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 Tulloch's home Woodlawn

Woodlawn, home of the Tulloch family. Burned down in 1970 by Downer Construction.

Photo source: Barbara Tulloch.

Peter and Margaret Tulloch in front of Woodlawn

Peter and Margaret Tulloch in front of Woodlawn, Glenside. Photo source: Barbara Tulloch.

Woodlawn from the back

This image is of the Woodlawn homestead from the rear. The creek flows from Johnsonville and is now piped and runs beneath Monterey apartments. It exits beneath Monterey, intersecting with the creek which flows through Glenside Reserve from Seton Nossiter. The cottage on the hill is now known as the address 219 Middleton Road. Photo source: Barbara Tulloch.


Photo source: Barbara Tulloch.

Family friends at Tulloch's house

This image of the Tulloch family in Glenside was sourced from the Shetland Islands Museum and Archives. The caption reads: Cath, me & Reita below, Cliff children & Peter above.

Peter and Maggie Tulloch c1932

Peter and Margaret (Maggie) Tulloch c1932. Photo source: Barbara Tulloch

The Tulloch family

This is the story of the Tulloch family, who lived in the big house in Glenside, known as Woodlawn, from 1930 to 1963. This house was originally the family home and farm of pioneer settlers, the Bannister's and was named by them. The property later became the home of the Juliff family before being purchased by Tulloch's. When the Tulloch's left, it was used as a nursing home. The house was deliberately burned down, in a controlled burn, by the Fire Service in 1970, at about the time it was purchased by Downer Construction.

The information for this article was supplied in 2004 by Babara Tulloch (born 1960) and her brother Peter Tulloch (born 1969), and updated in 2018. The genealogy is sourced from the North Isles Family History website.

Introduction to the family

Peter Tulloch (1851-1898) of Wilhoul, Cunningsburgh, Shetland Islands married twice. He and his first wife Jemima, nee Davidson (1845-1872) had one child. Peter and Jemima were married in May 1872, with Jemima giving birth to James Davidson Tulloch on 25 October 1872. She died two days later, however her baby son survived.

Eleven years passed, then in 1883 Peter married Catherine, nee Halcrow (1858-u/k) and together they had seven children. They are:
John William Tulloch (1884-1911)
Jemima Catherine Tulloch (1886-1942) who died in New Zealand
Peter Laurence Tulloch (1888-1966) who died in New Zealand
Charles Halcrow Tulloch (1890-1974)
Margaret Johnston Tulloch (1896-1906)
Mary Smith Tulloch (1896-1991) who died in New Zealand
George Clark Tulloch (1897-1970) who died in New Zealand.

Our interest lies with the second born son of the second marriage, Peter Laurence Tulloch (1888-1966) and his wife Margaret nee Malcomson (1885-1960) whom he married in the Shetland Islands in 1914. The couple lived in Glenside from 1930.

Margaret is the daughter of Shetland Islander John Malcolmson (1855-1937) and his wife Ann nee Simpson (1857 – u/k). John Malcolmson was a general merchant and fisherman.

Migration to New Zealand

The family story is that the Tulloch family migrated to New Zealand from the Shetland Islands in a large group of family and friends. In an article published in The Shetland Times (January 21st, 2010) Charles Simpson explains:

"There was little or no emigration from Shetland before 1830. Thereafter, bad fishings and bad harvests were the main incentives to leave, although it’s true that pressure from landowners who wanted to create sheep farms around 1870 certainly led to significant emigration in places like Fetlar, Delting, Yell and Unst. While the herring fishery boomed for two decades after the mid-1880s there was still a significant exodus, particularly to America and the expanding British colonies."

"By this period, between two and three thousand Shetlanders went seafaring in the merchant service. With this increased mobility, and possibly the security of croft tenures granted by the Crofters Acts, there was perhaps a greater sense of personal freedom and certainly an increasing knowledge of life – and opportunity – outwith the isles."

The first of the family to leave the Shetland Isles was half-brother, James Tulloch, who migrated to Canada in the 1890’s. He was followed by the first born child of the second marriage, John Tulloch, who also migrated to Canada. Their sister Jemima migrated to New Zealand with her husband Laurence Johnston, following their marriage in 1913. They lived in Brooklyn, and their home continues to be occupied by Tulloch’s at this time.

Charles continues:

"Brother Peter went sailing in the merchant navy for a while then followed his sister to settle in Wellington in 1914. With a war on, it took two years for his wife Maggie to secure a passage out to join him."

Shipping records suggest she arrived in New Zealand in 1915. Charles said that post-war New Zealand was a better attraction than post-war Shetland, so in 1926, brother George and his fiance Lizzie Irvine also migrated to Wellington, New Zealand. George Tulloch was a seaman and sailed steamships around New Zealand. He and Lizzie ended up living at Karori, in Sunshine Avenue.

