William R. Marsters

Palmerston Island, Cook Islands

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Created on Friday, 11 October 2013 22:37 Published on Friday, 11 October 2013 22:37 Hits: 1143


October 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM

My name is Mareta Maoate (nee Marsters/Upokomanu) a great grand daughter of William & Tepou Marsters. My mother is Marion daughter of Carryme Kare & Kaiei Marsters. In 1983 at the age of 14 I had the privilege of visiting Palmerston with my uncle Pastor Richard Marsters who is my mother's brother, the first born of Carryme & Kaiei. We stayed on Palmerston for 2 months and we stayed in the main house that was built by William Marsters himself. Carryme being the last born of William & Tepou inherited the house from William and that house is the inheritance of Carryme's descendents and remains the birthright of Carryme's descendents up to this day. Now, because Carrymes descendents do not reside on Palmerston the house has been left in the care of Mama Martha's children. This clearly shows that Tepou is the middle family.
I can see in your family tree that Martha is the 3rd youngest daughter of Carryme, before Marion. Martha is the daughter of Carryme's sister but he and his good wife took her and raised her as one of their own.
After some trips that William made to Aitutaki, he decided to look for a young Aitutakian woman for Carryme. On his last trip he brought my grandfather Carryme to Aitutaki with the intent to have my grandfather meet and marry an Aitutakian woman, so that he wouldn't marry into his own relatives on Palmerston. My mother has always wanted to visit Palmerston, but my grandfather told her, that he didn't want to go to Palmerston again, because if he did, he would not return. 
My grandmother Kaiei died on Makongai in Fiji in 1939 when my mother was only 6 years old and uncle Joe was 3. Doctors mis-diagnosed her for leprosy. They got the news that Kaiei was coming home. A day before she was to return home to Aitutaki, she climbed the mataoi tree to pick some flowers for her ei, and fell off the tree. After she fell, the tree was to be chopped to the ground. I dont know how "tabu" spirit believers were back then, but, my mum told us, a Fijian woman asked to wait till my grandmother boarded the ship and sail out, then chop the tree. But it was chopped on the day, that night, she died. My grandfather Carryme never remarried. He cared and raised his 2 youngest children all on his own. I was born on the 4th Dec 1969, my grandfather died 10 days later.


Thank you for this response Mareta. Tradition has shown that the family of Sarah Akakaingaro were known as "The Middle Family" because William Marsters assigned her family the strip of land in the middle of the island of Palmerston, protected on both sides by the land assigned to the families of his other "wives".  This land is traditionally also that on which is commonly found the Government buildings because of the protection that is afforded to those properties that are situated in the centre of the island.