Powick Family


The Powick family is first recorded in the registers of the Parish of Shrawley, in Worcestershire, in the year 1739.

Shrawley is a rural parish, situated 8 miles northwest of the City of Worcester. It has an area of 1940 acres, of which 450 acres are woodland forest, the remainder being agricultural land, very typical of this part of England. It is also famous for being the place of the first battle of the English Civil War, at a place named Powick Bridge.

Powick Bridge


On the 29th of October in the year 1739, Edward Powick and Elizabeth Ann Seavern were married in St. Mary's Church at Shrawley.

Edward Powick's wife, Elizabeth Seavern, bears the name of a family well known in Shrawley from ancient times. It may be found, under the various spellings of Seavern, Seaverne or Severn in the Shrawley Parish Registers dating back to the 16th Century.

The ancestry of Elizabeth Seavern is impossible to ascertain. The Parish Register records the baptisms of three girls of this name, any one of which could be the one that married Edward Powick.

It must be assumed that Edward was a farmer, like his sons later were, making a living from a few acres of land in much the same manner as his ancestors had done for countless generations. The methods of farming agriculture only slowly changing in the latter part of the 18th century.

Edward may have worked as a farm worker for another farmer, or he may have had a few acres of his own, rented from the Lord of the Manor, on which he grew crops and may have kept a few pigs, cows or sheep. This is how his sons and grandsons made their living in the latter part of the 18th and first half of the 19th century.

Elizabeth died in 1786, she was buried at Shrawley on 20th September 1786. Edward died four years later, he was buried at Shrawley on 26th November 1790.

The Shrawley Parish Register records the baptisms of six children of Edward and Elizabeth Powick, three daughters and three sons:

1. Ann Powick baptised 29th September 1740. Died 1748.

2. Mary Powick baptised 4th December 1743.

3. Elizabeth Powick baptised 4th December 1743, possibly a twin to Mary.

4. John Powick baptised 29th September 1746. Died 1748.
5. John Powick baptised 9th April 1749.

6. Edward Powick baptised 20th June 1751.

The Shrawley Parish Register records the burial on 5th February 1748 of an Ann Powick, and a month later on 10th March 1748 of a John Powick. It is presumed that these are the oldest daughter and oldest son of Edward and Elizabeth Powick as listed above.

Of the three daughters of Edward and Elizabeth Powick, what became of Mary is unknown. Assuming that Ann died in 1748, this leaves Elizabeth and it is very likely her marriage that is recorded in the Shrawley Parish register on 29th March 1774 to Joseph Russell. They were married by the Rev. Daniel Piercy. Joseph was a bachelor and was able to sign his name, unlike his wife who put her mark.

Joseph and Elizabeth had four children, whose baptisms are recorded in the Shrawley Parish Register.

Elizabeth died in 1795, her burial being recorded in the Shrawley on 21st March 1795. Her husband Joseph died eight years later, being buried at Shrawley Parish Register on 11th March 1803

Of the two sons of Edward and Elizabeth Powick, the younger son, Edward was the first to marry. Edward Powick's family bible, dated 1769, has survived and is in the possession of his great-great-granddaughter, Miss Annie Rowley, of Shrawley. From this bible it is learned that although Edward Powick was baptised at Shrawley Church on 20th June 1751 he was actually born a year earlier, on 11th June 1750.

At the age of 23 he married a girl two years older than himself. She was Mary Farmer who was born 13th April 1748. They were married in the Shrawley Church by license on 27th July 1773 by the minister Samuel Wharton. Edward was able to sign his name, but Mary could not

Edward and Mary had nine children, three daughters and six sons. Listed below are the names and birth dates as listed in the Powick family bible.

1. Thomas Powick born 23rd February 1774. Baptised 6th March 1774 Ombersley.

2. John Powick born 30th September 1775. Baptised 30th September 1775 Shrawley.

3. Mary Powick born 21st August 1777. Baptised 22nd August 1777 Shrawley.      

4. Elizabeth Powick born 26th April 1779. Baptised 26th April 1779 Shrawley.

5. Edward Powick born 13th October 1780. Baptised 31st December 1780 Shrawley.

6. Ann Powick born 15th August 1782. Baptised 22nd December 1782 Shrawley.

7. William Powick born 13th July 1784. Baptised 19th December 1784 Shrawley.

8. Richard Powick born 19th February 1788. Not baptised at Shrawley.

9. Samuel Powick born 5th October 1793. Baptised 8th October 1793 Shrawley.

Both Edward and Mary Powick lived to a ripe old age. Mary died aged 85 years and was buried at Shrawley on 25th August 1833. Her husband Edward died in his 91st year and was buried by the Rector John Vernon at Shrawley on 29th May 1841.

