Charles Edmund Wann b. 1816 d. 1848

Charles Edmund Wann is my g.g.grandfather. He was born 11 May 1816 probably in Markethill, Co. Armagh. The date 11 May is taken from the Immigrant List for the arrival of the ‘Royal Admiral’ in New South Wales in 1839. The following details are given:

Charles Wann

A.B.Smith (brought out by); Markethill, County Armagh, son of John, landsteward and Ellen his wife there (native of); gunsmith (calling); 24 years, 11 May (age); John Fisher (person certifying registry of baptism); very good, J.L. Woodhams (character and person certifying the same); very good (health); Protestant (Religion); reads and writes; no complaints.


‘Royal Admiral’ sailed from Liverpool and arrived in Sydney NSW 28 September 1839. On board ship was a family of 9 young people from Markethill, travelling with their father John Menary, a farmer. Charles Wann married Mary Gass Menary on December 25, 1841 at Scotch Church, Parramatta NSW. Mary is said to have eloped with Charles while her father was away in New Zealand looking at prospects for settling there. Indeed Charles and Mary made their way to New Zealand, arriving some time before September 1842. They settled in Auckland where their 2 children were born.

Charles Wann was working as a labourer in the suburbs in 1845. Sometime in 1845/46, James Dilworth of Dungannon in County Tyrone, had arrived in Auckland and had started building his first house, ‘Ivy Cottage’, on land he had purchased in Remuera. This house became the home of Charles and Mary as Charles had been hired by James Dliworth to be his farm manager. According to Dilworth’s biographer R.C.J. Stone, Dilworth moved into the house as owner-lodger to oversee work on the estate. According to Stone Charles Wann would be paid more than the usual rate of pay for the time, which was 27 pounds a year, because Charles was decribed as a manager and a gentleman.

In 1847 there was an incident at Ivy Cottage where three deserters from the garrison broke into the house and stole some items. Source of this information is a report published in the Southern Cross Newspaper 26 July 1847.

The following year Charles Wann was still living in Remuera but no longer at the cottage as he had lost his job with Dilworth. His wife Mary reported that he was depressed. Sadly Charles committed suicide and died of a gunshot wound on 17 February 1848 aged 31 years.