Pioneer Names In Land Ledger

There would have been no hope for this old ledger if it hadn’t been behind glass at the Canterbury Museum.

A ledger of land purchased up to the 30th April 1868 – section numbers, purchaser’s surnames, where and what acreage.

Some names just jumped out of the page at me, I was so buzzing that Chris actually asked if we could view the whole ledger. Total shock, they said no ;(

Anyway, thought I would share a little about some of the names on these pages, will list them in the same order:

50 acres – Rhodes – Rangiora Swamp.

William, George and Robert Rhodes, by the time they had all passed away, between them had owned over 800 sections – ranging from 1/4 of a acre to 70,000 acres sections – in New Zealand. The Rhodes are mostly remembered for owning Purau on Banks Peninsula and The Levels which is now the township of Timaru.

20 acres – Ward – North Road

Edward, Henry and Hamilton Ward arrived in Canterbury on the ‘Charlotte Jane’, the first of the first four ships. Tragically, Edward and Henry drowned in Lyttelton Harbour the following year. They had decided to farm on Quail Island and were out collecting firewood, possibly from the mainland, when they drowned. Hamilton was joined by another brother, Crosbie, a few years later who became a well known poet. What is left of the Ward’s brewery (the old Cobber’s Gym) on Chester Street East has been in the news lately as some of the old buildings has survived the earthquake and will be restored.
Wards Beer is now known as Canterbury Draught.

50 acres – Torlesse – Rangiora Swamp

The nephew of Edward Gibbon Wakefield (the owner of The New Zealand Company), Charles Torlesse, was one of Christchurch’s earliest surveyors. Mt Torlesse is named in his memory. He was the first to build a house in Rangiora.

20 acres – Hempleman – Akaroa.

Captain George Hempleman was a German captain. He is believed to have been the first European to settle in Canterbury, setting up a Whaling Station on Banks Peninsula during the early 1830’s. I am thinking this purchase was made by one of his sons.

20 acres – Manson – Governor Bay

Samuel and Jean Manson arrived in Nelson under the employment of John Deans in 1842. They travelled to Canterbury with the Deans Brothers, the Hays, Sinclairs and the Gebbies families in 1843. They worked 2 years at Riccarton – where Samuel built the first home and Jeanie Manson, the first European child was born on the plains – before taking up their own land in the Head of Bays. They were neighbours to the Gebbies, remembered in the naming of Gebbies Pass.

82 acres – Rhodes – Little River Road
40 acres – Rhodes – Timaru

See above

20 acres – H.J Le Cren – Arowenua
20 acres – H.J Le Cren – North Road, North Branch of Weka

Henry Le Cren arrived in Canterbury with his cousin and the pair set up a general store, firstly in Lyttelton and then in Christchurch, the store now houses The Pegasus Arms. He moved his business down to Timaru as requested by George Rhodes.

60 acres – Cholmondeley – Manuka Range, Port Levy
20 acres – Cholmondeley – Akaora Road, Port Levy

Charles and Thomas Cholmondeley arrived in Canterbury aboard the ‘Charlotte Jane’, the first of the first four ships. The brothers first settled in Port Levy and the family when on to establish the orphanage still known as Cholmondeley Childrens Home.

20 acres – Manson – Governors Bay

See above

20 acres – Ward – Rangiora, South Ashley

See above

60 acres – Rhodes – Harewood Forest (now known as Eyrewell Forest)
20 acres – Rhodes – Otipua Creek, Timaru
39 acres – Rhodes – Between Old and New Roads
36 acres – Rhodes – Patiti Point, Timaru
20 acres – Rhodes – Timaru
40 acres – Rhodes – Pigeon Bay, Banks Peninsula

See above

35 acres – Sinclair – Purarekanui Canal Reserve

The Sinclairs travelled down to Canterbury from Wellington with the Deans Brothers, the Hays, Gebbies and Manson families. They settled in Holmes Bay, just around the corner from the Hays in Pigeon Bay, Banks Peninsula.
Purarekanui is the Maori name for the suburb of Belfast, which was firstly known to the Europeans as The Styx.

20 acres – Fitzgerald – Ellesmere Junction Road

James Edward Fitzgerald was aboard the ‘Charlotte Jane’, the first of the first four ships. He was the very first settler to step ashore. He went on to be Canterbury’s first Superintendent and establish ‘The Press’ newspaper. His farm ‘The Springs’, is now he township of Lincoln.

186 acres – Creyke – South Bank River Avon

Alfred Creyke is remembered as a great land owner. He is remembered with his Ilam homestead ‘Okeover’ which is now used by the Canterbury University. Creyke Road in Ilam is named after him.

*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

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