It is known that Edward Powick lived in Shrawley throughout his long life, but his occupation in life is not known for certain, there being no mention of it in the records, however, he was very likely a farmer, if not on his own land, then a farm worker at least.

Edward Powick's wife, Mary nee Farmer, was the daughter of Richard and Mary Farmer of the Parish of Ombersley. She was baptised at the Parish Church there on 13th May 1748 when exactly a month old.

Her sister Elizabeth married Edward's older brother John Powick. Both sisters named a son Richard after their father Richard Farmer.

The remainder of this chapter of our family history is devoted to the lives and times of John Powick, and those of his ancestors who are a direct link to our families of the present day.

JOHN POWICK 1749-1814

John, the elder of Edward Powick's two surviving sons, who was baptised at Shrawley on 9th April 1749, was married three times. He married his first wife, Elizabeth Farmer (called Betty) at the Church of St. Nicholas, Worcester City, on 5th May 1780. Her sister Mary Farmer had married John's younger brother Edward in 1773. John signed his name and Elizabeth put her mark.

John and Elizabeth had three sons, the eldest named after his maternal grand-father, the second named after his father and the third named after his paternal grand-father. They were all baptised at the Shrawley Parish Church.

1. Richard Powick baptised 2nd July 1781.

2. John Powick baptised 30th August 1783.

3. Edward Powick baptised 24th November 1784. Buried 30th November 1784.

Elizabeth Powick nee Farmer died in November 1784. She was buried at Shrawley on 26th November 1784. She probably died as a result of the birth of her son Edward.

Just over two years later John married his second wife. She was Sarah Russell, aged 22 years, the daughter of Peter Russell and Hannah nee Wilson, of Woverley Parish near Kidderminster. Sarah was baptised at Woverley on 30th June 1764, and was therefore fifteen years younger than John.

John and Sarah were married at Shrawley Church by license, the ceremony being performed by the Rector, William Cox, on 22nd January 1787. John signed his name and Sarah put her mark.

John and Sarah had one son and one daughter, both baptised at Shrawley Parish Church.

1. William Powick baptised 23rd November 1787.

2. Sarah Powick baptised 4th November 1788. Buried 13th November 1788.

A little less than two years after the birth and death of her baby daughter, Sarah died and was buried at Shrawley on 17th July 1790, aged only 26 years.

Having been widowed for the second time, John remarried only seven months later. His third wife was Sarah Cooper. As with his first two marriages John was married by license, as opposed to putting up banns.
The Rector, William Cox married John and Sarah at Shrawley, on 15th February 1791. John signed his name and Sarah put her mark. This marriage lasted for 23 years, until John's death in 1814.

John and Sarah had seven children, the five eldest being baptised at the Shrawley Parish Church. It is not known where the other two were baptised or if they were.

1. Thomas Powick baptised 28th August 1791.

2. James Powick baptised 1st October 1793.

3. Samuel Powick baptised 18th October 1795.

4. Hannah Powick baptised 14th November 1797.

5. Sarah Powick baptised 10th February 1802.

6. Margaret Powick born about 1803.

7. Mary Ann Powick born about 1808.

John and Sarah lived on a farm known as “Bonefields” in the Parish of Shrawley. John died on 10th March 1814, aged 66. He was buried in the Shrawley Churchyard on 13th March 1814. Sarah lived on at “Bonefields Farm”, with her son James and his family until her death in August 1847, aged 82. She had survived her husband by 33 years.

Mary Ann was the youngest member of the very large family of John Powick. It is thought she was born in 1808, when her father was about 60 years old.

As far as is known Mary Ann was the first of the family to venture more than ten miles from Shrawley. The first documented record of her is at Birmingham, Warwickshire, about 24 miles from Shrawley, when she married her first husband. She was married at St. Philip's Church, Birmingham, to John Meredith on 18th April 1824. She would have been 15 or 16 at the time.

