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About Gurney - New Zealand UK
Before I begin, as with all Genealogical Trees, accuracy in relationships and dates is and always  will be a problem, the information I have placed in and amongst this tree to all intents and  purposes is/are correct, however I can be easily persuaded (and have been on a number of  occasions) 
 to make alterations to any entry that you feel needs "a little tidy up", and as this is an ongoing  work in progress, things can change at any time

The recording of Family Trees, family connections, parents brothers sisters uncles aunts cousins  etc is called Genealogy, in the Maori kingdom we call it, Whakapapa

My tree is mainly concerned with the following family names, GURNEY, ENRIGHT, SHELFORD, ROBINSON,  HANSEN & HERBERT - and as with all other trees there is a multitude of other family names  sprinkled thruout.

Through the investigations of my distant cousin John Dawson in the UK I have been able to  positively identify our Gurney connections back to Benjamin Gurney born in Winwick,  Northamptonshire in 1748.... The links I have created prior to Benjamin I have gathered from a  number of other websites plus letters and emails sent to me over many years

Some years ago John wrote to my mother (no doubt to other Gurneys in NZ as well) listing a number  of Gurneys in the UK and asked if we were related to any of them - Mum had no interest in  Genealogy 
 so she gave me the letter - I read thru it and didnt recognise any of the names so I filed it away  in all of my other Genealogy documents (luckily!)

Some years later again I was going thru my collections and came across Johns letter, after re- reading it, to my excitement I now recognised some of the names, as thru my own investigations and  ongoing searches, my tree had long since grown substantially since he wrote to mum! the rest is as  they say, history
 Some years later Cherie and I went up to the UK (and France) and on a trip up into Northern Wales  where Cherie wanted to say "Hello" to a friend we made a surprise visit to John, we have been  exchanging Xmas cards ever since

It was always my belief that we descended from yet another Benjamin, a son of John and Elizabeth  Gurney, one of the founding families of the Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers,  however John has pointed out the errors of my ways, and I will be updating his information to the  tree as and when time permits, in the meantime the tree is available to anyone who wishes to  peruse 
 it, and the background music - "Take a Chance on Me" - says it all really, dont you think?

It is from the above John and Elizabeth that the great Norfolk Gurney Dynasty began

So, that said, lets begin, the name, Gurney, originates from Normandy France  
 When William the Duke of Normandy invaded England in 1066 to claim the English Throne, one of his  followers was a Norman Baron known as Hugo, he came from Gournai en Brai which is approx 60 miles  north of Paris, history records that Hugo owned 30 miles in all directions when he stood in the  centre of his domain
 When the conquering Normans settled thruout England, they quickly learned that the local  inhabitants had first and last names as in John Smith and not just John etc, so they named them  selves similarly, with most (if they hadn't already done so) naming themselves after the territory  that they came from or controlled back in Normandy (or France, Brittany, Belgium, Italy etc  because 
 they weren't all Normans)

For his loyalty to Duke William, Hugo was granted large areas of land in Norfolk and Suffolk, Hugo  (who is mentioned in "The Roll of Battle Abbaye") called himself, Hugo de Gournai, meaning  Hugo from or of Gournai, then over the years the name Gournai changed and had a variety of  spellings, de Gournai, de Gournay, de Gourney, Gournay etc eventually becoming "anglicised" to  what 
 it is today, plain old Gurney.

The Abbey, was erected on the orders of William to commemorate his famous victory over the usurper  to the English throne, Harold Godwinson who was the son and supporter of the pirate and coastal  village plunderer, Godwin, the Earl of Wessex!

