Dunedin Family History Group

Otago and Southland related research


Goodwood  |  Herbert  |  Macreas Old  |  Moeraki  | Ngapara  |  Oamaru  |


The database  with link below allows website users to search for people buried in the Oamaru Old and Lawn cemeteries by surname and/or first name, and shows information such as the age of the deceased, and what block and plot they are buried in.


 Back to Top






Originally known as Otepopo Cemetery it is usually referred to today as the Herbert Cemetery. It is located on Mount Charles, above Herbert township at end of Fraserburgh Street, approximately one kilometre from the town itself. From State Highway One turn left at the church corner and head up the hill. The cemetery is on the top of the hill on the right hand side. The Waitaki District Council manages and maintains this cemetery and has a contract with Whitestone Ltd for maintenance of the cemetery grounds and to carry out burials.

There was a small cemetery at Herbert prior to 1864 when local settler Adam Anderson donated the land for the present cemetery. The location of the first cemetery used to be marked by a large tree which has long since blown down.

It was not until 1869 that a Cemetery Trust held its first meeting in the Herbert Hotel. The site was then fenced off and surveyed into blocks. Earlier scattered burials around the district, along with bodies from the earlier cemetery, were reinterred in the new cemetery in 1870, although there are still believed to be burials around the district of unknown graves. An example of this is a small pile of stones in the middle of a paddock which marks a tiny grave but no-one locally knows who is buried there. No births, deaths and marriages for the Otepopo District are available to consult prior to 1875.

The headstones have been transcribed to 1979. The earliest recorded date on the headstones is 1858. As the cemetery was not officially opened until 1869 it can only be assumed that the earlier dates refer to reinterments which took place in the cemetery.

The first 36 people believed buried in the Herbert cemetery (up to about 1875) have no burial records. From 1875 to 1900 there were a total of 71 burials in the cemetery with an average of three burials per year.

Burials peaked in 1876 with seven burials that year. This may have co-incided with a an outbreak of cholera in nearby Oamaru. There was also a diphtheria epidemic in the summer of 1875-76. The number of burials peaked again in 1889 with eight burials. The winter of 1889 was exceptionally cold and influenza raged around the whole of the Otepopo district which may have contributed to the increase in burials that year.

The following surnames were recorded in the headstone transcripts 1858 to 1979.


Back to Top




Moeraki is a small fishing village 30 kilometres south of Oamaru. The Moeraki peninsula terminates to the south at Katiki Point where there was a Maori pa. It’s traditional name was Te Raka-a-hineatua. It is believed to have been built by Taoka, a well known fighting chief of the late 17th to early 18th centuries, who also built fortresses at the Ashburton River and near Timaru. Shortly after it was built it was attacked by a party from Kaikoura who were successfully repulsed by Taoka in the battle known as Te Hakopa. Taoka was also in battle with chiefs further south at Huriawa (Karitane Peninsula), Mapoutahi (Goat Island Peninsula near Purakanui) and Pukekura (Taiaroa Head).

~~Moeraki is a small fishing village 30 kilometres south of Oamaru. The Moeraki peninsula terminates to the south at Katiki Point where there was a Maori pa. It’s traditional name was Te Raka-a-hineatua. It is believed to have been built by Taoka, a well known fighting chief of the late 17th to early 18th centuries, who also built fortresses at the Ashburton River and near Timaru. Shortly after it was built it was attacked by a party from Kaikoura who were successfully repulsed by Taoka in the battle known as Te Hakopa. Taoka was also in battle with chiefs further south at Huriawa (Karitane Peninsula), Mapoutahi (Goat Island Peninsula near Purakanui) and Pukekura (Taiaroa Head).

Moeraki was the first European settlement in North Otago. However the first Europeans believed to have been in the area was in 1814. A party of eight men under the leadership of Robert Brown included two Europeans and five Indian seamen, who came up the east coast of the South Island from Stewart Island looking for a group of Indian seamen who had absconded from their vessel “Matilda” under the command of Captain Samuel Fowler. It is believed Robert Brown and his men camped for the night by their boat about eight miles from the present site of Moeraki. However they were observed and attacked by local Maori. Two of the sealers escaped and fled to the area known today as Goodwood, taking two days overland to get there. Maori followed them and they were later killed and eaten.

