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Christchurch, "City of the the Plains," which is some eight miles from Port Lyttelton, in the provincial district of Canterbury, county of Selwyn, nearly on the east coast centre of the Middle or South Island, New Zealand.

Passenger lists for Lyttelton:

  First four ships- cabin passengers "Canterbury Pilgrims"
  Cabin passengers for Lyttelton
  Canterbury Association manifests

  Canterbury Pilgrims & Early Settlers Assoc. Ship info, lists & school rolls (offsite)
  South Canterbury arrivals
  Lyttelton Arrivals Denise & Peter's lists (offsite)
  Ships to Port of Lyttelton (offsite)



Library resources Christchurch, Lyttelton, Banks Pensisula.

Lyttelton Harbour, a drowned volcanic cone on the east coast, is the port to the largest South Island city, Christchurch, which is minutes away by road or rail.  Christchurch has been an important trade centre on the fertile Canterbury Plains which extend south towards Timaru.  Lyttelton was gazetted an official port-of-entry on 30th August 1849 and was renamed nine years later in honour of Lord George Lyttelton, chairman of the Canterbury Association.  It was known as Port Cooper in the 1830s and appears as Port Victoria on a map of 1849.  Edward Gibbon Wakefield and J.R. Godley formed the Canterbury Association to establish an Anglican settlement on the Canterbury Plains. Godley Head on the left commands views of the Lyttelton Harbour entrance. Facing the rising sun, sheer 150m cliffs tower from the Pacific Ocean. The Head was renamed in honour of John Godley, the co-founder of the Canterbury Association and a leader of the Canterbury Province. Early Canterbury surveyors recognised the headland's strategic position, setting it aside in 1852 for defence and signalling purposes. Between 1850 and 1855 Godley Head and all the land east of Taylors Mistake was declared a reserve by the Canterbury Provincial Council. Reflecting on the Canterbury settlement at a later date Crater Rim.  school attendence 

Pre-adamite settler
Someone who settled in Canterbury before the First Four Ships, that is, before 16th December 1850. They became self-sufficient farmers, exporting produce to Wellington and even Sydney.  The Pre-adamite file is held at the Canterbury Public Library, the Canterbury Museum, the Hocken Library, Dunedin and the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, contains some biographical information and then detail of where more information can be obtained. Families include: Hay, Sinclair, Deans, Mason, Gebbies.

In mid 1842 William Deans sailed the length of the east coast of the South Island in the cutter Brothers which, under the command of Captain James Bruce, served the southern whaling stations. It is likely that during this journey Captain Bruce brought Deans to Port Levy, where he heard of the plains beyond the Port Hills. Phillip Ryan, a one-time whaler living at Port Levy, later recalled that Deans, Bruce and he went by whaleboat some distance up the or Otakaro River (Avon River) and then overland through swamp. Climbing on to Ryan's shoulders, Deans sighted the bush called  Putaringamotu and exclaimed, "That will do for me! I will make it my home."

William and John Deans, farmers, settled at Riccarton Bush about 1843. They named the Avon after a river in their native Scotland.  William Deans arrived at Port Nicholson in January 1840 aboard the 'Aurora' their farm workers the Gebbies. John Gebbie born c. 1813 in Loudoun, Ayrshire, wife, Maria, and son. John Deans had arrived at Nelson on the Thomas Harrison on 25 October 1842 with the Samuel & Jean Manson family, farm workers. Samuel Mason b. 25 May 1815, Riccarton, Ayrshire, arrived NZ Feb 1840, d. 18 April 1890 in NZ.  In May 1845 after their term with the Deans expired the Gebbies and Manson's took up land at the head of Lyttelton harbour - the Manson's on the west and Gebbies to the east. John Gebbie died on the farm 16 March 1851. Maria and with her six children managed the farm.  Today the valley and pass is known as Gebbie's Flat / Gebbies Pass. An area near Governors Bay is known as Manson's Peninsula.  The Deans family lived in the cottage until March 1856. Riccarton Bush was a stand of indigenous forest visible on the Canterbury Plains when the Deans arrived and before John died in 1851 in the cottage from TB he had the foresight to ask his wife to preserve the bush and she had the dedication to do so, and did not sell the land or cut the trees.

Taranaki Herald, 11 April 1905, Page 5
Christchurch, April 10. The owners of Riccarton bush  till that remains of the forest which once; existed in the vicinity of this city  have agreed upon the conditions upon which they are prepared to dispose of it for a public reserve. The bush, which is in its natural state and covers fifteen acres, is within three miles of the city.

Poverty Bay Herald, 31 March 1914, Page 6
The Mayor of Christchurch last week announced that the Deans family had offered to the people of Canterbury the famous Riccarton bush, situated about two miles from Christchurch: It was selected by John Deans as a homestead site, in the early forties, years before the Canterbury pilgrims arrived. In a canoe, he proceeded up the Avon, and landed at Riccarton. He named both the river and the bush. Since that early time it has remained in possession of the family. Today there stands sixteen acres of virgin bush the only, surviving portion of the forest that at one time covered Canterbury. In it there are over 300 species of plants, trees, and shrubs, and the conditions of the gift ensure that it will be kept for all time for the preservation of native trees and shrubs.

Evening Post, 8 April 1914, Page 2
A resolution was passed thanking Mrs. John Deans for her splendid gift of the Riccarton Bush to the people of New Zealand.

At Deans Bush, Riccarton, Christchurch. 28 Oct. 2009  At Deans Bush, Riccarton, Christchurch, 28 Oct. 2009.

New Zealand Tablet, 31 January 1890, Page 17
Christchurch, January 28. Lately I visited Riccarton bush, situate on Mr. John Deans large and superb estate at Riccarton in which bush I have not been in for perhaps twenty-eight years, since the days of my earliest youth. Mr. Deans overseer kindly gave me permission to enter the bush. The bush covers from forty to fifty acres of land. In the early days this forest was a useful and well-known land mark, and one that could be seen miles away on the then treeless plains. Some of the native trees have been cut down, but their places have been filled with Australian and European trees. The bush is therefore as large as formerly, and, moreover, a fair portion of the original forest remains. In some places the underwood is to dense that I lost myself in it for a few minutes. Most of the larger native trees are black pines, and many of these must be several centuries old. These pines tower to a great height, are old looking, covered with moss, and, with the exception of an umbrella-shaped tuft at the top, are branchless. The roots of some of the pines extend far, and in some cases, there is several yards from the tree, a huge solid root formation two to three feet high. There are also a few ancient and stately matipoes of the large leaved variety, and the small and exquisitely beautiful leaved kind abounds in the underwood. The ground occupied by the bush was once in some places swampy, but these parts have been drained and are now dry, at any rate at this season. The tree tops are alive with sparrows. Altogether my visit of about an hour's duration to the bush, now in some respects a mere antique of the plains, recalled many and various old memories.

William Fox, watercolour, January 1851, Dean's property Riccarton. Hocken Library.

The Star 19 June 1902. Obit. John Deans. Mr Deans was the only son of the late Mr John Deans who had established himself on the site of the Riccarton Estate before the arrival of the Canterbury Pilgrims in the historical four ships. Mr Deans was educated at the original High School (West Christchurch school). Mr Deans was in his fiftieth year, married a daughter of Mr R. G. Park, civil engineer, Wellington, who, with his mother, survives him, as well as a family of one daughter and seven sons.

Children of Catherine Edith (nee Park) and John Deans had 12 children in 16 years:
         Deans Marion
1880 Deans John III
1884 Deans Robert George     d. 1908 All Black, he scored 16 tries while on tour of the UK in 1905 [Bob] buried Addington age 24 of appendicitis
1883 Deans Jane Edith            
1885 Deans James                    m. Miss Holsworth
1886 Deans Catherine             d. Oct. 17 1901
1889 Deans William
1891 Deans Alexander
1892 Deans Douglas
1894 Deans Colin                     m. Barbara Williams
1896 Deans Violet                    d. 15 Feb. 1901, age 5. buried Addington Cem. Circle 3A
1898 Deans Stuart Maxwell [Max]

At Deans Bush, Riccarton, Christchurch.

