Maria Ann Wyeth

Maria was born in Wellington on 14 December 1844 the eldest daughter and 3rd child of Robert and Jane Wyeth. She was baptised at St Paul's Wellington on 23 March 1844.

Maria was married on 8 October 1865 at St James Church River Hutt. The notice read "Issac Sykes, 22, Carrier, Batchelor to Maria Ann Wyeth, 21, Spinster". the officiating Minister was John Herring and witnesses William Sykes, Hutt; Sarah Jane Wyeth; Elizabeth Jane Sykes; Mary Hall; John Poad, Blacksmith, Hutt:

Issac was born in 1843 in the Hutt. He was the son of George and Jane (nee Child) Sykes.

Isaac's occupation was at various times recorded as Farmer, Dealer, and Butcher.

Isaac was taking a load of timber to Wellington, crossing one of the fords in Hutt River, when his wagon capsized. He was rescued after being pinned in the water for some hours. As a result he caught pneumonia and died on 15 April 1871 at Upper Hutt. His death notice said 'after a long and painful illness.' He was  buried in the Churchyard of Christ's Church Taita in the same plot as his Father, Mother, and daughter Annie.



George and Jane Sykes

George Sykes son of Isaac Sykes[1] and Ann Simpson[2] was born in Yorkshire, in 1815.He married Jane, born 1823, daughter of Joseph Child[3] and Mary Beveridge on 28 October 1839. They emigrated to New Zealand in the ship "Bolton" with George's brother William and his wife Elizabeth, who was Jane's sister, arriving in Wellington on the 21 April 1840. George, Jane and their family were one of the families who had attempted to leave New Zealand after the 1848 earthquakes on the ill-fated barque Subraon. It was Jane who George Robert referred to as Granny Sykes as he recounted the sinking of the ship and the decision of the Sykes and Wyeth families to remain in New Zealand. George later owned the land to the north of Robert Wyeth at Silver Stream. After the Silver Stream flood in 1858 George purchased the land on the northern side of the opening of Stokes Valley. In later years he purchased a number of properties in the area behind Silverstream and in the area of the present Silverstream township. Their children were.

Elizabeth Jane Sykes, b. Abt 1842, Wellington, d. 14 Jun 1872, Mataikona, Wairarapa

Isaac Sykes, b. 30 Dec 1843, The Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wellington d. 15 Apr 1871, Upper Hutt, Wellington

William Joseph Sykes, b. 04 Sep 1849, Wellington

George Sykes, b. 22 Sep 1851, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand, d. 26 Jul 1906

Robert Sykes, b. 13 Jun 1853, Wellington City, Wellington, New Zealand, d. Abt 1854

James Sykes, b. 01 Apr 1855, Wellington City, Wellington, New Zealand

Hannah Sarah Sykes, b. 10 Sep 1857, Silverstream, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand, d. Abt 1895, New Zealand

Henry Sykes, b. 19 Feb 1860, Silverstream, Upper Hutt, Wellington

George and Jane both died in the Hutt. George in 1873 aged 61, and Jane in 1893 aged 70

The following is a transcription of Isaac's will as recorded in the records of the Land Transfer Office. Recorded there for the purpose of recording the transfer of his land.

"This is the last Will and Testament of me Isaac Sykes of Upper Hutt in the Province of Wellington in the colony of New Zealand.
First I commend my soul to God my Creator in the faith of Jesus Christ his Son our Saviour.
Second I give and bequeath to my wife Maria Ann Sykes all my property real and personal whatsoever it may be for her sole use and enjoyment until her death and I further will that all my said property be equally divided between my two sons namely George Robert Sykes and Isaac Sykes at the death of their mother the aforesaid Maria Ann Sykes.
Third I appoint John Liverton of the Taita in the Province of Wellington in the Colony of New Zealand the sole executor of this my will to whom I leave my blessing."

The Witnesses were Dan Desbois, Clerk in Holy Orders, and Stephen Smith, Farmer, both of Upper Hutt

Some time after Issac's death Maria moved to Masterton to be with her parents, where she met and on 8 March 1878 was married to Orlando Gorringe

Orlando was born in near Hastings, Sussex in 1832, and had immigrated to New Zealand in 1861.  Orlando was the son of Orlando Gorringe, a wheelwright from Sussex. Orlando junior was a Butcher by trade who farmed at Opaki then Fernridge, he died on 11 December 1888 in Masterton and is buried in Masterton Cemetery.

"In the way of righteous is life, and in the pathway thereof there is no death."

The administrator of Orlando's Estate was James Gregor older brother of William Gregor who was married to Lila youngest daughter of Thomas Wyeth and after her death to Rose youngest daughter of Charles Wyeth[4].

Maria died on 20 July 1920 in Masterton aged 75. Maria is buried in Masterton Cemetery with her 2nd husband Orlando and their daughter Ada Jane.

