Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thames (NZ): Old Postcards for New Year

Postcards added much value to the lives of early Thames-ites; sending and receiving...just one of things we have lost. What a wonderful source they have proved to be for historians and family researchers alike.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thames (NZ): Packing Tips for Thames-ites 1911

One hundred years ago today, the problem with holidays was often poor packing!
A special supplement published in the Thames Star 30/12/1911, had the answer to many traveller's dilemma - the ART OF PACKING.
Thames star 30/12/1911

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thames (NZ) Characters: David Stewart (Heta Rewiti)

While still looking for the owner of the first car in Thames, the name STEWART surfaced. A Maori family from Parawai, who owned considerable land within the town. Reportedly, they had the first car...this is yet to be confirmed. An obituary for Davie/David Stewart, also known as HETA REWITI, sheds a little more light on the family. Mr Stewart was a member of the Native football team that went to England.
Thames Star 11/12/1909

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thames (NZ): Christmas 100 years ago (1911)

The Thames Star 23 November 1911, was published at a cost of one Penny. It was a Saturday and the paper consisted of four pages.

Page One had a selection of general advertisements and news. There was news about the Komata Reefs, New Sylvia, Occidental and Talisman Mine at Karangahake. W Causley had new potatoes for sale, just in time for Xmas. If you needed a Ham, these were well catered for at Coakley's, plus Xmas cakes at B Halligan's Dominion Bakery in Pollen Street, Thames.

Page Two, was full of news for Thames. Sadly two Thames-ites had died and their funeral notices were present. Elizabeth CAMPBELL and Robert BATEMAN were both being buried Sunday 24/12/1911 - with burial to be held at Shortland Cemetery. School's had finished for the year and Prize giving details were given for Wharepoa school. Something to look forward to, were the Thames Jockey Club Races to be held on Boxing Day at Parawai.  Several other sporting events were scheduled, including Cricket and Athletics. If you needed a new house to rent or buy, lots of variety to choose from. The Empire Boarding House was for sale for 300 Pounds, but if money was short, an allotment at Kopu was available for 25 Pounds!

Page Three, lots of Christmas present ideas. Sweets from Palmers, Watches from Finlay's, fancy Handkerchiefs from Wood's, plus lots more. If in doubt Hetheringtons. offered lots of variety. Not forgetting the Christmas spirit, the Church notices featured prominently. If you needed a job, a waitress was required at the Shortland Hotel.

Page Four, featured further advertisements, cablegrams and overseas news. Royal rustproof Corsets were advertised, plus a wonderful range of watches at Stewart Dawson & Co Auckland.

Above:Thames Star 23/12/1911
Below: Coakley's Shop, Corner of Pollen and Willoughby Streets
(Source: F Burton, Thames Museum)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thames (NZ) - Do you have any early Wedding Photos?

Do you have any Photographs of early Thames weddings (and neighbouring areas)?

The Treasury, Thames would love to add them to their growing photo collection. Any format would be okay, but preferred good quality print or digital image - with details of the names of the wedding party, church, dates etc... Contact details available here.

Sadly photos is not something my family have very many of, the earliest is my parents' wedding held 2 July 1949 at the St James Presbyterian Church, Thames.

Please, if you have any early wedding photos pre:-1960, consider a donation of the image to The Treasury.
Wedding of Douglas BARKER to Ivy CORNES
Back row: Fred CORNES, Jane BARKER (Nee PASCOE), Clifton BARKER and Eunice CORNES (Nee LUDWIG)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thames (NZ): New Sports booklet available

Hot off the press, a new booklet available at The Treasury (Thames).
These are fundraisers for The Coromandel Heritage Trust, so you can learn a little bit about the history of Thames, while supporting this wonderful group and the preservation of Thames historical documents.

