BOY IMMIGRANTS TO NEW ZEALAND
THE SEDGWICK BOYS
These are a selection of articles (in date order) re the Sedgwick Boy's from various newspapers - see PAPERS PAST for these
Evening Post, Volume LXXX, Issue 155, 29 December 1910, Page 8
LONDON LADS FOR NEW ZEALAND.
From Our Own Correspondent.) LONDON, 18th November.
Mr. Sedgwick has selected the 25 London lads who are to form part of the first party of 50 for New Zealand. Liverpool is finding the other 25. The names of the London boys and their occupation, together with testimonials, are now under consideration at Victoria Street, and the boys themselves will be inspected next week. If approved, they are due to leave England the first week in December. The ages range from 16 to 20 years, and they have had various occupations, which should prove they are both adaptable and versatile. They have all signed on for farm work. The following will give some idea how they have been living in the East End of London: - Coffee shop, pot boy, jam factory, hop-picker, wet counter hand at wholesale chemist's, truck boy, rivet boy, paint boy, casual labourer, warehouse boy, coffee shop, messenger, shop boy, carpentry, cricket groundsman, sawmills casual, errand boy, trunk-making, newspapers, rag and pork shop, boiler works, wire rope works, ship repairs, casual engineering works, greengrocery, casual, telegraph boy, warehouse boy, gasfitter, signwriter, casual milk rounds, instrument maker, parcel boy, tannery and rivet boy.
Bay Of Plenty Times, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5597, 6 January 1911, Page 3
THE SEDGWICK BOYS.
RUSH OF APPLICATIONS
Press Association.) Wellington. Jan, 6
Fifty Sedgwick boys will arrive by the Athenic before the end of the month, and no fewer than 250 applications have been received by the Labour Department for their services. Consequently the Department has been able to place the lads in situations where they are likely to secure the greatest possible benefit and instruction. Eleven boys will go to the Auckland province, including some for Helensvilie and Waikato districts. Ten will proceed to Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa, seven to Wanganui and Manawatu, eight to North Canterbury, four to South Canterbury, five to Otago, and three to Southland. Mr Sedgwick is accompanying the party and will hand the lads over to the Department on arrival, the Department seeing every lad to his destination. Although there is a large demand for the boys' services the Department will await the result of the present experiment before taking further action.
Press, Volume LXVII, Issue 13952, 27 January 1911, Page 8
THE ATHENIC'S PARTY
INTERVIEW WITH MR SEDGWICK
LIVERPOOL'S OFFER TO SEND 50 GIRLS.
(PRESS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAM.) WELLINGTON, January 26
The Labour Department has had a busy time since the arrival of the party of fifty lads who came out from England in the Athenic, under the guidance of Mr Sedgwick. The officials worked till far into Tuesday night, preparing the deeds of apprenticeship and other documents, with the result that all but four of the youthful immigrants were dispatched to their future homes today. The Southern contingent, numbering 18, left by the Mararoa to-night, en route for Southbridge (2), Akaroa, Winton, Palmerston South (2), Cromwell, Kanana, Queenstown, St. Andrews, Nightcaps, Ashley Downs, Bennetts, Torcross (Akaroa), Bennetts (2), Cust and Woodbury. [The article continues on with an interview with Mr Sedgwick]
Feilding Star, Volume V, Issue 1403, 30 January 1911, Page 2
One of the fifty boys brought out from England by Mr Sedgwick is on a farm in the Sandon district and another is in the Oroua Downs.
NZ Truth, Issue 293, 4 February 1911, Page 3
Among the Sedgwick boys is one McGRATH, a lad who has boxed at Wonderland, London. I also hear that a couple of others are handy with the gloves.
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXI, 22 February 1911, Page 4
A paragraph about the Sedgwick boys has appeared in a number of newspapers to the effect that two of the lads, not being enamoured of their prospects, had deserted the party in Australia, Mr Sedgwick, who is at present in Masterton, says that this is quite incorrect. A number of boys went ashore at Hobart, and two were left behind there owing to the Athenic leaving the port two hours before the advertised time of staring. Arrangements have since been made for them to come on to New Zealand by a later boat.
