Search billions of records on

RMSS Zealandia
Steam Ship: 3002 tons
Captain: Webber
Surgeon Superintendent:
Sailed San Francisco January 21st [3 days late] 1884 - arrived Auckland February 11th 1884

Sailed Auckland February ? 1884 - arrived Sydney February 15th 1884
Sailed Sydney February 28th 1884 - arrived Auckland Merch 4th 1884
[Sailed Auckland March 4th 1884 for Honolulu & San Francisco]

Our sincere thanks to Daphne Cutts for sending us this list.

Arrival of the SS Zealandia

Name Age County Occupation
Saloon Passengers
Ellors Miss
Jones Mr R B (or R R)
Main (or Mann) Mr C T (or C F)
Perry (or Pry) Mrs E M
Rhodes Mr R H
Russell Miss J
Steerage Passengers
Arthur Mr
Baker Mr
Boulter Mr
Crook John 44 England Colliery Proprietor, Photographer, Hatter
Emma 37
Emeline 11
Gwendoline 9
Ada 8
Eleanor 6
John 5
Walter 4
Gibbings Mr
Harvey Mr
Hodgkins Miss
Midlands Mr
Parks (or Packs) Mr

An account of the travels of the family of Emma & John CROOK as told by their grandaughter, Margery Middleton:
This is an account of the travels of Emma and John Crook and is based on what my mother told me over the years as I can remember it, (October 17th 2000).

Emma and John Crook left England about 1881. Grandpa Crook was the owner of a coalmine in the Forest of Dean, Gloucester in the UK. The mine suddenly flooded, and the pumps were not able to cope with the flood of water. Grandpa was down the mine with the men; they tried desperately to get the pumps working again but had to give up in the end. The mine was ruined and lost forever. Grandpa was offered a job in America as a mine manager. So, after selling up everything in England, they sailed for New York, only to find on arrival, that there was no job, no mine, nothing. It seemed it was a cruel hoax.

This would have been about 1881 as my mother, Eleanor, or Nellie as she was known, was about 4 years old. She was not able to walk as a result of rickets as a baby. Grandma had 3 children not able to walk when she arrived in America. A total of 7 children in all. Grandpa was able to get a job to feed and clothe the family. Then they decided to go “West”, so set off by train, a week’s journey. With 7 children and 3 not walking, it would have been a terrible ordeal. There were two events on the journey that remained in my mother’s mind. She told of one night they stopped at a station, it was an all night stop. The passengers were all together in a large waiting room, and in the middle was a large potbellied heating stove. A lot of men in large sombrero hats and cowboy boots were sitting around the room. There was a spittoon in the room and mum told us how amused they were, watching the men spitting into the thing. They never missed. The older children were very amused and they were entertained for a long time before settling down for the night. At daybreak the train was ready to start on its journey once more. The other incident on the next part of their journey was the attention of a very wealthy looking Chinaman. He was dressed in very beautiful clothes, covered with gold braid and gold buttons. He was very impressed with the way Grandma coped with the 7 children. Before leaving the train he cut of all his gold buttons of the tunic and gave them to Grandma. He insisted she take them. They were real gold and Grandma kept them for many years. Nobody ever knew what eventually happened to them.

Finally they arrived at their destination. Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the township they stopped at. They settled in Wyoming, and Grandpa started a bakery shop. He was doing well, and getting well known. Then typhoid fever broke out and half of the town died or left the place as fast as they could. Grandma nursed those who were sick, a few survived, but many did not. Grandma’s eldest daughter Winnie aged 15 helped with the nursing. When the fever started to die out, Winnie went down with it, and died very quickly. It was a great blow to them all, so somewhere in Wyoming lies Auntie Winnies remains. They eventually decided to leave as most people had gone and they worked their way to San Fransisco, where they boarded a ship to New Zealand. They landed in Auckland (circa) 1883-84.

Auntie Connie’s version of their landing was of Grandma sitting on the open wharf at Auckland. It was raining and very wet. The 6 children huddled around her and waited there until Grandpa found lodgings for the night. There was no shelter on the wharf at that time (1883-84). All their luggage was piled up around them, Grandpa finally found rooms somewhere up Queen St. Thinking back to the comfort of a good home in England, she must have been a very brave lady. They eventually found a large house in Ponsonby, and some years later settled in Prospect Terrace, Mt Eden.

Three more children were born after their arrival in New Zealand, Uncle Percy, Auntie Muriel, and Uncle Harold. Grandpa Crook worked in Karangahape Road with Cox Hatters for many years. The family grew up and settled in different parts of the country. Uncle Harold lived at 10 Prospect Terrace until he died in his sleep at the age of 99 and a half, 1990. The old house is still there but not in the family any more.

If anyone is connected to this family or would like to know more please contact Daphne Cutts.


Copyright Denise & Peter 2009

West Coast Times February 12th 1884