Martha Joan Spence who was born on 3rd September 1831 in Lerwick was the seventh of twelve children of William Spence and Jane Green Fea.
She was with her family at Hillhead, Lerwick in 1841 and a visitor at the Tingwall Manse in 1851 with her sister, Philothia Spence.
Martha married Robert Campbell Maclaurin at Cockburnspath in Berwickshire on 18th June 1853. Robert was born on 3rd November 1819 in Berwick on Tweed and was the son of Robert Maclaurin and Catherine Cockburn. He was baptised on 15th November in the Golden Square, Presbyterian Church.
Robert graduated with a BA from Glasgow University and was at Salisbury St, Edinburgh in 1851 with his mother and younger sister, also Catherine Maclaurin. He was at this time a probationary minister with the Church of Scotland.
Martha and Robert stayed initially in Shetland where the six of their children were born with the subsequent children born after moving to Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.
According to the 1871 census, Robert was then an agent for the railway and staying with Martha and some of the family at the Galashiels Railway Station. He was subsequently a teacher.
The family emigrated to New Zealand in 1874.
Robert died on 17th November 1890 in Ohinemuri and was buried in Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland. Martha died on 15th November 1895 at Turanga Creek and was also buried in the Waikumete Cemetery.