Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Jacka Family

Marion Waters was the eldest daughter of John and Eleanor Waters.  She was a first cousin of Alister's Great-Grandfather, Nathaniel "Herbert" Bertram.  

Marion must have been born in Wellington in the late 1850s.  She would have been named both for her paternal grandmother, and for her father's late sister.  Marion married Thomas Samuel Jacka on 21 January 1884 in Wellington.  

Marion and Thomas had a number of children, most of whom appear to have been born in Auckland.  
  1. Ellen "Ada" Ada Muriel Jacka (1885 - 1944) m 1910 Rowland Paul Houghton (1872 - 1937)
    1. Marjorie Gwendolyn Houghton (21 April 1911 - 1999) m Taylor 
  2. Harold Edwin Jacka (1886 - 1935) m 1916 Fanny Emily Shepherd (1888 - 1964)
  3. Frederick Clifton "Cliff" Jacka born 1888 died 1918 aged 30 WWI
  4. Mabel Aline Jacka born 1891 died aged 2 years in  27 June 1893 
  5. Thomas Selwyn "Selwyn" Jacka born 1893, Auckland died 1917 aged 24 WWI
  6. Hubert Waters Jacka born 1895 died in 1956 aged 61 m 1920 Rose Maude Charge (23 January 1899 - 1983)
  7. Edna Marion Jacka born (1896 - 8 January 1927) m Herbert Roland Houghton (1896 - 1969) in 1920
  8. Leslie Norman Jacka born 1899 died 19 July 1955 aged 55 buried (Anglican) in Purewa Cemetery on 21 July 1955. 
Ada's wedding day was recorded in the Evening Post on 5 July 1910:

On Thursday, at St Alban's Church, Mount Roskill, Auckland, by the Rev. H.P. Wingfield, Miss Ada E.M. Jacka, eldest daughter of Mr T.S. Jacka of Auckland, and granddaughter of Mr and Mrs John Waters of Pipitea Street, Wellington, was married to Mr Rowland P. Houghton of Dannevirke.  The bride, who was given away by her father, wore white ninon over tafettas, with veil and orange blossoms, and she carried a shower bouquet.  The bridesmaids were Misses Minnie Allen (heliotrope) and Edna Jacka, sister of the bride (in pink crystalline).  Mr Cliff Jacka was best man.  A reception was held after the ceremony at Heatherlea, the residence of the bride's parents.  The honeymoon is being spent at Rotorua. 

Thomas' father was S.S. "Stephen" Jacka, of Wellington.  He died suddenly, at his home in Hanover Street, Wadestown, on 17 November 1910.  Reports at the time say that Stephen, who was a builder by trade and had had a big building business on Courtney Place, was sitting in a chair at home when he suddenly fell forward and died.  He had apparently been born in Cornwall 83 years earlier.  His wife Ellen had died two years before in 1908.  Stephen left three sons: Thomas in Auckland, and Arthur and Harry in Wellington; as well as two daughters: Mesdames Judd and Kew.  Apparently Stephen had also been one of the earliest Wellington City Councillors. 

Four years later the Jacka family were living at Prospect Terrace, Mount Eden  and World War One broke out in June 1914 - the three remaining Jacka boys all enlisted as they were able.  

Sergeant Thomas Selwyn Jacka, serial number 2/428, was the first of the family to leave.  He left Wellington on 16 October 1914, with the Field Artillery Brigade.  He sailed out on either the Limerick or the Arawa - both ships left on the same date, each with part of the Brigade and other units.   They arrived in Suez, Egypt on 3 December 1915.  Selwyn served in France and survived Gallipoli.  He was never wounded during that action, except for one occasion when with his battery and a shell burst amongst the men, killing and wounding several.  Selwyn suffered concussion and some bruising, and was badly shocked.

Second Lieutenant Frederick Clifton Jacka, 12/3526, left Wellington with the Auckland Infantry Battalion just over a year later on 13 November 1915.  Cliff's Battalion was also split between two ships and he either left on Willochra or Tofua  They arrived in Suez, Egypt on 18 December 1915. 