Included in the emigrant party were Lizzie’s parents, her brothers Laurence, John and Malcolm and her sisters Maisy (Marion) and Jemima, George’s sister Mary and her husband Robbie Halcrow and their child Bobby. Catherine Tulloch, the matriarch of the Tulloch family who was now a widow came with them. Charles writes:

"Catherine Tulloch didn’t settle to life in New Zealand, and wrote sad letters of longing to her son Charlie in Shetland. Before her return home could be organised, she suffered a stroke and died soon after."

The Glenside Years

Peter Tulloch and his sister Barbara Tulloch, pick up the story -

Peter: "Peter was a farmer and came to Glenside with his wife in 1930. He bought the Bannister homestead, which our family knew as the Halfway House [Ed. There is no evidence to suggest it ever was]. Peter was a dairy farmer at Glenside. We have a photograph of him in an old truck with 'P L Tulloch, Dairy Farmer, Johnsonville' written on the side of it."

Barbara confirms this saying "Peter was a farmer and definitely was on milk supply for the area."

Peter continues, "Peter owned the house from 1930 to 1963, as dated in my father’s handwriting on the back of one of the photographs we have."

"The back half of the house was the original house and the front half, with the ballroom and balcony was added on later. I am a builder by trade and I believe the builder that built onto the front of the Bannister homestead is the same one who built the house next door." [Ed. The house next door is known as The Halfway House, and is on the historic Glenside Reserve].

"You can see they both have the same front doors with similar windows, including three windows along the top story. They were probably purchased out of a catalogue, you could order them like that."

Death notice of Catherine Tulloch aged 72, died at Glenside, 10 May 1931

Barbara: "Peter's wife Margaret, was known to us as Auntie Maggie. There were no children, however it appears that others in the family lived with them. Peter's mother, Catherine, is recorded as having died at Glenside in 1931. Maggie's father John Malcolmson, is recorded as having died at Glenside in 1937 at the age of 81."

"My Uncle, Peter Tulloch was widowed in 1960. On his retirement from farming in 1963, Uncle Peter moved out to Karori to be closer to his brother and our family. No one in the family wanted to move out to live at Glenside, that’s why he left. He died in 1966 and is buried in Karori cemetery."

"I do wish that someone in the family had moved out to Glenside, however thinking about this now, it would have been impractical back then. Our grandparents George and Lizzie Tulloch lived in Karori and did not drive. Our own parents had two young children at that time, Margaret and myself, and Dad was working in Karori. If they had moved to Glenside, they would have needed a second car to ferry the oldies and kids around."

"The farm was bought by the Saker family from Northland. I believe he was a Doctor, Dr Saker."


The Tulloch family were well known in Glenside, and visitors were welcome. The Evening Post newspaper reports they were present at the opening of the Glenside Golf Club in 1936, and that in 1938 and 1940, Peter was elected patron of the Club. He is also reported as being President of the Glenside Tennis Club in 1939.

At some time, either before they arrived in Glenside or during their stay here, part of the farm became a Public Works Camp for men building the new railway and tunnel. Following this, some of the land was used for the Glenside Cattle Sale.

After the house and farm were sold to Dr Saker, the house became a nursing home. It was later purchased by Downer Construction, and the homestead was burned in a controlled fire in 1970.

In 2001, Taradale Developments constructed 91 Apartments on the site, calling it Monterey. The Glenside Progressive Assn. and the Real Estate agent acting for Taradale Developments were assured that the large trees and camellia at the former entrance to the Woodlawn homestead would be retained, however Taradale Developments reneged on the agreement and they were felled.

Postscript, per Charles Simpson

"When he finally gave up farming Uncle Jeemie [James Tulloch of the first marriage] did a world tour in 1950, at the age of 80, from his Saskatchewan home, first to his half-brothers and half-sisters in New Zealand, then to Shetland to visit my grandparents…."

"….So, distance and time and travelling costs were, I’m sure, the main reasons why the emigrants didn’t often return. In a relative sense all of them prospered – eventually – and enjoyed a quality of life probably better than anybody back home in Shetland during their lifetimes, but there were no streets paved with gold; no riches."

"Today, of course, my Canadian, Australian and New Zealand second cousins can jet around the world quickly and much more affordably than our grandsires, so their visits – confirming that blood is indeed thicker than water – are not quite the once-in-a-lifetime landmark event of my parents’ generation."

Since 1960, Shetland has hosted a ‘Hamefarin’ (homecoming), welcoming Shetlanders from all around the world back to their home islands. The festival is celebrated once every 25 years, and was last held in 2010.

Contributors: Barbara and Peter Tulloch, 2018.