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The ship Phoebe arrived in Wellington on 18 April 1843, having left London on 16th November 1842. Among the steerage passengers were: 

Ewen                     Mr

Ewen                     Mrs

Ewen                     Children (3)

There is a family tradition that James and Barbara McEwen arrived on this ship, and their daughter, born on the voyage, was named Phoebe. Certainly Phoebe McEwen is a known name – she married Henry Damant in 1863.  

James Mcewan married Barbara Coupar on 2 May 1837 in Dundee, Angus, Scotland  


The couple had two children prior to their departure from Scotland:                                         

Peter Coupar Mcewan born 2 February 1838, and                                                                

George Thomas Mcewan  born 7 April 1840.

Another son, Andrew Henderson McEwen, was born in the Wellington area in 1845

Earlier in the history of Wellington settlement the ship Bengal Merchant which had sailed from Glasgow on 30th October 1839 and arrived in Port Nicholson 20th February 1840 lists the following passengers:

McEwen          Andrew 45 Flax Dresser

                        Wife      47

McEwen        David     21 Flax Dresser

                       Mary      20

                       Son       Infant

Galloway         David  20        Tailor  

Ann     18                   

John        born at sea *

  • (It is unlikely that John was born at sea, as David and Ann had been married only 17 days before the ship departed, and their daughter was born in Wellington on 27 June 1840 in Wellington)

It appears certain that these people were part of the same family.

Andrew McEwen m Agnes Henderson in Auchterderran, Fife, Scotland on 24 March 1815.

I cannot find the birth record of James, David or Ann, but family records show James being born in 1815 in Newbiggen, Fifeshire, Scotland.

David Galloway married Ann McEwan on 13 October 1839 in Abbotshall, Fifeshire, Scotland.

In the earliest Jury List for Wellington, published in February 1844, Andrew, David and James all appear. Each is shown as living at River Hutt, with the occupation “Agriculturalist.”

Two years later David and James were amongst a number of Hutt Valley settlers who received compensation following raids during the previous March. Andrew McEwen is not mentioned, and it is thought that he died about 1850.


Wellington Independent, 11 March 1846, THE AFFAIRS OF THE HUTT. Since our last, some fifteen more families have been, robbed by the natives of all they possessed, and, in consequence of violence offered to females, compelled to quit their land. The number of men, women, and children, deprived of their property by the natives, amounts to more than two hundred. Some slight skirmishing has taken place, but without any injury being inflicted upon the troops.

Wellington Independent: List of Settlers who were plundered or driven from their, homes on the Hutt and Waiwetu in the district of Port Nicholson, by the insurgent natives, in the month of March 1846 exhibiting the amount of their respective losses and the aid afforded by the Government and from private contributions.

The police magistrate avails himself of this opportunity of tendering his obligations to Mrs Swainson and to Mr Telford for their kind assistance in the distribution of the clothing and provisions to the several sufferers and their families respectively.

Wellington, June 1846            Henry St. Hill P M

1) Amount of Property lost.

2) Value received from Government in provision and clothing.

3) Amount received from private contributions.

4) Total received in total contributions, provisions and clothing

James McEwen                       1) 23 0 0          2) 4 10 7          3) 10 6 11        4) 14 17 6

David McEwen                       5 9 6        3 1  7                     9 3               3 10 10    

The next reference I can find for James McEwen is in 1851.

Claim James MCEWEN (No 117) Wellington Crown Grant 25 acres district Hutt 10 acres part Country section 80 Lower Hutt 15 acres adjoining section 109 date 20 December 1851 No 66 Claim 117

Deed No.422 (folio 353) Part of Country Section 80 Hutt District Plan in Deed: Yes Declaration of Trust dated 11 December 1854. Deed registered 12 December 1854. James McEwen of Wellington, shoemaker, to Agnes McEwen of the Hutt District, widow. Bounded towards the north by the other part of the same section, towards the east by a public road, towards the south also by other part of the same section, towards the west by Crown Land. This land was granted to James McEwen after application to Francis Dillon Bell “the Commissioner for deciding claims to Land under Contracts with the New Zealand Company” who directed as follows: “Claimant entitled to a Grant subject to his executing a Declaration that it is subject to the life interest of his mother Agnes. McEwen.” Signed by James McEwen in the presence of Robert Hart of Wellington, solicitor and John Hare of Wellington, his clerk.

