our family stories

LOWLINES: 1800-1850

This timeline has not been checked for years.
I’m in the process of verifying what I can, adding and updating.


The earliest probable date we have is for the birth of Alexander Low is 1800 to John Low as he was christened on 8 Jun 1800 in Liffie, Angus, Scotland. We understand from his death certificate that his parents were Margaret Aitken and John Low. They were married on 30 May 1789 (Forfar, Angus, Scotland).

The scottish naming pattern names the firstborn son after the paternal grandfather. If they followed this pattern, John would be correct (as son Alexander’s son Alex called his firstborn son John.).


June 17: Alexander Low was a blacksmith who married Elizabeth Clark (Clarke) at Angus, Maines and Strathmartine, Scotland on June 17. The marriage is also registered in the IGI as 11th July at Angus, Monifieth. Elizabeth is probably the daughter of Alexander Rattray and Elizabeth Clark and was born about 1807 .


Alfred was born to Alexander Low and Elizabeth Clark.


April 11: Sarah Borah Cooper (Sarah Bowra Coupar) was born to James Cooper and Margaret Brown. [couId have been 1832]


Alexander born to Alexander Low and Elizabeth Clark in Angus, Dundee, Forfarshire, SCOTLAND. (christened: 14 Oct.)

Sarah Borah Cooper was born to James Cooper [Cowper]. She became Mrs Alexander Low in ….


This is the approximate year of birth for Ann Heenan at Parsonstown, Ireland. Her parents were Dennis Heenan and Joanna (Judith) Lewis. [later marned 1Flanagan 2DaIIas) Parsonstown is the old name for “Birr, a town in County Offaly, Ireland. It was formerly called Parsonstown, after the Parsons family who were local landowners and hereditary Earls of Rosse, and renamed at some time between 1891 and 1901” (Wikipedia)


About the time that Robert Baxter was born to Alexander Low and Elizabeth Clark. He later married Catherine McFarlane.


Eleanor (Helen) Ogilvy was born in Dundee, Scotland. She was later to marry Alfred Low.


August 6: Ann Heenan arrived in New Zealand from London with her family on the Mariner. She was 17. The had lived in Birr, Kings County [now County Offaly] in S. Ireland. The family settled in NE Valley, Otago

December 16: Ann was commissioned to work with Mrs Kettle in the North East Valley area.


December 3: Rev. Dr Thomas Burns noted in visitation book- John Flanagan RC (19) lived in a house in Town District no. 1V with several others.


February 2: John Wilson Flanagan (20), a farm servant, married Ann Heenan (19) at First Church (Presbyterian) Moray Place, Dunedin (register entry no. 78). Witnesses were Denis Heenan of North East Valley and Peter Smith of Springbank, NE Valley. The wedding took place at Denis’ home.


It was around this time that Alexander probably commenced his life at sea. From the voyage of the SS Matau, we learn that he had already had “21 years experience”. Thus he had been sailing since he was 23 years old.

February 27: Frederick William Flanagan was born to John Wilson and Ann. (reg. No. 397). At the time John was a carter and Frederick was born at Rattray St Dunedin.

April 6: Frederick was baptised.