The feature article is a transcript of an interview with Toss Hammond in 1967 by E Slaney and transcribed by L Bisset in 2010. Mr Hammond talks about early sport in the townships of Grahamstown, Shortland and Tararu. (Part of the Oral History Recorders' collection of interviews - held at The Treasury)

Many sports are mentioned, giving a few snippets of their early history, including those long lost. Such as polo and skittle alleys. Along with those that have remained core sports in the town: Rugby, Cricket and name but a few. Lots of family names included...maybe one of them is your relatives?

One thing that came through while researching this booklet, is how important sport was to our early Thames-ites and how they loved to gather to watch and participate. With New Year approaching, it is sad that we have lost that big New Year celebration and Family Sports Day that our ancestors enjoyed during their early days on the Thames Goldfields.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

KOPU BRIDGE, Thames NZ - opens today

A big moment for Thames, or more importantly the thousands of Aucklanders' that flock to the Coromandel Peninsula over the summer months.  The one lane Kopu (Hauraki) Bridge is coming to the end of its life for car transport!

The big new concrete, two lane structure is open today (10 December 2011) for pedestrians and later in the week for vehicles. Prior to 1928 people relied on boats and ferries to quickly access the Hauraki Plains. The large one way, wooden bridge was built 1926-28 and was opened in May 1928 by the Prime Minister, Gordon Coates. The Kopu Bridge is on the NZ Historic Places Register as a Category One. "The Kopu Bridge is nationally significant as the only surviving road bridge of swing span type in the country. It makes a valuable contribution to the history of both motorised road transport and shipping, and is particularly significant for demonstrating early central government involvement in the development of highways. It marks the last stages in the history of major river transport on the Waihou, used by both Maori and Captain Cook."

Todays transport figues give 9000 crossings per day and 18,000 in the summer months - thus stretching the one way structure and the driver's patience to the limits. Full details and gallery of photos, for the new bridge is available at the NZ Transport Agency website.

The Coromandel Heritage Trust has for sale at The Treasury, a DVD covering the history of the Bridge - "Over Troubled Water, The Story of the Kopu Bridge."

DVD available at The Treasury, Thames
You tube videos of the Kopu Bridge:
The Kopu Bridge by Bailey and Jacob
Kopu bridge opening and Kopu Bridge closing and new bridge by The Connelly53
NB. A group has been set up to SAVE THE OLD KOPU BRIDGE, there are details and a petition that can be signed on line.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thames (NZ) - 'Jenny Wren' poet

Amongst the noise, dirt and hardships of the the Thames goldfields, there were sometimes the joy of riches and gold. For many this didn't eventuate, but in their new life, in a new land, there was often the need for some degree of reflection and reminder of 'home.' Often seeming out of place, it amazes me the number of poets there were in Thames. Previously mentioned was 'Rosyln' who was known world-wide. Another well known nom-de-plume pre 1900 was 'JENNY WREN'.
Thames 1 September 1885
'Jenny Wren,' otherwise known as Jane Elizabeth HARRIS nee FRANCIS and later known as Mrs HARRIS-ROBERTS. (The link provides a full biography at the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand) Jane FRANCIS was born c1852 in London and came to New Zealand with her new husband Henry STILWELL. STILWELL had a nursery at Parawai in 1868. In 1873 Jane married Thomas HARRIS, a market gardener. From this time Jane's thirst for knowledge was nourished and expanded, with writing being the obvious vehicle. The messages were probably very political for the time, especially those coming from a woman. Jane HARRIS' beliefs took on that of those of the Christian Spiritualists and social reform; she was also a member of the Thames Mutual Improvement Society.

Jane HARRIS, spent time in Australia in the 1890s following her husbands death. Back in New Zealand, Jane married Charles ROBERTS in 1900. 'Jenny Wren' died in Paeroa 18/9/1942 aged 90. The death is registered at NZ BMD online as JANE ELIZABETH ROBERTS aged 89 years.
In her obituary, it is written, "she was one of the pioneers and founders of the spiritualist movement in New Zealand."