Men from the Weller brothers’ Otago whaling station on the Otago Peninsula, established a whaling station in Moeraki Bay, Onekakara, on Boxing Day, 1836. They arrived on the brig “Magnet” and set up their station on the north side of Moeraki Point. When the whalers arrived there were only nine Maori living in the area. In 1838 a large group of Maori arrived and settled in close proximity to the whalers. Many of the whalers married Maori women. After 1839 whaling dwindled and ceased by the late 1840s. Some of the whalers stayed at Moeraki and European settlement has been continuous from this point. During the 1840s there were many European visitors in the area. After Dunedin was founded in 1848 a Moeraki sheep run was leased in 1852.

From 1854 Moeraki Bay served as a port for North Otago. In the late 1860s, it was believed that the area could become the main port for the north Otago area and a substantial jetty was built. A railway line, the Moeraki Branch, was built to the settlement and opened in 1877. However, the port could not compete with Oamaru and the lack of traffic as well as stability problems caused by difficult terrain led to the closure of the railway in 1879 after only two years of operation.

Moeraki has a long history of Maori occupation, which is represented in the town today by the Kotahitanga Maori Church and a pa site nearby. The church was built in 1862 for the Maori village on the hill overlooking the village and was later resited in its present position. It contains beautiful stained-glass windows depicting a Maori elder, Matiaha Tiramorehu, alongside Jesus and Mary.

Moeraki is best known for its boulders formed around 60 million years old and strewn along the beach. The sea is slowly eroding the existing boulders but at the same time uncovering new ones – some up to four metres in circumference. According to Maori legend, Ārai-te-uru canoe, one of the earliest to reach the South Island, was wrecked at Shag Point in Otago. The food baskets aboard the canoes were washed ashore, where they remain to this day as the Moeraki boulders. In fact the Moeraki Boulders are actually huge spherical stones. These boulders are classed as septarian concretions, and were formed in ancient sea floor sediments. They were created by a process similar to the formation of oyster pearls, where layers of material cover a central nucleus or core. For the oyster, this core is an irritating grain of sand. For the boulders, it was a fossil shell, bone fragment, or piece of wood. Lime minerals in the sea accumulated on the core over time, and the concretion grew into perfectly spherical shapes up to three metres in diameter. The original mudstone seabed has since been uplifted to form coastal cliffs. Erosion of the cliffs has released the three tonne captive boulders, which now lie in a haphazard jumble across the beach. Further erosion in the atmosphere has exposed a network of veins, which gives the boulders the appearance of turtle shells. Similar boulders occur at Shag Point, and the nearby swimming beach of Katiki.

Today Moeraki remains popular with fishermen, and charter boat operators who run fishing trips from the wharf. From the village, there is a good walk to the Moeraki Point Whalers’ Lookout, where there are views south to the Moeraki Lighthouse located about six kilometres from Moeraki at Katiki Point.

The old lighthouse was built in 1877 following the loss of several ships on a nearby reef. The Moeraki lighthouse is 8.5 metres high and sits 51 metres above sea level. It could be seen by passing ships as far away as 30 kilometres. The lighting was electrified in 1943 and the lighthouse has had to be strongly braced to withstand gales lashing the exposed point. From the lighthouse a short track leads down the cliffs to a viewing hide where you can watch yellow-eyed penguins come ashore in the late afternoon. The point was the site of the Te Raka-a-Hineatea Pa and you can still see some of the terracing from the narrow neck which joins the mainland to the pa site.

There is a Maori cemetery at Moeraki. The headstone transcripts cover 1881 to 1977.

If you are travelling to Moeraki it is well worth visiting this beautiful old cemetery which has the most magnificent views out over the ocean. It is well maintained although some of the headstones are badly worn with weathering and age.

Turn into Lighthouse Road and travel one kilometre before turning left into Kaika Road. Follow this road to its end and the cemetery is clearly visable.

The surnames included in the transcripts are:

Burt                       Davis                     Gordon                  Haberfield

Hampstead           Mauhara                Paina                     Rehu

Roberts                 Smith                     Te Mamaru           Tipa

Tipene                   Tiramorehu

There is a second cemetery at Moeraki known as the Hampstead Family Cemetery. Turn right at the Maori Hall into

Te Karita Road . Travel to the end of this road. The cemetery is not visible from the road but is located up on the south side of the hill.

