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On 27th July 1861, after a voyage lasting three months, the Chrysolite brought Jabez, Mary and Agnes Milner, from Sheffield, Yorkshire, to the port of Lyttelton in Canterbury, New Zealand. Agnes Milner was just one year old. Her future husband, Lyttleton Packer, was four years old in 1861, living with his parents, Rev. Charles Packer and Amelia Hannaford in Longwood, Yorkshire. He was to arrive in New Zealand as a crew member of the Sarco in 1878.
Meanwhile 22 year old Samuel Wood Sr. landed in Wellington on the Halcione on 14th July 1873. Samuel had begun his journey from Foston, Lincolnshire, with his brother William, who died on the voyage. Two years later the Hurleys, a family of 10, from Cork, Ireland, arrived in Lyttelton on the Rakaia. Among them was 16 year old Jane Hurley.
The voyages to New Zealand took three months. Neither Agnes Milner and Lyttleton Packer, nor Samuel Wood and Jane Hurley were to return to their homes. Instead they were to marry and raise families in Canterbury, New Zealand. They were all drawn to the village of Cust in North Canterbury, and to the surrounding farmland.
Agnes Milner and Lyttleton Packer married in 1882 and moved to Cust in 1904 to run the general store. Samuel Wood and Jane Hurley married in 1879. Together these two couples produced 15 children.
In 1907 Samuel Wood Jr., the eldest son of Samuel and Jane Wood, married Mary Agnes Packer, eldest daughter of Lyttleton and Agnes Packer...
History teaching was my job but also my passion. There is no better way of learning history than traveling to the site where it happened. As a teacher at a Bangkok international school for 20 years I was very fortunate to be so close to some of history's great sites, and even more fortunate that the wonderful students were keen to take history trips and make them so enjoyable. Since retirement I have had the great privilege of researching and writing family history and meeting some amazing people who are a part of my wider family.