Jane Elizabeth HARRIS 1852-1942

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thames (NZ) Photographs at Thames Museum

If you are looking for old photos of Thames, a visit to the The Treasury and the Thames Museum will always prove worthwhile. Searching for information on early sports in Thames, an enquiry to the Thames Museum, revealed lots of hidden treasures.

There are many photos of sporting teams including: Bowling cricket, rowing, rugby and hockey. Many of these are fully named; great news for the family historian!

One of my favourites was the photo below. Showing the early sports ground in Sealey Street, now part of Thames High School block. I'm still hunting for evidence of a wood chopping club in Thames; but it provides wonderful example of the wood chopping events that took place at different fetes and sports days of early Thames.

The Thames Historical Museum is open 1-4pm daily and contact details are available via the link provided.

Early Sports Ground Thames
The area above the wooden fence is Thames High School, and Baillie Street.
The houses on the hill to the right are in Rolleston Street
Source: Thames Historical Museum Photo Collection

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thames (NZ) - 'The First Time:' Formation of Burns Club

In 1886 there was an Auckland Burns Club, in April of that year they sought affiliation to the Premier Club at Kilmarnock and to the Burns Federation. The Burns Federation was formed in 1885.

A meeting was held Tuesday 15th November 1887, to form the BURNS CLUB. It was held at 8pm at Mrs SYMINGTON's Royal Hotel. Mr R N SMITH was chairman for the first meeting. The aims and objectives of the club were explained by Captain FARQUAHAR. (see report below), "to uphold the national songs, poetry, and dancing of their native country, and to counteract the influence of foreign music."
Thames Star 16/11/1887
The inaugural meeting was held 15th December 1887, at the St George's Hall, Thames. A report in the paper next day, noted it had been a successful night, with some ladies also present. The evening ending with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thames (NZ) - 'The First Time:' A motorcycle was seen

In May 1900, a motor cycle was introduced in Auckland. It was described as having a speed of four to thirty miles an hour.

There was ONE motorcycle in Thames in September 1903, the paper wondered why this improved method of transport had not caught on, in Thames. a report in Thames Star 7 July 1903, by a local maori, felt "Kapai, I think tat te machine for te Maori, eh?" He much appreciated the lack of puff necessary!
Thames Star 30 September 1903
In 1908 the cost of a motorcycle was 75 Pounds, one lucky Thames-ite could buy a second-hand one for 45 Pounds.
This bike is not from Thames, but Christchurch area...but couldn't resist as it is a wonderful example of early transport
"Clyno motorcycle with a wicker sidecar and passengers, including a dog. Photograph taken circa 1920, by a photographer for The Press newspaper, probably in the Christchurch region."
Source: Clyno motorcycle. The Press (Newspaper) :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-008536-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lost Landmarks of Thames (NZ)

A new booklet, hot off the press is for sale at The Treasury, Thames. (The Coromandel Heritage Trust)

Title: Lost Landmarks of Thames
The Landmarks include: Meeting House of Hotonui, Mackay and Taipari Residences, BNZ, Waiokaraka and Kauaeranga Girls School, Bull's Battery, Saxon Mine, Thames Gas Works, Shortland Courthouse and Post Office, Pacific Hotel and Academy of name but a few.

Photo and location details are given, along with a few snippets of history; so that the reader can see the Thames of old that our ancestors called home.

Mary Street Shops c1957
(Above Hospital and St George's Church)
Busy shopping area in the early goldields days

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thames (NZ) - 'The First Time:' Arbor Day

"Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. It originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States during 1872 by J. Sterling Morton. The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, and an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day." Wikipedia

In New Zealand the, "first Arbor Day planting was on 3 July 1890 at Greytown, in the Wairarapa. The first official celebration took place in Wellington in August 1892, with the planting of pohutukawa and Norfolk pines along Thorndon Esplanade."

