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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand ~ Follow Friday

A great resource from the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre – a searchable full-text edition of all six volumes of The Cyclopedia of New Zealand.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand was published in six volumes between 1897 and 1908 by the Cyclopedia Company Ltd. Each volume deals with a region of New Zealand and includes information on local towns and districts, government departments, individuals, businesses, clubs and societies. Biographical entries frequently include the subject’s date and place of birth, the name of the ship by which immigrants arrived, spouse’s name, and the number and gender of children born to a couple. (NZETC website)

Members of the public paid to have an entry in the publication, so there is a bias towards those who could afford to do so. Few women, Māori or non-Europeans are included in the biographical section. However, it does give a wonderful snapshot of the towns and settlements in late 19th and early 20th century New Zealand, with the added bonus of maybe a snippet or two on your early settler ancestors.

Here is the entry for my great great grandfather, Michael Gaff(a)ney:

Gaffney, Michael, Farmer, “Belper Farm,” Arowhenua. Mr. Gaffney was born in 1836 at Belper, Derbyshire, England, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1858 by the ship “Cresswell,” landing in Lyttelton. He went to Timaru and was employed by Messrs. Rhodes Bros, for many years, principally at bush work and fencing. He was the first to take a waggon team to the Mackenzie country, and was engaged in the carrying business for some years. In 1861, he was the first who took up land on the Levels estate. The farm on which he resides comprises 548 acres, and he has another property of 252 acres at Washdyke, and a considerable amount of township property. In addition to wheat-growing, he fattens sheep for freezing, and disposes of a considerable number annually. Mr. Gaffney has been a member of the South Canterbury Hunt Club for many years and takes a general interest in sport. He was married in Christchurch to Miss Maggie Brosnahan, and has twelve children.1

Some of the biographical entries also included photos – perhaps you had to pay more for that?

This is just a little from the section on Temuka:

Temuka is on the main south line of railway, eighty-nine miles from Christchurch, and eleven miles to the north of Timaru. The surrounding district is rich agricultural country; towards the sea the land is particularly fertile, and was originally a wild swamp, but it now yields crops which average sixty bushels of wheat and from seventy to eighty bushels of oats to the acre. With a few exceptions, the holdings are comparatively large, and the whole district is dotted with fine plantations, which afford shelter to the stock and homesteads and lend a sylvan grace to the landscape. The district is well watered, as the Opihi and Temuka rivers are about half a mile from the town, the Orari three miles, and the Rangitata about ten. These rivers are known to all anglers as being stocked with trout, which, in respect to size and delicacy, equal the best in New Zealand. Temuka is, therefore, in high favour with anglers, some of whom come from Australia, and even England, every fishing season. In itself Temuka is a pleasant country town, with broad clean streets, and fresh water running in the side channels. It is well supplied with schools, churches, hotels, and livery stables. Many of the buildings are in brick, and the shops are supplied with articles equal to those to be seen in the larger centres of population. There are two doctors, two chemists, and one dentist in the town, which has a well kept park and domain, with a bicycle track, and tennis, cricket and football grounds. The post and telegraph office and the courthouse are built in brick. A large amount of business is transacted at the local railway station and the goods sheds. At the census taken on the 31st of March, 1901, Temuka had a population of 1,465; 767 males, and 698 females.2

According to the 2006 Census, Temuka now has a population of 4044: 1950 males, and 2091 females.2

Follow Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. “Gaffney, Michael”, The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], (The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 1903); digitised publication by New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc03Cycl-t1-body1-d6-d101-d2.html).
  2. “[Temuka]”,  The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], (The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 1903); digitised publication by New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc03Cycl-t1-body1-d6-d97-d1.html)
  3. “QuickStats about Temuka”, 2006 Census Data, Statistics New Zealand, (http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage.aspx : accessed 10 Feb 2012).

