Topic: Ann Watt (nee Gerrie) (1837-1908)

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Ann Watt arrived with her husband Alexander Watt on the "Queen of the Avon' in 1859. She was my third great grandmother - Debbie McCauley (2013).

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Ann Gerrie, known as Annie, was born in Scotland in 1837. Her parents were William and Graham Gerrie (nee McAngus).

At age 22, on 8 March 1859, she married Alexander Watt in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. At the time, Ann lived in Newseat, Inverurie. Alexander was born in 1838 in Scotland. His parents were William and Elspet Watt (nee Smith), William being a labourer and farmer. At the time of his marriage to Ann, Alexander was living in Middlefield, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

On 23 March 1859, Ann and Alexander left London aboard the Queen of the Avon for New Zealand. The Wellington Independent reported on 31 May 1859 that: The following Guaranteed Immigrants are to arrive per Queen of the Avon. As this vessel was to leave on the 15th March, she may be expected to arrive here in June. Applicants, residing in the Country, will be good enough to make arrangements with some person in town to receive their friends on arrival. [The list of immigrants provided includes: Watt, A and family] (p. 2)

The Queen of the Avon arrived in Wellington on 13 July 1859. The Wellington Independent reported the arrival on 12 July 1859:

ARRIVAL OF THE QUEEN OF THE AVON The barque Queen of the Avon, Captain Gilbert, from London, arrived in this harbour on Wednesday last, after a passage of 110 days. She sailed from Gravesend on Wednesday the 23rd March, and anchored off Deal to land the pilot, after which she sailed again; but was compelled to put into Torquay, in consequence of contrary winds, and after a detention of two days, proceeded on her voyage. Experienced rough weather until passing Madeira, when it became fine and light, until rounding the Cape of Good Hope. After rounding the Cape she encountered a severe gale of wind, which carried away he main topsail yard; she also shipped several heavy seas, which did considerable damage, washing away part of the port bulwarks, poop ladder, hencoop, &c. Shortly after crossing the line, a seaman named Painter, fell off the foretopsail-yard and was unfortunately drowned. Every assistance was rendered, the ship was immediately rounded too, the lifebuoy let go, a boat lowered, and every exertion made to save the unfortunate man, but unfortunately without success. It was thought that he struck some portion of the bulwarks in his fall, which must have stunned him, as he was never seen to rise to the surface of the water. There was a very heavy sea on at the time, and the boat being absent for two hours fears were entertained for her safety, and her return was therefore hailed with great delight, notwithstanding the gallant of the crew were unsuccessful. During the search the boat shipped a sea, and if it had not been for one of the men wearing sea boots, which were used as bailers, the boat would have swamped, and probably all hands in her been drowned. The Queen of the Avon brings 8 cabin, 13 second cabin, and about 110 steerage passengers, half of whom were bound for Nelson. Four births, and two deaths, (that of an adult and a child) occurred on board during the voyage. Cape Farewell was sighted on the 10th inst., and she came to her anchorage in this port on Wednesday afternoon. The Queen of the Avon is one of Messrs Shaw Savill & Co's., line of New Zealand packets, appears to be a very fine vessel, and would have made a remarkably quick passage, if she had not lost her foretopsail yard, which was not replaced for 13 days, and consequently considerably retarded her progress. We understand that she proceeds to Nelson as soon as she has landed her passengers for this place, her cargo being all for Nelson.

On 15 July 1859, Ann and Alexander sailed to Whanganui aboard the schooner Tyne.

The children of Ann and Alexander Watt:

