Mark Starbuck & Family (Australia and New Zealand)

Mark Starbuck (undated)
Mark Starbuck (undated)

Mark Starbuck from Hickling emigrated to Australia in company with his cousin, Joseph Starbuck and family in 1849. They travelled on the ill-fated James T Foord – subsequently, known as the Cholera Ship.



In Hickling.

(and the Relationship between Joseph and Mark Starbuck).

On the passenger list for the James T Foord voyage, in addition to the Joseph Starbuck family there is also a Mark Starbuck – he is listed as a single male and aged 19 from Nottingham.

The James T Foord
The James T Foord
  • Because Mark Starbuck emigrated when he was 19, the surviving records for him in the UK are limited; however, Mark was a relatively unusual Christian name at this time and some detailed research on his lineage can be found on this linked page.
  • He is not listed as part of Joseph Starbuck’s family for the voyage but it is usual, in any case, for individuals within a family group over the age of 16 to be listed separately as ‘single male/female’.
  • Parish records for Hickling show the baptism of a Mark Starbuck on the 25th January 1829. His parents are William and Hannah Starbuck.
  • Mark Starbuck is then listed (aged 11) in the 1841 census as part of the Wild household in Upper Broughton. There is no apparent familial link between Mark Starbuck and the Wild household but he is listed as an ‘Ag Lab’ on the census return. Joseph Wild was a farmer and at the young age of 11 (not unusual at this time) Mark appears to have been a living-in worker – the only one listed for this household. Perhaps a sense of rootlessness from an early move away from his family and home village contributed to his willingness to emigrate when he was 18/19?
  • Mark’s parents, William (age 40, 1801) and Hannah (age 30, 1811) are listed in Hickling in the 1841 census (children listed: Ellen 9, Joseph 7, Richard 5, John 3, Anne 1). They also appear in the censuses of 1851 & 1861. William seems to have died in 1869 and is probably the William Starbuck buried in Hickling. There are some contradictions over Hannah’s birth dates & this part of the family needs some further checking/verification.
  • William is likely to be the brother of George Starbuck (father of Joseph whose family emigrated on the James T Foord); making George Starbuck Mark’s uncle and Joseph Starbuck Mark’s cousin.
  • Checking if this is the correct Mark Starbuck (see lineage page):
    • A Mark Starbuck is listed as having died in the Bingham District in 1850; it now appears that this is the baby son of Frances Starbuck (sister of Mark Starbuck b.1829) who was born (and recorded as baseborn) and died in 1850.
    • There are no further records (census returns etc) for a Mark Starbuck in Nottinghamshire or Leicestershire to match any of these dates.
    • Full research on Mark Starbuck’s lineage can be found on this linked page; but during the research some intriguing possibilities were explored and have now been discounted:
      • It is difficult to find passenger lists coming into the UK for this period; there was an outside possibility that this Mark Starbuck turned straight round (after the terrible voyage) and returned home, only to die in 1850.
      • It wasn’t uncommon for passengers to use aliases on the Gov’t tickets (when, for some reason, they were ineligible themselves); it was possible that an ill Mark Starbuck allowed someone else to travel under his name?
  • The history of Mark Starbuck’s voyage from England (Hickling) to Australia can be found on the Joseph Starbuck & family page.

There is a traceable history of a Mark Starbuck with the same birth date of 1829/30 and he can be placed in Port Phillip in Australia and later in New Zealand.

Timeline: Mark and Elizabeth Starbuck – Australia and New Zealand.

Elizabeth Eyles Starbuck
Elizabeth (Eyles) Starbuck

After the voyage, Mark Starbuck settled in the Port Phillip area in Victoria, marrying Elizabeth Eyles (also a migrant) in 1850 with the birth of their daughter, Laura, following soon after. 