It appears that James and David both farmed on the Hutt’s western hills.

On the 1853 electoral roll, a trio of Scotsmen – Robert Donaldson, David Galloway and David McEwen – described their Western Hutt properties as being at “Belmont”. The large Belmont Survey District came into being in 1876. (From Valleys and Bays”, by Alison Carey.) 

NOTICE. Now running on my land at the Koro Koro, a white Steer branded B on right cheek. If not claimed within fourteen days from this date, will be sold to pay expenses. JAMES McEWEN, Koro Koro, December 16, 1867.

Wellington Independent, 25 September 1866, 1866. NOTICE. AN ANNUAL MEETING of Ratepayers for the Western Hutt District, will be held at the Aglionbly Arms, on Monday, the Ist October, 1866, at two o'clock in the afternoon, to elect a Board of Wardens and to fix the rates for constructing and repair of roads for the ensuing year. D. M'EWEN, Chairman to the Board of Warden. Belmont, August 30, 1866.

Manawatu Times, 17 July 1905, A HARDY PIONEER. Death of Mr D. McEwen.

An old resident of the Manawatu, one of its earliest pioneers, Mr David McEwen, of Karere, passed quietly away on Saturday morning. A hard and strenuous life had been the lot of this sturdy old pioneer, but unimpaired physically in the struggle he lived on beyond the allotted span, reaching the ripe age of 86 years. His life history is practically that of Wellington and Manawatu. The Hutt was the scene of his first colonial work. He settled there with his wife and one child on his arrival in the colony in 1841, but he moved subsequently to Belmont. At Belmont he filled the office of secretary to the district Road Board, and was also a member of the Wellington Provincial Council. In other ways also he took active interest in the affairs of the little community, until in 1868 he came with his family to the Manawatu, taking up his present residence at Karere. Deceased made the first clearing between Oroua Bridge and Palmerston, and he fashioned the first dray ever used in the district. This improvised vehicle—the product of stern necessity—he used to cart timber from the totara forests at Terrace End to the scene of a contract for culverts some distance down the river. He tilled and sowed the first wheat patch in the district, and, procuring a hand flour-mill from Wellington, he supplied himself and his neighbours for some years with the material for their daily bread when the regular supplies from Foxton failed.

A prouder distinction still is that he was Palmerston's first postmaster, his son being the first mail contractor. Ho continued to act in this capacity for fourteen years, and the value of his services was enthusiastically referred to by Sir J. Ward at the recent ceremony in connection with the erection of the new post office. Deceased, on that occasion, wrote regretting that he was too ill to join in the festivities. Deceased's connection with the early local government is well known, and his name in that capacity will go down to posterity in the records of the district.

James was involved in local affairs to some extent.



P. Rumble v. Provincial Government This was a claim of 38 2 l0d, balance of £58 2s l0d, for work and labour in making an alteration in a piece of road which the plaintiff had taken by contract; it appeared the Government paid 20 0 0, having previously told the plaintiff's father they would pay no move. The plaintiff afterwards received this sum (on account) as he alleged. Mr Holdsworth said plaintiff had made several applications for payment of £60 or £70 extras, and then advised that 20 0 0 should be paid as a settlement in full, and that the plaintiff assented to this by his father's agency, plaintif' admitting he had authorised his father to settle the matter. Mr Holdsworth said that when the plaintiff received the £20 it was fully and clearly explained to the plaintiff that it was in full of all demands. Mr Woodward to some extent confirmed this. The plaintiff said he would not have accepted the £20 had he known it was in full of all demands. Mr J. McEwen, Chairman of the board of Wardens for the district, said the plaintiff made a demand of £60 or £70, for extra work beyond the contract. The Board in conjunction with the Government agreed to give 20 0 0 in full of all demands. The Court gave judgment for defendants with costs) £2 1s.          (13 January 1864)


March 8th, 1866.Notice. A Public Meeting will be held in the Mechanics' Institute, Hutt, on Friday evening, the 16th inst., at 7 o'clock, to take into consideration the advisability and practicability of forming a Manawatu Small Farm Association, and to receive information concerning steps already taken. A. Ludlam, Henry Sanson, Richard Burt, Stephen Fagan, James McEwen, Lawson Potts, Samuel J. Tocker.


