Northland Presbytery Records

"They [the records] are in poor condition but I have tried to get rid of most of the silverfish and mason bee nests. I think they must have been housed in an  old shed for many years by the state of them. You may think some of them are not worth holding on to - but they are interesting." - The Kaeo-Kerikeri Union Parish Archivist (who rescued these records at the eleventh hour) writing to the Presbyterian Archives in April 2003

Kaikohe Presbyterian Church -

  • A fire in the manse c.1959-60 caused substantial damage. 

Kaurihohore Presbyterian Church (later St Paul's Uniting Church, Kamo) -

  • A return of records dated 1931 states "Only 1 or 2 old minute books".
  • The Parish history covering the period 1914 to 1989 quotes : "Unfortunately there are a great many gaps in the records; some minute books are missing - maybe destroyed, maybe mislaid, maybe hiding in some forgotten storeroom. Some events then, in the life of the parish, must rely upon the memory of people - and memory is a fickle jade. It is to be hoped that some of the present members will set down their memories so that later generations will be more sure of their history.... In reading the minute books, both of the Parish and Presbytery one from time to time has little glimpses of what must have been important events in the life of the Parish, but which are captured only by a line in the record."

Mangapai Presbyterian Church -

  • A return from 1931 states "All old records seem to be lost".
  • While Management Committee records are held from the formation of the Parish in October 1860, Session records only commence in Aug 1919 and Marriage registers in Sept 1913.
  • The Parish history published in 1960 does not indicate that any records are missing however it does appear that some records are unaccounted for (2006). We know that the Church at Mangapai (which then fell under the Whangarei Parish) was opened by the Rev. D Bruce on the 10th May 1862 and continued for some time to be serviced by Whangarei based Ministers. From about 1874 efforts were made to form a Parish at Mangapei as the Whangarei minister was unable to travel due to local commitments. After using Lay Preachers Mangapai was linked with Waipu from about 1887. A Home Missionary was eventually appointed to Mangapai in March 1904, also servicing Maungakaramea and Whangarei Heads. Mangapai obtained a resident Home Missionary in 1909.
  • A note in the Whangarei Baptism Register in 1866 states that a particular Baptism is also recorded in the Mangapai Baptism Register. The first extant Mangapai Baptism register commences in 1916. Therefore an early Mangapai Baptism register has definitely been lost.
  • We also note that there are no Mangapai residents entered in the Whangarei Communion Roll which indicates that Mangapei also had it's own Communion Roll, possibly from as early as 1862.

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Dargaville -

  • Noted in 1931 that no records were held prior to 1907.
  • The Parish history of 1984 includes a note in the preface : "Painstaking enquiry has failed to locate some record books of the Management Committee and many records have been subjected to a fifth-column activity of silverfish - I marvelled at their robust sleekness, till I found that their favourite diet was dates - which caused many hours of additional research, and a contant frustration".

Whangarei [St Andrew's] Presbyterian Church -

  • Early [unspecified] records relating to Whangarei Presbyterian Church were noted in  1939 as having been "unfortunately lost or destroyed". 
  • We do hold the following records : Session minutes from Mar 1863, the Board of Manager's minutes from Mar 1862, Marriage registers from Oct 1901, the Communion Roll / Roll of Members from 1862, and the Baptism register from February 1860.
  • A return of records completed by the parish in 1954 advised that Marriage registers from Dec 1880 were held. Overall, the marriage registers from c.1860 to Sept 1901 are now (as of 2010) all missing.
  • The Board of Manager's minutes from 1968 to 1972 are missing.

Waipu Presbyterian Church -

  • Mr Norman R McKenzie in his 1942 book "The Gael Fares Forth" states that services were first held by Rev McLeod in John McGregor's house then later in Hector McLean's house as this proved more convenient. The latter has the dubious distinction of being the first house to be destroyed in the settlement. The fire broke out one Sunday morning while the congregation were awaiting the Minister's arrival. Owing to the inflammable nature of the materials used in the construction of the building the fire spread so rapidly that even most of the the furniture was lost as well. Church records were not kept by the Rev McLeod's during his ministry.
  • Waipu Parish, being at first under the 'jurisdiction' of their founding Minister, the Rev Norman McLeod, did not join Auckland Presbytery until after his death in 1866, such official "joining" with the Presbyterian Church being the Rev McLeod's dying wish. The 1939 history of Auckland Presbytery states that in the early years of the parish, and "as is usual in Highland communities", there were no Elders in the congregation and few communicants.
  • No Marriage Registers between 1854 and 1902 at which date the parish joined with Waipu North. Those marriages in the register from 30th Aug 1898 to 1902 belong to Waipu North Parish, not Waipu Parish.
  • Session not formed until 1897 so no minutes prior to this date.
  • The Rev Norman McLeod did not perform Baptisms. This is also confirmed by the fact that the Rev Mcleaod did not perform baptisms in Nova Scotia. His successors (post 1866) were told on more than one occasion by Auckland Presbytery to keep a Baptism and Communion Rolls. We note that some early pre 1866 Waipu and district Baptisms are in the Whangarei Baptism Register which commences in 1860. This indicates that some Waipu residents travelled to Wangarei to obtain baptism for their children.
  • The Church Committee only formed in 1878 (after 1890 referred to as "Church Managers") so no minutes prior to this date. Board of Managers minutes missing 1898 to 1908.
  • No Communion Rolls.
  • No Baptismal Register prior to at least 1900 (refer note above).

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