The family moved to the Otago/Dunedin area of New Zealand in 1863. They seem to have led an unsettled life until 1870 when Mark Starbuck is listed as licensee of The West Taieri Hotel, The Otago Hotel and then The Plough Inn, West Taieri. He is also listed as a farmer; he sold up in 1875 and the sale/auction advertisements show a reasonably substantial land holding. After this, Mark and Elizabeth Starbuck can be found in the Southland region of New Zealand; Elizabeth died in 1896 and Mark died in 1900.

  • Elizabeth Eyles arrives in Port Phillip on the William Stewart in May 1848 (age 16) – she was born in Wiltshire (Toitu Archive OASES – Elizabeth Eylis[17135])
  • Mark arrives in Australia on the James T Foord 1849 (age 19) (Toitu Archive: OASES – Mark Starbuck[17134])
  • Mark Starbuck and Elizabeth Eyles marry in 1850 (there are two records with this date but a third suggests 1859 but miss-spells Elizabeth’s surname – this record has been discounted).
  • Only daughter, Laura, born 1850.

Note: 21st Aug 1862; Joseph Dredge (Mary Starbuck’s husband-to-be) arrives in Dunedin – gold rush (Taieri River, see below). Joseph Dredge married Mary Starbuck (only surviving Starbuck child from the James T Foord) in April 1866. (Mary Dredge (nee Starbuck) died 1888, Joseph Dredge died 1907)

  • There is no sign that Joseph Dredge returned to NZ but his short venture into the goldrush may have been the reason for Mark & Elizabeth Starbuck making the trip.
    • Would Mary & Joseph have met before Joseph went to NZ in 1862?
    • It is likely that Joseph was still in NZ when Mark & Elizabeth arrived in 1863?
Joseph & Mark Starbuck Australia - property map
Joseph & Mark Starbuck Australia – property map
  • There are very few records of Mark and Elizabeth’s life in Australia between 1850 and 1863.
    • “In the years that Mark Starbuck was in Australia, he was a driver of the wagons going to the gold fields which, supposedly, was a well-paying job”. (RC, below) 
    • Records in 1856 show both Joseph Starbuck and Mark Starbuck were leasing properties (200 acres + house) in Melbourne, Australia. Mark’s property was at Deep Creek, South Bourke and Joseph’s property close by (RC, below).   
Mark Starbuck (undated)
Mark Starbuck (undated)
  • The Starbucks arrive in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1863:
    • Mark Starbuck made the journey to New Zealand first and Elizabeth and Laura followed later. 
    • Mark sailed on the Ceylon in 1863 arriving at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
    • 1863: Mark Starbuck spends time on the Central gold fields, before Elizabeth and Laura arrive later in 1863
    • It is believed that Elizabeth and Laura sailed on the Alhambra in July 1863. (their ages on the passenger list don’t quite match but this could be a transcribing error). 
  • At this time it seems that other members of Mark Starbuck’s extended family also made the move from Australia to New Zealand following the goldrush; two of Joseph Starbuck’s brothers-in-law (Amos and Manoah Peach) arrive in the Otago region in the 1860s (research is ongoing).
  • 2nd July 1863; Mark Starbuck – uncollected letters (Dunedin, general)
  • 24th December 1864; Mark Starbuck unclaimed letters (Dunstan Creek – 120km north of Dunedin?)
