Remittance Men :: Genealogy
<< Previous - Next >>

Remittance Men

Journal by ralphjanmiller

It has been handed down ( via word of Mouth ) that my Husbands Great Granfather ( John Vaughan Miller , b. 31-1-1838 /39 ) was sent out from England to New Zealand ( along with his Family ) as a " Remittance Man " ( Something to do with Drink ) , while working as a Clerk for the Admiralty at White Hall .

How can I get Written Proof of this ?

Jan Miller

Surnames: MILLER
Viewed: 2452 times
by ralphjanmiller Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-08-12 18:34:08

ralphjanmiller has been a Family Tree Circles member since Oct 2011. is researching the following names: WINTON.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by Optimisst on 2012-08-12 20:44:21

It is unlikely that you will find any documentary evidance that Mr Miller was a remittance man. The term was often used to describe someone who had disgraced the family (a black sheep) and was being supported by the family on condition that they stayed away. The funds (remittances) would have been sent privately by the family and unless you had access to their financial records, or some family correspondence, then you would have much difficulty in proving the story.

Pat Davies

by ralphjanmiller on 2012-08-13 06:07:46

Thankyou Pat for explaining that . You may indeed be correct in saying he may have disapointed his Father , who was John Cale Miller ( b. 11.10.1814 , d,11-7-1880 ) Canon of Worcester at his Death .
John Vaughan Miller ^ Family left via Gravesend on 7-2-1880 on the Vessel " Trevelyan , arrived in Lyttelton NZ on 13-5-1880 . He bought 260 acres of Land in Kaiteriteri Nelson in 1882 .

Most of John Cales Children went into OR Married into the Church , but NOt John Vaughan , and he was the Oldest Son ...... so that may have been enough to upset his Father .
Not the Dates of John Vaughan's leaving and His Fathers Death .

Jan Miller

by Optimisst on 2012-08-13 16:54:11

You are most welcome, Jan. I think it may have been something a little more scandalous than his choice of profession!! I see that he seems to have left the Admiralty shortly before his marriage ~ have you any idea why? A very interesting mystery!! I'm intrigued.

Pat Davies

by ralphjanmiller on 2012-08-13 17:47:21

Wow Pat , we had NO Idea When he left the Admiralty , . When DID he Leave the Admiralty ? ........ going on what you have written , it seems then that he left the Admiralty prier to the 22-6- 1865 , which is the date that he and Mary Ann Boydell married .

A Book has been written here in NZ by Lydia Wevers from Victoria University ( Wellington NZ , called " Reading on the Farm " it's based on life at Brancepeth Station . John Vaughan Miller left his Family in Motueka after going Bankrupt and loosing the Farm in 1893 , he then took a Job as Clerk at Brancepeth Station ( in the Waiarapa ) and suported his Family from there , he was Clerk there from 1893 to 1908 . In her Research , Lydia found that he listed his occupation as , Clerk of the Admiralty , from that we assumed that he was working at the Admiralty just prier to coming to NZ .
Lydia's research was done after the Entire Libary from Brancepeth Station was left to Victory University by the Station Owners .

In 1871 John Vauhan Miller and Family are listed as living at
27 Oakley Square , St Lukes Parish Chelsea Middlesex England .
9 years later they are in New Zealand .

Another interesting thing is , that Basil Vaughan Miller ( my Husbands Grand Father and 5th Child of John Vaughan Miller , went up to the North Island to train as a Priest , he was Talked out of it on a visit to his Father at Brancepeth Station , he had how ever , Started that Training .

Jan Miller

by Optimisst on 2012-08-13 19:39:53

Here is a record of John's service from "British History Online".

Miller, John Vaughan Third Class (Second Section) Clerk 23 Nov. 1858-26 April 1865 (Adm. 12/650). Acting Third Class (First Section) Clerk 26 April 1865-20 June/ 20 Sept. 1865 (Adm. 12/762). Third Class (First Section) Clerk app. between 20 June and 20 Sept. 1865 (Navy Lists). Second Class Clerk 21 Oct. 1867 (Adm. 12/794).
-, Private Secretary to Second Secretary (Romaine) app. between 20 Sept. and 20 Dec. 1862 (Navy Lists). Left office 17 Aug. 1865 (Adm. 12/762).

From: 'Alphabetical list of officials: K-Z', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4: Admiralty Officials 1660-1870 (1975), pp. 135-159. URL: Date accessed: 13 August 2012.

It is a bit ambiguous, saying he left office 17 Aug 1865 but there is an entry stating that he was a Second Class Clerk 21 Oct. 1867. Could be an error? If you look at the list you will notice that where there is a reappointment it is usually indicated with the abbreviation "reapp". I noticed the 1871 census record showing him still as an Admiralty Clerk Whitehall. wouldn't it be great if you could get a complete record of his employment there?!!

