Sunday, 30 December 2007

McKerrow Memorial Cup -Ice Hockey

McKerrow Memorial Cup

By Graeme Glass

The McKerrow Memorial Cup was presented in 1957 by the Mt Harper Ice Hockey Team for South Canterbury inter club ice hockey competition. For many years it sat on a mantelpiece in South Canterbury. The trophy was uncovered and presented to the Southern Ice Hockey League as a Senior trophy in 1997. The story of the McKerrow Memorial Cup is very interesting and needs to be told and preserved for the future. Some of this story has been handed down but it was also partly retold by Claire Allison in the Timaru Herald on July 12th 2001.

Graham McKerrow was a keen member of the Mt Harper Ice Hockey Team based in Timaru. 1957 was a severe winter in South Canterbury, cold enough to freeze over Saltwater Creek then known as Otipua Creek. Saltwater Creek is the small stream on the southern boundary of Timaru crossed by State Highway 1. One frosty July morning Graham McKerrow and his friend Ron Wilson decided to go down to Saltwater Creek and get in some skating practise before the weekends ice hockey competitions. Only one survived. The ice collapsed under the weight of the two skaters when they got to a soft patch by some willow trees. Ron Wilson miraculously survived but Graham McKerrow went under the ice and drowned.

Ron Wilson was very lucky. When the ice gave way and the two men went into the water, his stick spanned the hole and he was able to keep his head above the water. Graham McKerrow disappeared in a matter of seconds when the cold got to him. Ron Wilson called and called for help. Fortunately a couple nearby, whose horse had become agitated came to investigate, heard him and came to the rescue.

The couple, Paul and Betty Northover, got a rope and dragged the frozen and exhausted man from the creek. Unfortunately they were too late for Graham McKerrow whose body was recovered 3 hours later.

The Mt Harper Ice Hockey Team was a regular competitor in the ice hockey competitions in South Canterbury in those days along with several other now defunct clubs such as Opawa, Fairlie, Irishman Creek, Tekapo and more recently, Albury. The Mt Harper rink has long been closed and was on the shady side of Mt Harper up on the northern side of the Rangitata Gorge area of South Canterbury.

Winners of the McKerrow Cup over the years are:

1958 Mt Harper

1959 Opawa

1960 - 1966 Tekapo

1968 - 1972 Albury

1997 - Queenstown

1998 - Dunedin Loch Monsters

1999 - Dunedin Penguins

2000 - Queenstown

2001 - Dunedin Penguins

2002 - Queenstown

2003 - Queenstown

Friday, 28 December 2007

Mt McKerrow (706 m), in the Rimutaka Forest Park, is named after James McKerrow, Surveyor General of New Zealand. I was told by an Uncle, Robert Thomas McKerrow, that when James McKerrow was Surveyor General in Wellington, he could see this the unnamed peak out his office window on a fine day. In the winter he used to admire its snow capped peak.A budding young surveyor, trying to curry favour with his mentor and boss, named the peak after him.

A DOC guide book gives thisd information about the peak.
It is not your typical maunga (mountain). You know you've scaled its peak when the uphill slog along a ridge in the Orongorongo Valley becomes a descent. Trees obscure the views at the top, but there are panoramic peeks of Wainuiomata and the Hutt Valley at vantage points en route.

You can start the trip to Mt McKerrow from Wainuiomata or the Catchpool Valley in the Rimutaka Forest Park. From Hine Road and the end of Sunny Grove in Wainuiomata you can reach the Whakanui Track. At the top of the hill turn right at the signpost to follow the ridge south along the eastern side of the Wainuiomata Valley until you reach the top.

Just below the summit the track splits and you can go right to follow the Clay Ridge/Old Five Mile Track down to the Catchpool car park. (This trip takes around six hours to complete.) Or you can turn left and descend, coming out on the Orongorongo Valley Track to the car park. (This option will add about an hour to your tramp.)

From the Catchpool car park end of the track you'll venture through regenerating podocarp hardwood scrub before encountering gnarly old podocarp hardwood and black and hard beech trees.

You pass through an area of windthrow — from where you get spectacular views of Wellington on a fine day — before reaching the summit and its cloak of silver beech.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

James McKerrow. Five ascents of Mt. Pisgah.

