Source Information

Ancestry.com. Early History of New Zealand, From Earliest Times To 1845 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data:

Early History of New Zealand, From earliest times to 1845. Ann Bromell Collection. Microfiche, 6 fiche. Auckland: BAB microfilming, 1989.

Sherrin, R. A. A. and L. H. Wallace. Early History of New Zealand, From earliest times to 1845. H Brett: Auckland, 1890.

About Early History of New Zealand, From Earliest Times To 1845

While the first colony of New Zealand was officially founded in 1840 settlers felt there was far more relevant history contributing to the colonization of New Zealand previous to this time. This database contains a history of early New Zealand beginning with the voyages of Captain Cook in the region. The first half of the book is written by R.A.A. Sherrin detailing any history previous to 1840. L.H. Wallace wrote the second half covering the years from 1840 to 1845. H. Brett, the publisher, felt that a brief history after the founding of the first colony rounded out the account of the actual founding of British New Zealand, which is why the history continues after 1840.

The book begins with a recounting of the evidence for knowledge of New Zealand and the Māori before the more well-known journey of the Dutch sailor Abel Janszoon Tasman to the islands. It also includes illustrations of important officials, such as Captain Cook, and of Māori carvings like canoe mastheads and weapons.

Had your ancestor visited or resided on the island of New Zealand they would have been familiar with the voyages of Captain Cook through the South Pacific and to New South Wales (the British name for New Zealand at that time). They would also have seen Māori artifacts like those depicted in the illustrations. Perhaps they were part of the group of convicts who were transported to New Holland and New South Wales by the English (transportation of convicts to America was very common before the uprising of the Colonies, but after Britain lost the land in America Australia and New South Wales replaced the Colonies as convict transport destinations).

Your ancestor may also have been involved in the whaling or sealing industry, which swelled in the South Pacific after the location of New South Wales became more well known. Or perhaps they were part of the early Christian missionary effort. Eventually the British became more involved in the administration of New Zealand affairs, and the New Zealand Land Company was formed in 1830, although without the backing of the British government. Altogether, these records contain a wealth of information about the early exploration and colonization of New Zealand by the British; as such it is an invaluable resource.

Information in this index:

  • Names of various sailors and officers
  • Names of various escaped convicts
  • Names of sources whose personal journals were consulted
  • Names of missionaries who traveled to New South Wales
  • Names of dignitaries associated with the New Zealand colonies

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