Hello from New Zealand
The family history is that my great, great grandfather John Jebson, a mines engineer, born near Wakefield Yorkshire on 1 Jan 1819 emigrated to New Zealand in 1862 at the age of 43 after being blacklisted in England for publicly challenging the findings of the enquiry into the 1857 Lundhill mining disaster. Apparently he had argued from engineering considerations that mine owners negligence was to blame for the disaster.
He subsequently established coal mines and farms in Canterbury New Zealand and named the towns of Darfield and Sheffield in the South Island. I grew up on the family farm at Sheffield. I' m a fifth generation kiwi and the Jebson family has now been in New Zealand 150 years.
Has anyone got any documentary evidence concerning John's actions in England that would provide more information about what his role was before he emigrated?
Sheffield, New Zealand - Originally known as Malvern, and then like Darfield, named after its Yorkshire namesake by settler John Jebson, this is a farming settlement of about 150 people.
MR. JOHN JEBSON, sometime of Sheffield, was born on the 1st of January, 1819, at Flockton, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, and went to work in the coal mines, when he was five years old, for four-pence a day. He attended night school and acquired a fair share of education, soon rising above his fellows. Ultimately he became a mining engineer, and received appointments as mine manager in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and acted in that capacity for many years, during which period he successfully sank several shafts.
He came to New Zealand in 1862 in the ship "Zealandia," (Captain Foster), and is said to have bored the first artesian well in the Colony. Mr. Jebson supervised the construction of the telegraph between Lyttelton and Christchurch, and erected the first telegraph line to the West Coast, Greymouth, and Hokitika.
He brought the first team of horses to Sheffield, which cost £100 in Christchurch, and were purchased for the Kowai Coal Mining Company, which held three mining leases in the district.
Mr. Jebson was appointed manager to the company, and under his directions, a bore was put down which struck coal, which is still being worked. When the company surrendered its lease, he took it up and worked the mine for twenty years. He cultivated the first crop of oats in the district, and carried on agricultural and pastoral farming on the reserves.
Mr. Jebson was the first chairman of the East Malvern Road Board, and was a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council during 1874–6. He was on the school committee, of which he was chairman for ten years, and was the promoter of the first Methodist church in the district, in which he was local preacher for many years. He was married in England in 1839 to Miss Haigh, who died in 1886, leaving six sons and three daughters. Mr. Jebson survived his wife by about fourteen years.
Information from - The Cyclopedia Of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District] Old Colonists