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Publication "Finding Joseph Bryers"
Updated: 1 February 2021
Website Owner: Dr. Kenneth M. Baker
Book: Finding Joseph Bryers of the Hokianga -
Early New Zealand Settler
ISBN 978-0-473-55310-4 (Soft Cover)
ISBN 978-0--473-55209-1 (Hard Cover)
Available on-line from most booksellers
The Far North of New Zealand before becoming
a British Colony attracted adventurers, fortune
seekers, whaling men on leave from long
voyages and most notoriously, escaped convicts
from the penal settlements in Australia.  The
climate was clement, the indigenous people
were friendly enough and resources, especially
timber were abundant.  

This story is about Joseph Bryers, one of those
settlers who was none of those but who has long
proved an enigma as to his origins.  This is the
story of early years his birth to a French-
speaking family in what is now Belgium and of
his family and life before arriving in New Zealand
circa 1835.  Joseph’s very early life in New
Zealand is recounted including the taking of
Koho Katerina Whareumu as a wife and the birth
and lives of his children.      

The author Kenneth M. Baker is the great-great
grandson of Joseph Bryers.

The book is available for sale on-line from
most booksellers around the world.
The Hokianga Historical Society has many publications available by post
for example:

Hokianga, A Visitors' Guide (1993)

The Summer of the Dolphin (2006) - the story of Opo the dolphin

HOKIANGA REMEMBERS, Visits to the Graves of the Hokianga Soldiers who
Fell in the Great War 1914 – 1918: Volume I: Belgium, North-West France and
Hokianga History and Memorabilia
Note re other BRYERS family trees circulating on the internet.

Some sources
incorrectly suggest that Joseph Bryers in New Zealand was really Jean Pierre Joseph
Alexandre BRUYÈRES sometimes written BRUGIERES, the son of a General in Napoleon’s Army, Jean

This is
impossible as Jean-Pierre Joseph, an Officer of the French Legion of Honour, who was born in
1813, married Antoinette Pauline Françoise FILIPI and died in Algiers on the 23 March 1879.  They had a
son Henri Etienne Paul BRUYÈRE, also an Officer of the French Legion of Honour who married
Antoinette Anne Marie DAUVIN at Birmandréïs, Algérie, on the 16 April 1873.  Paul BRUYÈRE was the
author of the book “Historique du 2e régiment de dragons, 1635-1685”.