Harsh words I hear you say, however what you have to take into consideration when discussing the  English throne is, how did anyone become its King

By physical might, power and influence over and amongst the Witenagemot more commonly called,  Witans. This group of powerful nobles etc alone decided who would be their King, as in those long  off days there was no such thing as hereditary title to it, you either fought for it, or gained it  at the behest of that group, and Harold Godwinson, who reneged on a promise to the Duke of  Normandy, William, that he would support his (Williams) right to the throne, had the Witans support

Unfortunately for Harold, he held the throne for less that 10 months, being soundly defeated in  what is now historically called, The Battle of Hastings. That battle lasted less than a day and  was 
 the last time that England was successfully invaded

The Abbyes first community, was a society of Benedictine Monks, who not only prayed for those who  had died in the battle but also created a record known as, "The Roll of Battle Abbaye"

The "Roll of Battle Abbaye" is a cornerstone in feudal English genealogy as well as an extremely  interesting and controversial record, it contains the names of several hundred of the noble  companions of William the Conqueror, it records the origins of each companion and his relationship  to William, plus a description of the baronies and estates in England bestowed upon and granted to  them by William for their services and loyalty to him. It is thus the very first document in  Norman-
 English genealogy and the foundation of both spurious and authentic claims of Norman ancestry

Gournai is a French word generally meaning, "muddy swamp" or something along those lines, and  to "pull a gurney" is to make a grotesque face, they have "gurney" competitions in the UK and I  think the USA
 There have been many Gurneys of note, probably the most written about are the above mentioned  Quaker Gurneys of Norfolk England, of which one was, Elizabeth Gurney, she married and became,  Elizabeth Fry

The Gurneys were a philanthropic English family of bankers and Wool merchants living in Norwich,  Norfolk which has been the headquarters of the Gurney family since 1665, the majority of whom  were, 
 like their founder, Quakers.

Here in 1770 the brothers John and Henry Gurney founded the Bank of Norwich, the business  eventually passing in 1779 to Henry's son, Bartlett Gurney. On the death of Bartlett in 1802 the  bank became the property of three of his cousins, one of whom was John Gurney (1750-1809)    
 Johns son Samuel Gurney, assumed on his father's death control of the Norwich Bank. At about  the same time he also took control of the London bill broking business of Richardson, Overend &  Company. This business had been founded in 1800 by Thomas Richardson, clerk to a London bill- discounter, and John Overend, chief clerk in the bank of Smith, Payne & Company at Nottingham, the  Gurney family supplying the capital.

The title of the firm was subsequently changed to Overend Gurney & Company, and for forty years it  was the greatest discounting-house in the world.

During the financial crisis of 1825, Overend Gurney & Company were able to make short loans to  many 
 other bankers. The house indeed became known as "the bankers' banker," and secured many of the  previous clients of the Bank of England.

Samuel Gurney died in 1856, and in 1865 the business of Overend Gurney & Company, which had come  under less competent control, was converted into a joint stock company, but in 1866 the firm  suspended payment with liabilities amounting to eleven million pounds sterling (the equivalent in  2008 pounds, an incredible 981 million!!) out of that disaster was born, Barclays Bank

Goldsworthy Gurney, invented the first steam driven car, he was turned down for funding by the  then 
 Government who decided instead to invest in a railway system created and designed by George  Stephenson, and so the first public train service was born, as we all know history records that  the 
 train was named, Stephenson's Rocket
 Sir Richard Gurney (he changed his name to Gurnard, which is the fish that adorns the top of the  Gurney Coat of Arms) became Lord Mayor of London, unfortunately he supported the wrong Members of  the divided Royal Family and paid for his loyalty by spending a little time in the Tower of London!  
 Sir Thomas de Gournay, along with John Maltravers and William de Ogle, were the murderers of King  Edward II on the orders of Queen Isobella, who had an adulterous affair with Roger Mortimer (note:  not with William Wallace as Braveheart would have it!!!)

de Gournay escaped to Spain, but was eventually recognised, captured and sent back to England,  however he never made it back, the journey home was a long drawn out affair (on purpose?) and he  died after a long and protracted "illness" at Bayonne in France

History records de Gournay as being "a man of a savage and cruel disposition" and a long standing  partisan of Queen Isobella and the Mortimer's, he along with Maltravers and de Ogle "exercised  every sort of cruel and insulting indignity upon their King, including forcing him to ride from  town to town barely clad and preventing him from sleeping, giving him unwholesome food, hoping  that 
 the severity of the weather and malnourishment might hasten his departure from the living"