In the British Newspaper Archive there is an article dated 29 Nov 1858 in the Birmingham Gazette which mentions John and his nomination to a Whitehall Admiralty appontment, but unfortunately I don't have a current subscription so I cannot see the whole article.

A very interesting family tree!!

Let me know if I can look up anything for you ~ I am an inveterate nosy parker!!

Best wishes


by ralphjanmiller on 2012-08-13 22:15:36

Thankyou so very much Pat for your input into helping me update our Familty Tree and History .
Jan Miller

by Optimisst on 2012-08-14 10:42:34

You're welcome, Jan. I don't know how far your research has progressed but I did find a probate record for John Cale Miller, leaving an estate of about eight thousand pounds. It is possible to get a copy of the wll if you were keen; that might be revealing. The probate record mentions his sons, the Reverend Henry Walter Miller, of the Vicarage of St John the Divine, and Francis Hugh Miller, Deputy Superintendent of Royal Victoria Yard in Deptford (a division of the Admiralty).
Best wishes
Pat Davies

by ralphjanmiller on 2012-08-14 17:30:07

Oh Pat !!! YES Thankyou , I'd love to get a copy of the Will , if you know how ? and ANY Thing else you can dig up on the Family would be Greatly appreciated .

His Children were .......
Mary Elizabeth Miller.b. 17-7-1837 . d . ?
John Vaughan Miller b. - - 1839 . d . 18-1-1925 NZ
N K Miller b. - - 1841 . d ? .......... we don't know what his full name is .
Elizabeth b. - - 1842 . d. - - 1925
Hery Walter b. 19-7-1843. d. 26-5-1926
Katherine Elsie . b - = 1865 . d, ?
Elsie C . b. = - 1846 . d. ?
Jessie . b. - - 1847. d. ?
Emily Josephine . b. - - 1849 . d. 30-6-1948
Frances Hugh . b. - - 1850. d. ?
Annieb. - - 1854. d. ?
Helen Gerude. b. - - 1856. d. ?
Constance Lillian. b. - - 1859. d. - - 1871

Any info or Gap filling will helph bring our Family Tree closer to commpletion.

Many Thanks , Jan Miller .

P S : WE do have a lot of info about John Cale Miller & his Religious Fetes , but Noting of Family Life .

by Optimisst on 2012-08-14 21:37:56

Hi Jan,

Would it be possible for me to have your email address? I have found some records which I have copied which I would like to send to you.

There is a firm in London that can obtain a copy of the will (according to their website) and the cost would be about 19 British pounds. You might like to check them out at:

I will send you the probate record so that you can have all the relevant information.



by ralphjanmiller on 2012-08-14 21:55:14

Hi Pat , your'e a marvel . British Payments are out I'm afraid , we don't run Any Credit cards , yes I know it's unheard of in this day & age , but some-one has to stay Level Headed here in Christchurch NZ .

Thanks ,
Jan Miller

[email protected]

by ralphjanmiller on 2012-08-14 22:00:13

Hi again Pat , . Ruth Miller , born to John Miller and Mary Ann Miller ? nee Boydell / Boydel , born here in NZ , apparently at some stage went back to England .

I am also having trouble finding the Families of John Vaughan Miller's children here in New Zealand , apart from Basil , who was my Husbands Grand Father .

Regards Jan

by Deanofbrecon on 2012-09-21 03:01:47

Hi Jan
Ruth Miller (1882-1977) came to Britain (having been born in NZ) in 1916, having married Dr Russell Henry Marshall (1885-1986!) in NZ on 7 March 1916 having met as medical missionaries in the Solomon Islands. They were my father's parents and I knew them very well. Their youngest (4th) child, my aunt Mary, is the only one still alive. I am Ruth and Russell's eldest grandchild; I'm now 64 and the Dean of Brecon Cathedral in Wales. Russell's father was also a clergyman. I could tell you lots more, but the family tree is with my next brother Roger - a retired banker living in Kent, with whom I could put you in touch.
Geoffrey Marshall.

by ralphjanmiller on 2012-09-21 05:46:44

Wow , Thankyou so much Geoffrey , Any info on the Family will be helpful , my email address is

[email protected]

Jan Miller

by ralphjanmiller on 2012-09-21 05:47:13

Wow , Thankyou so much Geoffrey , Any info on the Family will be helpful , my email address is

[email protected]

Jan Miller

by Deanofbrecon on 2012-09-23 09:07:30

I need to correct my grandfather's name: it wasn't Russell Henry Marshall but Russell Hardy Sidney Marshall (1885-1986).

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.