iwiKiwi

A Kiwi in search of her Irish, English & Scottish tribes

George & Elizabeth Tunnecliff all spruced up ~ Tombstone Tuesday

My 3 x great grandparents George and Elizabeth Tunnicliff are buried in Grave 56 of St Mary’s Cathedral churchyard, New Plymouth (Taranaki, New Zealand). In 2014 John Pickering, graveyard manager of St Mary’s, spearheaded a project to repair all the old gravestones in the churchyard. Desecendants, where known, were contacted and asked to help fund the project. Through an earlier blog post, some money was raised towards the repair of George and Elizabeth’s gravestone, but the majority was funded by donations from local parishioners.

The churchyard is a Category 1 historical site, and as such, only registered memorial masons could carry out the repairs. As you can see, a wonderful job has been done! Heartfelt thanks must go to St Mary’s Cathedral and its generous congregation, and especially John Pickering, for looking after our heritage sites.

The inscription on the headstone reads:

In loving memory of George Tunnecliff died 13 February 1912 aged 80 years also Elizabeth Tunnecliff died 24 February 1916 aged 86 . At rest.

Further reading:

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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Family outing on the Avon ~ Wordless Wednesday

My grandfather and his parents, out on the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand. A photograph from a family album.

Peter Gaffaney, Margaret (O'Rourke Gaffaney), and Dominic Gaffaney, on the Avon River, Christchurch, c.1914

Peter Gaffaney, Margaret (O’Rourke) Gaffaney, and Dominic Gaffaney, on the Avon River, Christchurch, c.1914

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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Accentuate the Positive ~ 2016

The last year has been a crazy busy year full of study and work and moving countries. It’s been lovely to look back and see that I actually did manage to cram in some genealogy fun as well.

An elusive ancestor I found was… not an ancestor, but a relative – a missing baby I had heard rumours of, and now have found. Ha!

An important vital record I found was the birth certificate of this missing baby, my 2 x great aunt’s illegitimate daughter.

An ancestor’s grave I found was my great grandmother’s in Taruheru cemetery, Gisborne, along with her husband, parents, and daughter, and it was very moving to visit it at last.

Gravestone of Elsie (Nunns) Wright, Taruheru Cemetery, Gisborne, NZ ~ December 2016

Gravestone of Elsie (Nunns) Wright, Taruheru Cemetery, Gisborne, NZ ~ December 2016

A geneasurprise I received was a framed collage of photos from my fellow IHGS students as a leaving present before I moved back to New Zealand.

A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was Les Mitchinson‘s Report Writing course held in Petersfield, Hampshire.

I taught some members of the public how to start their family history research when I volunteered on the Ask the Experts sessions at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Birmingham.

A genealogy book that taught me something new was Susan Moore’s Family Feuds: An Introduction to Chancery Records.

A great repository/archive/library I visited was the archives at Tralee Library in County Kerry, Ireland, where I viewed original workhouse records for the area.

A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Manorial Records for Family Historians, written by my cousin Geoffrey Barber.

A geneadventure I enjoyed was taking the kids to Belper in Derbyshire, and following in the footsteps of my 2 x great grandfather.

Another positive I would like to share is… after six years of study, 88 assignments, and one exam, I finally completed and PASSED the Higher Certificate of Genealogy from IHGS in Canterbury. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Thanks go to Jill at GeniAUS again for her great Accentuate the Positive geneameme. You can read about the 2016 highlights of other geneabloggers on the GeniAUS website.

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Five year blogiversary

What a cracking year it has been for me, but perhaps not for this sadly neglected blog!  I have been busy finding ancestors, writing IHGS assignments, as well as attending genealogy events and a family reunion.

I think my absolute favourite discovery was the gravestone of my  3 x great grandparents, Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn, in Wellshill Cemetery, Perth, Scotland.

Gravestone of Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn, Wellshill Cemetery, Perth, Scotland ~ November 2015

Gravestone of Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn, Wellshill Cemetery, Perth, Scotland ~ November 2015

Here’s to many more discoveries in 2016, and perhaps a few more blog posts!

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Gallipoli 100 Years ~ Anzac Day 2015

"Deptford New Zealander", clipping from unknown publication

“Deptford New Zealander”, clipping from unknown British publication, date circa August 1915

My great grandfather, Alexander Wright, was one of the many soldiers who landed at (the now-named) Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, on 25th April 1915.  He was wounded on 8th August, and eventually invalided back to New Zealand.

At the time of enlistment, Alex was single, working as a labourer with the Public Works Department in Gisborne, and living at 53 Bright Street. In his attestation, he declared that he was a deserter from the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. He gave his mother, Mary Jane Carroll, of 180 Evelyn Street, Deptford, England, as his next-of-kin.

