The early 1800's saw one John McKenzie arrive on Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia fresh from Scotland.  Life had become difficult at home after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion and with the American war of independence now a part of the history books, there was an opening for a daring young "free trader".  So John, (known as the smuggler, but not to his face) took to his new land.  Here he met and married Ann McDonald and they had 3 children - Duncan, Murdoch and Ann.

Around 1814, with children growing up around him and Nova Scotia becoming "uncomfortable", the family returned to Scotland. On their return they settled in the small coastal village of Applecross, Ross-shire where a fourth child Hector was born.  There two of John's sons, Duncan and Murdoch McKenzie, met a young Hector McDonald  who operated his own small sailing vessel trading with England, Ireland and the main Scottish ports. On alternate voyages Hector would take one of the boys with him, instructing them in navigation and the ways of the sea. The three of them hit it off well, partly because they were of a similar age, but also because Hector had an eye on the boys sister Ann who he married in 1836.

In the 1830's John McKenzie was again becoming restless, leaving Ann with her new husband Hector, he returned to Nova Scotia, this time settling at Baddeck on Cape Breton Island. There the McKenzie's built ships and became successful merchants trading to the four corners of the world.

John "The Smuggler" died in Nova Scotia in 1851.  In May 1852 his son's Duncan "The Prince" and Murdoch "The Captain" Loaded  their ship the Highland Lassie and with their families on board sailed for warmer waters, arriving in Adelaide, Australia where they became involved in the inter colonial trade. After a year in Australia the small band set sail again, this time bound for New Zealand.  The family compared the 3 new lands, Canada had snow, Australia had snakes and New Zealand had Maoris, after deciding the Maoris would be the easiest to live with they settled in the Waipu district of the North Island.

Duncan "The Prince" wrote to his brother in-law Hector McDonald extolling the virtues of Waipu and New Zealand and inviting them to join them, adding a 100 acre farm awaited him in the Braigh.



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