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John Chapman was born in 1821 at Gamrie Banffshire Scotland on 28 June 1821, son of William Chapman  and Margaret Ross. 

John Chapman m Janet Mcculloch 28 November 1846, Banff, Scotland. Janet was born in Banffshire in 1822.

They came to NZ on the Oliver Lang - leaving London June 18th 1858 and arriving in Wellington September 8th 1858. John and Jessie had four children, the oldest of whom (Henry) died in mysterious circumstances during the journey. Henry was born in 1848.

The younger three were Louisa Alexandra Balfour Chapman, (1850 -1923) Annie Fuljames Chapman (1853 - 1930) and William Luxford Hurst Chapman, (1861-1941)


Gamrie Parish Kirk

This is the parish kirk which superseded St John's Kirk. It too is no longer is use as a kirk - it seems to be a private house - but the graveyard is still in use.


In the 1851 census of Banff  the family appears as


John Chapman 29       birthplace Banff

Jessie Chapman 29 birthplace Banff

Louisa A.B. Chapman 0 birthplace Banff


There is no mention of Henry, who was born in Muthill, Perthshire, on 5 March 1848.

The family migrated to New Zealand on the “Oliver Lang” which left         Liverpool 24/09/1856 and arrived in Wellington on 19/12/1856.

Probably in the 1950s two great-grand-daughter of John and Jessie wrote "John Chapman was senior gardener to the Duke of Fife, and brought to NZ cuttings from a myrtle tree in the Scottish gardens, from which a sprig was said to have been included in Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet. John Chapman's great granddaughters still have a myrtle tree in their garden from a cutting of the original tree.

After their arrival, John Chapman worked for a few months at Hirsts Tannery at Kaiwharawhara but soon established his garden and large orchard in Khandallah. In the 1860s he was leasing property adjoining the Clifford land (present Nairnville Park - then a Native Reserve). In the late sixties the Chapmans moved to Korokoro and the lease of the Native Reserve was taken up by a future son-in -law James Nairn, who married Louisa at the Chapman house in Petone. Two Chapman houses are still in use in Petone, but are no longer owned by the family"

On another website appears the following narrative. “In 1863 the Wellington Provincial Government had a road built along the boundary of the Bassett and Collett smallholdings to the foot of the Western Hills to provide access to a landlocked property above on the top of the hills, of 113 acres, initially in the hands of William Ebdon, but then in the hands of John and Jessie Chapman who ran a dairy farm, known as "Hope Farm". The lane is shown as a continuation of Udy Street in a 1901 plan. From the road a steep track, ran up a gully to the farm buildings in the vicinity of Akatea Road, Korokoro. "Hope Farm" ceased operating about 1890: the land was eventually purchased by the Government for re-settlement purposes in 1900."

Late in 1866 a Mr Horner was advertising the sale of stock following the sale of Hope Farm, as the advertisement shows, so the farm must have been bought by the Chapman family at this time. 

HUTT MARKET. WEDNESDAY, 5th DECEMBER, 1866. MR. J. H. HORNER begs to intimate that, in consequence of Hope Farm having been sold, a quantity of Ewes and Lambs, Cattle, and Pigs, will be disposed of by public auction on the above day; and as the stock must be cleared off the Farm, persons will have a first rate opportunity of purchasing well-bred stock. November 22, 1866. (22 November 1866)

The Chapman family obviously raised a variety of animals on the farm.

Sheep Inspector's Report (Wellington.) RETURN of Sheep in May, 1868, all over six months, with amount of Assessment due thereon in the month of August, at the rate of one half- penny per head per annum for the Wellington district. Chapman, J. Hope Farm 106. 04s 5d Clean (31 October 1868)

FOR SALE, a litter of young Pigs, fit for lifting. Apply John Chapman, Hope Farm. Petone (30 April 1884)

He obviously had problems with stock straying on to the farm, as did many farmers at that time, as the following series of advertisements show:

FOUND STRAYING. AT Hope Farm, Petoni, a dark brindled bullock, branded on the off rump, but brand illegible. The owner can have the same on payment of expenses. If not claimed before fourteen days from this date, he will be sold to defray expenses. JOHN CHAPMAN, Hope Farm, Petoni. Hutt, August 5, 1868. (6 August 1868)

FOUND Straying, one Bay Mare. If not claimed in one month, will be sold to pay expenses. John Chapman, Petoni. (8 January 1880)

FOUND, straying on the farm of the undersigned, one red and white Bullock. If not claimed within 14 days, will be sold to pay expenses. John Chapman. Petoni, 13th October. (14 October 1876)

ANY Person found trespassing on Section 79, Petoni, will be prosecuted, and from this date poison will be laid for dogs. JOHN CHAPMAN. Wellington, 8th March. (8 March 1880)

Both of John and Jessie’s daughters were married at the farm:

Nairn— Chapman.— At the residence of the bride's father, by the Rev. W. S. M'Gowan, J. C. Nairn, Esq., Rose Park, Porirua Road, late of Cornton, Whithorn, Wigtonshire, Scotland, to Louisa, eldest daughter of John Chapman, Esq., Hope Farm, Petoni, (11 March 1869)

MARRIAGE. M'Kee— Chapman —On the 19th February, by the Rev J. Moir, at the residence of the bride's father, James M'Kee to Annie Fuljames, second daughter of Mr John Chapman, Hope Farm, Hutt. (20 February 1873)

The family were obviously closely associated with the Presbyterian Chapel in the Hutt (now Knox Church):-

BAZAAR. BAZAAR. A Grand Fancy Bazaar will be held in the Odd Fellows' Hall, Upper. Hutt, on MONDAY, 10th NOVEMBER, and In the Odd Fellows Hall, Lower Hutt, on TUESDAY, 11th NOVEMBER, in aid of the funds, for liquidating the debt on the New Presbyterian Church. The following ladies have kindly consented to receive donations: —Mrs. Paterson, The Terrace, Wellington Mrs. Moir, Woolcombe street, do Mrs. M'Nab, Newry, Lower Hutt. Mrs. Chapman, Hope Farm, Petoni,  Mrs Mander, Lower Hutt Mrs. Bruce do, Mrs M'Culloch, do, Mrs. Compton, do, Mrs Mcllvride, Lower Hutt, Mrs Copeland, do, Mrs Milne, do: Miss Grant, The Manse, do Mrs. Cruickshank, Huntley Farm, Upper Hutt, Mrs Sykes, Silverstream, Miss Haybittle, Upper Hutt, Miss Wilkie, do. Suitable Donations are solicited. (23 August 1879)

John Chapman died on 15 January 1887.

Chapman, - On 15th January, 1887, at his residence, Hope Farm, Mr John Chapman, aged 64 years.

FUNERAL NOTICE. THE Friends of the late Mr. JOHN CHAPMAN are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave the residence of Mr. Hy. Collett, Petone, on TUESDAY, 18th January, at 3 o'clock p.m. E. & H. COLLETT, Undertakers.

Although there is no obituary in the local newspapers following his death, his death certificate has written across it the words “Blackbridge Cemetery” and the name of the then minister, which confirms that this is where he was buried.

His wife died in in 1903, and is buried at Terrace End cemetery in Palmerston North. 

Gamrie Parish Kirk.jpg
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