  • Electoral Roll records 1867,1868, 1869 & 1870 – all in Caversham.
    • It is possible that Mark Starbuck was following the new Otago goldrush in this period.
  • 1869: Mark Starbuck is recorded as licensee of the West Taieri Hotel.
  • 1870-1875: during this period, Mark Starbuck buys a property in Waipori and a property at Berwick (RC).
  • 1870: Mark Starbuck runs Otago Hotel (RC)
  • 1870: Mark Starbuck runs the Plough Inn, Woodside (or Maungatua) West Taieri (an area close to Berwick, Outram and Waipori again on route to Gold Mines of Central Otago – see further reading, below).
    • 2nd March 1870; licensing meeting – James Middleton transfers the Plough Inn, Maungatua to Mark Starbuck. At the same time, Mark Starbuck transfers the West Taieri Hotel to Richard Paterson.
  • 19th August 1870: Mark Starbuck applies to lease 3 acres (nearly surrounded by the Waipori River in the Berwick area) from the Waste Land Board – he didn’t appear at the hearing to support the application & it lapsed.
  • 7th May 1872; Mark Starbuck is barred from the electoral roll because he has no household (place of abode cited as Caversham/Roslyn District – in Dunedin)
  • 3rd April 1875; farm sale (lower Waipori)
  • 16th April 1875: Auctions of Mark Starbuck’s furniture and livestock at his farm Waipori, West Taieri
  • 1875-1900: Mark Starbuck farms at Forrest Hills/Winton – Southland. They have a 6-room house with stables etc. (RC)
  • 10th July 1876 – Mark Starbuck applies to purchase land; section 227, Forest Hill Hundred, 200 acres (Southland).
  • 1876: Auction of Mark Starbuck’s land, stables, buildings he holds at Berwick (RC)
    • 17th October 1876; sale of house & farm – sections 1 and 2, block iv, Township of Berwick (near Waipori/Dunedin)
  • 31st January 1878; notice in the name of Mark Starbuck to make a fence bordering his land (Forest Hill Hundred area)
  • 29th April 1887; Southland Land Board gives permission to build bridges on his farmland – mention of ‘his own & his neighbour’s children’ (there is only a record of Mark & Elizabeth having one child, Laura, born 1850; does this notice refer to his workers’ children? His grandchildren? Other unknown children of his own?)
  • 1890-1; Mark Starbuck is listed on the sheep farmer’s register in Hokonui, Southland as having 22 sheep in 1890 and 50 sheep in 1891.
  • 1893: Elizabeth Starbuck of Hokonui (Southland) appears on the electoral roll & signs a petition for women’s suffrage.
  • 1893 & 1896: Mark Starbuck is listed on the electoral roll as a farmer in Forest Hill, Awarua.
  • Oct 1896: Elizabeth (Eyles) Starbuck died in Berwick, West Taieri, aged 64 – probably at her daughter Laura’s house (RC).
  • 22nd Sept 1900: Mark Starbuck died in Invercargill, Southland.
  • 1900-1901; Mark Starbuck is listed on the sheep farmer’s register in Hokonui, Southland as having 97 sheep in 1900 and no sheep in 1901 (following his death).
  • 24th September 1900; death of Mark Starbuck (farmer, late of Hokonui) reported in Southland – funeral to be in Winton
  • 9th & 12th October 1900 – notice for any claims against the estate of Mark Starbuck
  • 13th October 1900 – notice of auction; estate of Mark Starbuck – the farm, Springhills, Hokonui (itemised)
  • April 1901: Supreme Court – Mark Starbuck (deceased) motion for remuneration to executors

