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ARAB - 1841

Rigging: Ship; sheathed in copper in 1841
Tonnage: 415 tons using old measurements and 485 tons using new measurements
Construction: 1840 in Stockton, using Red Pine & Pitch Pine planks
Owners: J. Irving
Port of registry: Bristol
Port of survey: London
Voyage: sailed for New Zealand

A copy of the regulations issued by the New Zealand Company to all emigrants

Transcription of the passenger list:

Ship: 484 tons

Captain: John Sumner

Surgeon Superintendent: William Stevens Butler

Sailed England 5th June 1841 - arrived Port Nicholson 16th October 1841

"Mr Horace Fildes, the keen antiquary, tells me the old records show that the emigrant ship Arab, 484 tons, left Gravesend on June 3, 1841, with 208 settlers, most of whom were intended for the Nelson settlement.
She arrived at Port Nicholson on October 16, at which time, of course, there was no such place as Nelson.
No subsequent mention is made of these settlers, so we must assume that they drifted across the Straits from time to time as occasion offered, after the sight of Nelson was chosen, or else they waited for the rest of the people in the Fifeshire and her three companions."
White Wings - Sir Henry Brett

Name      Age        Occupation        Comment

Cabin Passengers
Blaithwaite Esq George Winter     
Martineau Esq Henry    
Simon Esq Francis     
Wilkinson Captain John    
Woods Esq Frederick
Steerage Passengers

