Given names: 
Given address: 
Dome Valley
Sheet No: 379
Dome Valley
Auckland region

Biography contributed by Bernadette Siebert

Esther Phillips is the wife of Joseph Phillips. The ship Whirlwind arrived in Auckland on 16 July 1859 from London. Among its passengers were Joseph and Esther Phillips, Charles and Elizabeth Phillips, and Robert Phillips. The men were brothers and some of the sons of Mark and Elizabeth nee Langton of Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire, England. They were followed in later years by brothers Isaac and Ann Phillips who arrived in 1861 via Melbourne and finally by Horby and Elizabeth Phillips in 1883. After their arrival the Phillips brothers went to work clearing bush in the Dome Valley, north of Auckland. Soon they were settled on their own land in an area of the Dome Valley called Phillipsville, and later to be known as Streamlands.

Joseph Phillips was born in 1833 in Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire, the seventh child. In Lincolnshire he married Esther Coulam in February 1859, just before they emigrated to NZ. They had six children in thirteen years, registered in Mahurangi, near Warkworth and all lived to adulthood.

  • Joseph Coulam (1860-1897)
  • Samuel Horby (1863-1911)
  • Mary Ann (1864-1938)
  • Esther (1866-1932)
  • Elizabeth Jane (Betsy) (1868-1893)
  • Henry James (1873-1897)

The family lived in Korowhero, Dome Valley where Joseph was a farmer. They were involved in the community, on the School Committees, Road Boards and exhibited at area agricultural shows.  In 1890 the newspapers reported an accident involving Joseph’s horse and trap. The harness gave way, the trap overturned and both shafts were broken. The paper blamed it on the very bad state of the road was in a very bad state. Not much can have been done because Joseph and 66 others presented a petition in 1905 for the improvement of the road from Warkworth to the Kaipara Flats.

In mid-April 1914, the newspaper reported while visiting Auckland, 'he [Joseph] was walking outside his nephew’s place when he slipped and broke one of his legs. The fact that he is over eighty years of course accentuates the seriousness of the mishap.' He was sent to the Auckland General Hospital in mid-April 1914 where he died on the 25th. His body was brought back to Warkworth on the night steamer. He had made a will two weeks before he died, leaving everything – the house, outbuildings, livestock and parcels of land in Korowhero to his daughter Esther. His wife Esther was to have 40 pounds per annum, and after her death the money was to go to daughter Mary Ann. He was buried in the Kourawhero/Old Kaipara Flats Cemetery.

Esther died a few years later in 1917 aged 85 years and is buried with him.

Esther is the mother of Betsy J Phillips #379 on the petition


The Farm at Black Hills by Beverley Forrester (pub 2015)

NZ Herald 9 Oct 1890

NZ Herald 4 Aug 1905

Rodney & Otamatea Times 15 Apr 1914

Rodney & Otamatea Times 29 Apr 1914

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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