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

Tag: New Zealand (Page 3 of 3)

Bartholomew O’Rourke ~ Sunday’s Obituary

Bartholomew O'Rourke obituary 1923

Bartholomew O’Rourke obituary, 6 Dec 1923 (publication unknown)




There passed away on the 13th inst., at his home in Napier, in his 80th year, Mr. Bartholomew O’Rourke (writes a correspondent). He was born in the parish of Currens, Co. Kerry, Ireland. When 23 years of age he left the Old Country on board the Blue Jacket. After an uneventful passage of three months he arrived at Lyttleton in 1866. In company with many other adventurous spirits he travelled westwards in search of gold and tried his luck at Hokitika; thence to Charleston where he was married by Monsignor Walshe. Eventually settling down in Napier, he established himself and built up an extensive carrying business. Throughout his long life he was distinguished by his intense faith. No member of St. Patrick’s Church was more assiduous in attending late or early, and none more unbending than he in the rigorous and absolute fulfilment of all the duties of a devout Catholic. In 1877 he followed out the instructions of the late Rev. Father Hennebery; and although he never took the pledge as being derogatory to his character as a man and his independence as a Christian, he became an absolute abstainer. The Rosary beads given him by that extraordinary missioner he cherished till the end. The Rosary he recited every night without fail for 46 years. According to instructions these beads were removed from his hands in death and hung round his neck. Nor was his love for Ireland less remarkable. Her history he knew well; all her efforts for freedom, every fight against oppression only fostered the fond hope he cherished of final and absolute triumph. Thus after a long life of fidelity to God and native land, feelings inherited by all his children, he passed away surrounded by nearly all his surviving sons and daughters, whilst the priest imparted the last blessing, and the good Sisters of the Missions recited the prayers for the dying. The numerous assemblage at the last sad rites bore testimony to the esteem of the public. The Rev. Father Tymons read the absolution, assisted in the sanctuary by the Rev. Fathers J. Goggan (Hastings) J. Schaeffer (Greenmeadows), Heffernan and Clancy. Messrs. T. Barry, J. Leany E. O’Brien, W. Ryan, J. Pearcy, P. Griffin (members of H.A.C.B. Society) acted as pallbearers – R.I.P.

Bartholomew O’Rourke is my great great grandfather, and I am descended from his daughter Margaret.

I think this clipping was a marvellous find, stashed away amongst my father’s family papers. I can’t be certain which newspaper it was published in, but from the style and language, I’m fairly sure it was the New Zealand Tablet, a monthly Catholic newspaper. I hope to check up on this next month.

  1. “Obituary”, 6 Dec 1923 clipping from unidentified newspaper; 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 deceased.

Sunday’s Obituary is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Matching & Hatching ~ Michael Gaffaney & Margaret Brosnahan

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 Gaffaney ~ Funeral Card Friday

Margaret Gaffaney, funeral card 1927

Margaret Gaffaney, funeral card 1927

Jesus Mercy
Mary Help

Pray for the Repose of the
Soul of
Margaret Gaffaney
Who Died 16th. August 1927
Aged 83 Years
Fortified by all the Rites of the Holy Church

On whose soul, sweet Jesus, have mercy


O Gentlest Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the soul of Thy servant Margaret; bring her from the shadows of exile to the bright home of Heaven, where we trust, Thou and Thy Blessed Mother have woven for her a crown of unfading bliss — Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.


E. O’C. CH.CH.

Following up from Margaret’s obituary and gravestone, this is the memorial card printed for her funeral1. My father has quite a few from the family, and my brother helpfully scanned them all in. Unfortunately, only the one side, so I’m not sure what is on the other side – perhaps a picture of a particular saint, or the Virgin Mary? On my trip to New Zealand next month, I shall investigate! Hopefully I’ll have time to do some scanning as well.

I also have a scan of this clipping2, not sure what newspaper it’s from, possibly the Timaru Herald (but I’m mostly saying that because it’s the only local newspaper I know of in the area at that time – something to follow up in the future).

Funeral notice for Margaret Gaffaney, 1927

Funeral notice for Margaret Gaffaney, 1927 (publication unknown)

The Friends of the late MRS MICHAEL GAFFANEY Senr. are respectfully informed that her Funeral will leave her late residence “Belper,” for St. Joseph’s Church, Temuka, at 8.30a.m. TO-DAY (Thursday, August 18th). Requiem Mass at 9 a.m., thence to the Temuka Cemetery.
Undertakers, Temuka.

  1. Margaret Gaffaney funeral card, Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand; 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 deceased.
  2. “Funeral Notice”, 18 Aug 1927 clipping from unidentified newspaper; 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 deceased.