Evening Post, 20 January 1911, Page 9
The death is announced at the age of eighty-seven years of Mrs. Jane Deans, widow of the late Mr. John Deans, of Riccarton, and one of the pioneers of the Canterbury settlement. Mrs. Deans (telegraphs our Christchurch correspondent) was the eldest daughter of Mr. James M'Ilraith, of Auchenflower, Ayrshire, Scotland. It was in Ayrshire that they met. Mr. Deans, who was born in the same province. Mr. Deans, with his brother, Mr. William Deans, came to Canterbury in 1843, about eight years before the arrival of the first four ships there. The brothers went out into the wilderness and settled at Riccarton, where they began farming operations and where the family has resided ever since. In 1851 Mr. William Deans loft his life in a wreck near Cape Terawhiti, and in the following year Mr. John Deans returned to Scotland, married Mrs. Deans and brought her to Canterbury in February, 1853. I She went at once to the Riccarton farm. During her long residence there of fifty eight years she was well known for her hospitality to all who visited her home. In the early days especially, when, the province was sparsely settled and when social functions amongst the settlers were thoroughly enjoyed, Mrs. Deans' qualities were highly valued and appreciated. Her association with the rise of Canterbury made her an historical figure in the province. In later years, when the old methods had passed away and when a generation had arisen which lived a somewhat different life from that of the pioneers, she was ready to talk of the former days and of the trials and difficulties that had to be dealt with as well as of the lighter side of things, and her reminiscences were always interesting. She had only one child, Mr. John Deans, who was born in 1853 and who died in 1902. Her husband died in 1854.

In memory of Jane wife of John Deans, Riccarton, born at Auchenflower, Ayrshire, Scotland, April 21st 1824, arrived in New Zealand, 1852. Died at Riccarton Jan. 9th 1911, aged 87.
Greatly beloved for her many her many virtues, she lived a noble Christian life and left behind her behind her a gracious and enduring memory. Erected as a tribute of respect and affection by Ayrshire friends in Canterbury. At Barbados Street Cemetery. A brother of Jane Deans, George McIlraith died in 1858 aged 20, was killed by a fall from a horse, was the first person to be buried there. The Deans were Presbyterians. The family plot started before Bishop Harper consecrated the Anglican section at Barbados Street Cemetery. That is why you find the later Deans at the Addington Cemetery.

The Deans of Riccarton House - Rob Dally
Rob Dally, an engineer by profession, oversaw the extensive repair process of Riccarton House. Rob and his wife, Jan, have published a book Riccarton House Earthquake Book, a copy of which was given to everybody who worked on the restoration. The restoration process was painstakingly researched and implemented. Wallpapers in the William Morris and Sanderson style were recreated in Wellington from original pieces. A Lyttelton potter replicated chimneys and a UK trained stonemason rebuilt stonework from photos to name but a few of the sympathetic renovations. For strength the chimneys have steel columns similar to power pylons on the inside but only bricks can be seen on the outside. The contents claim for earthquake damage only amounted to $10,000 and this was mostly for clocks. Riccarton House was the first house in Christchurch to have electric power and inside flushing toilets. Power was generated from a water wheel and dam in the Avon River close to Boys High. Renowned landscape artist, the late Austen Deans was born at the house.

William & Mary TOD from Scotland arriving in Wellington first then Canterbury in the 1840s. They worked for the Deans brothers before moving to their own farm in what is now Fendalton, then Lincoln where they farmed for the next 40 odd years.

The Anglican Settlement of Canterbury was the fruit of two ideas, the one held by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the other by John Robert Godley, a Protestant Irishman. Irish poverty pointed to a need.  In 1847 Wakefield sought Godley's help to promote the other Canterbury.  In 1849 Captain Joseph Thomas, surveyor to the Canterbury Association, began preparations for the arrival of the colonists and brought with him to the site of Lyttelton workmen, Maori and Pakeha, from the North Island including assistant surveyor Edward Jollie, mapped streets. When the First Four Ships arrived at Lyttelton in December 1850 they found that Canterbury was already home to hundreds of people. The settlement had a fine harbour, few Maoris, absence of rival land claims, the vast expanse of grassland easy to plough and sparsely timbered.  No other colonial venture ever started so smoothly or progressed so fast. In the first three years 3,000 settlers were brought in, in 1851 self-government was granted, and the colony was already financially self-supporting; in 1856 the guarantees advanced by members of the corporation had all been paid off. Farming has often been an extractive industry rather than husbandry, and soil erosion is part of the price paid for overstocking, excessive burning and the rabbit pest.

Situated on the south side of Banks Peninsula is Akaroa Harbour, another deep crater, where the French established a colony 1840. Banks Peninsula was in honour of the botanist on the Endeavour Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820)  cemetery 1856

Avon weeping willows Oct. 2009

Star  26 May 1908, Page 3 HISTORICAL LANDMARKS. 
VISITED BY OLD COLONISTS. A number of old colonists assembled in Hagley Park yesterday afternoon for the purpose of locating several historical spots in the park. The changes wrought by the past forty or fifty years have made it difficult to identify some of the 6pbts intimately associated with the early history of the province, and the Old Colonists' Association had decided to drive pegs at several places in order that the location of these spots might not be lost altogether. The pegs were numbered, and it is proposed to place in the museum a plan of the ground, giving further information for the use of people who may desire to search out the pegs. The old colonists present included Mesdames Ireland (nee Lough, ship Matouka, 1860), Hitchins (Strathallen, 1859), and Chick (nee Sarah Hill, Charlotte Jane, 1850), and Messrs J. Harper (Charlotte Jane), W. H. Denne (Isabella Hercus), R. M. Cresswell (George Seymour), G. R. Hart (Cressy), A. E. Taylor (Joseph Fletcher), W. Harrington (Samarang), Englebrecht (Bosworth), A. R. Kirk, J. Carter (Mystery), and J. Lough (arrived in 1858). The first spot visited was the site of the huts erected in the early days by Messrs Bowen, Williams and others. This spot lies just past the bend in the river north of the United Club's bowling pavilion and opposite the site of the island that once existed in the river. The island has become part of the south bank, owing to one of the channels of the river having filled. A peg was driven at the foot of a tree at this point by Mr J. Harper, vice-president of the Old Colonists' Association. The old colonists then proceeded down the river-bank to the site of the first bakery used in the province. This was on the river bank close to where a bend of the Avon fringes the Riccarton Road. The bakery was owned by Mr Inwood and from it bread was supplied to the pioneers who had started the work of building a province and a city. A hole had been cut in the bank and the oven built into this, the roof projecting a little way above the surface. Since then the river-bank has been filled tip to some extent so that the traces of the oven are lost, but it is related that the roof was broken in away back in the early days by a horse which essayed to walk over it and fell through. Another peg was placed at this spot. Across the Riccarton Road, on the banks of the small creek that crosses at the dip midway between the Hospital and the Plough Inn, the old colonists pointed out the site of the homes erected in 1851 by settlers who came to the province in the early ships and also the Castle Eden. The names of Philpott, Patrick, Hill and Quaife were mentioned in this connection. The creek was at that time considerably larger than it is to-day, with high banks, and the Deans Brothers, who had their home near the bush now known as Deans' Bush, used to navigate it with a small boat, in which stores were carried. Two pegs were placed at this spot, one on each side of the creek. Finally the old colonists visited the site of the Bricks "Wharf, on the riverbank just above the bridge opposite the Star and Garter Hotel. Boats used to come up the Avon bringing goods and stores to the young town in the early days, and they were discharged at this wharf. Several settlers had their temporary homes, mere "dug-outs" roofed with flax-Sticks and "cutting grass," along the river-bank close to this spot.

This ramp to facilitate the watering of horses was built in December 1874. Avon, 2009, October
On the riverbank in Victoria Square, just below the Armagh Street bridge. Horse watering ramp built in 1874.

Taranaki Herald, 11 June 1859, Page 3
We have Canterbury papers to the 1st instant, from which we extract the following : -
The Victory, one of Willis's line of ships under charter to convey immigrants to this province, arrived on Saturday night, with so little fuss of preparation or announcement, that not all the town knew of the arrival till the next morning. She brings an addition of just 200 souls to the population of the province, and has landed them in good health and condition. The voyage of the Victory extended over 104 days from anchorage to anchorage. - Lyttelton Times, May 18.
    The William Watson, a smart barque of 500 tons and one specially a favorite in Auckland, where she has frequently traded, arrived on Sunday morning last. The account of her voyage is rather lamentable. She left Newcastle on the 27th ultimo, with a cargo of live stock, consisting of 150 heifers, 40 mares, and 800 sheep. Moderate breezes and cloudy weather were experienced till the 2nd inst., during which time 3 heifers, 5 sheep, and 2 horses died. On the 2nd, fell in with strong breezes from the south-south-west, which freshened with squalls and a heavy sea, shipping water over all. On the 5th and 6th the weather grew worse, with a tremendous sea getting up, the vessel labouring heavily, and shipping a great quantity of water, requiring continued pumping. A number of the sheep were drowned, and others died from being trampled on ; several horses also perished. On the 7th the wind shifted to the westward, and the gale continued to rise ; the sheep on deck were washing about, those below were drowning, and most of the horses and cattle were down. The decks were then cleared of the sheep and fittings. The same day a heavy sea broke on board and did considerable damage. On the 8th, the gale began to moderate, when the opportunity was taken to clear out the dead animals from below. That day, land (Cape Farewell) was sighted ; and for the rest of the passage, moderate breezes and occasional squalls were experienced, the cattle and horses continuing to die by twos and threes. When Lyttelton was reached on the 15th 50 heifers, 28 mares, and all the sheep but six were lost! All who know Captain Macfarlane and his ship will agree that it was through no fault of either that the unfortunate result was occasioned. - Ibid.

Otago Witness May 9 1863
The first locomotive engine for New Zealand intended for the Lyttelton and Christchurch Railway, arrived at Lyttelton on the 27th ultomo from Melbourne.

The Star Tuesday 11th December 1894 page 2
Lyttelton is situated in lat. 43.37 south, long. 172.44 east, and the difference of time between Lyttelton and Christchurch is 20 sec. 
    The time-ball is dropped every week day at 1 p.m., New Zealand mean time, which is equivalent to 18.30 Greenwich mean time of the previous day, being calculated for 172 deg. 30 min. east long., and 11 hours 30 min fast of Greenwich mean time.

Lyttelton Harbour 1863 from the Bridle Path.

The Land of the Golden Fleece and Jam-pot by George Augustus Sala - 
Otago Witness
Saturday January 2 1886 page 14.
Port Lyttelton, formerly called Port Cooper and occasionally spoken of as Port Victoria. The town has a magnificent harbour, walled in by precipitous hills. In 1848, Captain Thomas, chief surveyor, with his two assistants, sailed for New Zealand with instructions to survey the Canterbury land, and set things in order for the arrival of the colonist and in September 1849 he wrote Home to Lyttelton:_ "We have now over 110 men at work on surveys, roads, and buildings. Lyttelton resembles a country village in England, such is its decency, its order, its regularity, and sobriety. By Christmas we hope to complete the trigonometrically survey of half a million acres, and surveys and maps of Christchurch and the town at the mouth of the Avon." 

Lyttelton very quickly grew into a thriving little town; a rough-and -ready shanty public-house was superseded by an hotel, to be afterwards known as the Mitre; and a weekly newspaper, called the Lyttelton Times - was started by Mr Shrimpton, and edited by Mr J.E. Fitzgerald. The Union Bank of Australia and the London and Liverpool Insurance Company opened branches at the Port; auctioneers, lawyers, storekeepers, and commission merchants appeared on the scene; and by New Year's Day, 1852, 19 vessels had arrived out from England, bringing 3000 souls, besides a multitude of other craft from other parts of New Zealand and Australia. Two thousand five hundred acres of freehold land had been purchased and fenced, and pasturage runs to the extent of 400,000 acres had been taken up for stock.  The quantity of jam consumed by persons of all ages is simply astounding. At every meal a cut-glass saucer full of jam may be confidently reckoned upon to make its appearance; 

The "pilgrims" were the original settlers sent out under the auspices of the Canterbury Association. The "prophets" were the sheep farmers from Port Phillip, or Victoria who otherwise rejoiced in, or had conferred on them at this present writing "starring" in Canterbury  the presumably disparaging epithet of " Phagroons." These pastoral people invaded the peaceful Canterbury settlement, and were regarded by the decorous Anglican colonists partly with admiration as Shepherd Kings who had already worked wonders at Port Phillip, and partly with a kind of pious horror as disbelievers of the "Canterbury system," But happily, as it turned out, the Canterbury pasturage system was quickly adapted to the requirements of sheep-farming on a large scale, and the "pilgrims" and the "prophets" were soon merged into one class as Canterbury runholders. The ballad  below goes on to tell how the prophet bred up his flock, defying ravenous dogs and sheep-worry parrots, scab and catarrh, till he found himself in a position to sing.

"Pilgrims and Prophets"
published August 1851 in the Lyttelton Times
written by Crosbie Ward

Gaily the pilgrim harnessed his plough,
When he had built a roof o'er his head,
Singing, "From Albion hither I come,
Land of mine, land of mine, grow me some bread."

Proudly the prophet flourished his crook
When he had landed his sheep from the west,
Singing, 'From Phillipland hither I come,
Silly man! silly man! wool pays the best,'

Quickly the prophet bred up his flock
As he defied dogs, scab, and catarrah:
Singing,  "To Phillipland back shall I go,hither I come,
When they no longer need 'baccy and tar."

Slowly the pilgrim had been toiling his crop
And soon he was sending his golden wheat to the mill
Singing "For ever shall this be my shop,
Shepherd man! Shepherd man! go if you will!"

Shortly the pilgrim agreed that
 "The plough and the crook couldn't far live apart," 
so they sang de capo, 
Singing "Together we'll tend and we'll till,;
"Shepherd man!, Farmer man! keep a good heart!"

Lastly, the good men avoided a "smash,"
Whether to shear or to reap was their aim;
Singing, with cheers from the plains to the hills,
"Pilgrim! and prophets! be one and the same!"

Evening Post, 4 August 1896, Page 2
The large attendance of the public at the funeral of the late Mr. J. E. FitzGerald yesterday amply testified to the widespread respect in which he was held as a statesman, a citizen, and a public servant. As the procession walked towards St. Mark's Church from the deceased's late residence the bell was tolled solemnly. The body, which was enclosed in a beautiful mottled kauri casket covered with wreaths, was carried into the church. The body was buried alongside that of Mr. FitzGerald's late son-in-law, Mr. W. H. Levin, Archdeacon Fancourt and the Rev. R. Coffey officiating at the grave. The chief mourners were Messrs. G. FitzGerald, of Timaru (brother of the deceased), Rev. L. FitzGerald, of Auckland, and Messrs. G. FitzGerald and E. FitzGerald (sons), and C. J. Cooper (nephew). Messrs. J. C. Gavin (Assistant Controller- General), P. P. Webb, L. C. Roskruge, W. Dodd, and E. J. A. Stevenson acted as pall-bearers. Through an unfortunate miscarriage in the Telegraph Department, Mr. J. P. Brandon, Manager of the Masterton Branch of the Bank of New Zealand, who was a son-in-law of the deceased, did not receive the intimation of his death until 9.30 yesterday, hence his inability to reach Wellington in time for the funeral. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. G. Tiller.

Otago Witness 19 December 1895, Page 12 J. E. FITZGERALD.
JAMES EDWARD FITZGERALD was born at Bath in 1818. He took his degree at Cambridge in 1842, and afterwards entered the British Museum as an assistant in the department of antiquities. He took an active interest in the scheme for founding the Canterbury Settlement, writing and lecturing on its behalf. He left England in one of the " first four ships," arriving at Lyttelton in December, 1850. Under his editorship the Lyttelton Times made its first appearance on January 1 1 following, and he continued to edit it for two years. In 1853 he was elected under the newly granted constitution to be the first superintendent of the province of Canterbury, a position which he held for four years. He also represented Lyttelton in the first Parliament of New Zealand, taking office as Premier. In 1857 he returned to the Home Country, and acted for three years as agent for the Province. On his return lie re-entered Parliament, representing Akaroa, and in 1565 he succeeded Mr. Mantell as Native Minister. Soon afterwards he retired from active public life, and then received the post of Comptroller-General and Auditor-General, which he has held since to the great advantage of the country. In 1870 he was created a C.M.G. Mr. FitzGerald is of varied and extensive acquirements, an eloquent speaker, and a man of high honour  one of the fast disappearing race of old colonists, of whom New Zealand may well be proud.

CHCH Arts Centre Oct. 2009



Christchurch bibliograpghy
Imprints - Fragments of Canterbury history - photographic collection
Christchurch streets named after
The Story of Christchurch
The Weekly Press Canterbury Jubilee Edition 15 December 1900 100pp
Ashburton history wayback
Methven history wayback 

The newspaper The Canterbury Times of January 10th 1895 was the 'Anniversary Number' 1851 -1895. Contained a specially written account, fully illustrated, of the Settlement and progress of Canterbury, compiled from the narratives of prominent Pioneers. Includes:
Arrival in Lyttelton
First Sight of the Plains
Famous Pioneers
Old Identities
Early Struggles
Success and Repose

Amodeo, Colin Forgotten Forty-Niners/
Colin Amodeo with research colleague Ron Chapman. Caxton Press. 2003.  236 pg.,  with over 100 illustrations, sketches and maps plus 34 full-colour plates. Covers the years 1849-1850 in Canterbury and the difficulties as well as the triumphs of the men and women who were the true founders of the new colony, Christchurch.  ISBN: 0908563957  The book  is about the people who were in Lyttelton in 1848-49, building barracks, beginning roads and jetties etc. for the new arrivals,  who then went on to live in tents etc. as they built their  homes. Many of the 49ers were brought over from Hobart Town, Australia, and Amodeo includes short bios of each: some ex convicts, ex India Army, Irish, names of accompanying spouses, etc. locations of gravestones, footnotes, sources. Gives an excellent insight into the hardships and the time frame these went on for before anything like comfort was accomplished. e.g.

