Latest news from Borders Family History Society

The Borders Family History Society met in the Corn Exchange, Melrose, for its regular monthly talk.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 12:00 pm

This time it was David Lockie as the speaker, telling the fascinating story of a Berwickshire man’s influence of the naming of places in the southern third of South Island, New Zealand.

John Turnbull Thomson was a young man with an interest in surveying, engineering and architecture.

He surveyed Singapore and was responsible for building a lighthouse in Singapore that still stands today.

He then moved to Dunedin to survey the new city, before making the first major accurate survey of the Otago and Invercargill areas.

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He also surveyed the area inland through the mountains.

One of these mountains he named after his grandfather’s Berwickshire farm, near Abbey St Bathans.

One reason why so many of New Zealand’s names are perhaps so familiar to Scottish travellers is due to this wandering Scot.

The next meeting of the family history society will be in the same place on Sunday, March 26, at 2.30pm.

Members will hear from speaker Andrew Nicoll, who will talk about Transcribing Scotland’s Places.