03 December 2008

More on the Maxton Family of Wairarapa, NZ

I have more details on Samuel Maxton's second wife Susannah Martha Dunn. I hadn't noticed previously that Susannah came to NZ with her parents and siblings on the same ship that Samuel did!

  • Birman
    Ship: 544 tons
    Captain: John Cleland
    Surgeon Superintendent: James Motherwell
    Sailed London 13th October 1841 - arrived Wellington 1st March 1842
  • Dunn Susanna Martha 14 Sempstress
    Dunn William 38 Labourer - Ships Constable
    Mary Ann 37
    William Thomas 11
    Anna 7
    Walter 5
    John 9 months

Susannah Martha Dunn was born on 25 Aug 1827 & baptised on 16 Sep 1827 at St Leonards Church, Shoreditch, London, parents William Dunn and Mary Ann. William married Mary Ann Goodwin on the 4 Mar 1826 at St Leonards Church, Shoreditch. Other children for William & Mary Ann were:-

  • St Leonards Church, Shoreditch, London
  • William Thomas 16 Oct 1829 bp 8 Nov 1829
  • Ann 16 Sep 1833 bp 1 Dec 1833
  • Walter 27 Sep 1835 bp 10 Jul 1836
  • St Luke Old St Church, Finsbury, London
  • John 25 Sep 1840 bp 8 Aug 1841

The Dunn family were living at Apple Yard, St Luke, Finsbury in the 1841 census, father William's occupation was a Dyer.


So the photo I previously posted of Jack Dunn is most probably Susannah's brother John.

Now onto some of the other photos I have of this family.

First a family group photo:-


  • Subject: Unknown Family at Ngaipu, Wairarapa, NZ
  • Date: c1895 (guess)
  • Photographer: Dr Wm Gunn
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ

No names on it but if you hold the photo in a certain light you can see that this message has been written in pencil on a black background on the back:-

Taken at Ngaipu

by Dr Gunn a

missionary at the

New Hebrides.

Rev. Dr. William Gunn (1853-1935) was Presbyterian missionary on Futuna Island, New Hebrides 1883-1917, he died at Roseville, N.S.W. I haven't been able to ascertain when he might have been visiting NZ but working from his birthdate of 1853 one would presume it to be sometime in the late 1800s.

The place 'Ngaipu' was a little harder to find, not on any NZ map that I have and Google NZ Maps doesn't know it either! On further investigation I did find a bed & breakfast place named 'Ngaipu Station' which might very well be the same house that this family were staying in at the time of the photo. The shearers' quarters have been transformed into a bed & breakfast, you can see some lovely photos of it here. I was able to pin point it more or less to being about 3 kms from Hinakura on the way to Ngakonui on this map.

View Larger Map

None of that helped me find out who the family was in the photo though, so on to the next one.


  • Subject: Elizabeth, Miss Malleson, Aunt Mary, Aunt Jim.
  • Photographer: Thomas E Price, Masterton, New Zealand
  • Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ


Again it has been written in pencil on the black background on the back, very hard to see in a scan, it says:-

L to R


Miss Malleson

Aunt Mary

Aunt Jim

Miss Malleson could be the children's governess or nanny.


  • Subject: Polly, Jim, Bess/Bessie, Sandy
  • Photographer: Unknown
  • Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ

Polly is a nickname for Mary, Bess/Bessie is Elizabeth. Not sure about Jim and Sandy but could be Jemima and Alexandra or Sandra although I'm fairly sure that Sandra didn't become a popular girls' name until much later in the 20th century. I originally thought these four girls were sisters but now I'm starting to think they are probably cousins, more on this later.

aunty-mary aunty-mary-back

  • Subject: Aunt Mary
  • Photographer: Wrigglesworth & Binns, Willist St, Wellington, NZ
  • Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ

Mary certainly looks like Polly in the previous photo and Aunt Mary in the one before that and is most probably the one sitting on the extreme right in the first family photo.

girl-with-bucket girl-with-bucket-back

  • Subject: Unknown
  • Photographer: James Ring, Greymouth & Reefton, New Zealand
  • Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ

baby baby-back

  • Subject: Unknown
  • Photographer: W H Clarke, Lambton Quay, Wellington, NZ
  • Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ

This baby looks awfully a lot like a younger version of the young girl in the previous photo, up close they both have the same cupid shaped top lip. Is she Jim or Sandy or perhaps one of each?

even-younger-man young-man

  • Subject: Unknown
  • Photographer: W H Clarke, Lambton Quay, Wellington, NZ
  • Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ

Are these both the same young man, I think so, what do you think?

End of photos ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had thought that the family photo was of Samuel & Susannah Maxton and their children but apart from the parents not really looking like the photos of them I previously posted the ages of the children just didn't fit with some of the years I have of when the children were born.

I'm now leaning towards the parents as being Samuel's son Mark and his wife the former Elizabeth Tinney. They had two sons and two daughters who I think are the four youngest children in the photo, the other three older girls are possibly Mark's three sisters. Mark & Elizabeth were married in 1882, the eldest boy looks to be about 10 or so which means the photo was probably taken around 1895 give or take a few years depending on when their first son was born.