The King however refused to succumb to their torments and deprivations, whereupon de Gournay,  Maltravers and de Ogle proceeded to suffocate him and "thrust a red hot poker into his bowels"  Edwards agonising screams could be heard thruout the castle, but none came to his rescue,  preferring instead to "pray for his departing soul"

The following poem is the record of his death

Mark the year, and mark the night
 When Severn shall re-echo with affright
 The shrieks of death thru Berkeley's roofs that ring
 Shrieks of an agonizing King
 She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs
 That tears the bowels of thy mangled mate
 And so the Plantagenet King Edward II of England, died in Berkeley Castle at Severn, supposedly on  the orders of his French wife, Queen Isobella

See the story re the Murder of King Edward at the bottom of this page

Thankfully the de Gournay name was reinstated into the Royal Court by Edward III, the son of  Edward 
 II, the bearer of the family name was none other than Sir Thomas' son, Sir Matthew de Gournay

Sir Matthew assisted at all the great battles of King Edward III and the Kings son, Edward The  Black Prince, interestingly Sir Matthew married Alice Beauchamp a grand-daughter of Roger  Mortimer! 
 Sir Matthew died in the year 1406 at the grand old age of 96!  
 Upon King Edward III orders, Maltravers was pardoned, Mortimer was beheaded, his mother, Queen  Isobella, spent the rest of her life in imprisonment, de Ogle was last witnessed in a dishevelled  state wandering the streets in Saxony, (Germany)

The great Essex Knight, Gerard de Gournai, who went on the 1st Crusade to Jerusalem, was a great  great grandson, of the above mentioned Hugo de Gournai, Gerard married Editha de Warrenne, who was  one of King Williams grand-daughters, thru Williams daughter, Princess Gundred, and her marriage  to 
 William de Warrenne, the Earl of Surrey

The marriage of Gerard to Editha links the House of Gurney to the Royal Families of England,  France 
 and greater Europe, Gerard never made it back home from the crusades, he died, "defending the  faith" in the deserts of The Holy Land

The St John Ambulance Brigade grew out of those very same crusades by way of the organization  known 
 as, The Knights Hospitaller, who were a group of concerned Monks, Knights and others who cared for  those crusading pilgrims (and others) who dared to journey to the Holy Lands, and who fell ill or  were injured in those great conflicts of religious wars

Interestingly we have never decided who was right and who was wrong, because we are still having  the same argument 900 odd years later!!!!!!

Back to the St John Ambulance.

The world recognised symbol (flag) of the Order of St John, is the white on black, eight pointed  Maltese Star

I mention this in relation to Gerard de Gournai and his Crusading efforts, and those of our  cousins, Vic and Royston Gurney of Kohukohu in the Hokianga, New Zealand. Both brothers were major  financial benefactors to the local Order of the St John Ambulance Brigade and were hard driving  forces of its continuation and services to that Northern area of New Zealand.

When cousin Vic died, the Brigade honoured him by draping over his coffin, that very same eight  pointed Maltese Star flag of the Order of St John, the pity of it is, that neither Vic nor Royston  knew anything of the links between Gerard's family in England, (or the Norman Conquerors) and  those 
 of us "down under", in little old New Zealand

How fitting tho, that a Gurney, should have such a great honour, 900+ years later!

For those of you in the USA, you have the notable car racing driver and Team owner Dan Gurney, and  you have a "gurney", a hospital bed on wheels

Now back to New Zealand, I call my tree The Gurney Whanau, the term Whanau, is Maori, its meaning  is "family" and everything that that term entails, it includes and covers not only blood relatives  but also marriages and other links into other families.

