Given names: 
Given address: 
Brookside Parnell
Sheet No: 12

Biography contributed by Annaida Varghese 

Amelia Matson neé Channing, was born in 1826 in Heavitree, Devon, England. She was the daughter of George Channing, a mason and builder and Susannah Channing. She was christened on 12 February 1826 and appears to be the youngest of at least five children.

According to the English census records of 1841, shows Amelia working as a dressmaker’s apprentice. She is thought to have arrived in New Zealand between 1852 and 1857. On 12 March 1857 Amelia Channing married Major Henry Matson at St Mark’s, Remuera, Auckland. Major Matson was a resident of Brookside, Parnell.

Amelia had one daughter with Henry in 1858, named her Amelia. Major Matson was elected as a warden of the Auckland Hundred in 1851. This keen interest in local body politics may have motivated his young wife to be a part of local politics later in her life. Henry Matson passed away in 1867, leaving all his property to his young wife. Amelia and her daughter lived on Manukau Street in Parnell and managed a few properties around Parnell left by her departed husband.

Amelia’s attendance and interest in local councils and municipal welfare was observed by many.  This led to her being nominated to run for the Parnell Borough Council. Though unsuccessful in three elections from 1892-1893, she was determined to run and finally got elected. In 1894, she was successful in becoming a councillor with 244 votes. However, her health started deteriorating due to a bronchial infection in 1895. She continued to pursue local affairs, being appointed as the commissioner of the Parnell sinking fund in 1897. She resigned from all duties in 1897 due to her weakening condition.  

Amelia Matson died on 29 April 1898 and was laid to rest with her husband at the St Stephens cemetery in Parnell. Her tombstone reads: 'Sacred to the Memory of AMELIA MATSON Wife of the late Major Matson, H.M. 58th Regt, Who Died 29th April 1898'.

Amelia in her will left all that she had for her only daughter, Amelia Matson Boord, who was married to Septimus Boord.


Ancestry. New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981 

Find my past. 1826 Amelia Channing, Devon Baptism record set 

Find my past. Parish Baptisms in Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records for Topsham and Heavitree, Devon, England 

Ancestry. 1841 England Census for Amelia Channing, Heavitree, Devon 

Papers Past. “Married” New Zealander, volume 13, issue 1138, 14 March 1857, page 2

Pearls Pad. Burial, Baptism and Marriage Indexes

Kura Auckland Libraries. Auckland Hundred- election comment 1850, index card

Ancestry. Henry Matson, Australia and New Zealand, Find a Grave Index, 1800s-current 

Ancestry. Amelia Matson, Australia and New Zealand, Find a Grave Index, 1800s-current 

Family Search. Henry Matson 1867, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998

Family Search. Amelia Matson 1898, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998

Papers Past. “Results of the polling.” Auckland Star, volume xxiii, issue 215, 9 September 1892, page 2

Papers Past. “Page 5 Advertisements Column 6.” Auckland Star, volume xxiii, issue 294, 10 December 1892, page 5

Papers Past. “The Evening Star.” Auckland Star, volume xxiv, issue 14, 18 January 1893, page 4

Papers Past. “Results of the polling.” Auckland Star, volume xxiv, issue 219, 15 September 1893, page 3

Papers Past. “Local governing bodies.” Auckland Star, volume xxv, issue 237, 4 October 1894, page 5

Papers Past. “Table Talk.” Auckland Star, volume xxvi, issue 157, 10 June 1895, page 1

Papers Past. “European Disarmament.” Auckland Star, volume xxviii, issue 65, 19 March 1897, page 2

Papers Past. “Deaths.” Auckland Star, volume xxix, issue 101, 30 April 1898, page 8

Garner, Bruce Le Grange. “Parish registers in New Zealand.” 2 NZL BDM, Auckland Libraries.

National Library. Records “Amelia Matson 1826-1898.”

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

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