ATWOOD John an agricultural labourer from Lincolnshire.Expedition man on the WHITBY :: Genealogy
<< Previous - Next >>

ATWOOD John an agricultural labourer from Lincolnshire.Expedition man on the WHITBY

Journal by genseek

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!!

Viewed: 3234 times
Likes: 0
by genseek Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
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!

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by Sellwood on 2010-10-07 05:46:25

Thanks for your research and very enjoyable writing about John Atwood and also John Barnes. John Atwood was my ggg grandfather. I've read and researched his early years, but you have now answered many of my questions. We recently moved to Nelson, so I feel I am back with my forefathers and able to look into all of this a bit more. Can you tell me where you got the photo of him? It's fantastic to be able to put a face to the name. It looks as though it's part of a bigger photo. Would love to be able to get a copy. Rebecca

by genseek on 2010-10-07 15:53:26

Hello Rebecca. There sure are many many Atwood descendants!!! If you would like to give me your email address I can send you some other photos. I find there is an enormous amount of wild and inaccurate information re the Barnes/Atwood story- one of the worst on my Barnes side!! I wanted to set the record straight and my research is backed up by facts. you will find the Nelson Archives at Stoke a fund of good information- take a look at the 1841 census there with Gills and Atwoods and ask to see the entry in Captain Wakefield's journal about my absconding JOhn Barnes- amazing!! Regards Gaynor

by Karen999 on 2016-02-14 15:44:35

What a fantastic read, it's such a fabulous story I would love to see any Atwood photos you may have.
Kind regards

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.