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Grey family

Arrived: 1826 (before)
Country of origin:
Area in New Zealand: Bay of Islands, Kawhia
Source: A contributer, Dictionary of NZ Biography

Details: Alexander married Kotiro Hinerangi.

Alexander Grey was present at the house of Benjamin Turner when the settlers passed their own laws for the regulation of the town. He subscribed 10pd. He was one of twenty respsectable residents to sign see the Auckland Star 16th April 1888.
Kitiro had been taken as a slave by a Nga Puhi war party as they travelled in 1829 and she received a mission education. They married in 1830 and had two sons and three daughters. Alexander was a blacksmith but lost his leg and took to the liquor trade. He died in 1843. Kitiro then married William Lord and had another child, Lucy Takiora, (Bloody Mary).

Alexander Grey arrived in New Zealand on the 'Rosanna'. The Rosanna was the first of the New Zealand Company's attempt at bringing pioneers from England. Most of them went on to Sydney.

Captain Peter Dillon described meeting him in July 1827:
The natives took me along a path…I found the inhabitants of a very neat hut, an English cooper and his wife, a native of New Zealand…[he] had been cooper’s mate to a whaler – left, ill…The cooper told us that he understood a company had been formed in England for the purpose of establishing a factory here and to procure spars, flax and the other productions of New Zealand. That for this purpose a ship and cutter belonging to the company arrived from England, under the command of their agent, Captain Herd, with mechanics of the descriptions most likely to promote the end in view. They consisted of ship-carpenters, sawyers, blacksmiths, and flax-dressers, and they had on board with them machines for sawing and flax-dressing. Captain Herd however disliked the appearance of the New Zealanders so much, and certainly, from his own account, he was perfectly justified in so doing, that he abandoned the expedition, and proceeded to Port Jackson, and on his arrival at Sydney such of the mechanics as desired it were discharged. Four of them returned to New Zealand, took up their lodgings witht the cooper and were now employed on the other side of the bay, by the missionaries established here, in repairing a small schooner that plies to New South Wales, and bring supplies for the missionary establishment…
We passed a little further along the beach, and came to another small cabin, inhabited by a blacksmith that belonged to Captain Herd’s expedition and settled here when it first touched at the islands. He is married to a New Zealand woman.

Son James born 1826 Bay of Islands.
Son Alexander jnr born 1828 Bay of Islands.
Dau Margaret Elizabeth born 1830 Bay of Islands.
Dau Sophia Tepaea (Guide Sophie) born 1832 Bay of Islands
Dau Jane Marie (Heni) born 1830-36 Bay of Islands.

The Rosanna Settlers.
In December 1826 he (Grey) bought land presumably in New Zealand “at Parramatta,” the first non-missionary to do so.At Paihia on 17 May 1830 Alexander Gray was married by Rev. William Williams to Kotiro Hinerangi of Ngati Ruanui, a Taranaki tribe. Their children James, Alexander and Margaret were baptised later the same year. Two more daughters, Mary Sophia and Jane Maria, were born subsequently. But Gray and his wife quarrelled continually and later separated. Some of the children were brought up at Tauranga by Rev. Chapman and his wife Ann. Their daughter Sophia Gray (1832-1911) became the famous Guide Sophia, who witnessed the eruption at Tarawera. Her portrait painted by Gottfried Lindauer was in the Auckland City Art Gallery. C.F. Goldie also sketched and painted her. Descendants of Alexander Gray said he was believed to have come from Aberdeen.

Alexander Grey is amongst the list of contributors to the building fund of Christ Church Kororareka in 1834.