Lance Corporal Hubert Waters Jacka, serial number 54883, left Wellington on 14 July 1917 on the Waitemata, with the 28th Reinforcements E Company.   Previously he had been an engineer.  The Waitemata arrived in Plymouth, England on 25 September 1917.
Hubert Waters Jacka
 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-J3154' 

Three days after Hubert's arrival in England, on 28 September 1917, Selwyn was killed in action while serving with the Field Artillery in Ypres, Belgium.  He was buried Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Belgium.  At his death, Selwyn was 24 years old and was a Sergeant Major.

Sadly, just under a year later, on 30 August 1918, Cliff was also killed in action, while serving with the Auckland Infantry Regiment on in Bapaume, France.  He is buried in France in the Beaulencourt British Cemetery, Ligny-Thilloy. 

Thomas Jacka died on 26 November 1922.  The Evening Post reported:

The death of Mr T.S. Jacka , an old resident of Wellington, occurred at his home, St Helyers Bay, Auckland , on Sunday last.  The late Mr Jacka was born in Wellington, and in his early life was a member of the staff of Messrs. Travers and Olliver, solicitors; he was also for a time on the staff of the National Bank.  Mr Jacka afterwards removed to Auckland, and was with the firm of Nathan and Co. as manager of their fire insurance departments.  When the Norwich Union Insurance Company opened its own office at Auckland, he was appointed manager.  That position he held until a few years ago, when owing to failing health he retired.  Mr Jacka married Miss Waters, eldest daughter of Mr John Waters, of Pipitea Street, Wellington.  He is survived by his widow, two daughters and three sons, namely, Mrs R. Houghton of Hamilton; Mrs B. Houghton, Mr Harold Jacka, manager of the State Fire Office, Hamilton; Mr Hubert Jacka, electrical engineer; and Mr L. Jacka, barrister, Auckland.  Two sons - Lieutenant C. Jacka and Sergeant Major S. Jacka were killed in the war.  Mr H. Jacka, Wadestown and Mr A. Jacka, Webb Street, Wellington, are his brothers. 

The actual death notice lists the Jacka family home as "Hamoana" St Helier's Bay.  Thomas was buried in Purewa Cemetery on 28 November 1922.

Marion Jacka died in 2 July 1945 aged 85 and was buried in Purewa Cemetery with Thomas, and her infant daughter Mabel, on 4 July 1945.  

Nathaniel Sutherland 1847 - 1931

Nathaniel Sutherland, eldest son of Nathaniel and Marion Thomson nee Sutherland, was born on 27 April 1847.  He too must have suffered some effects of being, along with younger brother Archibald,  a survivor of the diptheria epidemic which swept through their family in April/May 1861.  During that time, their elder sister Marion, youngest sister Margaret, and three  younger brothers Donald, George and Robert, all succumbed.  

On 8 January 1874, Nathaniel married Catherine McGregor, daughter of Gregor McGregor, at Mr McGregor's home.  They were married by Rev. David Hogg.  She appears to have been born around 1853. Gregor MacGregor had been one of the pioneers of the Fordell area outside Wanganui, and this is where the family settled.  For more on the McGregor family, see here.

1. Nathaniel "Natty" Sutherland III (6 January 1875 - 21 March 1941)

2. Marion "May" Sutherland (28 January 1876, Craigielea, Wangaehu, Wanganui - 20 June 1960)

3. Catherine Sutherland (6 August 1877 - 19 February 1964)

4. Helen Sutherland (31 December 1878 - 1 October 1973)

5. Jessie Sutherland (14 July 1880 - 12 July 1965) 

6. Christina Sutherland (20 September 1882 - 1 December 1974)

7. Archibald Sutherland (21 May 1884 - 4 August 1967).  He was obviously named in honour of Nathaniel's brother. 

8. Margaret "Daisy" Sutherland (6 June 1886)

9. Donald Sutherland (30 April 1888 - 17 February 1945) married Ursula Florence Maltby (1892 - 26 December 1967) in 1923.
   9.1 Donald Crichton Sutherland (18 March 1925 - 2000) married Mary Elizabeth McLean (7 May 1938 - 2003)
   9.2 Lewanna Mary Catherine Sutherland (5 August 1926) married Samuel Donald McLean
   9.3 Theodora Helen Sutherland (18 November 1928) married Matthew Deacon "Peter" Wickham
   9.4 Ursula Vivien Sutherland (13 October 1930)
   9.5 Joan Margaret Sutherland (17 Ocotber 1932)

