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John McBride, the grandson of John McBride and Mary Whiteford, was born in 1830, at Cross, Fairhead Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He was the eldest in a family of ten - eight brothers and one sister. The McBride family were all sheep farmers in the Fairhead region for generations. Today the stone remains of the old farmhouse stand abandoned in the Irish pastures at Cross, Fairhead, in land still farmed by McBrides, and in the corner of the country churchyard at Culfeightrin is situated the gravesite of his parents, John and Mary Butler McBride.
His brothers,   Frank, Hugh, Dan, Bob, Alex, and Jimmy all emigrated to New Zealand, eventually. Henry died young, on September 8, 1922, near Dunedin.. Wee Paddy married Grace Butler, and Mary married Hugh McCarry. They remained in Ireland, continuing the farming tradition at Fairhead and nearby Murlough. John and Hugh remained bachelors. The other four married Irish girls. Jimmy arrived  with his young bride, Annie McCouaig, having married on Rathlin Island in 1874. Frank married Margaret Laverty in Queenstown in 1864,   Dan married Rose Bradley in
Queenstown about 1870, and Bob married Ellen Kinney at Frankıs home in Frankton in 1873. John, being the eldest, became known as “Uncle John.” Victoria Shipping Records list Daniel’s arrival on the ship “Saldanha” in October 1859 with his brother Hugh. His age at that time was given as 22 which would give a birth date of around 1837 and age at death in 1914 as approximately 77. Burial reg. 1914 gives his age as 73 so his birth would be around 1841. The 1851 Census record ss best source, so 1837 is used. Immigration Index Victoria shows Daniell McBride on July 21, 1856. Mindoro B110 003.  It is known that Frank went back and brought Dan out with him. In turn, Dan may have gone back and gotten Hugh.

After migrating first to the United States John McBride participated in the American Civil War fighting for the Union; before leaving the U.S. to join his brothers in the Queenstown area of Otago, New Zealand. Records reveal John enlisted at the same eastern seaport, through which he entered the United States from Ireland, at New York; Boston and New York being the two
main seaports used by Irish immigrants. In most cases such immigrants, especially at those two ports of entry, never made it off the seaport docks before being snatched up by Union officials waiting on the docks, and through forced induction enlisted into the Union Army.   In any case, John was inducted into the 38th New York Infantry as a private for three years in June 1861 and by the time he had completed his three years of service had been advanced in rank to that of a Corporal. The 38th New York Infantry was organized at New York City and mustered in on June 3, 1861;  leaving New York for Washington, D. C. on June 19th. It was first attached to Willcox's Brigade in Heintzelman's Division of McDowell's Army of Northeast Virginia until August, 1861. It then joined Howard's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, till October, 1861, Sedgwick's Brigade, Heintzelman's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862, the 2nd
Brigade. 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, until July, 1862 and the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps until June 1863.

The 38th New York served in the Defenses of Washington, D. C. until July 16th when it joined the advance on Manassas, Virginia, from July 16th through the 21st. It then participated in the Battle of Bull Run in Virginia on July 21st, again defended Washington, D. C. until March, 1862 and again advanced on Manassas, Virginia on  March 10th through March 15, 1862. It then joined the Peninsula Campaign from April until August, participating in the Siege of Yorktown from April 5th through May 4th, the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5th, the Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks on May 31st and June 1st,  the Battle of Oak Grove near Seven Pines on June 25th, was at
White Oak Swamp and Glendale on June 30th, joined  Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia from August 27th through September 2nd, participated in the Battle of Groveton on August 29th and at Bull Run again on August 30th. It again defended Washington D.C. until October, went on to participate in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia from December 12th through the 15th. and was present during the infamous "Mud March" from January 20th through January 24, 1863. Its last major engagement was at the Battle of Chancellorsville, from May 1st through the 5th.  All three years men were then transferred to the 40th Regiment New York Infantry, on June 3rd, and
mustered out on June 22, 1863 at the expiration of their term. During their three years of service the 38th New York had 75 men killed and 42 who died of various diseases.
After the war, John was one of the six Irish McBride brothers who eventually moved to  New Zealand enticed by the gold rushes of the 1860's, and the chance to make a good life for themselves and their families.  Two of his older brothers, Frank and Dan, however, stopped off at the Victorian goldfields on their way to New Zealand, followed by Hugh.  Younger brothers, Alex and James, joined them later, after their arrival in Queenstown.   Robert, one of the six brothers, disembarked his ship at Hokitika on South Island and walked all the way to Queenstown; crossing the Southern Alps through mountains and woods where no trail had ever been cut, enduring a journey which in those days before any roads were established, would have been quite daunting.

