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Jessie Gillespie (1872 - 1918)

Jessie Gillespie
Born in Whitburn, West Lothian, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
Died at age 46 in Mosgiel, Otago, New Zealandmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Jul 2017
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Jessie was born on 7th September 1872 at West Lothian, Lanarkshire, Scotland. She was the second child and eldest daughter of Hugh Gillespie and Betsy Meek. [1]

In 1875, as a three-year-old, Jessie emigrated to New Zealand with her parents and two brothers …one older and one younger… on the emigrant ship "Invercargill". The "Invercargill" left Clyde near Glasgow in Scotland on 1 July 1875 with 436 emigrants, including:

- Gillespie, Hugh, 29 years, Lanark, blacksmith - Gillespie, Mrs [sic], 25 years - Gillespie, Hugh, 4 years - Gillespie, Jessie, 3 years - Gillespie, John, 1 year Total of 3½ passengers; total cost to the New Zealand Government £50.15.00.

Like Hugh Gillespie, many of these passengers were Assisted Emigrants, meaning the New Zealand Government paid half the cost of bringing them to New Zealand with their families so that working people would be encouraged to develop and settle in the new country.

The "Invercargill" arrived off Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 30 September 1875. On the 90-day voyage to Port Chalmers there were four births and eight infant deaths …one of bronchitis and seven of measles. During the voyage there had been 66 cases of measles on the ship, and 50 of them were still receiving treatment when they landed. Whooping cough was prevalent on board, too, and one seaman had died of consumption [now called tuberculosis, or TB]. Because the clothing and bedding of those who had succumbed to illness had not been destroyed, the ship was put into quarantine one arrival at its destination. Some newspaper reports, however, later critcised the decision to quarantine the ship, saying that some passengers and children had already been allowed to disembark before others were detained at Quarantine Island until the ship had been fumigated. Most of the passengers had been landed at Dunedin by Monday 4 October.

The Gillespie family settled at Mosgiel, a few kilometers south-south-west of Dunedin, where Hugh found employment as a blacksmith. All the children attended primary school in Mosgiel.

Jessie died at Mosgiel Otago on 3rd December 1918 at the age of 46, one of the casualties of the New Zealand-wide infuenza epidemic. [2] Jessie never married.


  1. "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", database, FamilySearch ( : 12 February 2020), Jessie Gillespie, 1872.
  2. Death Certificate: Registration district Mosgiel; Jessie Gillespie, died 3 December 1918 at Mosgiel; usual residence [blank], occupation domestic duties; female; 46 years, cause of death [1] influenza [2] pneumonia [3] cardiac failure [7 days], death not certified; father Hugh Gillespie, blacksmith; mother Elizabeth nee Meek; buried 4 December 1918 at East Taieri Cemetery; witnesses of burial H Wilson and P Graham; born at Lanarkshire, Scotland; in New Zealand 44 years; informant Robert Muirhead, undertaker.

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Rejected matches › Jessie Belle Gillespie (1874-)