Sgt George KING of the 61st & 14th Regiments -
After almost 14 years in India, the 61st Regiment returned to Ireland in 1858 and disbanded. After a couple of months George KING joined the 14th Regiment. He was promoted to Sergeant and they were sent to Stirling in Scotland, where he married a young girl of Irish parentage on 1 January 1859. In Dec 1859 he took a 6 week furlough and went with his wife Jane (nee HALL) to The Curragh army base in Ireland, where their first child Sarah Jane KING was born.
Eight months later, in August 1860, the Regiment received orders to go to New Zealand. Sgt George KING was made Recruitment Officer and stayed back for 6 months recruiting in Stirling, Glasgow and Liverpool. Then they went to Fermoy - the Army pay office near Cork, to prepare for the voyage. There he was enumerated in the 1861 global British Military Census just 2 weeks before they sailed.
They left Queenstown, Cork in late April 1861, collecting all the recruits at various British ports. They had a good trip of 93 days and reached Auckland New Zealand in late July 1861. Half of the regiment was set to Road making, from Auckland down into the Waikato. Most of the others were sent to Taranaki. But Sgt George KING & his Battalion were sent to Napier, to act as policemen in this unruly land.
In 1865 he was granted a Medical Discharge (old injuries from battles in India). His intention at that time was to settle in Napier, New Zealand.
In 1866-1867 he was up in Gisborne where Te Kooti was on the prowl with his Hau Haus. Sgt George KING had joined a local militia to assist - all hands were needed. They lived in that area for 10 years. Then settled in Wellington. I decided they lived there as their daughter Sarah Jane KING had her first child in Wellington, though the birth was registered in Gisborne (Turanga as it was called back in 1877). Why else would she have gone to Wellington to have her first baby?
I had never heard of any other children for George KING and his wife Jane, though I asked my father and grandparents - no-one knew of any.
Then on paperspast, the website of digitised newspapers from NZ National Library, I found an In Memoriam notice which was published in 1907, a year after the death of Jane KING, widow of Sergeant George KING of the 61st and 14th Regiments. It was signed off by two loving sons, Duncan and Daniel. At last - some more of their family. That was a few months back and I have since been able to get their death certificates and find that George and Jane were buried in Karori Cemetery in Wellington.
When he died in 1894, George had nine living children. When Jane died in 1906 there were eight living children. The only one I know anything about is Sarah Jane KING, their first born and she was my gt grandmother.
Are there any other descendants of this couple out there? who recognise this story or parts of it? I do hope some come hurrying forth to see me.