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Northern Cemetery Title

Dunedin's Buried History

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Images of the Northern Cemetery (C) Derek Smith 2003

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Jane Matheson was born on 14 August 1830 at Killean/Kilchenzie, Argyll, Scotland, and she married Duncan Bell at the same place on 27 December 1855. With their five children (Dugald, Margaret, Jean, Mary, and Janet), Jane and Duncan arrived in Dunedin on 1 October 1865.

Duncan had been a weaver, but, unable to find work in his trade, he became a shepherd on the station of Mr George Bruce on the Maniatoto Plains. Jane, who had been a very efficient dairymaid in the old country, would catch and milk wild cows, selling the butter to the diggers in the district. Later, when the family moved to Whare Flat, Jane was a typical farmer's wife. She was very hospitable, and any wayfaring person passing her door was always invited in.

Jane and Duncan had four more children in New Zealand. Betsy was born soon after their arrival. Twin boys, John and Donald, were born on the Bruce station and there was a sixth daughter, Annie. Donald died in infancy, and Annie also died after the family moved back to Dunedin.

The year 1888 was particularly difficult for Jane, as she lost both her husband and her daughter Mary in the course of the year. Duncan Bell died on 17 May as a result of inflammation of the lungs, and Mary died about June.

Jane herself had many more years to live. Her death was reported in the Campbeltown Courier of 16 January 1915:

"Death of Kintyrean in N.Z. The death of Mrs Duncan Bell, which took place at her daughter's residence, 143 Macandrew Road, South Dunedin, Otago NZ on 1st December 1914 at the ripe age of 82 years removes an old and respected Kintyrean from Otago New Zealand."

Also buried here: Jane's husband Duncan.

Vivien Dell

Monumental Inscription

There is no monument or headstone at this grave.

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