About Me

My name is Maria Hurrell (nee English) and I live in Southland, New Zealand. Although I live in the very fast-moving modern world, part of me definitely lives way, way back in the past where my mind often wanders to, and my heart feels the enormous tug of those from long ago. My ancestors all came out to New Zealand from the other side of the world (mainly Scotland, Ireland and Poland) and the stories of their lives and the journeys they made to get here have always fascinated me.

So what exactly makes me 'ME' ?


I'm a born and bred Southlander who is very proud to live in this beautiful part of the world. I was educated (many years ago now) at Mataura Primary School and then St Peter's College in Gore. After leaving school I followed my heart and went farming. It was through a mutual interest in farming and sheep dog trialing that I met my future husband, so despite my family being a bit disappointed that I didn't attend university, I know I made the right decision at the time or else I wouldn't be where I am today. 

My life at present revolves very much around my family. I have been married to my best friend Ross for almost 20 years now and we have two beautiful children; Bridget and Mark. We currently live just south of Wyndham, where Ross manages a 650 acre sheep and beef farm. Other than when I am running around all over the countryside for the kids activities, I get to spend my days doing what I love the most; working on the farm, pottering in the garden, "granny hunting" (genealogy), writing, taking lots of photos, digital scrapbooking and playing on my computer. Life is definitely all good :-)

I feel very fortunate to be able to live the life that I do and I have so much in this life to be thankful for. When I think back to the lives that my ancestors lived, I definitely have it so easy compared to them. Without their bravery and the sometimes-difficult decisions and sacrifices they made in their lives, neither me nor my beautiful children would be here today and to them I am forever thankful.

So this blog is dedicated to all those from the past; – the paupers and the unfortunate, the gentlemen and the scholars, the hard-working and the humble, the adventurous and the brave, the ratbags and the well-respected, the warm-hearted, the kind and the loving. These were my ancestors; ........ hard-working people who came from foreign countries so long ago. They may have lived lives so very different from my own. And they may have spoken different languages to what I speak now. But these are the people whose blood still runs through the veins of my children and all those that I love the most in this world.

All of our ancestors deserve to be remembered and to be thanked. Their lives and their sacrifices have enabled us to live the comfortable lives we all now have in this modern world, in this beautiful country that we get to call home.



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