Allington Thomas 36 Agicultural Labourer  
Ettey 35   
 Henry 4   
 Caroline 2   
 George Infant    Died at sea 
Booth James 21 Slate Dresser  
 Mary Ann 25   
Buik William 31 Wright  
 Agnes 30   
 Son 9   
 Daughter 7   
 Daughter 5   
Dalgetty Alexander 36 Agicultural Labourer  
 Janet 30   
 Daughter 9   
 Son Infant   
Dalgetty David 15 Agicultural Labourer  
Darling George 27 Agicultural Labourer  
 Isabella 21   
Day George 41 Labourer     
 Ann 37   
 William 17 Labourer  
 Henry 15 Labourer  
 George Frederic 14   
 Eliza Wise 12   
 Robert 11   
 Mary Ann 9   
 Charles 6   
 Susannah 6   
 Frederic 5   
 Emma 1   
 Joseph 3 months   
Dixon Michael 30 Agicultural Labourer  
 Sarah 33   
 Son 13   
 Son 8   
 Daughter 7   
 Son 3   
 Daughter Infant   
Dyson Charlotte 16 Servant Daughter of Mrs J. Gooder 
Dyson Charlotte 10    Daughter of Mrs J. Gooder 
Dyson Eliza 3    Daughter of Mrs J. Gooder 
Edwards William 32 Gardener & Agicultural Labourer 
 Mary 32 
Furminger Samuel 44 Agicultural Labourer Sarah 38 Elizabeth *(Anne) 20 Sempstress Samuel Jnr 18 Agicultural Labourer Harriet 16 Sempstress Mary *(Ann) 14 Sempstress Daughter 12 *(Anne) Daughter 10 *(Catherine) Son 8 *(Joseph) Daughter 7 Son 3 *(Thomas) * Additional information from research
Gibbs James 29 Carpenter & Caninet Maker Charlotte 22 Daughter 1 Gooder John 37 Farmer Betty 40 Mary 11 Northend 8 Richard 7 Greaves John 23 Labourer Mary 22 Daughter 1 Hill George 36 Sawyer & Carpenter Ann 38 Jane 13 John 11 Mary 9 Elizabeth 6 Charlotte 3 Hogg John 37 Wright & Turner Elizabeth 39 Ann 17 Sempstress John 15 Labourer Son 8 Hollard Charles 29 Agricultural Labourer Ann 29 Susan 9 William 7 Elizabeth 5 John 3 Ann 1 Died at sea Hooper John 37 Labourer Caroline 26 John's second wife Sarah 14 Died at sea Elisa 8 Caroline 6 Robert 4 William 9 mths Elizabeth Born and died at sea Irvine Thomas 32 Shoemaker Eliza 34 Jones George 23 Bootmaker Eliza 19 Knowler Amelia 17 Servant & Straw Platter Lissenden James 26 Ploughman Harriet 24 Daughter 5 Daughter 2 Son 3 mths McHardy John 18 Baker McIntosh John 29 Labourer Mann Jonathan 32 Labourer Eliza 32 Daughter 13 Son 9 Mather William 34 Wright & Joiner Born and died at sea Mary G. 33 Daughter 8 Daughter 3 Daughter 6 mths Miles Thomas 22 Brickmaker Norris Charles 23 Farm labourer Barbara Ann 20 Poole Nathaniel 31 Labourer Mary 27 Son 9 Son 7 Son 5 Son 3 Son Born at sea Richardson James Robert 22 Farm Labourer Eliza 20 Richardson Thomas 38 Bricklayer & Mason Delia 37 Thomas Turner 16 Bricklayer & Mason George 14 Labourer Caroline 11 Sarah Ann 8 James 5 William Burgess 3 Roseby Thomas 32 Mason Ann 38 Son 5 Son 1 Ross Robert 23 Baker Mary 21 Sellers John 37 Agricultural Labourer Mary 36 Daughter 13 Daughter 12 Daughter 8 Daughter 7 Daughter 4 Daughter 2 Shirley Matthew 15 Agricultural Labourer Shirley Thomas 34 Agricultural Labourer Ann 31 Selina 13 Henry 10 Ann 8 Sophia 6 Thomas Andrew 4 Elizabeth 6 mths Simpson William 33 Gardener Jane 26 Slaney Henry 34 Brickmaker Widower Jane 15 Servant Smith David 37 Sawyer Isabel 36 Alexander 15 Labourer Daughter 13 Son 10 Son 7 Daughter 3 Daughter Infant Sparks Amos 25 Brickmaker Elizabeth 23 Daughter 2 Tutchen Peter 40 Shepherd Sarah 39 Simon Peter 16 Shepherd Sarah 14 Died at sea Charles 13 Mary 11 Josiah 9 Ann 8 Eleanor 6 David 2 Vile William 30 Agricultural Labourer Died at sea Sophia 29 James 10 Charles 8 Ann 6 Jane 2 Died at sea Josiah 8 mths Walker James 33 Shipwright Helen 33 Ellen 14 John 10 William 8 Jean 7 Isabella 5 James 3 Anne Arab Born at sea Watts William 27 Agricultural Labourer Esther 26 Harriett Ann 3 Ellen 4 mths Wilkins John 37 Labourer & Gardener Grace 38 Son 4 Wilkins Matthew 17 Labourer Wilkins Hannah 15 Labourer
SHIRLEY family:

