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Johann Julius Heinrich JACOBSEN - His Story

Explorer, pioneer, adventurer, settler, sailor, unsuccessful gold digger, signalman and lighthouse keeper. Captain Henry Jacobsen was all of the above. Arriving in New Zealand with his family at the age of 16, the youngest of four boys, Captain Henry carved a life for himself in the new country - New Zealand.

In 1857 he married Jane FLOWER, a woman who had arrived in Nelson with her family in 1842. They married in the newly erected Christ Church in Nelson.

In June 1861 Captain Henry was commissioned by Reuben Waite to take the first settlers to Westport. In helping the settlers to set up home, he left his boat "The Jane" in the care of the first mate. Returning later, he discovered the boat stranded on shore, and sold as a wreck. Buying it back he continued to trade.

In 1865 he was unsuccessfully digging for gold on Nine Mile Beach, out from Westport, when he was approached by "Mr Kennersley, gold warden and three policemen" who had been searching for him in order to let him know that he was required to be signalman for the Buller River entrance.

He was duly gazetted as signalman in 1866. In 1875 he was moved to be signalman to Nelson, then was moved north, to Auckland to watch over the lighthouses in that region. He retired in 1902, and spent his days watching ships enter the harbour from his St Heliers Bay home. Because of this habit, in the lead up to the Great War of 1914-1918 Captain Henry was accused of spying for the Germans. He died in 1914.

Click here to read "A Sailor's Story" - Henry Jacobsen's story in his own words.
Click here to read about Henry's fights with the government.
Read a Letter Describing a Shark Attack on Henry
View Hans and Anna JACOBSEN's Descendants
My Genealogy Gateway