Devonshire born Cornish miner - Robert Rogers Nankivell landed Wellington 1840 from the Bolton with wife Elizabeth and five children . Surveyor , builder, repairer; later purchased a theodolite and became a contract surveyor . . .

Former London drapery apprentice -William Pratt for six years had submitted to the prison-like conditions then prevailing, working 7am to 10pm 5 days a week and one hour less, Saturdays . . . his Christchurch staff went home at 6pm. Other drapers followed his example, ironmongers copied them.

Bohan, Edmund, Blest Madman 369 pp, illustrated;  April 1998. A biography of one a large and handsome Irish aristocrat, James Edward FitzGerald. He was an essayist, poet, artist, journalist, civil servant, politician, orator, singer and inspirational lecturer. First editor of the Lyttelton Times, Canterbury's first Superintendent, founder of The Press,  His great speeches on Maori political rights rank among the greatest parliamentary orations of our history. He was one of Canterbury's most illustrious and energetic colonists.

British Empire Gazette. Christchurch, NZ : Nash and Speechly, 1864 9 v. ; 33 cm.  A series of nine issues concerning the voyage of "The British Empire." Motto: "Veritas vincit omnia" printed under title. Apparently printed from a MSS copy which was circulated on board. Original in the Rex Nan Kivell Collection, National Library of Australia  Ship newspaper. Volumes:  No. 1 (July 2, 1864)-no. 9 (Saturday Aug. 27, 1864)  printed with supplement. NZ Research Room, Christchurch City Libraries has a photocopy.

Canterbury Museum Shipping lists to places out side Canterbury 1872 1878 Assisted passengers only NZ Collection, Canterbury Public Library

Christchurch City Libraries, Christchurch, NZ 1967. Immigrant ships to Canterbury, 1853 1885. 17 pp Passenger Lists

Canterbury passenger lists, 1850 1875 are indexed at the Canterbury Museum.  Newspaper lists, 1850 1880, are in the Alexander Turnbull Library's Early Shipping Days.

Fraser, Lyndon, A.  To Tara via Holyhead : Irish Catholic immigrants in nineteenth century Christchurch /  Auckland University Press, 1997 208p.

Genealogical Society. "Mary Shepherd" List of assisted immigrants to Canterbury on the "Mary Shepherd." 1953. Book. The Mary Shepherd, 920 tons, sailed from London 12 May, 1873 and arrived Lyttelton 20 August. She  made four voyages to Auckland and one voyage to Lyttelton. Christchurch City Libraries
NZ Collection Article   Bookmark Aug. 1998 wayback

List of assisted immigrants to Canterbury per the "Mary Shepherd", 12 May 1873 FHL catalog
sketch White Wings

Kennaway, Laurence James, 1834 1904. 1874 Biscuit and butter : a colonist's shipboard fare ; the journal / kept by William & Laurence Kennaway on the emigrant ship Canterbury, London to Lyttelton, 1851 edited by R.C. Lamb and R.S. Gormack. Kennaway, William, b.1833. Christchurch : Nag's Head Press, 1973. 110 pp

Kennaway, L. J. Crusts : a settler's fare due south /  Facsimile reprint of the edition: London : Sampson Low, Marston, Low, & Searle, 1874 Christchurch : Capper Press, 1984.  Describes taking up of their runs, but he disguised names and places. 'Bracken Hills' is Clayton Station, South Canterbury.   Bookfinder

Morris, Heather & Hafslund, Barbara.  New Zealand assisted passenger list 1855 1871 [4 microfiches ] : from here to there/  [Burpengary, Qld. : H. Morris & B. Hafslund, 1994] Ships into Lyttelton sometimes Timaru"   Frame 3. Available from H. Morris & B. Hafslund, PO.Box 257, Burpengary, Queensland, Australia. ISBN:   0646195220

Ogilvie, Gordon. Pioneers of the Plains. About the Deans brothers.

Passages to Canterbury In the New Zealand Collection, Christchurch City Libraries

Pearce, Mary Penrose & Walker, Elder David. Early settlers of Canterbury, South Island, N.Z. who arrived in the first four ships 1937. Contains lists of pioneers aboard the Charlotte Jane, Randolph, Sir George Seymour and the Cressy, copied from Canterbury Jubilee Celebrations. 30 leaves.

Passenger lists from foreign ports to Canterbury 1855 - 1871.  Microfilm (5 reels) of manuscripts (handwritten) at the ArchivesNZ  in Wellington, NZ.  Includes index. LDS film # 0287464 Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961. Includes the "Isabella Hercus" list.

Hillary, J. H. (John H.) Westland : journal of John Hillary, emigrant to New Zealand, 1879 Sculthorpe, Norfolk : Acorn Editions, c1979 111pp Plymouth to Lyttelton with quarantine. At National Library of NZ.

Westland: Journal of John Hillary, Emigrant to New Zealand, 1879; Hillary, J. H. UK: Acorn Editions, Norfolk, 1979 First Edition hard cover in dust wrapper. John H. Hillary introduces his grandfather's journal of the Hillary family's exciting voyage in the clipper ship Westland to a new life in New Zealand in 1879. An interesting account of the enticement of the Hilary family from a small northern English town, Tow Law, in Durham to the promised opportunities of New Zealand and of their return in disillusionment several months later having failed to find work or any of the promised riches aboard the John Elder. 111pps with illustrations. maps. passenger list

"The diary of John Hillary written on the occasion of his journey with his family under sail to New Zealand, their stay in NZ, and their return by steamer." Hillary came out to NZ on the 'Westland', landed and stayed for a couple of months in Lyttelton area but returned to England as their was no work to be had in the depressed economic climate of the time.

Thought some of you might like to see these passages from a book based on an emigrants experiences on the outward voyage to NZ in 1879. They describe five days that were spent at the emigration depot in Plymouth, Devon whilst awaiting embarkation orders and give a good insight into the conditions at such places leading, at times, to the reasons why so many travellers succumbed to disease and death on the voyages. extract

Saturday, 22 November 1879
Were met at the station by an agent and conducted to the depot where at first sight our hearts almost failed us. Imagine about 300, chiefly Irish and Scotch, many of them of the lowest type, all messing in one room, ten at each table. When Mess tickets were given out we ran to thekitchen below for 1  loaves of bread with a piece of butter on a plate and a can of tea, or if at dinner time a flat brown dish with a partition, having meat on one side and unpeeled potatoes on the other. After mess we had to wash up, wash tables down, sweep up crumbs and put forms upon tables and walk out into the enclosed yard, or sit in this one room amidst concertina playing, singing, shouting, whistling, stamping, screaming babies and all the hideous noises by which people could disturb each other, and make the place more like hell. The food was good and plentiful all things considered and the rooms and beds clean, but so narrow were the stalls, the married peoples' being only 3ft. wide, that it was exceedingly difficult to alter your position during the night or turn over, and for couples of larger proportions I should say impossible. We had to back out feet foremost.

Sunday, 23 November 1879
After breakfast a few others went with me to a splendid new Wesleyan chapel and heard the Rev Mr. Banham from Bristol, who was preaching mission sermons. Afternoon we had a walk through the streets of the town and along the quay the weather being beautifully fine. Returning before 5 o'clock we were made prisoners and allowed no more outside the depot walls until we take s government of England strictly enforces sanitary measures upon its towns and villages, why then is this place not inspected ? Four hundred breathing the vitiated air of one room, 100 sleeping in one bedroom, only one stove to which poor starving people can go, and that covered by babies linen, which mothers are trying in vain to dry, WC is filthy, no comfort. If you go near the stove the arbitrary officials drive you away, indeed the treatment is that of warders to prisoners, civilities are out of the question. The majority of emigrants are of low class and need strict discipline, but there are a number of respectable people who turn from such treatment with tears in their eyes, or looks which say "is Thy servant a dog?" If this place has not sown the seed of disease among these two ships passengers it will be well.

Monday, 24 November 1879
This day was employed in examining boxes and was one of confusion. Many having brought feather beds in their luggage had to sell them for a small advanced upon nothing.

