BENJAMIN EVANS TURNER was born 23rd March, 1796 in Worcester, County of Worcestershire, England. Baptised on 4th April, 1796 at the Parish of St Clements, Worcester, the son of WILLIAM TURNER (Waterman) and PENELOPE EVANS.

A Waterman by trade, BENJAMIN married his 1st cousin ANNE PUGH, at the Parish of Hartlebury, Worcestershire by Banns with consent of Parents. Of this union there was a daughter CAROLINE. In 1821, BENJAMIN and a JOSEPH DICKENS (both Watermen) were convicted at Worcester Summer Assizes, for stealing two cheeses and other articles; they were sentenced to 7 years transportation to New South Wales, Australia. Upon obtaining his Certificate of Freedom in 1828, BENJAMIN removed himself to New Zealand, finally settling at Kororareka (Russell), Bay of Islands, where he engaged in trade. In 1840, BENJAMIN married ZILDA PERRIMAN BURTON.

  Issue of the marriage:

1) William Turner

2) William Evans Turner

3) Edwin Benjamin Evans Turner

4) Benjamin Evans Turner

5) James Burton Turner

6) Zilda Penelope Turner

7) George Henry Perriman Turner

8) Caroline Anne Turner

9) Alfred (Edward) Turner

10) Alice Maud Turner

: Age 12 Hours 1841 Bay of Islands, New Zealand

1842 Russell Bay of Island New Zealand
Marr: Jane FRIAR 1864 Auckland New Zealand
Issue: 7 Females (1 Born NZ 6 Born USA)

1843 Auckland New Zealand
Marr: Caroline WOOTTON 1866 Hamilton New Zealand
Issue: 7 Males (5 Born NZ 2 Born USA) 2 Females (Born NZ)

Born: 1847 New Zealand
Marr: Annie Sophia WILKINS 1880 Auckland New Zealand
Issue: 1 Female (Born NZ)
De Facto: Caroline BIRD
Issue: 4 males (3 Born NSW 1 Born NZ)
3 Females (2 Born Fiji 1 Born NSW)

Born: 1849 Russell Bay of Islands New Zealand
Marr: Mary Agnes FOSTER 1877 Levuka Fiji Islands
Issue: 1 Male 3 Females (Born Fiji)

Born: 1852 Auckland New Zealand
Marr: John PITTAR Shortland, Thames New Zealand
Issue: 2 Females (1 Born NZ 1 Born USA)

Born: 1853 Auckland New Zealand
No Marriage – No Issue

Born: 1856 Auckland New Zealand
No Marriage – No issue

Born: 1858 Auckland New Zealand
No Marriage – No Issue

Born: 1861 Auckland New Zealand
No Marriage – No Issue

Died: 1895 (53)USA
1921 (80)USA

1935 (92)New Zealand
Died: 1911 (64)New Zealand

Died: 1899 (52) Fiji Islands
Died: 1935 (75)NZ

Died: 1955 (92)New Zealand

Died: 1925 (76)New Zealand
Died: 1927 (74)Fiji Islands

Died: 1914 (62)Australia
Died: Unknown c. pre 07/1907

Died: 1880 (27)Australia

Died: 1876 (20)Fiji Islands

Died: 1868 (10)New Zealand

Died: 1879 (18)New Zealand

Benjamin’s Map of Travels through New Zealand:  

After the sacking of Kororareka (Russell) In1844 BENJAMIN moved to Auckland where he bought property – he built a cottage at Newmarket which he named “Retreat Cottage” ; served on the Auckland Provincial Council; an avid reader; always remaining interested in the affairs of New Zealand, particularly the Bay of Islands and Auckland.

In 1876, prior to his death, BENJAMIN erected his own Tombstone in the churchyard at St Marks, Remuera which was inscribed omitting only his date of death which occurred on 4th October, 1876. His wife ZILDA followed him in 1891 and was buried in the same family plot. In the 1960’s – the tombstones at St Marks were removed – there is a list of those buried on a wall inside of the church.



1} Chalky Island
2) Codfish Island
3) Entry Island/Kapiti
4) Nelson

5) Wellington

6) Whangarei
7) Tauranga
8) Kororareka (Russell)
9) Auckland
© Merilyn F. Ragg – For any further enquiries or information please email