Clutha Presbytery Records

Balclutha Presbyterian Church -

  • A small fire in 1928 damaged the contents of the Church.

Catlins - Ratanui [Home] Mission Station -

  • The Church Extension Committee sanctioned student supply in the Ratanui, Upper Catlins and Tuakupu areas from Jan 1892. Oversight of the Mission was placed in the hands of the Owaka Presbyterian Church Session as from the 4th Feb 1894 although students and ministers were still brought in to supply the Station. The Mission Station formally amalgamated with Owaka in 1954. A record from 1931 states that no trace could be found of any records relating to this [Home] Mission Station. The only remaining records as at 2006 are a Marriage register covering the period 1899 to 1932 and a Management Committee Minute Book for Papatowai which includes a note that it covers Ratanui (only) from 21.2.1912 to the time it amalgamated with Papatowai on 8.8.1924.

Parish of Clutha (Inchclutha-Kaitangata Parish) -

  • Known as Parish of Clutha from 1859 to Aug 1862, and as Inchclutha - Kaitangata from Sept 1862 to 1889 when Kaitangata broke away as a seperate charge)
  • Deacon's Court minute book 1860 to July 1864 missing. No Baptism roll 1863 to1872.

Kaitangata Presbyterian Church - 

  • Records appear to have been lost when both the Church Hall burnt down on the 11th October 1926 and the Church manse "burnt to the ground" on the 9th April 1930.
  • No marriage registers 1890 to 1929 (new register commences 24th June 1930).
  • No Session minutes 1890 to 1928 (new Session minute book commences 10th April 1929 with the previous minutes "being read").
  • No Baptismal Register 1890 to 1926 and from 1926 to 1962. A new Baptism register is recorded as having been bought in 1926. This "new" register, recording Baptisms from 1926 to 1962 has also gone missing.
  • No Communicant registers 1890 to 1943.
  • No Christian Endeavour Society records. The Society started around 1890-95, was disbanded during World War One, was 'revived' in 1929, then went into recess in 1932.
  • Many Sunday School records appear to have gone missing.
  • No Bible Class or Youth records.
  • No Busy Bee records, the 'Hive' being active 1914 to 1959.

Lawrence Presbyterian Church -

  • No Baptism roll 1865 to 1893; no marriage registers 1865 to 1872 (all noted missing in 1954).
  • No Management Committee minutes 1865 to 1897 as no formal Committee appears to have existed during this period.
  • The Parish were formally requested in 1892 to keep proper rolls.
  • PWMU (Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union) minutes missing prior to 1918.

Lovell's Flat Presbyterian Church -

  • Baptismal register c.1895 to 1922 missing (noted missing in 1954).

Owaka Presbyterian Church -

  • The manse, a simple four-roomed structure, being the traditional two rooms plus rear lean-to, burnt down on Tuesday the 8th June 1880 while Mr Gunn, a Probationer from Scotland, was supplying the charge. This misfortunate was enhanced by the fact that the manse was not insured. At this time the charge was referred to as "the Parish of Catlins River".
  • A record dated 1931 states that "Old records presumed to have been burnt in manse". One assumes they meant the 1880 fire as neither of the two subsequent manses (as at 1935) were lost by fire.
  • Almost all records are accounted for except the Baptismal register c.1884 to 1902 (noted as missing in 1984). Session books are still held by the Parish.
  • No Commumnion rolls prior to 1895.

Popotunoa Parish (Clinton) -

  • Management Committee minutes 1869 to Mar 1896 (Volume One) missing (noted missing in 1954); Baptismal register prior to October 1914 missing.

Purekiriki Presbyterian Church -

  • The Owaka Parish History of 1935 records the relative absence of congregational records specifically for Purekiriki (which fell within Owaka Parish), services having been conducted in the district school from prior to 1896 with a Church being built shortly thereafter. The only remaining record specifically for Purekiriki is a Management Committee Minute Book from Nov 1896 to Mar 1911, no other congregational records appear to have survived.

Rongahere Presbyterian Church -

  • An arsonist is believed to have set fire to the Rongahere school on the 26th August 1899, the school building also being used by the local Presbyterian congregation who lost all their books and an organ. The local Teacher, Miss Annett, lost £50 worth of property and all her teaching material. The fire was considered suspicious as Miss Annett, despite being an excellent Teacher, had been the recipient of anti-Catholic feeling from a spirited minority in the district.