October 23, 1868. NOTICE. The Annual Meeting of Ratepayers of the Horokiwi Road District will be held on Wednesday, the 18th November, at 2 o'clock p.m., at the house of Mr James McEwen, in the district, for the purpose of voting rates for the ensuing year. By order of the Board. HENRY DAMANT, Chairman.

James McEwen died on 20 December 1883.

Evening Post 21 December 1883. Funeral Notice. The Friends of the late Mr. JAMES M'EWEN are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, to leave the residence of Mr. Hy. Damant, Lower Hutt, on Sunday, the 23rd December, 1883, at 3.15 p.m. Joseph Hall, Undertaker.    

His wife Barbara had pre-deceased him, having died on 1 July 1860. Both are buried at Blackbridge cemetery.

James’s mother lived to a big age, although the age stated in the obituary is probably overstated. 

Evening Post 26 January 1871. DEATH. On the 10th inst., at Pahautanui, Agnes M'Ewen, aged 89 years, mother of Mr. David M'Ewen, of Manawatu, and one of the earliest settlers in the Colony.     


Peter McEwen married Sarah Daysh in 1863. He died in Dunedin in 1915.

Evening Post, 5 August 1915, McEWEN— On the 1st August, at Dunedin (suddenly), Peter Coupar McEwen, dearly beloved husband of Sarah McEwen; aged 77 years. Gone home.

Andrew Henderson McEwen married Sarah Henrietta Relf in 1872.

Phoebe McEwen married Henry Damant in 1863.

Evening Post, 3 November 1928, To-morrow Mr. and Mrs. Hy, Damant, of Nelson street, Petone, will celebrate the sixty-fifth anniversary of their wedding which took place in the Primitive Methodist Church, Sydney street, Wellington, on 4th November, 1863, the ceremony being conducted by the Rev. Joshua Smith. Mr. Damant still enjoys good health, but Mrs. Damant has for the past few years been confined to her home through blindness. Mrs. Damant was the daughter of Mr. Jas. M'Ewen, of Horokiwi, Petone.

David Galloway, who had married Ann McEwen, farmed at Pauatahanui, and became a member of the Wellington Provincial Council for some years.

Evening Post, 4 November 1901, DEATHS. Galloway.—On the 2nd November. 1901, at her residence, Agricultural Reserve, Judgeford, Ann, dearly-beloved wife of David Galloway, sen., aged 80 years. Her end was peace.

Evening Post, 12 March 1907, GALLOWAY.— On the 10th March, 1907, David Galloway, Senior, who died after a short but painful illness at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. G. H. Taylor, Pahautanui, in his 83th vear: deeply regretted.

Evening Post, 13 March 1907, Mr. David Galloway whose death, in his 89th year, occurred on Monday last, was one of Wellington's earliest settlers, having landed at Petone in 1840. He resided in the Hutt Valley for some twelve years, and then went to the Pahautanui district, where he spent the rest of his life. For a period of ten years Mr. Galloway, who went in for farming, represented the Porirua district in the Wellington Provincial Council with the late Mr. Brandon; he was a member of the Hutt Highway Board (which became the County Council), and acted for many years as a Maori interpreter. Mr. Galloway leaves nine children, seventy grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren. Of his five sons, four are farmers at Pahautafaui, and another has a farm at Woodville, and the daughters are Mrs. Samson (Sandon), Mrs. G. H. Taylor (Pahautanui), and Mrs. W. Taylor (Petone).

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