DAVID HENDERSON 1805-1874
It is thought that David Henderson was born in Fifeshire Scotland in 1805, although at this time, no record of his birth has been found to confirm this, and therefore his parents name are unknown.
Nothing is known of his early life, until his marriage to Janet Pearson at Leslie, in Fifeshire, Scotland on 2nd October 1825. David and Janet were to have four children: Andrew, born at Leslie in Fifeshire on 28th December 1828, died on 3rd March 1916, at Okaramio, New Zealand. John, birth date unknown. David, born at Kinglassie, Fifeshire circa 1832, died on 27th August 1887 at Blenheim, New Zealand, and William, believed to have been born in Glasgow, Scotland on 25th December 1838, died on 17th August 1924, at Palmerston North, New Zealand.
On 28th May 1842 David applied to a Mr. Merior, an agent for the New Zealand Company for free passage as an emigrant to New Zealand, giving his trade as a flax and hemp dresser. David and his family were accepted by the New Zealand Company, as emigrants to Nelson on the South Island of New Zealand, and sailed from the Port of Cumroy on the river Clyde on 4th July 1842, aboard the ship “NEW ZEALAND”. According to family tradition, Janet died on the voyage, but according to the official report of Captain Worth, and documents in the New Zealand archives, she died on 4th November 1842, one hour after the ship arrived in Nelson harbour. The cause of death being given as diarrhoea.
It appears that on arrival in Nelson, David continued to follow his trade as a Flax dresser, at least in the first few years of the Nelson settlement, when efforts were being made to establish this industry, However it appears that these efforts were not ultimately successful. The obstacles which were in the way of the Phormium Tenax becoming a large and immediate export were, the uncertainty of its value in England, and the heavy expenses attended in shipment, arising out of the want of really powerful machines with which to compress the bales before and after shipping them. David Henderson died at Picton Hospital of general decay on 21st March 1874.
WILLIAM HENRY HENDERSON 1838-1924
According to family tradition William was born in Dundee, Scotland on 25th December 1838. But if the age given on his death certificate (82 years) is correct, he was born in 1841. As no record of his birth has yet been found, neither of these dates or his place of birth can be confirmed as correct.
As stated in the previous section of this history, William arrived at Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand, with his father and three, or possibly four brothers on 4th November 1842. After disembarking, and most likely after the burial of his mother, Janet the family travelled to Stoke.
William and his family must have stayed in this area for a number of years, as William's eldest brother Andrew married Harriet Harvey at Stoke on 20th May 1850.
It is recorded that, in his youth William accompanied the first circus to Wellington, this probably being some time in the mid 1850's. Prior to his marriage, William had been living at Marlborough, where he worked for some time as a woodcutter.
William Henderson married Ellen Cargill (right), the daughter of John Cargill and Mary Ann nee Meredith, at the home of Mary Ann's second husband, James Mudford in Wairau West, on 16th July 1860. Ellen was aged 17 years 4 months and William 21 years. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Thomas. D. Nicholson.
During the first few years of their marriage William and Ellen lived in the Tua Marina area, where Ellen's mother and her family were then living. During this period, William had a job as the mail coach driver. It is also known, that between 1864 and 1865, William held the contract for carrrying the mails from Blenheim to Picton, and back again, three times a week. This contract is thought to have been worth over £100 a year. It is believed that after this William was employed as the driver on the mail coaches between Blenheim and Nelson.
At that time, the route from Blenheim to Nelson was via the Maungatapu Mountains, and in this wild area, four men were murdered, the murders being commited by a gang of four notorious bushrangers, who waylaid and robbed gold miners carrying their hard won gold through this mountainous area.
On one occasion, the Burgess gang, as they were called, after the leader, Richard Burgess, went too far and killed their victims. The other three members of the gang were, Thomas Kelly, William Levy, and Joseph Sullivan. The first three were hanged at Nelson on 5th October 1866, but Sullivan was sentenced to life imprisonment, because he gave evidence against the others, leading to their conviction.
According to family folklore, William Henderson twice “narrowly escaped with his life, on one occasion actually being chased by Joseph Sullivan”.
It was probably about 1867, following this exciting period in his life, that William moved with his growing family to Hokitika on the West Coast, where they were to live for the next twenty years. It is here, that for a short time William was engaged in gold mining.
Also while living in Hokitika, William once more took up an occupation connected with wood. For many years he was a wood dealer, both on the West Coast and later, when living in the Rangitikei district.
In the 1882 Freeholders of New Zealand official list of land holders, William Henderson is listed as a woodman of Hokitika, and is recorded as owning 147 acres of land, situated in the County of Westland. The land being valued at that time at £368, being an average of £2-10-0 an acre.