"A loving wife, a mother dear, a faithful friend, lies buried here."


Annie Maria Jane Sykes

Annie was born in the Hutt on 19 August 1865 eldest child of Maria Ann and Isaac Sykes. She died an infant on 24 November 1866 in the Hutt. She is buried in the churchyard of Christ's Church Taita in the same plot as her father and grandparents.


May Chamberlain and George Sykes

George Robert Sykes

George was born in Trentham on 18 November 1867 the eldest son 2nd child of Maria Ann and Isaac Sykes. George was baptised at St John's Church Trentham on 22 December 1867.

George was married in St Matthew's Church, Masterton on 9 November 1893 to Esther Elizabeth Bishop Murray. 

Esther was born on 2 May 1872 in Adelaide South Australia the daughter of William and Elizabeth Charlotte Watkins (nee Bishop) Murray. 

Esther was the sister of John Lincoln Murray who married Mary Ellen Wyeth, George's Aunt.  Esther died in Nelson on 1 April 1946.

George was at some time a Farmer and later a member of Parliament. All of George and Esther's children were born in Masterton

George died on 23 March 1957 in Masterton and was buried in Archer Street cemetery Masterton. His life is also commemorated on the tombstone of the family plot in the Churchyard of Christ's Church Taita.

George's Family

Cyril George Orlando Sykes

Cyril was born in Masterton on 29 August 1894. He did not marry. Cyril was killed in action on 8 August 1915 at Gallipoli.

Oswald Lincoln (Ossie) Sykes

Ossie was born on 14 December 1895 at Mt Bruce, Masterton. He married Ray Kathleen (Kathleen) Holder in Wanganui in 1923. Kathleen was born in 1899 the daughter of William James and Grace (nee McLeod) Holder. They had 4 children. Ossie died in Masterton on 25 October 1973 and Kathleen in Masterton on 6 October 1999. They are buried in Archer Street Cemetery, Masterton. 

Lawrence Victor Sykes

Lawrence was born on 19 April 1897 in Opaki, Masterton. He died in 14 August 1981 in Nelson.

Edith Ethela Sykes

Ethla was born in Fernridge Masterton on 16 August 1900. She married Percy Thomas (Thomas) Driver in Masterton in 1925. Thomas was born in 1896 in London, England and died on 4 November 1985 in Nelson. Ethla died on 24 Jun 1976 in Nelson. They had 2 children.

Philip Howard Sykes

Phillip was born on 20 August 1908 in Masterton He married Joan Alice Thama Anderson on 9 November 1935 in Harpenden Hertfordshire England. Joan was born on 29 November 1911, in Wellington the daughter of William and May (nee Cuddon) Anderson.

Phillip had a Doctorate in Chemistry. They had 3 children, they lived at 2c Lindfield Gardens, Hampstead, London NW3 6PU. Philip died on 18 August 2007 Perth, Scotland

Esther Margaret Sykes

Esther was born in Masterton in 17 October 1911. She married Clifton T Nalder in Nelson in 1951.Clifton was born on 29 December 1898 the son of Thomas William and Mary (nee McCormack) Nalder. Clifton died in Nelson on 11 August 1970. Esther died of cancer in Nelson on 25 August 1988. Clifton's ashes were buried in Wakapuaka Cemetery Nelson.


Issac Sykes

Issac was born in the Hutt on 23 November 1869 the 2nd son 3rd child of Maria Ann and Isaac Sykes. He was baptised at St John's Church Trentham on 19 December 1869.

Issac married Celina Matilda Maud Chamberlain Celina was born 1 January 1869 the daughter of Giles Edinborough and Penelope Jane (nee Whatton) Chamberlain. Celina is the niece of Samuel Edinborough Chamberlain who married Elizabeth Ann Wyeth Isaac's mother's sister.

Photo of Celina was taken at her father's 80th birthday party in 1918. Celina would have been aged 49.


Giles Edinborough and Penelope Jane Chamberlain

Giles, Penelope, son Thomas, and Niece Lizzie

Giles was born on 31 March 1838 at Preston Capes, Daventry, Northamptonshire the son of Thomas and Sussanah Catherine (nee Bull) Chamberlain. In 1863 he married Penelope Jane Whatton daughter of James Whatton. Their children were

Arthur Joseph Chamberlain, b. Abt 1864, New Zealand, d. Abt 1940, New Zealand

Edith Sussanna Chamberlain, b. Abt 1867, New Zealand, d. Abt 1943, New Zealand

Celina Matilda Maud Chamberlain,   b. 1 Jan 1869, New Zealand, d. 7 Apr 1948, Masterton, Wairarapa

Penelope (Nep) Elizabeth Jane Chamberlain, b. Abt 1871, New Zealand, d. Abt 1956, New Zealand 

Emily Sarah Florence Chamberlain, b. Abt 1873, New Zealand, d. Abt 1875, New Zealand 

Thomas Giles Rufus Chamberlain, b. Abt 1875, New Zealand, d. 15 Jun 1951, New Zealand

Eva Laura Chamberlain, b. Abt 1881, New Zealand, 

Elsie Winifred Chamberlain, b. Abt 1885, New Zealand 

Giles' brother Samuel Edinborough Chamberlain  married Elizabeth Ann Wyeth

Celina was born on 1 January 1869. She died in Masterton on 7 April 1948 aged 79 and is buried in the Pioneer section of Masterton Cemetery.

