In 1861 William Rawson Brame, a Birmingham Baptist minister, founded the Albertland Special Settlement Association, organising non-conformist immigrants to come to New Zealand as part of the last organised British settlement in New Zealand. They included farmers, carpenters, servants, butchers, joiners, cabinetmakers, millers, drapers, sawyers, clerks and many other trades.
The Albertlanders set sail for New Zealand on May 29, 1862 aboard numerous ships including the Matilda Wattenbach, Hanover and William Miles. The Matilda Wattenbach made it to Auckland first on September 8, 1862 and the new settlers made their own way to the settlement of Albertland (now known as Port Albert).
According to local tradition, the name Wellsford is an acronym based on the surnames of the first families who settled in the region. The names were Watson, Edger, Lester, Levet, Simpson, Foster, Oldfield, Ramsbottom and Dibble
Wellsford is a town in the north of the North Island of New Zealand and is the northernmost major settlement in the Auckland Region. Its location almost exactly halfway between Auckland and the northern city of Whangarei also makes it a more notable regional centre. Wellsford is located close to a narrowing of the North Auckland Peninsula caused by an arm of the Kaipara Harbour on the west coast extending inland for 20 kilometres from the body of the harbour, stretching to within 15 kilometres of the east coast.
The town's population is around 1,700 it is a major regional centre, being located at the junction of State Highways 1 and 16.
Being a rural town, sport plays a big part in Wellsford's day-to-day life with rugby, soccer, netball, cricket, tennis and athletics being amongst the more popular sports played. The Wellsford Golf Club is popular among the locals and also houses squash courts. Rollerskating, archery and indoor and outdoor bowling is also available. Horse riding is also popular in the area.