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AITKEN, HELEN

Helen Aitken 1826--1905

Helen Graham was born at Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1826. Her parents were Archibald Graham, merchant seaman, and Helen Boyd.

Helen's first husband was the merchant seaman William Graham, whom she married in 1848. They had four children, but two of them died in infancy and a third, who had been disabled since infancy, died in 1855. The surviving child was Helen Boyd Graham. William committed suicide in 1859.

Helen was remarried in 1861 to John Aitken, another merchant seaman, and bore him two children: Andrew Graham (b. 1862, Grangemouth), and Catherine (b. 1865, Grangemouth). In 1867 she was widowed for the second time when John Aitken's ship sank and he was drowned.

Exactly when Helen emigrated to New Zealand with her three living children is uncertain, but probably around 1874/75. In 1876 her daughter Helen Boyd Graham married William Brown at Dunedin. Helen Aitken died in 1905, in her 80th year.

-- See also: Andrew Graham AITKEN d. 1887, Helen B BROWN d. 1917, and Catherine AITKEN d. 1923 (children of Helen). Although Helen Aitken's recorded burial site is Block 51, Plot 4, the headstone at Block 57, Plot 4, where these children and several grandchildren are buried, bears her name.

Robert Brown

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