Perth pair connect with relatives

Distant relations (front left) John MacManus, Janet MacManus, Val MacManus, Brian MacManus, Ros Hamling, Bruce Hamling and Kathleen Currie (nee MacManus) met for the first time in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Distant relations (front left) John MacManus, Janet MacManus, Val MacManus, Brian MacManus, Ros Hamling, Bruce Hamling and Kathleen Currie (nee MacManus) met for the first time in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A couple of Australian cruise-ship passengers met some distant Dunedin relatives for the first time on Saturday.

Perth residents Bruce and Ros Hamling discovered they shared ancestry with Dunedin residents John MacManus and Janet MacManus by searching genealogical records on a family history website.

They families had the same great-great grandfather, a resident of County Cavan in Ireland, who fathered 11 children, Mr MacManus said.

His grandfather, John MacManus, had lived in Brisbane but moved to Dunedin in 1906 and became a prominent Labour politician and union organiser, he said.

Mr and Mrs Hamling were passengers on the Dawn Princess so used the stopover to have lunch with the MacManus family in Dunedin.

Mrs Hamling said she loved Dunedin and dreamed of renovating a tired inner-city villa into a holiday home, ''or we could just move into Larnach Castle''.

Dunedin resident Brian MacManus said he and his wife Val enjoyed hosting their newly discovered relations for lunch.

-shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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