Phoebe DunbarShip

Phoebe Dunbar
Ship: 704 tons
Captain: Forbes Michie
Surgeon Superintendent: Dr John Spencer
Sailed London July 10th 1850 - arrived Dunedin 24th October 1850
thereafter to Lyttelton, Nelson, Wellington & New Plymouth

Name Age Occupation Port of Embarkation
Cabin Passengers
Clifford Charles 37 Colonist Wellington
Mary Ann 30 Wellington
George H 2 Wellington
Mary Lucy 1 Wellington
Alphonso C 20 Wellington
Corbell John G 19 Colonist New Plymouth
Dampier Christopher 49 Colonist Wellington
Matilda 45 Wellington
M Catherine 12 Wellington
Hennryson Henry F 43 Nelson
Hart George 30 Wellington
Marion 56 Widow Wellington
Marion 25 Wellington
Murray Captain William 30 Wellington
Porter Joshua C 27 Colonist Wellington
Scott George E 53 Colonist Wellington
Stapleton William 26 Colonist Wellington
Thomson James G 35 Colonist Name crossed out. Galway along- side his name. Destination was to be Nelson.
Fore-Cabin Passengers
Collett Walter 25 Farmer Wellington
Margaret 22 Wellington
Adaline 19 Wellington
Dey John 34 Farmer New Plymouth
Forges de Henry 21 Farmer Wellington
Hunt Martha 23 Farmer Wellington
Manley Drinan 20 Farmer New Plymouth
Roper Robert 26 Farmer New Plymouth
Shilling George 28 Farmer Nelson
Shive Alfred 24 Farmer Nelson
Smart Benjamin 21 Carpenter Canterbury
Steel George 25 Farmer Otago
Stewart William 26 Farmer New Plymouth
Stricher Abraham 30 Farmer Canterbury
Todd Andrew 38 Farmer Otago
Van Henry 46 Farmer Nelson
Steerage Passengers
Bentley Rachel 18 Farm Servant Otago
George 13 Farm Servant Otago
Burgess William 24 Wellington - Burgess did not come forward and Morgan's name does not appear in any list sent us but we have seen his certificate signed by shippers as having paid his passage.
Burgess Mary 38 Servant Wellington
Carmont Agnes 24 Domestic Servant Wellington
Cheswell William 23 Gardener Canterbury
Sarah 27 Canterbury
Duncan Charles 22 Shepherd Wellington
Evered Ann 35 Servant Otago
Thomas 3 months Otago
Gibb George 23 Farm Labourer Otago
Harcus William 22 Farm Labourer Wellington
Ann 20 Wellington
Jane 13 Wellington
Lovegrove George F 19 Farm Labourer Wellington
Low William 30 Shepherd Wellington
Mitchell James 24 Farm Labourer Wellington
Sarah 22 Wellington
Morgan Robert 20 Wellington
Mytton Edward 36 Nelson
Martha 36 Nelson
Thomas 12 Nelson
Henry 9 Nelson
John 6 Nelson
Catherine 5 Nelson
Fanny 2 Nelson
William 3 months Nelson
Ogg Alexander 38 Land Surveyor & Farmer Otago
Rae John 36 Farm Servant Otago
Redward B J Jnr 20 Carpenter New Plymouth
Rennie Alexander 36 Farm Servant Otago
Anne Auld 8 Otago
Margaret 8 Otago
Robertson James 30 Farm Servant Otago
Still William 24 Shepherd Wellington
Strachan Thomas 24 Farm Labourer Wellington
Thomson David 38 Farm Labourer Otago
Dian 35 Otago
Temple William 19 Farmer Wellington
Ward Thomas 19 Farmer Wellington
Wells James 40 Farmer New Plymouth
Helen 24 New Plymouth
Helen 5 New Plymouth
Catherine 4 New Plymouth
Blanche 2 New Plymouth
Edith 4 months New Plymouth
Assisted Steerage Passengers
Archibald Mrs Mary Ann 31 Otago - Free. Wife of Alexander Archibald a free emigrant per Mariner
Bentley Rachael 18 Otago - Niece to John Rae
George 13 Otago - Nephew to John Rae
Blackall Joanna 33 Nelson
Bradey Francis Henry 33 Wellington
Son of Francis Bradey on Adelaide
Elizabeth 34 Wellington
Catherine M 5 Wellington
Cruickshank James 26 Nelson
Christina 20 Nelson
Dawson William 24 Farm Servant Otago
Mary 23 Otago
Gorrie James 45 Nelson
Helen 32 Nelson
James 13 Nelson
John 9 Nelson
William 7 Nelson
David 4 Nelson
Peter 3 Nelson
Mary 14 Nelson
Halls John 23 Nelson
Ralph Clement 18 Nelson
Jeffries John 17 Nelson
Leek Mrs Ann 50 Nelson
Margerum Anna 25 Nelson
McGregor Donald 25 Nelson
McLean James 29 Nelson
Katherine 32 Nelson
Margaret 4 Nelson
Helen Infant Nelson
Price Mary 18 Nelson
Ann 17 Nelson
Ross James 37 Nelson
Catherine 36 Nelson
Barbara 29 Nelson
Shand James 46 Agricultural Labourer Otago
Barbara 36 Otago
Margaret 16 Otago
James 13 Otago
Jane 12 Otago
Barbara 10 Otago
William 8 Otago
John 6 Otago
Isabella 3 Otago
Mary Ann 4 months Otago
Sinclair Ann 39 Servant Otago
Smith William 43 Nelson
Sarah A 38 Nelson
William 15 Nelson
James 13 Nelson
John 9 Nelson
Henry 8 Nelson
Mary 3 Nelson
Barbara 2 Nelson
Sarah Infant Nelson
Tate George 28 New Plymouth
Elizabeth 24 New Plymouth
Thompson Jane 17 Nelson
Thomson David 38 David Otago
Wife 35 Otago
Walker George 25 Nelson
Wells Rhoda 24 Nelson