Wanganui Chronicle, Volume L, Issue 12751, 25 May 1911, Page 2
A SEDGWICK BOY.
LETTER TO THE HIGH COMMISSIONER
LONDON, April 13. An interesting letter from one of the Sedgwick boys in New Zealand was received this week by Sir William Hall-Jones, High Commissioner for New Zealand. It is written by Harold M. THOMAS, one of the Liverpool lads whom Mr T. Sedgwick recently conducted to the Dominion to take up farming life there. Young Thomas is now in the employ of Mr David Caldwell, of Wairuri, Tolaga Bay, and his letter runs thus:—
"Dear Sir William —I have great pleasure in informing you that my expectations of New Zealand are being fulfilled. I simply enjoy this life. It is much more jolly than being shut up in an office all day. I am getting on quite nicely. I can now milk, ride, and do a little sheep work— very little of the latter, I am afraid; however, I will soon master it. I am with very nice people, and they are very kind to me. I think all the other boys are enjoying themselves —can't help it, I can assure you."
The writer of this letter is the lad who made such an effective little speech on the occasion of Sir William Hall-Jones visit to Liverpool to inspect the Sedgwick contingent there. The High Commissioner remembers him well, and is very pleased to receive from the lad such a satisfactory assurance that he and his mates are enjoying their new life in the Dominion.
Feilding Star, Volume V, Issue 1515, 12 June 1911, Page 2
A very painful accident happened to a lad named WATKINS, employed by Messrs Stewart and Walker, Waipapa on Wednesday (reports the Kaikoura Star). Watkins who is one of the Sedgwick boys, brought out from England a few months ago was splitting some wood, when the axe slipped, and severed the big toe on the right foot in half, lengthways. The boy was immediately brought into town by Mr Walker, the twenty-five-mile journey proving very trying to the sufferer. Drs Slater and Saunders attended him, and the wound was stitched up and dressed (under chloroform) and he was made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.
Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXII, Issue 8326, 5 August 1912, Page 7
THE SEDGWICK BOYS.
Mr T. E. Sedgwick who recently left London for Canada, has addressed the following letter to all his boys in New Zealand:
The report on the first year's work of the first party has given great satisfaction. The King's Private Secretary has written to tell me that His Majesty has read it with great interest. Thirty-three have been quite satisfactory and given no trouble; seven were troublesome, but are going on all right now; and ten were included in the third schedule.
The proportion of success is as nearly as possible equally divided between London and Liverpool. Five of the second group were placed out in pairs, but did all right on being separated. Of the third class, two have gone home to Liverpool, two have bolted to Australia, two have left their situations, and four were stubborn and impertinent. All these chaps, except two of the Liverpool-Irish type, were over eighteen.
On the other hand, some of the very best were over eighteen on arrival. Anyhow, forty-three of the first party remained on the farms under the guardianship of the Labour Department, the secretary and officers of which showed that genius in the work which is stated to be the capacity for taking pains, and most of the boys imitiated them.
The Labour Department. I hope to hear that the Government of New Zealand will set the example to the rest of the Empire in constituting a Junior Branch of the Labour Department to further extend this important work of apprenticing out young workers of both sexes, whether born in the Dominion or immigrants. Meanwhile, all of you who have good reports can approach the Minister of Immigration with a view to nominating your brothers and sisters, provided you have found work ready for them on arrival. The getting out of your relations should prove the best possible investment of your banked savings, and you could arrange for them to pay you back. It is the best way of helping your relatives.
We have proved that immigrant boys are as good as those born on the land, and do not drift up to the towns as the latter do. Apart from this, the production and prosperity of New Zealand have increased far more rapidly than her population, which ought to be fourteen or fifteen years in advance of the labour requirements.
Every fifty boys who go on the land increase the national wealth by some thousands of pounds a year, and they use and consume about £1000 worth of the manufactures of the towns in food, clothing, etc. Without people on the land labour would starve in the towns. Even if they could import their own food they could not earn enough to pay for it without country consumers, as dog cannot always live upon dog, as the old saying goes.
