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NZ resident is looking up lost relatives in Bridport
5:01pm Tuesday 3rd April 2012 in Looking Back
A FAMILY is seeking relatives of their ancestors in Bridport who emigrated to New Zealand 170 years ago.
Anne and Rodney Ward, who live in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand, want to track down any long lost family.
Mr Ward said that his great great grandfather James Ward travelled from Bridport to New Zealand arriving in 1842.
“The 1841 census shows them living in West Sreet in Bridport along with Jane’s mother who was now married.
“Her married name was Balson.
“The census shows James was a cooper and Jane was a spinner.
“James and his family emigrated from England leaving Plymouth aboard the Timandra on October 10 in 1841.
“They arrived in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand, on February 23 in 1842.
“The ships manifest lists two children.
“They were Joseph Ward, aged eight, who was my great grandfather and Ellen Ward, aged two.
“They had five other children after arriving in New Zealand. They were Emily, Jane, Anne, John and Fanny.”
James Ward was a cooper and served in the militia during the Maori wars and was decorated for his valour.
He died in 1881 and was buried in the Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth, Taranaki.
His wife Jane is also buried in the same plot.
Mr Ward says James’s son Joseph Ward married Thirza Jane Moon in 1857 and they had 12 children – including his grandfather Arthur.
Joseph Ward was cooper from 1857 to 1890 in New Plymouth.
He also served in the Militia during the Maori Wars and was decorated.
He was court marshaled for discharging his musket causing injury to a fellow soldier, but was exonerated.
Mr Ward said: “Joe was very prominent in local affairs serving on councils, was a JP, a member of the Masonic Lodge and had a seat on the Harbour Board.
“He was also elected to the committee of the Star Football Club.”
He added: “The family has now grown and now numbers in the hundreds with members in all parts of New Zealand as well as overseas.”
Mr Ward wants any distant relatives in Bridport to get in touch – or anyone who is interested in genealogy and who might be able to help.
He said: “I am very interested if any relatives of the above family are still living in the area.
“If there are it would mean that the family tree can be traced back further in time which is what I am very interested in doing.
“Also we would be able to exchange further information about the family.”
Contact him at email@example.com Alternatively, contact him by phone on (06) 758 4943 or write to 72 Karina Road, Merrilands, New Plymouth, New Zealand, 4312.