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Sat 16 February 2019
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 Clan Macrae in New Zealand
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Thomas Elrick McRae b.3 Jun 1863 New Deer.
James Stephen b. 3 May 1851 New Deer (nephew of Thomas).

Both emigrated in the 1860s to Winterslow, New Zealand, and both appear in Molly Akers book 'MacRaes to New Zealand' where their story is quite well documented, but I'd be interested to hear from anyone who may know more.

With thanks,

Jon McRae.

Query posted by : Jon McRae

8 Dec 2003 at 12.44
The following replies have been posted in response to the above query. They are sorted chronologically according to the time of receipt, with the most recent at the end of the page.
Hi Jon

Not sure if this is some of the info you were looking for, but I'm a descendent of Thomas Elrick McRae on my mother's side. She is Morven McRae. We have visited Thomas Elrick McRae gravesite in a tiny cemetry in Staveley, New Zealand. We tried to find the buildings mentioned in Molly's book but were unsuccessful.


Reply posted by : Adrienne Sidal

14 Jun 2005 at 06.35

Nice to hear from you - a new found relative!

I'll be back in touch in due course to exchange notes!



Reply posted by : Jon McRae

14 Jun 2005 at 17.25
I live near Winterslow and know the current owner. Can I help?

Reply posted by : Eddy Dubh

23 Sep 2005 at 10.20

Thanks for your note. This is a summary of what I have. If you can add anything that would be great.



In 1870, Thomas Elrick McRae became manager of Winterslow Station. Thomas's nephew, James Stephen, arrived in New Zealand the year before and came to work at Winterslow Station while his uncle was manager there.

After managing Winterslow Station he set up a butchery and bakery in Staveley. Before long, he had delivery carts going as far afield as Mayfield, Alford Forest and Spreadeagle (later re-named Ashburton Forks). One of his secrets of success was that he kept his prices down. A mutton forequarter could be bought for 3½ pence a pound, and bread for fourpence a loaf. McRae's baker was E. Wolfrey. The business prospered and McRae with that Scottish love for learning, employed Miss Bee as governess for his and other district children. A school committee was formed with Mr McRae as chairman that saw the birth of the main school known as Alford Forest. Thomas was also the chairman of Mt.Somers school in this year.

Presbyterian church services were held in Thomas’s home at Winterslow once a month.

Seeing how his uncle was prospering at the butchery business, Stephen in 1876 opened a grocery shop opposite a store started by J. Puddicombe and later taken over by T. Lambie. He carried on this grocery business for 35 years. The 'present' store, which closed in the 1990s, was in the south-western corner of the five cross-roads at Staveley.

Reply posted by : Jon McRae

24 Sep 2005 at 09.01
Hi there,

No idea if i can help or not, I am the great great great granddaughter of James Stephen, so I have a bit more information on him. He and Thomas Mcrae were also mentioned in a book "Bush, Bullocks & Boulders" by William Vance. It pretty much states what you have said, only it has a bit more information on James Stephen (particularly surrounding his death in his water wheel).

Other than that I know that James Stephen was the illegitimate son of Mary-Ann Mcrae and William Stephen (both born in New Deer), and have more info on them both.

There is something I have found though that has confused me - it is an entry on the internet for the Creel Inn:

The Creel Inn (1837 - Present) | back to top |

From 1841, To 1894 Function: Inn
Resident William Stephen - Fisherman & Curer

From:1894 , To:1915 Function: Inn
Resident:Mrs Eliza McRae - Daughter of William Stephen

The age range for William Stephen, James's father fits in, but as far as i am aware he only had one son (james). I thought however this could be another child, taking the mothers name as born out of wedlock? Do you have any ideas?

If i can help you with anything mentioned above then please let me know

Kind Regards
Dee Stephen

Reply posted by : Dee Stephen

20 Jan 2007 at 03.35
Hi Dee - Nice to find another living relative - not the first descended from the Stephen line!

I've looked through my records and can find no reference to an Eliza, or indeed an Elizabeth.

You'll have to keep hunting!



Reply posted by : Jon McRae

6 Feb 2007 at 16.23
Hi Jon

Have just joined this forum. My grandmother was Margaret McRae known as Maggie. She lived in the Winterslow/Stavely area and married Jonas Green and lived in a place called Bushside after she was married.

Just wondering if she is related to Thomas.

Reply posted by : Sharon Fenemor

9 Aug 2009 at 01.13
Thomas Elrick McRae is my great grandfather. My grandfather was Edgar Elrick McRae, and my father was Colin Elrick James McRae. I have photos of the graves of my great grandfather and grandfather - would be happy to send pix if you are interested.
Morven Sidal, Timaru, New Zealand

Reply posted by : Morven Sidal (mrs)

30 Nov 2014 at 18.27
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