Just yesterday I received a copy of a letter dated 27 May 1873, from Colleen. This letter was written by the Native Assessor, Mr Abraham Taonui, to the Superintendent of Auckland, John Williamson, stating;
Sir – I the undersigned do consider Mr JJ Stanaway a fit and proper person to hold a licence for the Tokatoka Hotel.
Straight away we see John James mentioned as the holder of the Licence for the Tokatoka Hotel. I then saw the name of the writer – and I recognised that name, so I open my files and there it was.
It may be coincidence but it happens that Abraham Taonui (Aperahama Taonui) is the Uncle of John’s eldest son, William’s wife Susan Anderson – on her mother’s side.
From the Tera website we read the following about Abraham;
But in 1869 Aperahama left Hokianga and its intense disputes. Some thought him too deeply Christian and too sympathetic to the government. He went to live on the Wairoa River in northern Kaipara. Kinsmen from Ngati Whatua who had formerly been sheltered at Utakura by his relative, Muriwai, offered him sanctuary; subsequently, in February 1873, they gifted him 100 acres at Okapakapa and 2,061 acres at Oturei, south of Dargaville, in recognition of his role as prophet and healer. Therefore Aperahama moved from Aoroa to Oturei. He was appointed an assessor for Kaipara in 1873, but earned his living from gum-digging.
Check out more on this link http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/2t7/taonui-aperahama
It would appear then that John would have had dealings with Abraham through gum digging also, and the Stanaway family through William’s line will go on and have more association with Abraham such as – William and Susan use the name Abraham for two of their sons, while three of their sons will be buried in the Oturei Native Cemetery.