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Joseph Brooks Weller
Father: Joseph Weller
Mother: Mary Brooks
Born: 1802-08-01
Died: 1835-07-28 (aged 33 years)
Buried: Died in New Zealand, burried in Sydney.

Further information for Joseph Brooks Weller.

Birth place: Aylesbury
Profession: Whaler & Landowner
Domiciles: Sydney & W.Maitland

Biography

Joseph was one of the three brothers who had the whaling and trading business in Otago, New Zealand. He was the first member of the family to visit Australia, leaving England on a reconnaisance trip on 20th October 1823, reaching Hobart on 4th February 1824, and thence to Sydney. This was only 36 years after the First Fleet had arrived in Botany Bay.

Joseph was granted 1,200 acres on the south bank of the Iron Bark Creek (aka Toohrnbing Creek) between E. Maitland and Newcastle in New South Wales, and proudly called his estate Wellersley. It was swampy pasture in those days. After 18 months he returned to report back to his father and family in Folkestone, and then on New Year`s Day 1827 sailed for Australia for good, taking his young brother Edward with him.

Meanwhile another brother, George, had already gone to Sydney and bought a 479 ton vessel, the Albion (previously owned by Captain Charles WELLER of Lewisham, Kent; no relation). Government Cottage, bought by George, was in King`s Town. His grant of 2,560 acres to the east of Cockle Creek which he called Hampton and their father`s 2,560 acres called `Amersham` are now the Newcastle suburbs of Argenton, Edgeworth, Glendale, Cardiff and Wallsend.

Joseph went to Murihiku in New Zealand with a sealing expedition but noticed that much higher profits could be made from hunting whales. In 1831 Joseph and Edward and their party on the Albion landed at what subsequently became known as Wellers Rock on a promontory called Te Umu Kuri. Once their settlement was established it became generally known in both Sydney and London as `The British Settlement in Otago.` They were the first white settlers, and 100 years later a plaque was inserted into the rock to commemorate their arrival.

The settlement started badly, for a disastrous fire destroyed it in 1832 before whaling operations began. It was rebuilt, and the 1834 and 1835 seasons were productive. But Joseph died of TB on 28th July 1835. As there were no christian burial grounds in South Island, Edward shipped his brother`s body back to Sydney preserved in a puncheon of rum.

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.