1822: David Whippy, of European descent of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, U.S.A., arrived in Fiji aboard a beche-de-mer ship in 1822,

Research and documentation done by Henry Simpson a Master Mariner residing in Auckland, New Zealand – these are his notes. ”  I, Henry Simpson a Master Mariner and residing in Auckland but born in Fiji, a great grandson of the European, William Simpson of Poplar, London, England, Ship’s Carpenter, am recording a brief history and genealogy of the Simpson, and Whippy families and their descendents.

Simpson and Whippy acquire land: David Whippy, of European descent of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, U.S.A., arrived in Fiji aboard a beche-de-mer ship in 1822, whose brother was the ship’s Captain, and did not rejoin the ship when she returned to America, but like Simpson, became a resident of Fiji and settled in Levuka, Ovalau, in the Lomaiviti Group.

Simpson dies, 1862:  Simpson was older than Whippy. Mr. Simpson died May 24th, 1862 and was buried on the island of Wakaya. Mr. Whippy died January 25th, 1875 and was buried at Nakabuta, Wainunu Vanua Levu Fiji. Simpson and Whippy became landowners and having initially settled at Levuka, Ovalau and Mokagai, they later acquired land at Wainunu and Savusavu and as their interest were closely associated, building boats, their own houses and trading, and as they prospered their children inter-married and also married into the descendents of other Europeans, and the ancestors of whom had also married Fijian women.

Simpson and Whippy  integrate into Fiji: In later years their families and connections spread throughout the Fiji Group, New Zealand and Australia. They are now probably the largest family group in Fiji. Other family names which do not appear here are also worthy of mention. I gleaned this information mostly from the elders of both families, including my mother who was Mrs. Lydia Simpson, and also from my brother Mr. William Simpson. We pass on this information for the benefit of the younger generation, which have also been checked from official records.

As there is no evidence of the exact dates of the arrival in Fiji of either Simpson or Whippy, but if we assume that Simpson died at the age of 68 years of age, he probably arrived in Fiji in 1820. (

The Fijians of Levuka knew him. They nicknamed him (Matai Vunivesi) Builder of Vunivesi, Vunivesi being the point of land by the seaside, adjoining the mouth of the creek of Levuka vaka Viti. In the history of Fiji, Simpson is hardly mentioned at all, but Captain Erskine of the H.M.S. “Havannah” in his journal of the cruise among the islands of the Western Pacific, which visited Levuka in August 1849, mentioned that Simpson piloted the ship in through the reef passage, to her anchorage.

He practiced his Christian religion, and was a friend of the Chief Tui Levuka. The Rev. James Calicut also mentions Mr Simpson in his book “Mission History” Vol. II in which he says it became necessary for the settlers to have some share in a boat for trading purposes and thus they formed partnerships.

The leading firm being that of Messrs. David Whippy (an American), William Simpson (English Ship-builder) and William Cusick (Irish Blacksmith) at Levuka”.
James WHIPPY Birth: 16 March 1705 Death: 17 April 1773 Nantucket Island Massachusetts USA
James married Patience Long and had 7 children who were Judith, James, Nathaniel, Mary, Jane, Susanna, Samuel. Samuel Whippy married Parnell Finch and their son David Whippy settled in Fiji.


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