The headstones in this cemetery have also been transcribed and are available on microfiche. Headstones included in the index to this cemetery include:

 Back to Top






Ngapara is a small town 25 kilometres inland from Oamaru. It is located in a rural setting, with farming activity consisting mainly of sheep farming and growing cereal crops such as wheat. Heavy industrial activity has taken place around Ngapara, including mining for lignite coal and limestone

The name of Ngapara is derived from the Maori word for the “tables” or plateaus of limestone in the area. It is believed that it was named by an early runholder Edward Bland Atkinson, and another early settler, Herbert Edwards, attempted a rendering into Maori, adding nga (the) to para (table).

Edwards bought 3,000 acres at Ngapara in the early 1860s, and later laid out sections for sale in the township. Although by 1877 the town had a population of only 50, it was an important local centre with two hotels, two stores, a saddler’s shop, a butchery, a tailor, a bootmaker, a blacksmith and a wool-scourer’s shed.

A Presbyterian church was erected in 1896 and was followed by an Anglican church in 1919. The school opened in 1877, with four pupils, but by 1880 there were 56 students.

Lignite was discovered in the district and a colliery opened in 1878.

In the early 1870s, residents inland from Oamaru in the Waiareka Valley started petitioning the local government for a railway connection to the coast to provide easier access to farmland and to export agricultural produce and limestone. The provincial government granted approval for a line to Ngapara in 1872, with construction commencing sometime during the first half of 1874. The Public Works Department began running trains on the line sometime during 1876, but construction was hampered by delays and other problems, including an incident in May 1876 when two died after a contractor’s locomotive exploded. It was not until 1 April 1877 that the 24.34 kilometre line from Waiareka Junction on the Main South Line was opened all the way to Ngapara.

From 1877 until 1959, Ngapara was the terminus of the more significant arm of the Ngapara and Tokarahi Branches, a branch line railway that left the Main South Line near Oamaru, and a locomotive depot was located in the town until 1927. It was one of the first towns on New Zealand’s national rail network to lose its passenger service, with a bus substitute introduced in December 1926. Unemployed labourers during the depression years of the 1930s were employed to remove some of the railway tracks and most of the railway tunnels in the area remain but there entrances are overgrown with vegetation. Some remnants of the town’s railway still remain, including the station’s platform and loading bank, and the station sign is now affixed to the exterior of the local rugby club’s rooms.

A flour mill was built near the mine by Milligan & Bond in 1896. Two threshing mills supplied the flour mill with grain. The most flour mined in one year at the Ngapara Flour Mill was 5000 tonnes. Today the Milligans Food Group Ltd manufactures flour, all sorts of food ingredients and animal feeds. Also along with the flour and flour based products the company markets cheese sauces, shredded cheese, milk powders and cooking fats. The company’s head office, storage warehouses, food ingredient blending plant and cheese shredding plant are in Oamaru but the company’s flour mill and stockfeed plant, Milligans Eclipse Flour Company, is situated at Ngapara.

The Ngapara Mine was opened in 1878, and through to 1944 produced up to about 1,000 tons a year, production after that date rising to between 2,000 and 3,000 tons annually. The mine was located to the north of the township, on the west side of Coal Pit Road (now the Ngapara – Georgetown Road). The mine was owned and managed by James Nimmo and the mine is still sometimes referred to as “Captain Nimmo’s Mine.” The mine finally closed in the late 1960s. The entrance was initially blocked up, but the building was later collapsed to stop local children getting in.


The cemetery is located 2 kilometres north of Ngapara. Take the Ngapara – Georgetown Road and at the tope of the hill turn left into Tilverstone Road.

The earliest burial in the cemetery is dated 16 October 1918 and headstone transcripts do through to 1980.

The surnames in the cemetery transcript include:

BEWS                              HEWTON                                HOLMES                 HUTCHISON

McALISTER                     McCULLOCH                         MacDONALD          McKEE

MORRISON                     NEWLANDS                           NIMMO                   RUSSELL

SAUNDERS-LODER       WATSON                               WEBBER                 WESTLAKE

Back to Top 






Macreas Old Cemetery

A panel was erected in the Old Macraes Cemetery in 2004 to acknowledge the hardships the early pioneers who established the Macraes, Moonlight and Nenthorn district. The panel shows the names of all those thought to have been buried in the cemetery and was erected by the Macraes Community Incorporated.