William Henderson and his family left the Westland district, probably in the late 1880's, and went to the North Island. Firstly to Manawatu, and later to Rata in the Rangitikei district.
Ellen Henderson died at Bedford Avenue, Gonville on 26th July 1919, aged 74 years. She is buried in the Aramoho cemetery at Wanganui. William Henderson died at 269 Ferguson Street, Palmerston North on 17th August 1924, aged 81 years. He is buried in the Aramoho cemetery at Wanganui. William and Ellen Henderson had 18 children. When she died in 1919 Ellen had 104 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
HENDERSONS IN AUSTRALIA
Two grandsons of David and Janet Henderson, William Henry and John Edward, immigrated to Australia from New Zealand, departing Dunedin aboard the "TE ANAU". They arrived in Melbourne on 12th January 1883. Their occupations given on the copy of the passenger list available at the Victorian Public Records Office, is stated as miners, from this it is deduced that they came to Victoria to go to the goldfields. To avoid confusion, the histories of these two brothers will be dealt with separately.
WILLIAM HENRY HENDERSON 1861 - 1927
Soon after his arrival in Melbourne, it is thought that William Henry went to the Ballarat goldfields. He did not stay there very long, as he was living in the Melbourne suburb of Hotham (now North Melbourne) when he married Annie Blackwell, at the Wesleyan Church, Hotham Hill on 27th June 1883. Annie was born at Gibraltar in 1864, the eldest daughter of William Blackwell and Maria nee Besura.
During this time of residence in Hotham, their first two of their thirteen children were born. William, born 1883 and Arthur, born on 20th September 1885. Also while living in this area, William owned and operated a horse drawn cab. At some stage he also owned a Greengrocers shop, although it is not known in which suburb, or at what time in his life this was.
Sometime in the late 1880's, William was employed by the Victorian Railways, as a boilermaker, he was employed at the Williamstown workshops. He therefore moved with his family to Williamstown, where they were to live for a number of years. Although they lived in Williamstown, all but one of their remaining children were born in Kensington. Annie apparently going home to her mother when her time was due. The last child was born in the country town of Castlemaine in Central Victoria.
Later they were to move to Collins Street, Northcote. It was here they were living when on 29th July 1915, William was approached by the foreman of the firm where he was employed as a boilermaker, working on the construction of the Coode Canal (the diversion of the Yarra River, which made possible the building of the Victoria Docks). The foreman told him he was wanted at home urgently. He set of for home straight away. When he arrived at Princes Bridge Railway Station, he was met by his eldest son, who told him there was no need to hurry, as mother was dead. She had taken Strychnine. It is thought that she was depressed by the thought that two of her sons had enlisted for the war in France, and the others were talking about enlisting as well, she seemed to take it to heart, this being the reason she committed suicide.
In 1917 William Henry married Mary Ann Elizabeth Boyle. Mary Ann was born on 23rd March 1879, in Loughbrouton, Northumberland, England.The daughter of John Boyle and Hannah nee Grandison. William and Mary were to have three children, proving there was still life in the old boy yet!
William Henry henderson and Annie nee Boyle
Sometime before 1915 William Henry borrowed 55 pounds ($110), from his father in law, William Blackwell to build a house at 110 Arden Street North Melbourne. He did all the work on this house himself, although William Blackwell probably did the brickwork, as he was a bricklayer by trade. It was here that he was in residence, when he died on 1st January 1927. He was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery on 3rd January 1927.
JOHN EDWARD HENDERSON 1862 - 1934
John Edward Henderson arrived in Melbourne, on 12th January 1883, with his older brother, aboard the "Te Anau". Soon after his arrival, he went to the Ballarat Goldfields. John was employed in a tannery in Ballarat at the time of his marriage to Anna Maria Moyle. Anna was born at Ballarat in 1860, the daughter of William Moyle and Mary nee Austin. The marriage took place at Hiscocks, near Ballarat on 12th February 1890. The wedding was quite a social event, even getting a write up in the “ Buniyong Telegraph”.
Sometime in 1893 they moved to Broadford, where John had a small farm. Early in the 1900's, the family moved again, this time to 2 Bond Street Preston. It was about this time John once more took up a job in a tannery.
John died of heart failure at his home at 2 Bond Street, Preston on 8th January 1934, and was buried in the New Melbourne Cemetery, Fawkner on 9th January 1934.
His wife Anna Maria also died at 2 Bond Street, Preston on 14th February 1940, and is buried with John at Fawkner Cemetery. John and Anna Maria had nine children, including triplets.