The surname Damerell was first found in Devon at Milton Damerell, a parish, in the union of Holsworthy, hundred of Black Torrington.  "Milton" was frequently used in ancient days as it meant "middle farmstead or estate."  The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Mideltone but by 1301 it was listed as Middleton Aubermarle for these were lands originally held by Robert d'Aubermarle in 1086.  At that time, the holding was worth 30 cattle and 25 goats.
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Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Damerell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Mr. John Damerell, (b. 1839), aged 27, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 5th January 1867