Our Matauri Pepeha
Ko Whakarara te Maunga
Ko Matauri te Moana
Ko Tapui te Marae
Ko Ngati Kura te Hapu
Ko Ngapuhi te wharenui me nga iwi.
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Tamati Ho te Tangata
This family tree is the descendants of Riria Kawhe also known as Lydia Riria Coffee or Lydia Riria Kawhe or Rihia (as you'll see through those that were named after her). Riria was born in Karangaroa in the Chatham Islands to James Jack Coffee an Irish immigrant who was sent to the colonies for 'bleeding a cow'. He was sentenced to 7 years in the then new penal colony in Sydney Australia. In those days the act of bleeding a cow was to mix it with oatmeal to feed the family. James was only 22 years old. One can only imagine leaving your whole world behind knowing that you'll never see your loved ones back home. James had various relationships with his first to a Moori Ori woman. He had no issue to her as she died a few months after they wed. It is said that James buried his first wife in the sand dunes of Kaingaroa in the Chatham Islands. His next marriage was to Rutera, a Maori woman from Taranaki who he had a son to. His name was Epiha Coffee/Kawhe. This marriage was not to last as he married his 3rd and last wife, a Ngati Mutunga Maori woman by the name of Wikitoria Patea. They were married after all 6 of their children were born as it is recorded in the church archives on the Chatham Islands that the children were baptised into the Church of England faith at the same time.
For those of you family members that I have given access too, you are able to amend/change or add family to your own direct lines or immediate family. Please put in birth dates, death dates, marriage or divorce dates as well. I apologise in advance if there are mistakes made - I am only human please amend the mistake if you can, if your not able to please send me a message with the correct information and I will change it for you. If your able to please upload photographs of yourselves, spouses and children and mokopuna as well so we can all see what our relatives look like.
Wikitoria had two daughters to a previous marriage when she wed her cousin. Katareina being the first, followed by Mereana. Their fathers name is Te Haurangi. Katareina married Pamariki Raumoa and Mereana married a Shepherd.
With the marriage of Wikitoria and James Coffee there were 6 children 4 girls - Riria, Parekaiuru, Hariata and Apia and twin sons Tahana and Arapeta. I will endeavour to add our distant relatives onto this site at a later date so that we all can see the various lines we connect to from Taranaki to Wharekauri.
After the 1860s James Coffee changed his name to Kawhe so in some papers he is referred to as Haki Kawhe or Hemi Kawhe. I hope you enjoy scrolling around and seeing the names of our vast family. Riria was truly blessed to have had one son who was the founder of all of us.
Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa.
Kani Epiha (6th generation descendant of Riria Kawhe)