George Baker born in England about 1826 and sent to NZ as a Parkhurst Boy in 1842 on the St George. Signs that he was living in Russell (Kororareka) in 1846 with a native wife. His son Thomas Baker was born 1850/1851 and he gave his birth place as Thames.
He married Jane Appleyard in 1871 and they moved to Kihikihi where they had eleven kids before she died in 1895 I think it was. She was pregnant when she died.
Trying to track George, and Thomas especially who the mother was. Thomas was fluent bilingually in both Te Reo and English and acted as a translator as part of his role in the Waikato wars.
When Jane died the younger kids were sent to their uncle William Appleyard.
Thomas was sympathetic to Te Kooti and often hid him and his people in his shed on the farm at Kihikihi.
on 2023-01-31 07:48:33
Samartin1 has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jan 2023.
Hi Samartin, welcome to family tree circles
You have that Thomas Baker (1851-1895) was born in Thames, Coromandel, that his father was George Baker (1826-) who was a 16 year old 'shoemaker' when he arrived in Auckland on the St George, 25 Oct 1842 as a Parkhurst Boy. NOTE all Parkhurst boys were listed as shoemakers or tailors and that he (Thomas) married Jane Appleyard 1852-1892) in 1871.
However, (as you would have seen) he has been documented in a number of sites online as being this Thomas Baker (who married Jane Appleyard) but that he was a son of Richard Baker (1810-1854) & Jane Emily Morgan who had married in St Paul's, Wellington in 1840.
However! Major Richard Baker, was the 2nd son of William Baker, Esquire, one of the Coroners of the County of Middlesex. He served in Portugal in 1833 & 1834 during the siege of Oporo and was twice decorated. He served with the British Auxiliary Legion in Spain as Captain in the 1st Regiment of Lancers. He received the first class Order of San Fernando for gallantry and the Gold Medal for the capture of the Town etc etc. After the Peninsular Campaign he returned to England and on 1 Sep 1839 he accompanied some of the first settlers to the shores of NZ on the Aurora, as a 30 year old Magistrate for the NZ Company. His obit & funeral read like a Whos Who - hardly a Parkhurst Boy.
* His widow, Jane Emily Barker (nee Morgan) remarried in 1856 to William McLeod Bannatyne (1818-1888), the wealthy Wellington Merchant, Member of the Wellington City Council and founder of the 'famous' Bannatyne Stores. They later returned to Middlesex - proving one needs to be wary of anything online without first doing your own research
This of course still leaves us with finding what happened to George and who he married (or didn't).
* In 1875 a Captain George Baker was appointed Pilot of the Port of Russell under the Marine Act of 1867
'your' George would have then been 49
But I think George was a sea Captain long before this appointment. Also: NZ Herald, 7 Aug 1890: Captain George Baker, formerly harbour-master at Russell, Bay of Islands, died at Sydney on July 24, 1890, aged 62 years(close). He was attached to the Sydney Customs at the time of his death.
* In 1878 a George Baker was employed in the Moanatiari mine at Thames
'your' George would have then been 52
* In 1896 a George Baker and 54 others of Punakatiri, Bay of Islands, asked the Government to consider building a bridge over the Punakatiri River
'your' George would have then been 70
Do you have anything further to share which could help?
Do you know of other children?
Hi Ngaire all I have is family stories around it and dna that shows my dad is part Maori which we didn’t expect.
The family history from the oldest kids of Thomas and Jane is that Thomas’ dad was George not the parents that are listed by some on the trees Richard and Emily Baker.
I have found some info on Thomas and when he was arrested in the 1880’s for cattle stealing he was described as swarthy skinned, big nosed, one described him as being part Maori I think quarter cast. He had an anchor tattooed on his wrist according to police record.
The family story was that Thomas was embarrassed by his dads past and didn’t want to acknowledge him. Unfortunately my grandmother Betty Helen Rae Martin nee Baker (b.1923) who was the youngest daughter of George Baker (b. 188?) was very hush hush about it all.
Any help is appreciated as it has been tricky to track and hadn’t been able to find even when or where George (1826) died and had wondered if he was overseas when he did. I did manage to track him on papers past on the ss emu and a couple of other ships and the age would fit.
Hadn’t been able to track the marriage though the lady was down as his wife on the 1846 Bay of Islands Census. But simply states native wife but no name. On the voter things for nz for Russell it appears he may have had a son called William … there were family names like William, Frederick, Thomas and George that were repeated a lot in the various generations.
Definitely no link that the family we have contact with is aware of with Richard Baker or Jane Emily and neither of those names continues in the family so don’t believe they are related.
My grandfather on dads side said that we were related to Princess Te Puea. Mum isn’t sure if he meant through the Bakers or the Martins. He was Sydney Graham Martin (b1925) but the Baker family moved from Kihikihi to Matiere and I know that my grandparents talked to mum about the fact that the Bakers had a large home with live in ‘help’ of some kind (George Baker and Annie Flett). George at that time had a very successful transport business and spent large periods away from home
His parents were definitely NOT Richard Baker & Jane Emily Morgan for reasons laid out in my first comment.
However, your comment that he was indeed on ships makes my Captain George Baker, formerly harbour-master at Russell, Bay of Islands, died at Sydney on July 24, 1890, aged 62 years, look a very possible match. I (& yourself of course) should look into his burial etc. May find out more.
Your other bits and pieces could be helpful too towards tracing the family
Thanks Ngaire that gives me two pieces of info that I didn’t have and an idea of where to keep looking.
Ok seeing his death certificate in Sydney we can rule him out Ngaire as he had no children and was married to same woman for over 30 years
I think the miner from Thames is the next best lead to track down as Thomas was born in Thames so would fit some of what we know.