Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Rise & Fall of the PIONEER Road Steamer

In Nov 1871 James Linklater was the engineer & driver of the newly acquired ‘Pioneer’ road steamer.



And so eventually it was deemed that  this new road steamer would be suitable for NZ conditions and one was purchased.first-in-nz

Then over the next nine months of testing it turned out that the road steamer was not so good for the conditions in NZ after all!  pioneer-aug1871 pioneer-aug71

But wait…… I had originally thought that was the one bound for Kaiapoi but then I found this small sentence in a Parliamentary report:-



It seems it didn’t take them too long to find out that this one was also quite unsuitable.

pioneer-may-1872pioneer-jun-72On one last note, it seems the one the government was selling finally went to Auckland!


References: Papers Past

First Settled in Kaiapoi

As far as I know James Linklater wasn’t amongst the earliest settlers in Kaiapoi but he wasn’t too far behind them. As yet I have not found out how he arrived in NZ but after many years of searching I’m starting to suspect he may have thumbed a free ride on the new ship ‘Wanganui’ that his older brother, Captain John McKay Linklater, picked up in Dundee and sailed to NZ on it’s maiden voyage in 1864. There were no passengers as such on this voyage so there is no passenger list. However, as he is not listed in the 1861 census of Scotland he may have arrived here much earlier than 1864.

On James’ death certificate it said he had been living in NZ for 33 years in 1899, in 1864 he would have been 22 years old. I do know for sure that he was here on the 18 Jul 1871 when he married Mary Elizabeth Williscroft in the Rangiora Registry Office. In 1875 they purchased on part section 321, 1/8th acre & house in North Rd, Kaiapoi Town, and that is where they lived and brought up their 14 children, my grandmother being the 13th.

The Linklaters of Kaiapoi

In the process of researching my paternal great-grandfather, James Linklater, who emigrated from Leith in Scotland to settle in Kaiapoi in 1871, I amassed a fairly large amount of information about the Linklaters but not really that much about Kaiapoi, this blog is about to address that situation. This is just a vague idea in my mind at present so there will be nothing organised, much like my brain these days, just some ramblings that I hope people will enjoy reading. In the meantime if you’d like to read about the Linklaters of Leith & NZ here it is in a nutshell.