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Edward Weller
Father: Joseph Weller
Mother: Mary Brooks
Born: 1814-07-06
Baptised: 1814-07-29
Died: 1893-03-13 (aged 79 years)
Buried: West Maitland, Australia.
= Married  =
on: 1835
at: Otago
Paparu
Father: Tahutu
Mother: Matau
Died: 1838
= Married (2) =
on: 1839
at: Otago
Nikuru Taiaroa
Father: Te Matenga Taiaroa
Died: 1840-08-01
Children:   |
Fanny
Born: 1834
Died: 1907
Hana Nani
Born: 1840-08-01
Died: 1924-02-15

Further information for Edward Weller.

Birth place: Folkestone
Profession: Whaler, Landowner.
Domiciles: Folkstone, England. Otago, New Zealand. West Maitland, Australia.

Biography

Edward found himself in charge of the whaling station at Otago at the age of 20, following death of brother Joseph. He actually went whaling, much to the alarm of his other brother, George in Sydney, and was `no contemptible whaler.` He had many adventures, including being captured by hostile Maori and anticipated being put in the pot. He learnt their language while in captivity and befriended one of the chiefs. It is thought that a ransom was paid for his release.

He married a Maori, Paparu, who bore him a daughter, Fanny, but Paparu died three years later when giving birth to a second child, who also died. Edward subsequently married Nikuru, daughter of the Maori chief who had pleaded for his release from captivity, and she died in giving birth to their daughter Nani. These marriages were not solemnised or registered because at the time there was no christian minister in South Island and there was no system for registering births, marriages and deaths. So exact date of `marriages by local custom` is not known. The first Wesleyan minister is thought to have gone to New Zealand about 1840, the first Anglican priest shortly afterwards.

When the whales no longer came to Otago and the Weller brothers` business was heading for bankruptcy, Edward returned to NSW and became a landowner in the Hunter Valley. He seems to have found it hard to adapt to `civilisation` and lived a solitary life, which ended tragically when he stubbornly refused to leave his cottage when the Hunter river flooded. He broke into the roof space, but was drowned nevertheless.

For related information about this person see: Charles William Schultze, The Wellers who emigrated to Australia and New Zealand., WELLER Brothers. Traders, merchants, shore whalers, and land speculators., Whaling WELLERs and Moby Dick,
Published by Malcolm Weller.