Mark Starbuck: Will & Probate Records:

  • Mark Starbuck died on 22nd Sept 1900, Invercargill City, Southland, New Zealand and was buried in the Winton Cemetery (5, Old Survey, Block VI – memorial ID; 171269050) – this is the same plot that his wife was buried in (d. 27th Oct 1896).
  • Mark Starbuck’s Will and Probate records are held at Archives New Zealand: STARBUCK Mark – Hokonui – Farmer (R22049342) available online
  • These records are complete; they include his Will, the sale, value and disposition of his estate, details of family and neighbours.
  • Interestingly, he names his surviving brothers and sisters as residuary beneficiaries; this may be simple legalese but it opens up questions as to whether he maintained contact with his family in England/Hickling – probate papers record that the executors believed that none were resident in New Zealand.
    • The linked lineage page shows that several of Mark’s siblings did survive him.
    • There is no evidence that the executors sought to locate or contact them although reference is made to a Trust being established to hold the residue of funds in the Estate.

The Will & Probate Records (summary):

  • The Will is dated 5th August 1900
  • Mark Starbuck is described as a farmer, lately of Hokonui and, at the time he wrote his Will, he was a patient at Invercargill Hospital. At the time of his death, Mark was a widower.
  • William Welsh (farmer, Hokonui) and Archibald Dick (farmer of Springhill) are tasked with selling all of Mark Starbuck’s property so that the estate can be distributed; ‘… upon trust to convert the whole of my property into money …’. Both are appointed executors.
    • The Will specifies the following bequests (in NZ pounds/£):
    • £100     William Welsh (relationship to Mark Starbuck?)
    • £50       Archibald Dick (relationship to Mark Starbuck?)
    • £25       Nellie George (daughter of Laura (Starbuck) George)
    • £25       Ethel George (daughter of Laura (Starbuck) George)
    • All the residue of the estate ‘among such of my brothers and sisters as shall be living at the time of my death in equal shares’.
  • Probate records add the following information:
    • The farm of 200 acres was situated in the Forest Hill Hundred (it is section 227 on the map of the Hundred, reference numbers are given).
    • There was a mortgage (with the Gov’t) of £100.
    • The farm was auctioned on 17th October 1900; the highest bid was £350 from Charles Cowan Kidd, but it was turned down. It was later sold to him by private treaty & for the same price (less mortgage interest). The auctioneer is later required to swear that the price paid was as high as could be expected for the land.
    • There seems to be an issue as it is discovered that William Welsh ‘is an infant but the said William Welsh has the appearance of being of the full age of twenty one (21) years’. At the insistence of the buyer’s solicitor, the Court has to give permission to proceed with the sale. The affidavit reads as if William Welsh’s age only emerges as a problem when the sale of the land is being finalised and Archibald Dick is swearing that he was unaware that William Welsh was under-21 before the sale. It doesn’t appear to be an issue in any of the other transactions. (see also, Cossens family – below)
    • In a signed/sworn affidavit, Archibald Dick states that, ‘I verily believe that none of the brothers and sisters of the said Mark Starbuck deceased and referred to in his said Will as legatees thereunder are resident in the colony of New Zealand.’
    • 19th April 1901: the estate has been sold, debts paid and legacies issued. The executors request £14 ‘in respect of their pains and trouble’. There is a residue in the estate of £80 which it is proposed should be put into trust for the residuary legatees.
    • 10th May 1901; the executors are granted £14 plus £2/2 from the residue* in the estate for expenses.
  • 26th March 1901 – final accounts are sworn in an affidavit by the executors:
    • Assets to the value of: £538/5/1
    • Payments are made in relation to the mortgage & management of the farm before its sale.
    • Archibald Dick is paid £50 for Mark Starbuck’s sheep.
    • The balance of payments go to Invercargill Hospital, for various funeral expenses and to 3 storekeepers.
    • Payments are made to the legatees.
    • Leaving an amount/residue* of £80/10 ‘in the hands of the executors yet to be distributed according to the said Will’. There is no evidence of what happened to this residue following grant of probate; however, it is known that a number of his siblings did survive him.

Laura Starbuck (and Thomas Moore George)

Laura (Starbuck) George
Laura (Starbuck) George

(See Cossens family records, below)

Initially, we couldn’t find any reference to Laura Starbuck after her birth in 1850 and it wasn’t even clear whether she made the journey to New Zealand with her parents in 1863. We still didn’t have much evidence of Laura Starbuck’s life in either Australia or in New Zealand, when we were pointed towards a newspaper article from 1934 written by Mark Starbuck’s grandson (Thomas Moore George), it was possible to work backwards and find some detail.

Thomas Moore George
Thomas Moore George

Thomas Moore George’s probate record lists his parents as Thomas Clark Glasson and Laura Ellen which led us back to his birth record; his father is listed as Thomas Clark and his mother as Laura Ellen Starbuck. Laura Starbuck married Thomas Clark (Glasson) in the Southland area of New Zealand sometime between 1875 (when the family moved to the area) and 1879 (when Thomas Moore George was born) – more detail, below (Cossens family).

Thomas Moore George removed to Australia (his mother’s place of birth) and he married in Victoria, Australia in 1903. All further records locate him in the Maidstone area of Victoria, Australia (for example, embarkation records for WWI) – including his letter to the newspaper in 1934.