Progress of the Scheme. The scheme continues to prosper more thoroughly, more widely, and more rapidly than could ever have been hoped for. To-day I am taking fifty lads to Ontario, although I should have preferred to concentrate my efforts to helping New Zealand to get her greatest need —population. Practically every Colonial Government is now considering junior migration for boys and girls, generally with apprenticeship in Australia and Canada.
I have now spoken at about thirty meetings on the subject, and have enough money promised for the next party or two for New Zealand or Australia, after paying for the Ontario party. All the Londoners have paid up in full, but three Liverpudlians bolted before they had completed their payments. I hope the next report will include forty-three in the first list and that there will be no second or third schedule. The names of all those who complete their apprenticeship with credit to themselves and the scheme will be published. With the experience gained we can look forward to 95 or more per cent of successes in future parties. All the photographs I have received show a splendid improvement in the chaps, and I hope those who have not yet been taken will send me their portraits when they can. I remain, your sincere friend and brother. T. E. SEDGWICK.
NZ Truth, Issue 386, 16 November 1912, Page 3
As a curtain-raiser, W. McGRATH (10.0), amateur light-weight champion, of Timaru, met P. Barry (11.3), a well-performed Christchurch man. McGrath played a waiting game in the first round, while the other rushed to close quarters and smothered, with one or two wild swings occasionally. McGrath's straight left to the noddle and one right swing to the pantry summed up the damage in the first. McGrath, who is a Sedgwick boy and has side-stepped the ethics of his reverend benefactor in respect of boxing, used right and left with stinging effect, Barry getting in an unexpected heavy left in the midst of the mix-up. He was punished for his temerity, but the round closed with simultaneous left by McGrath and right by Barry, both of which connected. Round four found Barry attacking strongly, and scores were pencilled down to both boys, Barry's smother saving him considerable punishment. In the fifth McGrath was pushed back on to the ropes, and Barry followed up his advantage only to meet his opponent on the rebound, receiving a left on the body. Later, Barry scored with two successive straight lefts to the face and a right swing to the western side of the same target. It was Barry's first round, and a visiting referee said the points to hand awarded, in his own mind, so far, were McGrath 24, Barry 16. The last found both fairly active, but it was disfigured by the wrestling of Barry, the Timaru boy having the best of it. McGrath 30 points, Barry 20, was the verdict of the experienced gentleman already mentioned. The fight was awarded to McGrath.
Wanganui Chronicle, Issue 12857, 23 December 1912, Page 5
THE SEDGWICK BOYS
The following Christmas letter has been addressed by Mr Sedgwick to the party of lads he brought out to New Zealand in June 1911
26 Oriental Street, Poplar E
November 7, 1912
I write firstly to wish you all a truly happy Christmas and New Year. The message of Christmas is fourhold: Love, peace, self-sacrifice and purity. It was for the love us men that Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born, and His life was one long example of all these four things.
The New Year is a time to take stock and see where we have fallen short of His example and with prayer to begin again.
Some have already reached their twenty-first birthday and are now "on their own" with a nice amount banked towards the purchase of their own farms in time.
Some may say that they cannot 'feel' it is Christmas away from home. They forget that they are making new and better and brighter homes for those left in poor old England. Meanwhile "In Jesus's keeping, we are safe and they." It is easier to feel 'Christmassy' in New Zealand than in Eastern London.
In Canning Town five thousand men work, nothing more, and cannot get it. I hope we shall be able to give a tea on Christmas Day to eight hundred kiddies who will have no Christmas dinner.
Dear old HENDRY passed away on the Festival of St Michael and All Angels, September 29th. His father and mother were already dead. He had meningitis.
I hear that McGRATH, who was one of the ten 'failures', because he failed to stay on his farm for the full time, has now become the champion lightweight boxer of New Zealand.
When the opponents of the scheme hear that a S.B failure is New Zealand's champion, they will be better able to properly appreciate the quality of the others.
I think we may take it as a delicate compliment that the King, who has all along taken a great interest in the scheme has appointed the Earl of Liverpool as the Governor-General of New Zealand. There is no Duke or Earl of London, just as there is no London railway station, so Lord Liverpool is the most suitable title for the office. Possibly His Lordship may look up some of the Liverpool boys in his travels through the Dominion.