Thomas Shirley married Anne Hallett at Horsington, Somerset, England on 24th Feb 1825 and had seven children, Matthew, Selina, Henry, Ann, Sophia, Thomas Andrew and Elizabeth.
Thomas leased some sections at Lower Hutt. He and his sons were farmers in the Hutt district.
In the early 1850's Thomas Shirley and most of the family moved to Napier where most lived the remainder of there lives.
Matthew remained in the Hutt Valley for a few more years before moving to Southland.
Matthew married Jane Whiteman (arrived Gertrude 1841) in 1847 and they had 11 children, 6 in Wellington and 5 in Southland.
They remained in the Hutt Valley for a few years after the Shirley's as a whole had left and then moved to Southland some time after 1860 eventually settling in Wyndham on the farm that they had bought.
Selina married John McHardie (arrived Arab) in 1846 and they had 12 children of whom only 2 survived.
The McHardie's settled in the Bulls area.
Henry married Eliza Williamson (arrived Olympus 1841) and they had 4 children in Wellington before moving to Napier.
Henry died there in 1879 and of his children 2 married, one settled in the Waiarapa and the other in Taranaki.
Ann married George Petherick (arrived Aurora 1839) in 1846 and they had 3 children in Wellington.
Ann remarried 1854 in Napier to James Avison and they had 11 children.
This family largely stayed in the Hawkes Bay area.
Sophia married James Stephen Whitehead in 1854 and they had 13 children, 6 of whom were born in Wellington.
The rest were born in Canterbury around Christchurch. Most of the family lived out there lives in the North Island.
Thomas Andrew married Elizabeth Bicknell (arrived Clifton 1842) in 1859 at Napier. They had no children. Andrew though had an eventful life. (see website)
Elizabeth married John Bennett in 1862 at Napier and they had at least 4 children and lived out there lives in Napier.
We are continually seeking more information on the Shirley families in NZ.
Visit the worldwide family website hosted by Betty Shirley and in New Zealand contact: Roger Shirley or Lyall Mitchell - Contact: Judith Lyons (brendonl [at]


John McINTOSH, listed on the Arab voyage of 1841 was my great-great grandfather.

John McIntosh - was due to sail on the Witby 2/may 1841 but missed it and sailed on the Arab (The Whitby saied with the Will Watch)
He was born in Scotland around 1800 and married Lilly BAIN on 2 May 1825.
She followed him on the Martha Ridgway voyage of 1841-1842. Lilly McINTOSH and four children are listed on the Martha Ridgway, family of the above John McINTOSH.
A fifth child - Alexander - was born 1827 but does not appear here.
Unless someone can tell me otherwise, I must presume he died before 1841.
A sixth child - James Mardoch McINTOSH - was born in Nelson around 1843 and became my Great Grandfather.
He married Hannah BLAYMIRES at Picton in 1869 and settled there.
If anyone knows more I'd like to hear about it. If you have a connection with this family or are interested in learning more please contact: David B Voss. (Debbie.vee [at]

National Archives Reference NZC 34/2 p31

Whilst neither of these ships is the Arab, they give a good idea of what the Arab may have looked like.

Extracted from the New Zealand Journal 1841 (page 136)

The Arab sailed on Thursday for Port Nicholson having on board 202 emigrants of the labouring class, and six cabin passengers.
The ship having a poop for her cabin passengers and a top-gallant forecastle for her crew, the whole of the lower deck from stem to stern, is exclusively allotted to the emigrants, and no ship has yet sailed with such comfortable accomodation.

The wind being favourable the Arab did not bring up at Gravesend, but everything being in order, the steam-tug cast her off, and she continued her course down the river.
The passengers were in admirable spirits and cheered heartily as the tug left the ship.

Extracted from the New Zealand Journal 1841 (page 151)

The Arab unfortunately carried away her fore topmast in going down the channel and was obliged to go to Plymouth to refit, by which she was detained 4 days.
The emigrants of both these ships were selected out of a very large number of applicants and in point of health, age and character, will be an acquisition to the Colony.

Extracted from the New Zealand Gazette October 20 1841

The emigrants by the ARAB have voted Dr Butler the surgeon of the ship, a letter of thanks, for his humane conduct towards them during their passage from England to Port Nicholson.
It was signed by the whole of the passengers.

Extracted from the New Zealand Journal 1841 (page 294)

Rate of hire of ship: 19.5.0 per adult.



New Zealand Gazette & Wellington Spectator - Wednesday October 20th 1841

Oct 16th; ship Arab, 484 tons, Captain Sumner, from London; Passengers Messrs Wilkinson, G W Blathwayt, H Martineau, W S Butler, F Woods, F Simon and 200 steerage.

The Arab left London on the 1st June, but she lost her topmasts and bowsprit in the Channel, which made it necessary for her to put into Dartmouth, from which she did not depart until the 15th June; and Captain Sumner has kindly furnished us with London papers to the 11th June.