In the Thames Star 23/7/1892, the council discussion on Arbor Day was reported. All public offices were to have a holiday on 4th August 1892, in order to encourage the planting of trees. They hoped to show the colonists how important the care of the forests was, so many had been destroyed in the settlement of the country. The council felt this would just be used as a holiday.

On the morning of 4th August 1892, Thames held its first Arbor Day tree planting at Rocky Point, Tararu.
Mrs Wm WOOD planted an english oak, in total about 50 were planted.
Various trees were planted along the road, by the group that had assembled (click here for full report)

In subsequent years, there was ongoing debate and varying degrees of observation of Arbor Day in Thames.
On 7/8/1895, trees were planted at the Old Mens' Home at Tararu.

The 21/7/1909, was recorded in the Thames Star as the first proper celebration of Arbor day in Thames. The success coming from the involvement of Government and the Education Board. The tree planting was based at the schools around the town; hoping to share with the children the importance of the protection of trees. Trees were also planted in other areas, including microcapa on the hills. It was deemed they were most appropriate to withstand the attention of the many goats, that roamed the hills!

PS. My GGGGGrandmother was no doubt to blame for some of those goats. Susan TIMMINS, formerly Moran nee McDougal, an early resident of Thames, and often on the wrong side of the law; was otherwise known as "Goaty" as she tended the goats that roamed on the hills.

Top: Thames Star 4/8/1892
Bottom: Postcard showing vicinity of first Arbor Day tree planting
Below: Thames Star 21/7/1909

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thames (NZ) 'The First time' : Telephone Exchange

When did Thames get the telephone?
In the Thames Star 6/3/1891, it was stressed that Thames needed a Telephone Exchange, that it would be a great asset to the Town. In order to get one, they needed to get 25 subscribers and put forward a petition. The following week, the District Hospital and Charitable Aids Board decided to put their name forward as a subscriber.

By the middle of April 1891, 27 subscribers had come forward for the Telephone Exchange in Thames! The requisition for the exchange was thereby forwarded to the Commissioner for Telegraphs.The following month the reply was received, with a few conditions for the subscribers. The contract term to be three years, not just one and allowed in bigger centres. (see below)
Thames 9/5/1891
In the Thames Star 31/8/1891, the difficulties over the subscriber term were resolved, and the exchange was proceeding. Alterations were to begin on the Post and Telegraph Offices, Government buildings. The bonus being, that the buildings were in a poor state, so it was welcomed that some upgrade would be happening.

In May 1892, discussion was underway in the papers about the hours the exchange would keep. It was felt 9am to 5pm would be pointless. By October 1892, the exchange was up and running, now residents at Tararu, wanted also to have this great new service!

Early phone numbers were:
Francis BATTSON (Plumber) No 3, A COURT (Draper) No 4, Wm MEEHAN (Cab Proprietor) No 6, M BROWNE & Co No 7, R BATEMAN (Butcher) No 8, W BONGARD (Chemist) No 14, Royal Hotel No 17, Isaac BROWN (Cycle shop) No 60, FOY Photographers No 66, M WHTEHEAD & Son (Boots) No 68.

Later in 1913, the next big excitement came with the Party Line System. Thames-ites once again eagerly joining the queue to try out this system at the Telephone Exchange.
Thames Star 14/8/1913

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thames (NZ): New Cemetery Maps at TCDC

Wow....not sure how long this has been available, but think it is part of a major map upgrade.
The details on TCDC webpage.

If you go to this page for online mapping
click I AGREE and then you enter map page
Take a few minutes to search and get used to it.
You can look by many options to look at properties

To go straight to CEMETERIES, click the option on top right hand menu
So far it looks like not all plot data is loaded and checking my family names, not all are yet showing
This feature is bottom or page..where you can search by name and cemetery
Looking down Grey Street. Many would have walked up here, to get to Shortland Cemetery - up the present day Jacob's Ladder Steps

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thames NZ, photo of foreshore and Parawai

Still working on early sports of Thames, so a bit of hiatus on posts at present. A couple of photos to keep things rolling along. First is part of a postcard, which shows Thames before Toyota car factory was built just north of the Kauaeranga Bridge. Look further north on right to area that has been reclaimed and now is Danby Field and the Goldfields shopping Mall. Further north to Moanataiari before the development. In the distance is the point at Tararu.