Funeral Card Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Michael & Margaret Gaffaney ~ Tombstone Tuesday

Gaffaney family gravestone, Temuka Cemetery

Gaffaney family gravestone, Temuka Cemetery

My great great grandparents Michael and Margaret (Brosnahan) Gaffaney are buried in Temuka Cemetery, South Canterbury, New Zealand – Section A, plot 125. Buried in neighbouring plots are several of their children: Lucy Josephine and Susan (plot 122), Thomas John and Joseph Arowhenua (plot 123), Ellen and Beatrice (plot 124).1

Gaffaney family gravestone, Temuka Cemetery

Monumental Inscriptions for Michael, Margaret, Ellen, Beatrice and Thomas John Gaffaney

In Loving Memory
Michael Gaffaney
Who Departed this Life
11th July 1914
Aged 75 Years

In Loving Memory
Margaret Gaffaney
Who Departed this Life
16th August 1927
Aged 83 Years

Also Ellen Died 29th April 1889
Aged 18 years
Beatrice Died 1888 Aged 12 Days
And Thomas John Died 1st March 1900 Aged 28 Years

Gaffaney family gravestone, Temuka Cemetery

Monumental Inscription for Joseph Arowhenua Gaffaney

Joseph Arowhenua
Died 27th April 1946
Aged 59 Years

Gaffaney family gravestone, Temuka Cemetery

Monumental Inscription for Lucy Josephine and Susan Gaffaney

Lucy Josephine Gaffaney
Died 22nd Sept 1952 Aged 68
Also Susan Gaffaney
Died 22nd April 1954 Aged 89
R – I – P

All images copyright Timaru District Council. 2

  1. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed 13 Nov 2010), database entries for Michael Gaffaney (1836-1911), Margaret Gaffaney (1844-1927), Ellen Gaffaney (1870-1889), Beatrice Gaffaney (1888-1888), Thomas John Gaffaney (1872-1900), Joseph Arowhenua Gaffaney (1886-1946), Lucy Josephine Gaffaney (1884-1952), and Susan Gaffaney (1865-1954).
  2. Timaru District Council, TDC Cemetery Database, digital images ((http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed 13 Nov 2010), photograph, gravestone for Gaffaney family, Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Margaret Brosnahan ~ Sunday’s Obituary

Obituary for Margaret Gaffaney - 1927

Obituary for Margaret Gaffaney – 1927


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.

Formulating a research plan (of sorts)

In February we’re off to New Zealand for a three week holiday. In 2007 we left with our two kids to come and live in England for 18 months. Four years and one baby later, we’re going back to catch up with family and enjoy a Kiwi summer! Of course, I hope to do a bit of genealogy research while I’m there, but not too much or hubby and the kids will get grumpy. So, a little bit of looking up dead people, and a lot of chatting to live people. With a runaround a cemetery or two for the kids.

Right now I’m going through Archway with my main New Zealand surnames, and seeing what probate records I will be able to order and view. I’ll only be able to get to the Wellington and Auckland Archives offices, and I won’t be able to spend days in them, so have to organise my time carefully. Happily, the hotel I booked us into for a couple nights near Auckland airport, is extremely close to the Auckland Archives! Who knew?? (I certainly didn’t when booking. Yay for serendipity!)

I’ll need to get a Reader’s card – will have to work out the logistics of that time-wise, and then I can order up the records online, so they’re ready for me when I go in. Well, that’s the plan anyway. And I also need to find out how many records I can order up/view at a time. Maybe I’ll need to put my requests in order of preference, just in case I run out of time?

Sadly, my Great Aunt Audrey in Gisborne, who I had planned to fly up and see while over in NZ, died last month. I may still fly up there, depending on what else I’m able to do, though I think I might just wait till next trip.

Another job to do – find the cassette tape which has (first, twice removed) Cousin Lally talking about her family on it. I recorded this in 1991, when I visited her in California. If it hasn’t perished, I really want to transcribe it before it’s lost for good. I’m not even sure how much information she gave me at the time – but it has to be better than nothing. The thing about the tape is… it’s in a box. In our storage unit in Wellington. Along with lots and lots and lots of other boxes. Yeah, so wish me luck on that one! (Actually, I’m hoping our numbering system and Excel spreadsheet of box contents may be of some assistance – we shall see.)

I’d also love to find the sources of the newspaper clippings I have (or rather, the scans of some newspaper clippings). One obituary I’m fairly sure is from the New Zealand Tablet, so I can check that in the National Library in Wellington, and also check if there are any more obituaries for that family.

And I am very much looking forward to seeing my Nanna. And the rest of my family!

Who’s yer daddy?

Henry Richard Florey is my great great grandfather on my mother’s side.

I got the tip-off from his son’s marriage certificate.1 Henry’s son (Henry John Forrest) had married in Auckland, New Zealand in 1885, but he’d been born in Chatham, England around 1862.

So where did his father Henry Richard come from, and who were his parents?

I headed off to look for him in the 1871 England census. And there he was.