Mt. Pisgah (taken by Burton Bros. Dunedin)

After the posting yesterday stating that James McKerrow did the first ascent of Mount Pisgah on 3 January 1863, on futther research this morning I discovered I was wrong. He did the fifth, not the first ascent of Mount Pisgah on that day. On 30, 31 December 1862, and, 1 and 2 January 1863, he climbed Mount Pisgah, but had poor visibility. It was on 3 January he got the visibility he required. On each ascent he was accompanied by John Goldie. At this stage he was quite desperate to find a route to the West Coast so he decided to secure a sight of Casswell Sound, and to fix on any route to the coast. which might be cut through with probability of success. It was decided that an attempt should be made on the only peak handy and that was Mount Pisgah. Goldie and McKLerrow blazed a trail through the bush, and zigzagged their way up onto a spur leading to the summit. A disappointment was in store. On all sides was a dismal and confused array of peaks, shrouded in fog, but of Caswell Sound there was no sign. Drenched with rain, and smeared with wet moss they slithered down the mountain side and spent a miserable night without a fire, and suffering from the unwelcome attention of swarms of sandflies.

On three consecutive days they ascended this same peak, but each time a climb of four hours had for its reward nothing but the tantalising sight of snow and black rocks looming through the mist. Damper was again low, the meat "had come to life" once more, and the sandflied were keeping up a persistent attack. They decided on a final attempt. To their delight the fog gradually lifted during the ascent, and there, lying to the west, was Caswell Sound, with the island at its mouth and the surf beating on the rocks fringing it clearly visible through the telescope. George Sound was not in view, as a mountain peak obscured it from sight. "We wave our caps, give three cheers, and down we hurry to the tent, glad to have verified our position and glad to get away from our blood thirsty tormetors the sandflies." wrote McKerrow.

" There was a good deal of public interest at the time as to who should be the first to sight the West Coast from the interior of Otago. I am not aware that anyone did before the third day of January 1863 the date of the fifth and last ascent. I named the mountain 'Pisgah' in recollection of a moumtain of that name in another and distant country from which a long expected and promised land was seen on a much more important occasion.

From the summit of Mt. Pisgah it appeared that the wooded saddle separating Caswell Sound from Te Anau might yeild to determined bushwhackers, but the paucity of his supplies, and the realisation that a permanent route could only be calved out at a prohibitive initial cost and yearly maintenance, dissuaded McKerrow from making the attempt.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

McKerrow, the Honeymoon Suite - Wanaka

In the early 1860's James Mckerrow spent a lot of time surveying Lake Wanaka. If he were alive today, I am sure he would have been delighted to know there is a honeymoon suite named after him.

The Home of Luxury Accommodation in Wanaka

With just seven luxury lodge rooms we pride ourselves on offering you a totally personalised accommodation experience during your stay in beautiful Wanaka.

Feel at one with the natural beauty of Wanaka in a room adorned in native, warm colours that draw your eyes out across the garden towards the mountain ranges beyond. Experience all the comforts and up-to date facilites of a modern hotel with the pleasure of feeling 'at home'.

Spread yourself out on the luxurious superking beds or enjoy a freshly brewed coffee and cakes out on your verandah. If you prefer more privacy we also offer a separate loft room. And for real luxury try 'McKerrow', our honeymoon suite, complete with a candle-lit spa bath.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Mount McKerrow - Antarctica

I have finally, precisely located Mount McKerrow in Antarctica, named after James McKerrow

Mount McKerrow

Australian Gazetteer

Feature Types Mountain (details of this feature type)
Location Latitude: 81° 45' 00.0" S (-81.75°)
Longitude: 159° 48' 00.0" E (159.8°)
Confidence in position:

Region Antarctica
Date Created 01-Jan-2000
Named for

Narrative A peak in the Surveyors Range, 6 km south-west of Mount Hotine. Discovered by the New Zealand Geological and Survey Antarctic Expedition (1960-61). Named after J. McKerrow, a former Surveyor-General of New Zealand.

James McKerrow the namer.

James McKerrow was a prolific namer of places. A number of placenames were named after scientiests.

Here is an article from The Rutherford Journal.

Science on the Map: Places in New Zealand named after scientists

James McKerrow

James McKerrow (1834–1919) studied mathematics at Glasgow University, and in 1859 he became deputy-surveyor for Otago province. In his explorations of the Otago lakes district from 1861 to 1864, he named many places in Otago after scientists.25

Mt Ansted (44° 30' 166° 37' 2344m) was named after the Scottish geologist David Thomas Ansted F.R.S. (1814–1880)
Dana Peak (45° 13' 167° 36' 1722m) was named after the American geologist James Dwight Dana F.R.S. (1813–1895)
A second Mt Forbes (43° 30' 170° 35' 2591m) was named after the Scottish geologist James David Forbes F.R.S. (1809–1868)
The Hector Mountains (45° 16' 168° 50') were named after James Hector F.R.S. (1834–1907)
The Humboldt Mountains (44° 44' 168° 16') and Humboldt Tower (44° 29' 168° 33' 2222m) were named after Alexander von Humboldt F.R.S. (1769–1859)
Cosmos Peak (44° 34' 169° 18' 2260m) was named after Humboldt's major work of scientific synthesis Cosmos
Mt Bonpland (44° 50' 168° 17' 2348m) was named after Humboldt's colleague the French botanist Aimé Bonpland (1773–1858)
The Kepler Mountains (45° 22' 167° 25' ), west of Lake Te Anau, commemorate the great German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630). In 1991, Pathfinders Publications (1974) in Christchurch published a map Pathfinders New Zealand on one folding sheet, which names those mountains as KELPER MTS!

