Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why did they come to NZ?

New Zealand is an immigrant country. It helps to remember there was no-one here in the not too distant past.

Reasons they may have left their home countries.

  • Over-population and narrowing resources.
  • Being at odds with the politics.
  • Escaping increasing violence.
  • Escaping religious persecution.
  • Escaping personal problems (geographical cure).
  • Having done something their community did not like and would punish them for.
  • To join others who had left.
  • Just feeling adventuresome.
  • Being sent here.

One of my grandfathers, Hugh Crabb, (I've four of them being adopted), came in 1880 for two of the above reasons. His wife had died in 1879 and the following year he accidentally shot an eleven year old and killed him instantly while at a shooting party. His sister and her family were already here in New Zealand and had arrived in 1876. Source: Gale Searchable Newspapers online (New Zealand Society of Genealogists).

Another came as crew and jumped ship, Edward Theodore Erikson from Norway, and it seems he was the black sheep in the family. His brother was already here. Source: Naturalisation papers, Wellington National Archives.

Another, Douglas William Stitt Hannah, came because the economic outlook in Scotland for his class was looking bleak and it may have been because of a little religious persecution as well. He was a carpenter and they settled in Opotiki. Source: Another family researcher.

Poverty. Samuel Draffin. His family had persuaded the Australian government to pay for a group of poverty-stricken weavers in Girvan Scotland to emigrate and Samuel arrived in Tasmania in 1855 with his family. They became gold-miners in Victoria. Samuel then moved with the gold-rushes around the globe before settling back here in New Zealand to raise a family. Source: National Library of Australia,

Finding out why they came will take some detective work, reading time and a bit of luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment