William Baldwin was born in Waterford City to William Baldwin and Honora Curtin.
He enlisted in the 36th Regiment of Foot in 1831 when he was 18 and this was witnessed by the Mayor of Waterford. He was described as a tailor in the Parish of St. Johns in the County. The Regiment was stationed in Charles Fort, Kinsale, County Cork at this time and in the following four years was stationed in various parts of Ireland. It was while stationed In Nenagh, County Tipperary he met Sarah Shiel whom he married in Nenagh on 7th September 1834.
In 1835 the Regiment went to Devon, England before embarking to go to the West Indies where the men joined other members of the Regiment who were then stationed at St. Lucia. The Regiment remained in the West Indies until December 1838 when it went to New Brunswick, Canada. William was not accompanied by his wife Sarah.
Sarah rejoined her husband in New Brunswick 1839. Nenagh had given birth to their first child about August 1836 in Nenagh.
In November 1840 William and other volunteers were transferred to the Royal Newfoundland Veterans Companies. William was discharged from the Newfoundland Veterans in December 1849 on medical grounds. William was granted a pension and returned to England in September 1849.
While in Canada William and Sarah had four more children. On their return to England the family visited Ireland where Sarah gave birth to another son about August 1850. The family then moved back to England and at the 1851 census were living in Wigan, Lancashire and William was described as a Chelsea Pensioner. About this time William volunteered for the Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps which had been formed to protect the citizens of this fledgling country. William and his family were part of the 9th Detachment which sailed from England on the Inchinnan in January 1852.
The volunteers and families were given free passage and were promised their own cottage and a quarter of an acre of land on their arrival. The Corps were stationed in villages on the southern outskirts of Auckland.
William and his family lived in Otahuhu where two more children were born. They had eight children and only two did not attain adulthood. The family later moved to Napier where William and Sarah both died, William in 1883 and Sarah in 1885. There are at least 875 known descendants of William and Sarah.
|Date of Birth||1811|
|Date of Death||22nd Jan 1883|