Descendants of Henry and Emma Wiffin have met in Dannevirke to celebrate their heritage, 150 years after their ancestors from England landed at Deliverance Cove, Castlepoint.

On, or about September 19, 1867, Henry and Emma with their two boys, William and Robert, landed at Castlepoint through the gap into the cove.

"It seems Henry first worked for a builder, a Mr Groves, who was putting up farm buildings on Mr T Guthrie's sheep station at Castlepoint," descendant Niven Ball of Taradale said.

"Henry then worked for a farmer so he could learn farming methods in New Zealand."

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Henry then drew a ballot for a farm at Wimbledon, inland from Herbertville, 70km east of Dannevirke.

Pioneers, The Wiffin family, Mary, left, Robert (Bob), Emma and Henry. Front, Emma senior, with Mary's first child Mary's first child, Muriel.
Pioneers, The Wiffin family, Mary, left, Robert (Bob), Emma and Henry. Front, Emma senior, with Mary's first child Mary's first child, Muriel.

There, he and his family settled.

Sadly, at 16, William became ill and died from meningitis.

The family grew as two more girls were born to the couple - Mary who married Richard Ball and Emma who married George Carmichael.

Robert (Bob) married Florence Daly and bought land in the Ngapaeruru Valley 24km east of Dannevirke, off the Weber Rd, and he and his family of four settled there.

Emma and George Carmichael purchased their farm in the same vicinity, bordering Bob Wiffin's farm.

On the weekend of September 23-24, a family reunion of the descendants of Henry and Emma was held at the Dannevirke Services and Citizens' Club.

Descendents also visited a family grave at the Mangatera Cemetery and the old Wiffin farm at Herbertville.

"Members of the families of Bob, Mary, and Emma met to honour those of our family who have gone before," Mr Ball said.

"Those who struggled and sacrificed and whose efforts and perseverance in extremely difficult circumstances, have meant that we as a family now live in a land of peace and prosperity."

Mary Wiffin married Niven's grandfather, Richard Ernest Ball, who worked for the family for a few years, and their four children were born at Wimbledon.

They lived with Henry and Emma until 1902/3, when Richard had a house built in Dunedin and the family moved there.