The Barkers of Canterbury.
A family tree has been compiled for Enoch Barker who arrived on the "Strathallan" in January 1859. He had sailed from London in October with his wife Sarah, Nee Hall, and their two daughters, Sarah Ann, and Emily Jane. While the ship passed through the Bay of Biscay, off the Coast of Portugal, Mrs. Sarah Barker died.
On the ship were Amelia Elizabeth Foster, and her mother, Eliza Foster. They had left their home in Middlesex county, part of London, to join relatives in Lyttelton.
When they got to the port of Timaru, many passengers disembarked. The Fosters and Barkers continued to Lyttelton. In February, Enoch married Amelia Foster. They lived for a time in Lyttelton, possibly with Joseph Foster, a sea captain there. Louis Barker the first son was born there. Family tradition records that Louis was carried over the Bridle Pass track, from Lyttelton, to Christchurch.
In Christchurch, Louis got a job, gardening for the Provincial Government. His doings in their employ are well recorded in the early history of Christchurch. He supervised the planting of many trees in Hagley Park, the Four Avenues, and began to lay out and plant the Botanic Gardens.
After three years, Enoch left this job and began a market garden on land he had purchased out at New Brighton. He had probably used the job as a stepping stone to save enough money to buy the land. In England land was too highly priced for a working man to buy. Wages in the early Canterbury settlement were about double the rate in England.
At New Brighton, Enoch and Amelia had more children. Amelia, Alice, Marianne, Volney, and Foster survived to adult hood. Another child died at 13 months.
Enoch was accidentally drowned in January 1892. Amelia continued on the land She died in 1904.
Louis the oldest son left home in his teens. He worked up in North Canterbury. While up there he met and married Susannah Bunting. She was 18, born of Irish immigrant parents at Mount Grey Downs. When Louis met her she was living with her mother, and stepfather, William Costello up in the hills near Culverden. Louis and Susan went to live on a ballot farm at Ethelton, on the north bank of the Hurunui river. It was so isolated in the 1890s, that they only went over to Cheviot, 12 miles away, once or twice a year. The wool bales were dragged on a sledge over to the coast, and loaded on a surfboat out to a ship.
Eight children grew up there on the farm named "The Poplars".
Marion the fifth child is my grandmother, now living in Rangiora.
Web Author: Yvonne Dixon
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