Martha Ridgeway
Ship: 621 tons
Captain: James Forbes Bisset
Surgeon Superintendent: John Frederick Knox
Sailed London 5th July 1840 - arrived Wellington 14th November 1840
Sailed Downs on morning of 9th July 1840                                                                                                   
Sailed Isle of Wight 6pm on 11th July 1840                                                                                                    

This splendid Liverpool-built ship had been constructed expressley for the passenger trade. She had a very spacious poop, with a height of 6ft 9in in the 'twixt decks, and was replete with every arrangement for the comfort and health of the passengers. The end of the Martha Ridgeway was that, while bound from New Zealand to Bombay, she was wrecked on a reef at Nimrod's Entrance, Torres Strait, and was abandoned by the crew.

Shortly after the Martha Ridgeway........left England, smallpox broke out, and during the passage to New Zealand the ship was never wholly free from cases. She sailed from Gravesend on July 5th, 1840, with 225 emigrants, and arrived at Port Nicholson on November 14th. The first to contract the disease was a steward, who developed it soon after leaving England. It must have been a mild type, for we do not read of any deaths. Several of the passengers were down when Port Nicholson was reached, so a quarantine ground was established on the eastern shores of the harbour [Lambton Harbour]. The ship was taken across, and everybody aboard was placed in strict quarantine for three weeks. Like everything else it did, the Company had seen carefully to it that the new settlement was supplied with first-class medical men, and these soon had the disease stamped out.
White Wings - Sir Henry Brett

Our sincere thanks to Lesley Lomas, Kathy McCombs, Kevin Violich & Diane Taylor for helping with this list.