10. Marjory Sutherland (1 May 1890 - 31 December 1982)

11. Kenneth Sutherland (20 February 1892 - 8 October 1981)

12. Graeme Sutherland (19 April 1894 - 16 December 1926)

13. Ross Sutherland (28 March 1897 - 28 October 1946)
Nathaniel and Archibald went on to become sheep farmers in Fordell, outside of Wanganui.  

Nathaniel was obviously a practising Presbyterian, and in 1917 was the treasurer of the Fordell Presbyterian Church.  On the Church's annual meeting on 7 August 1917, Nathaniel was re-elected onto the Church Management Committee for another 12 months.  The membership of the Church was 36; there were two Sunday Schools, and there had been five baptisms (presumably in the last 12 months).  

A year later, on 19 August 1918, the next annual meeting of the Church was held, and again Nathaniel was re-elected onto the Church Management Committee.  Obviously Archibald was also involved in the Church, as mention is made that he would form part of a sub-committee charged with clearing the Church's debit balance, at the time, of 37 pounds.

On 12 April 1920, Nathaniel's wife Catherine died, aged 67.  Nathaniel died on 15 September 1931.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Todd family

My great great grandfather, Robert Todd, was born on 6 December 1856 in Tullamore, Ireland.  He died in 1923.

Robert married Jane Mulholland in Ireland in 1874, before coming to New Zealand.  The family were Protestant Irish.  Jane was born on 13 February 1857.  Jane's father was James Mulholland and apparently owned cotton mills in Castle Dawson, Ireland.

On 10 August 1878, Robert, Jane and their daughter Elizabeth boarded the ship Hydaspes, for Lyttleton, New Zealand.  On passenger list, the Todds are listed as having come from County Derry and Robert is listed as a general farm labourer.  Robert and Jane were both just 21 years old, and Elizabeth was nine months old.  She would have been a year old on arrival.  Four months later, my great grandfather was born - the first of our Todd family to be born in New Zealand.  

All together, Robert and Jane had five children:

Elizabeth Todd (27 April 1877, Tamneyaskey, Londonderry, Ireland - 1959).  Elizabeth married Moses Halord Hanrahan in 1903.  Moses was Catholic, and Elizabeth was the first of the two eldest Todd children to marry Catholics.

Robert Todd 15 March 1879.  Robert served in the Boer War with the 10th Echelong (see separate blog post).  He married Ellen "Nellie Smith" - also a Catholic - in 1913 and eventually converted to Catholicism late in life.  Robert worked on the Railways and died on 17 January 1976, just short of his 97th birthday.

Mary Todd 1881 - 1927.  Mary married James Paterson Brown in 1901.

Martha-Jane Todd 1885 - 1969.  Martha had polio and never married.  She still lived to a good age.

Annie Mulholland Todd 2 September 1891 - 1977.  Annie married Clifford Daniel Booth.  She was the last surviving sibling of the Todd family and died on her 86th birthday.

Robert Todd died in 1923.  Jane died in 1942.

    Robert Todd 1879 - 1976 - Boer War story

    Robert Todd was my Nanna, Kathleen Todd's father.  He was from St Bathans, Otago.  

