|James THOMPSON and Hester HUNT, Graham's Great Grandparents
THOMPSON FAMILY HISTORY
Legend has it that THOMSON’s moved from Scotland to Cornwall from Scotland, due to the unsettled times. At the same time, they added
the “P” to their surname and became THOMPSON’s. If this is correct, it was prior to the 1750’s, as there is a related Thompson being born in
Cornwall in 1752. There are concentrations of our Thompson’s in Veryan, Cornwall and St-Just-in Roseland adjacent to the Channel Coast
of Cornwall [not to be confused with in St-Just, Penzance, about 40 miles away to the South West on the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall]
William THOMPSON was born in Veryan, Cornwall in 1792, married Catherine on 6th Feb 1827 and resided at Beacon Towers and/or
Fallows in St Just. They had one son, William John THOMPSON. He married Mary Anne BLAMEY in St Just on 5th February, 1847. They had
the following children
i. MARY ANNIE5 THOMPSON, b. 01 Jan 1849, Veryan, Cornwall; d. 24 Jul 1923, Wellington.
ii. WILLIAM JOHN THOMPSON, b. 09 Oct 1850, Veryan, Cornwall, ENG; d. 13 Jan 1931, Rongotea.
iii. ELLEN ANN THOMPSON, b. 1851, St. Clements, Cornwall.
iv. JAMES THOMAS THOMPSON, b. 03 Jul 1853, Green Veryan, Cornwall, ENG; d. 09 Aug 1895, Sanson.
v. ALFRED THOMPSON, b. 03 Jan 1857, St.Just, Cornwall, ENG; d. 20 May 1931, Aramoho, Wanganui
William and his younger brother James, came to NZ on the Ship "City of Auckland" arriving in Auckland. They first went to Napier before
settling in Sanson, Rangitikei, NZ in 1873. After their Father’s death in Cornwall, their Mother, Mary Anne BLAMEY, Sister, Mary Annie
THOMPSON and Brother, Alfred THOMPSON came to New Zealand on the ship “Blairgowrie” arriving in Lyttleton on 24th August, 1875. They
proceeded by a coastal ship to the port of Wanganui, where they travelled overland to Sanson.
Sanson became the “home ground” for the Thompson’s. The three brothers worked as general contractors. They were fortunate to gain a
major contract in forming the streets of Sanson with metal, which they manually dug up from the Rangitikei River, loaded it on horse and carts
for the 3 mile slog to Sanson. The boys were also in demand during the busy farm harvesting season and were renowned for their hay
William John THOMPSON married Fanny Jane PEARCE
William lived in a two storied thatched roof house known as 'Beacon Towers' or 'Fallows at St Just Veryan Cornwall.
William had an affinity with animals and as a young Lad he found his pets to be great company. He slept in an upstairs bedroom and at night
he would smuggle his cat up to his room and it would sleep on his bed. On hearing his parents coming up the stairs he would quickly bundle
the cat out the window. William received a good education and was very musical, being a flute player. He had an appreciation for good
jewellery and would fashion rings out of one shilling pieces. As a young lad he worked on the land in Cornwall and he learnt skills which would
stand him in good stead throughout his life.
After immigrating to New Zealand and settling in Sanson, he, along with his brother set up a contracting business. William purchased 13 I
acres of land in the district of Campbelltown, in 1873 being part of the district known as the 'Douglas Block'. The early settlers paid Douglas
three pound a acre for the land. William used the timber felled from the bush to build his farm sheds and he became an expert axeman. He
claimed the land which was swampy and planted weeping willows along the creeks which flowed through his property and named it
‘Willowbank’. The sprigs of willow had been given to him by a Mr Ransom who had brought them from the Island of St Helena off the coast of
William became friendly with the Pearce family of Sanson and he helped the Pearce brothers drive their cattle from the Hutt Valley to the
Manawatu. On the 6th December 1884 he married Fanny Jane PEARCE . They lived at ‘Willowbank’ all their lives.
He planted gorse hedges along the roadside and these were used as fences – as in Cornwall. It was disappointing to him find in later life
these bushes were classified as noxious. Later,as their land became productive, income came mainly from the sale of butter which Fanny
made and sold to the local store for four pence a pound, When the Rongotea Dairy Factory opened in 1893 William would take his milk to the
factory by horse and dray and sell it for three pence a gallon. William's ultimate goal was to farm Romney sheep, which he did. He sheared
with blade and when the Rongotea Coronation Hall was built in 1902, he donated a bale of wool towards its cost.