Excerpts from The Cyclopedia of New Zealand shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

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St Bede’s College Sports, 1928

This entry is part 4 of 18 in the series The Brosnahans of Temuka

My grandfather Dominic Gaffaney was a boarder at St Bede’s College, Christchurch, NZ for two years – from 1927 to 1928.  The college is the oldest Roman Catholic Boys’ College in the South Island, founded by Marist priests in 1911, and the only Catholic day and boarding college for boys in the South Island.1

Also attending St Bede’s at the time was his cousin Jim Brosnahan, and his first cousin George Gaffaney.  I love to imagine a bit of family rivalry going on between the three of them, especially when it came to sporting endeavours.

The annual sports of St. Bede’s College, held at the sports grounds, produced the usual keen competition and healthy rivalry, and although there were no outstanding performances the meeting was thoroughly enjoyable.

The senior championship was won by J. Brosnahan, a very promising distance runner and field athlete, G. Gaffaney and D. Gaffaney sharing second place.2

The following events where Dominic was placed:

220yds. Grand Handicap, Open (record, 22 2/5 sec., T.H.Lee, 1924) – First heat: J. Phelan (9yds.) 1, D Gaffaney (scr) 2, Time, 25 sec. Second heat: G. Gaffaney (1yd.) 1, G. Josephs (9yds.) 2, Time, 26 sec. Final: Phelan 1, G. Joseph 2, G. Gaffaney 3. Time, 25 sec.

440yds. Grand Handicap (record 58 4/5 sec. T.H.Lee, 1924) – A. Devonport (10yds.) 1, W. Doyle (20yds.) 2, D. Gaffaney (scr.) 3, Devonport ran splendidly to win very easily. Time 56 4/5 sec.

Mile Senior Championship (record, L. Carmody, 5 min. 1 sec., 1927) – J. Brosnahan 1, D. Gaffaney 2, F. McHugh 3. Time, 5 min. 10 sec.

880yds. Senior Championship (record, 2 min. 13 4/5 sec., J. Payne 1923) – J. Brosnahan 1, D. Gaffaney 2, J. McHugh 3. Time, 2 min, 26 4/5 sec.

440yds. Senior Championship – D. Gaffaney 1, J. Brosnahan 2, G. Gaffaney 3. Time, 59 1/5 sec.
Long Jump, Senior Championship (record, 18ft. 6 ½ in., J. Hendren, 1927) – G. Gaffaney 1, J. Brosnahan 2, D. Gaffaney 3. Distance, 16ft. 2 ½ in.

220yds. Senior Championship (record, 22 3/5 sec., T. H. Lee, 1924) – D. Gaffaney 1, G. Gaffaney 2, F. Foster 3. Time, 25 1/5 sec.

100yds. Senior Championship (record, 10 sec., T. H. Lee, 1924) – G. Gaffaney 1, D. Gaffaney 2, F. Foster 3. Time, 12 2/5 sec.3

In the 1928 rugby season, all three boys made it into the First XV – with George as captain.4

1928 First XV, St Bede's College, Christchurch, NZ

1928 First XV, St Bede’s College, Christchurch, NZ

Standing: D. Gaffaney, G. Joseph, K. McMenamin, O. Scully, M. O’Reilly, E. Duncan
Sitting: J. Blackmore, J. Ryan, J. Brosnahan, G. Gaffaney (Capt.), M. Gonley, F. Foster, W. Thiele
In front: G. Duggan, O. O’Sullivan
Absent: W. Quirk (Vice-Capt.), J. Egden, W. Grennell, V. Coughlan, V. Cahill, P. Loughnan.

  1. Wikipedia, “St Bede’s College, Christchurch”, article; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Bede%27s_College,_Christchurch : accessed 07 July 2011.
  2. The Bedean, St Bede’s College (Christchurch: 1928), p 56.
  3. The Bedean, (1928), p 57
  4. The Bedean, (1928)
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The old homestead, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

"Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury (late 1800s)

“Belper”, Arowhenua, South Canterbury (late 1800s)

This is the original home of Michael Gaffaney and Margaret Brosnahan, and I’ve posted this photo in an earlier post.  I’m not sure when it was taken, but at the recent family gathering in Temuka, the photo was displayed with the following note:

Michael and Margaret Gaffaney with, probably, their five eldest daughters, Susan, Annie, Margaret, Ellen, Kate and their eldest son, Thomas.

