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New Research

The two people I know of currently doing Macky family research are Robin Moran (of the Fahan Presbyterian Church) and Wanda Hopkins (of the Cochrane line, which is closely associated with the Macky family).

See Robin's Drumhaggart graveyard photos and research in the gallery

As for Wanda...

You could say that Wanda's passion for genealogy is well documented. She has contributed articles to the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and various other media, and maintains two family history blogs.

More about NZ & Ulster Connections

Wanda says that her interest in family history began simply enough. She had inherited some old family photos and had kept 15 years' worth of letters from her parents in New Zealand. Among these letters were two obituaries explaining a little about her Cochrane family heritage.

She first collaborated with her cousin, John Hopkins, in researching the family connection to the linen mill mentioned several times in the letters on this website. There was no documented history about the mill so it was very much a matter carrying out their research from scratch. And so, she was hooked.

Wanda went on to enjoy many other research projects of her own. These have included the lives of Joseph Cochrane, brother-in-law of the Rev. John Macky (see link), and her great, great grandfather, Samuel Cochrane. She says there are many more in the pipeline.

Joseph Cochrane (1823-1875)

Wanda relates that one of the spin-offs of carrying out her research led to her appreciation of New Zealand history. The other was having the opportunity to network with family, and discovering many more remote family connections including those descended from Sarah McElwain, John Cowan Cochrane, Dacre and the Goodfellow families. Wanda also enjoys regular telephone contact with another family research junkie, her second cousin, Joy Ricks.

But most of all, she has been able to continue the research that her father had touched upon. For her this kept his memory alive. She also found a degree of synchronicity in discovering that she was related to someone from her branch of the Cochrane family tree, living the same town and the same street, in provincial Mt Maunganui. Their connection goes back to the time when the Cochran family first emigrated to the north of Ireland, from Scotland. Wanda says this would have brought her father, Harry, great enjoyment, and no doubt would have led to many conversations of mutual interest, had he known.

Wanda's current research interests include the life of John Cowan Cochrane who settled in Australia in 1850 whom she describes as a much bigger character than she expected. John describes this early period of his life in Australia in Letter 20. It was to John, that Samuel Cochrane Macky was sent, to learn farming in 1860. A link to one of her stories about John Cochrane's stories, follows, albeit with some unexpected assistance from one of literature's masters. Read on!

The Educated Farmer (A glimpse into the life of John Cowan Cochrane)

Having recently moved to Murray Bridge, in rural South Australia, Wanda say she is reinventing her life, following a series of events where she says that she threw all her cards up in the air. Currently taking a sabbatical, she is helping others in her new community with researching and documenting their family histories.

She remains ever grateful, for the information on this website, and the help its given her in her own family research, and ultimately, reaching for new personal goals.

Russell M. Nelson quote

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Fahan Presbyterian church, Wanda put together several pieces for the committee to include in their celebrations earlier this year [2019]:

  • The Macky Ministries has been replaced by Heeding the Call, a joint effort by Robin and Wanda.
  • Their Spiritual Home — The Cochran Family of Upper Fahan & Buncrana (1719 - 1911)