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Frederick COWLING - 1853(UK) - 1912(NZ)

Frederick was born in Mary Tavy, Devon in 1853, the son of Robert and Joanna Cowling.

In 1871 he was living with his widowed mother in Mary Tavy. A miner. He next appears living in Owen Street, Thames, New Zealand, recorded on the 1886 census. A miner.

I have extensive details of his life in New Zealand - his marriage, his involvement in a prosperous gold mine and later as an hotel owner - but I am looking for information for the period between 1871 - 1886, particularly the date of his arrival in New Zealand, (presumably before 1881)

Any help in filling in this gap in his life would be much appreciated.
Nothing really concrete, but a good source of info is Papers Past, New Zealand.

I have found an obit, death notice, hotel ads/dealings, a possible return to London in 1887 [though a bit dubious], attendance of a memorial picnic in 1887..

It may be worth browsing for any snippets of info, sometimes these things mention how long they have been resident. At worst you may get a few keepsakes..

Thanks, Geoff. I have been through Papers Past quite thoroughly. The earliest mention I have found was dated 1885, and no entry made any reference to his arrival. If that was him sailing to London in 1887, I have cannot see record of his return prior to his marriage in 1892.
New Zealand passenger lists are hard to search, unless you know the name of the ship beforehand its hard going.

Tell me about it :eek:

I was wondering if he had traveled to Oz first or was at least recorded as a stopover somewhere, even that is not showing :rolleyes:

Tell me about it :eek:

I was wondering if he had traveled to Oz first or was at least recorded as a stopover somewhere, even that is not showing :rolleyes:


Stop overs were quiet common. I found this one earlier but havent checked it out any further yet.

Victoria departures

COWLING F A aged 26 Ship ALHAMBRA Departure MAY 1876
Destination NEW ZEALAND
COWLING F A aged 26 Ship ALHAMBRA Departure MAY 1876
Destination NEW ZEALAND

Age a bit out, but what does muddy the water is another Fred Cowling around the same time, he was an ecologist with an interest in tree preservation, I believe his father was William.

I have found an Alhambra arrival Sept. 1876, but no passenger list yet :rolleyes:

Thanks, Geoff and Gibbo, for your efforts. I suspect that this is "mission impossible".

Gibbo - Frederick had no middle name, so the Alhambra passenger is unlikely to be him.
I've been thinking :rolleyes:

One of mine from the UK was into mining and went to the USA chasing gold before heading to Australia. Maybe could be worth a check in the USA as apparently quiet a few English went there following the gold rushes.
The Thames Advertiser reported the arrival of S S Hawea in Auckland "from the south" on 8 Mar 1879. Named amongst the passengers was a male Cowling.

Apparently the Hawea sailed from Port Chalmers on 28 February, calling at Lyttleton, Wellington, Napier and Poverty Bay. In a separates account of the departure from Poverty Bay on 6 March, three passengers are named - Cowling and two others. Do take it that these three joined the ship here?

I did wonder if this might have been the final leg of Frederick's outward journey, but I can see no evidence of ocean going vessels calling at Poverty Bay.

I realise that this is entirely conjectural and would welcome any comments that might help me view it in a more realistic perspective.
I'm still gnawing at this bone but ending up with more gristle tham marrow!

Frederick married in February 1892 in Thames and on his "Intention to Marry" statement he declared that he had been residing in NZ for 11 months (arrived March 1891?). This conflicts with a newspaper report of October 1885 stating that F Cowling had unsuccessfully tendered for a mining concessions at Otunui, Thames, and the listing of Frederick Cowling, miner, as resident in Thames in 1886. It could, of course, be an entirely different person. Or it show that Frederick had temporarily left NZ (for UK?/Australia?)

There is also recorded a F Cowling sailing as passenger between Auckland and Sydney on board "City of New York" August/ September 1881, but with no age or occupation shown there is no way of identifying him further.

I am just reactivating this thread in the hope that it may stimulate some fresh inspiration, but I am not holding my breath!
I have now developed a speculative time line for Frederick's movements based on what I know/suspect.

1875/80 Emigrated from England. Destination unknown - presumed to be New Zealand. Absent from April 1881 English census.

1881 F Cowling. Passenger on "City of New York" Auckland to Sydney. Probably unrelated but could be investigating prospects in Australia or en route to England.

1885/6 Resident in Thames, New Zealand

1887 Returned to England? Passenger F Cowling on Rimutaka, Wellington/London, 10 February . Passengers from Onehunga, Auckland, departed 8 February on Rotarua.

1890/1 Returned to New Zealand. From Intention to Marry register resident in Thames from March 1891. According to 1912 death certificate.had been resident in country for 22 years. (wef c 1890)

Frederick was born in 1853 but marriage and death certificates imply b c 1856. Occupation would be shown as miner or hotel keeper.

I would welcome any information that either confirms or contradicts this conjecture.
I have to go shortly, but there is this..

New Zealand, City & Area Directories, 1866-1954
Frederick Cowling
Year: 1881
Residence: Kawakawa

Also listed same place 1883-1884, can't see him after that until 1992:

New Zealand, Marriage Index, 1840-1934
Name: Frederick Cowling
Year: 1892
Relation: Bridegroom
Folio Number: 175

The index has his bride as: Mary Ann Connelly - Reg No. 223

Fred Cowling
Electoral Year: 1896
District: Thames
Region or Province: Waikato
[Image has Hotel Keeper, with a Mary Ann.]

I have multiple references to him, both as hotel proprietor and as operating Little Willie gold mine, after his marriage in 1892. It is information on his whereabouts and activities before then that I am hoping for.

Is the individual at Kawakawa identified by age or occupation?