    I'll fill in more details about Robert and his life later, but given the recent war theme - here is some information about another conflict New Zealand participated in - the Boer War.  Robert served in the Boer War in South Africa - his service details are as follows:

    Robert Todd

    Reg No: 
    Given Names:
    Details for regiments now serving in South Africa - sailing with tenth
    Drayton Grange 14 April 1902
    Civil engineer
    Karori Kelburne Tramway Wellington
    Next of Kin: 
    Todd Mr Robert
    Next of Kin Address: 
    St Bathans Otago
    Relationship to Soldier: 

    Robert was, as noted above, part of the Tenth Contingent, which left Wellington, New Zealand on 14 April 1902 on the troop ship Drayton Grange.  On board were 45 officers and 961 men, all volunteers.  The New Zealand Premier, Richard John "King Dick" Seddon, was also on board.  There were two sections of the Tenth Contingent - the South Island and North Island sections - Robert belonged to the North Island contingent, appearing to be based in Wellington when he enrolled.  The ship arrived in Sydney at 5.13pm on 20 April 1902.  At Sydney, they found that there were 48 stowaways on board!  Thirty of them were enrolled in the Contingent, while the others were to be returned to Wellington.  From there they headed to Durban, arriving on 17 May 1902.

    The Boer War - actually the second Boer War (then known often as the Transvaal War) was fought between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902.  NZ had committed troops in September 1899, prior to the war even starting.  We were the first British Colony to send troops.  Premier Dick Seddon was a great supporter of the war effort in Transvaal, stressing to Parliament the bond to Mother England and the importance of the strength of the British Empire.  Around 6,500 New Zealanders fought in the Boer War, with around 70 dying in the field and another 150 or so dying of accident or disease. 

    Robert's unit, the Tenth Contingent left Durban, to return home to Wellington on 15 July 1902.  They arrived back in New Zealand in August 1902.  

    An interesting article about a skirmish between the Colonials (NZ, Australian and Canadian soldiers) and Imperials (British soldiers) that went on during the brief period that the Northern portion of the Tenth Contingent were in South Africa appeared in the Star newspaper on 4 September 1902.

    The sensational story told in this morning's "Lyttleton Times" of the fight between members of the Tenth New Zealand Contingent and certain of His Majesty's Imperial soldiers has caused a considerable amount of comment, and aroused not a little disbelief.  That it is, however, true in all its essentials cannot be doubted, for trooper after trooper, when asked if he knows anything about it, says that there was a severe rough and tumble in Newcastle, and two of the "Tommies" lost their lives through it.  As it was almost purely a North Islander affair, the Canterbury men know only what they were told on the following morning, and their accounts vary more or less in regard to several unimportant points.  Most of them have but a dim idea of the events which led up to the free fight, but a "Star" reporter was fortunate enough this morning to meet a returned North Islander who was thoroughly conversant with the facts.  

    He explained that the New Zealanders were camped at Fort Hay, a short distance outside the township of Newcastle, and were not allowed to leave the camp.  They were under martial law, and the town was regularly patrolled by the Munster Fusiliers.  One night, soon after the declaration of peace, a couple of New Zealanders managed to get into the town, "a dirty little one-horse place," consisting of one long and rather struggling street.  Here, in the course of their wanderings to and fro they met a couple of "Tommies," and all four started on "a night out."  For some time they were the best friends, but eventually the "Tommies," in drunken foolishness, turned and swore at their colonial comrades, launching forth at them a string of most opprobrious epithets, such as no self-respecting colonial could submit to.  The New Zealanders proceeded to "deal with" their companions, and the first sounds of battle drew numbers of Colonials and Imperials to the spot, which was near the Town Hall, situated at one end of Newcastle's long street.  The New Zealanders, finding things getting rather warm for them, drew off, and retired to camp for reinforcements.  These were quickly roused from their beds, and soon a motley crowd of New Zealanders, Canadians and Australians sallied forth to give battle to the "Tommies."  When the township was reached a large body of Munsters was encountered, and a fierce struggle began.  