From the Cyclopedia of NZ 1908.
Maxton and Co. (Mark Maxton), Advertising Contractors and Newspaper Brokers, General Agents and Valuers, Opera House Buildings, Manners Street, Wellington. Telephone 89; P.O. Box 65. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Tinakori Road. This business was established in 1893, in Grey Street by Mr Maxton, Mr. James Mander joining the firm in October, 1894, under the title of Messrs. Maxton, Mander and Co., but in October 1895 Mr. Mander retired, leaving Mr. Maxton in sole possession. Considering the short time elapsed since its inauguration, the business has made good progress, and it is still increasing rapidly. The agencies already secured include:—The Age, Leader, and Illustrated Australian News, Melbourne: Daily Telegraph, Sydney; Taranaki Herald, New Plymouth; Daily Telegraph, Napier; Wairoa Guardian, Napier; Egmont Star, Hawera; Waimate Witness, Manaia; Chronicle, Wanganui; Wairarapa Standard, Greytown; Eketahuna and Pahiatua Mail, Masterton; Wairarapa Star, Masterton; West Coast Mail, Otaki; Manawatu Daily Times, Palmerston; Kaikoura Star, Kaikoura; Evening Mail, Nelson; Times and Evening Star, Westport; Guardian, Havelock; Chronicle, Petone; also sub-agent for Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company, and broker for Scottish Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, (Accident Branch). Mr. Maxton is very well known throughout the district, having spent the whole of his life in Wellington and the Wairarapa. He was born in Wellington in 1853. His father, the late Mr. Samuel Maxton, had settled in Wellington many years previously, having arrived per ship “Birman” in 1842. In 1876 Mr. Maxton, sen., removed to Greytown, where several members of the family are still resident. Mr. Mark Maxton was educated at the Church of England School, under Mr. Mowbray. After serving an apprenticeship to the business of a baker and confectioner with his father, he decided to learn the printing, and was bound for six years at the Government Printing Office, when that institution was a very small affair as compared with its present dimensions. On the expiry of his apprenticeship, Mr. Maxton went to Masterton for a few years, during which time he was employed as a jobbing printer on the staff of the Wairarapa Daily. He then returned to Wellington to assist his brother-in-law, Mr. W. F. Roydhouse in the establishment and conduct of the Evening Press. During the time he was thus engaged Mr. Maxton gained an experience of newspaper work which is now very useful to him. Unfortunately, when he severed his connection with the Evening Press, instead of at once turning his experience to good account, he returned to the Wairarapa. At first he engaged in storekeeping at Greytown, and did fairly well, working up a good trade with the Maoris; but, an opportunity offering, he purchased a flour mill near Greytown, and during his first year in the new line was so unsuccessful, through a misadventure, that he lost all his previous savings, and was obliged to make a fresh start. His many friends will be pleased to learn that he is again doing well. In connection with his agency business, he has a circulating library of over 3000 volumes, which, being so centrally situated, is well patronised. Socially, Mr. Maxton has been prominent for a long time. As a tenor singer in the old Choral Society, and in similar institutions, he has assisted in the performance of nearly all the oratorios which have been given in Wellington for the last twenty years. He was the inaugurator and moving spirit of a string band which did good work many years ago, and in which he played the double bass. In the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows he holds a number of important offices. He is a “past grand” of the Antipodean Lodge, for which and for the Juvenile Antipodean Lodge he is auditor; and of the Sister Wallis Lodge he is trustee. The acting-secretaryship of the Widows' and Orphans' Society is also in the hands of Mr. Maxton.

* * * * * * *

Mr. Mark Maxton was born in Wellington, and is the son of the late Mr. Samuel Maxton, who came to New Zealand by the ship “Birman,” in the year 1842. He was educated at the Church of England School, under Mr. Mowbray, afterwards served an apprenticeship to the bakery business under his father, and then learned the printing trade at the Government Printing Office. After completing his indentures he removed to Masterton, where he was engaged for a few years as jobbing printer on the staff of the "Wairarapa Daily Times.” He then returned to Wellington to assist his brother-in-law, Mr. W. F. Roydhouse, in the establishment of the “Evening Press,” but subsequently severed his connection with the paper, and found employment in Greytown as a storekeeper, and, later, as a flourmiller, until establishing his present business. Mr. Maxton has always taken a keen interest in public affairs, was a member of the borough council, and is a member of the Wairarapa District Hospital Board, and the South Wairarapa Hospital Trustees. He was the founder of the local bowling club, of which he was secretary for some time, for many years served as a volunteer, and in 1872 was appointed honorary lieutenant of the Wellington Rifle Volunteers. Mr. Maxton is local correspondent of the “Evening Post,” the “Dominion,” and the “Wairarapa News.” He married Miss Elizabeth Tinney, of Wellington, and has two sons and two daughters. Both sons are working for the firm.


I found a couple of photos of Mark Maxton and comparing him with the father in the family photo I reckon I've hit the nail on the head, what do you think?

mark-maxton-young mark-maxton-older-smaller mark-closeup

I still think I have gone wrong somewhere though because the ages of the various children in the various photos just don't seem to add up - perhaps the three older girls are not sisters of Marks but children of a sibling of his - more thinking upon needed!

1 comment:

magix said...

re your Ngaipu Station, Hinakura photo, there were Sutherlands living at Ngaipu prior to the current family (Riddel). Other Sutherlands live at Moy Hall or Aotea (not sure which) next door if you are interested.