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The DALZELL Family from Ireland

Abt 1810 Thompson Dalzell was born in County Down Ireland (This date is
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 Ann’s 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 Dalzell’s 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 “Lancashire Witch".

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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