Rev. William Woon

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William Woon

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Truro, Cornwall, England (United Kingdom)
Death: September 1858 (54)
Whanganui, Wanganui District, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Woon and Jane Woon
Husband of Jane Woon
Father of Katherine Garland Riemenschneider; Richard Watson Woon; Edwin Turner Woon; James Garland Woon; Emily Jane Woon and 2 others
Brother of Richard Woon

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Rev. William Woon

Woon, Revd. William.—My late father, Wesleyan Methodist Missionary, one of the first missionaries to the South Sea Islands and New Zealand also, in company with two other missionaries—the Revds. J. Watkin (father of the Revd. Dr. Watkin, of Melbourne) and Turner—left London in the ship "Lloyds," August, 1830, arrived at the Bay of Islands January, 1831, and after staying there and at Hokianga a few weeks to recruit, proceeded on to their destination Tongatabu, Friendly Islands, where they arrived in March following, and took up their abode and missionary work at Nukualofa, the principal settlement of the group and the headquarters of "King" George. Here my father remained and laboured in the mission field, assisting in the translation of the Scriptures into the Tonguese language and printing of same, until 1834 when, owing to my mother's health failing, he was compelled to leave Tonga and return to New Zealand and its more bracing, salubrious climate. Landing at the Bay of Islands again, my father went across to Hokianga, the headquarters at that time of the Wesleyan Mission in New Zealand. From there he was sent to Kawhia, in the Waikato Country, to take charge of the mission, and where he remained until 1836, when he was moved back again to Hokianga and stationed at Mangungu, near the head waters of the Hokianga Estuary, and where he remained continuously until 1846, and where several of the family, including myself, were born. In January, 1846, owing to the war with Heke at the Bay and surrounding country, the family, in company with a considerable number of Hokianga settlers, were taken round to Auckland for safety by order of Sir George Grey, the Governor, who feared a general massacre of the Europeans at that critical time in the history of New Zealand. After remaining in Auckland several weeks, my father was ordered by the Committee of Management to take charge of the mission in the Ngatiruanui Country, Taranaki South, where he arrived in May, 1846, settling down at the Mission Station at Heretoa (Waimate) quite close to where the village of Manaia now is, and within a mile of the sea-coast. Here my father remained and laboured amongst the natives—the very worst tribe in New Zealand—until 1853, when his health having completely broken down, he was compelled to resign, abandon the Mission Station, and go to New Plymouth. Here he remained as a supernumerary minister until 1854, when he and my brother came here to Wanganui and joined the little home provided by two of his sons—Richard Watson and Edwin Turner Woon. Although shattered in health through his long career as a missionary amongst the Tonguese and New Zealanders, yet my father was able to do a minister's work occasionally amongst the Europeans here, military and civilian, and the Government of the day, then in Auckland, under Acting-Governor, Lieut-Colonel Wynyard, H.M. 58th Regiment, kindly conferred upon him the appointment of Postmaster of Wanganui in succession to James Lett, Esq., deceased. This was a position for which my father was well suited, and I am proud to say that he discharged his duties to the satisfaction of the authorities and the public until his health, which completely broke down in 1858, compelled him to give up his work which I, then a lad not long from school in Auckland, was able to do. My father died in September, 1858, at the comparatively early age of 54 years and 9 months. He was a native of Truro, Cornwall, and was born December, 1803.

Source: Wanganui old settlers by James Garland Woon (1902) http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Stout76-t30-body-d1.html

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Rev. William Woon's Timeline

1803
December 1803
Cornwall, England
1831
July 5, 1831
Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
1833
1833
1834
1834
New Zealand
1836
1836
New Zealand
1839
1839
1842
1842
1844
1844
1858
September 1858
Age 54
Whanganui, Wanganui District, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand