A NEW Zealand man is keen to trace the history of his ancestors who came from the Lisburn area. Robert Wallace would like to make contact with any of his distant relatives still living in the city.
Mr. Wallace explained he is a fourth generation New Zealander who has been given the task of satisfying a 'great desire' within his family to establish a connection with this area.
So far, he explained, he has found out his great great grandfather was James Wallace, son of James Wallace of Dunmurry who married Eleanor Allen, daughter of George Allen of Ballylesson on March 23, 1826.
The wedding ceremony took place at Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church in Belfast and was conducted by Rev. Samuel Hanna.
The couple's son who was also called Joseph Wallace was born in 1835.
He was Robert Wallace's great grandfather and he emigrated to New Zealand in 1864 on board a ship called 'Portland'.
He worked as a carpenter in the city of Auckland and in 1880 married Bridget Mary Levis who came from Ballydehob in West Cork.
"Joseph my great grandfather was given a grant by the Government to farm a 230 acre dairy farm close to Auckland," Mr. Wallace continued.
"His son who was also called James continued the dairy farming about an hour's drive from his father's holding.
"He was the Chairman of the local Dairy Company and owned a large limestone quarry. "His son, my father, continued to run the farm after his father died and then spent some years in Australia. However, I left the large dairy farm to join the police and then spent 30 years in civil engineering."
Mr. Wallace said most of his family in New Zealand continue to be involved in farming although some younger members had chosen to pursue other careers.
At present, he added, he has no contact with any family members in Ireland.
Mr. Wallace is also researching the history of his great grandmother's family in West Cork and in April is planning a visit to his partner Anne's native Tipperary. Anne emigrated from Ireland to New Zealand in 1972.
If any of this story rings a bell with you and you believe you may be related to Mr. Wallace please get in touch with Neil Greenlees at the Ulster Star, 12A, Bow Street, Lisburn. Telephone 0289267 9111.