Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet
NameJohn Richard MEREDITH
Birth1808, Shrawley, Worcestershire
DeathApr 1868, South Canterbury
Misc. Notes

Marriage certificate no. 64, on file
The following info is from Lee Family History...
Mary Ann was the youngest member of the very large family of John Powick. It is thought she was born in 1808, when her father was about 60 years old.
As far as is known Mary Ann was the first of the family to venture more than ten miles from Shrawley. The first documented record of her is at Birmingham, Warwickshire, about 24 miles from Shrawley, when she married her first husband. She was married at St. Philip's Church, Birmingham, to John Meredith on 18th April 1824. She would have been 15 or 16 at the time.
Very little is known of Mary Ann's first husband. It is thought that John Meredith was one of the family of Merediths recorded in the Astley Parish Registers. A John Meredith, son of Edward and Zillah Meredith is recorded at Astley as being born in July 1800 and baptised there also in July 1800.
Very little is known about the life of John and Mary Ann Meredith. All that is known for certain is that they had at least one child, a daughter named Mary Ann after her mother, born about 1827. No record of her baptism has been found and it is not known where the family was living at the time. It was probably somewhere in the Birmingham area.
John Meredith is known to have followed the trade of painter and to have died before 1838. The Astley Church register records the burial of a John Meredith, aged 35, on 31st May 1835. Whether or not he was Mary Ann's husband is not known.
The next event in Mary Ann's life of which there is documentary evidence, is the marriage of Mary Ann Meredith, widow, to William Jones a bachelor at St. Mary's Church in Kidderminster. The wedding took place on 6th February 1838. They were married after banns by the Rev. Edward Hardwicke. William was two years younger than Mary Ann and gave his occupation as farmer.
William and Mary are known to have had three daughters.
1. Mary Ellen born about 1834. 16th January 1842. She was an adopted child.
2. Ellen born July 1840. Died 22nd October 1842.
3. Unnamed born 13th January 1842. Died 15th January 1842.
In the early 1840's, England's population was about 15 million and the working class among them had little rights; no vote for example. It was also a time of bad economic conditions. At this time, William and Mary Ann Jones came to hear of the new British Colony of New Zealand, on the other side of the world.
The New Zealand Company had been founded in England in 1838 and in early 1840 they established a settlement at what was later to become the capital city of the country, Wellington. In 1841 the New Zealand Company was engaged in founding a second settlement in New Zealand, to be situated on the South Island, at Nelson.
The New Zealand Company advertised in the newspapers of the period for people to emigrate to New Zealand, and they may also have had posters on show in places such as Birmingham and Kidderminster. They certainly had agents in various parts of the country that promoted the scheme and signed up prospective emigrants.
One such agent was a Mr. Phipson and it was he who in 1841 selected William and Mary Ann Jones as suitable persons for immigrants to New Zealand.
Having decided to emigrate to New Zealand on the other side of the world, and with virtually no Europeans living in the south island, William and Mary Ann would first of all have to travel to London to join their ship.
Perhaps they went from Birmingham to London by train, as this line had been operating since 1838. Very likely they traveled as 3rd class passengers, this being the cheapest, less than one penny a mile, but they would have had to travel standing up in open trucks. The long journey of 120 miles would have taken about six hours, as long as there were no breakdowns. Arriving at the famous Euston Station, they would have then had to make their way across London, to the West India Docks on the Thames, from where the ship was scheduled to sail in late September.
The ship they were to sail in was the “Fifeshire”. Sometime about the 20th of September, the emigrants made their way on board. The ship then made its way down the Thames to Gravesend, towards the mouth of the river. From there it sailed around the coast to the port of Deal. Originally it was to set sail from there on Sunday 26th September 1841, for some reason it was delayed and did not get under way until Saturday 2nd October.
Aboard the “Fifeshire” were 150 Steerage passengers, being officially described as “Emigrant Labourers”, these consisting of 75 males and 75 females. There were 35 married couples, 63 children, 11 single men and 6 single women. These received free passage.
Also traveling were 20 cabin passengers. Among these cabin passengers were a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. White. For the duration of the voyage the 14 year old daughter of Mary Jones, Mary Ann Meredith acted as servant to Mrs. White.
The “Fifeshire” was favoured with good weather and fair winds and did not put into Cape Town for supplies, this resulting in fresh water, meat and vegetables being in short supply by the time they reached New Zealand.
An outbreak of fever occurred during the voyage and as a result of this and other diseases a total of 16 people died on board the ship, including two babies born on board. One of these was a baby girl born to Mary Ann Jones on 13th January 1842, who died after only 28 hours.
The Jones family was disastrously affected, for on 22nd October 1841, Ellen Jones died aged six months, of “water on the head”. Then on 16th January 1842, just as they arrived at New Zealand, Mary Ellen Jones died, aged eight of “putrid sore throat”.
After passing round the Cape of Good Hope, the “Fifeshire” was a little under half way through its voyage of 13,000 miles to New Zealand, a long journey to endure for a period of almost four months, especially if you were a steerage passenger.
On Sunday 16th January 1842, these brave emigrants made the first glimpse of New Zealand, soon to become pioneers of a new settlement. One wonders what thoughts were in the minds of William and Mary Jones and Mary Ann Meredith as they neared their future home.
At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon of Thursday 20th January 1842, the “Fifeshire” entered the harbour at Wellington in the North Island of New Zealand, having that day sailed through Cook Strait. The reason they went to Wellington first was that they simply did not know where Nelson was. On Thursday 27th January 1842, after a stay of a week in Wellington, the “Fifeshire” set sail for Nelson in the South Island, arriving in the early hours of Tuesday, 1st February 1842. As the "Fifeshire" was sailing into Nelson Haven she was greeted by gun salute organised by the small group of people had arrived on an earlier voyage to organize the settlement.
Of the family of five who had left England four months previously, only three remained to step ashore. William Jones, Mary Jones and her daughter Mary Ann Meredith, the last named not remaining a miss for long.
There has been some confusion about the christian name of Mrs James Mudford nee Mary Meredith.  On her marriage certificaate she is shown as Mary. We shall refer to her as Mary, as this appears to be the name she was known by. Mary's mother, Mary Ann nee Powick, born 1810, married around 1824 a Mr. Meredith, christian name unknown, Meredith was a painter (or artist) and died around 1830 of T.B. Their only child, Mary was  born in Dundee 1825 and with her mother, step-father William Jones and two half sisters, left England for New Zealand. The two little girls died on the voyage.
Soon after arriving in New Zealand, Mary Meredith (daughter of Mary Ann) married a ship's officer, John Cargill, who was later lost at sea and never heard of again, around the 1850's. Mary and John Cargill had four children. Ellen, Robert, Annie and Mary. Ellen, Robert and Annie were baptised together 7.9.1849 at Nelson Methodist Church.
ChildrenMary Ann (1825-1909)
Last Modified 9 Aug 2017Created 25 Feb 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh