Mar 13, 2009

The Gene Trail

See older post March 3rd.
So while on my fathers side it seemed like we have an Irish and English bloodline and on my mothers side French, Italian and Maori!
Surely a pre-qualification for a top United Nations role.
For some reason there has always been an underlying interest in the Maori connections. My Aunty (Una) and mother often made reference to it but never left any details behind. In fact I am not that sure they really knew the full story or did any research.
I have done some digging as have other Reed descendants (lucky for me as I am only picking over their work)
One documented account of our Maori connection was left behind by my grandfathers brother Ted Reed.
He wrote a book with co-author Pamela Fry.
'Ted, The life and times of Edward Louis Reed" published 1997 ISBN 0-473-04413-7

Extract from chapter one "The coming of James Reed to New Zealand"
(Remember Reed was an assumed name and he was of French parents and born in England)

James became a whaler and it is thought that he came to New Zealand as a crew member of the whaling vessel "Cheviot" he settled in Cloudy Bay where he was in charge of the whaling station.
He met Ekuamoenga* - born in 1809/10 at Opotiki Pa near Waitara Taranaki. She was the daughter of a Ngati Awa chief Te Pukere and his wife Takahui whos sister was Te Akau fifth wife of Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.
Agnes (as Ekaumoenga was to become known) and James were married early in 1835 at Cloudy Bay by Captain Bateman of the ship Cheviot. There they had three children before they set sail for Sunday Island (later to become Raoul Island) where they lived for nine years during which another five children were born.
Reed and his family ran the Ferry service from Northshore to Auckland for a number of years and after his death this was carried on by his sons John and James.

On the 15th April 1886 James and Agnes had a church wedding at St Pauls, Britomart Place Auckland and on that same day six of his children were baptised.
Agnes died at Northcote on the 18th of May 1867 at the age of 57 and James died later aged 84 at his Stokes point home on the 23rd of November 1876. On his death certificate his occupation was recorded as Mariner.
The story on page two goes on to tell of another 90 year old account of Reed and an extract is as follows (sounds a bit corny!!)

At one of these places the whale-hunter met a Rangitira girl who was the niece of Rangihaeata. The two loved each other and Reed sourt her as his wife to rove the seas with him in his ship (see what I mean?) and to set up a home on shore at Te Awaiti.
The story goes on to say
Te Rangihaeata insisted his niece must not go to her pakeha husband bare handed and servantless (What!) She must have slaves to attend to the necessary household and cultivation duties that are beneath the dignity and the inclinations of a chieftains family. So he presented her and her husband with a dozen slaves who had been captured in wars with South Island tribes.
Captain Reed was taken back by the gift and said "what the devil am I going to do with 12 slaves"
Anyway they all ended up on Sunday (Raoul) Island and that's another story that seems to be well documented elsewhere including in DOC publications about Raoul Island.

*Agnes has been referred to in several trails I have followed.
Her name seems to vary (probably due to pronunciation interpretations)
She has also been referred to as Kau Maihanga and Te Kahumahinga.

There ya go folks. I have more in a draw for another day.
One parting thought.
My wife never came with slaves. Did yours?


  1. james reed and te kahumahinga were my great great great great grand parents very interesting trying to find out all about them.

  2. Thanks very interesting Anonymous. We must be related. I am still hunting for information especially on the Maori history. I may need help at some point.

  3. be great to get some photos

    1. Working on that. Have looked far and wide and finally may be on to a relative who may have pictures

  4. Hi, this amazing lady was my great great great grandmother, I too have been trying to find out more information and are fascinated by my family history.

  5. Hi, I'm also related to James Reed and Kahumahinga. I would love to get in touch with you!

  6. Hi, Hopefully you still use this website! If you have any information, I would love it if you could share with me. James and Kahumahinga were my 4x great grandparents. Hope to hear from you soon

  7. I to am related
    James ,William ,Edward Louis.Edward Ferris,me William Ross.,Brett William ,Johnny Walters