As time speeds on interesting history should be taken note of before too late.

This writing concerns some of Wellington's old identities Mr and Mrs August Sievers who arrived in New Zealand by the sailing ship "Mariner" in July 1849 -also William Sievers.

Mr August Sievers was born in Eisen - Silesia Germany; he had a brother William who also came to New Zealand. Their father died and the mother re-married. The sons were not happy so decided to go to London where they worked for a while in a sugar refinery. While in London they met two young ladies who later became their wives.

Their employer gave Mr August Sievers a silver lemon squeezer for a wedding present. Mrs August Sievers maiden name was Charlotte Walker. The two ladies took instructions and were received into the R C Church. Mr and Mrs August Sievers were.married at St Mary's Chapel, Woorf ield, City of London, 28 January 1849. Certificate herewith. At that time they wished to come to New Zealand; immigrants being assisted to populate the country.

Mr August Sievers approached the' Captain of the S S Mariner seeking passages for himself and wife and his brother William and wife.

The Captain said it was a full ship but Mr Sievers informed him that they were willing to pay for the trip. The Captain told him to call back the next day. This he did and was informed there was room for them. Before leaving they had to get busy purchasing clothes, bedding, crockery etc. The Captain had a cow on board in full milk, so the passengers were lucky in having fresh milk in their tea. Despite this, some people arose early and helped themselves to milk from the cow.

The S S "Mariner" took six months to come out - a long honeymoon for the happy four: On the way out they sighted a pirate ship and women and children were. ordered below. No trouble ensued. They finally arrived at Dunedin where the Captain ordered sailors to go ashore and collect wild turnips which turned out a treat for the passengers longing for fresh vegetables.

The ship arrived at Pipitea Wellington about 13 July 1849. The few homes were made of clay and there were severe earthquakes at that time and the people had to shelter in haystacks using umbrellas when it rained. My grandmother was nursing her baby by the fire when a quake occurred and she hurriedly left as the chimney fell in. Crockery was broken and replaced with enamelware. Mr August Sievers, my grandfather, had a son and four daughters - the youngest and last passing away 24 March 1966 in her 99th year - Mrs Helena Shields of Oriental Bay, the mother of twelve - six sons and six daughters. She leaves five daughters and two sons. She was a splendid character, loved by all. Her sisters, Mrs George Lambert, Mrs W Raymond, Mrs Hopkins and Mrs Ahearn predeceased her Some years ago - also her only brother William Sievers of Wellington Terrace who had a family of nine sons and three daughters - two sons still living. Mr William Sievers who also came on the "Mariner" settled at Makara having a large family of sons and daughters.

Mr August Sievers had a small farm at Wadestown and settled later at Wellington Terrace - Sieverston Terrace being named after him. He had a wonderful orchard growing fruit of all descriptions and had to prop up branches to save them breaking. Later he worked on Mr Barney Rhodes farm for a while.

The Magistrate Mr St Hill had a residence in Hawkestone Street which was renewed and may still exist. My ancestors remember them building a Timber Mill at Kaiwarra.

August Sievers and any man who could be spared went to the Bendigo Diggings. He left his wife (with their 8 months old son) as housekeeper to Father O'Reilly, on account of hostile Maoris and earthquakes. Mr Sievers was unlucky with the lazy man he had as partner. As he could not dig and bail at the same time he was forced to sell his claim. The buyers got £ 2,OOO worth of gold sent back to the Old Country. Mr Sievers bought property on Wellington Terrace building several houses. He also went to the Dunedin diggings.

When Mr Sievers bought the property in Sieverston Terrace there were two reservoirs -small basins into which the water flowed from the hill streams. A tunnel passed through carrying the water to the shipping, passing under Mills shop opposite Kirkcaldies. As it brought such a small rent Mr Sievers blocked the entrance to the reservoir the water passed down to the culvert by the Gentleman's Club and by drain passed Lindsay's Boot Shop. Mr Sievers drained the reservoir filled it up and had a vegetable garden and fruit trees.

The City Council claimed ten feet offering grandfather £5O.

Mr Sievers (Grandfather) claimed £3OO - then got the advice of Mr T K McDonald and Mr Turnbull (architect) and was allowed £ioo straightaway. They put in a big culvert.

Mr Sievers bought his fruit trees from Captain Stokes and both had a wonderful orchard. Mr Dinton had the same property later on (Captain Stokes) at the top of Ghuznee Street.

Mr Sievers passed away over 70 years ago and his wife Charlotte over 60 years ago. Highly respected folk ready to help everyone at any time.

Linleys had a fruit shop and there was great excitement when they had the first peanuts.

Barretts Hotel had the first wax matches.

My mother used to paddle in the sea just across from Lindsay's Boot Shop on Lambton Quay. The wharf was then close in. My dear highly respected father - the late Mr Thomas Shields came from Scotland -had a well known tailoring business on Lambton Quay years ago and was burnt out in a large fire. He was a splendid swimmer and taught many children and grown ups to swim. He passed away while on holiday in Nelson district forty six years ago leaving wonderful memories and a family of 12 - six sons and six daughters.

Written about 1972 by Aileen Cockerill (nee Shields)

The Seivers/shields family tree can be found at

A niece can be contacted at