A second Mt Lyall (45° 17' 167° 32' 1905m) was named after the surgeon–naturalist David Lyall
Mt Maury (45° 20' 167° 30' 1570m) was named after the American oceanographer Matthew Maury (1806–1873)
The Scottish geologist Hugh Miller (1802–1856) was commemorated by Miller Peak (45° 10' 167° 35' 1503m)
The Murchison Mountains (45° 15' 167° 32') were named after the geologist Roderick Impey Murchison F.R.S. (1792–1871)
Lake Thomas (45° 28' 167° 57') was (later) named after Algernon Phillips Withiel Thomas (1857–1937), the foundation Professor of Natural Sciences at Auckland University College
Tyndall Peak (44° 32 168° 32' 2457m) was named after the Irish physicist John Tyndall F.R.S. (1820–1893).

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Mount McKerrow - Antarctica

When I was in Antarctica in 1969-70 I came across a map with a Mount McKerrow, situated somewhere in Victoria Land.

Today I saw this reference on where Mount McKerrow is:

Farmer Glacier 8147S, 15948E. A glacier flowing north-west into Starshot Glacier, and located between Mount McKerrow at north and Thompson Mountain at south, at the southern end of Surveyors Range.

'''Farmer Glacier''' ({{coor dm|81|47|S|159|48|E|}}) is a [[glacier]] flowing north west into [[Starshot Glacier]], and located between [[Mount McKerrow]] at north and [[Thompson Mountain]] at south, at the southern end of [[Surveyors Range]]. Named in honor of [[D. W. Farmer]], a member of the 1960 [[Cape Hallett]] winter-over team, working as a technician on the geomagnetic project.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Lake McKerrow-Fiordland

Another beautiful feature named after James McKerrow. Lake McKerrow viewed from North end of lake. The lake was known to the Maori as Lake Kakapo.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Mt. McKerrow

Mt. McKerrow named after James McKerrow, Explorer and Surveyor.
The main range east of the Hooker Range.(left), the Dark Tower in front of Mt Hopkins, then a hair-raising narrow ridge to Mt McKerrow, the main peak slightly right of centre. at the summit at the top of the frame.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

McKerrow Road - North Otago

James McKerrow named hundreds, if not over a thousand features in New Zealand.

A number of features and places are named after McKerrow. Lake McKerrow in Fiordland, Mt. McKerrow, Hopkins Valley, Mt. McKerrow in the Rimutaka Forest Park, McKerrow Street in Waverly, Dunedin, McKerrow Street in Methven, McKerrow Road near Waianakarua, North Otago, McKerrow Glacier in the Westland and McKerrow Range on the Haast Pass Road to the West Coast. The township of Makarora is situated at the foot of the McKerrow Range.
Above is a photo of me, Bob McKerrow, lazing beneath the McKerrow Road sign near Waianakarua

Friday, 19 October 2007

New Zealand Middle Island Wall Map - James McKerrow

Have recently acquired a small wall map entitled:

Map of the Middle Island New Zealand Shewing The Land Tenure. June 30th 1879.General Survey Office. New Zealand. James McKerrow, Surveyor General.

33x24 inches backed on linen w/rollers.

Not being familar with indigenous New Zealand imprints or wall maps published in NZ, the map struck me as very interesting. Is anyone aware of any good references on 19th Century/Late 19th Century New Zealand Government published maps?

This mailing list is brought to you courtesy of:
Barry Lawrence Ruderman
Old Historic Maps & Prints