Mark Starbuck - grandson's letter to newspaper 1934
Mark Starbuck – grandson’s letter to newspaper 1934

We do also have the full records for Thomas Moore George which are held in the Australian National Archives; they are remarkably complete (at 47 pages) and include correspondence from his wife, Mabel, searching for information after he was wounded in the Dardanelles campaign and transferred by hospital ship to Manchester in England. The archive also includes the telegram she received notifying her that he had been wounded and correspondence trying to pin down how the family’s income is affected by his condition; a collection of records and correspondence that brings the reality of war home to us, particularly when the original handwriting and annotations can be seen.

Laura Ellen (Starbuck) Kitto:

There is a remarkable coincidence of names which needs further research; Mark and Laura Starbuck’s surviving family have confirmed that the two Laura Ellen Starbucks are two different women and we now have traceable records for their respective births, marriages and deaths – see, below. However, the coincidence is interesting and we are keen to establish whether there was any link between the families.

  • Research began with a death report & record in 1917 for Laura Ellen (Starbuck) Kitto; but this Laura is shown as age 50 (and not the expected age 67). She was married to a labourer – Joseph Kitto; both placed at same address in South Dunedin electoral Roll 1911.
    • The son of Laura and Joseph Kitto is reported killed in a railway accident aged 11, in 1902; he was crushed between two railway carriages whilst playing in the railway sidings. His mother wrote a letter to the paper to thank the insurance company for paying out, even though the policy had lapsed.
    • The possibility that this Laura Ellen Starbuck might be the grand daughter of Mark Starbuck was considered (perhaps born out of wedlock and retaining the Starbuck surname – there is a reference to children on Mark Starbuck’s farm in 1887)? However, this now seems very unlikely.
  • Another possibility was that she descended from Joseph Starbuck’s second marriage to Ruth Peach in Australia. However, the Starbuck family in the Melbourne area have no trace of anyone by this name (Joseph and Ruth Starbuck only had one son) although they did find a (probably) coincidental use of the name ‘Laura’ to name a villa linked to Joseph Dredge’s failed sea-bathing business.
    • The name Laura is proving enigmatic and we would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have links to Laura Ellen Starbuck Kitto.
  • There is a traceable history for both women; see below for Laura Ellen Starbuck (daughter of Mark and Elizabeth Starbuck):
    • Laura Ellen Starbuck Rainham was born 28th November 1867 and her birth is recorded in New Zealand; her parents were Henry Bartholomew Martin Rainham and Elizabeth Jane Whitfield
      • Her father was born in 1834 in Gravesend in Kent and her mother was born in Maitland NSW Australia in 1844. They married in 1861 in Mudgee, NSW, Australia.
      • Their eldest son was born in Australia in 1862 (William John Rainham, October 1862);
      • No trace has been found of the Rainham family’s emigration to Australia or Laura’s family’s move to New Zealand (sometime between 1862 and 1867).
    • She married Joseph Kitto in 1893 and they had 3 sons; Harold Joseph, Ernest Henry, Albert Wilfred.
    • She died on the 24th October 1917, 45, Cutten Street, Dunedin
    • (source: Our Family Genealogy Pages (bobvine.nz)
  • Both the Starbuck and the Rainham families followed similar paths at similar times and it seems unlikely there would have been more than one Laura Ellen Starbuck in this area at this time unless there was some kind of family connection – some further work is needed (if you can help, please contact us).

The Cossens family story.

Mark Starbuck (undated)
Mark Starbuck (undated)

The Cossens family (and new information relating to Mark, Elizabeth and Laura Starbuck).

Having reached a point where research into Mark’s Starbuck’s descendants had ground to a halt, it was with real gratitude that we heard from his daughter Laura Starbuck’s great granddaughter, Rachael, with photos, information and maps.

Laura had ten children with Thomas Clark Glasson George. Not all the children survived childhood and most are buried at West Taieri Cemetery.

