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George McIlvride was born in Muthill in Perthshire on 16 October 1838, son of Peter and Grizel McIlvride (nee Millar)

On 9 December 1864 he married Janet Sinclair in Anderston in Glasgow. Janet was born in Muthill in 1839, daughter of John Sinclair and Margaret Bayne.

The following year the family moved to New Zealand. This also included George’s mother Grizel (listed on the passenger list as Grace).

This is the report in an Auckland newspaper concerning the voyage to New Zealand.

ARRIVAL OF THE ANDREW JACKSON     Daily Southern Cross August 31st 1865

The American clipper-built ship, Andrew Jackson, l, 262 tons register, Captain J. McCallum, arrived in port shortly before noon on Aug 24, from London, after a smart passage of 90 days. She brings a large cargo of general merchandise and an addition to our population of 269 souls. She sailed from London on the 18th of May, and left Gravesend on the 20th. Parted pilot at Dover the same day and passed Dungeness in the evening. Was off the Lizard Point at noon on the 22nd. Had fine weather down the channel, but immediately upon leaving experienced some rough breezes, which gradually increased to a gale on the 26th, with a rough sea on, which lasted three days. On the 29th, the wind moderated. Sighted Madeira Island on the 4th June. Fell in with the south-east trade winds on the 6th in lat. 28 08N., and long 19 41 W. On the 11th June passed S by W of St. Antonio, Cape-de-Verde Islands. On the 19th encountered a heavy squall from the eastward which gave but little warning of its approach, and although sail was shortened with all possible speed, five sails were split. Crossed the meridian of the equator in 35 50 on the 24th June 35 days from the Downs. Had light southerly winds for ten days previously. On the 20th sighted the island of Fernando do Noronha, bearing S W by W. Passed to the westward of the meridian of the Cape on the 10th of July and reached the meridian on the 18th, in lat. 45 S. Experienced a severe gale on the 21st, which lasted some hours, and shortly afterwards, came in sight of a large iceberg, in very hazy weather, and passed several others afterwards. Had to alter the ships course four or five points to clear them. In lat. 53 S long 92 E, experienced a heavy gale from the N E during which the fore and main-topsails were lost. The barometer sank from 29 20 to 27 86. Sighted the Three Kings on the 19th August, bearing E N E and on the 2lst was abreast of the North Cape. Made Cape Brett at noon on the 22nd, and the Poor Knights on the 23rd. Had strong S and S E winds along the coast until arriving in port.

The immigrants have arrived in a healthy state, in charge of J. L Kingston, M D surgeon superintendent. There were three deaths and two births during the passage. The first death was that of a passenger named Davis, who expired of consumption, on the 15th June. On the 10th of August Miss Turner, and on the 22nd Mr E White expired after brief illnesses. On the 1st July Mrs. Hastie, and on the 15th August Mrs McIlfride (sic), gave birth to male children. A subscription was raised in the vessel for the widow of Mr. Davis, to enable her, if she wished, to return to England with her children.

Respecting the sailing qualities of this smart vessel, which has made twelve previous voyages, six of which have been from New York to San Francisco, we need only say that for four days, namely the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th of July, she made runs of 296, 311, 300, and 321 miles respectively, making a total of 1,231 miles in four successive days, averaging 308½ miles per day, or nearly 13 knots per hour.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand for the Wellington Provincial District, published in 1897, gives a good summary of George’s commercial activities in the Hutt Valley.

McIlvride, George, General Blacksmith, Farrier and Wheelwright, Main Road, Lower Hutt. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. McIlvride, who hails from Perthshire, Scotland, where he was born in 1838, came to Auckland, per ship “Andrew Jackson,” in 1864. Settling in the Hutt during the following year, he founded the present business, acquiring the freehold of the large allotment on which his workshops and two-story dwelling of eight rooms stand. The building includes blacksmith, wheelwright and paint shops, and all needful appliances, including lathes, boring machine, iron cutter and band-saw, are used in connection with the business, about eight hands being employed. The leading line is horse-shoeing and general work, but a good deal of coach repairing and some coach building is also done. Mr. McIlvride has tapped a very fine flow of artesian water on his property, which is invaluable. In local politics Mr. McIlvride has declined to stand for the Borough Council, but has served as a member of the Lower Hutt School Committee and as a Licensing Commissioner. He is a member of the Rose of the Valley Lodge of Oddfellows, with which he has been connected for twenty-five years, for nine of which as trustee and treasurer. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which he has been an elder about twenty years. Mr. McIlvride holds the agency of the Commercial Union Assurance Company for the district. He makes for the patentee the Eureka patent wire strainer, which has been ordered by the Wairarapa and Manawatu Farmers' Co-operative Associations, and commands a ready sale.

Here are two advertisements seeking an extra staff member for the business.

Wanted, a Blacksmith, or a nailer on. Apply at once to Geo. Mcllvride, Lower Hutt.  (27 February 1873)

Wanted, a good general Blacksmith none but a good hand need apply. George Mcllvride, Lower Hutt.   (24 December 1887)

As seen above, their first child. Peter, was born on the Andrew Jackson. Their other children were:

Margaret Bayne                        1867                                                                                            

Grace Miller                             1869                                                                                            

Mary                                                1870                                                                                         

George Alexander                 1873                                                                                           

Jessie Elizabeth                   1874                                                                                            

Dinah Maud                                   1876                                                                                           Grant                                                1879

George’s mother died in 1872. His father Peter McIlvride had died on 3 July 1855 at Muthill.

The funeral of Grace M'Ilvride, will leave her Son's residence, Lower Hutt, this day (Saturday), at one o'clock p.m. All friends are respectfully invited to attend. (Wellington Independent 15 June 1872) According to BDM website she was 77 years old.

The one local organisation we know George was involved in was the Lower Hutt Licensing Bench.

The Lower Hutt Licensing Bench held their quarterly meeting at noon yesterday, the members present being Messrs. Wilkins (in the chair), McIlvride, Smith, and Knight. The granting of an application for the transfer of the license of the Railway Hotel from J. T. Wilkins to J. D. Pinkerton was the only business done.            (Evening Post, 11 December 1884)

Epuni Licensing District. Local Option. In the Matter of the Licensing Act, 1882." "Notice is hereby given that under and in pursuance of the said Act, I do hereby appoint the 25th day of April, 1885, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p m., as the day, and the Schoolhouse, Taita, as the place, for taking a Poll of the Ratepayers for the Licensing District of Epuni for the purpose of determining as to whether any new publican's or New Zealand wine licenses may be granted in the said district during the next three years. Dated at Lower Hutt this 10th day of April, 1885. GEO. M'ILVRIDE, Chairman Epuni Licensing District.            (Evening Post)

Funeral Notice. The Friends of Mr. George M'Ilvride are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late Wife, Jessie, which will leave his residence, Lower Hutt, for the Presbyterian Churchyard, Blackbridge, on Thursday, 9th September, at 3.15 p.m. Geo. Hall, Undertaker.         (8 September 1897)

Funeral Notice. The Friends of the late George M'Ilvride, senior, are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave his late residence, Main-road, Lower Hutt, on Monday, 26th December, at 2.30 p.m., for the Presbyterian Cemetery, Blackbridge. (24 December 1910)

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