Little Jems – 136 years old!

Every now and then when searching for information on a family member you come across a “little jem”. The one this week is a letter written by Henare Stanaway in 1884 (136 years ago)!

It is a small moment in time where we get a taste of what was happening at that time the life of Henare.

He is 34 years old and is writing a letter to the Customs Department in Auckland. It appears as though he is toying with the idea of moving from his current employment as a River Captain on the Kaipara Harbour to become a Master on a steamer operation out of Auckland to the ports of Mahurangi, Coromandel or Thames.

In beautiful writing it reads;


May 27th 1884

To Hill Esqr

Collector Customs


Dear Sir,

Will you be kind enough to let me know if a man holding a River Certificate would be allowed to take charge of a steamer trading from Auckland to Mahurangi, Thames or Coromandel much obliged. Yours Respectfully

H Stanaway


Letter to the Customs Dept. – Archway Records

The reply was in typical Maritime speak, but the answer was no. see below;


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