Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thames (NZ): First death on the goldfields

A few years back I was asked by several family researchers, whether Brown Street was named after their relation who was possibly one of the first drowning at The Thames, following the opening of the goldfields. Tonight by chance, I found this report in the New Zealand Herald, where the correspondent claims it was the first death since they had arrived on the field.

Sadly this new information is in contradiction to a note in "Thames the first 100 years" where the John Brown is said to be the first President of the Miners Association.
"Named in the memory of Mr John Brown, who was the first president of the Miners' Association in Thames He was also largely responsible for the formation of a club to aid the sick and injured."
NZH 28/9/1867
Was the JOHN BROWN above the first death...when did the John BROWN of the Miners' Association die? Mr John BROWN of the MINERS' ASSOCIATION was at a meeting 14 January 1869.
The early BROWN death in 1867 is more consistent with the naming of BROWN STREET which appears on the c1868 Thames' Illustrated Mining Map.
Part of Grahamstown, showing BROWN STREET, named after a JOHN BROWN who drowned at the Thames