Between 1894 and 1902 Isaac had bred a flock of Romney Marsh sheep that had won him many prizes in the Masterton Agricultural and Pastoral Show. In 1900-2 he was secretary of the A & P Society at a salary of 244 per year, and in 1902 he received a special bonus of 20. In May of that year he moved to Wellington to live.

In 1907 Isaac was a Sheep Graizer living at Fernridge, Masterton.

Isaac died in Wellington in 1932 and is buried in the Churchyard of Christ's Church Taita in the Family plot.

Isaac's Family

Isaac Giles (Ike) Sykes

Ike was in the Merchant Navy during World War 1 and lost the sight in one eye.

The following is based on of an article "A Life on the high sea" from the Wairarapa Times of 16 October 1985 written by Frakie Webb. A Distinguished and decorated sea captain and soldier Isaac Giles Sykes, whose life began in Masterton in 1892 (on 18 January 1892) and ended here in 1970 (6 May 1970), is to be recognised as a part of New Zealand's national heritage.

Isaac Sykes"Ike" first left the Wairarapa aged 15. His family farmed at Kaituna but Ike had no love of the land and left for the Maritime Academy in Wellington.

He became a paying cadet aboard the Rona in the same year, 1907. His first articles of indentureship are included in the papers left to the Sykes family. Sykes signed up for a four year apprenticeship. For the first year ten shillings a month was his wage which increased to 13 shillings and 4 pence in the second year. In 1911, his appreniceship complete. Sykes disembarked from the Rona in Sydney where he stayed ashore for two months. He spent his time studying for a second mate's certificate and in January 1912 sat for the certificate and passed.

Sykes joined the Jutepolis, which transported case oil for America to the Far East, Australia and the west coast of South America. But the ship was sold and the crew were paid off at Dunkirk. For the next four months he voyaged on the Charlton Hal. The journey took him via New York, around Cape Horn and on to Sydney. Still aboard Charlton Hal he sailed from Sydney to Swansea in Wales.

At Hamburg he was paid off and joined the Milverton, bound for Sydney. The Milverton loaded with general cargo, took him round the Horn again. He arrived in Sydney on August 7, 1914, to discover war had broken out. Sykes immediately tried to join the navy, but twice was turned down, being told that the merchant navy was a reserved occupation.

But the Australian Expeditionary Forces accepted Sykes and in November 1914 he went to Mina Camp, near Cairo, in Egypt. From there he went on to the landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.Sykes was severely wounded at Gallopoli and was taken to King George's Hospital in London to convalesce. He was awarded an Australian medal marking the Anzac campaign with the following citation:

"In commemoration of the heroic deeds of the men of ANZAC at Gallopoli in 1915 and in recognition of the great debt owed by all Austrazlians."

Until August 1916 Sykes trained troops at Liverpool. Then he went to France with the 20th Reinforcements after the first battle of the Somme. Again he was wounded and invalided back to England, but he returned to his battalion in France. After the war, back in Australia, he was discharged on Christmas Day, 1919.

It was to be a few years before Sykes returned to sailing but did return to the sea aboard a steam vessel, the Brandenburg . He joined her in Leath, Scotland; and sailed from the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic. He later joined the SS Brandon and made three trips from England to Canada. On the Santa Aurora he sailed the Mediterranean and received his first master's appointment at Naples. The position was with the Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Company. His travels took him to the Far East and up the China Coast.

Sykes returned to New Zealand in 1923 and travelled between New Zealand and Australia until the outbreak of World War II.

In 1941 the New Zealand Government seized the Finnish four masted barque Pamir. She had sailed into New Zealand waters while her country had enemy status and was taken as a prize of war. Although shipping was urgently required, and the Pamir was a large vessel at 316 feet in length and 46 feet across, there were not a great many men who had the experience or ability to sail a windjammer. The Union Steamship Company was granted the charter of the Pamir and began to look for able seamen. Captain G. B. Corby, commander of the barque Gladbrook and recently retired in Sydney, was offered the position of master on the Pamir which he immediately accepted. He requested that Isaac Sykes be engaged as second mate.