Saturday, 22 September 2007

James McKerrow and his association with Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka lies in a glacial lake basin oriented approximately north and south and situated 20 miles east of the main divide at Mount Aspiring and 20 miles south-south-west of Haast Pass. The township of Wanaka at its southern end is 35 miles north by road from Cromwell and 54 miles south by road from Haast Pass. The name Wanaka is a corruption of Oanaka, which means “place of Anaka”, Anaka being the name of an early Maori chief of this district. The lake is 27 miles long and though its northern part is walled in by ranges up to 6,000 ft high, the southern end spreads out into more subdued country, where the shore line is deeply indented by bays, the most prominent being Glendhu Bay on the west and Stevensons Arm on the east. The lake stands 928 ft above sea level and is probably more than 1,000 ft deep.
Both Lake Wanaka and its close neighbour, Hawea, occupy basins excavated by successive advances of great glacial systems that rose on the main divide between Mount Aspiring and the head of the Hunter River. The ice occupying the two lake basins was connected over a low pass now called the Neck, and the lake basins had a similar glacial history. Ice extended over the Wanaka area south-east down the Clutha River, at least as far as the Lindis River Junction, in later Pleistocene time. Ice submerged Mount Barker and Mount Iron, sculpturing Mount Iron into a typical “roche moutonnée” shape. A prominent loop of terminal moraine encircles the lower end of the lake, encloses Wanaka township, and marks the limits of the last of the great Pleistocene ice advances. The early Lake Wanaka was formed during the retreat of the ice terminal northwards from this loop about 10,000 years ago. It stood at first at a much higher level than at present. The outlet became entrenched in the glacial silts forming part of this moraine, and water level sunk in post-glacial time to its present 928 ft above sea level.
The first European to reach the lake was Nathaniel Chalmers, who in 1853, accompanied by two Maoris, walked from Tuturau in Southland to Wanaka via the Kawarau River and returned by raft down the Clutha River. The Otago Provincial Surveyor, J. T. Thomson, sighted Lake Wanaka in 1857 from the summit at Mount Grandview, which he reached on foot from the Mackenzie basin. The environs were mapped by surveyors Jollie and Young, who visited Lake Wanaka in 1859. They went up the Matukituki Valley to the west branch, explored the Motatapu Valley, and climbed Mount Motatapu. The head of the lake was first explored by H. S. Thompson and G. M. Hassing at about the same time, and they discovered a ruined Maori village in the Makarora Valley remaining from a Maori raid of 1836. By 1861 there were several newly established sheep stations on the south end of the lake, when James McKerrow first arrived to carry out survey work. In 1862 McKerrow surveyed the lake in a whaleboat.
A number of large sheep stations lie around the lake shores, including Glendhu Bay, West Wanaka, Minarets, Mount Albert, and Makarora Stations. Access to Minarets Station is mainly by boat. Mount Albert Station can be reached only by fording the Makarora River; access to other stations is by road. The only parts of the lake shores that can be reached easily from public roads are at the south end of the lake and on the north-east end from the Neck to the head of the lake.
For many years the southern end of the lake has been a popular tourist and holiday area, and its importance has now increased by the recent opening of the Haast Pass Road and because of improved hotel facilities at Wanaka township. The lake forms one of the most important sources of water for the Roxburgh Hydro-electric Station but, unlike Lakes Hawea and Wakatipu, its level is not artificially controlled.
by lan Charles McKellar, M.SC., Geologist, New Zealand Geological Survey,

Friday, 31 August 2007

Coronet Peak named by James McKerrow

Coronet Peak is in the North Otago province of New Zealand's South Island, amid some of the world's most stunning mountain scenery.Atop the 5400ft mountain sits an outcrop of rock, in the shape of a crown, hence the name given to it by explorer/surveyor James McKerrow when visiting this virgin area many decades ago.Another, more modern pioneer was Sir William Hamilton who, with typical New Zealand 'Kiwi' ingenuity, put Coronet Peak on the map by manufacturing the first rope tow at what was the country's first commercial ski field in 1947. He followed this with the country's first double chairlift in 1962 and the first triple lift in 1973.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

New Zealand Place Names - James McKerrow

James McKerrow was a prolific namer of features he surveyed. Here is a extract from a History Honours thesis to University of New Zealand, 1948, by David G. Herrow entitled James McKerrow - Surveyor, Explorer and Civil Servant. With main reference to exploration, 1861-63.

Since much of the country over which he passed was virgin, McKerrow took on himself the task of naming prominent features of the landscape. The policy employed in this work he described thus:
“ In naming of objects, those already in use in the district were always adopted, they are generally defined to a few creeks or perhaps a hill or two in the vicinity of the respective stations. The other names I either endeavoured to make descriptive or suggestive: this, in the case of the more prominent peaks, appears to me to be of much consequence to the traveller, for they become so many finger posts pointing the way. The great landmarks, Leaning Rock, Double Cone, and Black Peak, I found of much service in determining my whereabouts at the beginning of the survey; their names are legible in characters not to be mistaken”(1).

