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The Farmer family arrived in New Zealand on the Lord William Bentinck on 19 May 1841.

They appear on the passenger list as:

Farmer Alexander       53        Agricultural Labourer

Euphemia        45       

Elizabeth         18        Sempstress

George           15        Labourer

James             12       

Robert              9         

Farmer             Alexander Jnr  22        Shoemaker

Elizabeth         23       

Elizabeth         4 months        

Farmer             James   20        Tailor

Izabella            18       

Alexander was born in Cameron, Fife in 1787, and married Euphemia Stewart in 1818. She was born in Pittenweem, Fife in 1796.               


The first mention of the family found after their arrival is in the report of fundraising for the Scotch Church in Wellington in 1842.

New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, 28 September 1842,

 Church of Scotland. A NUMEROUS and highly respectable Meeting of the Committee and members of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, and others adhering to her doctrine and discipline, was held on Monday evening, the 26th current, in the Exchange. K. Bethune in the Chair. The minutes of the previous General Meeting having been read, a draft of the Constitution for the first Scotch Church in Wellington, which had been prepared by the Sub-Committee, as nominated at the last Public Meeting reported in the Gazelle of September 21, 1842, was read seriatim, and, after some amendments proposed by Messrs. Durie, Wood, and Waitt, was unanimously approved of. It was proposed by Mr. Seller, seconded by Mr. Wilson, that Mr. Robert Waitt be appointed Trustee in the room of Mr. Strang, who had retired. Moved by Major Durie, and seconded by Dr. Knox, that this Constitution be engrossed, and submitted for subscription to all friendly to the Church of Scotland. Moved by Mr. Lyon, and seconded by Mr. Wilson, that this Constitution be printed and generally circulated. K. Bethune, Chairman. The Treasurer begs to acknowledge receipt of the following additional subscriptions.

Amount formerly advertised £367 1 6. Among the extra donations received at this time were Alexander Farmer Snr 10 shillings and Alexander Farmer Jnr 1 pound.

Several members of the family appear on the List of Jurors in 1846.

Farmer, Alexander, Petoni, farmer. Farmer, Alexander jnr, Lambton Quay, shoemaker, Farmer, James, Lambton Quay, tailor, Farmer, George, Petoni, labourer, Farmer, John, Bolton Row, labourer.

The list List of Jurors of 10 February 1847 is similar.

Farmer, Alexander, Petoni, farmer    

Farmer, Alexander, jun., Lambton quay, shoemaker

Farmer, James, .Lambton quay, tailor

Farmer, George, Petoni, labourer

Farmer, John, River Hutt, labourer

Later Alexander and his son Robert took up 11 acres of land being part of section 37 in the western part of the Hutt Valley. Alongside this property was another 11 acre block allocated to another son, George. However, although the official transfer of much local land took place in the early 1850s, we know that some families took possession of the land much earlier than that. For instance, David McHardie, who also took up land in the same section 37block, had his claim ratified in 1852, but we know from a letter that he wrote in 1842 to his former employer in Scotland that he had a house almost completed by the end of 1842. 

However, at some later time the family must have taken up another block of 107 acres, being Block No. 64 a little to the north of these sections. This is the section which was in the name of Robert when he died in 1873. (see advertisement)

There is another early reference to the family in 1852, but this probably refers to Alexander Farmer Jnr. It would be interesting to know the full facts of the case.

New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, 7 July 1852, In the Resident Magistrate's Court, WELLINGTON. In the Case George Moore, Plaintiff, and Alexander Farmer, Defendant. Secondly, In the Case between Jacob Joseph, Plaintiff, and Alexander Farmer, Defendant. By virtue of Warrant of Distress issued out of the aforesaid Court, I, the under- signed, will sell, at the Residence of the said Alexander Farmer, Lambton-quay, on Thursday next, the 8th July, 1852, at 12 o'clock at noon (unless this execution is previously stayed), certain Goods and Chattels, seized under the Warrant above mentioned. G. SCOTT, Sergeant of Police.

