His­to­ries of early set­tlers in Pi­o­neer Ceme­tery walk


Close to 30 lo­cal Dan­nevirke res­i­dents with­stood the howl­ing gales re­cently to hear of the ex­pe­ri­ences of eight early set­tlers at the Early Set­tler Ceme­tery.

They heard of tragedies and tri­umphs, achieve­ments and lega­cies brought to the dis­trict and be­yond. Sharyn Burl­ing, Nancy Wadsworth, Pat Mills, Glendys Bird and Ann Berry each took it in turn to re­late the his­to­ries of those buried in the ceme­tery.

Here are some:

It was not a great start for the Cam­mock fam­ily, Alexan­der and Es­ther, hav­ing em­i­grated from Britain to Napier in 1867 only to have their ship the Mont­morency burn out at an­chor, de­stroy­ing most of their pos­ses­sions.

Un­daunted, they went on to raise 12 chil­dren in New Zealand, most of them born in Hawke’s Bay. Alexan­der con­tracted be­fore mov­ing to the Ma­hara­hara dis­trict to farm in the 1880s.

The Cam­mock fam­ily con­tin­ues to be a prom­i­nent lo­cal fam­ily in the dis­trict.

Glendys Bird, great­grand­daugh­ter of Wil­liam Paw­son told of her an­ces­tor’s life as a butcher in Wan­ganui, his move to Dan­nevirke, his two mar­riages and nine chil­dren, one of whom was a young man called Al­bert who worked for The Ad­vo­cate from age 13 to his death at 28.

Ann Berry talked about the Bas­sett fam­ily, her great-grand par­ents Fran­cis and Sarah, who farmed at We­ber, and who are buried in the Set­tler’s Ceme­tery along with their chil­dren, Sarah and Al­ice.

Son Ed­ward is buried over­seas af­ter be­ing killed in 1917, a World War I vic­tim.

Glendys Bird traces the his­tory of Wil­liam Paw­son, her great­grand­fa­ther.

Ann Berry de­scribes the events re­lat­ing to the Bas­sett fam­ily.

Sharyn Burl­ing re­lates the story of the Cam­mock fam­ily.

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