Wondering if you might be able to help please? We have an elusive ancestor who is believed to have been on a whaling ship about 1850ish out of eastern USA (Boston maybe?), heading to the South Pacific whaling grounds – we have no idea what the ship was called. We know he was in New Zealand by March 22, 1852 as this is the first recorded history of him here – his 1st marriage in NZ.
His name is David Dixon BRIGGS, born abt1832 in Oneida, New York. Oral history says he had a disagreement with his father and ran away on a whaling ship which ended up in New Zealand waters. Oral history has given us two stories about the trip:
1) there was a mutiny on board the ship and the captain and David were thrown overboard after being flogged
2) David disobeyed the captain and David and another man (possibly John BROUGHTON or someone with surname JOHNASON?) were thrown over board, again after being flogged. These two were both witness to David's 1st marriage in NZ in 1852, and Broughton was witness to David’s 3rd marriage in 1866.
Oral history also tells us that the people responsible for throwing David overboard returned to NZ waters a few years later and local Maoris managed to prevent David extracting revenge. Unfortunately no names have been remembered and the people involved are long since dead.
Some researchers have said the ship was the Industry, however the only info we can find on a mutiny on an Industry was in 1834 and we know the names of those involved from the subsequent trial and hangings. Also that Industry was not a whaler and was far too early!
We know pretty much everything about David’s life in NZ from 1866 on, but know nothing about his family back in USA, so are hoping that if we find record of him boarding the whaling ship, it might give some family info.
Clutching at straws here!!
Thanking you in advance for any help you are able to give
Anne & Bruce Palmer