Kiwi Kinseys!

Kinseys from Montgomeryshire have been long known to have immigrated to England, Canada, Australia, the US and South Africa back in the late 1800s.

However, through the joint efforts of the National Archives of New Zealand and the NZ Immigration Lists (1871-1915) have been put online along with a corresponding index.

Among those who immigrated to New Zealand were an Evan and Hannah Kinsey.

Here is what I have found so far:

1837 - Evan Kinsey was born to Stephen Kinsey and Anne Kinsey in Llandinam, Montgomeryshire.  This makes him Stephen Wilson Kinsey's youngest brother.  Evan was baptised on 17 December 1837 at St Idloes Anglican Church in Llandinam.

1841 - Evan Kinsey, aged 4 years old, is living at Old Chapel Farm in Llandinam according to the census.

1851 - Evan Kinsey, aged 13 years old, is living at Old Chapel Farm in Llandinam according to the census.

1861 - Evan Kinsey, aged 23 years old, is living at Old Chapel Farm in Llandinam according to the census.  Still single.

1863 -  Evan is mentioned in his father's (Stephen) will.  There is no mention of a wife.  Evan and Stephen are left Brynhusgwyn and Talbot farms in the will:

"I give and devise my shares in the said messuages tenements lands herediments and premises called Brynhusglwyn and Talbot to my sons Stephen Kinsey of Pen y Gelli Newtown and my son Evan Kinsey of Old Chapel and their heirs for ever as tenants in common and not as joint tenants subject to the payment of the debts that may be due from me at the time of my decease on Promissory Notes And also my funeral and testamentary expenses..."

1866 - Stephen Wilson Kinsey after going through bankruptcy, flees rape charges, and immigrates to Canada.  His wife and children soon follow him to Canada.

1869 - On 19 April, Stephen Kinsey Sr. passes away at Old Chapel Farm.  Later that year, Evan Kinsey weds Hannah Margaret Evans who is 10 years younger than him.  She was born in 1847 in Llangamarch, Breconshire.

1870 - In the winter of 1870, Hannah and Evan have their first child, Evan Wilson Kinsey.

Evan Kinsey of Old Chapel Farm in the 1871 Llandinam, Wales Census

1871 - Evan Kinsey, aged 33 years old, is living at Old Chapel Farm in Llandinam according to the census.  With, him are his wife, Hannah Margaret, his son, Evan Wilson, and his recently widowed mother, Anne.

1872 - Cordelia Elizabeth Kinsey, Hannah and Evan's first daughter, was born in Montgomeryshire.

1876 - Stephen Kinsey, a son, is born.

1877 - Evan and Hannah are living in Liverpool, Lancashire.  Evan sells his interest in Brynhusgwyn and Talbot farms to his brother, Roger for £205.

1878 - Thomas Evans Kinsey, a son, is born on 15 February.  Thomas is baptised on 7 April in Liverpool.   On 12 September, Evan and his family leave Glasgow, Scotland aboard the SS Canterbury bound for New Zealand.

Immigrating to New Zealand

The SS Canterbury had been scheduled to leave on Sept 7th.  However, the ship ended up leaving Glasgow on the 12th.

According to one account "the Canterbury, (was) a beautiful clipper ship of 1242 tons, built in 1874 for Patrick Henderson by Robert Duncan, sailed the seas for many years, and during the 'seventies and 'eighties brought thousands of immigrants to New Zealand. She was one of the fastest sailers and most comfortable ships afloat ..."

After 90 days at sea, the clipper arrived at Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 10 December 1878. 
According to the ship's records in New Zealand there were 319 passengers on board; Most of them were Irish and Scots.

Evan and Hannah Kinsey on the SS Canterbury

Evan travelled with his wife Hannah, and their children, Evan, Stephen and Cordelia.  There is no mention of the youngest son, Thomas Evans Kinsey.

Little is known what became of the family in NZ.  Cordelia married Thomas Ryan in 1899 and had at least one daughter, Edith.  Evan and Hannah had at least two more children, Agnes (b. 1880) and Thomas (b. 1882).  Both were born in New Zealand.

There is a record of an Evan Kinsey death in 1912 in NZ.


  1. Edith was adopted by Cordelia and Thomas Ryan. Her original birth certificate in 1900 lists her name as Edith Slater, her mother (no father) as Matilda Salter, age 20 born in Oamaru, NZ. I have been unable to locate a birth for a Matilda Slater, however, Cordelia had a sister Agnes Trembath Slater Kinsey who was born in 1880 in Oamaru. Agnes was found accidentally drowned in Dunedin Harbout in 1902. On Edith's adoptive birth certificate (1948, her daughter Cora, my mother, thinks this is the first time Edith went overseas where she would have needed a passport and so the birth certificate was created then) records the child to be named as Edith Slater Kinsey Ryan. So, just maybe, the Kinsey's are my family through Agnes if she was Edith's birth mother. Maybe I will find someone in the family that I can have my DNA compared with to prove or disprove this theory. Brenda Kendall -

  2. This Evan Kinsey was married to my g-grandmother, Hannah Margaret Evans, but they separated about 1880. Evan went to Wellington for several years but came back to the South Island and worked in the Kyeburn/Kurow area. He died before October 1897 and is buried in the Kurow Cemetery under an alias. (Burial records not on-line)
    Hope to have an opportunity to search these records next year.
    Elaine Scott -


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