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Elizabeth Hellyer, née Pope, and her husband Robert were both born during 1814 in St Helier, Jersey, in the Channel Islands, and married there in 1835. They had ten children. In 1875 the couple came via London to Dunedin, as assisted immigrants on the Waimea (18th June, 1875). Travelling with them were two married daughters with their husbands and children, the Gallichans and Shapcotts, and an unmarried son and daughter. The following is the ship's passenger information:-

HELLYER, Robert, aged 48, carpenter, Jersey; Elizabeth, aged 47, wife; Robert, aged 25, labourer; Eleanor, aged 21, housemaid.

GALLICHAN, Joshua, aged 41, carpenter, Jersey; Elizabeth Ann, aged 37, wife; Edwin C., aged 9; Ada E., aged 7; Walter H., aged 5; Arthur William, aged 1.

SHAPCOTT, Thomas, aged 35, plasterer, Devon; Ann Eliza, aged 34, wife; Henry, aged 10; Beatrice, aged 6; Maud M., aged 4; Eleanor C., aged 16 months.

Elizabeth and Robert Hellyer's true age would have been 61, lowered probably to gain assisted immigrant status, and the son Robert's true age was 31, not 25. It would be a hidden fact that Elizabeth and Robert were parents of Mrs Gallichan (37) and Mrs Shapcott (34).

Sadly, Elizabeth Hellyer died on 29th September 1883 aged 69, within eight years of their arrival in Dunedin, her husband having died within three years of their arrival. The Gallichan parents were also dead within eight years, they are buried here in the cemetery with some of their children (in Block 108, Plot 6), while Elizabeth Hellyer and her husband are buried in another, unmarked, grave with a grandson, Arthur Hellyer Shapcott, one of a set of twins, who died aged just 6 months.

Gwenda Holmes

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