First settlers in a new country

I'm Matt and my story is about how a girl from a small town in Maine, USA met a boy from Wellington, New Zealand in a pub in London on New Years Eve.

My Dad's side of the family moved to New Zealand from England in the 1840s. They were some of the first European settlers to arrive in New Zealand, arriving in Wellington in 1840 on the ship The Bolton, and in Nelson in 1842 on the ship The Lloyds. They moved because conditions in England were bad and they were promised land in New Zealand. Another ancestor, James arrived in Dunedin in 1862 on the ship Red Jacket. He was an American and we think he changed his name to Brown on arrival in New Zealand.

My mother's side of the family lived in Maine, USA since the mid 1700s. Her family and the family name Sidelinger comes from Germany. Martin Sidelinger and his wife arrived in Maine in 1746 on a ship from Bremen, Germany. There is also English, Native American and French Canadian ancestry in my mother's family.

My father, Michael, left New Zealand in 1986 for his OE. After travelling in the USA he ended up in London, staying in a flat with some people he'd never met before. My mother, Deb, went to Colby College in Maine. She spent her Junior year abroad at Oxford University, falling in love with England. After graduation in 1986 she moved to London to live.

The plan for New Years Eve 1986 was to have a few drinks in a pub on Gloucester Road and then go to Trafalgar Square. Some South Africans were sleeping on the floor of Michael's flat. They brought their American friend, Deb, to the pub on Gloucester Road where she met Michael. My parents moved back to New Zealand in 1990 where they got married.

Here you can find some more information about my story: