Family History; Captain Simon Saunders; 2010.188.7

Name/Title

Family History; Captain Simon Saunders

About this object

Captain Simon Saunders; letters (1985) to Mrs Burgess from researcher, wherein brief information relating to Captain Saunders is noted.

Eveline Mary Saunders, William Simon Saunders, Margaret Saunders.

'Nauphante', ribbonwood, 'Ruby'.

Handwritten notes by a daughter of [William S Saunders?], recalling her childhood at Kerepihi on the Hauraki Plains and at Raukokore in the Bay of Plenty. The writer describes with some detail, the houses they lived in at Raukokore. Recollections in the notes, while factual, are not necessarily in date order, the information below is taken from the notes.

Simon Saunders, Master Mariner, married Margaret Clark (whose family were shipbuilders) in Aberdeen. They had one son, Henry Kiplin, who they left in Aberdeen with his maternal grandmother and an aunt Georgina when they emigrated to Australia in 1856. Henry did not come to New Zealand until he was an adult and so never lived with his two brothers, Alick and [Willie?], who were born in Australia.

The family arrived in Dunedin in 1861 and in 1865 Captain Saunders became the first settler in the Owaka District. He went down in the 'Nova', built a house then took his wife and two sons there, but after three years he returned to sea, leaving his family to take care of the farm. Mrs Saunders lived there until 1900 when she passed away aged 85 years. A son, A C Saunders, represented the district on the Clutha County Council for many years.

Captain Saunders, then aged 66 years, with mate Captain Clark (his brother-in-law) were lost with all hands in 1885 when his ship 'Nauphante' bound for Manila was never heard of again. Captain Saunders' sister, Mary, was married to Captain Henry Clark.

Other names mentioned in the family history are - Uncle Tim Walker who visited Aunt Georgina in Aberdeen during WWI. She was cared for by a life-long friend, Miss Annie [Herd?] who kept in touch with the New Zealand nephews.

Margaret Clark Saunders (Lockett), daughter of Uncle Alick (Alex Clark Saunders of Owaka).

Henry K Saunders, Mary Watt, Mary Saunders, William Cook, Margaret Saunders, William Renton, Alexander Henry Saunders, Margaret Duff, Georgina [Saunders?], William [Cordes?], Harry Duff Saunders, Keith Allister Saunders, Margaret Alison Hewitt (Saunders), Frances Alice Smith, Alister Saunders, Bruce Saunders, Keith Saunders.

Olive, Eveline and Ivy Saunders were born in Dunedin. Hazel Saunders was also born in Dunedin, Margaret A [the writer's mother?] went down to Dunedin for her birth. Aunt Linda came to live with [us] before Hazel was born, she 'went down to Dunedin to help bring the new baby home'. Aunt Linda also taught at Raukokore for a time.

[William?] S Saunders re-entered teaching about 1904. He had attended the Normal School and university in Dunedin in 1880. We [the family] travelled by steamer to Auckland then by a smaller boat to Thames and then by launch to Kerepehi [on the Hauraki Plains] then known as the Piako Swamp. Ethel was born in Thames while the family was at Kerepehi. After a year, William was transferred to a bigger school at Raukokore in the Bay of Plenty. We [the family] travelled first to Auckland by launch and small steamer then transferred to the three-masted schooner, "Kaeo", captained by Captain Skinner. The journey took about a week. [We] were landed on the beach where Captain Allison had a store and trading station, then driven in a bullock dray along the beach about half a mile to the school. The writer refers to M. A. S [Margaret A Saunders?] [her mother?] who had two babies [Sid or Bill?] born in Opotiki and a second son born a year later in the hotel at Te Kaha after having been put ashore from the "Kaeo". Old Mrs Walker attended at the second birth. Edna was born in the old school house, Mrs James Walker of Waihau Bay attended the birth. The writer was about 8 years old at the time of Edna's birth.

Aunt Ruby came to live with [us] when Bill was a baby. She stayed with the family until the end of 1919. She married Jim Walker when he was on final leave in March 1917.

[W.S.S.] stayed at Raukokore until his retirement when he moved to Lillington Road, Remuera.

Some notes are missing, but the writer has made note of a marble headstone with an iron railing at the side of the [school?] house at Raukokore. This marked the grave of a child, John S H Moore, who died in 1894 aged six weeks. His parents were teaching at Raukokore. The writer's family tended the grave for 20 years as did many teachers after them. However, when Maori teachers were appointed to the school, they were troubled by thoughts of "kehua" and so the remains were removed to the cemetery on the hill behind the school. The remains were interred in the same plot as Gladys Walker who died in 1912 aged two years. [M.A.S.] went with Mrs Walker on the launch "Olive" intending to take the sick child [Gladys Walker] to the doctor in Opotiki. The little girl died on the way and so the launch turned back for Waihau Bay. [M.A.S] stayed with Mrs Walker and Aunts Ruby and Linda went with the school children. [I] stayed at home to look after Hazel aged 6 months and Edna, just over two years.

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, The Catlins

Medium and Materials

processed material, paper

Measurements

A4

Subject and Association Keywords

genealogy, personal and family names

Credit Line

From the collection of Owaka Museum Wahi Kahuika, The Meeting Place "a rest on your journey".

Object Type

document

Object number

2010.188.7

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

Comments
Rowena Wheaton 06 Mar 2016 01:11 AM,UTC

Wow! What a find! I am a great-granddaughter of Captain Simon.
The writer would be Margaret Olive, the eldest daughter of William S and Margaret A Saunders. My mother is the Edna Frieda referred to. Alick's full name was Alexander Clark. Willie's correct name was, indeed, William Simon.
I have more anecdotal notes i would be happy to share with you.
RW

Rowena Wheaton 06 Mar 2016 01:10 AM,UTC

Wow! What a find! I am a great-granddaughter of Captain Simon.
The writer would be Margaret Olive, the eldest daughter of William S and Margaret A Saunders. My mother is the Edna Frieda referred to. Alick's full name was Alexander Clark. Willie's correct name was, indeed, William Simon.
I have more anecdotal notes i would be happy to share with you.
RW

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