PO Box 156, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Richard Masters – William Marsters

Richard Masters was born in 1831 in Walcote, the son of John and Ann Masters. He had a sister called Elizabeth and a brother called Joel who died when he was 12 years old, of rheumatic fever. In 1851, Richard married Charlotte Farmer who was due to have their son John but he left her after the wedding. In 1853, he and Sarah had a daughter called Ann Elizabeth, but in April 1856, Richard, the prodigal son, returned and asked his parents to bring her up. He then left England. His English family genealogy is here. The story about this English family is in “Masters of Walcote, Leicestershire“.

Richard now became William Marsters and was reported to have arrived in the Cook Islands at the end of 1856. He always travelled (as a trader) with his children and his wife Akakaingaro whom he called Sarah. Their two daughters, Ann and Elizabeth died in separate accidents on Samoa and Manuae, therefore, when they arrived on Palmerston in 1863, it was with their two sons Joel and William. Until his death in 1899, Marsters remained on the island with his three families (to Sarah, Tepou and Matavia). However, he left a legacy for his descendants based on his strong faith and a set  of rules for the management of the island and its resources that are still maintained today. His Cook Island genealogy is here. Other stories about Palmerston can be found in “Stories of Palmerston“.