    The Colonials were armed for the most part with stirrup-irons, and the "Tommies" with loaded "waddies, "  a few having swords or bayonets.  From one end of the street to the other the fight raged, and many men were at least temporarily disabled, among these being the two who provoked the quarrel.  What would have been the ultimate result of the affray is hard to estimate, for the Colonials were all incensed by the  knowledge that the "Tommies" hated them; but it was fortunately stopped by the arrival of a number of officers, who ordered their men away.  Sore heads were common on the following morning, but, so far as is known, only the original aggressors were really seriously hurt.  Their condition was so bad that they died in hospital very soon after the occurrence.  
    In connection with this affair, many of the troopers speak highly of the friendship existing between the colonial forces.  They always helped one another along, and the Canadians, especially, come in for praise for their readiness to back up the New Zealanders on every occasion.  If ever a New Zealander and a Canadian were together, each would do all he could for the other, and most of the troopers look upon the soldiers of the Dominion as excellent comrades and true friends.  

    A sensational story indeed!

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    After David Latto left...

    David Latto left his little family in New Zealand - wife Janet, children James, Jennie, Mary and Addie - around 1888 for good.  He settled in Australia, remarried and had another six children.  He never came back and there is no record of his New Zealand children hearing from him again.

    However, the villain in the picture seems to be Janet, who also eventually seems to have walked away from her children.  In reality, things were probably pretty wretched, and not so straight forward for Janet Latto.  There was no DPB in 1888, and women who were abandoned were left to care for their children themselves.  

    We were lead to understand that David's parents, James and Mary Latto took Jim and Jennie, the elder two children, to live on their farm in West Eyreton.  They would have been aged about three and four years old - still very young to leave their mother's care.  It must have been very hard work for their grandmother Mary, as well - she was around 66 years old.  In fact, Mary died in 1888, and so it is more likely that David's brother, George, and his wife (again Mary) took care of the two elder children.

    Meanwhile, we had always understood that little Mary and Addie were fostered out practically immediately and that Janet had disappeared.  However, it is clear from the following newspaper report that Janet had tried her best to keep the children and work to support them.  Given the outcome of the following, it is little wonder Janet made the decision to foster the children out - possibly believing it was the best thing for the girls in the circumstances.  Pat believed that a couple in Ward Street fostered the two girls.  He believed that the husband of the couple was a railway crossing guard.  We tried to search directories when Pat was alive, but could never find a lead as to who those people might be.  Both Pat's mother and Addie chose not to talk about their childhood.  Possibly because it was a less than happy one.

    The following report appeared in the Star newspaper on 15 April 1889:

    Lizzie Parris was charged, on the information of Mrs Janet Latto, with assaulting her two little children, Mary and Adelaide, aged respectively three years and fifteen months.  Mr Stringer appeared for the defence.  The complainant's statement was that she was a married woman whose husband was away from home, and she put the children out to keep with a Mrs Graham, whose niece the accused was.  Mrs Graham went out sewing, and Parris had charge of the children.  They had been found not to be happy, and on March 18 Mrs Latto had taken them away and put them elsewhere.  Margaret Ashton, a girl of about thirteen years, testified that the children had come to her mother's house to play with her.  On returning home, witness saw accused put the children into the washhouse, and heard one of the children screaming.  She could hear the child being slapped, and called a "dirty little pig."  Mrs Graham also testified to the state the children were in on the 18th, when they were brought to her house.  Dr McBean Stewart said he saw the children on March 19, when he found that they had been badly bruised, evidently with the hand and a stick.  Some of the sores were fresh, but others bore indications of the children having been frequently beaten.  Dr Patrick had also seen them, and gave corroborative evidence.  he had never seen such cruelty to young children.  Mrs Graham said that on the occasion referred to, the children had been at Mrs Ashton's, and when they returned home, one of them was very dirty, and the accused had taken her into the wash-house to stay there till they were ready to bathe her.  For the defence, Mr Stringer called two female witnesses who had seen the children, and who stated that they had seen no cruelty of any kind.  One who had a child of her own in the establishment testified to its being kept in a proper way.  The accused, being examined, said no one had anything to do with the children  but herself.  She denied the evidence of Margaret Ashton entirely.  Dr Stewart, recalled, said the bruises indicated having been inflicted some days previous to his seeing them, as some were older looking and becoming yellow, while others were fresh.  The Bench dismissed the information.

