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Preece family

Country of Origin: England
Original Area in NZ: Bay of Islands
Sources: Paperspast

Details: James grew up in Kingstone, Herefordshire and married fellow missionary Mary Ann Williams at Kerikeri on the 25th of January 1833.

Obituary Daily Southern Cross, 29 December 1870,
We regret to notice in our obituary column the announcement of the death of Mr. James Preece, a very old and much-respected settler in the colony. Mr. Preece came out as a missionary in. connection with the Church Mission Society, and landed at the Bay of Islands in August, 1829. He continued to reside there in that capacity until 1833, when he removed to the Thames district, on Christmas-day, and established a mission station at Puriri, where he was afterwards joined by Messrs. Wilson and Morgan. After a few years, he removed to Kauwaeranga (Shortland), where he remained until 1847, when he volunteered to go as a missionary to the Urewera country. He took up bis station at Ahikereru in that year, and laboured in the district until 1856, making six circuits every year, in a mountainous and almost unknown country. At length he succumbed to the severe trials and vicissitudes, and was obliged to retire. Broken down in health, he returned to the Thames district, taking up his residence at Coromandel. ' During his time there, he exerted himaelf to the utmost for the advancement of the district, and, being, a J.P., he rendered himself useful in administering justice. He was universally respected, and had gained the confidence of both Europeans and natives. He expired on the 25th instant, the 37th anniversary of his arrival in the district, the 42nd year of his arrival in the colony, and the 69th year of his age. He was buried on the 27th instant, when every mark of respect was shown to his memory, the sports being postponed. He was buried at Kapanga, the funeral being attended by almost all the inhabitants of the district.

Eight of the Preece children survived to adulthood.

Family story and pictures.

Mrs Kenderdine's obituary