James Thomas THOMPSON, married Hester Habgood HUNT
[Graham Savell’s Maternal Great Grandparents]
James had a team of horses, which were bred for work and well looked after. They had to be well fed and fit for the heavy tasks that were set
for them, especially when the grain was being delivered after harvesting. In those days wheat was carted by drays all the way to Feilding or
Palmerston North before reaching the flour mill. Thirty miles there and back every day with 25 sacks of wheat to a three horse team provided
a test of stamina. In 1880 a flour milling business was established in Sanson opposite the local school. This did away with the long hauls to
Feilding and Palmerston North. James, with his team, ploughed many many acres in the surrounding district. James had up to 10 acres in
Sanson with stables and yards. Besides the horses, there was a house cow or two. Chaff and oats were purchased from local farms for horse
He married Hester Habgood Hunt when she was 18 and they had a family of 7. They lived in Sanson all their married life, firstly in B J Haines
two-storeyed house [towards the eastern side of he township] and then near the western boundary [close to the school] All the children
attended Sanson primary school and were brought up as methodists
James was a good father, a hard worker and always say the bright side of life, being described as the village humorist. He suffered from
periodical attacks of asthma and in early August 1895 was taken ill with inflammation of the lungs[pneumonia] which a few days later took his
life. He was 42 years old
Hester Habgood HUNT
Baptized 27th May 1860 by Reverend J Warren at her parent's home. Habgood is a name coming from the Luxford family. Attended Sunday
School at the Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School, Lower Hutt. Hester was 14 years old when her parents and the family came to the
Manawatu. Although Hester was the fourth child in the family, she was the first to live to a marriageable age. She was married when 18 to
James Thomas Thomson at the Presbyterian manse in Bulls] on 21st September 1878 by Reverend J H Simmonds (first resident Methodist
minister at Sanson) Hester and James lived in Sanson township all their married life, firstly in B J Haines two storey house (towards the
Eastern side of the township) then near the Western boundary, (close to the School). All the children attended Sanson primary school and
were brought up as Methodist's.
James’s early death at age 42 years left Hester with a young family of seven, their ages ranging from 16 years to six months. By this stage
the oldest son Burt had been working with his father on the roads and he left home to start working on the railways. Hester worked diligently
to bring up her family with the help of her eldest daughter Ciss.In August 1899 Hester experienced the loss of her youngest daughter,
Florence exactly four years after her husband died.
Hester died on the 14th August 1923 at her daughter Connie Tostevin's home in Sanson after several weeks of suffering. She was aged 63.
Her funeral service was in Sanson and she is buried alongside her husband and daughter Hilma
Alfred THOMPSON married Alice Mabey HARRIS
After the death of his father, William Senior [his grandfather], who was considered to be well to do, offered to take and educate Alfred, but
only if he had nothing more to do with his mother, sister or brothers. This he refused to do, so later, he along with his mother and sister came
out to NZ in 1875 on the ship "Blairgowrie" landing at Lyttleton. Alfred joined his brothers William and James in their contracting business at
He married Alice Mabey Harris and then moved to Kaponga, South Taranaki, to a farm that was covered with huge standing bush. He
evidently felled this during the winter months and then went stacking and shearing in the summer. They had two children while in this district,
Alfred and Ernie. The four of them moved to Sanson approx. in 1896 where they acquired a small holding apparently left to Alice by her
father. During this period he owned a butcher shop in Sanson. In his daily ledger book are many names who are still in the district. One of the
better customers was the local hotel and part payment of accounts would often be by way of bottles of Brandy and Whiskey. He was a
Charter member of the Rangitikei Lodge no 38 and was installed as their master in 1903. Three further daughters were born to them while in
The whole family moved to Campden Street in Feilding for a few years before shifting to Aorangi where Alfred built their home. After farming
there for a few years, they moved to Guyton Street, Wanganui. These years in Wanganui were from approx. 1918-20 after which they moved
to a farm in Waitetuna in the Waikato for a period of three years before shifting to Bonny Glen, Marton. They shifted to Westmere in 1928
where they lived and farmed until Alfred passed away on 20th may, 1931
Mary Annie Thompson
Came out from ENG on the ship Blairgowrie in 1875. The next year she married Hastings Malcolm at the home of Louisa Russell of Marton.
She was 26 years and he 25 years. They lived at Carnarvon where their home was the venue for the marriage of Robert Frances and Jane
Symes, Mary Annie being a witness. At this time Hastings was on a committee formed to build the first Anglican church in Sanson. Hastings
was a witness for James and Hester's wedding in Bulls.
A year after they married, they had their first child, a son Frederick and two years later, a daughter Ada was born.
Sometime in the 6 years they shifted to Brooklyn, Wellington and Hastings was a wine merchant. They divorced around this time. Soon after,
their son Frederick died. Six years later, Mary Annie married again to John Doig, a painter by trade, in a registry office in Wellington. Henry
was born the next year.
She is buried in the Bolton Street cemetery
Sources The Hunt Family History - 150 Years in New Zealand - 1840 - 1990 Vera Hunt
The Thompson Family - 1792 - 1992 Lex Thompson