VAN family:
Henry VAN, the son of Thomas Van and Alice Gillett, was born in Oxford in 1803, the 2nd child of an eventual family of 14. His parents were the 4th generation of a family migration that had led the Vans from Leicester to
Newbold-on-Avon, Dunchurch and Oxfordshire where they paused briefly before moving on to London between 1803 and 1807 where they settled in Paddington. They were evicted from what is now the Oxford Street area, and Henry was brought up in one of London's most notorious slums, Notting Dale. He married Katherine Ross,   a 36 year old unmarried woman that he (presumably!) met aboard the Phoebe Dunbar within 6 months of landing in NZ and they had 2 children, the descendants of whom are mostly living in the Nelson and Wellington areas. Henry died in Nelson in 1890 and leaves a carefully considered will. Katherine, his wife, was born in Aberdeen in 1813, and seems to have had an equally poverty-restricted start to her life. She was illiterate, and had no real sense of how old she was - she had 4 stabs at it in 4 different official documents; each age given implied a different birth year, and none of her guesses turned out to be within 5 years of the truth. She survived Henry by 9 years, dying in Nelson in 1899.

Several things puzzle us about our Henry. He never married in England, describes himself as a Farmer on the manifest of the Phoebe Dunbar, (the reality is that he worked on the Old Oak farm estate in Acton and never seems to have been more than the standard Ag. Labourer) and somehow found the money not only to pay for his own fare (his was not an assisted passage) but also the fares of three others. The major puzzle is why, at the relatively advanced age of 47, he wanted to emigrate to the other side of the world and start again? However his money was obtained, he had enough to buy 4 properties in the Nelson area though his employment in New Zealand was again of the menial variety - various forms of labouring and cartering.  Whether Henry came by his money honestly or not, and regardless of the motivation for emigration, which will always be a mystery, it cannot be doubted that both Henry and Katherine finished their lives in a great deal more comfort than they started them. A surviving photo of Henry in old age reinforces a mental image of a tough customer who perhaps had only one chance to escape the circumstances of his upbringing - and grabbed it with both hands. If you have an interest in this family or may be able to suggest a solution to The Mystery please contact Steve Moran.


Francis Henry BRADEY:
The father and step-mother of Francis Henry BRADEY had arrived with their children on board the Adelaide in 1840. Francis, a son from the mariage of his father Francis BRADEY followed the family out on board the Phoebe Dunbar in 1850. His half-sister Mary Jane BRADEY was to become the mother of Louis Ward who wrote the oft quoted Early Wellington. If you have an interest in this family or would like to learn more please contact Robyn Thorpe.

Copyright Denise & Peter 2000

National Archives Reference NZC 34/3 p198

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