The Merrilees Family Association (MFA) is represented world-wide by local chieftains, appointed by the Clan Chief. The first New Zealand chieftain was Gary Campbell Merrylees of Auckland (right), the great-grandson of a pioneering Scot who arrived in this country in 1862.
New Zealand clan members belong to 13 different MFA Family Tree Branches, namely Nos 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 29, 33, 34, & 35, and share five surname spellings - Merrilees, Merrylees, Mirrielees, Mireylees, and Mirrilees - but they are all related through a common ancestor. The New Zealand MFA branch has details of the first member of each family to arrive in this country. Immigration to NZ
Three pioneering forebears began their new lives in New Zealand as, respectively, a farmer (1853), a soldier (1862) and a goldminer (1870) and all went on to become prominent figures in their local church and business communities. Two visible signs of the clan's NZ presence are Merrylees Hotel in Dannevirke (below) and 'Mirrielees Rd' in Tauranga (below, right).
Although individual clan members are scattered throughout the country, the historical homes of the four main family groups in New Zealand are Otago (Tree #6), Bay of Plenty (Tree #33), Hawkes Bay (Tree #29) and Hutt Valley (Tree #8). Other family branches were later arrivals and settled in Auckland (Tree #7), Wellington (Tree #s 2 & 4) and Hawkes Bay (Tree #14).
There are many however who through marriage etc no longer bear the name 'Merrilees' and the MFA is continually searching for others who belong to the Clan. NZ Clan Surnames
A very successful New Zealand Reunion was held in Hawkes Bay in October 2000 with over 60 people attending.
Merrylees Hotel in Dannevirke