Very little is known of Mary Ann's first husband. It is thought that John Meredith was one of the family of Merediths recorded in the Astley Parish Registers. A  John Meredith, son of Edward and Zillah Meredith is recorded at Astley as being born in July 1800 and baptised there also in July 1800.

Very little is known about the life of John and Mary Ann Meredith. All that is known for certain is that they had at least one child, a daughter named Mary Ann after her mother, born about 1827. No record of her baptism has been found and it is not known where the family was living at the time. It was probably somewhere in the Birmingham area.

John Meredith is known to have followed the trade of painter and to have died before 1838. The Astley Church register records the burial of a John Meredith, aged 35, on 31st May 1835. Whether or not he was Mary Ann's husband is not known.

The next event in Mary Ann's life of which there is documentary evidence, is the marriage of Mary Ann Meredith, widow, to William Jones a bachelor at St. Mary's Church in Kidderminster. The wedding took place on 6th February 1838. They were married after banns by the Rev. Edward Hardwicke. William was two years younger than Mary Ann and gave his occupation as farmer.

William and Mary are known to have had three daughters.

1. Mary Ellen born about 1834. 16th January 1842. She was an adopted child.

2. Ellen born July 1840. Died 22nd October 1842.

3. Unnamed born 13th January 1842. Died 15th January 1842.

In the early 1840's, England's population was about 15 million and the working class among them had little rights; no vote for example. It was also a time of bad economic conditions. At this time, William and Mary Ann Jones came to hear of the new British Colony of New Zealand, on the other side of the world.

The New Zealand Company had been founded in England in 1838 and in early 1840 they established a settlement at what was later to become the capital city of the country, Wellington. In 1841 the New Zealand Company was engaged in founding a second settlement in New Zealand, to be situated on the South Island, at Nelson.

The New Zealand Company advertised in the newspapers of the period for people to emigrate to New Zealand, and they may also have had posters on show in places such as Birmingham and Kidderminster. They certainly had agents in various parts of the country that promoted the scheme and signed up prospective emigrants.

One such agent was a Mr. Phipson and it was he who in 1841 selected William and Mary Ann Jones as suitable persons for immigrants to New Zealand.

Having decided to emigrate to New Zealand on the other side of the world, and with virtually no Europeans living in the south island, William and Mary Ann would first of all have to travel to London to join their ship.

Perhaps they went from Birmingham to London by train, as this line had been operating since 1838. Very likely they traveled as 3rd class passengers, this being the cheapest, less than one penny a mile, but they would have had to travel standing up in open trucks. The long journey of 120 miles would have taken about six hours, as long as there were no breakdowns. Arriving at the famous Euston Station, they would have then had to make their way across London, to the West India Docks on the Thames, from where the ship was scheduled to sail in late September.

The ship they were to sail in was the “Fifeshire”. Sometime about the 20th of September, the emigrants made their way on board. The ship then made its way down the Thames to Gravesend, towards the mouth of the river. From there it sailed around the coast to the port of Deal. Originally it was to set sail from there on Sunday 26th September 1841, for some reason it was delayed and did not get under way until Saturday 2nd October.

Aboard the “Fifeshire” were 150 Steerage passengers, being officially described as “Emigrant Labourers”, these consisting of 75 males and 75 females. There were 35 married couples, 63 children, 11 single men and 6 single women. These received free passage.

Also traveling were 20 cabin passengers. Among these cabin passengers were a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. White. For the duration of the voyage the 14 year old daughter of Mary Jones, Mary Ann Meredith acted as servant to Mrs. White.

The “Fifeshire” was favoured with good weather and fair winds and did not put into Cape Town for supplies, this resulting in fresh water, meat and vegetables being in short supply by the time they reached New Zealand.

An outbreak of fever occurred during the voyage and as a result of this and other diseases a total of 16 people died on board the ship, including two babies born on board. One of these was a baby girl born to Mary Ann Jones on 13th January 1842, who died after only 28 hours.

The Jones family was disastrously affected, for on 22nd October 1841, Ellen Jones died aged six months, of “water on the head”. Then on 16th January 1842, just as they arrived at New Zealand, Mary Ellen Jones died, aged eight of “putrid sore throat”.