The bottom photo is taken from the bridge just before present day Herewaka Street. The Maori Anglican Church on the right. In the middle the road to the old Barrett Street crossing, connecting Thames to Totara. The land on the top leftis where the majority of sports were played, in the early days of Thames.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thames (NZ) "The First time' : Sports Day

With the goldfields having opened on 1 August 1867, the New Year marked the beginning of a New Year and fresh hopes of riches.  To mark this great 'first' on the Thames goldfields, the landlords of the ten Shortland hotels that were at that stage open, offered free drinks. It was estimated that there were 5000 miners on the field by that time and on New Years Eve approximately 500 men took up the offer and drank the night away. The custom of first foot-in was duly accommodated along with the customary drink.

The day of 1 January 1868, then saw the commencement of the town's first sporting official event. The caledonian games commenced at 11am and ran for the next 4 days, on the flat land below James Mackay and Chef Taipari's residence in Bowen (later Rolleston Street)

A full account and details of the events are in the Daily Southern Cross Newspaper dated 6/1/1868
The first days results are below:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thames (NZ) 'The First Time': CAR TRAVEL

Still looking for first time that a car was seen in Thames, but there is a great description for TE AROHA.
March 1902 saw the first motor car, in Whitaker Street, Te Aroha.

Thames Star 10 March 1902
 In 1904, Mr ADAMS travelled from Coromandel to Thames in 3 3/4hours. A distance of 43 miles, travelling at an average of 13 miles an hour!

Later in Thames in 1905, there was delight when Mr and Mrs MYERS came to town in their car, after a trip to Rotorua. They reportedly had met with much attention all along the way!
Thames Star 16 November 1904

Thames Star 17 January 1905

Having travelled by the ps Wakatere from Auckland, these travellers above are being met by a motor car on the Thames Wharf. (Approx 1910s)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thames (NZ) 'The First Time': AIRMAIL

I have long been interested in first time events for Thames; so hope to refresh my memory, find some more in order to make a more definite list. If anyone can help and name some - that would be great. Some will have been I will need to dig out the actual dates. Such as: first train, electricity, gas etc.. When was the first car seen in the town?

Today, mail delivery is the topic. In 1919 there were problems with mail delivery throughout the country due to the reduction and changes to the train timetable. Prior to the train service in Thames, the mail was principally sent and delivered from Auckland, via the many boats that sailed daily on the Firth of Thames..

So to overcome the problems with delivery, it was suggested to trial various air mail routes around the country. At the end of 1919 trial flight plans were drawn up and it was estimated that the flight from Auckland to Thames would take 45 minutes. Suggestions were that this should be for urgent correspondence and not personal letters or packages.

The big day for Thames arrived on 17 February 1920, when the first airmail delivery of mail took place, by flying boat.

Top: George Bolt receiving mail from a Post Office Official for the first airmail flight from Auckland to Thames
Auckland Weekly News 24/2/1920
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A6252'
Bottom: Fielding Star 18/2/1920

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thames (NZ) Rugby visit to Auckland 1900

Looking at the wonderful parade today, for the magnificent ALL BLACKS in downtown Auckland, was an amazing sight. The Rugby team from Thames, also once had a great welcome to the city in 1900, when they arrived by the ps Wakatere.
Auckland Weekly News: 17 August 1900
Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19000817-2-1'

New article at The Treasury (TCHT) - Roslyn, a special Thames-ite

How many people know the name of Miss Margaret Anne SINCLAIR (1861-1924) aka ROSLYN.

