I was born in New Zealand growing up in the town of Waipu. I am currently living in Ireland where I am undertaking a PhD. I am married to an Irishman originally from Ennis, Eoin Staunton.
My ancestors immigrated from Europe mostly in the mid to late 1800's. The table below indicates the surnames of my immigrating ancestors, where they came from and what year they immigrated in. A lot of these families were involved in the creation of new settlements in New Zealand including Waipu, Puhoi and Maungaturoto.
My ancestors were mostly farmers. Many left their home countries due to hard times or being evicted from their land. Two were convicts sent to Australia. There are also some sailors and members of the British army in India. I have yet to find any nobles.
Henry Mason - Henry apparently lived to be 101. He was born in about 1830 possibly somewhere in County Down. He apparently immigrated to Australia when he was about 21 and worked on the gold fields in Ballarat. He later immigrated to New Zealand. He was a horse dealer during the Maori Wars before setting up as a farmer in Rodney. He married a Bohemian immigrant Helena Wech in 1885. This was apparently his first marriage. The marriage certificate lists his father's name as James and his mother as Ellen. I can't make out her surname. These names may be incorrect. His age is also off by a number of years so it isn't the most accurate marriage record. Henry passed away in 1931.
The information I have on Henry's past is largely from on obituary. I have not found confirmation in Australia or Ireland to confirm his past. There are records of him going back and forwards between Australia and New Zealand when he was trading horses.
George Wright & Sarah Green - This couple were both convicts sent to Tasmania who married there and immigrated to New Zealand. I have found the records and newspaper articles relating to their conviction and transportation but I have not been able to find either of the parents. They also apparently had more children but their children's births were not registered. George's death certificate lists his parents as Frank Wright and Alice Yaxley. Online trees have linked this to Alice Yaxley but she married Frank Cork before George's birth.
James Ramsbottom - James Ramsbottom married a half Indian woman Cecilia Rycall in Madras in 1832. I am not sure how the Ramsbottom's appeared in India or where they came from.
George Rycall - George was a clerk for the British Army in India. He married an Indian woman. George was born in about 1786. I am unsure where.
Other brickwalls largely related to records for those towns not going back far enough or surnames being to common.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Paula or other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Paula:
Paula (Cullen) Staunton:
AncestryDNA, GEDmatch WB2455513[compare], Ancestry member paula_cullen_pc