“ A great number of descriptive names were given thus: Cathedral Peaks, The Monument, the Beehive, the Crown, the Coronet, Tooth Peaks, Twin Peaks, the Minarets, Mt. Sentinel, Titan Rocks, Spire Peak, and so on and so on……
The mountain ranges were named after distinguished men in science, literature, travel and position, such as Kepler, Humbolt, Murchison,. Livingstone,, Forbes ( Professor of Natural Philosophy 60 years ago at Edinburgh, an authority on glaciers), Hunter (John, Anatomist) Sturt (Australian Explorer), Albert ( late Prince Consort)) Eglinton (Lord Lieutentant of Ireland and Lord Rector Glasgow University), Richardson (Sir John),Thomson, Hector, Garvie, Buchanan (local and well known), Goldie Hill and Bryce Burn were after my two men who were true and faithful throughout.” (2)

“ An island in Lake Manawa-pori is Poman, named in 1862 by James McKerrow, after the principal Island or “mainland” of Orkney Islands in Scotland.,” with a view to help the rhythm of the future poets, who will describe in flowing numbers the charms of beautiful Manapouri, as McKerrow prophesises…….
The Freeman was named by Mr. McKerrow in honour of Mr. Freeman Jackson, a very early runholder (3)….When Mr. James McKerrow was engaged with reconnoitring surveys during the years 1861-63, he named a number of places.” A few of these he named in the Wakatipu and Te Anau districts as follows: He gave the name Caples to one of the branches of the Greenstone, rivers….McKerrow named the Lingstone Mountains after Mr. D. Livingstine, the celebrated African explorer. David Peak(6802 ft/)in memory of Dr. Livingston’s christian name, Moffat Peak (5848 ft) , an African missionary and father-in-law of Livingstone. Eglinton River and Mountain after the Earl of Eglinton and Winton at that time Lord Lieutenanr of Ireland. Skelmorlie Peak (5933 ft.) and Larg Peak (5555 ft.)are both Ayrshire names. Mount Christina (8675 ft.) after a girl who was companion to Mrs. McKerrow in his absence. Clinto River, Te Anau, after one of the family names of the Duke of Newcastle, who was Colonial Secretary in 1863. Worsely Creek, North Fiord, Te Anau, named after the sheep farmer who drayed the boar for the surveyors from Manapouri Lake to Re Anau. Nurse Creek, after another sheep farmer, Lakes McKellar and Gunn after David McKellar and George Gunn….. Lake Fergus was named after Hon. T. Fergus in 1863. Bob’s cove was named after Bob Fortune, Mr. Rees’s boatman” (4)

“ In the Doon, Dean Hill, Bean Forrest, Afton and other Scottish names Mr. McKerrow honoured the land of his birth,(5) Mt. Pisgah was taken from the bible. It was the vantage point from which the promised land was seen.(6).

In his book, Otago Placenames (7), Mr. H. Beattie gives an exhaustive list of Mcerrow’s placenames. “ Besides J.T. Thomson, the most popular name giver in our history was probably James McKerrow”, he states. Mr. Beattie goes on to list more than 220 place names which are associated with McKerrow’s labours.
(1) Otago Prov. Gaz. Vol. V, July 23,1862. P 16.
(2) Letter to Hocken.
(3) Roberts, W.H.S. Place Names and Early of Otago and Southland, P.32.
" " Maori nomenclature, Early History of Otago. P.47
(4) Roberts. P.48. Roberts does not make it absolutely clear whether or not McKerrow gives the last two names.
(5) Kilmarnock Standard, 22nd August, 1903/
(6) McKerrow’s Reminiscences.
(7) Beattie, H. Otago Place Names, Pp. 78-86.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Report from Astronomical Society

Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first observation of the Transit of Venus in 1639

In 1882 James McKerrow observed the trasit of Venus, and in 1885 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Astromnomical Society.

Here is the report on the eclipse.

Since this was New Zealand's only total solar eclipse a glance at reports from other parts of the country may be of interest.
No one would have blamed Wellington observers for going elsewhere to observe the eclipse but as it turned out they would have done better to have stayed at home. At Wellington the dark shadow of totality was seen rushing toward the city and then came the "beautiful flood of white light which surrounded the moon". Coronal rays extending for from two to three solar diameters were seen, as well as a large red prominence "conspicuous on the right". The weather was described as "most favourable in a southerly gale".
Wellington observers who moved closer to the central line of eclipse, however, did not see as much. Dr Hector (after whom the Dominion Observatory was formerly named), together with Archdeacon Stock (who had predicted the end of the world from the comet of 1883) and Messrs Adams (later Dr Adams, the Dominion's first professional astronomer), McKerrow, Humphries, Travers and Beverley went to Masterton, selecting sites on Rangitumau and Otahiaho hills. They saw the eclipse through a watery sky which dimmed its beauty. Bailey's Beads were seen, as well as coronal rays extending only half a solar diameter from the sun's limb. Mr Humphries got good photographs of the beads, corona and prominences.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Area of James McKerrow's Survey Expeditions - Otago 1861-63

With thanks to NZSI, Survey Quarterly, Sept 2005, for permission to reproduce this map.

