In the first places comes the name of Cochrane. The wives of Reverend John and Thomas, Rebecca and Catherine, were both daughters of Joseph Cochrane of Londonderry and Buncrana. It was he who was interested in the linen mills at Buncrana and also the city house. At the period of the letters he was in financial difficulties. This did not deter him from marrying again, [to] a Miss Cowan. It is recorded that a child was born some time later. Joseph Cochrane had other children. Sarah McElwain was one. The letter from Rebecca McElwain to Aunt Catherine is from a daughter of this sister. Rebecca, the wife of the Reverend John, and Ann Alexander were also daughters.
There were sons-- Samuel and Joseph. The first-named was born in New York in 1815 whilst his parents were there on a short visit. He was in the linen trade with his father. He came to New Zealand in 1858 and was first concerned running coastal steamers. He owned Sandfly, Enterprise II and Jane, which were engaged in the Coromandel and Warkworth service. He also formed the auctioneering business of Samuel Cochrane & Co. Joseph, his brother, who came to New Zealand some years later, joined him in this business. In 1872 he went to Ireland and became [a] government immigration agent, returning to New Zealand in 1878, where he died the following year.
His brother Joseph outlived him.
Of Samuel Cochrane of Chrislaughmore we have many references. He was very wealthy. Joseph went home to become his heir, but as already related, the arrangement did not suit JJ.
Samuel Cochrane of New Zealand apparently contested his will for, in the diary of the writer's father, there is this entry-- "Samuel Cochrane lost the will case".
The wife of Thomas Baird, Aunt Mary Ann, a sister of John Macky, was a widow when she surprised all in Londonderry by her marriage and subsequent departure for New Zealand. It is surmised that she or Thomas Baird had some daughters who came with them. Thomas makes mention of "the girls". It has been impossible to trace them if they did exist.
Aunt Mary Ann died on the August 6, 1879, at the age of 87. Thomas Baird had predeceased her on the February 11, 1859.
Samuel Cochrane Baird, who married Sarah Goodfellow, a sister of Ann Macky, was either a nephew or cousin of Thomas Baird. He was not a son. He succeeded to Fairview and died childless.
The Spencer letters were written by missionaries at Tarawera with whom Catherine seems to have been on intimate terms.
The McKinney letters were from the Reverend McKinney who was for so long in the charge at Warkworth. He was a man of great learning and personality and a very intimate friend of many of the older generation of the family.
It might be of interest to draw deductions on certain permeating characteristics and elements of the family. However, the writer is of the opinion that this should be left to the reader.