Excerpt from Te Whanau a Neke Trust Newsletter - "Te Karere Mai te Whanau a Neke" Vol 1 Issue 11 (March 1999) Editor Glenn Williams.
Not a great deal seems to be known about Alexander Fraser except that he was born in Rothshire in Scotland around 1840s. His father was Alexander Fraser, mother's name unknown at this stage.
Stories have it that Alexander came to NZ when many Scotsmen were going to war, and Alexander didn't want to fight. One source of information stated that he come to NZ in his kilt with not a lot else. Another source stated that he had two brothers - one being a Dentist and the other a lawyer, and they would send him money when he requested. It appears that Alexander arrived in NZ in the mid to late 1860's settling in the South Island. I would think that llife in New Zealand can't have been all that easy for Alexander. Lets not forget that he knew no-one in NZ when he arrived, there was no family here.
Alexander married Jane Smith on 27th June 1870 in the school house on Ruapuke Island. Now Jane was a half-caste, so this would tend to suggest that while Jane probably struggled to learn Alexander's ways, Alexander probably had a difficult time learning the Maori ways and customs. They had five children - Henry, John, William, Frances and Alexander.
It seems that Alexander moved about during his years. He married on Ruapuke Island, however his son John was born in Clifton, Invercargill and Alexander was living in Dunedin when he died. Another story heard about Alexander is that before he died, he received a letter to say that he had inherited a Castle in Scotland. Whether this is indeed true or not is still to be found out. Apparently after his wife Jane died, Alexander moved in with her sister Mary- whether this was just a flatting arrangement or something more is also unknown. As you can see Alexander appears to have led an interesting life. There are a lot of interesting tales concerning Alexander and more investigation is required to either confirm or refute these. However, I'm sure you all agree that this information makes for a colourful history that we all share.
Thanks to Don & Jan Fraser for their chauffeuring me to meet relatives, my late aunt Eileen Kelly and Jenny Williams for their stories.
Page last updated 18 Aug 2011