After passing round the Cape of Good Hope, the “Fifeshire” was a little under half way through its voyage of 13,000 miles to New Zealand, a long journey to endure for a period of almost four months, especially if you were a steerage passenger.

On Sunday 16th January 1842, these brave emigrants made the first glimpse of New Zealand, soon to become pioneers of a new settlement. One wonders what thoughts were in the minds of William and Mary Jones and Mary Ann Meredith as they neared their future home.

At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon of Thursday 20th January 1842, the “Fifeshire” entered the harbour at Wellington in the North Island of New Zealand, having that day sailed through Cook Strait. The reason they went to Wellington first was that they simply did not know where Nelson was. On Thursday 27th January 1842, after a stay of a week in Wellington, the “Fifeshire” set sail for Nelson in the South Island, arriving in the early hours of Tuesday, 1st February 1842. As the "Fifeshire" was sailing into Nelson Haven she was greeted by gun salute organised by the small group of people had arrived on an earlier voyage to organize the settlement.

Of the family of five who had left England four months previously, only three remained to step ashore. William Jones, Mary Jones and her daughter Mary Ann Meredith, the last named not remaining a miss for long.

Shortly after her arrival in New Zealand, Mary Ann Meredith was married, at Nelson on 8th May 1842. Her husband was a Scottish born seaman named John Cargill, whom she may have met on the ship, if, as is believed he was a crew member of the “Fifeshire”.

John was born at Ferryden, Montrose, Scotland on 21st June 1820 the fifth child of Robert Cargill and Catherine nee Bate.

John and Mary Ann Cargill lived in the Nelson area, and during the next nine years following their marriage four children were born to them.

John Cargill was away from home a lot, following his profession as a mariner. According to family legend, John Cargill was presumed lost at sea around 1853, although no documented record of this event can be found.

There is a lot of controversy about the supposed death of John Cargill in 1853. There is evidence that a John Cargill jumped ship in Melbourne on 1st February 1852, and went to the goldfields at Bendigo. Was this Mary Ann's husband? It is quite possible.

The New Zealand Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages have the death of a John Cargill registered on 8th June 1890 at Waitati. An inquest was held into this death, and some interesting coincidences show up in the report of this inquest.

The inquest was held at Waitati, before Mr. Carew, Coroner, and a jury of six on 11th June 1890. The following is the evidence given by two witnesses.

Philip McLeod
I am a fisherman and reside at Waitati. I recognise the body shown to the jury as that of the late John Cargill. I have known him for about ten years. He was once a seafaring man, then he was a gold digger and subsequently a fisherman. He has done no fishing lately on account of his weak health I believe. He was born in Scotland, somewhere about Montrose I believe. He told me he came to the colony about 40 years ago and lived and married at Nelson, but since then had been away at Victoria and other places. I have heard him speak of having a son, but I do not know where he is nor do I know anything about his wife. I think from conversations I have had with him he would be about 65 or 66 years old. I have frequently seen the deceased and now and again since he last came out of the hospital, about June 2nd 1890. He lived in a one roomed house in Blueskin Bay by himself lately. A woman once lived with him, but she was sent to the lunatic asylum about 15 months ago. I saw him on Wednesday last at my place, he came to my gate on Saturday and I went to his hut on Sunday last. I got there about 2 o'clock p.m. He told me he was going into the Dunedin Benevolent Institution on the following Wednesday. He wanted a fishing boat hauled up before he left, ready for some person. When I got to his hut, I asked him how he felt today. He replied fine Mac. He seemed as well as usual and was then cooking his dinner. He cooked a chop and filled a basin with tea. I left him and went and looked at the boat he had been speaking about. He followed me out of the door. I told him things he would require to have done to the boat, I spoke from a distance and did not hear any answer. I remained about the boat for 20 minutes or so waiting for him to finish his dinner and come down to the boat as I expected he would do. I got impatient at him not coming and went up to the hut. On going inside I saw him with his feet on the ground and lying on his back across the bed. I shook him by the arm and called to him, I got no reply, I then felt his heart but found no beat from it. He was warm and his arms quite supple then. I came to the conclusion he was quite dead. He is dressed the same as when I saw him before with trousers, shirt and boots on. He was away from where he sat when he was eating his dinner. He seemed to have sat on the nearest part of his bed and then to have fallen backwards and died. He had no want of food in his hut, and kept four dogs there. I never heard him complain of his heart, but he told me he had twice had paralytic strokes and his legs were very weak. I was present when Constable Hastings searched his body. I saw no money or valuables, I saw a knife, a box of matches, a pipe and a couple of pieces of paper, nothing more. This was about 7 o'clock or a little later. I believe it was close to 3 o'clock when I found him dead. I went to the Constable's house and reported the occurrence, but he was not at home at the time. I saw no one about the hut. He was quite sober and I saw no drink there.

