Saturday, 12 May 2018

#52Ancestors, Week 19, Mothers' Day

Last year, I shared memories about my Mum and both of my grandmothers. Great grandmothers then - there are four, and all DNA confirmed. This could be a long post.

Sarah Hall 
was born 2 June 1862 in Boagh townland in the parish of Drumgoon, County Cavan Ireland. The closest market town was Cootehill. Boagh is located close to the county border with Monaghan and not far from the border that now separates the Emerald Isle into two countries. With more English sounding surnames it could be supposed that her forebears may have been among the English who settled and took up land overtime, and became known as Anglo-Irish.

As if Irish records weren’t difficult enough to find and unravel, especially from afar, her mother’s maiden name was also Hall. She had nine brothers and sisters and six of them accompanied her and their parents when they emigrated to New Zealand in 1876. They left Gravesend on 27 November 1876 on the Oxford and arrived in Auckland on 1 March 1877. The family lived for a time in Papakura. William and Anne, her parents later moved to Hamilton near to where she and her husband were living. One of her mother’s sisters also emigrated to New Zealand in the 1880’s.

Sarah married my great grandfather Francis Davys in Papakura on 15 December 1885. They began their married life near Dargaville, perhaps farming, but by the time their 2nd child was born they were again living in Papakura. By 1898 they had relocated to Taupiri where Francis was operating a sawmill with some of his brothers. At the end of 1907 they moved again, to Tamahere, where they lived until the end of 1913. In March 1914 Francis died in Hamilton. By now a grandmother, Sarah lived on to see her younger children marry and welcome more grandchildren. She died on 26 February 1938.

I don’t know too much else about her. Did she have an Irish accent ? or had that disappeared as so often happens with child immigrants.

Emma Louisa Bartlett 
was born in the Waitohi Valley, near Koromiko or Picton, Marlborough, New Zealand on 12 September 1875. She was a 2nd generation New Zealander, both her parents had been born in the colony to settlers or the children of settlers. She was the 3rd daughter in a family of eleven. About 1883 her parents moved their young family of five to North Island, initially in Foxton, then Otaki and Manakau.

She and her siblings were amongst the first pupils at Manakau School when it opened in 1888 soon after moving from Otaki. Emma did not start with her 2 younger sisters, joining them a few months later. Her elder sisters did not return to school in Manakau, likely their mother needed their help at home with younger brothers and sisters. However, Emma didn’t spend long at school, it is unclear exactly when she left but the note “Home” suggests her assistance was again required at home. Her two elder sisters were married by 1891 and she herself married William Cooper on 24 January 1894 in Manakau.

Their first three children were born there before they moved to Levin in 1899 where William was employed as a builder. In around 1910 they moved to the Waikato, where Emma’s parents had moved earlier. They farmed at Elstow near Te Aroha until about 1918 when they moved further north to Auckland, before moving to Hamilton in 1921. They spent most of the 1930’s farming again near Katikati, then returned briefly to Hamilton where William had built houses. He also built a home in Mission Bay Auckland and they lived there for a couple of years, returning to live in Hamilton in 1943. Their children were all grown and married by this time with their own children and even grandchildren. Emma and William celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1944. She died on 7 January 1945.

I don’t know too much else, except my Dad says she was “just lovely”, that my daughter calls her “pretty Emma” and that she called eggs “haighs” – where does that come from ?

Laura Ellen Kelsey 
was born on 17 July 1878 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. Her mother died when she was ten months old. Her father worked for the Great Western Railway, so she and her brother went to live with their grandfather in Dudley until their father remarried.

I imagine her early life was a little unsettled, but she had some strong figures in her life; her grandfather and her aunt. Her stepmother died, leaving her father with three more young children in 1890. I imagine Laura may have been expected to help with them at home until he remarried for the 3rd time. She was a housemaid before she married in 1901 and had moved to Leamington Spa in Warwickshire by then. Whether this was her first position I do not know, and when she moved is unknown as well. Her father died in 1898, perhaps stepmother #2 had no time for extra children and that was the catalyst to move away. More than likely though, she would have been in service and away from home before this anyway.

Laura married George Timms on 1 July 1901 in Old Milverton where George was employed as a coachman at Cranford House. Their first two of their four children were born there before they moved back into Leamington. Life threw Laura a few curve balls resulting in her becoming an absent parent and spending twenty years in an asylum. She died on 20 September 1935.

Edith Lilian Vose 
was born on 9 February 1881 in Templeton, near Christchurch, Canterbury. She was the fifth child in her family, but she was the first to be born in New Zealand. Her parents and elder siblings had immigrated in April 1879 from England. They were market gardeners. In England her father had been a labourer and stoker with the Royal Arsenal. Her grandfather had been in the Royal Engineers. Her mother came from rural Wiltshire but had worked at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London before marrying.

After some years in Templeton her parents moved to Prebbleton and to Christchurch itself, before returning to Prebbleton later in life. Edith’s elder brother Samuel owned some land in the Wharenui settlement later known as Upper Riccarton, Christchurch. He too, was a market gardener and built a small cottage there. Edith lived with him and kept house. Samuel died in 1900 aged 28 and left the property to Edith who was then aged just 19.

Nine months after Samuel’s death Edith married John William Fuller on 8 May 1901. John lived in the same street and had been living with his married brother. He worked for the railways and would walk past Samuel’s property each day. He was a lot older than Edith and six years older than Samuel. My Nana would say that he thought he was on to a good thing, marrying the young “heiress”. I like to think it was less calculated. Maybe John was friends with Samuel and wanted to take care of his young sister for him, maybe she was a friend of his niece Elsie, maybe they just fell in love.

They lived their entire married life on the property which had been Samuel’s and raised a family of five. They grew raspberries and fruit and had their own milk cow for many years. John died in 1942 but Edith remained in the little cottage with her youngest daughter, growing raspberries, gardening and enjoying her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She died on 10 April 1963.

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