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The Oliver Brothers

       James OLIVER  Samuel OLIVER
James  Oliver (1805 - 1886) Samuel Oliver (1819 - 1873)

The day of this update marks the 180th anniversary of the arrival of the Oliver brothers, James and Samuel, in New Plymouth on the barque 'Amelia Thompson' on the 3rd September 1841.

James arrived with his wife Ruth and six children. Unfortunately one child died on the voyage over.

Samuel was single and met his wife, Elizabeth, in New Plymouth. She sailed on the barque 'Blenheim' with her family the following year and they married two years after that!

The Tree Pages:

'The Tree' sits alongside this website and is generated from a genealogy program called "Reunion".

Here you may navigate up and down through family relationships. To get more information on a particular person - click on their name when they appear in the middle section of the tree webpage. Here, a new 'Person Sheet' will open often giving sources of information and notes. An example here of a Person Sheet. Information on living people has been filtered out for privacy reasons.

We maintain the latest version of the software (Reunion 13.0 build 210217) used to generate 'The Tree'. Functionality includes a responsive design' for optimising the web pages for whatever device being used, ability to search by name, ability to generate  pedigree charts for easy-to-view relationships.

A big thank you to those that have contributed with additions since the last update.

Was John Oliver (1740-1807) married before his marriage to Hannah Sleeman?

Contributors, Katia and Tim Oliver, in August 2021 located a marriage record dated 3 February 1761 for a John Oliver and a Margaret Ball in Ashwater, Devon, England. They also found a burial record dated 3 June 1763 for Margaret with a husband of John Oliver.

The same burial record also lists a “John Oliver”, son of John and Margaret Oliver who was buried on 3 June 1763, three months earlier than his mother. Further searching found a christening record for the son John. He was christened on 8 Oct 1761 in Ashwater, making him aged about 2 1/2 years when he died.

It is interesting to note that our John (1740-1807) was born in Ashwater, making this discovery of a possible prior marriage in Ashwater, and a young son that was buried in Ashwater, very plausible. And, we know that John was 31 before his marriage to Hannah Sleeman in 1771. At the time of the possible first marriage to Margaret Ball in 1761 John would of been 21. With Margaret having died in 1763, John would not have remarried for just over seven years later. This does all seem very credible. Your feedback welcome.

Links to records and original document may be found near the bottom of John Oliver's page.

Tim Oliver is a x3 great grandson of James and Ruth Oliver, his grandfather being Ivor James Clark Oliver (1907-1989).

Who is the Mother of our James and Samuel Oliver?

Grace Brayley has thought to have been the mother of our brothers - James (1805-1886) and Samuel Oliver (1819-1873). However, revelations from Katia and Tim Oliver, have concluded she was not their mother. This, after extensive and thorough research that included going through a myriad of new records that were scanned at the Devon Record Office as recently as 2020.

Read more on this intriguing research here...

New Photo Album

Katia and Tim Oliver, with help from the wider Hawkes Bay Oliver families, have also shared family photos. Over 190 photos/images are divided up into seven albums and include the families of James (Jim) Alexander Oliver and his son Ivor James Clark Oliver. Photos of their wives' families of Shute and Florance respectively, are included.

Photos of John Oliver Descendants

I have recently received a message from Tim Barnett, Manager of Digital Assets, of Auckland Libraries. The Libraries have posted over 800 photos of the descendants of John Oliver, son of James and Ruth Oliver as part of their Heritage Collections.

John Oliver's daughter, Mary Oliver, married Edwin Charles HUGHES. Mary and Edwin's children included:

  • Edith Prosser HUGHES who married Frederick John BURRELL

  • Edwina Mary HUGHES who married Alfred John WILSON and had sons George Desmond and Edwin Charles WILSON.

  • Eileen Dorothy HUGHES who married Eugene Ryan DERVAN

The above names are listed with some of the photos as possible identification. And, there are lots of unidentified family members. The collection may be found here:

Can you help?

Tim Barnett says, "we had very little to go on with when we were trying to identify people and places and would be very grateful for any corrections or additions you might be able to provide".

If you can help you may contact me or contact Tim directly at:

Carroll, Carrell, Carrel Book

A book titled, ’John and Talitha Carroll - From Jersey to Wanganui’, published in 2019 by Anthony Carrell is highly recommended. Anthony has written this in an informative, detailed, and interesting way, describing the life of John and Talitha and their children. They immigrated to Wanganui New Zealand in 1874 from Jersey, Channel Islands. John Carroll was born in Tipperary, Ireland and wife Talitha was born in Somerset, England. They met and married in Jersey. Read a book review here, and find details on how to purchase.

Website Dedication

This website is dedicated to Brian and Carol Oliver's children: Nigel Churton, Sarah Ferguson (nee Churton), Emma Oliver and Marie Oliver; our seven grandchildren, and to all the family members that appear in our genealogy pages!


  Contents last updated: 3 September 2021
Previous 5 updates:
25 March 2021, 3 September 2020, 7 March 2020, 3 July 2019, 20 November 2018.