Marion apparently came to New Zealand on the ship Slains Castle in 1841, arriving in the Port of Wellington. It seems likely that she arrived in New Zealand with her husband John Waters and that he died not long after arrival in Wellington. John's premature death left her a young widow with three children:
1. John Waters born 21 July 1835 and baptised on 9 August 1835 in Haddington
2. Janet "Jessie" Waters born 28 September 1837 and baptised on 19 October 1837 in Haddington
3. Christina Waters born 3 January 1840 and baptised on 26 January 1840 in Haddington. Christina was Alister's Great Great Grandmother.
Marion's obituary records that at the time of her death in 1905 her four surviving children were:
- Mr John Waters of Wellington
- Mrs James Bertram (Christina) of Devonport
- Mr Nathaniel Sutherland, sheep farmer of Fordell, Wanganui
- Mr Archibald Sutherland, sheep farmer of Fordell, Wanganui
The obituary also records that she left a total of 34 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren!
According to the New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, as published on 12 October 1844, on 10 October 1844 Nathaniel Sutherland married Marion Thomson, widow of John Waters. The notice records that both Nathaniel and Marion hailed from Edinburgh and that they were married by Rev. J. Macfarlane, First Minister of the Scotch Church. At the time of marriage, Nathaniel was listed as being a printer. Nathaniel had arrived in New Zealand on the SS Jane in 1841.
Marion and Nathaniel had a number of children together:
1. Marion Sutherland born 1844 died aged 16 years died 3 May 1861, buried 4 May 1861
2. Daughter born 1845 died 1846 of "brain disease."
3. Nathaniel Sutherland Jnr. born 27 April 1847
4. Archibald Sutherland born 30 September 1849
5. George Grey Sutherland born January 1852 died aged 9 years 4 months on 24 May 1861
6. Donald McLeod Sutherland born 23 July 1854 died aged 6 years on 28 April 1861
7. Robert Stokes Sutherland born 1857 aged 4 years died 6 May 1861
8. Margaret Sutherland born 1860 died aged 13 months died in May 1861
According to the cemetery records there were two more children "FS" aged 3 years, buried 25 May 1861, meaning the child was likely born around 1858, and "E" - age unknown, buried 27 May 1861. However, now I suspect that those records are not correct, and that possibly the children buried there are other relatives or are mistakes. That five children (Marion, George, Donald, Robert and Margaret) died of diptheria in 1861, is confirmed by a letter which Nathaniel Sutherland descendant Murray Sutherland has - it is a poem written by a Mrs Watson for Mrs Sutherland, on the death of her "five children".
There is an early record of a two year old daughter of Nathaniel Sutherland, dying of "brain disease" in 1846. This will need to be further researched and confirmed. I did read somewhere that Christina had had a sister die early in the 1840s, so that may relate to this child.
Five of a total of ten children born to Marion Sutherland, died of diptheria in April/May 1861. One can scarcely imagine how devastating it must have been for the couple to have gone from a busy, bustling home full of small children, to be left with two young sons only, and an older son and daughter. All the children were buried in the Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington.
A very early settler; Nathaniel took part in many aspects of the community - he was a signatory on an historical letter of condolence sent by local settlers from the Wellington area to the Nelson settlement following the Wairau Massacre in 1843. The letter is dated 11 July 1843. He was also a shareholder in the New Zealand Steam Navigation Company, and in February 1867 gave evidence, along with others, in the embezzlement trial of a former NZSN accountant, Frederick George Janes.
According to Nathaniel's obituary which appeared in the Manawatu Standard on 4 August 1883:
"The death is announced of Mr Nathaniel Sutherland, who arrived in Wellington on the barque Jane in 1841. He was one of the original land purchasers under the New Zealand Company and came with the intention of settling on his land; but owing to the disturbed state of the country, he remained in Wellington, where he followed his trade as printer.
He was engaged on the NZ Colonist, and afterwards, in connection with Mr R.Stokes, on the NZ Spectator until its collapse.
Of late years deceased suffered greatly from rheumatism, which kept him very much at home, but he was always cheerful and contented. He seemed in his usual health until Monday last, when he caught cold, and about 11 o'clock last night, quietly passed away, at his residence Pipitea Street at the age of 77 years old. He leaves a widow and two sons who are settled in the Wangaehu district. Deceased was highly respected by all who knew him for his kindly and obliging manner and his honest and sterling qualities."
Note the mention of an "R.Stokes" this is likely Robert Stokes a prominent figure in the lower North Island during the period. This may well explain the naming of one of Marion and Nathaniel's ill fated sons, Robert. Equally, the naming of similarly ill fated son George after Governor George Grey - they obviously named after figures they respected at the time. There was obviously a close relationship between Nathaniel Sutherland and Robert Stokes, as the obituary of young George Grey Sutherland, who died on 21 May 1861, records that he died at Mr Stokes' residence, Woolcombe Street, Wellington.
Until their deaths, both Nathaniel and Marion lived at their home in Pipitea Street, Wellington. Given his age of 77 at death, Nathaniel must have been born around 1806. Marion outlived her second husband by 22 years, dying aged 90, on 27 October 1905.
Although Nathaniel Sutherland was Christina Waters' step-father, he must have essentially been the only father she knew. It is clear that there must have been something of a fond relationship between them as she named her youngest son, Alister's Great Grandfather, Nathaniel, although he was always known as Herbert, this must have been as a mark of respect to Nathaniel Snr., therefore, Nathaniel wasn't a direct ancestor of my husband, but was his Gr Gr Grandmother's stepfather.
Both Nathaniel Snr and Marion were buried with their six young children in the Bolton Street Cemetery.
Here is a photo taken of the Sutherland Family Plot at the cemetery before it was dismantled to make way for the Wellington Motorway in the 1960s:
Thanks to correspondence with Ethne Holt, I've come to understand that Nathaniel was the son of Donald Sutherland and Isabel McLeod. Ethne is a descendant of Daniel Sutherland, Nathaniel's brother. There were also three other siblings - John, Margaret and Isabella.
John Sutherland seems to have lived, at least for some time, in the Pipitea house with Nathaniel and Marion and the children. John was a carpenter and died on 25 August 1865 at the Pipitea house at the age of 47. At the time, Nathaniel was working in the Spectator office.