From where do I verify that one or more of my ancestors fought in the New Zealand wars -1850's and 60's?

+3 votes
in Genealogy Help by Ruth Kaiwai G2G3 (3.3k points)
I need to thank you all for your advice, that I will pursue with much interest. I wish I had referred to your answers before I plunged into the National Archives at Kew this afternoon - 500+ pages of handwritten lists - no, I didn't get through them all before my shoulders and neck protested greatly! I had tried a search but obviously the records haven't yet be digitised, so I really did step back into history. No, I don't have definitive results yet, but I'll get there!

5 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
If he or the family claimed  The New Zealand Medal - which was awarded for service in the New Zealand Wars of 1845-47 and 1860-66.  The Medal was awarded to members of the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and to colonial volunteers.

The he may be listed in on of the following

"Detailed information on the New Zealand Medal and its award to Colonial Volunteer units and to Imperial British units is provided in Geoffrey P. Oldham and Brett Delahunt's book, Orders, Decorations and Medals Awarded to New Zealanders: An Illustrated Guide for Collectors (1st edition, Auckland, 1991), pp.41-46.  This book also lists the number of officers and men in each of the New Zealand Volunteer units.

Richard Stowers' book, The New Zealand Medal to Colonials: Detailed Medal Rolls of Officers and Men in Colonial Units who Received the New Zealand Medal for Service in the New Zealand Wars, 1845-1872, (8th updated edition, Hamilton, 2005), is another very useful source on the awards of the New Zealand Medal.

Lists of Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel who have been awarded the New Zealand Medal are contained in W.H. Fevyer and J.W. Wilson's publication, “The New Zealand Medal 1845-47, 1860-66, The Abyssinian War Medal 1867, to the Royal Navy and The Royal Marines” (no date, published by (or possibly re-printed by) Naval and Military Press). The lists of names in this book have been transcribed from Admiralty Medal Roll records held in the custody of the UK Public Record Office (now the National Archives) at Kew, England, where they are available for public examination under the reference: ADM 171/16 (the reference is correct as at 7 January 2008)." []
by Graeme Olney G2G6 Mach 6 (65.1k points)
selected by Ruth Kaiwai
+4 votes
This may be of help. It is an official government site, so hopefully will contain what you need
by Wendy Sullivan G2G6 Pilot (144k points)
+3 votes I found this website today which may be helpful. The relative I was looking for on this list also has a file on Archway, Archive New Zealand's site.

by Fiona McMichael G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
+3 votes
The Journals of the House of Representatives are available in most libraries and provide a wonderfully detailed source for New Zealand history.

Where you look for for someone in the Land Wars depends on which side he was fighting. If he was fighting with the Waikato & associated tribes, then it would be important to know which iwi he was with as the Maori forces rotated during the conflict. If he was fighting on the British side, then try and find which group he was most likely to have been attached to, and at what period was he likely to have been involved. Some of the men involved in the land wars were civilians loosely attached to regular units. Charles Heaphy won a VC during the conflict, though it was withheld for years because he was a civilian and not a regular soldier. Cowan's The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volumes 1 & 2 is a good place to get an idea of what was going on for both sides during the wars. &
by Valerie Willis G2G6 Mach 7 (71.2k points)
We have no problem identifying my husband's iwi involvement on the East Coast, where the narrative is still very much alive. Whereas mine, I knew nothing until yesterday and now think my ancestor was with Von Tempsky and had come to NZ from Ireland as a member of the Imperial Troops. Very interesting!
If he was with von Tempsky's Forrest Rangers that's brilliant - just check on the Armed Constabulary for back ground movements. email me privately if you would like to work some info for him, can't guarantee to find him named in a source, but we can draw a pretty accurate picture of what he was up to.
0 votes

Archives New Zealand holds many records of the armed forces, from the 1840s to the 1970s.

by Michelle Erskine G2G1 (1.7k points)

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