Name Age Occupation Comments
Anderson Thomas 21 Baker & Labourer
Ashby Mary 17 Servant Under protection of G Saywell
Bolton James 23 Agricultural Labourer
Bottomley William Henry 28 Millwright
Charlotte 30
Son 5
Brittain William 20
Brooks Stephen 39 Labourer
Sarah 37
Caroline 16 Sempstress
Maryanne 10
Daughter 7
Daughter/Son (?) 1 James (?)
Brosnahan Patrick 20 Labourer
Brown Charles 29 Stonemason
Anne 25
Daughter Infant Born on board
Browne Thomas 20 Agricultural Labourer & Carpenter
Annie 21
Daughter 3 months
Campbell Jane 24 Sempstress
Canning Joseph 28 Carpenter
Mary 21
Cannon William 27 Labourer
Dallison Joseph Bond 19 Miller & Baker
Day John 48 Blacksmith
Jane 38
Son 13
Daughter 10
Son 9
Son 6
Son 3
Son 7 months
Duncan Arthur William 17 Seaman
Goldie John 21 Square Wright
Barbara 21
Goodens Leonard 40 Labourer
Mary 38
Anna 19 Sempstress
Philip 17 Labourer
Ellice 15 Sempstress
Daughter 13
Son 5
Son 1
Harfield Daniel 15 Butcher & Farm Labourer
Harvey Richard 23 Carpenter & Joiner
Mary 23
Son 2 months
Harvey John 19 Carpenter & Joiner
Elizabeth 20
Daughter 2
Daughter 3 weeks
Head Edward 26 Agricultural Labourer
Sarah 23
Daughter 2
Daughter 3 weeks
Hobman James 40 Blacksmith  Came on board off Deal
Jane 35
Son 6
House Ann 35 Housemaid  Living in the Cabin. No em- barkation letter. Not included in embarkation list T.G.R.
Howell Thomas 34 Bricklayer
Eliza 30
Son 9
Daughter 2
Howland Sarah 20 Servant  Under protection of Judd
Hudgell Joseph 21 Bricklayer  Boarded at Downs 08/07/1840
Hughey William 37 Mason & Carpenter
Marianne 31
Son 11
Daughter 9
Son 7
Daughter 4
Daughter 1
Hunt Thomas 48 Agricultural Labourer
Elizabeth 47
Caroline 19 Sempstress
Emma 17 Sempstress
William Jnr 16 Labourer
Naomi 15 Sempstress
Son 14 This child is unknown to today's descendants.
Lot 12
Lavinia 10
Brown 8
Hunt Frederick 23 Agricultural Labourer
Mary 27
William 1
Jones Joseph 21 Gardener & Agricultural Labourer
Elizabeth 19
Son 5 months
Judd William 38 Labourer
Ann 30
John 7
George 5
Stephen 2
Mason William 40 Farmer
Elizabeth 38
Mary Jane 21 Sempstress
Samuel 18 Labourer
William Jnr 16 Labourer
Son 14
Daughter 12
Son 10
Daughter 7
Medhurst Charles 31 Agricultural Labourer
Mary Ann 34
McGregor Joseph 26 Agriculturalist
Ellen 30
McLelland Ann 25 Sempstress
Milner Richard 38 Agricultural Labourer Shown as Milliner on original passenger list.
Sarah 41
Sarah 14 Sempstress
Richard 11
George 10
Rosanna 7
Jane 5
Jesse 2
Ann 3 weeks
Mitchell Francis 17 Farmer
Moloney John 24 Labourer
Ellen 20
Son 2
Mount Charles 35 Carpenter & Joiner
Mary 32
Daughter 11
Murphy Mary Margaret 20 Sempstress
Murphy Partick 26 Labourer
Catherine 24
Parke Samuel 50 Chemist
Pike Janet 19 Servant
Pope Samuel George 30 Carpenter
Elizabeth 34
Pratt Thomas Dennis 31 Farm Labourer
Sarah Ann 29
Rea Thomas 38 Labourer
Margaret 34
Daughter 13
Son 3
Son 1
Reed James 34 Shepherd
Mary 26
Giddens George 4 Children of Mrs James Reed by her first marriage to George Giddens.
Giddens William 2
Renall Alfred William 26 Carpenter & Joiner
Emma 29
Daughter 8
Son 1
Robinson John 39 Carpenter & Chair Maker
Mary 38
Frederick 20 Carpenter & Chair Maker
Amelia 16 Sempstress
Son 9
Saywell George 35 Carpenter & Labourer
Susan 30
Son 10
Son 9
Son 8
Daughter 7
Daughter 4
Daughter 1
Seed John 39 Cabinetmaker & Carpenter Assistant to the Surgeon to allow Small the salary
Anne 37
Son 13
Daughter 8
Sharpe Margaret 26 Housemaid Under the protection of Mr Judd
Small Charles 36 Saw Miller Was appointed assistant to the Surgeon but resigned and succeeded by John Seed.
Margaret 33
Daughter 12
Son 10
Son 8
Daughter 6
Son 4
Daughter 2
Smith Thomas 15 Blacksmith
Stent Edmund 26 Ag. Labourer
Ann 22
Taylor William 44 Agricultural Labourer
Ann 39
James 16 Agricultural Labourer
George 14
William 12
Henry 11
Richard 5
Frederick 3
Walter Richard 24 Farm Labourer & Gardener
West Daniel 16 Agricultural Labourer Appeared Sunday 5th June 9 o'clock.
Whitley William 30 Shipwright
Mary 29
Son 7
Daughter 5
Daughter 1
Wilhelmi Corsten Deidrich 29 Farmer
Marguerita 28
Daughter 6
Son 4
Son 4 months
Woouldham Henry William 30 Gardener
Ann 35
Son 8
Daughter 6
Daughter 3
Wright James 23 Agricultural Labourer
Hannah 19
Daughter 1
MILNER family:
Richard Milner, also spelt Millner (although spelt as Milliner on the passenger list) and his wife Sarah (nee Gilbert) travelled to New Zealand with their 7 children, the youngest being just 3 weeks old. This child doesn't appear on later passenger lists and no further records of him can be found.  They went on to have another 3 children once in New Zealand.  For more information on this family please visit my website:   If you have a connection with this family or would like to know
more please contact Lesley Lomas.
BROOKS family:
Stephen Brooks, 39, labourer  (
christened January 5th 1800 at St Leonards, Shoreditch and son of Thomas and Elizabeth Brooks) and his wife Sarah Brooks, 37 (nee Bull, christened November 30th 1802 at St Leonards, Shoreditch and daughter of Samuel Bull and Sarah Vial Horrox who were married onDecember 8th 1798 at St Luke's, Finsbury, London.) sailed as steerage passengers for Wellington on the Martha Ridgeway in 1840. The 10 year old daughter listed would have been Maryanne Brooks who at 16 married Benjamin Witt a carpenter, who also had been resident at the Pipitea Pa. I suspect the one year old may have been a boy as there is reported in the Roll of Early Settlers Auckland. pp 26 there is a James who came on the Martha Ridgeway. The other daughter I have not identified. Stephen Brooks and family were living at the Pipitea Pa in 1842. Their address from the Jury list in 1843 was Pipitea point, possibly the Pa. In the 1845 Jury list Stephen is still at Pipitea. It is probable that the children were also as fluent in Maori as the Witt children became. Caroline Brooks married William James Wright one year after they arrived in Wellington on November 7th 1841. William was a 'waterman' from Tasmania, who arrived on the Kaipara in 1837 (Roll of Early Settlers Auckland p 251). They married in the St Paul's Church, with her father, Stephen as a witness, together with  fellow shipmate and seamstress Amelia Robinson of the same age. The Brooks and Wright families moved from Wellington to Auckland some time before the birth of Caroline and William's second son William Benjamin on October 4th 1845 in Auckland. It is probable that Benjamin Witt moved with them. On October 12th 1846 Benjamin Witt married sixteen year old Maryann Brooks in the Weslyan Church, Auckland. She was eighteen years his junior. Witnesses to the wedding were George Abrahams and William Wright, brother in law to Maryanne. If you have a connection with this family or would like to know more please contact Glenda Rattray.

