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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (P)
Thomas Paton

Sender : Aileen G McKAY
             RD4, Whangarei, New Zealand

BIO of my great grandfather,
Thomas PATON b 1847 Dalry, d Mar 1921 Dannevirke, New Zealand.
My grandmother was his daughter, Euphemia Florence PATON b 1885 Kelso, NZ.

Thomas PATON joined the Nth British Railway Service in Scotland at the age of fourteen.   He was stationed at Maryhill on the Hellensb......  and Glasgow line for three years, and at Killeara on the .l... Valley line for five years. He was then sent as Stationmaster to Longriggend on the Bolness and Airdrie line, remaining there for five years.  He lived at Longriggend in the parish of New Monkland in 1873 at the time of his marriage. Thomas PATON b 1847 Dalry m 1873 St Margaret's Church, Airdrie LKS, Agnes WALKER b 1853 Cumbernauld. Thomas was in Railways employment, rising through the ranks to stationmaster. They lived at Longriggend (near Airdrie) where they had 4 daughters.

        In December 1878 he sailed for New Zealand, on the "Oamaru" with his wife Agnes WALKER and four young daughters. They sailed from Glasgow where they had photos taken before departure. They arrived at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, New Zealand in late January 1879. Next day he started work as a railway guard in Dunedin.

      Two weeks later he moved to Kelso, Otago, near the goldfields, as Stationmaster.

       15 July 1885 he was appointed Postmaster at Kelso. Seven more children were born in close succession.

       In December 1897 he left the Kelso position after 18 years 11 months there.   The motivation for leaving was probably that Kelso had suffered two disastrous floods and several fires in the 1880s and 1890s.

       In Dec 1897 he became Stationmaster at Lawrence, on the goldfields line. The "seventy mile bush" area in southern Hawkes Bay was opening up after bush clearance by Danish immigrants and the railway had been put through.

       In Mar 1901 he transferred to Dannevirke, Hawkes Bay in the North Island of New Zealand, as Stationmaster, after the railway was put through the "70 mile bush" to the east coast of NZ.  Many of his descendants in the next 100 years were born and raised in this area of NZ.

       In March 1911 he retired on superannuation in Dannevirke.

       His career was described in the NZ Railways Officers Advocate report of his retirement "Smoke Concert" on 1 April 1911.

       They lived at 16 Albert Street, Dannevirke - a fine old house with a verandah that had stained glass windows.   He was a fine violinist and singer, and he enjoyed angling.

      In Kelso, Thomas and his oldest daughter, Jeannie used to be regular entertainers at concerts and other functions because of their talent with violin, piano and singing.  (From Kelso School 125th anniversary booklet). He and his wife Agnes (who died 1932) were interred at Mangatera Cemetery, Dannevirke, where quite a few of their descendants also have their final resting place.

       Source :  Obituary - March 1921, and family.

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