt, of Birchwood, pretty well ringed in Messrs Stevens and Howell’s Station, which stretched from the Double Cabbage Tree to Etal Creek, and from the Jacobs to Nightcaps and Beaumont. Mr James is not quite clear, but be does not think there was a railway station in Southland when he first settled at Wreys Bush, and the site of the present Invercargill station was a swampy patch that would bog a duck.

In 1870 Mr and Mrs James removed to Aparima, and carried on a conjoint business of farming and an accommodation house. The market town was Riverton, but as cartage of grain put that centre beyond the pale, in making sales, the market, really was in supplying teamsters passing to and fro to the diggings. From the foregoing very brief and imperfect narrative, it will be seen that the blessed lady has lived a strenuous life, into which was blended many stirring experiences, and through all of which she retained the gentleness and kindness of her English forbears.

Mr Richard James, who survives hia wife, and has reached the ripe age of 82 years, having been born in the parish of Bodmin, in Cornwall, England, left his native land in 1853 in the barque “Ascendant” for Australia. He landed at Brisbane after a voyage of 16 weeks, and spent two months in the capital of Queensland, from where he shifted to Maitland. After a short time in that western town he sailed in a round about way to Tasmania. From Brisbane, be went to Sydney in the schooner, “Uncle Tom,” from Sydney to Newcastle in the steamer “Boomerang,” and from Newcastle to Hobart in the brig, “ Alarm.” In Tasmania he met the lady who has been his help-mate and companion for almost 54 years since, through fair weather and foul, through hardship and prosperity. In 1862 he came over to Invercargill. A short spell of 6 weeks, on the Wakatipu diggings did not attract him to that life, the land always claiming his attention.

Mr and Mrs Jamies have been steadfast friends of the Western district, and have taken their part in all matters, relating to its welfare. The memory of the deceased lady is revered by a large family, comprising Messrs R. S. James, S. James, G. James, all of whom are farming in the Aparima, Mrs M. Newton, also of Aparima, Mrs John McNanghton, Riverton, Mrs T. J. Coombes and Mrs E. Cleat, Aparima, Mrs C. Crighton, Riverton, Miss C. A. James, Aparima, also by 33 grand-children. The funeral cortege to the Otautau cemetery was followed by a large concourse of people, and the burial service was very solemn as conducted by Rev. S. Bailey.

—‘ Otautau Standard.’

by Terry Bowden G2G2 (3k points)

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