James McKerrow - photo taken during his last years

Photo courtesy of Early Settler's Museum, Dunedin, NZ.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Photo of James Mckerrow

Surveyor, explorer, administrator
James McKerrow was a man of wide and yet at the same time narrow interests; wide in that anything pertaining to learning, culture, religion, patriotism, and his fellow man and their lives came into his scheme of things; narrow in that the general and conventional frivolities and amusements of the day were of the very slenderest interest to him. Drinking he regarded as reprehensible, smoking as unnecessary, and sports as relatively uninteresting. His time was too fully occupied in the vital and essential elements of life to allow participation in any such extraneous activities. Not that McKerrow could be accused of pursuing a life of unwearied toil unrelieved by amusement or enjoyment. On the contrary he lived happily but his happiness depended not on conventional entertainments, but on his work, his books, his religion, his love of nature and through intercourse with his friends and family..

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The McKerrow family tree

The McKerrow Family tree

The McKerrow’s can trace our family tree back to 1500 when the first McKerrow was born.. The great Grandfather of the man who fathered the first was well known, possibly famous or infamous, and was born around 1404 -1425. Although they have strong connections with Kyle, the first McKerrow’s may not have lived there. .

The Sasine (land deed of 1608) in which James McCerow and his wife Margaret Grier ( a hertiable Proprietrix) involved their married daughter, puts John’s birth not later than 1560.

Well known Scottish historian on the McKerrow family, Alexander Kennedy McKerrow of Endinburgh makes an interesting assertion in his book ‘Your Folk and Mine’ Story of the McKerrows. (1990)
“ From this point on, our search for the McKerrow progentitor has to be a supposition. The rigidly trained historian may perfer to ignore matters based on ascertainable data, but we are not fortunate enough to have all the data, nor are we bound by convention. The possibility of being wrong is the price to be paid for pushing on, and, so doing, we shan’t “miss the fun”, indeed we may very well get close to the truth.”.

He goes on talk about James V who was keen in getting about his Kingdom informally and other stories are told of happening during these trips. He was nearly as active as the early Plantagenes Kings of England and Normandy who were said to live on horse back and from whose entourage Jame’s ancestor Walter Fitzalan had come.. A mobile life suited his womanising custom, and if the truth were known, his natural descendents may comprise the largest clan in Scotland. A good deal of name-changing went on, and apart from a few Stewarts, McKerrows are possibly the only branch in which descent shows the name.
This theory leaves unanswered the question, which of the large number of unrecorded amours of James V led to the birth of the first McKerrow. ? This question is likely to remain unanswered; even though the theory postulates an educated young woman, such persons were few near “our” part of Scotland at that time.

To meet the requirement that the first McKerrow was the son of a man who was at least fairly well known, and whose great grandfather was well known, there are few, if any, better candidates than King James the V and I of Scotland respectively. Their positions were similar: James V (born 1512, the year of Flodden), after his escape from close Douglas guardianship set about reducing the power of the nobles in the interests of national stability, just as James I had to restore order in an unruly Kingdom where turbulence and lawlessness held sway.

Indeed James V himself was well aware of his familiy’s history. Referring to the crown coming to the House of Stewart via Marjory Bruce, amd in dispair at having only a newly born daughetr of uncertain life-expectancy as his direct successor, he exclaimed on his deathbed;

“Adieu, farewell, it came with a lass,
It will go with a lass”.

An incorrect forecast, for his daughter Mary who became Queen of Scots, married her relation Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley and their child became James VI. Like James I, James V had some claim to be a poet, though of less merit. James V must have been keenly aware that he was MacIEROE to James I, the reforming King, just as James I was MacIeroe to Robert the Bruce who completed the fight for Scotland’s independence begun by Wallace.

It would not be surprising if a natural son of James V, the king who had been bought up with great indelicacy by his Douglas keepers, should be named MacIeroe by a knowledgeable Mother, not herself sufficiently highly placed for her son to be acknowledged by a gift of rank, as were six of Jame’s other sons. And James certainly visited Kyle

There is a now obselete Scots word “ieroe”, also spelt airoe, jeroy etc., meaning great-grandson. This word comes from Daelic: iar (after)
Ogha (grandchild) In Gaelic the letter h practically silences the letter before it, in this case g. This word was used by both Sir Walter Scott (in The Lady of the Lake) and by Robert Burns (“ A Deidication to Gavin Hamilton”).. From the latter:

“.....till his wee, ourlie John’s ieroe
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow
The last sad mournful rites bestow."

