Tag Archives: New Zealand

Who is the Bellevue Baby? ~ Wordless Wednesday

Bellevue Baby, Timaru, 1906

Bellevue Baby, Timaru, 1906

Bellevue Baby, Timaru, 1906 (reverse)

Bellevue Baby, Timaru, 1906 (reverse)

Wishing You
A very Happy &
Prosperous New Year
With love & best wishes from
all at “Bellevue”
This was taken when Baby was
6 months old. Dec 27th 1906

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

The Brosnan ~ Follow Friday

Seán Brosnahan, the Ceann Fine of the Brosnan Clan, now has a website:  The Brosnan. The exciting news is that he’s made available some of his historical work, including the whole texts of The Kerrytown Brosnahans and Thinking About Heaven: A History of Sacred Heart Parish Timaru, both of which are now out of print and very difficult to get hold of. No longer! His articles, mostly focusing on 19th and early 20th century Irish Catholic issues and experiences in New Zealand, make for fascinating reading.

Seán’s collection of photographs on the site include those from The Kerrytown Brosnahans, as well as some that didn’t make it into the book. There are also photographs and a video from the Brosnan Clan Gathering last year in Co Kerry.

Keep an eye on the site for news of Brosna(ha)n happenings around the world.

Follow Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Postcard to a father ~ (Not so) Wordless Wednesday

This is the reverse of the postcard of St Mark’s Church, Remuera, Auckland, that I posted some time ago.

Postcard to H.J.F. Florey, date unknown

Postcard to H.J.F. Florey, date unknown

 Mr H J F Florey
c/o K S Williams
Pahihuroa? Station
Taparoa Bay
N Z

Dear Father
Just a few lines
to let you know that we
are all quite well & hope
by this time you will
be better again.  I wrote
to you a good while
ago but the children
don’t go to shool [sic] now so
it never got posted as I can
not get down myself.
I will send again soon.
Wishing you a Happy  & a
Prosperous New Year from
xxxxxx  Nean

Henry John Forrest Florey is my great great grandfather.  I couldn’t work out who “Nean” was – perhaps his daughter Naomi, or maybe a daughter-in-law?  (I felt it was written by a woman, with the reference to children and school.)

In January when I was back in New Zealand, I came across an autograph book that belonged to my great grandmother Naomi, and inside the front cover was written:

Inside front cover, Naomi Myrtle Florey's autograph book, 1913

Inside front cover, Naomi Myrtle Florey's autograph book, 1913

John Brosnahan in the Cyclopedia

Interestingly, a John Brosnahan appears in The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, which I posted about yesterday. Could this be my John?

Brosnahan, John, Farmer, Levels. Mr. Brosnahan was born in County Kerry, Ireland, and came to New Zealand in 1862 by the ship “Exchange.” He engaged in various pursuits until 1865, when he became a farmer at the Levels, where he acquired 530 acres. Mr. Brosnahan is married and has twelve children.

Twelve children. Crikey! I have my work cut out trying to find all that lot.

The people featured in the Cyclopedia paid for the privilege of having an entry included – and provided the information to the compilers, so one assumes that the biographical data would be reasonably accurate.

My John Brosnahan did arrive in New Zealand in 1862, but the ship given here is “Exchange”, whereas he sailed on the “Echunga”. I can’t find any record of a ship called the “Exchange” sailing to New Zealand during this time, so I suspect it is an error made by the compiler, or perhaps faulty memory on John’s part? Or a different John?

  1. “Brosnahan, John”, 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-d104.html : accessed 09 Feb 2012).

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

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.

John and Hanorah Brosnahan ~ Tombstone Tuesday

If you have relatives that lived in the Timaru, South Canterbury area, it is well worth taking a look at the Timaru District Council Cemetery Database, which includes the following cemeteries: Arundel, Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Paeroa West, and Timaru. They have most, if not all, their burial records online, and many have accompanying gravestone images. Another bonus are their cemetery maps – many of the plots have surnames included, making it so much easier to find the one you’re looking for!

On searching for my John Brosnahan, I found a likely looking plot in Temuka Cemetery1. From his marriage certificate, I knew he was born around 1841, so a death in 1926 at the age of 85 years seemed a pretty good match. And then, there was the fact that a Hanorah Brosnahan was also buried in the same plot, with a corresponding matching age. Bingo!

