Source Information New Zealand, Settlement of Otago, 1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data:

Contributions to the Early History of New Zealand (Settlement of Otago). Ann Bromell Collection. Microfiche, 3 fiche. Auckland: BAB microfilming, 1989.

Hocken, Thomas Morland. Contributions to the Early History of New Zealand (Settlement of Otago). Sampson Low, Marston and Company: London, 1898.

About New Zealand, Settlement of Otago, 1898

The book contained in this database has historical and biographical information about the early settlers of New Zealand, primarily those in the province of Otago. Otago was one of the original provinces created by the New Zealand Constitution Act of 1852, and was further divided into the Otago and Southland Provinces in 1861 because of an increase in population. Geographically the two provinces cover the South Island from the Waitaki River south including the Steward Island and the sub Antarctic Islands. Early colonizers to this island included Free Scottish Church members, who had split from the Scottish Church over their relations with the state, and many English settlers.

The focus of this book is on the Scottish emigration from the United Kingdom to New Zealand. It details the conflicts encountered by colony organizers in soliciting protection from the Queen against the French and establishing a plan for the foundation of their colony. If your ancestor was part of this particular emigration to New Zealand they would most likely have encountered passengers from a variety of class backgrounds and a vigorous ship-board life involving janitorial chores, schooling for the children, and daily religious services.

Also recorded in this book are stories like the immigrants first encounter with the Māori, the living conditions of the newly arrived settlers, and the gradual organization of the colony. Many individual members of the community are mentioned such as the schoolmaster Mr. Blackie, Captain Cargill, the New Zealand Company’s resident agent, and John Jones who attempted to break the local bank when the colony began circulating notes of exchange.

In the 1860s there was a rapid commercial expansion in Otago Province due to the discovery of gold at Gabriel’s Gully, called the Central Otago gold rush. Because of the rush Otago became the cultural and economic center of New Zealand for a time and the influx of miners changed the initial character of the Scottish Presbyterian population, however these happenings are beyond the scope of this book.

Information in this index:

  • Passenger names
  • Ship descriptions
  • Registration dates
  • Registration countries
  • Sailing history of the ship
  • Establishment of the colony Dunedin

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