Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Adventure Begins

My great, great grandfather, George Griffith, clearly had the lust for gold.  He emigrated to Victoria by 1854, where he formed a relationship with a young girl from Surrey called Susan Rochester.  They did not marry, but had a large family together, several of them born in Victorian goldrush towns before the family returned to the Melbourne suburbs.


George died in Fitzroy on 31 Dec 1878 aged 54. His death certificate revealed a previously unsuspected adventure. His daughter Mary Jane, the informant, answered the following question: "Where born and how long in the Australian Colonies, stating which" with, "Liverpool, England.  In New Zealand and Victoria, periods not known".


The conundrum of *when* he was in New Zealand  took many more years, and many more records becoming available before this could be answered - though not with precision. There was also the intriguing presence of a number of photos taken in New Zealand in a photo album which had belonged to his daughter Mary Jane.


The question arises as to who are the men in the album - relatives, perhaps, or diggers he met in New Zealand?


The purpose of this blog is to try and find out more about those photos, and to find out more about George's period in New Zealand. Where did he go, what did he do, and whom did he meet?


He seems not to have taken his family with him. It appears that they remained behind in Melbourne, but this will also be up for examination.


If anyone can identify any of the photos, or make any comments about them, or suggest places I might look to follow George's adventures in New Zealand, I would be very grateful indeed. I will start off by posting some of the New Zealand photos.

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