The following is an extract from that panel.

Records also show the burials of the following people but there is no indication if the burial is in the old or the new Macraes cemeteries.

Ah Toun * 12.09.1897

Lew Chun * 13.09.1897

Sin Shing * 16.07.1899

Joseph Hardwick 25.12.1900

An asterix (*) against any of the above entries records that the remains of these Chinese miners, buried in the Old Macraes Cemetery, were removed to be returned to China, but the ship “Ventor” which was carrying them, sank off the Northland coast of New Zealand in 1902


 Back to Top











Also known as Goodwood Cemetery OR Preston Hill Cemetery OR Preston Family Cemetery


DESCRIPTION: A non-denominational churchyard

LOCATION: East Otago, approximately 51 kilometres north of Dunedin. Situated on Goodwood Road. At Palmerston take Tiverton Street and onto Goodwood Road. If approaching from the south turn towards the coast near Flag Swamp School (signposted). The churchyard is not signposted nor visible from the road. A set of white gates, seemingly leading into heavy bush, is the only landmark to identify the churchyard. Ensure you wear strong footwear as the path can be muddy and the grass long.

GPS LOCATION: S 45º 31.758’, E 170º 44.832’   (This reading will take you to the churchyard gates).


[tb_google_map address="S 45º 31.758’, E 170º 44.832’" width="500px" height="500px”]


SITE: Two acres, now almost entirely bushclad except for the driveway and an area of graves. The church which used to be located here was demolished in the 1990s.

BURIAL RECORDS: The burial records for the churchyard are contained in a book with the burial records relating to the larger St. John’s Anglican Churchyard, Waikouaiti. This book is the property of the Anglican Diocese but is held by the Waitaki District Council’s Waihemo Service Centre in Palmerston.

CEMETERY DATES: Headstone dates 1870 – 1989 (there appears to have been no burials since 1976 so entries after 1976 probably relate to interment of ashes)   Burial records 1862 – 1976.

BURIAL RECORDS:30 recorded burials plus 5 headstone inscriptions for which there are no matching burial records (4 of which are after 1976). It is believed that some of these may relate to the burial of ashes. Burials have been infrequent, the all time record being three burials in one year (1915). There are gaps of 14 years, 22 years and 17 years without any recorded burials. These seem to be genuine non-burial periods as there are no headstone inscriptions relating to these years.

TRANSCRIPTS:In 1973, and again in 1979, June McDougall, a member of the NZSG Dunedin Branch, prepared transcripts of the churchyard. These were recorded under the name of The Goodwood Cemetery. Much has changed in the appearance of the churchyard since 1979. The church has been demolished and much of the area around the churchyard is now engulfed by bush. The cemetery was re-transcribed in 2005 including digital photographs taken of all the surviving headstones. A copy of the 2005 transcript, burial records and the digital photographs are located in most Dunedin repositories. When the transcript was done actual photographs of those buried in the churchyard were also located and included in the transcript.

2005 TRANSCRIPT: Burial records were re-transcribed in 2005 by Donna Speden, Waihemo Service Centre to correct some errors in the 1973 burial version.  Headstone transcripts, digital photographs and a new map were prepared by Heather Bray, headstone transcripts checked by Laurel Corbishley, map checked by Gary Corbishley.

HISTORY OF CEMETERY: The St. Paul’s Anglican Church of Ease at Goodwood was built in 1862 to serve the early whaling community at Waikouaiti and Karitane and the farming families on the Otago coastlands. Pioneer run-holder Johnny Jones gave two acres of land for the church in 1861 together with £150 worth of timber to be pit-sawn and £25 towards expenses.

All the work of preparing the land and building the church was done by the people who lived in and around Goodwood. Before the church was built at Goodwood the local families met at a private house for worship.

The church could accommodate 100 people, and every denomination was represented in the congregation. Services were conducted by ministers from Palmerston or Waikouaiti but the church was officially part of the Anglican diocese of Dunedin.

The first marriage at St. Pauls, Goodwood, was on Christmas Eve 1862. The church register records: John Johnston to Sarah Madams with the marriage being performed by Rev. J. A. Fenton. The first burial in the churchyard attached to the church was of Margaret Craig, the 8 year old daughter of John Craig of Goodwood, who died on 16 August 1862. She was the only occupant of the cemetery for almost two years before she was joined on 16 July 1864 by Thomas Johnston, the son of Thomas and Catherine Johnston of PleasantRiver, Goodwood.