Laura’s daughter, Ethel George, was Rachael Cossens’ grandmother. Rachael’s father, Gordon George Cossens (only child of Ethel), had a degree in Engineering but later in his career became a Research Scientist – he tackled his family history with similar method and rigour producing a series of books on different branches of his family; including one on Mark and Elizabeth Starbuck’s family which we hope to be able to see in due course.

Thomas Moore George
Thomas Moore George
  • Also, Thomas Moore George (whose letter to the papers is copied, above) put together a 6″ x 6″ photographic family tree including the photos included here and more. It is understood that it was created by Thomas Moore George as he and his family are the last row on the family tree.

There remain some unanswered questions about Mark and Elizabeth Starbuck and their move to New Zealand; it seems that Elizabeth kept in touch with her parents from New Zealand but that future generations didn’t.

  • Whilst it wasn’t initially clear, the family have been able to confirm that Elizabeth and Laura remained with Mark Starbuck during his time in the goldfields and as a publican and that he and Elizabeth later settled in the Southlands; Laura married and settled in the Dunedin/Otago area.
  • Also, the terms of Mark Starbuck’s Will raises further questions; he had four surviving grandchildren but bequests were only made to his two granddaughters. The main bequests went to two gentleman neighbours (one of whom was underage).
  • There is a rather odd parallel record of a Laura Ellen (Starbuck) Kitto in Dunedin at this time (see above) but the Cossens family are able to confirm that there is no link to the descendants of Laura Starbuck (daughter of Mark Starbuck).

From Australia to New Zealand:

In the years that Mark Starbuck was in Australia, he was a driver of the wagons going to the gold fields which, supposedly, was a well-paying job. 

Joseph & Mark Starbuck Australia - property map
Joseph & Mark Starbuck Australia – property map

Records in 1856 show both Joseph Starbuck and Mark Starbuck were leasing properties (200 acres + house) in Melbourne, Australia. Mark’s property was at Deep Creek, South Bourke and Joseph’s property close by (insert map).   

Mark Starbuck made the journey to New Zealand first and Elizabeth and Laura followed later. 

  • Mark sailed on the Ceylon in 1863 arriving at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
  • 1863: Mark Starbuck spends time on Central gold fields, before Elizabeth and Laura arrive later in 1863
  • It is believed that Elizabeth and Laura sailed on the Alhambra in July 1863. (their ages on the passenger list don’t quite match but this could be a transcribing error). 
  • 1870: Mark Starbuck runs Otago Hotel
  • 1870: Mark Starbuck runs the Plough Inn, Woodside (or Maungatua) West Taieri (an area close to Berwick, Outram and Waipori again on route to Gold Mines of Central Otago – see further reading, below).
  • 1870-1875: during this period, Mark Starbuck buys a property in Waipori and a property at Berwick.
  • 16th April 1875: Auctions of Mark Starbuck’s furniture and livestock at his farm Waipori, West Taieri
  • 1876: Auction of Mark Starbuck’s land, stables, buildings he holds at Berwick
  • 1875-1900: Mark Starbuck farms at Forrest Hills/Winton – Southland. They have a 6-room house with stables etc.
  • 1887: Mark requests permission to build a bridge for his children to access school; curiously he has no school age children at that point only grandchildren and they are based in the Berwick/Waipori/Outram Otago area.
  • Oct 1896: Elizabeth (Eyles) Starbuck died in Berwick, West Taieri – probably at her daughter Laura’s house.
  • 22nd Sept 1900: Mark Starbuck died in Invercargill, Southland.

Family history confirms that Mark and Elizabeth Starbuck stayed together throughout their time in New Zealand and that they had just one child; Laura Ellen Eyles Starbuck.

