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Some history

In 1834 James Alexander Bailey sailed with his new wife Jane to hobart Town, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Manfield". Their first child, Elizabeth Amelia was born en route with details of her place of birth recorded as Lat. 250 deg  19" south, Long. 240deg 28-45" west.

On arrival at Hobart Town, James took the position of Clerk of the Principle Superintendent at the Office of the Compt. General of Convicts, working for 700c per year. Over the next thirteen years James and Jane had a further seven children, one girl and six boys, and not long after, some time just prior to 1850, James lefi Australia for the United States of America, lodging claim to a mine in Calaveras County in the State of California in 1851 and not being heard of again.

In 1850, together with her two daughters and her four youngest sons, Jane Bailey returned to England, settling at Islington, London. Her two eldest sons William and James remained in Australia goldmining at Ovens diggings in northeast Victoria. Following a brief visit to England to see their family the two emigrated to New Zealand's South Island about 1857 to chance their luck at mining there.

In 1860 Walter, the fourth son, emigrated to New Zealand arriving in Canterbury and living at Akaroa for the next decade. Around 1870 the three brothers moved northwards, being joined by their brother Henry about 1872. Eventually all four settled in the Manawatu. There they cleared land in the area, felling trees, selling the timber and later selling the land.

All four Bailey brothers married and between them had thirty-six children, including twenty sons.

Letter to Hon William Fitzherbert Superintendent of the Province of Wellington

August 9th 1871

Hon Sir,

Will you please be good enough to proclaim the small farm reserved ready for occupation, as it is of considerable importance to the settlers to have it proclaimed without delay. Mr G Hedges, Bailey Bros. and myself are building on our sections and others are making preparations so to do.
Two or three are having fence put up, we would therefore like to have the block handed over in a formal way so soon as your Hon’ can make it convenient to do so.
Will your Hon. Also be pleased to send a surveyor to take the levels of the main road to be made through the settlement as the proper places for culverts, bridges etc could be more easily determined now that there is so much water on the land, than they could be in dry weather.
I hope that your Hon. will be pleased to cause the road in question to be so soon as possible as seven families will be living on the reserve before Christmas- I do not think that it will be an expensive road, I believe it can be made and the creeks bridged for 3. 15 s 10d per chain-that is from the Cliff; to the end of the small farm reserve.

Hoping that your Hon will give these matters an early consideration

I remain yours respectively

H Sanson

From the National Archives of New Zealand

The significance of this letter is that it is documentary proof of the Bailey brothers entering the Manawatu, which next year will be 130 years ago. Giving us the reason for our celebration next year.

Henry Sanson was treasurer of the Hutt Small Farms Association,an association formed to establish settlers at what has been come to be known as Sanson. The purpose was to provide settlers with aprox 200 acres, 180 farm section on more open land, a twenty acre Bush section and a town section in Sanson itself.

The road he refers to is to connect the settlement with the Rangitikei river and to Bulls, an earlier established settlement.

Small farm associations were established to allow settlers to purchase as suitable block of land and to keep land away form big speculators. It also allowed settlers to pay the price of land off by instalments.

On the register of the Association in the National Archives there are five Bailey owners listed.

Name Section Final payment Size
Henry, Geo Bailey and others 6 20/8/1874 200 acres
A Bailey Pt owner 19 18/1/1875 86 acres
Mr Lisson Bailey 21 13/1/1875 200 acres
J A Bailey 28 18/1/1875 96 acres
Mr Geo Bailey & or 40 20/8/1874 200 acres

We would like to publish more material like this in upcoming newsletters and it is hoped that a full book will be published after the reunion. If you have any useful material please contact us.

Contact us

Dale Bailey  6 Harapaki Rd   Meadowbank    Auckland    ph 09 5215329    fax 09 5782240