His medical examination describes him being 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighing 11st 4lb and having a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark brown hair.  He was assessed fit and joined the Wellington Infantry Battalion as a Private with the regimental number of 10/800.

His service career totalled 272 days, including 188 days in foreign service, from enlistment on 23 August 1914 until his discharge as medically unfit on 21 May 1916.

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Happy 100th Birthday, Nanna!

My Nanna would have been 100 years old today.

She was born Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell on 4th April 1915 in Lepperton, Taranaki, daughter of George Tunnecliffe McGonnell and Naomi Myrtle Florey, and died almost 96 years later, on 2nd February 2011 in Paraparaumu.

George Wright and Jean McGonnell on their wedding day, 16th November 1940.

George Wright and Jean McGonnell on their wedding day, 16th November 1940.

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The Arrival of my Ancestors ~ Waitangi Day

Today is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. It commemorates the date the Treaty of Waitangi was formally agreed between the Māori tribes of Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Queen of England way back in 1840. For all the Treaty’s faults, it helped pave the way for my ancestors to emigrate and settle in New Zealand. So, I thought I’d list when each of my immigrant family members arrived and their ships, where known.

Sketches on Board an Emigrant Ship ~ The Illustrated New Zealand Herald, 9 April, 1875

Sketches on Board an Emigrant Ship ~ The Illustrated New Zealand Herald, 9 April, 1875

Arrived 8 August 1857 ~ Dinapore

George Tunnecliff(e) from Staffordshire and Elizabeth Barber from Sussex, my 3 x great grandparents, travelled on the Dinapore which left London on 13 April 1857.1 Did they know each other before they sailed, or did they meet on the ship? Also on the ship were Elizabeth’s employers from London, the Yates family. Did they pay for her ticket, and was she expected to work for them on arrival in New Zealand? In any case, George and Elizabeth married in Auckland, three days after arriving.

Arrived 12 September 1859 ~ Cresswell

Michael Gaff(a)ney, my 2 x great grandfather born in Derbyshire of Irish parents, took advantage of the assisted immigration scheme and departed London aboard the Cresswell on 27 May 1859, arriving in Lyttleton on 12 September 1859.2

Arrived around 1861 ~ ship unknown

Michael McGonnell from Co Down arrived in New Zealand around 1861, according to his death certificate. It’s unclear how he travelled to New Zealand. He had joined the Royal Navy in 1858, and did a runner from HMS Foxhound in June 1861. He later married George and Elizabeth Tunnecliffe’s daughter, Louisa.

Arrived 16 December 1862 ~ Echunga

Margaret Brosnahan, my 2 x great grandmother, and her brother John, from Co Kerry, sailed from Gravesend on 10 September 1862 as full-paying passengers on the Echunga, and landed at Timaru on 16 December 1862.3 Apparently Margaret was the first girl down the gangplank, and Michael Gaffaney took one look at her and vowed to marry her. They married a year later.

Arrived 16 February 1864 ~ Mermaid

Martin Burke and his wife Ann (Philp), my 2 x great grandparents, sailed on the Mermaid from London as assisted immigrants along with their five month old daughter, Mary.4 Martin was born in Co Mayo and had emigrated to Perth, Scotland with his family around 1850. Ann was originally from Fife, Scotland.

Arrived 18 November 1864 ~ Alfred

Edward Horne and his wife Elizabeth (Rose), my 3 x great grandparents, left Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 September 1864 aboard the Alfred, along with their six month old daughter, Annie.5 Edward was originally from Warwickshire, while Elizabeth was born in Cape Town. They were assisted immigrants, taking advantage of the Waikato Immigration Scheme.

Arrived around 1866 ~ Blue Jacket?

My 2 x great grandfather, Bartholomew O’Rourke from Co Kerry, sailed on the Blue Jacket and arrived in the West Coast goldfields around 1866, according to his obituary, although I can find no corresponding passenger list to confirm this. He may have travelled via the Australian goldfields.

Arrived around 1867 ~ ship unknown

Bridget Power from Co Tipperary arrived on the West Coast goldfields sometime around 1867. In 1869 she married Bartholomew O’Rourke.

Arrived 21 Jan 1875 ~ Avalanche

Henry Florey from Kent, my 3 x great grandfather, sailed from Gravesend on 22 October 1874 aboard the Avalanche, along with his wife Elizabeth (Byford), their son Forrest, and Henry’s son from a previous relationship, Henry John Forrest.6 Henry junior married Annie Horne in 1885.

Arrived around 1876 ~ Fernglen?

