William Shields emigrated to New Zealand in 1861 – seven generations later, descendants of that one family are still living in and around the district.
Members of the Shields family are organising a reunion and want to hear from anyone who is related.
Debbie Harvey (nee Shields) and her uncle John Shields and cousin Kathleen Scobie (nee Shields) are trying to get as many relatives together as possible.
“We know there are a lot more than we realise living in and around the district.
“To date we have found relatives at Five Rivers and Riverton we did not know about,” Mrs Harvey said.
“I have since found a cousin’s daughter living 20 minutes away,” Mr Shields said.
“.. I hadn’t seen her for over 40 years and did not know she was so close.”
The Shields family was a big part of Menzies Ferry, Wyndham and Edendale, Mrs Harvey said.
“Five generations were brought up in the area, but now most have moved away.”
“Families have been invited from as far away as Holland, Ireland and Australia but we have not heard anything yet,” Mr Shields said.
“Plenty, though, from the South Island.”
“If there are relatives out there, we are wanting to make contact,” Mrs Harvey said.
“We know there are more descendants out there. We would love to make contact and get them to come to the reunion.
“Any photographs or family memoirs would be fabulous,” Mrs Harvey said.
William Shields arrived in Dunedin on July 30, 1861 on the ship Stormcloud
Elizabeth Muir arrived in Invercargill in 1863.
Both William and Elizabeth were from Lanarkshire, Scotland.
They had six surviving children.
They were married 11 years in Invercargill before moving to Menzies Ferry.
They settled and bought McFarlane’s Hotel, Menzies Crossing, as well as starting a carrying company.
The family get-together is on Sunday, February 24 from 11am.
For more information, phone Debbie Harvey on 27727-6545.