Left England in the Joseph Fletcher, Sunday 29th November, 1857 from Plymouth, arriving in Auckland 19th March 1858 - 111 days. The family consisted of John Martyn Senior, his wife Mary from Camelford, Cornwell, England, Ellen who became Mrs Joe Wilson of Wilson and Horton, Ada who became Mrs James Hume, Bank of New Zealand, Hamilton, John and William.
John's journal states that in 1858 John Martyn Senior bought 600 acres at Ramarama, which he called Helland, after their home in Cornwell. It is now known as Ravensthorpe. Later John Senior bought Torview at Hautapu. John and William bought Pencarrow, 2,000 acres, in January 1886. His journal also states that in 1865 William and I, with Joe Banks made our first trip into the Waikato country, and we were truly delighted with it. It took us about a fortnight and we examined every district and fully made up our minds to leave the bush country for lands more inviting and grateful. James Runciman and I also took a trip to the west coast and spent a few days with McTear and the Arrowsmiths. It was good grazing country but very broken. Would not like it. Not to be compared with the Waikato.
1886, father and W.Reynolds arrived from England in ship "Percy", first week of January. Mr Martyn in the meantime had been to England and had arrived back again. Also in this month we entered into a contract with Captain Steele and John Crawford for the purchase of Tamahere land and in April we bought Captain Davis' farm of 500 acres. Captain Davis' farm was right adjacent to the Waikato River, at the Southern end bounding on Bald Hill.
9th May William and W. Reynolds started farm operations, and this summer we burnt off Comrie's line and ploughed up Johnson Hill. Also the Pellows built the dairy, stable and loft. Those buildings would be on Pencarrow Road, adjacent to Bald Hill. Late in autumn, William and I took our first cattle to the Waikato, and a job we had swimming rivers and wading swamps, for there were no bridges in those days. In November I went again to Waikato and did some ploughing of odd paddocks and liked the land exceedingly. In December I again visited Te Awamutu and while there I received the awe-striking telegram that my dear mother had died.
1867, Tamahere, "Pencarrow". It was in January of this year that I started operations on my farm by laying down in March and April two paddocks into grass and a strip on the run.
In March Ada and the others visited Waikato when the Cambridge chapel was opened, "the Methodist chapel". In May, I came up to improve my farm and also to take charge of the whole property, as William went to try his luck at Thames.
Smith and W. Hamill, commenced ditching through William's flax and Ti Tree land and then on to Bald Hill Road boundary, after which they went down to my farm and commenced ditching in two large paddocks. They both stuck at it well. I never saw men work better. These ditches were of a double ditch and bank. In May I put up my first cottage at Pencarrow, in which the men lived. I used to live at Willies on account of the cows and horses. In Spring I put in 60 acres of grass outside of the two paddocks on the run, also 5 acres of oats and potatoes in the entrance paddok, all of which did exceedingly well. In June I removed another cottage from Hamilton and also put up the stable and stock yard. Everyone was surprised with the vast improvement done in so short a time and with so few hands, but the secret was I knew how to go about it and most fortunately had good hands to do it. We had a beautifully dry winter in Waikato, but at Helland they had it very wet, in fact every letter received complained of continual rain. I did not go down until my crops were well in and I went down with W. Reynolds, who was on his way to Thames to try his luck.
In the beginning of December there was a great Maori panic. Father sent up Smith ad William to bury the implements and bring off the largest of the cattle, but I would not hear of doing that. William had not been up since he left in May and was quite surprised at the amount of work done. I went down at Christmas and when I came back found the caterpillars in the hay and corn, so we went in with secateurs, hammer and tongs.
In 1869, William again at Waikato. Self to Helland and this time I took Smith with me. Time was spent stumping and ploughing. He said father and I, with the men, never worked better as I was determined to prove the land by stumping and draining and laying down in pasture. I saw very little of Waikato this year, as I had my hands full at Helland. Aunt visited William in Waikato and his house got burnt down. Altogether I am very dissatisfied with the way things have been run in Waikato and in November father and I went up and made arrangements as to the division of the property, which afterwards, by a few months residence, I found to be most erroneous, as for some time I had not resided on the property. Consequently I was deceived.
He quotes "This time father and Teresa were married (I presume the father had remarried again) in March, as also were Ada and James Hume - quite an eventful month".
That was the end of the journal. Another had been written covering most of their time in Pencarrow, but unfortunately when moving from Pencarrow to Broadmeadows in August 1886 that journal was burnt in the rubbish outside.
Pencarrow consisted of that area from Narrows Road to Bald Hill - Pencarrow Road to Main Road excluding 150 acres on the Eastern corner, 2,000 acres. Captain Davis' portion, was an army grant to Third Waikato Regiment.
In the division John took the Northern 1,000 acres and William the Bald Hill end of the Graham farm.