  1. Mary Watt (1860-1949). Born in Whanganui on 5 January 1860 (reg. 1860/3421). Mary married Edward Bell in Turakina on 19 May 1881 (reg. 1881/1569). She died, aged 89, in Hamilton on 21 May 1949 (reg. 1949/21162).
  2. Richard Watt (1861-1861). Born in Whanganui in 1861 (folio: 169). He died in 1861 (folio: 1702).
  3. William Watt (1861-1945). Born in Whanganui on 28 November 1861 (reg. 1861/8463). He died on 8 July 1945 and was buried in Feilding Cemetery (reg. 1945/22754).
  4. Alexander Watt (1864-?). Born in Whanganui on 12 December 1863 (reg. 1864/9914). He married Mary Frances Stent in 1897 (reg. 1897/1760).
  5. Elizabeth Graham Watt (1865-1954). Also known as 'Elspet Graham Watt'. Born in Whanganui on 30 October 1865 (reg. 1865/12412). She married Thomas Higgie Ironside Howie in 1888 (reg. 1888/2622). Died in Te Pahu on 25 June 1954 (reg. 1954/21257) and was buried in Hamilton East Cemetery.
  6. George Watt (1867-1952). Born in Whanganui on 8 September 1867 (reg. 1867/18637). He married Margaret Stevenson in 1905 (reg. 1905/6732). George died on 28 September 1952 (reg. 1952/34503) and was buried in Feilding Cemetery with his wife Margaret and brother James.
  7. Cecilia Watt (1870-1928). Born in Rangitikei on 12 December 1870 (reg. 1870/19302). She married Hugh McIntyre on 16 September 1896 (reg. 1896/1944). The Wanganui Chronicle reported the wedding on 24 September 1896: MARRIAGE. MCINTYRE-WATT - On the 16th instant, at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev. D Martin, Hugh, eldest son of Hugh Mclntyre, of Wanganui, to Cecilia, the third daughter of Alexander Watt, Hunterville (p. 2). Cecilia died, aged 58, in 1928 (reg. 1928/4518).
  8. Anne Watt (1872-1968). Born in Rangitikei in 1872 (reg. 1872/20072). Anne never married. She died in Feilding, aged 96, in 1968 (reg. 1968/49047).
  9. John Walker Watt (1874-1963). Born in Rangitikei on 5 December 1874 (reg. 1874/42654). Served in the Boer War and was wounded during World War I. He married Emily Margaret Arthur in 1922 (reg. 1922/4318). Died 15 January 1963 (reg. 1963/35350).
  10. James Watt (1876-1953). Born in 1876 (reg. 1876/12468). James died on 27 March 1953 and was buried in Feilding Cemetery.
  11. Charles Watt (1880-1915). Born on 24 September 1880 (reg. 1880/12775). Served in the Boer War. He was killed in action, aged 34, at Gallipoli on 30 May 1915 during World War I (1914-1918). His death was reported in the Feilding Star on 7 June 1915: DEATH. WATT. - Killed in action in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Charles Watt, of Peep-o'-Day, youngest son of the late Alexander Watt; aged 34 years (p. 2).

Whilst the New Zealand Wars were raging the family lived near the bush and stories are told of how constantly fearful Ann was of attack. 

Alexander died, aged 63, in Hunterville on 15 June 1900. The Feilding Star carried his death notice on 18 June 1900:

DEATH. WATT. - At Hunterville, on June 15th; Alexander Watt; aged 63 years. (p. 2).

He was buried in the Hunterville Cemetery. On 3 July 1900, the Wanganui Chronicle  reported;

DISTRICT COURT. IN CHAMBERS (Before C. C. Kettle, Esq., Registrar.) MONDAY, 2nd July, 1900. In re Alexander Watt, deceased. Motion for probate (Mr Barnicoat). Probate granted to Annie Watt, executrix of will. (p. 2).

Ann died, aged 73, in Hunterville on 1 July 1908. She was buried in the Hunterville Cemetery.



Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Feilding Star.

Marriage Certificate: Ann Gerrie and Alexander Watt (1859).

Queen of The Avon Passenger List.

Wanganui Chronicle.

Wellington Independent (1859).

This page was archived at Perma cc February 2017

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Ann Watt (nee Gerrie) (1837-1908)

First Names:Ann
Last Name:Gerrie
Date of Birth:1837
Country of birth:Scotland
Date of death:1 July 1908
Place of death:Hunterville, New Zealand
Place of burial:Hunterville Cemetery
Family Surname:Watt
First settled:Whanganui, Rangitikei, and Hunterville
Date of Arrival:13 July 1859
Name of the ship:Queen of the Avon
Date of sailing:23 March 1859
Port of arrival:Wellington
Sailed from:London
Spouses name:Alexander Watt
Spouses date of birth:1838
Spouses place of birth:Scotland
Spouses date of death:15 June 1900
Spouses place of death:Hunterville, New Zealand
Spouses place of burial:Hunterville Cemetery
Spouses nationality:Scottish
Date of marriage:8 March 1859
Place of marriage:Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Fathers name:William Gerrie
Mothers name:Graham McAngus