Sunday, August 24, 2014

A bit of history

I did some googling to see if there was any trace of my great-grandmother in Tonga - having been there I wanted to see if I could find out any more. I couldn't; although it's not really surprising as she would have been a child or teenager - and a female one - hardly the stuff of historical record. However I did manage to find her father, my great-great-grandfather, in a number of newspaper reports back from Tonga. His name was Arthur Wright and in 1897 he was in Vava'u - according to an article in the Launceston Examiner of 8 April - where he "kindly welcomed" the writer and "exhibited the process of manufacture of copra".

The other mention is in the Sydney Morning Herald of 20 November 1902 - apparently they had a correspondent in Nuku'alofa who wrote an occasional "Letter from Tonga". I don't know how legible it is, but here's the relevant extract:

So it turns out my great-great-grandfather was the chief mover in founding the International Temperance Society of Tonga. I did find a photo of me in Nuku'alofa on my birthday - very happy, but perhaps not doing the family proud.


  1. that's so cool that you found something about your great great grandfather! i am very fortunate to have known my great grandfather, who passed away when i was 25. he had many stories from when he was a boy in europe and in america. it's good to have that connection. makes me feel 'grounded', if that makes any sense.

  2. What were Messrs Vinca, Ussing and Perston doing in Tonga, though, that they needed managing?

    So amazing. My ancestors were joiners in Paisley and so on.