The origin of the distinguished Magnusson family can be traced to the historic Scandinavian country of Sweden. The surname Magnusson is derived from the Scandianavian personal name Magnús. This name was borne by several kings of Norway, the first of whom was Magnus the Good (1024-1047). He was named after Charlemagne, whose name was rendered Carolus Magnus in Latin. The popularity of this name in Norway was increased by the exploits of Earl Magnus Erlendsson of Orkney, who was treacherously executed by his cousin in 1117 and became known as St. Magnus. From Norway, the name spread into the royal houses of eastern Scandinavia, and it subsequently became popular throughout that region. The suffix -sson and its variants are translatable as son of.
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:
Magnusson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Jacob Magnusson, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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