Benjamin John Darcy Kemp (1832 – 1918)
Today’s New Zealanders predominantly descend from English, Scottish, Irish, Australian and Polynesian forebears. Many of us from immigrants who arrived during an initial founding period of European settlement extending over the four decades from 1840 – 1880. In general, we hail from overwhelmingly humble origins back in the old country. Farmers, labourers, miners and domestic servants formed the back bone of this young country. The majority of our forebears were “selected” for assisted passage to the colony by various schemes supported by both provincial and central governments.
Many far away villages have made significant contributions to the shaping of new communities in the new lands. Many distant families and friends have felt the terrible loss and pain of separation and our courageous colonial ancestors themselves made remarkable sacrifices.
So let’s focus on the lives of the first pioneers and settlers in our family who came to wild and distant New Zealand as the new colony began. Let’s tell the stories of those rugged individuals and their exploits in the early days of NZ settlement, in a way that provides interesting reading for younger generations of descendants.
The insights into the lives of the first of our family lines should include where they came from, and when they came together, and the hazards they faced along the way. At the same time, weaving the stories into a traditional family tree that other people can tap into makes perfect sense.
The stories of the principal actors in those early days can easily be contained within – with surnames like Abbot & Colville, Hill & Fairhall, Kemp & Woolhouse, in locations such as Hokitika, Kokatahi and Te Kinga...
Every story requires a beginning… and every kid knows that the best ones always start with “Once apon a time…”
When it involves a large family, each section usually has a slightly different view of where the beginning and the focus ought to be. At the same time, there are often differing interpretations of each of the disparate pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
To generate a helpful coverage of the family story, accommodating multiple facets makes sense;
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