William Bell & John Kane
Location #504 - Bannockburn Coal Pit
Group Number 3

Group Members

The table below shows the people that make up the group.

No Last Name First Names Maiden Name Relationship Occupation Born Died School Year
1 Bell William Partner Coal miner
2 Kane John Partner Coal Miner


The table below shows any historical notes about the party group.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
3574 1874 Mess'rs Bell & Kane purchased the coal pit.

Mess'rs Bell & Kane purchased location #504. The name of the 'Bannockburn Coal Pit' was used in their advertisement in the Cromwell Argus. It is unclear how long Mr John Kane was involved with this mine. The Bannockburn Coal Pit was selling coal for £4-10s per ton.

3575 1875 Mr James Smith (1) joined the partnership.

Mr James Smith (1) joined the partnership.

3576 various History of William Bell.

William Bell was born in Groomport, County Down, Ireland in 1840. In 1859 he went to Australia and worked in the Beechworth gold diggings. In 1861 he came to New Zealand on the ship 'Aldinga' which landed at Waikouaiti. From here he went to the diggings at Waitahuna, Nelson, Hokitika and Greymouth. From Greymouth William walked to the Dunstan diggings in fourteen and a half days. From here he took part in the rush at Fox's near Arrowtown. In 1872 Mr Bell moved to Bannockburn where he, in partnership with John Kane purchased the Bannockburn Coal Pit from John Dere. It is not clear where William Bell lived. In 1872, aged 32 years, William Bell married Emma Gibbson Bardy Barnes, aged 17 years. Emma was the daughter of the Cromwell blacksmith, Mr William Barnes and his wife Jane. 1886 (J P Parcell notes - Cromwell Argus) William Bell left the coal trade and purchased land at Tarras where he farmed the 'Bell Vue' station. In 1922, William and Emma retired to Cromwell On 20 Mar 1927, WIlliam Bell died. He is buried in the family plot in the Cromwell cemetery.

3577 various History of John Kane.

John Kane (2) was born at Stoneykirk in Scotland in 1847, to John Kane (1) and Hannah Alford, who were immigrant farmers from Ireland. In 1867 John Kane (2) was living with his parents in Girvan, Ayrshire, near Glasgow. He decided to seek a better life in New Zealand and to this end he embarked on the 700 ton ship, 'William Davie' at Greenock in Scotland. This was the ships second voyage to New Zealand and it carried about 150 passengers who were mainly assisted immigrants. It appears that john Kane may have worked his passage. The voyage took only 88 days and the ship arrived in Port Chalmers on Oct 29 1867. It appears that Mr Kane made his way to Central Otago and settled at Bendigo. Here he worked as a carter, carrying coal from Bannockburn to the Bendigo goldfield to fire the steam machinery. In 1870 John Kane may have used the services of the newly arrived Cromwell blacksmith and farrier, William Barnes who had set up shop on Melmore Terrace, next to the Bridge Hotel. Mr Barnes also had seven daughters. In 1874 John Kane, along with a Bannockburn coal miner, William Bell, purchased the Bannockburn Coal Pit from John Dere. (William was married to Emma Barnes, the daughter of William Barnes). in 1874, john Kane, aged 26 was married to Elizabeth Sophia Barnes, aged 17 years, at the residence of William and Jane barnes in Cromwell. It appears that the couple set up their home at Bendigo township. In Oct 1875, John Kane sold his share of the coal pit to his partners, James Smith and William Bell. Mr Kane then became involved in gold mining activities at Bendigo. Later he purchased land in the Upper Clutha and farmed 'Grandview Station' In 1916 Mr & Mrs Kane retired to Dunedin. In 1927, John Kane died at the age of 80 years. He is buried with his wife in the Andersons Bay cemetery.


The table below shows a list of images related to the party group. Click on 'View Image' to display more details about the image, and to view the image.

Image Id Source Date Short Description
1713 S Kane - Wanaka c1900 John and Elizabeth Kane. View Image