Abt 1810 Thompson Dalzell was born in County Down Ireland (This date
worked out from his Death certificate), as there is no record of his
birth. Places mentioned in family history of his growing up are
Holywood, Newtownards and Dundonald. His family were down on the
records as farmers. In May 1831 he married Sarah Wilson with whom
he had the following children David, Robert, and Jane. Jane is the
only one whose birth is recorded at St Anns in Belfast on 19 May
1837. Sarah died soon after the birth of Jane.
Thompson married again to Susannah Steele and
on 25 Oct 1840 their first child was born followed by another 11 children.
Three sets of twins are in this number.
John was the first of
the Dalzells to come to New Zealand he was nominated by a friend in
New Zealand as a young man of 20 years it was thought it would be
easier for him to see what lay ahead in New Zealand for the rest of
the Family. He arrived on the Chrysolite in 1861. Over the next
seven years the rest of the family (thirty-two) arrived with their
families. Thompson and Susannah arrived in Oct 1863 on the
The family moved to the mouth of the Ashley
River. On arrival Thompson turned to back to farming and at first he and
his family lived near Balcairn but later they shifted to a farm on
Mashman's Road at Mt Grey Downs near Sefton. Thompson is reported in the
newspaper as having the first portable threshing mill in the Mount Grey
district. Thompson and Susannah had one more child born in New Zealand.
Thompson appears to have lived most of his remaining days on the Mt Grey
Downs farm and he died at Springfield, Amberley on 10 July 1885, aged 75
years and was buried at the Balcairn Cemetery. The Dalzell descendants in
New Zealand showed their respects to Thompson and Susannah on the occasion
of the 1981 Reunion by erecting a new monument on their resting place at
the Balcairn Cemetery. The Dalzell numbers have continued to grow in New
Zealand and now what was once an uncommon name is now not so.
Over the last twenty years the Dalzell Clan of
New Zealand have strived to find their link to the Scotland Clan as family
history says that is where the Irish Dalzells came from. They are meant
to have come to Ireland with a Hamilton to fight in the Irish wars, with
the payment of land in Ireland when they were finished The Dalzell name
was mostly in County Down not many other places in Ireland.
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