Info 5x. Jane Cameron and Alexander Alison
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Marriage in Wellington
New Zealand Spectator and
Cook Strait Gardian, 22nd November 1845
Married on the 17th November inst.
Mr. Alexander Alison, Formerly of Inverness, shipwright, now of H M Colonial Brig "Victoria" to Jane, third daughter of Mr.Ewen Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Argyleshire.

marriage doc

Alexander Alison (senior)
born in Inverness on 30 January 1810,
son of William Alison and Elizabeth McIntosh
Emmigrated on 5 Jul 1840 to
Wellington, New Zealand

He died on 26 Jun 1887
at Takapuna, Auckland, aged 77.
Buried in Jun 1887
at Mt Victoria, Devonport, Auckland,

Alexander had worked as a ship's carpenter and
later became a boat builder, at first along the Auckland waterfront on the City side.

His wife Jean Cameron was born in Argyl, Scotland in 1815 and came to Wellington in 1840.
They married in 1845 and came to Auckland in 1848.

Jane Cameron  Alexander Alison
Daguerreotype photo circa 30th June 185 2?

Electorial Roll

Two sons of Jane (jean) and Alexander snr. ,Roderick and Toby, are less known.

Roderick (1850-1882) was a house builder, contractor, champion yachtsman, and proprietor of the Willow Grove Strawberry Gardens tearooms. The Gardens were on King Edward Parade, between Duders Avenue and Church Street, and were later managed by , Mark Parrish.
Roderick contracted a lung disease while working in the Thames gold mines, and died young.

Duncan Donald (Toby) Tobias (1855-1935) was also a house builder.

Daily Southern Cross 2 sept 1871
Alexander Alison and Jane Alison, nuisance by obstructing a road. Judgment in the following cases was postponed until certain questions of law should have been considered, and decided by the Court of Appeal.
5th Sept 1871
Nuisance by Obstructing a. Road. -
Alexander Alison and Jane Alison, charged with obstructing a road at the North Shore, surrendered to their bail.-
Mr. Brooktield, Crown Prosecutor, said :
In the last session of this Court a true bill was found in this case. They were admitted to bail, and the case was adjourned to this sitting by request. I have since received instructions to enter a nolle prosequi. fofis Honor called the defendant to appear, and told him that his attendance had been requested in order to release his sureties from their bonds. He was now released, as the prosecution had been withdrawn.
Mr. Allison asked about the payment of the expenses to which he had been put by the prosecution.
His Honor informed him, that this Court had no power to interfere in the matter of costs in such proceedings.

Daily southern Cross, 30 Nov 1867

The Speaker took the chair At five minutes past three o'clock. PETITION Mr. Wynn presented the following petition respecting the erection of a wharf at the North Shore :- "To the Honourable the Provincial Council of the Province of Auckland, in Council assembled. " The petition of the undersigned settlers at the Flagstaff, North Shore, Humbly showeth, -
1. That at a meeting of settlers held here in August, 1866, for the purpose of raising funds for the erection of a public wharf near the road leading to Takapuna Lake and 'the northern settlements, your petitioners were appointed a oommittee to collect subscriptions and oarry on the proposed work.
2. Thaton the faith of subcriptions, and on the understanding that one-half of the cost of the work would be paid by the Provincial Government in scrip, as provided by the Waste Lands Act, 1867, your petitioners guaranteed the entire cost of the wharf to the contractor.
3. That two of your petitioners were appointed to see that the work was carried out according to the plans and specifications furnished by the Provincial Engineer-in-Chief ; but (being guided by the subscriptions actually paid and those doubtful) modified the specification, without, in their opinion and that of the subscribers generally, impairing in ,the least the stability or utility of the structure.
4. That, in consequenoe of such modification, your petitioners cannot obtain the certificate which iis necessary before land scrip can be issued to them.
5. Tour petitioners, however, re-spectfully submit they have mrected a solid and substantial public wharf, which will be of great and increasing ' benefit to the settlers of this and other districts, and have acted in the spirit, if not to the letter, of 'the scrip regulations. Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that your honourable Council will carefully investigate their case, and grant such relief as may seem meet ; and your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. "
Samuel Cochbane. Alexander Alison. Frederick Cock. George Webster. Thomas Dudee. James Hammond."

from CHANNEL North shore's monthly magazine

Jane and Alexander Alison snr

In 1852 Alexander Alison snr. bought 5 acres of land fronting Beach Road, whichj was renamed is now King Edward Parade, and bounded by Duders Avenue, Domain Street and Cambridge Terrace. The property was just past the then eastern wharf. The family moved to that sparsely populated area in 1854, where he opened the first boat building yard in Devonport. By 1865, Devonport was a major centre for boat building in Auckland and New Zealand.

It is claimed that Alexander snr. also built the first proper wooden house in the area. Its front rooms were certainly used for Church and other public meetings. Before the first Anglican Church in Devonport was built in 1855, Bishops Selwyn and Patterson were rowed over on a Sunday morning from the Melanesian Mission, at what is now Kohimarama, to preach at the Alison home.

At the time there were two heavily populated Maori kainga, or unfortified villages, in the area and Maori outnumbered the local Pakeha population. One was between Lake Road, Albert Road and Derby Street north of Mount Victoria, while the other was between Cambridge Terrace and Cheltenham Beach. This all changed in 1863 following Auckland becoming a garrison town as a prelude to the government’s march into the Waikato. Alexander became a sergeant in the North Head Volunteer Corps or militia.

Alexander continued his trade as a boat builder, specialising in five oared whaleboats, dinghies and cutters. His sons soon became expert rowers and sailors. He stood for election to the Flagstaff Highway Board in 1867, but was unsuccessful. However, he was soon to be off-side with the Board, when in 1869 he extended his seafront boundary on advice from a surveyor hired by the Auckland Provincial Council. The Council then claimed he had extended his property illegally and hired another surveyor to confirm this. Alexander and Jane were taken to Court charged with obstructing a road and Alexander threatened to prosecute anyone who pulled the wall down. On occasion the family threatened to physically defend their wall. The case dragged on through the Supreme (now the High) Court until 1888, after his death.

Alexander was also interested in science and astronomy and at his death was known for his “sterling qualities”, his “warm-hearted and genial disposition” and was “widely respected”. He died “peacefully at home”, after being ill for some time, on 26 June 1887. His wife Jane died on 4 February 1893, and they are both buried in the Anglican section of the Devonport cemetery, as is Roderick.

David Verran is a local history expert and auther of ‘North Shore; An Illustrated History’, available at most local bookshops.

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Updated 7th January 2019
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