Friday, October 26, 2012

Thames (NZ): PUCKEY family

While many of us search to find the earliest we can track our genealogy back anywhere in the world, it is always of interest to see when our ancestors first stepped onto New Zealand shores. Many of New Zealand's earliest settlers and those born in the early days - eventually spent some time on the Thames Goldfields. The lure of gold escaped no one!

The PUCKEY family are pioneers of early New Zealand, and yes they too, spent some time on The Thames. The first recorded Europen marriage in New Zealand was William PUCKEY to Matilda DAVIS.
"At Waimate North on 11 October 1831 Puckey married Matilda Davis (who was then aged 17), second daughter of Rev. Richard Davis, thus becoming the first European couple recorded to be married in New Zealand. Their first child was born in early January 1833, but only survived for seven weeks."

In later years, Matilda PUCKEY (after the death of her husband) would come and settle with family in Thames. Matilda died 15th July 1884 at her son's Sandes Street home and is buried in Shortland Cemetery.

One of her son's EDWARD WALTER PUCKEY was a well known native interpreter in the Thames area (previously mentioned in an article on Daldy McWILLIAMS.) Part of his obituary is below.

Auckland Star 18/2/1924 (full obituary at paperspast)

Mr Puckey would have walked across this Hape Creek Footbridge turning left into Mackay Street, then right into Grey Street (past the little building - the Post Office) to work at the Land Court on the corner of Grey and Pollen Streets.