South Clutha Parish (Puerua) -

  • The Parish of Clutha Session minute book which is extant covers South Clutha Parish from 1859 to 1862. The Session minute book from 1863 to 1883 is missing. The Session minute book commencing 12 Nov 1884 is marked "Volume II", being started by the new Parish Minister, the Rev A Dalrymple in 1884 who carried on the practice of recording the minutes. The first minute does not confirm the previous minutes suggesting Volume I was not at hand.
  • Baptismal register from 1854 to Jan 1886 missing (noted missing in 1954);
  • Marriage Registers from 1862 to 1879 missing. No Communion rolls from 1854 to 1884. 
  • We have been reliably informed that quite a few Parish registers and records were destroyed by a daughter of the first Minister, the Rev W Bannerman (1854-1884). Presumably he kept these in his custody and they were destroyed after his death in Dunedin in 1903. 
  • No Marriage register 1900 to 1910. (Until recently it was believed that this register would have included the annulled marriage certificate of the notorious female confidence trickster Amy Bock, alias Percy Redwood, who had been unknowingly married "in the grand manner" to Miss Agnes Ottaway of "The Nuggets" in April 1909. We now know that the local Anglican Vicar officiated at the ceremony with the local Presbyterian Minister, the Rev Dalrymple, merely "assisting". Bock later confessed that she had had no intention of taking her new "bride" on the honeymoon to Melbourne.

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Balclutha -

  • Baptismal register 1866 to 1885 missing, marriage register Oct 1917 to Jun 1919 missing (all noted missing in 1954); Board of Manager's/Deacon's Court minutes 1906 to 1935 missing (extant in 1954); no Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union minutes 1905 to 1921.

Tahatika Presbyterian Church -

  • The Owaka Parish History of 1935 records the almost entire absence of congregational records specifically for Tahatika (which fell within Owaka Parish), services having been conducted in the district from at least 1880 and a Church being built c.1898.

Tuapeka West Presbyterian Church -

  • Marriage Registers 1889 to 1901 and 1919 to 1928 missing
  • Baptismal Register 1889 to 1894 missing
  • Management Committee Minute Book 1889 to 1923 missing

Tokomairiro Presbyterian Church, Milton -

  • Baptismal register 1874 to 1900 missing (noted missing in 1954); Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union minutes 1910 to 1932 missing; some annual reports missing. 
  • The second Church building built in 1863 was constructed of wood with a large square tower which caught the wind to such an extent that it swayed and caused the whole building to creak and groan. A memorable storm in February 1864 shook the building to such an extent that it required to be strengthened in a very substantial manner. A new stone Church (the present building) was built in the later 1880's. 
  • The bell that now hangs in the Church spire was presented to the Parish by Mr John Gillies Snr. It was sent out from Britian but "not delivered", being returned to Britain. It was eventually sent out again on the "Henbury" which unfortunately caught fire at Port Chalmers in August 1859 (sometime after the crew became intoxicated), the upper part of the boat being completey burnt with the loss of all cargo and passenger's possesions. The bell was recovered and sold as salvage, Mr Gillies having to repurchase it. It was safely delivered and did duty in the first two churches but when hung in the third (current) Church it cracked and had to be sent to Dunedin to be re-cast.

Waihola Presbyterian Church -

  • Marriages from 1875 to 1876 were found in the St Paul's Invercargill registers. 
    Obviously the Minister of the time took "his" register with him.
  • Marriages registers 1858 to 1862 and from 1877 to 1879 still missing. Only a list of those married from 1858 to 1862 survives.

Waiwera South Presbyterian Church -

  • The Church Manse, designed by JA Burnside and built by Edmund Anscombe about July 1901, was destroyed by fire between 30th March and 29th April 1904. An insurance claim was lodged. The Minister resident in the manse at the time, the Mr [Rev] JA MacAllister, was deposed from Ministry in 1914 for "contumacy" [contempt of the authority of an ecclesiastical court]. He falsely claimed to have attended and graduated MA from the University of Glasgow and to have been licensed by the Free Church of Glasgow.
  • The wooden Waiwera South Mission Hall was gutted by fire in 1993, with most internal fittings lost. This was the old Church, a modern brick Church having been built alongside.

Waitahuna Presbyterian Church -

  • No Baptism roll 1874 to 1893; no Deacon's Court minutes 1874 to 1901; no Communion rolls; no Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union minutes 1900 to 1922.
  • The 1924 Parish History states that the Church bell is an old ship's bell, "the first ever rung in Otago", being originally donated by Mr James Macandrew and Mr Arthur Burns to the East Taieri Church and later "handed over to the Waitahuna Church at the instance of the original donors". Unfortunately the early Waitahuna Deacon's Court minutes are missing and while the East Taieri minutes record a bell being gifted by Messrs Macandrew and Burns they do not appear to record the gifting of the bell to Waitahuna at a later date. It was ascertained in January 2010 that there are no markings on the bell therefore the story of this apparently historic bell appears to unfortunately be lost. Our thanks to the brave person from Waitahuna who managed to clamber up the bell tower to view the bell!

Warepa-Kaihiku Parish -

  • Baptism rolls 1865 to 1880 missing.

Close This Window to Return to the Main Screen