Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 1, Issue 5, December 1961
The first boats to bring men to the new settlement of Nelson were the Whitby, Will Watch and Arrow, and they landed in November, 1841. Three months later, in February, 1842, the men were followed by the first immigrants.
Among the men in the first contingent there were several who became the earliest settlers in Stoke. Included among them were William Songer, Charles Torlesse (his father was Rector of Stoke in England), who came out as a member of the survey staff; James Bradley, James T. Smith, an early school master at the Stoke School and also a charter member of the Foresters' Lodge; and Richard Ching.