Monday, November 28, 2022
   
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My name is Beverley Louis and I am a 4th generation New Zealander with links to Te Atiawa and Raukawa

I belong to the Māori SIG after joining earlier this year.

My brick wall is my paternal great-grandfather on my mother’s side—Edward Barrett. 

No one in my wider family can definitively show that he is the son of Richard Barrett (Tiki Parete) who married Rawinia (Te Atiawa) even though this is what we have always been told.

According to a letter to me from his daughter-in-law Lily Barrett, Edward Barrett was just a small boy when Richard Barrett died in 1847. Edward then went to live with Caroline Barrett (Richard Barrett's daughter) and later with both Caroline and her husband James Honeyfield until he was about 17.

He then quarrelled bitterly with them and left their home, saying “he would never return.”

I do not know where he went from there, but he ended up in the Tirau/Okoroire area.

He is said to have married Ruta Kipihana (Gibson) from Raukawa and they had a son Puke born about 1877. He later married, had three sons and a daughter with Rape Kipihana aka Ruby Gibson. I was told Ruta died and Rape was her younger sister.

According to another letter by Lily Barrett (Edwards daughter-in-law who married Edward Mahurangi Barrett), Caroline Honeyfield called on Edward Barrett and begged him to claim his property in Taranaki, and when he refused, she asked him to let one of his sons do so, but he flatly refused that too (Edward Mahurangi Barrett was a small boy when Caroline Honeyfield called).

So that’s the background. I have been unable to find any marriage records for him and certainly no birth records. It’s like he was just suddenly there.

Lily Barrett said her husband had been told that Edward was a son of the Love family but for some reason, her husband didn’t think so. Captain John Agar Love died in 1839 so the timeline may fit.

I have some school records for Edward’s second family through Archway at Tirau and Okoroire schools. Edward Barrett has his occupation listed as a farmer on his daughter’s marriage printout. He is also listed as having been a labourer in an admission form for Tokanui Mental Hospital where he died in 1931.

On the BarrettHoneyfield.com website, there was a blogpost by one of the site contributors, Paul Roberts, who is a descendant of Richard Barrett. He said he had his genetic profile on 23andme, and others claiming ancestry could arrange a genetic profile with the same company to compare. I have had my DNA tested, and Paul Roberts did not come up as a match. Perhaps he isn't. I emailed him in a very casual manner several months ago, but he has not replied. The blogpost has since been removed (but I have a photograph of it).

As Edward did not claim any Taranaki property, I am unable to find Māori Land Court Records that mention him. I do have those for his wife Rape Barrett.

Additional information....

There is a passage in Edward Jerningham Wakefield’s book “Adventure in New Zealand” that says...

“His wife Rangi, a fine, stately woman, gave us a dignified welcome; and his pretty half-caste children laughed and commented on our appearance in their own language. He had three girls of his own, and had adopted a son of an old trader and friend of his - Jacky Love - who was even then on his death-bed.”

Could this adopted son be Edward?

Barrett and Captain John Love had worked and sailed together in the 1820s and 1830s. They were both presented with Māori wives by the Te Atiawa, as a thank you for helping successfully defend the Otaka Pa at Ngamotu in Taranaki.

Also, I have a letter dated 27.10.38 and signed by Ralph Love of the Native Dept, Wanganui and addressed to Edward Barrett – one of Edward Barrett’s children from his second family and my great uncle.

This letter says… “In response to your enquiry concerning family property originally held by your paternal grandparents in Taranaki, I have to inform you that owing to your father’s absence for so long from the vicinity of his two sisters he was omitted from the successions to properties owned by the family. Whether this was intentional or whether they presumed that he was dead is of course not known but a perusal of the minutes of the Succession Order made on 22-9-98 in Ratapihipihi A East block shows that no mention was made of your late father. This is borne out by the copy of the minutes of the court which I enclose for your information.

You will understand that the Succession Order in the forgoing block remains in force until you can bring proof that would satisfy the Chief Judge of the Native Land Court that your father was wrongfully omitted. Provision is made for you to contest the validity of the Succession Order by making an application under Sec. 38 of the Native Land Court Act 1921.” It continues for several pages and is signed by Ralph Love.

I would really appreciate some advice and direction to follow with my research.
Nga mihi

Beverley Louis
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