JUDD family:
William and Ann left the hard times in England for a new beginning in New Zealand with their 3 sons John, George and Stephen. They arrived in New Zealand on the 14th November 1840, 6 months after William's son William arrived in New Zealand on board the ship Bolton. Two months after their arrival in their new country, Ann gave birth to their first daughter Harriet in Petone. They went on to have 5 more children in their new homeland. Ann died on the 23rd of April 1870 and William died 6 years later on the 15th July 1876.
If you have a connection with this family or are interested in learning more please contact Kathy McCombs.

REED family:
Mary Humphries (b. 1814) married George Giddens about 1833 and they had two or maybe three children. George died in 1837 and Mary married James Reed (b.1805) in 1839 in Harpenden Hert. Mary & James Reed and her two children George (aged 4) & William (aged 2) Giddens came to New Zealand on the Martha Ridgway and lived around Petone for 4 years. Their first two children (Edward & Eliza) were born there. In 1844 they sailed to Port Cooper (Lyttleton) on the Bright Planet and farmed at Horseshoe Bay and later at Barrys Bay on the Akaroa Harbour. If you have a connection with this family or are interested in learning more please contact Kevin Violich.
HUNT family:
Thomas Hunt his wife Elizabeth (nee Brown) and their children and their families came to NZ from Lincolnshire. Fred, their eldest child, was married to Mary and they had a child named William.. The other children were Caroline, Emma, Naomi, (a 14 year old son who is unknown to the present day descendants), Lot, Lavina & Brown. Fred Hunt settled with his family on Pitt Island in the Chathams group. His parents joined him in their latter days and died there in 1867 & 1881. Fred died in 1891and his wife Mary in 1884. All are buried on Pitt Island. If you have a connection with this family or are interested in learning more please contact Kevin Violich
or Bill Carter.
WRIGHT family:
James Wright (shown as Wraight on the New Zealand Company passenger list) b.1816 married in 1837 Hannah Austin b.1821 in Cranbrook Kent and their first child Sarah was born 18 months later. They lived for a couple of years in Petone before moving to Peraki near the Akaroa Harbour there James worked as a Whaler. In 1852 he was allocated a large block of land to farm at Island Bay which is close to where he was living. James and Hannah had 12 children. He died there in 1894 aged 78, his wife Hannah died in 1914. If you have a connection with this family or are interested in learning more please contact Kevin Violich.


Dr Frederick John KNOX  L.R.C.S.E.
arrived in New Zealand in 1840, having been demonstrater in Anatomy to his brother, the celebrated Professor Knox. Dr Knox used his scientific studies, and gave exhibits to the Colonial Museum, and wrote extensively for the Transactions of the N.Z. Institute. He arrived with his wife and five children. He lived at Johnsonville. By Gazette, 15th August 1861 he was appointed Coroner for the Porirua District. He died at the Hospital on 5th August 1873 aged 82. One daughter, Helen, married T. J. Drake in 1869. Janet Knox married H. H. Fitzherbert, of Tawa Flat in 1868 and Isabella Knox married Charles D. de Castro in 1855.
From Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road by Arthur H. Carman


SMALL family:
Charles and Margaret SMALL were married on the 20th of September 1826 at Wemyss, Fifeshire, Scotland. Charles was listed as a sawmiller aged 37 and Margaret as aged 33 in the embarkation register. They brought six children to New Zealand; three boys aged 10, 8 and 4 and three girls 12, 6 and 2. At least two more were born in New Zealand. Names of these children were David, George, Charles, Westwater, Lillias, Agnes, Ann and Janet (Jessie) - dates of birth unknown at present! The family settled in Wanganui in 1842 on a farm known as 'Cresswell". Charles died 17th September 1877 and Margaret on 25th August 1860. They are both buried in Wanganui.
If you have a connection with this family wish to know more please contact Judy Clark.


Copyright Denise & Peter 2000 - 2008

Archives New Zealand NZC 34/1 p146