    Given the above, it's hard to be entirely critical of Janet. Perhaps, in leaving them in a permanent foster home she felt that she was doing them a favour, keeping them safe, or perhaps she simply couldn't cope.  Any which way, it is sad to think that two little children, babies, were treated so cruelly.  

    There is no more of a paper trail for Janet until she had Constance Amy Latto in 1892.  Then again no trace until she married Charles Herbert Beckett in 1896 in Wellington. 

    Adelaide Latto and Thomas Gill

    Pat Nidd writes to Alex Latto - Gill Family information 31 July 1994

    Alex Latto was the youngest son of Jim Latto and Mary Tarling.  Jim Latto was Mary Nidd nee Latto's brother, hence Alex was Pat's first cousin.  

    Pat had known Violet, David and Eric Latto, as they were all around his age, however until we started with the family history, he was unaware that there was a third son, the younger Alex Latto.  

    Alex Latto's father, James Latto was born in Swannanoa, North Canterbury to David Latto and Janet Latto nee Hislop in 1883.  He married Mary Tarling around 1909 and died in Christchurch aged 81.  He had worked on the railways and had apparently fought in the Boer War.  

    Here, Pat writes to Alex:

    Dear Alex, 

    Well this would be a surprise to you getting a letter from your cousin, Pat Nidd.  To avoid any confusion, any reference to Pat refer s to William Thomas, the names I was christened.  Pat is a nick name and it has caused endless confusion over the years. 

    I don't know how to start.  I always knew of Violet, David and Eric but did not know of you.  It was only when I spoke to Violet on the  phone when I was in Christchurch in March that she mentioned you.  I am 80 and you are a few years younger.  

    It is possible that my sisters in Christchurch both who died a year or two years ago may have mentioned you as apparently they used to see Vi, David and Eric now and again.  They used to get things a bit muddled up and I used to get garbled messages from them.  

    Now, interesting it is that some research into the Latto's has brought this about.  Philippa my granddaughter said to me a few months ago that she was going to do some research on the Latto's - who was my grandmother, where did she come from , where did she live, cousins, uncles, aunts.

    I had some papers which I got from Isabel Butler.  They were copies which she got from Violet and were compiled by Baden her son.*

    Over the years I was a bit interested in the Latto families, the only ones I knew anything about was your family.  I did not know anything of the others although I had heard my mother talk of the Falloons - but I never was sure of the relationship.

    I was born in Wellington on 17 February 1914. missing

    ... Edward Michael still living, Francis Gerald still living, Angela Adelaide deceased and Joan Hilary deceased.

    In the Gill family there were eight - four boys and four girls.  They were Maurice, Gerald, Mary, Adelaide, Frank, Paul, Monica and Kathleen.

    Maurice and Paul followed their father in the tailoring business. Gerald became a Marist Priest and taught at several colleges and was Rector at St Augustines College, Wanganui and St Patrick's, Silverstream - he died in 1991.  Maurice and Paul are both dead. 

    Mary and Adelaide both married and are now dead.

    Frank, you probably have heard of.  He joined the air force in NZ in 1936 and went to the UK in 1938.  He had a fairly distinguished record in the RAF during the war awarded a DSO for an exploit on Berlin and rose to the rank of Wing Commander.  On return to New Zealand after the war in 1948 he continued in the air force here and became an Air Commodore as deputy chief of air staff.  He retired when he was commanding Operations Group at Whenuapai and went to live up the East Coast Bays raising cattle when Muldoon talked him into standing for Parliament in the East Coast Bays seat, which he won.  He was Minister of Defence, Police, Health and Immigration.  He then went to Washington USA as our ambassador.  When he became ill with cancer, he returned to NZ and died in Auckland in 1981.

    Jennie, whom I have mentioned married a Falloon and George, her son, became a Presbyterian Minister and was the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in 1970.  

