Tag Archives: Arowhenua

Will of James Brosnan, 1890 ~ Amanuensis Monday

After reading John Brosnahan’s will, I was curious to know what was in his father James’s will.  I hadn’t found it on Archway when I initially looked, as I was searching under the name ‘Brosnahan’.  Remembering that John’s parents were buried under the name of Brosnan, I searched again and found the reference to James’s probate file, held at Archives New Zealand’s Christchurch office.  The office now offer to email you a PDF of the document(s) you are wanting, or you can wait for a photocopy by post (NZD20.00 charge which includes postage and up to 80 pages).  Service was speedy and friendly!

I, James Brosnan of the Levels Plain in the Provincial District of Canterbury in the Colony of New Zealand Farmer do hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament  I appoint George McSheehy Gentleman of Temuka in the Provincial District aforesaid Saddler and John Fitzgerald of Arowhenua in Provincial District aforesaid Farmer (hereinafter called “my Trustees”) to be the Executors and Trustees of this my Will.  I devise my freehold sections numbered 8037  7763 and 15176 situated in the District of Timaru and section numbered 1207  on the plan of the Town of Arowhenua and all other lands and hereditaments of which I shall die possessed to my Trustees  To the use and intent that my wife Ann Brosnan may receive out of the rents and profits thereof during her life a yearly rent charge of ten pounds sterling to be paid by equal half yearly payments the first of such payments to be made six months after my decease and to the further use and intent that if and as often as the said rent charge or any part thereof shall be in arrears for twenty one days my said wife shall have the same remedy by distress upon the said hereditaments ann premises for recovering such rent charges as lessors have by law for the recovering of rent in arrears And subject to such rent charge and the said remedy for the recovery thereof In trust as to the said section 1207 for my daughter Ann Brosnan her heirs and assigns forever and as to all other lands and hereditaments of which I shall die possessed in trust for my said daughter Ann Brosnan during her life and after her decease in trust for my grandson John Joseph Brosnan the son of my son John Brosnan his heirs and assigns forever I bequeath all the residue of my property to my trustees in trust to convert the same into money and to pay thereout my debts and funeral and testamentary expenses including the costs of erecting a gravestone over my grave and out of the residue to pay to my said wife the sum of twenty pounds to my daughter Kate Gaffaney the sum of forty pounds and to my daughter Margaret Gaffaney the sum of twenty pounds and to divide the residue equally among all my children who shall be living at my death And I declare that the power of appointing new trustees conferred by the Trustee Act 1883 may be exercised without the consent of any beneficiaries under this my will who shall at the time of such appointment be infants for under any disability  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety.

Signature of James Brosnan (1890)

Signature of James Brosnan (1890)

Signed by the said James Brosnan as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both present at the same time who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

J Beri Cabinetmaker[?] Temuka
John W Salmond
Solicitor
Temuka1

There is no specific bequest to his daughter Ellen or son John – perhaps they were well set up anyway? And maybe he left his farming land to John Joseph as he was the youngest grandson, and without any land of his own?  As for his trustees, I know John Fitzgerald was a close family friend but I have no idea who George McSheehy Gentleman was.  I’d also love to get my hands on some contemporary maps that show the land sections.

James’s will is dated 7th August 1890, and he died just over a month later, on 23rd September.

Death notice, James Brosnahan, Timaru Herald, 24 Sep 1890

Death notice, James Brosnahan, Timaru Herald, 24 Sep 1890

Amanuensis Monday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.  An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

  1. James Brosnan Will, 1890; Probate file, 01 Nov 1890, Supreme Court, Canterbury District; PDF, from original Ref [CH171, CH1974/1890] held at Archives New Zealand, Christchurch.

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.

The Filing Mountain ~ Sorting Saturday

I’ve been filing!  I haven’t done much else, just placed documents, notes, booklets, etc into clear plastic pockets and filed them in the relevant folder.  I still need to process a lot of it, but at least it’s filed away.

And it was interesting to come across a few things I’d completely forgotten about.  Like a photocopy of an old photograph, with some names inscribed.  I posted the photograph for a Wordless Wednesday post a while back, but didn’t know who most of the people were.   On my trip to New Zealand in February, my father gave me the photocopy of it with the names, and I’d squirrelled it away rather than filing it properly.

Michael Gaffaney & Family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Michael Gaffaney & Family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Left to right, standing on lawn:  Minnie Gaffaney, Annie Gaffaney, Francis B. Early (Michael & Margaret’s son-in-law), Annie Fitzgerald (friend), Leo Gaffaney, Michael Gaffaney (father), Lucy Gaffaney, Susan Gaffaney.

Left to right, standing on verandah: unknown, Margaret Gaffaney (mother), unknown, Annie Brosnahan (Margaret’s sister).

And then I found this photo my father had copied for me – same family, same house (possibly an earlier date?)

Michael Gaffaney & family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ

Michael Gaffaney & family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ

What I noticed about the photos, is that my great great grandfather Michael is being poured a drink (of what?) in both!  Was it some kind of family tradition or long-running joke, or maybe just pure coincidence?


Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Matching & Hatching ~ Michael Gaffaney & Margaret Brosnahan

Michael and Margaret Gaffaney (date unknown)1

Michael and Margaret Gaffaney (date unknown)

My great great grandparents, Michael Gaffaney and Margaret Brosnahan, married on December 26th, 1863 at the Catholic Chapel in Christchurch.   Michael gave his age as 23, and occupation labourer.  Margaret’s age was listed as “full”, and her occupation servant.2 According to Margaret’s obituary:

…the young couple having to visit Christchurch to get married. They travelled by coach, and the reason they had to go to Christchurch was that it was only twice a year a clergyman visited South Canterbury.

