| Posted: August 07, 2014
Read more at http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Entire-population-tiny-South-Pacific-island-speak/story-22211954-detail/story.html#eB7gy3opZJHwApRP.99
Kia orana from the South Pacific.
My letter is not to criticise Robin’s article, but merely to question the credibility of some of the information he has been given by Mr John Roberts who is not connected to our family tree and whose research about my ancestor is not correct. I would not like your readers to believe that Mr Roberts is an expert on our family history.
Unfortunately, William Marsters did not originate from Gloucester although linguists originally classified the accent that remains on the island as from that region. The English spoken on the island is a meld of Cook Islands Maori dialects representing the different islands that the wives of William’s sons brought to the island. They were only allowed to speak their mother tongues inside their homes. Outside in public everyone had to speak English. This version of English was based on the English William Marsters used within his family circle. Over the years they have developed their own unique English accent and still retain words that they inherited from our ancestor’s own use of English vocabulary.
I am a direct descendant of William Marsters, through my mother, and have done some comprehensive research of my own which included several visits from the South Pacific to the UK specifically to research my ancestor using census documents, family history sites and records, as well as civic and church records. It was several years before I uncovered who William Marsters really was. My research even revealed some anomalies that contradicted a lot of beliefs about his life which had almost become legend among the stories told of him by my mother, grandparents, uncles and aunts.
For many years the origins of William Richard Marsters were relatively unknown. He had passed on snippets of his former life to his family and friends yet it appeared that he told different versions depending on whom he was telling...
There are many stories and versions of stories that have been passed down by word of mouth from people who grew up on Palmerston. This version of the story of William Marsters is based firstly on a theory that although William Marsters may not have revealed too much about his past life, before he arrived on Palmerston, he left clues about his past that I have attached to facts that I have revealed in my book "The Masters of Walcote". While I can appreciate that not all the family will agree with what I have found out about his former life in England, they are the truth as I believe them to be, linking those clues that he left behind on the island (in the names he used for his family, and the name of Leicester as one of his islets). The "Masters of Walcote" contains information that has been accessed from UK government records and parish records from the Leicestershire area where his parents grew up and where he and his family grew up. The little village of Walcote still exists, as does the church in which he was baptised, and in which he later married. All these constitute an interesting story that can be found in the story of Richard Masters.