A well known poet, who for many years, called Thames home. Known around the world for her poems, plus several songs.
Find out more and read some of her wonderful poems at the 'Our People' page, at The Treasury Website.
New Zealand Illustrated Magazine 1 Dec 1902

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Thames (NZ) Postcards and photos (Schools) Part 2

There are also an amazing number of pictures of Thames-ites to be found at this source. Take this one of the Teachers of Tararu School 1900, taken by The Auckland Weekly News, published 20 July 1900
Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19000720-6-3'

Back Row: Misses F E MORTIMER and B M NOLAN
Front Row: Miss GOLDSWORTHY, Mr W H NEWTON (Headmaster) and Miss E E HARRIS
For this and other Tararu School Pictures from this edition, click here, then click VIEW FULL PAGE (beneath picture)
Another School photo from the Matapihi site is one of THAMES HIGH SCHOOL
Showing front view of Thames High School from Baillie Street. The original site of Thames High School was sold to the Hospital Board in May 1914 and the Baille Street school site and classrooms were bought to allow for expansion and erection of a new high school.

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 35-R1447'
Photographer: Radcliffe, Frederick George 

More Thames (NZ) Postcards and photos (Schools)

Remember to keep returning to sites, because there just seems to be an endless amount of new material available on the internet!!! At Matapihi, that is a collective site of resources, searching for Thames brings up 100s of results..narrow them down depending what you are looking for,

Take these examples below: The first is Parawai School, the bottom one is of the Wai-o-karaka school, which gives us a different perspective from those typically seen from Bird-in-hand hill or Upper Albert Street.  These are from the 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 35-R1447'
Parawai Public school, Thames
Photographer: Radcliffe, Frederick George

Wai-o-karaka school
Photographer: Radcliffe, Frederick George

Thames (NZ) Records at Archives Auckland

It is easy to think that old records aren't available, but with time and a little effort, the material at Archives Auckland seems almost limitless.
Previously mentioned are the miners rights books, but there are many more.
You can search the catalogue via ARCHWAY

Here are but a few titles that may be of interest:
Thames Claim Plan Books (14352) - unknown - unknown range held: c.1869 - 1879, This series consists of books containing plans of mining claims administered by Thames Warden's Court.

Thames General Mining Records (15202) Holdings Dates 1896 - 1914, This series consists of general mining records kept by Thames Warden's Court.

Thames License Books - Grant of Special Claims (14398) Holdings Dates 1887 - 1899, This series contains Thames Warden's Court license books recording grants of special claims.

Thames Miners Right Butt Books (14345) Holdings Dates 1867 - 1868, This series consists of a number of butt books which contain copies of miner's rights which were granted by Thames Warden's Court.

Thames Resident Site Licences (15097) Holdings Dates 1879 - 1879, This series contains resident site licences issued by Thames Warden's Court.

Thames Wardens Butt Book Lost Miners Rights (14428) Holdings Dates 1868 - 1868, This series contains a butt book recording replacement certificates issued in place of lost Miner's Rights at Thames Warden's Court.

And so it goes on, for a wide range of dates, plus loads of court minutes, notes and letters.

A couple of examples below from one of the warden's books - water rights 1871 and 1868.

My special thanks to my 'archives-helper' Janette for sending me these; if anyone else finds anything interesting to share from archives....please email them to me (address top right of page)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Methodist Church History - Thames, New Zealand

These days the Methodist Church in Thames is part of the Thames Union Parish, an amalgamation that happened between the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Thames in 1973.

Reference material available Includes:
"Thames Union Parish, Some snippets of Early History" by Norma HAGGETT and Frank GLEN
"A Century of Light 1867-1967, Thames Methodist Church" by Hazel P HARRIS
Copies are  available at The Treasury, Thames, along with a collection of reference material in the David Arbury Collection. Other smaller mentions are made in the centennial booklets and local newspapers.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church on the Thames goldfields flourished soon after the opening in August 1867. Churches were established at Shortland and Grahamstown, as well as Sunday School and services at Shellback, Tararu. Remembering that many of the Thames miners were from Cornwall, and were already followers of the Wesleyan Church beliefs.