    Monica and Kathleen Gill are still alive and live in Wellington.  Monica is married and not in very good health - result of a stroke a couple of years aog.  Kathleen is a Catholic nun - she served in the Islands for a year or so and is now looking after the welfare of islanders around Wellington.

    So you have ten cousins still living in New Zealand.  There may be some in Perth but I don't think so.  There are eleven Latto's in the Perth phone book.  Mary Pearl Latto - see under George Latto in the family tree** visited Perth about thirty years and the Latto's there made her most welcome. 

    When I write further I will enlarge on your cousins.

    In our family we have one boy and one girl - Michael, 49, and Jennifer, 45.  I married Kathleen Todd of Wellington who was a close friend of Adelaide Gill - that is how I met her.  

    Michael is Philippa's father.  He lives in Feilding with his wife Pauline.  Philippa has two younger sister Jacquelyn and Victoria.  Jacquelyn is at university at Wellington and Victoria is in her last year at college in Feilding.  Michael has been in the meat business all his life with Agriculture Dept and Borthwicks but ten years ago he set up his own consultancy business in Feilding.  He has operations in NZ, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UK and has been pretty sucessful.  

    Jennifer was married, now separated.  On separating she bougth a small farm near Masterton which she is now leasing.  She is working looking after P.J. Borthwick, on of the partners of the Borthwick Empire.  He is... missing

    ...reading "The River rules my Life" that I read in the fly leaf where Mona thanked her Aunt Mary Latto for information and photos.  She also mentioned her brother Mick Tarling.

    I am pretty certain that Mick Tarling is the one I knew here in the 1960s and was an Instructor at the Police School.  It was in the six o'clock closing days for the pubs.  He and a cobber of his, Lance Bandwell, used to drink at the old Te Aro Hotel where I used to drink.  It was owned by Jim Smither from Christchurch who I used to go to Marist School with.  Anyhow one Saturday night when I was not at the pub they turned up home here with a load of beer with a cobber of mine.  I got to know Mick and Lance pretty well - both finished up Chief Superintendents.  

    When I was down in March I think it was Violet who told me that Mick had the pub at the Hill Top, Little River.  

    My father was married twice.  It was, I think, in 1907 he had the Wellington Hotel lease.  His first wife died in child birth with her second child.  yes, it was 1907 the year his father died at the Wellington.  Dad's mother died in 1900 and they are both buried here in Wellington in the Mount Street Cemetery. 

    After the Wellington Hotel he had the Te Aro Hotel where mother was a barmaid.  Mum told me that she was one of the first barmaids who were required to be licensed in 1908.  Eventually he married mum and I was born there in 1914.***

    Mum and Auntie Addie must have come to Wellington about 1905 I think.  If only I had talked with your father (Uncle Jim of Addington) about this.  

    Auntie Addie married a Thomas Gill who boarded at a private hotel here in Wellington.  The Gills, I think, came from Darfield.  Old Mrs Gill - Tom's mother - used to live in Jerrold Street - she was still alive in 1938.  Tom Gill and a brother boarded at this hotel - the brother was Arthur.  They were tailors by trade.

    Tom Gill eventually started in business here as a tailor and stayed such all his life.  he had two sons Maurice and Paul who came into the business.  Maurice and Paul are both dead.  

    Arthur Gill went to Dunedin where he had a pretty substantial tailoring business. Another brother, Jim, was a carrier.  He had a horse and flat top and lived at the top of Lincoln Road near Sunnyside.  I remember him well.  

    Arthur Gill - at Tom and Addie's Wedding 1910
    I think that my mother may have been engaged to him (Jim) before she came to Wellington.

    As for religion, it was a proper mix-up.  According to Kathleen Gill, Mum and Auntie Addie were as Latto's, Presbyterian.  Their foster parents were Anglican. They shopped around and when they came to Wellington became they became Roman Catholics.  I have their certificates in 1907 and 1908.  