Tuesday, 25 November 1879
All passed an examination before the doctor in the depot surgery. In the evening the Rev Mr Barnes, Chaplain of Plymouth, came and conducted a service and with his Lady?s assistance supplied us poor dark emigrants with some tracts. He also considerably diluted his address that it might be adapted to our weak capacities. The Irish made a lot of derisive noises outside. Had a busy afternoon lading all the luggage upon a barge to send down to the ship which is waiting in Plymouth Sound.

Wednesday, 26 November 1879
All were ordered to pack up immediately after dinner, and passing in families before the doctor again and receiving contract tickets we walked
through the gate to the steamer lying beside the depot wall, and in a short time were put on board the ?Westland? in Plymouth Sound.

The Lyttelton Times: Volume1, No. 1 was published Saturday, January 11, 1851 and contains  "Voyages of the first four ships.  Accounts of passages by passengers".  Eight pages. Page 1 Advertisements Editorial: Part One   Part Two. (images 43 & 135K)  The shipping news section of "The Lyttelton Times" carried passengers names until about 1888.  For holdings, check the Union Catalogue of NZ Periodicals (available at main libraries).  12 years later. The Lyttelton Times is on microfilm at the Central Library, Christchurch  Public Library. National Library of Australia catalogue
Marriage Notices Lyttelton Times 1851 1880 NZSG 3 fiche
Lyttelton Times 1851 1865: Extracts of Births & Deaths NZSG 2 fiche

Rathgen, David, Lyttelton shipping list : 1890 1891 / Camberwell, Vic.: 1998. As reported in the Press.

Reed, A. H. The Story of Canterbury : Last Wakefield Settlement. Wellington, 1949, AH & AW Reed. 326pp

Scotter, W. H., A History of Port Lyttelton, Christchurch: Whitcombe & Toombs Ltd. 1968

Wilkinson  M.B.  South Canterbury's Early Settlers and Immigrants,   1990. 58 pages.  List of early settlers and immigrants 1850s and 1860s.   Appendix immigrant and passenger vessels up to 1884.  A South Canterbury Historical Publication 1990.  Includes photographs of early Timaru and these vessels: S.S. Maori, S.S. Beautiful, S.S. Bruce, Opawa, Soukar, Merope and the Strathallan.

Acland Family Mt Peel Station

Theses at the New Zealand Collection, Central Library, 87-91 Peterborough St. Christchurch opened 19 Dec. 2011 dealing with immigration.

MacDonald, Charlotte. Single women as immigrant settlers in New Zealand, 1853 1871 / 1986 University of Auckland.
O'Regan, Pauline, The control of immigration into Canterbury during the period 1853 1870. 1953
Schwarz, Carolyn J. The female emigrants of the Canterbury Association and their role in Wakefield's theory of systematic colonization / 1993
Robin Henry Immigration into Canterbury under the Provincial government.  1963.

Libraries & Museums 
A little fossicking in the Public Library will reveal a new world to. many people.

New Zealand National Register of Archives includes Canterbury Museum holdings. Christchurch is worth a visit!

Christchurch City Libraries website
Tūranga, the new central library, opened its doors on 12 October 2018 will be the place to go for researchers, especially those needing Māori and Family History resources e.g. church registers index, the Aotearoa NZ, Maori and local Government collections, topographical maps for trampers. See Bev.'s site.  It is located at 60 Cathedral Square (on the corner of Gloucester and Colombo Streets). Tūranga (Central Library) their family history / local history / genealogy / identity floor � Floor 2.

General inquiries to
Phone +64 3 941 7923 contact
Local History Fact Files
The Christchurch Library has an excellent genealogical section up in its Identity Centre, level 2 - the New Zealand Collection within the
Christchurch Cities Libraries. Genealogical research service Christchurch City Libraries will undertake genealogical research for a fee.
Hours: Monday-Friday 9.00am-8pm (ground floor 8am to 8pm); Saturday & Sunday 10.00am-5.00pm
NZ Room Holdings: Church Register Index; Tombstone Inscriptions; Electoral Rolls and Directories; Passenger lists; Newspapers including some indexes; School, Parish and local Jubilee booklets; early maps; NZ microfiche collections.
Parking is available at all times the library is open by using the Farmers car park, immediately behind the library, with entrance from Oxford Terrace.

Loads of indexes of  local church records. Great for finding extras like witnesses at wedding and christenings.
Holdings: Church Register Index, cemetery inscriptions, obituaries index, electoral rolls & directories, passenger lists (card index), newspapers (Lyttelton Times c.1851 and Press on microfilm) and are indexed, NZ book reference collection, NZ microfiche collections. Registrar General's Index to births, deaths and marriages. It is brilliant.. a card file of early Christchurch families taken from Church registers etc. There is also a large collection of microfiche. 

A Guide to Passenger Lists held in the NZ Collection of Canterbury Public Library. Forty pages in length and tells which 19th century passenger lists for voyages from Europe to this country are held in the New Zealand Collection. It should be noted that none of the material is original, that some lists are incomplete and that, where newspapers are the source, information may appear up to a fortnight after the arrival of the vessel.

Of interest not only for those with families settling in Canterbury, but for descriptions and statistics of accommodation provided for immigrants. Includes sections on Waimate, Geraldine, Temuka, Timaru
'Temporary Quarters: Immigrant Accommodation in Canterbury 1840 - 1876 -Donald A. Chapman (Dec 1999) [in Canterbury section of library and shipping]

Local histories Resources pdf

Canterbury, a colony established as painlessly as colony ever was; an accommodation between man and nature over wide areas of plain and downland; Christchurch, English with neo-Gothic stone, green parks, and always lovely in the spring. The Canterbury Museum and the Botanical Gardens are a must see when you go to Christchurch.

Canterbury Museum
Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch 8001
Hours: 1pm-4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Note not the same hours the museum is open.
ph (03) 366-5000
fax (03) 366-5622
Incorporates the collections of The Library, Manuscripts Department, Pictorial Department. If you are unable to do your own family history research at the Museum, a special family history researcher is available.  Cost: $NZ20 per family name, plus photocopying.
For any family history research enquires contact the Research Centre Reference Desk  staff
Queries about items in the Manuscripts and Archives Collection can be sent to the Curator of Manuscripts
Pictorial (artworks and photographs) enquires - Curator of Pictorial Collections 
Holdings: Macdonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies; J E Horrell Land Records (North Canterbury settlers); Immigrant Shipping Index 1850-88’ Pre-Adamite Index (pre 1850 European settlers); Shipboard diaries; Station diaries; Canterbury Regimental Association and Canterbury Volunteer Forces; Society and Business records; Ngai Tahu material; Chatham Islands material; Map collection; Photograph collections of settlers and place.

Researchers who know a Canterbury passenger's name but not their ship should make first enquiry at the Canterbury Museum (index), the actual newspapers are held on microfilm in the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre's of the Christchurch City Libraries Central library.

 Documentary Research Centre now incorporates the collections of The Library, Manuscripts Department, Pictorial Department. They have over 2 million items in the museum. Remains closed in 2015. Location in Canterbury Museum 
Second floor, if you enter the museum, you go in towards the right, through the early Maori exhibit, the transport hall, up the stairs (or lift) and its on the left at the top of the stairs. Or you could ask at the entrance. The majority of genealogical books are on the first bookshelf and the staff are very helpful.  There is a requested donation for entry to the museum, and no addition fee for the library. Some exhibitions in the museum have a fee. For manuscripts, diaries etc. you make your request, and items are fetched for you (depends how busy they are, about a 10 min wait). You are required to sign in each day, and accept the conditions of use. There are lockers for bags etc. Only pencils may be used (and are provided). They have good resources many of which you can consult yourself - indexes, such as the Macdonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies now online, lots of photos you can sift through of areas, streets, buildings, people; an index of negatives of lots of family portraits taken by an early Canterbury photographer. There was probably more.
In 2005, Jo-Anne Smith, Curator of Manuscripts, is responsible for the collection.