There was also Primitive Methodist Church in Thames, which eventually joined with the Methodist Church in 1913.

The Methodist Church shown in the photo below, had moved several times. First situated on the Corner of Brown and Cochrane Streets, then to the corner of Mary and Pollen Streets. The photo below is at corner of Mackay and Sealey Streets. This Church still stands to day at Gails of Tamahere and is used for Wedding receptions.
Thames Methodist Church and Centre, 3rd Sept 1967
From "The Century of Light"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thames (NZ) Letters in the papers of Sir Donald McLean

The Alexander Turnbull Library has numerous articles related to THAMES and the people of Thames; an easy to search collection is searchable online - these are the papers of Sir Donald MCLEAN, with many digitised and available to read.
The Papers of Sir Donald McLean, 1820-1877 Donald McLean (1820-1877) was arguably the most influential figure in mid-19th century New Zealand history. He was a dominant figure in relations between Māori and the Government during this tumultuous period.

Search parameters can be easily set, for instance KEYWORD THAMES nets 251 results.
Names include:
Henry Freeman ANDREWS:
4 pages written 20 Feb 1875 by Henry Freeman Andrews in Thames to Sir Donald McLean.

Alexander GRANT:
3 pages written 21 Aug 1876 by Alexander Grant in Thames to Sir Donald McLean

Annie Caroline LAWLOR:
6 pages written 21 Sep 1875 by Anne Caroline Lawlor in Thames to Sir Donald McLean

Martin H PAYNE (Dr):
2 pages written 11 Jun 1875 by Martin H Payne in Thames to Sir Donald McLean in Wellington

Daniel POLLEN:
2 pages written 9 Jun 1870 by Dr Daniel Pollen in Auckland Region to Sir Donald McLean

Plus many more. A little more on Daniel POLLEN, given that his name remains firmly cemented in the town - our main street being named after him, POLLEN STREET.
A biography available in the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand, Wellington.

Daniel Pollen, [ca 1873]

Reference Number: 35mm-00132-f-F
Daniel Pollen, circa 1873. Photographer unidentified.
Alexander Turnbull Library

NZ Native Rugby Team 1888 - Thames player

With the rugby theme at present, here is some info on a NZ Native team tour 1888.
There is also a photo, that has a W ANDERSON, query whether this is G ANDERSON from Thames mentioned in the Thames Star 3 March 1888.

Creator unknown : Photograph of rugby players in the 1888 New Zealand Native Team, 1888

Reference Number: PAColl-8633

Photograph of rugby players, and others, with the New Zealand Native Team that visited England in 1888. Photograph taken in 1888 by an unidentified photographer, possibly in England. Back row: Thomas Eyton (co-promotor), R Maynard, C Goldsmith. Third row: J Lawlor (coach), D Stewart, W Nehua, H H Lee, G A Williams, T Rene, Wi Karauria, William Warbrick, E Ihimaira, J R Scott (manager). Second row: R G Taiaroa, W Elliott, T R Ellison, J A Warbrick (captain), E McCausland, W Anderson, P Keogh. Front row: Arthur Warbrick, H J Wynard, D R Gage, F Warbrick, C Madigan, A Webster.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kete Hauraki Coromandel - a place to share your stories

This site wants your stories, both historical and current:
This kete has been created to collect and preserve the stories of our communities - current and historical.

Also that staff at the local libraries are happy to help.
Kete Hauraki Coromandel is a joint project between Thames-Coromandel District Libraries and Hauraki District Libraries, and is supported by The National Library of New Zealand and Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa. CLICK HERE TO VIEW SITE

The search engine shows many historical items on Thames, along with wonderful photos
Bank of new Zealand
Tararu School
History of Library Services in Thames
Tararu Road

plus many more....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daldy McWilliams, shooting incident August 1879 at Ohinemuri

On 29th August 1879 a group of surveyors were shot at by local maori, they were on the Pukerange Block located 5 miles from Ohinemuri. The injured man was DALDY MCWILLIAMS, the shots fired by men from the Ngatihako hapu.

