The Hewett Family

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On the Hewett side, the story begins with Thomas Hewett (1798-1879), son of Thomas and Anne Hewett, in Great Marlow, Buckingham, England. A scan of the parish register for January 1798 includes his baptism. He had 2 brothers, William (born 1793) and John (born 1800).

In 1819, Thomas married Mary Ann Stephens and they lived in Gt Marlow. Their 10 children settled mostly in Middlesex, west of London, as can be seen from the British 1881 census.

Their son, William Hewett (1827-1925), ran a grocery store, Poplar House, in High Street, Harlington, Middlesex, England (near what is now Heathrow Airport). In 1850, he married Elizabeth Hiscock. Their shopping bags had this illustration.


In 1882, the family emigrated to New Zealand aboard the SS Soukar. This included William and Elizabeth Hewett, son Samuel, nephew Jack, daughter Elizabeth, her husband Robert Gainsford and their six children. Jack Hewett wrote a log of the trip out to New Zealand. Samuel Hewett composed a poem of the voyage.

On arrival in New Zealand, William Hewett bought a dairy farm at New Brighton. In 1885, Samuel Hewett and Annie Roberts married at Christchurch. Annie Roberts (c1853-1938) was from Waddingham in north Lincolnshire, England. Her parents were Charles Roberts and Mary Shipley (1812-1900).

Unfortunately, an economic recession during the 1880s resulted in bankruptcy for the Hewett family. In a government land ballot, William and his son Samuel each drew sections at The Peaks in North Canterbury. They took possession in 1887, and rebuilt their lives from there.

Samuel's son William Hewett (1887-1979) has written about the settlement of The Peaks. In 1915, William married Ruby Penney, daughter of Alexander Penney and Maggie Shaw.

Updated: 9 January 2011
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