Sykes was described by Jack Churchouse in his book "The Pamir Under the NZ Ensign" as having "an enormous physique and a warm heart but also the loudest voice the lads were ever likely to hear at sea!" He conducted navigation classes on the after deck of the Pamir. At 50 years of age he had a lot of knowledge, gained from experience, to pass to the crew. He spent two years on the Pamir, from March 1942 to February 1944 and was second mate on three of her eight trips from Wellington to the west coast of America. Complete navigational record, so precise each and every voyage Sykes was engaged on could be traced, are included with the various papers held by the family.

After serving on the Pamir Sykes sailed for some years on the Nelson ferries before working on the Kopua, a timber trader travelling between New Zealand and Australia.

On 12 October 1949 he married Isobel Connie (Connie) Morton in Invercargill. Connie, was born on 15 August 1910 in Wyndham, Southland, the daughter of Richard and Mary Ann (nee Fraser) Morton

Richard and Mary Ann Morton

Richard was born in 1880 the son of George and Margaret (nee Noble) Morton.  Richard married Mary Ann Fraser on 5 July 1905. Their children were

Richard Fraser Morton, b. 09 Feb 1906, New Zealand, d. 07 Oct 1983, 112 Severn St, Invercargill, Southland

Mary Doreen Morton, b. Abt 1909, New Zealand

Isobel Constance (Connie) Morton, b. 15 Aug 1910, Wyndham, Southland, d. 11 Jan 1972, Masterton, Wairarapa

Ian Donald Morton, b. 20 Nov 1911, Waimahaka, Southland, New Zealand, d. 10 Jun 1969, West Plains Rd, Invercargill, Southland

Florence Ivy Morton, b. 11 Jul 1915, Wyndham, Southland

George Leslie (Leslie) Morton, b. 22 Aug 1917, Waimahaka, Southland, d. 17 Jul 1985, 237 Tweed St, Invercargill, Southland

Richard is the sister of Jean Morton who married William George Wyeth son of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

Beth Mcleod Morton daughter of George Leslie Morton married Andrew Bain McDougall great great grandson of Joseph and Phoebe Wyeth

Sykes remained at sea until he retired in 1956. He and his bride returned to Masterton to live in the family home in Kibblewhite Road, where they remained until his death on May 6, 1970. Connie died in 1972 also in Masterton.

He left all his seafaring records, photographs and military decorations to his godson Robert Sykes, but Robert was killed in an air accident in Australia two years ago. All "Uncle Ike's" papers have remained in the family's care but to ensure their preservation the remaining members of his family have decided to donate his logs, certificates and records to the Martime Museum in Wellington.


Ada Jane Gorringe

Ada was born in Masterton on 4 Jan 1879 the 4th child of Maria Ann but the eldest child of Maria Ann and Orlando Gorringe. Ada died in Masterton on 20 June 1904 aged 24 and is buried in Masterton Cemetery.

"With Jesus which is far better."


Henry Horace (Harry) Gorringe

Harry was born in Masterton on 23 March 1885 the eldest son 2nd child of Maria Ann and Orlando Gorringe

Harry was married in 1911 in Wellington to Lavinia (Dolly) Fogden. Dolly was born in Nelson on 1 October 1886 the daughter of William and Sophia Julia (nee Foley) Fogden.

Harry was a farmer by occupation

Harry died in Wellington on 7 May 1955 aged 70. His remains were cremated. Dolly died in Wellington on 8 January 1976 aged 90.

Harry's Family

Raymond Orlando Gorringe

Raymond was born on 24 September 1912 in Masterton. He was married on 1 December 1951 in Gisborne to Margaret McCallum. Margaret was born on 13 January 1926, the daughter of John and Madge(nee Walker) McCallum. Raymond was a farmer.They had 2 children. Margaret died 1999 and Raymond in 2002.


Olga Beryl Gorringe

Olga as born on 11 March 1920 in Masterton.She was married on 1 July 1944 at the Lansdowne Presbytarian Church Masterton to William Neil Alexander (Neil) McKay son of William and Effie (nee McLeod) McKay. Neil was born on 24 February 1921 at Martinborough. Olga and Neil are Living at 19 Luckie St Linden. They have one daughter.Olga died in 2000 and Neil in 2005.


[1]Isaac born 1780 in Arksey York, son of Thomas and Ann (nee Booth) Sykes, died 1858, married Ann 1804.

[2]Ann born 1773 Yorkshire, died 1821, Dau of James Simpson and Mary Godfrey. James son of William Simpson.

[3]Joseph son of Richard Child (1734-1790) and Ann Shires (1746-1786). Richard and Ann Married 1763.Richards parents Richard Childs and Margaret Bridge. Ann's parents Benjamin Shires (1719-) and Mary Phillip

[4]Ref Land Transfer Office Vol 170 page 547.