The Ontario experiment appears to be turning out as successful as the New Zealand one. The Minister and Director of Colonisation said they had never seen such a fine bunch of boys, but all previous bunches had been unemployed or paupers. The British Columbian and New Brunswick Governments are also deeply interested and in correspondence.
The Government of one State of Australia have had such a good report from New Zealand that they have circularised their farmers to enquire how many boys they will need in about March, and the movement is taking a firm hold in other centres in Australia. I am sending a dozen as a sample to New South Wales this month in charge of an older chap with all the comforts for the voyage - games, books, boxing gloves, chairs etc.
I notice that in his annual report (just received) the Secretary for Labour speaks well of the results of the experiment and shows that not a single case of 'unfavourable comment' has occurred under the age of eighteen. He adds that this was the maximum age fixed by the Department. If that was so, it was not communicated to either the High Commissioner or me; but possibly he has made a serious mistake.
The farmers can have the boys to schedule if they send in their specifications. I quite agree with Mr Lomas* that he would not have got a better result if the boys had been colonial born.
I hope the New Zealand Government will soon order out some more boys, but even if they don't, I estimate about a thousand will be given a chance next year in the Dominions. If more boys come to Wellington, I should very much like to have a reunion of the Old Gang to meet the new ones at a reception in the Town Hall. That would forever close the lips that say we of the Old Country are no good.
I have asked a friend of mine to arrange it if the chance occurs, and all the boys have plenty of money in their savings accounts, and, as the wages book says "Any reasonable request will be at once granted'. We could sleep out in one or two verandahs I know if in some Parish Hall, and have a day or two together before returning. Perhaps the Government would give their wards tickets to come and thus report themselves.
I am your affectionate friend and brother
T E SEDGWICK
*Labour Department Secretary John Lomas
Feilding Star, Volume VIII, Issue 2161, 4 September 1913, Page 2
THE SEDGWICK BOYS
Referring to the Sedgwick boys in his annual report of the Labour Department, the Secretary (Mr J Lomas) reports another satisfactory year of progress. The fifty boys are classified under three headings.
Thirty-five have made good progress and have given the Department no trouble, the conduct of five has not been entirely satisfactory, but these are expected to turn out right eventually and nine are deemed so unsatisfactory that it is unlikely they will prove successful.
One of the boys died of meningitis, after a short illness.
The earnings for 1912 banked by the Department year total £2024. Several of the lads have attained the age of twenty-one years during the year under review, and have been freed from the Department's control. The agreement made between Mr T Sedgwick and the Department expires at the end of January next. All the lads will then be free of the Department's guardianship.
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXV, 1 October 1913, Page 4
About fifteen of the fifty Sedgwick boys, who were assisted to New Zealand by the Government about four years ago, have passed out of the hands of the Labour Department, and there will be others before the present year closes. One lad, who reaches his majority in the course of a few days, is possessed of £86, which the Department has banked for him out of his weekly wages. Officers of the Labour Department say that up to the present the scheme has proved an unqualified success.
Auckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 11, 13 January 1914, Page 9
EMPLOYERS WELL SATISFIED. (By Telegraph.— Own Correspondent.) WELLINGTON, this day.
In connection with the importation of "boy" labour by the Government and the Hon. Mr. Bell's reference to the Sedgwick scheme, a Rongotea farmer, who has had actual experience with some of the Sedgwick lads writes an interesting letter to the "N.Z. Times."' He says: "You will be interested to learn that in this neighbourhood five of the boys brought to New Zealand by Mr. Sedgwick in 1911 are working at present for the farmers. As one of their employers, I can only say that every consideration has been shown to the boys. The lad employed by me came from London, and had no previous farm experience, yet after a month's trial, the Labour Department officials thought he was worth 15/ per week, and I had to pay it...
Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2549, 25 August 1915, Page 8
FOR THE FRONT.
The following is a copy of a letter written by Mr. Thomas Sedgwick to the boys whom he has been instrumental in placing on the land, and incidentally calling attention to the fact that the services of the boys sent from the Home cities to the colonies are not lost to the Empire.