They lived at their farm “Belper” in Arowhenua, South Canterbury, named after Michael’s birthplace in Derbyshire, England. Michael and Margaret had fifteen children, with one being stillborn. They were:3 4

  • Susan GAFFANEY (1865 – 1954)
  • Annie GAFFANEY (1866 – 1937)
    • m. 1906 Robert John McCALLUM5
  • Margaret GAFFANEY (1868 – 1946)
    • m. 1900 William James HALLEY5
  • Ellen GAFFANEY (1870 – 1889)
  • Thomas John GAFFANEY (1872 – 1900)
  • Kate GAFFANEY (1874 – 1947)
    • m. 1897 Francis Buckland EARLY5
  • Michael Francis GAFFANEY (1876 – 1915)
    • m. 1905 Julia Agatha COUGHLAN5
  • James GAFFANEY (1877 – 1967)
    • m. 1910 Bridget LEARY
  • Peter Dominic GAFFANEY (1879 – 1954)
    • m. 1909 Margaret Monica O’ROURKE6
  • Mary Teresa Frances GAFFANEY (1882 – 1939)
    • m. 1906 Andrew BARRON5
  • Lucy Josephine GAFFANEY (1884 – 1952)
  • Joseph Arowhenua GAFFANEY (1886 – 1946)
  • Beatrice GAFFANEY (1888 – 1888)
  • Leo GAFFANEY (1890 – 1963)
    • m. 1922 Frances Mary HAILES5
  1. Gaffaney, Michael & Margaret (Brosnahan) photograph, date unknown; digital image; scan from Gaffaney family papers, 2006, supplied by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]; original privately held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], great grandson of couple.
  2. New Zealand, marriage certificate for Michael Gaffaney and Margaret Brosnahan; 26 Dec 1863, Christchurch; citing 1863/927, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  3. [NAME FOR PRIVATE USE], Gaffaney Family Tree, GEDCOM file supplied to [NAME FOR PRIVATE USE], New Zealand, c.2002.
  4. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Death Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed 2010), entries for Susan Gaffaney (1954/26926), Annie McCallum (1937/27027), Margaret Halley (1946/29610), Ellen Gaffney (1889/5177), Thomas Gaffaney (1900/1426), Kate Early (1947/31561), Michael Gaffaney (1915/6780), James Gaffaney (1967/45590), Peter Gaffaney (1954/32898), Mary Barron (1939/15425), Lucy Gaffaney (1952/26370), Joseph Gaffaney 1946/33165), [Beatrice] Theresa Gaffney (1888/4557), Leo Gaffaney (1963/32342).
  5. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed 2010), entries for McCallum-Gaffaney (1906/5299), Halley-Gaffaney (1900/5738), Early-Gaffaney (1892/3565), Gaffaney-Coughlan (1905/6513), Gaffaney-Leary (1910/5144), Barron-Gaffaney (1906/5298), Gaffaney-Hailes (1922/3983).
  6. New Zealand, marriage certificate for Peter Gaffaney and Margaret O’Rourke; 09 Nov 1909, Napier; citing 1909/7835, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.

Margaret Brosnahan ~ Sunday’s Obituary

Obituary for Margaret Gaffaney - 1927

Obituary for Margaret Gaffaney - 1927

OBITUARY

Another of the pioneers of the district, Mrs Margaret Gaffaney, passed away early on Tuesday morning at her residence, “Belper House”, Arowhenua, at the ripe age of 83 years. The deceased lady and her brother left London for New Zealand in the year 1862, travelling in the shop “Achenga” [sic], and landing by the surf boat at Timaru on Anniversary Day, December 16th. She was then Miss Margaret Brosnahan, and her parents, brothers and sisters, arrived about two years later. A year later, Miss Brosnahan married the late Mr Miichael [sic] Gaffney, the young couple having to visit Christchurch to get married. They travelled by coach, and the reason they had to go to Christchurch was that it was only twice a year a clergyman visited South Canterbury. Mr and Mrs Gaffaney then returned to Temuka, and went to reside on the farm which the late Mrs Gaffaney occupied to the time of her death, her husband having predeceased her 16 years ago. There were fourteen children, of whom ten survive: Mr James Gaffaney (Levels), Mr Peter Gaffaney (Waimate), Messrs Joseph and Leo Gaffaney (Arowhenua), Miss Gaffaney and Miss L. Gaffaney (Arowhenua), Mrs W. Hally (Temuka), Mrs Barron (Arowhenua), Mrs Early (England), and Mrs R. McCallum (Timaru). There are 17 grand-children. Miss A. Brosnahan, of Timaru, the late Mrs Gaffaney’s sister, is the last of that Brosnahan family. Mr John Fitzgerald, of Arowhenua, was a shipmate of the deceased lady, and was best man at her wedding 64 years ago.

The funeral took place on Thursday morning at Temuka, and passing the Post Office, the cortege consisted of 34 motor-cars, and 14 horse-drawn vehicles. A good many more swelled the total at St Joseph’s Church, and at the cemetery. The large attendance and the many beautiful wreaths received, formed a striking tribute to one who was a kindly friend and a devoted wife and mother. The Rev. Father Bartley, S.M. and the Rev. Father Spillane, S.M., conducted solemn requiem mass at the short service at the graveside. The pall-bearers were the three sons – James, Peter and Joseph, with Mr W. Hally, Mr T. Brosnahan and Mr M. Dris-

The original newspaper clipping is held by my father, and I have a scanned copy, thanks to my brother. I’m not sure which paper it was from, possibly the Timaru Herald.

Margaret Brosnahan is my great great grandmother, and I am descended from her son Peter Gaffaney.


Sunday’s Obituary is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Gaffaney Family, Arowhenua ~ Wordless Wednesday

Michael Gaffaney & Family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Michael Gaffaney & Family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand


Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.