A name McIeroe in which the hard c of Mc would naturally be dominent, has, become McCeroe, McCerrow and eventually McKerrow, the said hard c becoming anglicised to k, as in MacKenzie, there being no letter in the Gaelic alphabet. Properly pronounced, McKerrow sounds like McAiroe, the Air syllable being somewhat emphasis by its being very slightly drawn out..

Based on research by Sandy (Alexander) McKerrow

James McKerrow - Surveyor, Explorer,Administrator

Surveyor, explorer, administrator
by David Oswald William Hall, M.A., Director, Adult Education, University of Otago (retired).

James McKerrow was a man of wide and yet at the same time narrow interests; wide in that anything pertaining to learning, culture, religion, patriotism, and his fellow man and their lives came into his scheme of things; narrow in that the general and conventional frivolities and amusements of the day were of the very slenderest interest to him. Drinking he regarded as reprehensible, smoking as unnecessary, and sports as relatively uninteresting. His time was too fully occupied in the vital and essential elements of life to allow participation in any such extraneous activities. Not that McKerrow could be accused of pursuing a life of unwearied toil unrelieved by amusement or enjoyment. On the contrary he lived happily but his happiness depended not on conventional entertainments, but on his work, his books, his religion, his love of nature and through intercourse with his friends and family..
He arrived in New Zealand in November 1859 to take up an appointment with the survey department of the Otago Province. McKerrow worked with J. T. Thomson in the triangulation of Otago and Southland, helping to make the Otago system of surveying, based on the practice of the survey of India, the best in New Zealand and later its model.
One of McKerrow's main tasks was the exploration and mapping of the Otago lakes district, where sheep farmers had already penetrated, between 1861 and 1864. He began with a journey through from Wanaka down into Southland. Then he explored the two northern lakes, Wanaka and Hawea, reached over the Lindis Pass, and his excellent account in the Otago Provincial Gazette comments shrewdly on the possibilities and the drawbacks of this inland region with its pastoral as well as goldmining potentialities. It could be reached by bullock dray only by the Lindis Pass, and the unfordable Clutha made southern access difficult. McKerrow explored the Matukituki, Motatapu, Makarora, and many subsidiary river systems. He noted especially the great seasonal fluctuations in volume of the glacier-fed mountain rivers. Later McKerrow travelled through the southern portion of the lakes district, exploring Wakatipu, Te Anau, and Manapouri, with the rivers feeding the lakes from the Kawarau south to the Waiau. He left the exploration of country beyond Lake Hauroko to be completed from Preservation Inlet. Again his report was shrewd and realistic: even if passes existed to the West Coast, the routes would be so menaced by flooding rivers as to be of doubtful value.
The physical difficulties of these journeys, in which over 500 square miles of country were explored, can hardly be exaggerated, even though the existence of a few scattered sheep stations provided a certain amount of support. Lakes Wanaka and Hawea were surveyed from a whaleboat. A much smaller craft had to be used in similar waterborne surveys of Manapouri and Te Anau, where storms made the enterprise especially dangerous. In January 1864 McKerrow and his companion landed at the head of the western-lying Middle Fiord of Te Anau and made their only deliberate attempt to reach the West Coast. Although after some days of struggle in this very difficult region they stopped short of their objective, they did reach a mountain top from which they could see Caswell Sound in the distance.
In 1863 McKerrow was appointed Geodesical Surveyor and Inspector of Surveys in Otago. His work was of a high standard; his younger colleague, J. H. Baker, who accompanied him on his visit to Bluff Hill to take bearings on prominent distant features, attested his debt to McKerrow: “This work and my conversations with Mr McKerrow were of great use to me, as they gave me an insight into the higher branch of my profession which I had not had before”.
In 1873 McKerrow was appointed Chief Surveyor of Otago. In 1877, after the abolition of the provinces and the absorption of their servants into the General Government's civil service, McKerrow became Assistant Surveyor-General. Two years later he was appointed Surveyor-General and Secretary of Lands and Mines. In 1882 McKerrow observed the transit of Venus from the Wellington Observatory, and in 1885 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
As a competent administrator, McKerrow had much to do with work with other Government Departments. He was appointed Chief Commissioner of Railways in 1889 and on the dissolution of the Railways Commission in 1895 he became chairman of the Land Purchase Board. He retired from the Public Service on 31 December 1901. In 1905 he was appointed chairman of the Land Commission. He died on 30 June 1919.
A casual acquaintance, C. S. Ross, reported McKerrow's genial nature and that “his wide and comprehensive knowledge of New Zealand made him a most attractive and interesting companion”. McKerrow was typical of the lad “of pairts” who came out from Scotland with a good education and undertook skilled tasks with “painstaking enthusiasm and tireless accuracy”. In addition to his meticulous survey field work, McKerrow discharged with distinction the tasks of a higher public servant at a time when administration needed resource and invention as well as energy and method.
• History of Otago, McLintock, A. H. (1949)
• Exploration of New Zealand, McClymont, W. G. (1959)
• Early Otago and Some of its Notable Men, Ross, C. S. (1907)
• A Surveyor in New Zealand, Baker, J. H.

