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Henry Augustus DALBY - NZ

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www.woburnratesbook.org.uk
#1
Henry Augustus Dalby (my ancestor's nephew) was one of the earliest NZ settlers, arriving New Plymouth on the Amelia Thompson in 1841. This isn't the mystery. He set up first as a carter (having the only bullock cart in town), and later opened a general store.

In 1844 he married Elizabeth Naomi Pilcher (who had arrived on the Timandra in 1842). There was an 1852 census which records Henry but not his wife, but lists him as having two female children under 7 years of age. There is no further record of either wife or children in the NZ records. That is the mystery.

In 1858 Henry advertised a closing-down sale in the Taranaki Herald because he was returning to England - but then he changed his mind and stayed, still running the shop, until his death in 1876. His belongings were then auctioned, so it's clear there were no relatives nearby.

Question - how do I find out if his wife and possibly two children returned to England? No sign of any of them in 1861 or later censuses. Possible of course that she just left Henry and lived with someone else - and changed her (and children's) surnames. She would then be quite untraceable.

Intriguingly, on the Royal Charter (the ship that sank off North Wales in 1859 on a voyage from Melbourne to Liverpool) there were a Mr and Mrs Pilcher and two children, all drowned. However, these were travelling first class, with a servant. I don't think it's very likely they are connected in any way. Why would Elizabeth have reverted to her maiden name and who would the Mr Pilcher have been? Her father had died in Wellington in 1848 and her only brother in Auckland asylum in 1854.
 

oznannie

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#2
Hi to lovely Matlock!
Do you have Henry A in 1875-1876 rolls in Taranaki New Plymouth, North Island?
It looks like only head of households are listed, no occupations.
Where was he from in England?
Unusual name, there's a marriage in Cornwall in 1840, sorry cannot pick bride.
Ozn and good luck.
 
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#3
Hi oznannie - Many thanks for the reply. Yes, I had H.A.Dalby in the Taranaki electoral roll, also his deat notice in the Taranaki Herald. Visited New Plymouth in March this year but was unable to add much to what I already had found.

Yes, the 1840 marriage in England is the same person. He was the eldest son of Augustus Dalby, and nephew of my ancestor Octavius Dalby. Augustus was a Master in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, responsible for capture of two French ships. He served only 7 years as Master 1801-1807, then retiring from active service on half-pay. Plus his prize money. Plus pay for other jobs (at different times head of Customs at Dartmouth, commissioner of pilotage in St Ives, and an officer in the irish coastguard). Quite rich - in contrast with Octavius who was a customs officer and a potato dealer in the east end of London, and bankrupt at least twice.

Henry married Eliza Innes in 1840 - she was the daughter of a naval lieutenant - but she died the same year (in childbirth?) and in April 1841 Henry set sail for NZ. I think there was a permanent rift between father and son. Henry was a draper while his two younger brothers both became officers (one a naval surgeon and the other a marines major). Also Augustus was embroiled in legal troubles over allegations, probably true, that he had embezzled a tin mining company of which he was the purser. I think father and son were both a disappointment to each other.
 
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#5
Yes, maybe worth taking further. The ship sailed from Melbourne, so clearly Elizabeth (+children?) would have had to travel from NZ to get there. I can understand her reverting to maiden name, but still not sure about the Mr Pilcher. However, there certainly was another Pilcher family in NZ at that time, and much wealthier - Thomas W. Pilcher in Wellington was a shipping agent. I haven't established any links between the two lots of Pilchers - they seem very different. Elizabeth's father was as rough as they come. Her mother remarried in the 1850s in Wellington so perhaps they had moved across to Wellington and met up with wealthier cousins there. Worth a little more digging, I agree.
 
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oznannie

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#6
Fascinating reading and thanks for sharing.
Your family tree has so many interesting people.
What a wonderful experience to go to N.Z!!
Thanks for first marriage info.
Good luck with the sea search.
Will go back and read again..

Ozn:)
 
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#8
Hi, gibbo - Good thinking. I've found him in the NZ BDM search so could order the certificate. However, this is the only Dalby death recorded in New Zealand before 1896. Also there's only one marriage recorded (Henry Dalby and Elizabeth Pilcher, 1843), and no births within his lifetime, so probably those two children in 1852 weren't his.
 

gibbo

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#9
Hi, gibbo - Good thinking. I've found him in the NZ BDM search so could order the certificate. However, this is the only Dalby death recorded in New Zealand before 1896. Also there's only one marriage recorded (Henry Dalby and Elizabeth Pilcher, 1843), and no births within his lifetime, so probably those two children in 1852 weren't his.

I couldnt find any births for kids under Dalby with mother as Elizabeth.

Henry's death
1876/4919 Dalby Henry Augustus 62Y

If the informant of his death knew him well you might be lucky that the cert. was filled out correctly which might give you some info.

Nothing like a good mystery :biggrin:


edited... If a New Zealand death cert. is filled out correctly is should have the below info on it

Post-1876 -
•the place of birth and length of time in New Zealand
•the names of the deceased’s parents
•father’s occupation
•mother’s maiden name
•the district where the deceased married
•age of deceased at time of marriage
•name of the spouse
•name of a former spouse
•*** and age, but not name, of surviving children
•date and place of burial
•the age of a surviving widow was added in 1912
•until 1961 the name and denomination of the minister who officiated at the funeral was entered
•the note "Verdict of Jury" on a death certificate means that an inquest took place
 
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gibbo

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#10
This doesnt help any and you may already have it.

Surname: DALBY
Forenames: Henry Augustus
Gender:
Last Address: Not Available
Age at Death: 62 Years
Date of Death: 8 Jul 1876
Category: Burial
Funeral Director: Not Available
Date of Burial: 11 Jul 1876
Cemetery: TE HENUI
Location in Cemetery: Unknown Burial Location
New Plymouth District Council
 
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#11
Hi gibbo - yes, it doesn't help a lot, and yes I do already have it! Problem also with the deathc errtuficate if I order it is that it won't add much if anything. All the evidence (or lack of it!) suggests that from at least 1860 onwards Henry was living alone, and it's likely that nobody in New Plymouth knew the details of his private life. I already have parents details, I'm sure he's the right person, it's only what happened to his wife that is a mystery - and it could well have been a mystery to those around him in the 1870s as well. He married in 1843 - which was only the third year after the founding of New Plymouth - and I strongly suspect that few of the people who knew him then would still have been around 33 years later.
 
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