The letter reads as follows:
Dear Comrades of the Old Brigade,
Each year you add more laurels to your wreaths. People said that boys going to New Zealand were lost to the defences of the Empire. You have shown that Imperial defence is improved and increased by migration. I have already heard that the following of the original fifty have volunteered:— COLLINS, CONN, COMER, GATTRELL, MOIR, MORRISSY, PAGE, and SELLARS, of London, and GRIFFITHS, JAMES, KNOWLES, MARSHALL, MILLER, PRITCHARD, RUMSBY, THOMAS, WESTHEAD, and WILSON, of Liverpool.
I have only heard of seven of the others lately, and they are keeping the food supply and work going, and at all events in some cases, could not be spared, and of the other half the report will be doubtless equally good, but eighteen in the forces to serve outside is excellent, especially when we consider how much finer, fighting material the average Now Zealanders are to the British from Home, especially in weight.
Some boys only write home at long intervals because, there is no fresh news, or perhaps sometimes because they got a bit slack at writing. The people at Home like to hear every fortnight or so how their boys are going on. Otherwise they get anxious.
After the war the desire to join in the defence and cultivation of New Zealand will be unparalleled, and will be increased by any of your old mates in London and Liverpool who may see what Now Zealand has done for you, if you visit the old before returning to the new home.
A bad time for employment is expected after the war, so boys should do all they can to help their relations when work is slack and food prices and rents are high. In years to come it will be too late to do this.
Especially I hope you will all nominate your sisters (who have not already done so) after the war, and so help to adjust the proportion of males and females in New Zealand and at Home.
God bless and hold you all in His keeping. When you can, write and tell me how you are, and how any others of the Old Brigade are doing, whom you hear of or meet. I am, your affectionate friend and brother, THOS. E. SEDGWICK.
Press, Volume LII, Issue 15655, 29 July 1916, Page 2
. TO THE EDITOR OF "THE PRESS." Sir,— May I ask you to convey to one of your readers, whose calligraphy is unknown to me, my most sincere thanks for his kindly sending me a weekly copy of "The Press". Kept at home by war work (being medically unfit and over age for the front), it refreshes one as a breath from home to read of matters and events in the Dominion. Many of your war items do not see the light in the London papers. Yours, etc., THOS. E. SEDGWICK. London, June 8th. P.S.Greetings to all the Sedgwick boys — three-fourths of whom are serving.
Press, Volume LIII, Issue 15875, 14 April 1917, Page 10
MR MASSEY AT POPLAR.
PRAISE FOR LONDON LADS.
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)LONDON, February 27.
The Right Hon. W. F. Massey and Mrs Massey visited Poplar last week in order to perform the opening ceremony at the "British Empire" public house — a club and rest-house for the district, to be run on teetotal lines. Mr T. E. Sedgwick is the organiser of the experiment, which has been financed by a gentleman who has shown great interest in the emigration of "Sedgwick's Boy's." The house is to be a memorial to the boys of Poplar who have served the Empire so well on land and sea., and it will be run as far as possible on lines adopted in the Empire overseas.
The Mayor of Poplar presided over the ceremony. Mr Massey. in declaring the building open, thought it was a splendid idea to dedicate the club to the memory of the soldiers and sailors of Poplar...
Northern Advocate, 5 January 1918, Page 4
RURAL WORK FOR LADS.
THE SEDGWICK SCHEME
AN INTERESTING RETROSPECT
An historical retrospect, prepared by Mr T. E. Sedgwick on the immigration of lads to Imperial farms, is particularly interesting in view of the past war problem of immigration to the Dominion from the Old Country.
In the course of his article Mr Sedgwick states:— The first party of town lads for work on Imperial farms sailed from London on December 9, 1910. The New Zealand Government, who had adopted the experiment, had no boys unemployed in the Dominion wishing to take up farm life, but 360 farmers applied for the 50 boys sent out.
The experiment showed:
(1) That British town lads were as good as colonial town lads and better than country boys for farm work. They were quicker in their brains and their movements, had nothing to unlearn and never told their employers that the Old Country methods were superior or different.