John Burton and his wife Bridget (O’Mahoney) were from Co Tipperary and Co Limerick respectively. According to family lore, they sailed with their two young children aboard the Fernglen and arrived in New Zealand around 1876. Their names don’t appear on any passenger listings or newspaper reports found so far, though the listings for the 1876 sailing may be incomplete.7

Arrived after 27 June 1902 ~ Delphic

My great grandmother Elsie Nunns from West Yorkshire travelled with her parents Sam and Alice (Cockerham) aboard the Delphic, which departed London on 8 May 1902, arriving in Wellington on 27 June. They continued on to Dunedin, disembarking at Port Chalmers.8

Arrived around 1911-14 ~ ship unknown

My great grandfather Alexander Wright arrived in New Zealand sometime between 1911 (when he deserted from the British Army) and 1914 (when he volunteered for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force). Originally from south east London, he married Elsie Nunns in 1917 after being invalided back to New Zealand during World War I.

Do you know when your ancestors arrived?

  1. “Dinapore”, transcription; YesterYears Passenger Lists, (http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlists/dinapore.html : accessed 5 Feb 2015); transcribed by 0032006 from The New Zealander, 4 Jul 1857 and The New Zealander, 8 Aug 1857.
  2. “New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FST7-NNG : accessed 5 February 2015), Michl Gaffeney, 12 Sep 1859; citing Cresswell, Ship, Arrival Port Lyttelton, National Archives, Wellington; FHL microfilm 004411505.
  3. “The ‘Echunga’ Arrives”, transcription; South Canterbury NZ GenWeb (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzlscant/echunga.htm : accessed 5 Feb 2015); transcribe from the “Lyttelton Times” December 24, 1862.
  4. “New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FSBF-PJF : accessed 6 February 2015), Martin Burke, 16 Feb 1864; citing Mermaid, Ship, Arrival Port Canterbury, National Archives, Wellington; FHL microfilm 004411751.
  5. “Alfred”, transcription; Our Stuff (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ourstuff/Alfred1864.htm : accessed 5 Feb 2015); transcribed by Denise & Peter, citing Archives New Zealand Micro 5019.
  6. “New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FSB5-L6N : accessed 5 February 2015), Henry R Florey, 21 Jan 1875; citing Avalanche, Ship, Arrival Port Taranaki, National Archives, Wellington; FHL microfilm 004412892.
  7. “Fernglen”, New Zealand Bound (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzbound/fernglen.htm : accessed 5 Feb 2015).
  8. “The Delphic’s Passengers”, digital image; Papers Past (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ : accessed 5 Feb 2015); citing The Press, volume LIX, issue 11299, 14 Jun 1902, p9.

Image:
Montage of sketches depicting life on board an emigrant ship. Making New Zealand :Negatives and prints from the Making New Zealand Centennial collection. Ref: MNZ-0661-1/4-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23020604.

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Stories Untold

When I started this blog four years ago today, I wanted to share stories of my research, of ancestors discovered and places visited. So I did.

It was great to look back over the past year to remember the discoveries and highlights, and like the year before, I hope to spend the next few months telling the stories of those finds. Except, I didn’t do that last year!

Blank postcard

I have left so many stories untold. I’m not sure if I am waiting for “more time” to do a “better job”. That day will never come! Sometimes “good enough” is better than not at all.

So if you haven’t started a blog, or a family history, or writing your autobiography, just get writing. There will never be enough time, and you will never write as well as you would like. So, jump right in, the water’s warm and inviting.

And don’t forget to join the Geneabloggers community for lots of support and inspiration!

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My Genealogy Year 2014 ~ Accentuate the Positive!

Once again Jill Ball aka GeniAUS has encouraged everyone to celebrate their positives of the last year with her geneameme Accentuate the Positive, instead of focussing on all those things that didn’t quite happen.

Here’s how 2014 panned out for me…

An elusive ancestor I found was Elizabeth Barber, my 3 x great grandmother. Well, I knew of her, but I had only circumstantial evidence (albeit very strong) to tie her with a particular Barber family from Brighton. Thanks to the efforts of my (now confirmed!) fourth cousin once removed and some DNA testing, we have established proof of who her family was. And I can now trace my Barber family back to the 1500s in Kent!

An ancestor’s grave I found was that of my 5 x great grandfather Nathaniel Phillip in Cockshutt, Shropshire, and it was a pretty impressive one. It’s even listed!

Grave of Nathaniel Phillips (1768-1842), St Simon & St Jude's church, Cockshutt, Shropshire

Grave of Nathaniel Phillips (1768-1842), St Simon & St Jude’s church, Cockshutt, Shropshire

An important vital record I found was the will of Nathaniel’s daughter, my 4 x great grandmother Louisa (Phillips) Tunnicliffe – not technically a vital record but definitely vital to my research!

My 2014 blog post that I was particularly proud of was my contribution to the 2014 Trans-Tasman Anzac Day Blog Challenge: Edward G Tunnicliff ~ an ANZAC all the same.