For instance, my sisters husbands mothers uncles and/or aunties children's children, are normally  (sometimes are, but not always) not considered to be "family" in the English tradition, but when  referred to in a Maori way, such relationships are covered to a much wider extent, and we call it,  Whanau, pronounced - far nar oo - or more commonly - farnow - as in far cow - pronounce it like  that and you've near enough got it

Our Maori connections come to us thru our great great great grandmother, Haerehau Hinepounamu  Ngaropi, who came from the Ngati Ruanui Iwi of the Taranaki area and their Hapu (sub tribes) of,  Ngati Tanewai and Ngati Tupaea.  Thru her marriage to Mukai Te Paenga of the Arawa Iwi, we get his  Hapu of Ngati Rangiwewehi and Ngati Tapuika of the greater Waikato/Rotorua areas

So we are, Taranaki and Arawa, and by capture we are Ngapuhi, which is a story in itself

Their daughter, our great great grandmother, Iritana Te Mukai Paenga, married ex British soldier,  Oliver Edward Shelford, while Iritana's cousin, Roka Mataura (whose ancestry begins with the great  Maori navigator, Turi) married, William Robinson.

Iritana and Oliver's daughter, Maraea, married Roka and Williams son, James, who in turn gave us  our Grandmother, Jane Robinson

There appears to be no positive proof, but most of us believe that Iritana and Roka were either  sisters or cousins, they were at the very least of the same Iwi (Maori tribe) living in the  Taranaki area.

Older Genealogists of the Shelford/Robinson connection, tell us that the girls were part of a  large 
 group that were captured (as above) by the pillaging and plundering Ngapuhi people (as they were  want to do on the odd occassion!) from the Hokianga Northland area, and taken back to live in that  tribes northern lands, at the time the girls were approx 14yrs of age

There are others (not many) who believe the girls were indeed, Ngapuhi, but if that were so, why  then did Iritana insist on being buried in Taranaki, taking into account that most, not all, but  most Maori prefer to be "taken home" after their death, and indeed most of them often return home  while still in the land of the living, to await deaths arrival

Iritana was eventually given by her Ngapuhi captors to the local Methodist Minister, Nathanial  Turner and his wife Ruth, to be a part of their domestic help.

The Turners were, after their New Zealand work, Methodist or Wesleyan Missionaries thruout the Sth  Pacific Islands, Tahiti, Society (Cook) Islands being the main ones. A number of Shelford and  Robinson connections also became Wesleyan Ministers, notable amongst them being, Oriwa Shelford  and 
 Tahu Opotiki Hadden, who married into the Shelford family

It was thru the work of Tahu that most of the whakapapa or genealogical records for our foundation  Maori families were handed down to us 
 There are some who believe that the name Iritana is the Maori translation of, Ruth Turner, Iri  being Ruth and Tana being Turner, couple that with genealogical records in that the name Iritana  doesn't appear to be in any tree before our Iritana, (there are many appearing after) and who  knows, maybe its correct, Iritana = Ruth Turner

I have chosen the background colours for our TribalPages Family Tree because it looks like  Pounamu, 
 which is the Maori word for Greenstone, more commonly known around the World as, Jade.  Our Maori  connections place great value and significance in this stone, not only will it bring good luck to  the holder, but those who wear (or hold) it will always have strong links to the land (Whenua) and  its people (Tangata)

There is a strong tradition amongst Maori (and I am a firm believer) that the stone has its  greatest value when it is freely given, rather than purchased for ones own use and/or adornment

So it is in that way that I give it you, the Genealogy/Whakapapa researcher/reader - may it bring  you good luck in your search for your own Whanau/Family - who knows what you might find  behind "The 
 Green Door" - let me know if we are Cuzzies!!!!!

In ancient times most Maori were only given one name - as in John but not John Smith - and because  the TribalPages genealogy program doesn't allow for the recording of people without last and/or  first names, (unless either are entered as "unknown") you will note that I have inserted the Maori  word "te" in lower case, in front of their Maori family name

The English translation of "te" means - the (singular) - so my "te" in front of their last name  literally means they are (or were) the only one with that name - so to recap - their first name is  the only one they had - the family name I have given them is the same as their first but with the  addition of the "te" - hope that explains it, as I have no wish to record any Maori as unknown!   
 Our European connections are from Norway, England, Ireland and Italy

Our mums dad, Ole Kristian Hansen, came from Larvik a town in the County of Vestfold, in southern  Norway, of which one of its notable sons (other than our Grandad naturally!) was the great  navigator and adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl, of Kon Tiki fame no less!.