Manuscripts:  Nearly 200 shipboard diaries; farm and station diaries with subject index; Canterbury Association passenger index of arrivals to Lyttelton 1850-88; shipping documents subject index (does not include passenger lists); military related records, press cuttings, educational records, oral history recordings. Lyttelton Shipping Registry
The Library: New Zealand reference book collection, biographical index, G.R. MacDonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies; family histories, Genealogy of the Maori, Ngai Tahu Research Index, Passenger Index of arrivals to Lyttelton 1850-88; W.H.R. Dale Album of Lyttelton Times passenger lists 1850-1888; early electoral rolls and directories, maps collection. J.E. Horrell Land Records (North Canterbury settlers) 1850-1868; Pre-Adamite Index of pre-1850 Settlers;  Canterbury Volunteer Forces Index 1860-1920;  Death index 1867-1915, Ratepayers indexes of pre-1850 settlers. Lyttelton Railroad Tunnel Workers 1861-1867.  "Log Of Logs" 
Pictorial:  portraits with index, photograph collection, architectural drawing collection.
Stamp Collecting
Alpine Collection

Shipping Index
Sample of a page of the shipping index held by the Canterbury Museum:

QUAID 		Alice 		14 Gen.Serv. 	Limerick	Ellen 16 Gen.Serv. Limerick, 'WAIPA' s 4.1.83 a 16.5.83
QUAID 		David 		11 [See O'BRIEN Patrick] 			'WAIPA' s 4.1.83 a 16.5.83
QUAID 		Mary 		27 Gen. Serv. 	Limerick 	Charles 20 Farm Lab., 'HYDASPES' s 10.8.78 a 9.11.78
QUAID 		Mary 		24 farm Serv. 	Kilkenny 	Kyran 15 Lab. Kilkenny 'AMOOR' s 5.4.64 a 1.7.64
QUAID 		Michael 	22 Farm lab.			Mary 30 Serv. Kilkenny 'LADY JOCELYN' s 3.11.74 a 21.1.75
QUAIFE 		John Price 	38 Lab.				Mrs Mary A 33, 1 child (Mary A)	'CRESSY' s 7.9.50 a 27.12.50
QUAIL 		John 		21 Ploughman 	Antrim 				'DUNEDIN' s 6.4.74 a 3.7.74
QUAILE 		Mr. 								'CASHMERE' s 10.6.59 a 11.10.59 Ch. Cab. p.p.
QUALMER 	Henry, wife & son, 						'WAIMATE' s 6.6.77 a.3.9.77
QUALTROUGH 	Margaret 	29 Matron 	Middlesex 			'ROMAN EMPEROR' s 28.9.59 a 27.1.60
QUANE 		Bridget 	40 Dairymaid 	Limerick 	Michael 12, 	'DUKE OF EDINBURGH' s 17.7.74 a 1.11.74
QUARTERMAIN 	Edward 		35 Lab. 	Oxford 		Sarah 41, George 20 Lab. Oxford, Jane 16, Serv. Oxford, Henry 8, Ellen 7, Martha 5, 'CRUSADER' s 25.9.74 a31.12.74
QUARTERMAN 	Henry 		40 Lab. 	Oxford 				'LADY JOCELYN' s 3.11.74 a 21.1.75
QUAYLE 		William 	21 Farm Lab. 	Isle of man [See Misc. File], 	'CAIT LOCK' s 4.2.76 a   9.4.76
QUELEY 		William 	20 lab. 	Waterford 			'TARANAKI' s 4.8.83 a 21.10.83
QUELEY 		Edward 		28 farm Lab. 	Clare 				'RAKAIA' s 7.9.77 a 10.12.77
QUEENAN 	Anne 		23 Gen.Serv. 	Sligo 				'RAKAIA' s 28.5.82 a 3.9.82
QUEENSLEY 	Emily 		20 Housemaid 	Canada 				'TRIUMPH' s 26.9.83 a 26.11.83
QUELCH 		Sarah 		20 Housemaid 	Berminghamshire, 		'STAR OF INDIA' s.26.9.73 a31.12.73
QUICK 		Christopher 	23 Farm Lab. 	Cornwall 			'HEREFORD' s 31.10.77 a 9.1.78
QUICK 		Leonard 	19 Farm Lab. 	Cornwall 	Mary H. 18, 	'WAIKATO' s 1.11.78 a 18.1.79    Lyttelton [Poss. Timaru]
QUICK 		Paul 		39 Farm lab. 	Cornwall 			'RANGITIKI' s.19.7.79 a 24.10.79
QUICK 		Paul 		48 Carpenter 	Cornwall 	[See DALLEY William Henry] 'MERMAID' s 29.9.62 a 26.12.62
QUICK 		Thomas 		38 Farm lab. 	Cornwall 	Elizabeth 38, Maria 19, Elizabeth 19, Annie 17, Mary 15, Sarah 7, Ruth 5, Wilmot 1, 'STADT HAARLIM' s 15.2.79 a 16.4.79
QUICK 		Thomas 		23 Lab. 	Cornwall 	Martha 22, 	'CATHCART' s 10.6.74 a 29.8.74
QUICKFALL 	John 		21 		Lincolnshire, 			'LADY JOCELYN' s.3.11.74 a 21.1.75
QUIGLEY 	Andrew 		43 farm Lab. 	Derry 		Mary 38, Mary E. 19, John 17, Andrew 15, Sarah A. 13, Hugh 10, James 7, William 4, Francis 1mth., 'HEREFORD' s. 6.10.79 a 30.12.79
QUIGLEY 	George 		13 						'CARDIGAN CASTLE' s 30.9.76 a 6.1.77
QUIGLEY 	George 		27 		Waterford 	Ellen 30, Francis 6 mths., 'MEROPE' s 10.5.72 a 3.8.72
QUIGLEY 	Mary A. 	18 Serv. 	Tipperary			'CARDIGAN CASTLE' s 30.9.76 a 6.1.77
QUILL 		Maurice 	20 lab. 	Kerry 				'WAIKATO' s 27.6.75 a 30.10.75.

W.H.R. Dale Album of Lyttelton Times passenger lists 1850-1888

The Dale album refers to vessels arriving between 1850 and 1877 or thereabouts, although there are many omissions plus some extra post-1877 vessels included. The Lyttelton Times ran each article as and when a ship arrived; these were reprinted as a series by The Star between March 1923 and February 1924. In theory it is indexed (poorly), so the Canterbury Museum staff generally advise people to look for the ship they want by the date of its arrival. It runs to almost 200 photocopied pages. The original scrapbook is available to be examined if necessary, although generally people are directed  to the photocopy. The Museum holds other items relating to Dale too. 

William Henry Reynolds Dale
W.R. Dale was born in London in 1854 and emigrated to NZ with his father on board Egmont in 1856. Although he was never a full-time journalist, he wrote many articles for newspapers, and was particularly interested in shipping.  His father became well-known ferrying immigrants across the Heathcote River. William Dale went to Merton School and a high school on Lincoln Road. Dale worked on the Lyttelton Harbour works, and for five years was a coal, timber and firewood merchant.  He also worked for the Lyttelton Wool Store and for the New Zealand Shipping Company for 18 years from 1890. He wrote many newspaper articles, and was a member of several boards and committees. He was also a member of the Pilgrims Association and a Mason. These papers include newspaper cuttings, manuscripts and reminiscences relating to early Christchurch, Heathcote, Ferrymead and shipping.