Laura Ellen Eyles Starbuck:

Thomas Clarke Glasson George
Thomas Clarke Glasson George
  • Laura Starbuck married Thomas Clark Glasson George
  • They had 10 children; sadly, only 4 survived past their 20’s:
    • Henry Starbuck George (born 1870)
    • Thomas Moore George (born 1879); he left New Zealand for Australia sometime between 1905 and 1912 (his youngest daughter, Victoria, was born in Australia in 1912).
    • Ellen Elizabeth George (born 1881)
    • Ethel Mary George (born 1891) – Ethel is the link to the Cossens family. After her parents’ deaths, Ethel lived in the care of her brother, Henry.
  • 18th Feb 1898: Laura Ellen (Starbuck) George died in Berwick, West Taieri, Otago
  • 12th May 1898: Thomas Clark Glasson George died in Berwick, West Taieri, Otago

In the space of just four years both parents and both grandparents died; leaving the 4 children orphaned.

  • Oddly, Mark Starbuck’s Will leaves money to his orphaned granddaughters Ethel (then aged 8 or 9) and to Ellen, her sister. However, he does not leave money to the two older grandsons Henry and Thomas.
  • He does leave money to two neighbouring gentlemen (one of whom is under-age) – it is unclear who they were and why they were favoured over Mark Starbuck’s own family.
  • One of these gentlemen was William Walsh (born Forrest Hill, Southland). He started up a blacksmith’s business in 1903 and shortly after Mark Starbuck’s estate was dispersed:

WALSH, WILLIAM JOHN , Blacksmith, Brown’s. This business was established in May, 1903, and the smithy, which is 40 feet by 22 feet, possesses an up-to-date plant, including improved emery and drilling machines. The proprietor employs one assistant. Mr Walsh was born in 1881, at Forest Hill, where his father was one of the early settlers, and he learned the blacksmithing trade with Mr P. A. Blyth, of Winton. He then went to Mataura, and was for some time with Messrs J. and J. Galt, and afterwards with Messrs W. Gardiner and Co, before starting his present business at Brown’s in 1903. Mr Walsh was a member of the Mataura Brass Band for about three years, and has competed successfully, as a runner, at sports held at Winton and Invercargill.

(The Cyclopedia Of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts 1905]

More detail:

“The extended family all lived around the Otago area and at Waipori where they had a gold mine. For a time, Thomas Clark Glasson George ran the Buckeye Pub near Berwick, situated on the road to the gold fields. Berwick nowadays is a short 30 to 40 min drive from Dunedin. Berwick is a rather picturesque rural spot.”

Henry Starbuck George
Henry Starbuck George

“Ethel’s parents (Thomas Clark Glasson George and Laura (nee Starbuck)) and her grandparents (Mark and Elizabeth (nee Eyles) Starbuck) died within years of each other leaving Ethel an orphan at age 8 or 9.  She was raised by her brother Henry Starbuck George. I understand Ellen/Nellie Starbuck was deaf from childhood. Ethel and Ellen seem to have fallen out as my father never knew he had an aunt and cousins living close by in Dunedin until we started researching the family tree. Ellen married a gentleman called Joseph Hall. My father was close to most of the George family and spent holidays with them. Victor Les George, a cousin of my father, was a pilot in WWII, an All Black and an All Black Coach. I recall they were all great horse people and keen trainers of racehorses.“  

Ethel George was the first boarder at Teschemakers College, near Oamaru; although she was age 21 when she arrived at the College. Ethel converted to Roman Catholicism at this time (the College was a Roman Catholic institution).

Maps and the Landscape:

The Cossens family are able to confirm many of the localities for their family and this does now confirm that there is unlikely to have been a link between the Starbuck and the Woolley families; they were settled in geographically distinct areas and whilst their paths may have crossed it is unlikely to be in any kind of a significant way.

  • “Berwick or Waipori, where Mark and his extended family lived, is on the old road to the gold fields of Otago. West of Dunedin.  What we call “the old Dunstan Road”.  It is now a 4WD road to Central Otago and in the old days it was the only access to the Gold Fields.  My father drove us over these 4WD roads many times when we were kids.”
  • It would have been a good business decision, in Mark Starbuck’s time, to have a pub or “hotel” on this road – servicing the parched miners and travellers going back and forward to the goldfields. 

A number of weblinks give a very good idea of the type of country these early settlers found themselves in; the trail leaves the small undulating hills of the coast and rapidly hits the dry high country:

“In contrast, Samuel Woolley’s hotels were to the north of Dunedin and in the old days probably a two day horse ride. They were situated on a different approach to Central Otago and the gold fields – nowadays it is called the Pig Route.”  

Old Dunstan Road 1
Old Dunstan Road 1
Old Dunstan Road 3
Old Dunstan Road 3
Old Dunstan Road 2
Old Dunstan Road 2
Old Dunstan Road 4
Old Dunstan Road 4

A further sense of the locality can be found in the following links: Thomas Clark Glasson George owned the Buckeye Hotel on the old Dunstan Road:

Further Reading:



Henry (Rouse) Garrett – the ‘Gentleman Highwayman’

Oddly, there is an indirect link between Mark Starbuck and another Hickling migration story – that of James Morrison who was deported to Australia in 1851. James Morrison‘s brother, Samuel Morrison was deported in 1845 alongside Henry Rouse.

  • Mark Starbuck mined and farmed in the Waipori district outside Dunedin, New Zealand; the same area (Woodside) was terrorised by the ‘Gentleman Highwayman’, Henry (Rouse) Garrett .
  • Henry Rouse was born in Hose, Leics, and seems to have been the leader of a burglary gang that included Samuel Morrison – both men were convicted and deported to Australia on board The Mayda, arriving on Norfolk Island in 1846. Their respective Convict records reference each other.
  • Woodside Glen and New Zealand’s Gentleman Highwayman (pdf)
  • Henry Rouse had a troubled childhood in Hose and was first imprisoned after an altercation with a local gamekeeper. On his release he embarked on a campaign of organised burglaries (see James Morrison’s page); after an armed attack on a draper’s shop in Bingham the 24-year old Henry Rouse and 26-year old Samuel Morrison were deported.
  • Whilst Samuel Morrison appears to have settled after his arrival in Australia, Henry Rouse didn’t; at some point he changed his surname to Garrett and was transferred backwards and forwards between Australia and New Zealand. He died in prison at the age of 67 in 1885 having achieved national notoriety in both England and New Zealand.

Did the Otago Gold Rush bring two Melton/Hickling families (back?) together?!

This is another area which takes us in to the very dangerous waters of speculation. However, there is a significant coincidence which we have been looking into.

  • In 1848/9 the Woolley family emigrated from the Melton area and are said to have built The Plough Inn in the Otago area of New Zealand (because of memories of a Plough Inn from home).
  • In 1848 Mark Starbuck (born in Hickling) emigrates with his cousin’s family to Port Phillip in Australia. In 1863, Mark Starbuck moves to Dunedin and, in 1870, he takes over as licensee of The Plough Inn, West Waipori in the Dunedin/Otago area.
  • Initially, it looked as if these two men may have crossed paths (or even been linked to the same Plough Inn); it has been a rewarding search which has been fascinating in its own right. Sadly (for us), we now know that the two Plough Inns were different and in quite distinctly different geographical areas.
  • However, it is still possible that these two men came across each other – if you can help with extra information please do contact us

Central Otago Gold Rush (1860s):

map - Otago gold fields 1868 environmentalhistory-au-nz.org
map – Otago gold fields 1868 environmentalhistory-au-nz.org
  • Gold Fields – manual of the Otago gold fields 10th March 1863 (attachment).
  • Gold wasn’t particularly prized by the Maori communities but European settlers prized it highly.
  • When gold was discovered in the Otago/Dunedin area the small colony expanded hugely; the economy, transport and townships grew quickly.
  • In 1862 the gold rush expanded inland, replacing the sheep farms and bringing hotels and an influx of people. New finds were made in the Taieri River area in 1863 and the gold rush peaked with an influx of 22,000 people and bringing revenue of about £10 million in the 1860s.
  • Water sluicing extended the life of the diggings but brought soil erosion and had a destructive effect on the landscape.