When St. Paul’s Chapel was built it stood on the main road north from Dunedin to Palmerston. It soon became a central point for settlers in the area. Soon after the church was built, a small lending library of about 100 volumes was established there.

The church was maintained by the local pioneers and their descendants until the main road north was diverted through PleasantValley taking most of the population from the area. Within two years of being built the new metalled road north was officially declared completed almost as far as Palmerston on 31 March, 1864.

The upkeep of the church and grounds then fell on the Preston family, who had resided at “Centrewood” farm since 1858. “Centrewood” served as a winter refuge for the Preston family from the harsh winters on their larger sheep run in the Maniototo. Many of the headstones which have survived in the churchyard are connected with members of the Preston family. In 1889 a proposal to move the church to Goodwood village was objected to, mainly on sentimental grounds.

The church remained in active use for over a hundred years during which it never cost the Anglican Diocese a cent. All costs were met by the Preston family, with the help of other families in the district.

The church had been consecrated in 1862 but was deconsecrated in 1978. After it was deconsecrated a cemetery trust was to be set up to administer the church and churchyard. However, the church finally fell into total disrepair and by the early 1990s it was demolished.

The churchyard is now overgrown and many of the older headstones are becoming difficult to read. However it is still a very beautiful peaceful churchyard to visit.

It still warrants being called a churchyard even though the church is no longer in existence. If you study the grass area it is just possible to work out where the foundations of the church once stood.

The following table show those interred in the cemetery

CAMERONAlexandra1868Burial record
CAMERONAnna Margaret1958Heads tone inscription
CAMERONAnna Margaret1958Burial record
CAMERONJoseph Farrar1924Headstone inscription
CAMERONJoseph Farrar1924Burial record
CAMERONKennett1866Burial record
CAMERONRobert Hugh Trotter1009Headstone inscription
CRAIGMargaret1862Burial record
DEMPSEYEllen1915Burial record
DEMPSEYJohn1915Burial record
DEMPSEYHeadstone inscription
DUNCKLEYAmie1976Headstone inscription
DUNCKLEYAmie1976Burial record
GRUNDYHannah1871Burial record
GILLGeorge1918Burial record
HAGGETTChristina Isabella1967Burial record
HAGGETTEdith Elizabeth1973Burial record
HAGGETTKenneth Alec Leslie1975Burial record
HAGGITTChristina IsabelIa1967Headstone inscription
HAGGETTEdith Elizabeth1973 IHeadstone inscription
HAGGITTKenneth Alec Leslie1975Headstone inscription
JOHNSTONThomas1864Burial record
MADAMSCelia Ide Murial1891Burial record
MADAMSElizabeth Davidson Burns1915Burial record
MADAMSMary Molloy1871Burial record
MADAMSWilliam1864Burial record
MADAMSWilliam1921Burial record
PRESTONEdith May1972Headstone inscription
PRESTONElizabeth Thorp1913Burial record
PRESTONElizabeth ThorpPhotograph
PRESTONFlorence Olive1925Headstone inscription
PRESTONFlorence Olive1925Burial record
PRESTONFrances Isabella1003Headstone inscription
PRESTONHannah1870Headstone inscription
PRESTONHannah1870Burial record
PRESTONHarold M.1962Headstone inscription
PRESTONHarold M.1962Burial record
PRESTONHarold M.Photograph
PRESTONJames Henry1930Headstone inscription
PRESTONJames Henry1930Burial record
PRESTONJames HenryPhotograph
PRESTONJohn1971Headstone inscription
PRESTONJohn1971Burial record
PRESTONJohn Edward1877Burial record
PRESTONJohn Edward1877Burial record
PRESTONJohn Edward1872Headstone inscription
PRESTONJohn EdwardPhotograph
PRESTONJoseph Farrar1891Headstone inscription
PRESTONJoseph Farrar1891Burial record
PRESTONJoseph FarrarPhotograph
PRESTONJoseph William1947Headstone inscription
PRESTONJoseph William1947Burial record
PRESTONMargaret1949Headstone inscription
PRESTONMargaret1959Burial record
SUTHERLANDMary Ann1866Burial record
TAYLORE.T.1913Headstone inscription

Back to Top