The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/McKerrow, James

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McKerrow, James, F.R.A.S., Chief Commissioner of Railways, New Zealand, is the son of Andrew McKerrow and Margaret (Steven) his wife, and was born at Kilmarnock, Scotland, on July 7th, 1834. Mr. McKerrow emigrated to Dunedin, N.Z., in Nov. 1859, and was District and Geodetical Surveyor of Otago from that year till 1873, Chief Surveyor of Otago from 1873 to 1877, Assistant Surveyor-General of New Zealand from Jan. 1877 to Oct. 1879, also Secretary of Crown Lands and Mines from Feb. 1878 to Jan. 1889. From Oct. 1878 he held the latter office in conjunction with that of Surveyor-General of New Zealand, being appointed in Jan. 1889 to his present office of Chief Commissioner of New Zealand Railways. In 1861 to 1863 Mr. McKerrow made the reconnaissance survey of the Otago Lake districts, an area of eight thousand square miles. The reports of these surveys were read before the Royal Geographical Society of London, and received the special commendation of the President, Sir Roderick Murchison, in his annual address. In 1874 and 1882 Mr. McKerrow was associated with the British expeditions for the observation of the transit of Venus in New Zealand. In 1884 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London. He was married on August 5th, 1859, at Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, to Miss Martha Dunlop.