Press, 8 February 1944, Page 4 MR W. H. R. DALE
Mr W. H. R. Dale, of Worcester street. Christchurch, will celebrate his ninetieth birthday on Thursday. Born in London on February 10, 1854. he sailed two years later with his father for New Zealand in the ship Egmont, and after a voyage of 103 days arrived at Lyttelton. In 1928 he made a visit to England in a 28,000-ton P. and O. liner 'somewhat of a contrast with the vessel of 688 tons in which he had previously travelled, Among the fellow passengers in the Egmont were Bishop Harper. J. M. Heywood, Charles Merton, and members of the Torlesse and Harman families. Later, when living at Rangiora with an aunt, Mr Dale went to Merton's school. When 12 years old he came to Christchurch to attend the High School, in Lincoln road, under Mr David Scott. Three years later he entered the service of the Provincial Government on the Lyttelton harbour works. Mr George Thornton was superintending engineer, Mr Robert Martindale clerk of works, and Mr Samuel Derbidge, foreman. Their first work was in repairing weak places in the tunnel with bricks, and they then lengthened the screw pile jetty (now the steamers' wharf), and others, including Gladstone pier and the high and low breastwork for the further accommodation of vessels. The building of the breakwaters was started by prison labour, but was eventually let by contract to Messrs Hawkins and Company, with Mr Martindale as superintendent, and Mr Derbidge as clerk of works. Mr John Kirkby was then foreman on the eastern breakwater at Officers' Point and Mr W. Vincent was foreman on the western breakwater at Naval Point. Mr Dale was made timekeeper and paymaster, and his duties included the tallying of all timber and piles arriving from New South Wales for the works. When the work was completed, he carried on business as a timber, coal, and firewood merchant at Heathcote for five years, and then entered the service of Messrs Talbot and McClatchie at Lyttelton to take charge of the clerical work in their wool stores. When the stores were acquired by the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1890, he joined their staff, and remained in the company's service for 18 years. Mr Dale subsequently made good use bf his shipping knowledge to contribute a series of articles on the early clippers to a Christchurch newspaper. Mr Dale was a member of the Lyttelton Licensing Committee, secretary and treasurer of the Heathcote and Lyttelton Recreation Reserve Trust, a member of the Heathcote Road Board for three years, and of the Heathcote School Committee for 13 years (during part of which time he was chairman). Initiated in 1876, he was one of the first members of Lodge Canterbury Kilwinning, of which he became secretary, and subsequently he affiliated with Lodge Unanimity, No. 3, N.Z.C., in which he started as junior deacon. In 1901 the lodge Celebrated its jubilee at a function in which Masons from all parts of Canterbury participated. Mr Dale filled the office of Master during 1901 and 1902. Passenger on First Train
    Looking backwards over the years, Mr Dale recalls that in 1863 he was a passenger by the first train that ran on iron rails in New Zealand. It started from the railway station in Madras street and travelled on a broad gauge to Ferrymead. The engine was appropriately named Pilgrim. In April, 1864, a swing bridge was placed across the Heathcote river, and the ferry service which had been conducted for a number of years by Mr Dale's father was discontinued. He remembers the Lyttelton tunnel being opened for traffic in 1867, and says that it was lit by thousands of candles to enable the public to walk through it. Mr Dale was present at the unveiling of the Godley statue on August 6, 1867. He witnessed the devastating fire at Lyttelton on October 24, 1870, which started at the Queen's Hotel and destroyed a whole block of business premises. He helped to clear away the debris. Mr Dale was present when the ship Hurunui entered the Lyttelton graving dock at the official opening on January 3, 1883. and remembers the big tidal wave in the late sixties, when the water receded so low that carpenters' tools, lost overboard when building the wharves, were recovered. Mr and Mrs Dale have had a family of seven sons (five of whom are living). Mrs Dale is the second daughter of one of Wellington's pioneers, the late Mr George Green Buck, of Taita, Hutt Valley. Many telegrams of congratulation have been received from throughout the Dominion, also from relatives and friends abroad, for Mr Dale's ninetieth birthday. He enjoys good health. more recollections

Lyttelton Times, 15 September 1860, Page 4
September 12, ship Chapman, 793 tons, Harland, from London. Saloon passengers Mr. and Mrs. Day, Mr. and Mrs. Collins, Mr. and Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Shepherd, Miss Blackett, and Miss Heywood; Messrs. Magniac, Lock, Chamier, Morgan, Aldridge, Rienicken, Clifton, Leatham, Hings, and Mr. Webber, Surgeon, and one female servant. Second cabin Messrs. Hillier, Cooper, Cradock, Ginders, Gibbs; Foden, W. and D. Davies, Cooke and Broadbent. Steerage E. Toll, G. and J. White, Griffiths, Clear, Davies, Henman, Campion, and Fenwick.

Lyttelton Times, 16 February 1861, Page 4
Feb; 15, ship Cashmere, 640 tons, J. Petherbridge, from London via Otago. Passengers : chief cabin, Mrs. Spooner and three children, Mr. T. G. Haskins, Miss A. Reddick. Steerage : Jos. Gillatt and wife, R. Bristow, W. Pearson, J. Pearson, T. Cholmondely, J. F. Grint, A. Neeve, G. Clarke, and Charlotte Grint.

Lyttelton Times, 23 February 1861, Page 4
Feb. 21, ship Evening Star, 811 tons, Norris, for, London. Saloon passengers Mrs., Miss Fisher, and servant, Mr. and Mrs. Leach, two children, and servant, Mrs. Hillborne and three children, Miss Hall, Miss Cawkwell, Messrs. Parry, Chainer, Tomlinson, Mottley, and Fawdington. Second Cabin Mrs. Buck. Messrs. A. Mallinison, Byrne, Cattanach, Wilkinson, and O'Neill.

Lyttelton Times, 2 March 1861, Page 4
Arrived. Feb. 27, barque Minerva, 829 tons, Merryman, from London. Passengers-Chief Cabin Mr. and Mrs. Porter, Rev. Charles Mackie and Mrs. Mackie, Rev W. Fearon and family (10), Mr. and Mrs. Allan, Mrs. Izard, Messrs. Tate, C. and G. Sale, W. and C. Raine, Scrivener, Thomas, Moon, Howitt, Rickard, Thorman and child.
For Otago ~ Mr. and Mrs. McMaster, Messrs. Neilson and Fullarton.
For Wellington  The Rev. C. Halcombe and Mrs. Halcombe.
Second Cabin  Mr. and Mrs. Elden, Mr. and Mrs. Younghusband and child, Messrs. Ord, David, Fabris, Saudry, and Mackenzie.
For Otago  Mr. Stewart.
For Wellington  Mrs. Kyle and Mr. Burton.
Steerage Stephen Brighting, wife, and two children; Mary Bighan, Harriet Izard, J. and W. Randall, Robt. Abott, Robt. Ambrose, James Clark Alfred Adams, and Vernon Smith.
For Otago- Margaret Thomson.
For Wellington Alexander Stephen and wife, James Marshall, wife, and child Frances Jeffery, Johanna O'Brien, Judy and Mary Mahoney, Annie Freeman and three children, Mary Ellen and Catherine Morrison, Anna Brill, Ann Jones, Jane Johnstone and two children, Margaret Robb and child, Amy Hood and two children, John Rice, Malcolm and Peter Walker, Duncan and Thos. Morrison, Edwin Cox, Robert Baly, William Wvllie John and Ellas York, and Peter Menzie'

Lyttelton Times
1862 On 30th June the
"Mary Ann" sailed from Gravesend, England. The "Mary Ann", 723 tons under Captain Mitchell, had on board 2 saloon passengers and 25 second cabin and steerage passengers mostly farmers and farm labourers.

Timaru Herald, 22 June 1870, Page 2

The ship Ramsay, with immigrants, from London, arrived at Lyttelton on Friday last. The passage from England was, on the whole, favourable, with the exception of from May 29 to June 3, when very heavy weather was experienced, and which did considerable damage. During the voyage An accident occurred on board, reuniting m the drowning of one of the male immigrants. It appears he was on the lee side of the vessel, and during one of the heavy lurches he was caught by the maintopmast-staysail sheet and tripped overboard. The vessel was brought-to as quickly as possible, and the lifeboat lowered; search was made for an hour, but without success. The following is a summary of the immigrants, brought by the Ramsay :  Males Farm labourers, 26 ; ploughmen, 8 ; labourers, 6 ; dairymen, 2 ; shepherds, 2 ; blacksmith, 1 , coachsmith, 1 ; millwrights, 3 ; moulders, 2 ; stone mason, 1 ; pattern makers, 3 ; wheelwrights, 2; shoemaker, 1 ; coach painter, 1 ; schoolmaster, 1. Females Cooks, 5; dairywomen, 4 ; general servants, 28 ; housemaids, 4 ; milliner, 1 ; needlewoman, 1. Male adults, 62, female do, 69 ; male children, 16 ; female do, 13 ; infants, 4 Souls, 164. equal to 145fc statute adults.
    The ship
Ceres arrived m Lyttelton on Sunday. She brings a number of passengers, but no immigrants, and a large cargo consigned to Messrs Dalgetty and Co. of Christchurch.

Star, 30 January 1871, Page 2

Jan. 30 Charlotte Gladstone, ship, Fox, from London. Passengers  Rev E. Giles, Mr Marsack, Capt Hawtrey and family, Mr and Mrs R M. Bovey, Mrs Fisher, Dr and Mrs W. Curtis. 175 immigrants. Mr Witter, chief officer, formerly of the ship Blue Jacket. Voyage account.

Star 29 August 1872, Page 3

The passengers per St. Leonards, which sailed on June 22, are E. Speechly and wife, Nashelski and wife, H. Butler and wife, S. W. Money and wife, H. Pierpoint, K. Winthrop, Miss A. Downey, E. D. Chabers, A. Bing, Miss Taylor.

The Star, Friday, December 13 1878

Trail Trip of the Lyttelton Harbour Board's Steam Tug Lyttelton.
Before she left the wharf a trail was made of her steam fire engine on board. Two lengths of hose with inch nozzles were attached, and a stream of water from each was thrown to a very great distance. She travelled down the harbour, one mile in 5 minutes and 39 seconds against the north-east wind and a strong flood tide. The engines making 23 revolutions per minute with a steam pressure of 60 lbs. on the inch. A speed of 11 miles. Hon. E. Richardson, Chairman of the Board, proposed the health of Captain Fox, the master who brought the tug out, and of Mr Wood, the engineer. Capt. J.W. Clark, at present master of the s.s. Ringarooma, has been appointed to take charge of the tug, while Capt. Brownell has been appointed mate, and Mr Miller, late of the Hopper barge, engineer.