                                        Signed  Philip McLeod

Michael Hastings on his oath saith: -
I am a Constable at Waitati. From the information I received on the 8th inst. (Sunday last). I proceeded to the hut of the late John Cargill at Blueskin Bay. I arrived there at 7 o'clock p.m. I found the deceased's body quite cold and dead. It was lying on the back across the foot of the bed, with the feet on the floor. The feet were close together and the arms were stretched along the sides. I opened the shirt and inside flannel and examined the head, neck and body. I found no marks of violence or foul play. I found no smell of drink. I then searched the pockets and found an old wooden pipe, an old pocket knife and a box containing a few matches. No money or valuables of any kind. There was nothing of any value in the hut. I saw a little food there, close to his right foot there was a frying pan and a broken basin close to it. I saw nothing whatever suspicious. I have known the deceased for the last 16 months. He was discharged from the Dunedin Hospital on yesterday week, and was admitted there on the 14th May. I have made inquiries and find he left the hospital of his own accord and suffered from chronic cystitis and bladder disturbances.
He seemed to me for some time past to be very frail. Deceased told me he first arrived in the Colony in 1841, when he came to Nelson. I got the paper marked “A” from Dr. Copeland yesterday. The deceased had been getting 25/- a week from the Benevolent Institution for some time past.

                                                     Signed  M. Hastings

From these statements it would seem that this John Cargill is the one that married Mary Ann Meredith at Nelson in 1842, and also the one that jumped ship in Victoria in 1852. If this is so why didn't he contact his family on his return to New Zealand?

Did Mary Ann know her husband had jumped ship? Or did she really believe he had been lost at sea?

Supposedly being left widowed with four young children, Mary Ann Cargill married again in 1855. She gave her name as Ann Cargill. Was this because she knew John Cargill was still alive, and she knew she was committing bigamy?    

The wedding took place on 11th May 1855 at the home of her stepfather, Grove Farm, Stoke, Nelson. She married an English born farm worker, James Mudford, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Thomas D. Nicholson, of the Presbyterian Church.

James Mudford was born in 1830, at West Chinnock, Somersetshire, the son of John Mudford and Mary Ann nee Evans.

It is not certain whether James and Mary Ann Mudford left Nelson soon after their marriage or not, but it is known that two years later they were living in the Wairau area. In the electoral rolls of July 1857 and July 1858 James Mudford is listed as a Dairyman and householder in the Wairau.

In 1859 James and Mary Ann bought farmland at Spring Creek, Tua Marina. This was to be their home until the late 1880's, when they packed up all their belongings tools, farm implements, horses and all, and moved to Manawatu. After living there for several years, James and Mary Ann and their youngest son settled in Taranaki, the older sons remaining in Manawatu.

Mary Ann Mudford outlived her husband James, who died in January 1901, at Auroa, in South Taranaki. Mary Ann died on 31st October 1909, also at Auroa, having lived into her 80's.


Ellen Cargill 1843-1919

Ellen was born at Nelson, New Zealand on Wednesday 11th March 1843. She married William Henderson on Monday 16th July 1860 at the home of her stepfather James Mudford. The story of Ellen is covered in detail in the Henderson chapter of this history.
Robert William Cargill 1845-1924

Robert was born at Nelson, New Zealand on Saturday, 3rd May 1845. Along with his sisters Ellen and Annie, he was baptised by Rev. Samuel Ironside at Nelson on 7th September 1849 aged four.

When a young man Robert went to the North Island. There he took part in the so-called Maori Wars of 1863-72, as a member of the New Zealand local militia, supporting the British Army. Robert was a Private in the 3rd Regiment of the Waikato Militia. This regiment was one of four that fought in the Waikato and East Coast areas.