Their son Thomas died in 1900 at the age of 28, and if it is indeed him on the horse, he looks considerably younger, so I’m guessing this photo is at least a decade earlier than that.  (Where is Jayne Shrimpton when you need her??)

"Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ, c.1915

“Belper”, Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ, c.1915

I have a copy of this photo, but was never sure who the children were, or when it was taken.  At the Temuka gathering, it was displayed with the following caption:

Belpher [sic] House approx 1915-16
Tom Gaffaney, Peggy Barron, Albert Halley

 

"Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ, 1989

“Belper”, Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ, 1989

This is a photo my father took in 1989, possibly just before the house left family ownership.

"Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ, January 2012

“Belper”, Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ, January 2012

This is what the house looks like today – a bit run down and unloved. (And yes, I should have moved a bit closer, so that darn post was not in the way.)  Apparently many of the character features of the house are long gone, and it’s in need of serious repair.  That didn’t stop me asking my cousin to let me know if it ever goes up for sale!

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Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ Those Places Thursday

Temuka.

I finally got to visit this very special place last month.

My grandfather’s cousin was celebrating 50 years of life as a nun, having a jubilee Mass and lunch afterwards, with many family members invited.  I was pretty keen to attend, despite having to travel halfway round the world, and when I found out it was to be held in Temuka, I started booking my flights immediately.

Near Temuka, in Arowhenua,  is where my great great grandfather, Michael Gaffaney,  bought his first piece of land in New Zealand, after immigrating from England in 1858.  And it’s where he and his wife, Margaret Brosnahan, brought up their 14 children.  Their original house still stands, though it’s no longer owned by family.  The farm, however, is still in family hands, run with pride and passion by my cousin (second, once removed), who gave us a tour with marvellous commentary.  Who knew farming was so scientific nowadays?  (Not this townie, at any rate.)

Belper Farm, Arowhenua, near Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

Belper Farm, Arowhenua, near Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

The celebration was wonderful, and a great chance to meet many relatives for the first time.   Mass was celebrated at St Joseph’s church, which was built in 1879 at the instigation of Father Louis Fauvel, a French priest.  He baptised my great grandfather, Peter Dominic Gaffaney, on 16th August 1879,  before the new building was completed.  My great great grandmother, Margaret, donated  two of the many beautiful stained glass windows in the church. (The cost was apparently equivalent to a year’s wages, so the farm must have been doing pretty good!)

Blessed Virgin Mary & St Gabriel, windows donated by Mrs M Gaffney, St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

Blessed Virgin Mary & St Gabriel, windows donated by Mrs M Gaffney, St Joseph’s church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

I can’t wait to visit again!

Those Places Thursday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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St Joseph’s church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ Wordless Wednesday

St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ January 2012

St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ January 2012

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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Travelling

Hmmm… I don’t seem to be doing so well on my blogging resolutions so far this year.  But!  I have an excellent excuse.  I have just spent 13 days in New Zealand – primarily a genealogical excursion – and have been too busy, and too far from a wifi connection, to  post.  I have met some wonderful relatives and visited places with family connections.  And, of course, discovered more treasures stashed away at my parents’ house!

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Postcard from… Wellington, New Zealand

City and Harbour, Wellington NZ

City and Harbour, Wellington NZ 4073

This postcard is one of many in an album that belonged to my paternal grandparents. I’m not sure of the date of this, perhaps 1950s or 60s? Hopefully I’ll be able to find out a bit more when I talk to my father, who has the album now.

We arrived in Auckland yesterday, after 26 hours in the air.  Despite travelling with three young kids, it didn’t seem to take long at all.  Can’t imagine spending three months in a boat (unless it was a fancy cruise ship).

Today we have a short one hour flight to Wellington – will be fantastic to see my home town again!

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