It is difficult to find the family mentioned a great deal in the newspapers, partly because of the name “Farmer” being an occupational name. This is one of the few located.

Wellington Independent, 24 July 1872. Mr Stephen Judd, late Chairman of the Western Hutt Road Board, has received a large requisition to allow himself to be put in nomination for the No. 4 Road Board Ward, and acceded to the wish of the requisitionists. The nomination will take place at the residence of Mr Farmer, Hutt, on Thursday, 25th instant.

Alexander and his son Robert, who appears to have remained single, die within about eighteen months of each other.

Wellington Independent 2 April 1872. DIED. Farmer. On the 1st April, at his residence at the Hutt, Alexander Farmer, aged 84 years.


Wellington Independent, 3 April 1872. Funeral Notice. The Friends of Mr Alexander Farmer are invited to attend his Funeral Procession, which will leave his residence at one o'clock on Thursday, the 4th instant. Joseph Hall, Undertaker.


Wellington Independent, 1 November 1873. Funeral Notice. The friends of Mr ROBERT FARMER are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave his late residence, Hutt, at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday, 2nd November. JAS. HALL, Undertaker.     

Both Alexander and his son were buried at Blackbridge cemetery.

Evening Post, 5 December 1873. TUESDAY, 9th DECEMBER THE ESTATE OF THE LATE ROBERT FARMER, HUTT. MR J. H, WALLACE is instructed to sell by public auction, on the premises, Lower Hutt, on Tuesday, 9th day of December, 1873, at 1 o'clock p.m That valuable agricultural farm in the Lower Hutt, containing 107 acres or thereabouts, being section 54 in the Hutt district (except the part, about a acres, taken for railway purposes), lately occupied by Robert Farmer, deceased, of which farm about

10 acres are laid down for hay

5 acres ploughed for potatoes

3 acres in oats ready to cut

17 acres in pasture, flat land

25 acres undulating land on hill slope, cleared and in grass

42 acres in bush

There is a 4-roomed house, dairy, barn, cowsheds, &c. The lower portion of the section is all fenced, and the railway passes through the property, which is delightfully situated on the western side of the Hutt River, ten miles from Wellington Also the stock, consisting of, 10 milch cows and a well-bred bull First-class horse and cart, and farm implements 3 pigs, poultry, dairy utensils, and sundries. Luncheon provided at 12 o'clock. Sale at 1 o'clock. Further particulars to be had at Messrs Brandon and Quick's, or at the office of the auctioneer, Wellington.    

Evening Post, 15th January, 1884.  On the 7th of January, at the residence of her son, George Farmer, of Sandon, Euphemia, widow of the late Alexander Farmer, formerly of the Hutt, in her 87th year.

Manawatu Times, 9 January 1884, DEATHS. Farmer. On the 7th inst., at the residence of her son, Mr George Farmer, Sandon, Euphemia Stuart, relict of the late Mr Alexander Farmer, of the Hutt, Wellington, aged 88— Wellington papers please copy.

Manawatu Times, 27 March 1908,


A very pleasant and somewhat unusual family gathering took place on Tuesday at the residence of Mr George Farmer in Terrace Street, Palmerston North, to celebrate the diamond wedding of Mr and Mrs Farmer. There was a large gathering of the descendants of the old lady and gentleman which included four generations. The essential bridecake and bridal bouquet were to the fore and a very pleasant and jovial time was spent by the numerous company. Mr Farmer who arrived in the colony in 1841 is a fine sample of New Zealand's pioneers. The early part of his career in the colony was spent in the Hutt, and he took a very active part in the Maori troubles in that district. Later on Mr Farmer removed to the Sandon district, where he was engaged in farming pursuits for a number of years. Mr and Mrs Farmer, who are remarkably good and well preserved specimens of those who helped to make New Zealand what it is and hew out the way for the present generation, intend spending the autumn of their days in Palmerston.

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