Dads Pakeha (white man!) grandparents, Arthur Edmund and Emma Gurney, came from England, whilst  mums great grandparents, Michael and Ellen (Helen) Enright, came from Ireland, our Italian  connection comes thru mums grandfather, John Williams, of which there is an interesting story, and  from his wife, Mary Holland, who also came from England
 Arthur Edmund and Emma Gurney arrived in New Zealand with their 2 sons William Frank and Herbert  aboard the Sailing Ship "Lady Jocelyn", in 1889, one of the few sailing ships to travel all the  way 
 from England to New Zealand without making another landfall
 Our side of the Gurneys descend from their son Herbert and his marriage to Jane Robinson.

The Enrights arrived in New Zealand from South Africa in 1864, aboard the sailing  ship "Steinwarder", they had originally migrated from Ireland with 250+ others to Cape Town, South  Africa some time during 1860 (after the great potato famine?)  Things didn't work out for these  families in Sth Africa, so they all moved on to New Zealand

Granddad Hansen arrived in New Zealand c1906, the story he told his family was that he was an able  bodied seaman aboard the SS "America", he was known to be onboard when it sailed, but no records  exist to tell us how he re-entered NZ, the story he told his family was that he jumped overboard  and swam back to Auckland somewhere off North Head, Devonport, in other words, he was a ships  deserter!

Ole Kristian Hansen married May Emileen Enright and during WWI both had to report every day to the  local Constable in Onehunga.   The reason for that lay in the fact that grandad Hansen, being  of Norwegian extraction, was classed as an "alien" during that great conflict, and because May  Emileen had married him, she also, was classed as an "alien", poor grandma, an alien in her own  country!!!!!!

The Holland family arrived in New Zealand on the 5th February 1855, more detail of that family can  be found in the notes for, William Holland
 Back to John Williams.... the story goes that he and his brother were deserters from the Italian  Army, late c1840ish, both travelled half way round the Planet to hide in little old New Zealand,  good place to hide, where could be further from Italy?

His name was, Giuseppe Constanza, he changed his name to plain old, John Williams, whilst his  brother Carlos Vincenta Constanza, changed his name to Charles Constance, we believe they came  from 
 Sorrento, Italy

At the bottom of this page there is a very user friendly Google Map - if its not then go to Google  maps - http://maps.google.com - type in - Crick Rd, West Haddon, Northampton NN6, United Kingdom

Drag the map straight down (go up in other words) and you will see a little village called, Winwick

Zoom in to Winwick to the 4 road junction, take the road leading off to the left, go past the  silver coloured car till you sight a red coloured car parked in a courtyard, the building is the  old school that our Gurneys attended

Just above the school is the local church, where there are lots of Gurneys buried in its cemetery,  including that of our Great Great Great Grandfather, Herod Gurney

Now type in Chatham Street, Norwich - zoom in to the end of the road where you will see a red car  and a blue car - to their right and above where they are parked is what looks like a small forest -  
 under that canopy of trees is the Gildencroft Quaker Cemetery - there you will find most of the  Norfolk Gurneys dating back to the early 1700s - rows and rows of Gurney headstones -  unfortunately 
 the headstones record their names birth and death dates - there are no relationships recorded on  any headstone - a Quaker thing I guess

Find our place - enter - 14 Bond Crescent, Forrest Hill, North Shore, NZ - you will need to zoom  in - that's us with the dark silver roof surrounded by trees and a red roofed garage in front

Zoom in to anywhere on the Planet and who knows what you will find, find your place, see if you  are 
 out on the front lawn having a beer!

Check out my "Useful Links" at the bottom of the page


Gil Gurney
 New Zealand

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Getting Around
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