My 2014 blog post that received the largest number of hits was Who Do You Think You Are? Live, London.

A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Facebook. This year I joined a number of genealogy-focused groups, and they have been a fantastic source of information and news.

A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was every one that I attended! I joined the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) February, and enjoyed their annual conference in April and one day seminar in November. I took three very inspiring Pharos courses in 2014: One-Place Studies, Introduction to One-Name Studies, and Maps and Surveys. I also became a huge fan of Marian Pierre-Louis’s The Genealogy Professional podcasts, and attended two of her webinars.

A genealogy book that taught me something new was Colin Nicholson’s Strangers to England: Immigration to England 1100-1945.

A great repository/archive/library I visited was the Lichfield Record office in Staffordshire. The staff were extremely helpful, and very accommodating of my three children, so I was able to research for nearly two hours instead of the half hour I had envisioned.

A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was a genealogical crime mystery – Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s The Lost Ancestor, the second book in his Forensic Genealogy fiction series.

It was exciting to finally meet GeniAUS herself, Jill Ball, at a one day GOONS seminar in November. I was so thrilled to meet my geneablogging hero!

A geneadventure I enjoyed was a trip to York in November with my fellow IHGS students, organised by the wonderful Pam Smith. We got a tour of the Borthwick Archives, a ghost tour of the town, and I had time to chase up some East Yorkshire ancestors, plus have a wee look at some ancestral villages. Not forgetting much mirth and merriment with some great genie friends.

On the ghost tour, in foggy York

On the ghost tour, in foggy York

Another positive I would like to share is I submitted five (yes, FIVE) sets of assignments this year towards my IHGS Higher Certificate, and am now over halfway through the course.

Thanks again to Jill for the opportunity to share the genealogical highlights of my year. You can read about the 2014 highlights of other geneabloggers through her GeniAUS website.

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Bethuel Boyes of Great Driffield ~ Tombstone Tuesday

I’ve done my fair share of walking around graveyards in the vain hope of discovering an ancestor’s (legible) gravestone. And occasionally I get lucky!

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangalist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangalist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

(See an earlier post about finding George & Elizabeth Kemp in West Yorkshire.)

Sometimes I’ve even checked the burial registers or with cemetery staff beforehand and know for certain that a family member is buried there. And I’ve not been so lucky.

Brockley Cemetery, Lewisham, London - June 2012

Brockley Cemetery, Lewisham, London ~ June 2012

(See an earlier post on Mary Jane’s grave at Brockley Cemetery.)

A few months ago I thought I was onto a winning formula – not only had I found a transcription of an ancestor’s gravestone, but also a map clearly showing where it was in the churchyard of All Saints, Great Driffield, East Yorkshire.

1a Near this place lie interred the remains of /BETHUEL BOYES, Esquire, who
departed this life/ August 27th 1810, aged 78 years/ Also MARY BOYES his
wife, who departed this life/ September 13th 1819 aged 80 years/ Also BRYAN
BOYES / son of the above, who departed this life/October 13th 1843, aged 70
years/ Also of BETHUEL BOYES, Esquire/ (late of Eastburn), son of the
above, who died/14th April 1840, aged 73 years/ Also of LOIS BOYES, his
wife, who died /24th July 1820, aged 47 years/ And in memory of/ JOHN BOYES
Esquire, son of the above (interred in Little Driffield Church) who died/
30th March 1847, aged 71 years.1

Also listed were the relevant entries from the parish registers:

1810 Aug 29 Bethel Boyes, Gentleman 78
1819 Sep 15 Mary Boyes, Widow, Great Driffield 80
1843 Oct 20 Bryan Boyes, Great Driffield 70
1840 Apr 21 Bethel Boyes, Eastburn 73
1820 Jul 26 Lois, wife of Bethuel Boyes, Eastburn 47
*1847 Apr 6 John Boyes, Great Driffield 71 (in Little Driffield Register)2

So, on a recent trip to Yorkshire for an IHGS students get-together, I hired a car for an afternoon and went off in search of Mr Bethuel Boyes and Co.’s final resting place.

All Saint's Church, Great Driffield

All Saint’s Church, Great Driffield

See any gravestones? No.

Where have they gone? Removed. All of them.

See that thin weedy looking plant? Underneath that, or near enough anyway, lie the remains of my 6 x great grandparents, Bethuel and Mary (Etherington), two of their sons, and a daughter-in-law.

R.I.P.

A huge thanks to the East Yorkshire Family History Society who recorded the locations and inscriptions of the gravestones at All Saints churchyard in June 1982!

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. East Yorkshire FHS (trans.), Driffield ,Great (All Saints) memorial inscriptions: East Yorkshire monumental inscriptions vol. 5, East Yorkshire FHS (1990).
  2. Ibid.
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