. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Tapscott-Kennington Butterfly


William Kennington

William's wife, Mary Cargill

William Kennington was born in Dunholme, Lincolnshire on 21st August 1836, the son of John Kennington and Mary Harrison. His parents were farmers and innkeepers but William was working for his uncle William Harrison, a baker in Lincoln, in 1851.

In 1858 when he was 22 William emigrated to New Zealand, leaving from Liverpool. He wrote a daily journal during his voyage on the clipper ‘Red Jacket’ and I give below a transcript of the first two pages: 

Sunday 18th July, 1858

Preparing for to go to Liverpool I took a walk down the town just for the last time if not for ever, for a long time, visits Uncle Doubikin(1) then walks down to aunt Moffatt's(2), as I go past I look at the Church and the school and think shall I ever see them again, I meet Mr. Stephens receive his papers and take a glass of ale, bid Aunt and Grandmother farewells these are very tutching events but there is still one more so, to come yet that is farewell to the old foaks at home which will be in a very short time now for as soon as I have got my dinner I must go I walk home and get my dinner sit a few minutes and it is near 3 o'clock so I must be going my boxes is put into the cart but there is this great event to come yet to think of it makes tears come I walk a little and pluck up courage as well as I can, I walk up to Father to bid farewell which is hard work and makes us both cry then Mother comes I says Goodbye Mother she exclaimed I shall never see the lad again but I could not speak but got into the cart with my two brothers and sisters and wiped away the tears as soon as I could with a hope that I shall return before many years to see my dear parents still alive and happy when I had got nearly to the oats (3) I stood up in the cart to take a last view of the old house which fetched tears again but I soon got over that so adieu old Dunholme when I reach Lincoln I Visits Halls(4) and takes tea there and bids my two dear Sisters goodbye and makes my way for the station gets my ticket then bids Stephen and T.H.(5) goodbye now we start for Manchester so Farewell Lincoln reaches Manchester about half past ten and gets lodging.

Monday 19th July

Rising early starts for Liverpool at quarter to seven Arrives there half past ten when we got of the train there was a man who said he was the Government Inspector gave us information by way of conveyance told us which bus to get on so we got on and drove to the great landing stage where all is bustle and confusion with many hundreds of passengers per Red Jacket and many more spectators I left my brother to take care of my boxes and thought he would but when I came back he did not know where they was but it so happened that they was all safe on the ship then the porter wanted to make me believe that he had lost two hours work with looking after my luggage but it would not do for to get much out of me for I had been done enough in the town already with the tin man who charges me £1.11.8 for about 10s wirth of goods and he pretended to be telling me that he was serving me with things that was only just what I requistit for the voyage but when I found out he had given me things I did not want and not half what I wanted, they are a sit of the worst imposters that I ever saw but they know that they will never see you again so they do not care I think that I got on very well in Liverpool all over else but that ducit rogue but however I am like to make the best of it now for I am on water and there is no going to shore. (sic)

(1) John Doubikin married William's father's sister Ann
(2) Thomas Moffat married his mother's sister Jane
(3) A group of oak trees
(4) Edward Hall married his mother's sister Caroline
(5) A cousin

He arrived on 12th October and spent a few months in Australia before making his way to New Zealand. He spent a year in Auckland and Hawkes Bay before finally in 1860 travelling to South Island and Picton. Here, it is said,  he spent his last £5.00 on a horse and cart and did odd contracting jobs.  Eventually he was able to buy two small farms before getting his final property at Okaramio.

William Kennington's home at Okaramio

William married Mary Cargill who had been born on 21st November, 1850, on 20th December, 1865 at Blackwood Bay, New Zealand.

Children of William Kennington and Mary Cargill are:

Stephen John Kennington, born 16th March, 1867 at Blenheim, New Zealand; died 6th April, 1945. Stephen didn’t marry.

Stephen Kennington

Lucy Kennington, born 25th January 1869, died 14th February, 1869, Blenheim, New Zealand.

Lucy Kennington's headstone

William and Mary's three daughters, Ellen, Faith and Mary

Mary May Kennington, born 2nd July, 1870, Blenheim, New Zealand. Mary married William Percy Simmonds.

Children of Mary Kennington and William Simmons are:

Louisa Simmonds who was born in 1889 and died in 1961.
Albert William Simmonds who was born in 1891 and died in 1969.