(2) That apprenticeship with the banking of wages, except pocket money, are the two keynotes to success. Apprenticeship keeps the boys on the land until they have become acclimatised to rural surroundings and interested in farm operations, and encourages the employers to devote more care and attention to the boys than they would to weekly wage earners, who might leave at short notice if they were to be taught too much. Banking wages teaches thrift and aids the worker to become an employer himself.
(3) That only a Government Department can adequately and impartially deal with migration, as they can cancel or transfer the apprenticeship if they see fit.
The New Zealand Government undertook to collect back the fares which had been given at a "nominated passage" rate, and succeeded in recovering 96 per cent, of the money. The loss was practically caused by two of the older lads absconding at the outset, but no case of trouble or failure to settle well on the land occurred with boys under eighteen years of age.
This Government subsequently got put two other parties of lads, and the employers were asked to deposit £10 with the Government before employing them, which money was repaid to the farmer out of the banked wages when the savings of each boy amounted to that sum. This stimulated the farmer to take care that the wages were banked and that his apprentice did not abscond, besides assuring his financial ability to treat the boy fairly in respect to wages.
Just before the war a bill (probably not yet passed) was introduced into the New Zealand Parliament to apprentice the boys to the New Zealand Government before leaving England, which apprenticeship could be transferred or assigned to selected employers. This would preclude the boys from working their passage home on the ship bringing them out or taking other employment either before signing their agreement or in a case where the agreement was cancelled by mutual consent.
One landed proprietor in New Zealand instituted a training farm for boys on his estate, with instruction, graduated wages and putting all the lads through every department of fruit, dairy, irrigation, sheep and agriculture. He found far greater satisfaction than he would have experienced from training thoroughbred horses, and was quite satisfied for the first six months, after which, on a change in management (due to the war) the results were less satisfactory.
This again shows that the human element is most important in matters of migration. Mr Sedgwick goes on to deal with similar projects in regard to Canada and the various States of Australia...
Times (London), 5 July 1929 p18
MR THOMAS SEDGWICK
Mr Thomas Sedgwick, who died in a London hospital yesterday, will be remembered as a pioneer in the movement for the migration of British boys, especially of the poorer classes to the Dominions. "A Friend" writes of him: - A Londoner by birth and of Yorkshire extraction, "Tom" as he was familiarly known to all his friends, devoted his spare time in his early days in the Civil Service to work among the lads in the East End. In the course of that good work he conceived the idea that many of these lads would have a better chance in life in the Dominions if the opportunity and the means were afforded them of getting there.
The Dominion authorities in London, however did not give much encouragement to his proposals, but, having inherited a small legacy, he decided to push the matter in person.
So Sedgwick relinquished his civil appointment and sailed for New Zealand in 1910. As the result of his representations the Dominion Government eventually agreed to take a party of 50 town boys for farm work. Sedgwick acted as welfare superintendent to the party, which reached Wellington in 1911.
In the following year he took a similar party to Ontario. With the assistance of some friends, Sedgwick, in 1913 was able to help a number of boys to Victoria, Australia and again acted as honorary welfare superintendent. New South Wales had also recognised the value of boy migration and Sedgwick took out the last party to that State before the War and subsequent repatriation period put a stop to migration for some years.
In 1919 Sedgwick undertook a tour of the Dominions with a view to reviving the flow of migration within the Empire and in the following year, on the suggestion of the then Australian Prime Minister (Mr Hughes) he joined the newly formed Department of Migration and Settlement and was engaged in stimulating interest in migration to Australia generally and taking out parties of boys to the Commonwealth until a few weeks ago. He had only recently returned from Australia, where he had spent some months visiting boys who had gone out under his care, and in whose welfare he never ceased to take a real interest.
From - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 - ancestry.com.au
SEDGWICK Thomas Edward of Woodhayne, Thornbury Road, Osterley Park, Middlesex died 8 July 1929 at the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart, Westmoreland Street, Middlesex. Administrated London 21 August to Frederick William Dent Sedgwick of no occupation and Kate Isobel Sedgwick, spinster. Effects £207 17s.
See also THOMAS E. SEDGWICK - South Australia's British Farm Apprentices 1913-14.
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