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White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885


page 195

In deciding to give a complete list of ships bringing passengers up to the year 1885, I feel that some explanation may be necessary to the general reader. In the first place, I have chosen that year because after the introduction of steam in the New Zealand trade very few people came out in sailing vessels. In the second place, I have made the list as complete as possible for a reason which concerns many of our old pioneers, or descendants of pioneers. I have received not scores, but hundreds, of letters from old people asking me for information that would help them in obtaining the old age pension, to claim which an applicant must have been in the Dominion a certain number of years. Many of these old people have lost all record of their birth, and in order to fix their ages and the length of time they have been in New Zealand, it is necessary for them to know the date of the arrival of the ship in which they or their parents landed here. These people generally remember the name of their ship when they have forgotten much else, and as the ship's arrival is generally on record somewhere, it is the one thing from which they can definitely start.

Over 300 of these immigrant ships have been dealt with in Volume I., and a large number in separate articles in Volume II., but many more, making one or two voyages only, were not sufficiently important to deserve a special article, so I decided to make a general list which would embrace all ships bringing passengers. As will be seen, a number of the vessels had quite large passenger lists, but their voyages were uneventful, or else very short reports were supplied to the newspapers of the day. In the case of vessels trading regularly to the New Zealand, some voyage was bound to furnish enough incident to get the passage talked about, but in the case of a number of these other ships, which made very few passages to the colony, or were here but the once, it will be readily understood that very little is on record concerning the passage out, or home.