John Kennington, born 18 February 1873, Blenheim, New Zealand;, married Jean Lawson on 29 November, 1898.

John Kennington

Children of John Kennington and Jean Lawson are:

Aileen Florence Kennington born on 26 July 1895 and died on 2 November 1966.
William John Kennington born on 21 December 1899, Blenheim, New Zealand and died on 11 March 1980,
Bernard James Kennington born on 26 June 1901.
Mary Amelia Kennington born on 31 January 1903 and died on 27 January 1982.
Albert Lawson Kennington born on 5 June 1904 and died on 11 March 1979.
Alick Haldon Kennington born on 23 May 1906 and died on 27 June 1979.
Jean Christina Kennington born on 21 April 1909.
Kathleen Adamson Kennington born on 27 October 1910 and died on 21 November 1981.

Jacob Kennington, born 28th May, 1875, Blenheim, New Zealand; died 25th August, 1959.  Jacob married Jean Lyle Gordon.

Jacob Kennington as a young man

Joseph Kennington, born 22nd September 1877, Blenheim, New Zealand; died 28th August, 1953. Joseph served in the Boer War with his brother Jacob. He married Elsa Alice McDowell.

Children of Joseph Kennington and Elsa McDowell are:

Roy Kennington born on 31 January 1899, Blenheim, New Zealand and died on 25 August 1980
William Joseph Kennington born on 1903, Blenheim, New Zealand and died on 18 July 1965

Joseph and family

Albert Kennington born in 1908.

Albert Kennington

Ellen Bertha Kennington, born 1880, Blenheim, New Zealand; died 15th February, 1946. Ellen married Charles Piper North.

Children of Ellen Kennington and Charles North are:

Kenneth Charles North born on 13 April 1913.
Reginald Piper North born on 31 March 1915; died 1915.
Ellen Jean North born on 25 September 1916.
Colin James North born on 28 November 1921.

Faith Mary Kennington, born 24 September, 1882, Blenheim, New Zealand; died 19th August, 1970. Faith married William Edward Astin.

Children of Faith Kennington and William Astin are:

Ronan Stanislaus Astin born on 23 August 1908 and died on 5 April 1984.
Madeleine Mary Astin born on 21 April 1910 and died on 22 August 1977.
William Kennington Astin born on 12 February 1912 and died on 8 April 1985.
Edward Joseph Astin born in June 1914 and died on 3 February 1992.
Bernard Francis Astin born in May 1921 and died on 7 October 1981.

James Kennington, born 7 December, 1885, Blenheim, New Zealand; died 31 October 1952. James married Constance Ellen Nesbitt.

Children of James Kennington and Constance Nesbitt are:

Eric James Kennington born in 1920, New Zealand and died on 19 October 1944 in Italy.  WWII
Joan Kennington
Noella Kennington born in 1916.

Brooklea, the home of James Kennington, Okaramio

William Kennington, born 7 December 1885, Blenheim, New Zealand; died 21 April 1950. William married Alice May McGuire.

Children of William Kennington and Alice McGuire are:

Iris May Kennington born on 16 January 1916, New Zealand.
Gwynneth Maud Kennington born on 20 March 1918, New Zealand.

Kennington twins, James (L) and William

This is William Kennington's entry in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand:

KENNINGTON, WILLIAM,       Farmer, Okaramia.   Mr. Kennington, who is  a  conspicuous figure amongst the prominent settlers of Marlborough, was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1836 and landed in Melbourne in 1858.  A few months later, he came over to New Zealand and resided in Auckland for about twelve months.  He then tried his fortune in Hawke's Bay, but removed to Marlborough in 1860, and settled in Kaituna, where he has one of the best farms in the distrcict.  It consists of about 1400 acres, and grazes 2500 crossbred sheep and 100 head of cattle.  The land has a large frontage to the main coach road between Nelson and Blenheim, and is suitable for agricultural purposes.  Mr. Kennington has been a member of the Marlborough County Council and is one of the Committee of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association.  He was married in 1865 and has a family of three sons and three daughters

William died on 26 June 1913 and Mary died on 10 July 1931.

William and Mary Kennington with their twins

William Kennington's memorial stands over the small burial ground at Okaramio