143 White Swan Road is part of an area of former farmland which is part of the watershed for the Whau Stream through Lynfield and New Windsor areas of Auckland. It is part of Allotment 72, Parish of Titirangi. In 1845,
Dr Samuel Hayward Ford
obtained title to Allotments 70-72 of the Parish of Titirangi.
When Samuel Hayward Ford died on the 19th of July, 1876, shipping in the harbour at Russell in the Bay of Islands had their flags at half-mast. He had established a hospital in the area in 1858 “for destitute seamen and others”, and it is said that at least two “whaling babies” were born in the Ford household, American “whaling wives” having accompanied their husbands on their round the world voyages. He was well-respected in his community, and his son Ernest Ford would be elected one of the first councillors on the Bay of Islands County Council in 1877. Born c.1811, Samuel H. Ford qualified as a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries in 1832, and Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1833, after studying at St Thomas’ in London. He proposed to Martha Wilcox when he was 17 years old, and was rejected, but three years later succeeded with a second proposal in Belgrave Square. They married in De-cember 1834, and the couple initially took up residence in Hampstead. In 1836, Ford volunteered for service as a medical missionary with the Anglican Church Missionary Society, and arrived at the Paihia Mission Station in 1837. The Fords left Paihia for Te Wahapu in 1842, officially due to Ford’s poor health at the time, but unofficially there may have been problems between himself and Archdeacon Henry Williams. Even so, the two men got along amicably enough, as long as they worked independently of each other. Ford attended the Archdeacon during the latter’s last illness at Pakaraka. Hone Heke’s war in 1845 meant the Fords had to leave Te Wahapu, although reluctantly, to live in Auckland for a time. In 1849, they returned to the Bay of Islands, and there Ford spent the rest of his life at Russell. His widow Martha outlived him until January 1894, and died at the age of 83. A grand-nephew by marriage of his was Hayward Wright, developer of the main kiwifruit cultivar in New Zealand in the 20
Ford came to hold Crown Grant titles for Allotments 66, 67, 70, 71 and 72 from May 1845 so he was an early owner of a considerable amount of New Windsor, Lynfield and Block-house Bay areas. Just before returning to Russell, Dr Ford transferred the three allotments to
Donnelly was Clerk of the County Court office in Auckland in 1843, a member of the Legislative Council 1845-1847 and a practising lawyer from 1846. It appears he left the colony around 1854. Rates became an issue for Donnelly’s estate, administered by Reader Wood, when the Mt Roskill Highway District was inaugurated in 1867. By 1869, Donnelly’s land had accrued over £13 in rates, and the chairman of the Highways Board, Joseph May, pursued the matter in court.
From Eden Roll 46, LIZ crown copyright reserved