George White Bennett and Mary Jane Hebden
George White Bennett was one of Wellington's first settlers, arriving from England on board the New Zealand Company ship Cuba on 3 January 1840. His future wife, Mary Jane Hebden, arrived just over a month later on board the Duke of Roxburgh. They married on the 20th of November that year.
Mary Jane Hebden was baptised on 11 December 1816, at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, England, the eldest child of Mary and William Hebden. Her father was, by family tradition, the squire of the village of Dacre Banks, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
George was born on 2nd March 1814 at Whickham, County Durham, England, one of six children of George Bennett and Ann White.
In 1852 George Bennett began what was to become a family tradition of lighthouse-keeping at Pencarrow. His wife, Mary Jane Bennett, took on the role after his death in 1855, while their youngest son, William Bennett, was an assistant keeper during the 1880s.
They were the first lighthouse keepers in New Zealand, and Mary Jane was the first and only woman lighthouse keeper.
Mary Jane's official biography
Pencarrow lighthouse beginnings
Mary Jane and children