Joseph Isherwood Buckton

Joseph Isherwood Buckton

Joseph Isherwood Buckton 1832 – 1917 sailed to New Zealand aboard the Matilda Wattenbach. Leaving Gravesend Docks on 29th May 1862, and arriving in Auckland on 8th September.

He sailed with his wife Emma (Dean) and their three children Emily 4, Joseph 2 and baby Clara Evaline. They had left their home in DIxon Lane, Wortley, Leeds, where Joseph was a self employed joiner and cabinet maker, to join 800 nonconformists emigrating, and hoping for a better life, in New Zealand. Called The Albertlanders, many of the emigrants were leaving England to escape poverty brought on by the cotton famine in America, and an outbreak of Smallpox. They had all answered an advertisement in a Birmingham newspaper in August 1861, asking for people interested in establishing a nonconformist settlement in New Zealand.

In Wortley, Joseph Isherwood Buckton and his young family had been living in the same lane as his parents and siblings. His father Thomas was a druggist and grocer. New Zealand was very different. When they arrived at Waitamata Harbour, Auckland they discovered that there were no roads, only inhospitable tracks to the proposed settlement area on the upper reaches of Kaipara Harbour, some forty miles north. A great many emigrants decided not to make the journey, choosing to stay in and around Auckland. Those that did travel north, found that it was almost impossible to build homes due to the dampness of the bush. Each family had been granted a one hundred acre plot of land, which would be theirs by freehold after five years. The harshness of the conditions caused many to return to Auckland, where jobs and land were plentiful. Many settled in the Thames area, south east of Auckland, where the conditions were a lot less inhospitable. Joseph and his family did settle in the Port Albert area, with Joseph continuing to work as a joiner. He was also a member of Rodney county council for 21 years. Joseph is buried along with his wife, at Tauhoa, near Port Albert .

In 1876, Thomas Sowry Buckton and his family sailed aboard the Bebington, to join his elder brother Joseph. Thomas was a labourer at the Gas Works in Leeds and took his Scottish wife Mary (Trainer) and their five children. They arrived in Auckland on 25th April 1876. Conditions there had improved since his brothers arrival. He became a bushman, and they had several more children. Thomas and Mary are buried at Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

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