Kawakawa - Charles Pedro - Portuguese Boatman of Kawakawa
In 1827 Charles Pedro was born to Manuel Pedro and Katerina Pedro nee Janca (teacher) in Cape Verde... an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa. It seems probable that they lived in Brava, Cape Verde.
Charles Pedro marries Catarina Pedro nee Josephs possibly in a Roman Catholic ceremony sometime in the 1850's, Catarina and Charles (aged 19) have a son named Richard Pedro in approx 1846 in Brava, Cape Verde.
Our next date entry is 1863 it appears Charles Pedro (aged 36) arrives by (whaling) ship in the Bay of Islands, Russell with a 17 year old Richard Pedro, and his brother or father named Jose Manuel Pedro, we can't find any record of Catarina Pedro nee Josephs...did she come with them, had she died, did she stay back in Brava? Why did they come to New Zealand, did they jump ship, someone has suggested they did...We don't know the answer I'm afraid, maybe you do?...Ere Kawhena - Whakapapa would sure love to know!
Charles Pedro (aged 37) is employed by the Kawakawa Coalmine in 1864 they refer to him as The Negro Boatman, he is very dark, the Coal Mine managers daughter explained in an excerpt from Tides of History - He was as black as the coal which came out of the mine and was generally known as Black Charlie. He also looked after our garden and horses and milked the cow. He always had to be ready ,though, to row father or anyone who had business there down to Russell, a distance of about twelve miles. If the wind was favourable a sail would be hoisted and this helped considerably. Some times Charlie would be sent down to meet visitors coming by steamer from Auckland and he never failed to tell them "I am de first white man to row up de river to Kawakawa. Yes Sir, de first white man".
Taken originally from Mine Managers Daughter Tells her Story.
In the Bay of Islands Luminary, Kawakawa, Thursday March 15 ,1873.
Her father was William Henry Williams who managed the mines from 1870-1878
(Thanks Noma for finding that one for us)
I take it he thought of himself more "white" than Maori...
I'm going to make mention now of Te Rina/Catherine Maria (Scoble/Scobell/Scobel - Pedro) who is born in 1868 and she is Ere Kawhena's (Sarah Coffin) daughter (On a sub-note Ere/Sarah seems to have been married to John Lucock in 1854 as observed by the Catholic Church) by Father James McDonald and witnessed by David London of Auckland & "Thomas" one name of Hokianga (who I believe to be Thomas Poynton of Hokianga) Catherine seems to become the adopted or Whangai daughter of Charles Pedro.
1870 Charles Pedro begins work with The Steam navigation Company as a Boatman/Mailman .
1870, 43 year Old Charles Pedro "marries" (Legal and church weddings are uncommon in Cape Verde. More oftern than not, a woman will simply sai di casa (leave her family's house) to move in with her boyfriend. This is often occasioned by the woman becoming pregnant. After 4 years of co habitation, a relationship aquires the status of common law marriage. While polygamy is not legal, it is customary for men married or not to be sleeping with several women at once.) a Maori girl from Kawakawa, 29 Year Old Ere Kawhena (Sarah Coffin, Daughter of Kanuka and Peter Coffin who lived in Whangaroa)...now we don't have any documentation for this marriage, we don't even have a place, but we do have a handwritten notation from an unknown relative that Charles Pedro and Ere Kawhena (Sarah Coffin) meet and married in Gate Pa, Tauranga - it seems strange that they would meet in Gate Pa as both Charles & Ere are living in Northland at this time, could it be they met in Tauranga Bay, Kaeo? Ere Kawhena (Sarah Coffin) has links to Turanga in Gisborne as well, possibly through her Mother Kanuka or her unknown father ...so the story gets very complicated.
Ere's daughter Te Rina becomes Catherine Maria Pedro
Was Charles Pedro divorced from Catarina Pedro nee Josephs at this time? Maybe Catarina Pedro nee Josephs was deceased? Did Charles and Ere get married in a Roman Catholic sense or maybe they had a Maori ceremony, were they even married at all?? Did they have any children together?
Charles must work for The Steam Navigation Company for a decade, and I really have little information for that decade...maybe you know something, any nugget is worth investigating! By 1880 Charles Pedro is working for himself. The next information we have is that he dies in Kawakawa aged 59 in 1883...cause of death, Coma, his death cert states that he leaves behind one son Richard Pedro and a wife Ere Kawhena (interestingly not Ere Pedro, hmmmm)
How did he die? What was the cause of his coma?
Charles Pedro seemed like an interesting and unique character, does anyone know of other Pedro's up North with a link to Charles or Richard Pedro? We'd really love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading! Ere Kawhena - Whakapapa