Sunday, August 1, 2010

Archives New Zealand

What a fabulous place! Who knew?
We have held the last will and testament of Captain John Austen. The will was signed on board the schooner "Josephine" Latitude 24.10 (can't read the rest) on the 13th day of November 1876. his executors were Martin O'Connel, Master mariner of Auckland and James Peachy also Master mariner of Auckland. Both died before John did in 1899. As an aside Martin O'Connel married John Austen's niece Mary Jane. Mary Jane and her mother Caroline (John's sister) and father Stephen Honeyman came to New Zealand in 1858.
He left everything to Anne and the estate was valued at less than 200 pound.
There were also lots of documents about the "smuggling" - some official certainly had it in for John!
The lost item that we would love to find is a Observer Christmas Annual for 1898 it was a special supplement called "Yachting in Auckland" advertised as "beautiful pictures, amusing pictures, thrilling tales, humorous tales". In the table of contents there is "Jack Austen's Big Haul, a Whaling Yarn". Sadly the issue is missing and has not been copied onto microfilm by the National Library.