Ann's Story

Ann was born in Scotland on 14th March, 1817, and emigrated to New Zealand with her mother, four brothers and sister, on the "Philip Laing" in September 1847, and arrived at Port Chalmers on 17th April, 1848.

The family on board consisted of the widow of John Stevenson, Isabella Blair Stevenson, matron of the Philip Laing, her brother, a grown family and a married son, Isabella's four sons, William, James, John and Robert, and two daughters, Jane who became Mrs Cullen, and Ann who became Mrs Clearwater. The latter name where found in this country is almost certain to be descended from this union.

William, John and Robert settled on the Taieri, while James went to Central Otago.

Ann Stevenson was born in Girvan, Ayrshire in Scotland early in the 19th century. Her parents, however, had been born in Of Tradestown Gorbals, Lanark, Scotland. The Gorbals, as it became known, by the end of the 19th century had become a notorious slum, part of the fading industrial heart of Glasgow.

Isabella Blair Stevenson was free Church of Scotland by faith, and was apparently a lady of some standing to be matron on the immigrant ship of people who could afford a journey and have enough means to set themselves up in a new land. Also, she seemed to retain her maiden name of Blair, and there is a possible connection with the Duke of Athol whose family name was Blair. The Dukes of Athol are descended from a daughter of James II of Scotland and thus to Robert Bruce, he also having come from Norman nobles of 1066, originally Norse.

It is a belief of some of the Stevenson family that there is a family connection with Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevensons, acording to Robert Louis's researchers, came to Glasgow at the beginning of the 17th century from the western highlands of Scotland where they lived the quiet unobtrusive lives of farmers, Stevensons by day and MacGregors by night. The western highlanders were Celts, Scots, Norse and Danes. The MacGregors sprang from Gregor the third son of Kenneth McLapine, first king of the Scots and Picts, descended from the Druid kings of Ireland.