When he was nearly 39 years of age, Robert was married. The marriage ceremony took place on Monday, 28th January 1884, at the Registrar's Office in Thames, New Zealand. He stated his occupation at the time of his marriage as “settler”. His bride was a young girl born in Nottinghamshire, England on 28th March 1868, and thus under 16 years old on her wedding day. Her name was Emma Brown, and her father was a local farmer, Samuel Brown, her mother being Martha Brown nee Caley.

After their marriage Robert and Emma settled at Puriri, a settlement about nine miles south-east of Thames, where Robert was engaged in mining. Over the next 22 years 10 children were born to Robert and Emma.

Robert died at Puriri, on 6th February 1924, his wife Emma outlived him by 11 years, dying at Puriri on 6th March 1935.
Annie Cargill 1847-1916

Annie was born at Nelson, New Zealand, on Saturday 15th May 1847. Very little is known of Annie's childhood, or what sort of education she received. She may have gone to school at Renwick where her younger sister Mary is known to have received some schooling.

Early in 1862 Annie entered into a de-facto marriage with Joseph Law. The reason for this marriage not being legalised was that to do so would be bigamy, as Joseph already had a wife, still alive in England and was not legally divorced from her.

On 22nd September 1862 Annie gave birth to a son, William, she then being 15 years and 4 months old.

Joseph Law was born on 30th July 1823, at Thenford, Northamptonshire, England the son of Joseph Law and Mary nee Newitt.

Joseph and Annie took up farming in the Tua Marina district and acquired a lot of land there over the years in various parts of the district.

Joseph and Annie had a further ten children over the following 21 years, the youngest being born 1883, two years before Joseph's death. Joseph Law died on 10th March 1885 at Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, where he had gone for a visit, for health reasons.

Being widowed and left with a large family, the youngest of whom was only one year old when her father died, Annie married three years later in 1888 to a man 19 years younger than herself. He was John Turner Wilson. They had one child, a daughter named Marion Kate, born 13th July 1889.

John Wilson was a cabinetmaker and he and Annie lived in Spring Creek for 14 years. They then went to live in Blenheim for 6 years, before moving to Hamilton in the North Island.

Annie Died at Hamilton on 11th February 1916 aged 68 years. John Wilson later remarried, survived his second wife, and eventually died on 31st May 1952 aged 86

Mary Cargill 1850-1931

Mary was born at Nelson, New Zealand on Thursday, 21st November 1850, in Bridge Street, where her mother was recorded as living in the Census of 1849.

Family tradition records that Mary had not attended school before turning 11 years of age. When 11, probably in the year 1862, she spent a year at a private boarding school at Renwicktown, run by a lady who taught Mary to read and write.

Mary was married at the age of 15 years and 1 month, on 20th December 1865, at Blackwood Bay, across Queen Charlotte Sound from the town of Picton. She was married to an Englishman named William Kennington. This marriage was to last 48 years, until William's death in 1913.

The wedding of Mary Cargill and William Kennington took place at the house of Mary's stepfather James Mudford, it was a Wednesday and the ceremony was performed by Rev. T. L. Tudor, a Church of England minister. Being only 15 years old Mary required permission from her stepfather. William Kennington was 29 years old at the time of their marriage, having been born at Dunholme, Lincolnshire, on Friday 21st October 1836.

Not long after their marriage William and Mary were living in Okaramio, where they set up house in a temporary home, made of wattle and daub, in common with many other settlers of that time. Within a few years this first house was replaced by a more substantial dwelling, this time made of timber of, which there was plenty to be found in the vicinity.

During the 20 years following their marriage William and Mary had ten children born to them. All of them would have been born at home, at Okaramio where a local midwife would have assisted with the delivery. The last two of these were twin boys born in December 1885, at which time Mary was still a young woman of 35 years of age.

William Kennington prospered in his undertakings, and after a few years at Okaramio had freehold over 1000 acres of land there, which formed his large farm. Throughout his life he had many land dealings, buying other sections of land in Marlborough and other parts of the province.

William died at Okaramio on 26th June 1913. Mary died on 10th July 1931, also at Okaramio.