The matter was complex, and as reported by E W PUCKEY (Under Secretary Native Dept), there were long running issues surrounding the survey of land in this area.

There is a full report in the Wanganui Herald 1 Sep 1879, below is a portion of this article.

A full account of the incident is also made by TOSS HAMMOND of Thames, and his manuscript is available at The Treasury, Thames. Researching this incident, brought surprising results for my own family research, as I found that CLEM CORNES (GGGrandfather) had been involved in rescuing the injured MCWILLIAMS and transporting him for treatment.  Showing the need to check indexes and read as much as possible, in the quest to find those little extra stories - that give your family history those stories long forgotten.

Part of D McWilliams' account
 from Hammond Manuscript
William Francis "Daldy" MCWILLIAMS, was the son of John and Martha MCWILLIAMS. He was born 23/7/1860 at Papakura and died 18/1/1931 at Waihi, New Zealand.
Obituary Notes in the Ohinemuri Journal also an article on Mrs Daldy McWilliams

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Early Thames & Auckland (NZ) Residents

A wonderful supplement published in the Auckland Star, 1 December 1898, Page 13 - features Some Old Auckland Residents. Several of whom had spent some time in the Thames area
Names include arrival date for most of the early settlers.
Click here to read the names, or a transcribed list is available via the rootschat NZ Newsboard

A few of the names connected to Thames:
Dr J L Campbell, Sir John Logan Campbell, aka father of Auckland, one of first european settlers on the Coromandel and lived at Waioumu, just north of Thames in 1840..before he went and settled in Auckland

Mrs Captain Ninnis, her husband was a famous mine manager at Thames and Coromandel. He died 1879

Captain A. Farquhar.  Captain Alexander Farquhar was captain of the Wakatere, that went backwards and forward from Thames To Auckland. His son Robert, died in the Boer war and his name is on the memorial here in Thames

One of the two portraits from the Auckland Star 1 December 1898
Mrs NINNIS is photo no 29
available at Paperspast

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thames (NZ) - settlers articles in "Dictionary of New Zealand"

There is a wonderful set of books entitled DICTIONARY OF NEW ZEALAND
The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography only includes biographies of people who have died. The editors believe that this helps to ensure that the biographies have an appropriate perspective. People who are regarded as sufficiently notable to be included in the Dictionary, are included in the volume whose dates reflect the period when they were making their most significant contribution to New Zealand society.

The Treasury at Thames, has a full set; they are also available online.

There are many Thames people mentioned in these books, with full details on many early settlers and their families. A great source for genealogist and historian alike.

GRIGG, John: (1838-1920). A true character of Thames, recognised music teacher, composer and astronomer. (NB. There are articles on Mr Grigg by A M ISDALE and Toss HAMMOND, at the Treasury, Thames)
HASELDEN, Frances Isabella: (c1841-1946). Miss Haselden was Headmistress of the large Kauaeranga Girls School on the corner of Sandes and Richmond Street, Thames from 1874 to 1898.
MACKAY, James: (1831-1912). Played an important role in opening of Thames and Ohinemuri Goldfields
PRICE, Alfred: (1838-1907). Established ironworks in Thames 1871, later known as A & G Price Ltd.
TAIPARI, Eruini Heina (Wirope HOTERINI): (1889-1956). Ngati Maru leader

You can search by surname or enter THAMES and select BIOGRAPHIES, there are 183 results to browse.

Looking south down POLLEN STREET,
cnr of COCHRANE STREET intersect and centre of photo

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thames (NZ) Postcards at Youtube No 2

Just another short collection of postcards at YouTube.

This covers views along the Thames Coast towards Te Mata; as well as a selection from Thames. Enjoy.

Dunnage Postcard - Mata Beach, Tapu