David & Hannah's Story

David and Hannah's Ancestor Trees
David and Hannah's Descendent Tree

David Carey was born on January 25 1814 in the small village of Hooe near Battle in Sussex England. Hannah's family came from the larger settlement of St Leonard's on the Sussex Coast.

A week after their marriage at the Village Church in Hooe on 24th of May 1838 they set sail on the ship
Coromandel for Sydney arriving in October  Accompanying them was David's sister and her husband Ben Coleman.

The families did not find the conditions in Sydney to their liking and took up an Offer from Johnny Jones an entrepreneur who owned and operated whaling stations in New Zealand. Jonny Jones was proposing to establish a farming settlement at Waikouatiti on the Otago coast to provide produce to support his whaling crews.

The settlers sailed on the
Magnet in February 1840 arriving at Waikouati on the 18th of March. The settlement consisted of rough barracks constructed at the base of the hill leading up to Matanaka where Johnny Jones was shortly to establish his farm settlement. Tragedy struck when David's and Hannah's infant daughter Harriet drowned in a water hole near their hut. A short while later fire swept through the settlement and the settlers lost most of their personal possessions they had brought out from England with them

Their daughter Julia Ann was born on April 21 1841 the first child born to European parents in Otago. Their eldest son James was born on November 29 the following year.

The inducement to settle  at Waikouati had been the grant of 60 acres after two years service but a falling out with Tom Jones the farming manager saw the family along with most others depart the settlement. The Careys then moved  to the Weller brothers whaling settlement at Otakou just inside the Otago harbour.

David grew potatoes and  caught wild pigs around the site where Dunedin now stands and further a field on the Taieri plains. The potatoes and Pork was sold to whalers at Otakou  He also cut timber on the Otago Peninsula around the area now known as Macandrew Bay.

After the arrival of the settlers on the John Wickcliffe and the Philip Laing the family moved across to the little bay near Port Chalmers that now bears the family name, Careys Bay. David had built a schooner the
Mercury which he now used on the coastal trade as well as providing a lighter service for the incoming immigrant ships.

One of David's claims to fame was piloting the first boat up to the site of Dunedin. This caused some problem as he was not the official Pilot

Other business ventures included distilling Rum or from Cabbage tree heads and selling this to the new settlers. Intervention of revenue agents put paid to this venture. The Carey's took up land at St Leonards (named after Hannah's home town) and at Pulling Point nearer to the harbour entrance.

At around 1855 David was engaged pit sawing timber at the location now known as Sawyers Bay. Timber was rafted up the harbour from here to Dunedin. For a time he was also involved with lime burning for Captain Cargill and Dr Burns

The discovery of gold at Gabriel's Gully in 1860 saw David Carey take up one of the first miners rights on the field . He mined enough gold to buy 100 acres at Bluestone Bay (now known as Evansdale) at the bottom of the Kilmog hill where he built a hotel. This was an important staging stop on the Stage Coach route into the goldfields of Central Otago.

The hotel was run for many years by David and  his sons David junior and Stephen. David and Hannah retired back to Port Chalmers leaving the farm in the hands of son Edwin

Hannah Carey died on 4th August 1888 .shortly after she an David had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their by then  large family. David continued to live with his son David junior at Careys bay until his death on March 26 1896 at the age of 82. Both David and Hannah are buried at the"old cemetery" on the hill behind Port Chalmers

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Email: Bob McKelvey