On census night in 1871, he was living in Rochester, Kent in Five Bells Navy & Army Beerhouse, with wife Elizabeth Ann and son Henry.  Henry (Richard) was head of household with an occupation of “Tailor & Beerhouse Keeper”, and his birthplace listed as Yalding, Kent.2

Hurrah! Now to find his marriage record…

On 15 February 1863, Henry had married Elizabeth Ann Byford at the Union Street Chapel in the district of Medway “according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Bible Christians”.3 At the time of their marriage, they both resided in New Road, Chatham (Kent).  Henry’s father is listed as “Richard Florey (deceased)” with an (obviously previous) occupation of labourer.


In 1861 and 1851, I can find no trace of Henry at all.  (I have to confess, when first searching for Henry in the censuses, I misread, on both his marriage certificate and 1871 census, his occupation as “Sailor” rather than “Tailor” and imagined him sailing the high seas during this time.  Now however, I don’t think there is much call for a tailor aboard ship. Though I could be wrong there.  Again.)

And I couldn’t find a death record for his father Richard. Or a likely marriage for his parents. Ho hum.

In the 1841 census, I found a 1 year old Henry Florey in Wateringbury, Kent, which is just down the road from Yalding, my Henry’s birthplace.  This Henry is living with his mother Elizabeth Florey 37,  and her daughter and sons:  Jane Florey 18, William Florey 17, and John Florey 5.  Henry’s birthplace is ticked as ‘in county’.4

On FamilySearch, I found a baptism record for a Henry Richard Florey in Yalding in 1840.5 His mother is listed as Elizabeth Florey, but there is no father’s name given…  and despite his birth being after compulsory registration, I can find no record of his birth in the GRO index on FreeBMD.

Finally I got round to ordering Henry’s death certificate.  He died on 27 May 1916 in Lepperton, Taranaki, New Zealand, and was buried in Lepperton Cemetery on 30 May 1916.6 New Zealand death certificates can be a gold mine of information, if the informant of the death knew enough about the deceased.  Henry’s father is listed as ” — Florey” (grrrrrrr!).  His mother is given as Elizabeth Ann Knott – so I now have a maiden name!

On FamilySearch I found a marriage for a James Florey and Elizabeth Jane Knott in 1820 in Frindsbury, Kent. 7 Could this be the one? I then went searching for baptism records for Jane and William – and found Jane! Well, a likely candidate, at least: Jane Elizabeth Flora [sic], born 13 Dec 1824, baptised 02 Jan 1825 in St Margaret, Rochester, Kent.8 No sign of William. Or John.

If the family in the 1841 census is Henry’s, could the older two children be James’s children?  Had Elizabeth then had William and Henry with another man (or men?). Or is it more likely that James could be Henry’s father, and Henry got his dad’s name wrong when he married…?

  1. New Zealand, marriage certificate for Henry John Forrest Florey and Annie Horne; 10 Mar 1885, Auckland; citing 1885/65, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  2. “1871 England Census, Henry Florey (age 28) household, St Margaret, Rochester, Kent,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 02 Mar 2010), citing PRO RG10/904, folio 29, p 16, GSU roll: 823489, Medway registration district, Rochester sub-registration district, ED 12, household 65, 2 Apr 1871.
  3. . England, marriage certificate for Henry Richard Florey and Elizabeth Ann Byford; 15 Feb 1863, Medway, Kent, England; citing 1863 Mar [quarter] 02a [vol] 466 [page], General Register Office, Southport.
  4. . “1841 England Census, Elizabeth Florey (age 37) household, Wateringbury, Kent,” Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.co.uk, accessed 02 Mar 2010, citing PRO Class: HO107; Piece 464; Book: 2; Folio: 22; Page: 6; Line: 21; GSU roll: 306859, Registration district: Malling, sub-registration district; East Peckham, ED 2, 06 Jun 1841.
  5. . “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org/, accessed 5 Nov 2010).
  6. . New Zealand, death certificate for Henry Richard Florey; 27 May 1916, New Plymouth; citing 1916/4344, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  7. . “England Marriages, 1538-1973”, database, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org, accessed 23 Nov 2010).
  8. . “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org/, accessed 30 Dec 2010).

Geneaology Resolutions 2011

  • Start a blog
  • Blog regularly and contribute comments to other blogs
  • Compile a proper research plan (as opposed to “ooooh, think I might look that up next, or maybe that… )
  • Get to know the Centre for Kentish Studies
  • Complete some assignments!!!! (Ideally eight lectures this year)
  • Visit the Suffolk record office (and a cemetery or two)
  • Compile a research plan for the New Zealand trip in February
  • Begin scanning certificates and documents I have in hard-copy
  • Get those England census records into Reunion
  • Get those NZ electoral records into Reunion
  • File, organise, cite!

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