John McBride was said to have arrived in New Zealand with adequate financial capital after the Civil War and did quite well for himself mining. John joined his brothers and cousins around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and he owned good land and a timber mill at the mouth of the Greenstone River, which runs into the lake, and worked in partnership with some of his brothers in the surrounding timber industry; also working in boating and farming. Unfortunately, fire destroyed the mill at the Greenstone. Much to the disfavor of his sisters and being a thorn in their side, John was keen on making whisky and produced "poteen", known locally as "Hokonui."
After settling down to timber-milling at Kinloch and boating and commercial interests in Queenstown, he resided in and around Queenstown for a number of years. He was a partner in the firm of Robertson, Hicks and McBride, Timber Merchants, the owners being J.W. Robertson, T. Hicks and John McBride. Both Robertson and Hicks married McBride girls who were cousins of John McBride's family.
The fact that these cousins settled in the Wakatipu area about the same time as John, Frank and his brothers, and were of similar age, and often shared the same first names, made it difficult for others than the family to know the relationships of one to another.
After gold mining lost its allure for Frank and Dan McBride, the timber and farming industry took hold of them and they, too, were joined by J.W. Robertson, Captain Hicks, John McBride and a man named Paterson in several business enterprises. The company was known for many years as Robertson and Company. One of the most important of their undertakings was the construction of a wooden paddle-wheel steamer named the "Antrim" which made its way across Lake Wakatipu for many years thereafter. They were also responsible for the opening of the timber yards at Queenstown and shared in the construction of the Brunswick Flour mill at Kawarau Falls, Frankton.
Frank developed a very good farm, “French Farm,” at Frankton where the airport is now located, and became known, because of  his cropping success, as the ³Barley King². Dan farmed the neighbouring Kawarau Falls station.   Jimmy continued with milling at the head of the lake, and drowned while crossing in a storm in 1885. Hugh and John assisted the others and worked
around the Lakes District. Alex continued working on the boats for many years, and Bob mined and farmed around the Hyde district near the Taieri River.
John McBride died at sixty-seven years of age, working as a farmer, and on December 26, 1897 he was buried in the Frankton Cemetery; (Burial Register number 159) in the Roman Catholic Block. His was the first interment in Private Plot 399, the burial services being conducted by Rev. Father O'Donnell. John died of paralysis and epilepsy and his certificate was signed by Dr. James Douglas. In the plan they have drawn up 400 is marked Mc Bride and Mc Bride has been crossed out on 399. They have attributed the following names to Plot 400-404; 400 Jane Mc Bride, 404 Francis F Mc Bride, 400/401 Daniel McBride Jnr (2nd Interment), 401 Margaret Mc Bride (Her 2nd Interment), 404 Leonard McBride (2nd Interment) and 400 Francis McBride (2nd Interment). There is a concrete surround and a Fancy Iron Railing fence with no identification; He was buried without a headstone.

ILMO “Margaret dearly beloved wife of Francis McBride d 14 Nov 1910; also their daughter Jane who d 13 June 1899; and their sons Frank who d 7 Apr 1902; Dan who d 14 Nov 1903. L H McBride M.D., F.R.C.S., who d 24 Jan 1920; Francis McBride husband of above d 23 Dec 1926 aged 91 years. R.I.P”.

Information formerly attributed to John McBride and his death, stating that he was a hotelier, was in fact  John McBride, a cousin, and the owner of ”The Harp of Erin”, known later as McBride's Hotel, in Queenstown. He too shared interests in timber, boats and business with some of "Uncle John's" brothers, which added to the confusion, as well as the fact that his only son was called John! His father, however, was Alexander McBride, and his brother Hugh farmed near Lake Hayes, between Queenstown and Arrowtown. In their case, the two boys had emigrated in the 1860ıs, then their parents, Alexander and Catherine, followed with the five girls of the family, Mary, Margaret, Anne, Ellen, and Kate, each of whom married in the district. Their family home on the farm at Lake Hayes was known as “Bridesdale”.

Don Livingstone is the son of Dorothy McBride, granddaughter of Robert McBride and a collateral descendant of John McBride.

Tony Hanning is a great grandson of Frank McBride. His mother, May, living in Invercargill N.Z., is the youngest daughter of Frankıs oldest son John James; known as “Jubilee McBride.”  “Uncle John” was Jubilee’s Godfather, and, later, for several of his other nephews and nieces. Thanks to his contributions the story of John McBride will never be forgotten. 


Tony Hanning, great grandson of Frank McBride

Althea Thames, New, Zealand

"A Register of  Irish Settlers to Otago - Southland", Michael J. Rombouts, 2002

 "Death Notices, 1873 - 1996", Michael J. Rombouts, 2000

 Don Livingstone, New Zealand, collateral descendant of John McBride

 "Frankton Central Otago NZ, Transcription of cemetery Headstones and Burial Register",

 NZSG Dunedin Branch, 1982

 "Golden Days of Lake County", F.W.G. Miller

 McBride Memorial Inscriptions

 National Archives, Microfilm Archives, Film Number M551, roll 90

 New Zealand Marriages Microfiche, 1869, folio 1765

 Pam McMurray, NZSG

 Queenstown Burial Registry, Queenstown, New Zealand

 Queenstown Cemetery, Otago, New Zealand

 Mrs. Susan Guthrie, Dunedin, New Zealand

 38th New York Regimental Histories


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