The old original homestead at Pencarrow was a series of small buildings John had moved from Hamilton, prefab idea. The present homestead was built by Comeluis Day in 1894.
John sold to C. Day August 1886,and bought Broadmeadows from John Runciman, brother of James, Marshmeadows, 1,000 acres.
John married Elizabeth Main in 1883, the trees in the avenue on their return from their honeymoon, had just been planted.
1888 John died at Broadmeadows, September 8th 1888.
NOTE: Obituary Cambridge paper:
"The death of the late Mr John Martyn Junior of Broadmeadows on the 8th September; though not unexpected by his immediate friends, took the public by surprise and in all parts of the district".
Writes our Hamilton Correspondent, "We have received a very general feeling of regret and sympathy for his aged father, who in a comparatively short time has lost both his sons in the prime of his life."
"When the death of Mr Martyn became known in Cambridge, the shops were closed for half a day and again on the 11th, in respect of his memory. The funeral took place at Tamahere and was largely attended. Settlers from all parts of the district met to pay their respects, and Mr Martyn, who though taking little or no part in local politics, was always ready to assist in good work or public movements which had for its object the benefit of Waikato, of which it may truly be said that the deceased and his brother William were amongst its most enterprising and successful settlers. The funeral cortege, which reached the church at Tamahere at 4.00 p.m. was met by the Venerable Archdeacon Willis, who preceded the remains of the deceased into the church where the introductory part of the service was read before proceeding to the grave, the Reverend Mr Biggs assisting. The chief mourners were John Martyn Senior, father, himself one of Aucklands pioneer settlers, and his two sons-in-law, Mr James Hume of the Bank of New Zealand, Hamilton, and Joseph Wilson of Auckland also the family of Mr A. Main, Hautapu, deceased fatherin-law.
The site in which the church stands, being part of the Pencarrow Estate, was a gift of the deceased 7 years ago, and strange to say he had expressed a strong wish to be buried there".
Johns widow, left with a small son, John, continued to farm Broadmeadows with a manager, William Main, her brother, until 1890 when he went off to manage "Locherbie", near Morrinsville.
J.C. Potts followed as manager until Jack came of age.
Jack joined the forces in the First World War, and died of menangitis in Featherston Camp 27th May 1916 at the age of 27.
Jack two years before had married Elsie Vosper of Dingley Dell, Cambridge, and left one daughter, Gwendoline (Mrs E.B. Firth).
His funeral took place at Tamahere, being buried beside his father and two grandfathers.
After Jacks death Broadmeadows was split into 100 acre sections and sold. The homestead 100 acres was held by Elizabeth, who resided there for the rest of her life. Latterly she had married J.C. Potts.
The homestead was demolished and sold some 10 years after her death in 1949. Thus severing an eighty year old connection with the district.
Some of the men mentioned working at Pencarrow were S. Armstrong, gardener; Dinsdale, groom; Larney, stockman; Twidle, general hand; C. Lake, farm hand; Moore, farm hand.
Dinsdales name is perpetuated in a suburb of Hamilton. Armstrong grew all the pines, which were planted for a mile along top terrace of river, and to Williams home.
William married Agnes Young of Papatoetoe and built his homestead on the present site of "Goulbourne" after being burnt out, adjacent to Bald Hill. Most of his family were born here.
In 1881 he sold out to Messrs Pearson of Pearson, Knolls and Ryland, famous for wire manufacturing.
February 10th 1881, Waikato Argus. "Waikato has just lost a valuable settler in the person of Mr W.L. Martyn who with his family, has just left for Waimate Plains, Manaia, Taranaki, where he has bought one of the choicest of sections lately put up for sale by the Government. Mr Martyn is one of the oldest and most influentual settlers in this district, having been one of the pioneer band which tackled the wilderness at a time when the quality of land remained to be proved and when settlement was attended with all the dangers and disadvantages consequent on the unsettled state of nature. The condition of perfection to which Mr Martyn and his brother John brought their magnificent estate, Pencarrow, a portion of which has been recently sold to Messrs Pearson, bears the strongest testimony to the practical qualities and to the energy of these gentlement. Mr Martyn has taken a prominant part in all matters to the welfare of the district and has successfully held the office of Road Trustee, County Councillor for South Auckland, Cattle Board, besides taking an active part in a number of local racing clubs. In all these capacities he will be greatly missed. Although he has gone to reside in another part of the colony, it is satisfactory to know it is from no want of faith in the future of Waikato. He still intends to retain considerable property. We cordially wish Mr Martyn God Speed in his new home".
After some years at Waimate the family removed to Western Australia,where William died. Mrs Martyn came back to New Zealand and settled at Ohaupo, but later went to the back country of Gisborne.
One son Jack, lived at Te Mata, where he farmed, after returning from the war. He and his wife were both buried in a cemetery on a portion of his land.
Jack's sister, Kate Mayston and her husband farmed in the original Bruntwood homestead; both buried at Tamahere.