James McKerrow - New Zealand Surveyor

James McKerrow was born on 7 July 1834 in Kilmarnock, Scotland, with a genealogy that can be traced back to King James the Vth. [1]
His Father, Andrew McKerrow was a famous ploughmaker of Beansburn, Kilmarnock, who manufactured patent single furrow, ploughs and back delivery reaping machines which gave him the means to provide his sons an adequate education. James was a bright young student and frequently was top of his class and had a great love of mathematics, and after a good grounding in both pure and mixed aspects of the subjects under Mr. Thomas Lee of Kilmarnock Academy, he studied these subjects further at Glasgow University. Like all his brothers, James did an apprenticeship in implement making as his father believed that having a trade ‘prove a safe standby in times of need, and would often open the door to numerous other occupations.’[2] During his apprenticeship, James showed more interest in surveying the paddocks in the neighbourhood and gaining knowledge of surveying.
James was the eldest of ten children, nine brothers and one sister. When James was five, his sister Jean was born but she died before the age of one. His brother John, born when he was three, died at the age of 21, the year before James left for New Zealand. He was the first to leave for New Zealand, and later, 6 of his brothers emigrated
James McKerrow married Martha Dunlop at Fenwick, Ayreshire Scotland, on 5 August, 1859. Three weeks after their marriage, James and Martha traveled to Glasgow to board the Cheviot, a ship with a reputation for speed, weighing 1066 tons.
Unfortunately the Ship’s departure was delayed some hours so James and Martha, decided to fill the time in by having their last walk on Scottish soil. As they were strolling through the countryside, they passed a field of turnips, and feeling the pangs of hunger, James climbed over the fence, and plucked a turnip. As he was climbing back over the wall, a farmer appeared and threatened to get the police and take charges against him. James quickly produced a sum of money and paid an exorbitant price for a miserable turnip, and they quickly scurried back to the ship, before any other misfortune came their way.[3]
The cargo vessel ‘Cheviot’ set sail on Tuesday the, 23 August and left ‘The Tail of the Bank’ at Greenock and with it Scotland. The ship was heavily laden with foodstuff, spirituous liquors, iron goods, building materials, farm implements, stud sheep, pigs and cattle.[4] Being a cargo ship, it was only able to accommodate twenty-four cabin and eighteen steerage passengers. The majority of the steerage passengers were emigrating under the sponsorship of a Mr. Holmes, who had made large purchases of land in the Lumsden district where he intended to settle them on his holdings. The McKerrows were in the steerage cabins together with sixteen men and one woman.
The Cheviot rounded Ireland and then reached Madeira on 3 September, passed close to Cape Verde on 7 September, and after confusing winds, crossed the equator on 26 September For the next leg of the journey, the weather was good and they rounded Cape Horn on 25 October and a point, south of Adelaide reached on 18 November.

The trip had been eventful with the discovery of a ‘stowaway, the death of a still born baby, the provisioning of a life boat from a foundered vessel and condition were tough at times with cramped quarters, snow and thunder storms, gales force winds and ripped sails, and near misses from flying blocks. The dairy of one of the passengers, Mr. T.L. Barnhill, on 3 October 1859 shows the spirit on board. “ shipped a sea which ducked almost all the steerage passengers who were standing together- all in good spirits owing to our making such progress.” [5]
James and Martha got their first look at New Zealand a week later when they sighted Stewart Island and the next day after ninety five days at sea, they entered the Otago Harbour.
‘ I was very much struck with the beautiful situation of Dunedin and with the clean, neat appearances of the houses looking out spick and span from picturesque spots in the surrounding bush. In coming up the bay and through the islets of Port Chalmers, I was strongly reminded of beautiful Loch Lomond.[6]
In 1859 James amd Martha McKerrow (to be finished)

James McKerrow was 85 when he died in 1919 at his Ghuznee Street home in Wellington.
[1] Andrew Kennedy McKerrow, Your Folk and Mine – The story of the McKerrows, private circulation, Edinburgh, 1990
[3] David G.Herron, James McKerrow –SURVEYOR, EXPLORER AND CIVIL SERVANT- With special reference to Exploration, 1861-3, Presented for History Honours, University of New Zealand.1948
[4] Otago Witness, 3 December, 1859
[5] Barnhill, T.L., MSS Dairy of Voyage of Cheviot. Read by D.C. Herron, 1947.
[6] Mckerrow, J., Reminiscences, p.10 MSS