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Henry HIRST (3 Aug 1838-16 Dec 1911)

Henry was my mother's mother' mother's father's brother's son (whatever that makes me!). He was born in Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England and most of his family and relations were in the wool business, primarily as merchants.

The only substantial info I have on Henry in NZ comes from "The Cyclopedia of NZ (Otago and Southland)" published in 1905. According to that publication he arrived at Dunedin in the fifties on board the "Agra". He then went to Te Anau and Manapouri as one of the first settlers where he was engaged in "pastoral pursuits". He soon sold his interests and joined Captain Watts RUSSELL of Canterbury in exploring the area between the Waiau River and Breeksea Sound for 7 weeks looking for open country but had no success. He moved to Riverton and started as a butcher but later sold this business. In August 1861 he took the first drove of cattle to Gabriel's Gully. A few years later he bought a run at Orepuki, but when payable gold was found in the area in 1866, the land was taken back by the Government and he used the compensation to buy another run of 620 acres near Orepuki where he remained for the rest of his life. He was elected a member of Wallace County Council in 1877 and was still representing it in 1905. In 1879 he was elected MP for the Wallace Constituency but at the next election lost it by one vote, only to be re-elected in 1884 before losing it again at the next election. In 1860 he married a daughter of the late William DALLAS of Riverton and had 2 sons and 6 daughters.

Any information on these children (and their offspring) would be much appreciated. I have plenty of information on Henry's ancestors back 4 generations and also his 7 siblings and families and will post another journal shortly.

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