ATWOOD John an agricultural labourer from Lincolnshire.Expedition man on the WHITBY
John ATWOOD b.circa 1805 was from Lincolnshire and an agricultural labourer. He married Jane and had 2 daughters. We don't know when the marriage took place, we don't know Jane's maiden name or of her 2 girls. While he was working in Lower Stratton, Wiltshire, John applied to sail to NZ as one of the NZ Co's Expedition men with Captain Arthur Wakefield. The marriage often attributed to him in Wiltshire is proven completely incorrect as we have a copy of the marriage certificate and it is the wrong John Attwood. In 1841 the ship WHITBY along with the WILL WATCH and the ARROW sailed for NZ with hopes of a new settlement which finally became Nelson.
With JOhn Atwood was my 3 x gr grandfather, John BARNES (see my journal on JB) a boatman from Deal, Kent. The NZ Co had organised the men to go ahead and prepare accommodation etc in preparation for the arrival of their wives and children in a few months time.
The men were contracted for 2 years then were free to make their own way in life. They arrived in Oct 1841 and in early 1843 the infamous ship LLOYDS sailed into the Haven.The men must have been so excited to finally be with their families again
Eagerly scanning the shore would have been a very sad Mary BARNES , 2 of her 4 ch. had died on the voyage. John ATWOOD was longing to see Jane and his little girls arriving at last. Mary's horror would have been complete to find John had gone back on the ARROW to England 2 weeks after arriving. JOhn ATWOOD' wife and ch. never came on board. Grief soon swept through the whole little town- the LLOYDS was a death ship- 65 of the children on board had died on the voyage due to a negligent doctor and a brutal and incompetent captain.
John and Mary very sensibly joined forces and soon started the family of 10 ch. they would have together. John along with my other 3 x gr grandparents William and Harriet GILL farmed on land at Whakapuaka owned by English investors, and appear in the census quite well established.When Governer Grey legally purchased land in the Wairau, Marlborough John ATWOOD and Mary BARNES and family came over in c 1856 and took up land on the Opawa River, Blenheim where they built Sandhills Cottage. Mary sadly died in 1867 and in the following three months John also lost three of the Barnes/Atwood children- one drowning in their stream. He appears a jolly little man, and though he is no relation to me, my 3 x gr grandmother Mary lived with him the rest of her life. They could not marry despite at one stage posting an intention of marriage. Samuel BARNES ( my gr gr grandfather)and his sister Elizabeth both married GILL family members and JA appears to have been kind to his stepchildren. He died at Sandhills in 1886 having had I would think a very good life, owning his own land, something unthinkable in England. He had married again to a Mary Ann GENTRY a widow from Nelson and is buried in Omaka between his two "beloved Mary's" . The clue to finding his wife Jane is that her part of his wages were to be sent c/- the Post Office, Stanground, Peterborough- probably the home of her parents. I have copies of the deeds etc to his land and a copy of his painfully learned signature. I certainly think that my Mary would have had a happier life with him than my grumpy John BARNES!!
on 2010-06-17 00:02:24
I am researching THACKER, QUINLIVAN, FULFORD, HAY, BARNES, MORGAN, JAMES , ATWOOD, GILL. At present I am writing a book of my WILLIAM HAY family story through goldfields of Victoria and Otago.His wife was Mary Ann MERIGAN and I would greatly appreciate any info or photos someone may have out there!