Crarer family

From: Tony
To: Jan
Subject: Crarer family

Hi, my name is Tony Crarer and I purchased a house in Waipawa late last year.
I feel a connection with Waipawa as my Great-Great Grandfather is buried in Waipawa Cemetery. He died here on 22 June 1888, his death being mentioned in the Hawkes Bay Herald, 23rd June.
Alexander Crerar (Crarer) also arrived on the “Rangoon” in 1864 with his wife Catherine and 5 children, 3 more being born in NZ. They came from Kenmore in Scotland. Dr Todd was the ships surgeon as you are already aware so they were on the same passage.
Alexander & Catherine settled somewhere in CHB where he was listed in the 1887 Waipawa Electoral Role as a Shepherd working on the Abbortsford Run.
Unfortunately our family history has little info regarding these years, I recall my father telling me that he or the family were also involved with the Wanstead Tavern at some stage.
In 1988 my Father erected a plaque on his gravesite commemorating the Family and their journey.
Basically I would be very interested to be involved with the pending celebrations, perhaps I can learn more of my family’s history from local sources?


From: Jan
To: Tony
Subject: Crarer family

Hi Tony,

It seems quite an unusual name Crarer so it should be easier than some to
track down information because sometimes more common names can lead to a lot
of confusion. Although if he worked as a shepherd he could have worked all
over the place – as I found out with another enquiry I had – so information
can be tricky to find.

I will send your enquiry to Rosheen at the CHB Settlers Museum and see if
she can find anything out.

As to helping with Waipawa’s 150th celebrations your input and enthusiasm
would be very welcome. – as most of our subcommittees for this event are
very small and there is a lot to do.
I am on a couple of subcommittees trying to organise things.
These are the subcommittees – Historical, Beautifying, Sporting, Rural,
Gift to the Future, Special Events.- and then all those subcommittees
contribute to our Steering Committee so we are all working in together.
If you are interested in any of these please email me back and I will give
you the contact person for them and they’ll let you know what you can do.

Anyway we’ll see what we can find out


From: Tony
To: Jan
Subject: Crarer family

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your prompt reply. As far as searching for the Crarer, the
spelling Crerar should also be investigated as this was the spelling he was
listed as on the Rangoon passenger list. The eldest son, Alexander changed
his surname to Crerar while all the other 7 kids carried on with Crarer.
The family obviously lived here somewhere as the 2nd eldest son, Peter, was
married in Waipawa on 15th July 1885 in the residence of Mr Benjamin B
Johnson (as per his birth certificate) and he’s listed as an Innkeeper so
perhaps he’s the Wanstead connection?
Anyway, as far as helping out goes, I’d love to be involved with the
historical aspect as I have a huge interest in early NZ history, especially
the Hawke’s Bay area.

Thanks again….Tony 🙂

From: CHB Settlers Museum
To: Tony
Subject: Crarer family

Hi Tony

Not a lot of info but have turned up a few references.
From “Waipawa Mail” database
23/6/1888 This afternoon the mortal remains of Mr Alex Crarer were borne to
their last resting place in the new cemetery

Birth – At Wanstead, 21 Jan 1894, Mrs Stewart Crarer of a son

Death – 12/10/1895 Mr J M Crerar died at Napier 10/10/1895

Death – At Waipukurau, Jan 12 1900 Forbes Stewart, 6th son of Alexander &
Agnes Crerar aged 1 year and three weeks

From WW1 war census Crarer

John Wairoa Clyde Hotel – cordial maker
Peter Francis Wairoa – clerk
Robert William – Frasertown Hotelkeeper
Stewart Wairoa – sheepfarmer

From Tabuteau & Baker HB almanac 1901

S Crarer – settler Greenmeadows
P Crerar – hotelkeeper Wairoa

From electoral roll 1881

Alexander Crarer Tahoraite shepherd
Peter Crarer Waipawa shepherd

Tahoraite – between Dannevirke & Woodville


Rosheen Parker

From: Jan
To: Tony
Subject: Crarer family

Hi Tony,
Sorry I haven’t come up with anything much for your family research, but I received this email today from Denise. It sounds like she might be able to help.
Its great how enquiries posted on the website often bring people together with little pieces of info.
Anyway here’s her email


From: Denise
To: Tony via Jan
Subject: Crarer family

Hi Tony,

I am assuming you are Jim’s son (if so we are 1st cousins) and am pleased to see that you are continuing his interest in the genealogy of the family. The Stewart Crarer was of course our grt grandfather, Norman Crarer was our grandfather and my Mum was your Dad’s sister (Pauline). Mum lives in Ashburton and is 78yrs young! My husband and I purchased the family farm in Wairoa and are living there. You are most welcome to visit. At present I am working on a website for my Dad’s family (Stewart:Woisin) and hope to move on to Mum’s side (Crarers). It would be great to keep in contact as I am also using a free genealogy programme called Legacy to enter all family facts. I will be moving on to Crarer side with this also. Keep in touch.


From: Jan
To: Tony
Subject: Crarer family

Hi Tony,

Here’s another email I received from your extended family which may help you with your research. Its great when families get together and share information and I’m glad my website was able to help you get in touch. I’d be interested to hear a bit more about what you find out.

Anyway here’s the email