The Star Tuesday 29 1908

The Tainui, which arrived at Lyttelton today from London, brought out the following assisted immigrants for Canterbury:-
Twelve farm labourers, 12 domestic helps, 3 labourers, 2 gardeners, 1 cook and 1 carpenter.
 A number of immigrants who arrived from England by the Tainui came down by the Maori this morning, and were afterwards conveyed to town and distributed themselves variously. The "batch", as groups of these imported workers have come to be almost regularly called, comprises men and women of varying ages, one or two well up in the middle years, some children, and a goodly proportion of young men and women.

Lyttelton: Arrived
Dec. 29, 6.30 a.m.
Maori, s.s., 3309 tons, Hunter, from Wellington. Union Steam Ship Company. Passengers - Sir Joseph Ward and 500 - 300 saloon and steerage.

Expected Arrivals:
From London
Rangatira, s.s., left Nov. 5, at Port Chalmers, due January 4, Greenstreet, from Port Chalmers.
Tainui, s.s., at Wellington, due January 3
Whakatane, s.s., sailed Dec. 5, due Feb. 8
Ionic, s.s., sailed Dec. 10.

From Liverpool
Morayshire, s.s., left Oct 17, at Wellington, due next month
Pakeha, s.s., left Oct. 31 due Jan. 10
Cornwall, s.s., left Nov. 14, due early Jan.
Otaki, s.s., sailed Nov. 23, due Jan. 19
Fifeshire, s.s. sailed Dec. 12, due Feb. 5.

From Marseilles - Hermes, barque, sailed Sept. 30.

From Glasgow -
Mawhera, dredge, left Renfrew Oct 23. Just after leaving Renfew ran aground in thick fog. Towed off. Average speed 7 knots. Arrived at Port Said. Her itinerary after Port Said is Aden, Colombo and Fremantle. May stop in South Australia.

From New York -
Daldorch, s.s., left Sep. 26, at Auckland,  due Jan. 5
Star of Australia s.s., left Nov. 7, due end of January
Aberlour, s.s., sailed Nov. 11, due end of Jan.
Cape Breton, s.s., sailed Dec. 3, due middle of Feb.

Otago Witness May 6 1908 pg58

Christchurch, April 29
Mr G.G. Steed died shortly after 4 o'clock this afternoon. He had sustained a sudden seizures a few days ago. He was born in London in 1804. His father was from an old Yorkshire family. His mother a Fraser, of Lovat, a direct descendant of the famous Simoon Fraser, Lord Lovat who was the last man to fell by the headman's axe in the tower of London, in 1747. Mr Stead came out to Canterbury on the
Talbot Fox in 1866....

Evening Post, 27 July 1908, Page 8

Mr. William Percival, formerly secretary of the Auckland Racing Club, died yesterday ; aged 66. The late Mr. Percival was born at Wansford, England, and educated at Fotheringay and at Oundle (Northamptonshire). He was engaged in commercial pursuits in London for about five years, and in 1863 arrived in Christchurch by the ship Essex. He settled in Canterbury until 1868, and then removed to the Thames goldfield, where he was engaged in clerical work, and acted as secretary of the racing carnival promoted in honour of the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh. When the Auckland Racing Club was formed Mr. Percival was appointed permanent secretary, a position he held for several years. He acted as handicapper to the metropolitan club and country clubs for some time.

ArchivesNZ Christchurch Office
Christchurch Office of Archives New Zealand moved to their new building in Wigram at 15 Harvard Avenue, near the Air Force Museum from 90 Peterborough Street in June 2018.
Hours: 10am-5pm Monday to Friday
Unfortunately, their photocopying states "that we do not photocopy archives from the nineteenth century." "You may visit the Office to take a photograph, or you may wish to contact a professional photographer who has often worked at the archives." Reference: Regional Archivist. The Archives can supply photographer contact info. The Archives have photocopied the passenger lists and surgeons journals and bound them into book form and it is from these that photocopies are made for the public.  We don't look at the originals. There is a reading room, a Deeds Room.
Holdings: Archives of Canterbury Provincial Government 1853-77); Canterbury Association (1848-53); Christchurch City Council and Local Authority records for Canterbury Regional Council; Canterbury Education Board; Bankruptcy records; closed Company files; Probates and Letters of Administration for Christchurch, Timaru and West Coast Courts; Hospital records; Hotel licensing records for Canterbury and Westland; Immigration papers; Court records; Lands and Survey Department; West Coast Mining records; some school records including Christchurch Teachers’ College photographs of staff and pupils 1886-1993; Police, Post & Telegraph and Railways Departments; Women’s Suffrage Petition.


NZSG Canterbury Branch Library
Address: Shirley Community Centre, Shirley Road Christchurch 8001 
Hours: Thursdays 10am-3pm, Sat 2-4pm
Holdings: Canterbury School Indexes; Canterbury Registers in bound volumes; Cemetery Inscriptions; Over 3000 books and microfiche covering genealogical material for New Zealand and overseas; Parish registers, electoral rolls, etc. Good place to track down school records. 

Lyttelton Historical Museum
Gladstone Quay, Lyttelton
P.O. Box 91, Lyttelton 8033
Ph (03) 328-8972. Hours: 2pm-4pm Tues., Thurs., Sat., & Sun.
                                           2pm-4pm   Sat., & Sun. in winter
Holdings: Relates to Lyttelton area.  Includes ship logs, shipping records, shipping newspaper cuttings, photographs, maps.

Family History Centre
25 Fendalton Road, Christchurch 8001
Phone: (03) 355 6874
Hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs. 9.30am-3.30pm  Tues., Thurs. & Fri 7-9pm, Sat 9.30am-1pm
IGI and Ancestral File; NZ BDM Indexes to 1990; Australian BDM Indexes including Pioneer Indexes; English Civil Registration Indexes 1837-1960 on microfiche; Scottish and Irish BDM Indexes; English Probate Indexes on film and microfiche; Apprentice Records; Boyd's Marriage Index; 1881 Census Index for Great Britain; National Archives Biographical Indexes; miscellaneous Australian material including Convict records; NZ Passenger lists; many small collections on microfiche for New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland and Ireland. Reference Book Section.

Members intending to research in Christchurch, may be interested to know that the Orbiter Bus (no charge on this bus) stops at the Shirley Community Centre, the home of the Canterbury Genealogy Branch Library.   The Canterbury Branch of the NZSG is now an additional Christchurch film-ordering unit of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). The Family History Centre in Fendalton Road is the main film-ordering centre. The LDS Family History library Catalogue is searchable online and films maybe ordered there at a cost of $6 (fiche not permitted). Film readers may need to be booked. At the Timaru FHC films and fiche may be ordered. Check the film number carefully before ordering.

The NZ Family History Society
NZ  microfiche and IGI, BDM's for NZL, NSW, VIC, 1881 English census, etc.
399 Papanui Road Christchurch 8005
PO Box 13301, Armagh, Christchurch

The Macmillan Brown Library
University Of Canterbury Libraries are open to the general public although only members of the university, and graduates may get a borrowing card. 
University of Canterbury – MacMillan Brown Library Collection
Ilam Road, Christchurch
Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
Phone: (03) 366-7001 or (03) 364-2987
Fax: (03) 364-2816
Hours: Academic year (March to mid-November) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8.30am-5.00pm; Wednesday 8.30am-9.00pm; Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm
Holdings: Trade Unions, Voluntary Organisations; Political Parties and Politicians; Personal and Family Papers; Professional Associations; Business and Commerce; Ngai Tahu; Schools; Religious Organisations; University of Canterbury.

Land Information New Zealand (formerly Survey and Land Information)
Land and Title Services (formerly Lands and Deeds)
Level 3, Torrens House, 195 Hereford Street, Private Bag, Christchurch
Phone: (03) 379 9793

Christ's College Archives Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch
Usual hours Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.00am-4.30pm email
Christ's College was established in 1850. By doing a search under number 1 brings up the entire school list. History

Nov. 2009 Christ College

stmichael.jpg (5640 bytes)Links


Man has always dreamed of getting to the other side, some make it, some don't.

New Brighton Beach Pier Cam

Leaving Lyttelton harbour.  The harbour's entrance is flanked by Godley Head on the north and Adderley Head on the south. 1989