Gravestone, John & Hanorah Brosnahan, Temuka Cemetery, South Canterbury, NZ

Gravestone, John & Hanorah Brosnahan, Temuka Cemetery, South Canterbury, NZ ~ January 2012

In Loving Memory
of

John Joseph
Brosnahan
Who Died March 2nd 1900
aged 15 Years

R.I.P

Also John
Beloved Husband of
Hanorah Brosnahan
Who Died Aug 24th 1926,
Aged 85 Years
Also His Beloved Wife
Hanorah
Who Died Nov 22nd 1928
Aged 86 Years

Also Leo Brosnahan Beloved Son of
Patrick & Nora Brosnahan
Died June 16th 1917
Aged 17 Years

Annie Kleim
R.I.P

The gravestone gave me lots of leads to follow up. The first thing I did was to try and find John’s death entry on the NZ Birth, Deaths & Marriages site so I could order a printout of his death registration.  (New Zealand death certificates post 1875 are a mine of information, usually including parents’ names, birthplace, spouse, date of marriage, ages of living children, etc.) Except I couldn’t find him in the index, even with trying several spelling variants. And then, after asking for help on the TradeMe genealogy forum, someone suggested looking at a probate file they’d found referenced on the Archives NZ site, Archway.

There was a probate file listed for John Brosnahan, Farmer, Temuka, dated 1926, held at the Archives NZ Christchurch office. As there had been access problems following the earthquakes there, I wasn’t too hopeful of getting a copy of the file, but I contacted the archive staff with my fingers crossed.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed 2011), database entries for John Brosnahan, Farmer, Temuka (ref 18404, row 233, plot 213, buried 26 Aug 1926) and Hanorah Brosnahan, Temuka (ref 13209, row 233, plot 213, buried 24 Nov 1928).

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.

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!

iwiKiwi is one year old today!

To celebrate being in the blogiverse for one whole year, I thought I’d take a little look back at my first post and my 2011 Genealogy Resolutions:

  • Start a blog   Yep, done that!
  • Blog regularly and contribute comments to other blogs  Hmm… did okay in the first half of the year, but posting slowed down a lot as I concentrated more on my IHGS assignments.  My reading of other blogs, and commenting on them, slowed down to the point of nothingness. At the moment I’m only reading other blog posts when prompted by Twitter.
  • Compile a proper research plan (as opposed to “ooooh, think I might look that up next, or maybe that… )  Working on this, and definitely started preparing proper plans for the research trips I undertook this year.  Except maybe the “bringing along some decent maps” bit of the plans.
  • Get to know the Centre for Kentish Studies  I visited once!  And now they’re closed till around April this year, when they re-open in a brand new and expanded facility in Maidstone.  Hopefully they’ll have some ‘Opening Week’ festivities for me to attend.
  • Complete some assignments!!!! (Ideally eight lectures this year)  Ouch.  Only three completed, but working on number 4, and completed the research work for lecture 5 and 6 assignments.
  • Visit the Suffolk record office (and a cemetery or two)  Spent four days altogether at the Bury St Edmunds’ record office, all very productive.  And my children can attest that we have visited several cemeteries this year.
  • Compile a research plan for the New Zealand trip in February  I did, I went, and now I’m off again next week!  So, another research plan is in the works.
  • Begin scanning certificates and documents I have in hard-copy  Have made a start on these, but mostly so I can share copies with relatives.
  • Get those England census records into Reunion  Almost all completed!  But I keep finding more family in more censuses…
  • Get those NZ electoral records into Reunion  Nope, nada.
  • File, organise, cite!  Trying, a little, mostly!

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this blog over the last 12 months – just need more time to write more often.  Especially appreciated are the relatives who have contacted me, the folks who have commented on my posts, and to everyone who’s still reading along.  Thanks!

Granddad’s special concoction ~ Family Recipe Friday

My father found an old notebook of his father’s a couple of weeks ago.  Inside the front cover was a list of dates and places – my grandfather had noted down when and where he’d worked during his lifetime as a livestock buyer around New Zealand.  He’d also jotted down other  notes useful to his job, including comments about wool classing.

In amongst the notes was a recipe for arthritis.

4ozs [113g] each of bicarb of soda, ground ginger, epsom salts, powdered sulphur.

Roll out and put through a sifter. Keep in a screw top jar.

Dose: 1 teaspoon mixed in a little warm water taken at night for 1 year.

My grandfather Michael Dominic Gaffaney (right), with his father Peter in Hastings, NZ 1936

My grandfather Michael Dominic Gaffaney (right), with his father Peter in Hastings, NZ 1936

I wonder where the recipe came from?  And, more importantly, does it work?

Family Recipe Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.