    Now I come to a most controversial part which has always been obscure but which Philippa has solved.  Perhaps she may have told you about it.  It concerns our grandmother.  Janet was a most peculiar person.   You are aware of the background.  Wherever she was from the time David left them and went to Australia we will never know now.  Obviously she turned up in Wellington and it must have been about 1892.  Mum and Auntie Addie must then still have been in Christchurch.  From what we have discovered Mum and Addie must have married in Wellington while their mother was also here.  I wonder whether Janet went to their weddings?  I don't think so.  I have never heard my mother mention her mother - it was always a mystery to me.

    In 1922/24 I remember going often to see a relative with my mother in Tennyson Street.  I  always understood the person to be Mum's mother - but of course it could not have been her.  She (Janet) died in 1922.

    I discussed this with Isabel and almost certainly it was Mary Latto, the wife of George Latto, we used to visit.  I also remember a woman there and this would have been her daughter Pearlie.  George is buried in Oamaru, and his wife also, and Pearlie.    Pearl died in 1969 and Isabel has told me that George Falloon took her ashes to Oamaru and placed them in her mother and father's grave.

    I have been out to Cust and have seen the grave of James Latto and Mary - our great grandparents.  James died May 20, 1907 and Mary Nov 5, 1888.  I have taken a photo and must get some copies made. 

    You can imagine the surprise I got when Philippa unearthed Constance Amy.  Constance was born in 1892, father shown as David - which is most unlikely.  Janet did not register the birth until 1920 - Constance then aged 28 and married to Temperley in 1914 - how most strange.

    Then Janet married to Beckett.  It would be interesting to find out where he came from.  I expect Philippa has told you all of this in her letter.  

    Philippa has now discovered that Constance married again to a D.N. Wilkinson who lived opposite their house in Hataitai Road, Wellington.  She had a daughter in 1930.  This daughter, Philippa is sure was Judith and married a Knowles.  She thought she had traced her as living in Hastings but it is not her.  There is another Judith Knowles living in Mt Roskill, Auckland so she is trying to contact her. 

    I expect Philippa has told you all about Janet - Constance.

    I have found the grave of Janet and Beckett here in Wellington which is in fairly good condition.  The plaque is well preserved and seems to have been placed on the grave after it (the grave) was completed.  We could not make out who placed it on the grave so now presume it could have been Constance's daughter (Knowles).  I have taken photos but its hard to read the inscription because of the age.  Will clean it up and maybe get a better photo.

    Also have found the grave of Timperley who was Constance's first husband - died 1916 aged 32 - very hard to read in a photo.

    It is amazing, Alex, that Janet was alive until 1922.  Never have I heard Mother or Auntie Addie ever mention her.  I wonder whether your father ever knew of her in 1922?  Somehow I have a feeling that they thought that she had  just disappeared.  In about 1922 I can remember coming to Wellington with my mother.  We stayed at the Gill's.  Could it have been that she came up to her mother's funeral?  if so one would have thought that I would have heard from one of the Gills who were older than me.

    One or two things still remain a bit of a mystery - who was Auntie Addie's father?  Where was Janet from 1892?  Who was Beckett?  Perhaps we may solve it all before long.

    Did Philippa tell you her background, I hope she did.  She is our son Michael's eldest.  

    *Baden Dingwall was Violet's son-in-law - things were confused as Baden married Violet's daughter Molly, who was also a Dingwall - their fathers had been cousins.  Baden was a wealth of genealogical knowledge but passed away some time around 2006.
    **Mary Pearl Latto was daughter of George Latto, David's brother, so was a cousin of Mary Nidd nee Latto.  
    ***Actually, Pat was born on the Terrace at a private hospital - but his father did own the Te Aro Hotel at the time. 


    Ernest Edward Timperley  was born around 1884 in England.  I believe he probably arrived in Wellington as a third class passenger on the ship Arawa in June 1910.  Following his marriage to Constance Latto in 1914, Ernie died on 4 March 1916 aged just 32.  The following obituary appeared in the Evening Post on 6 March 1916:

    The death occurred in a private hospital on Saturday, after a serious operation, of Mr. Ernie Timperley. Deceased, who was connected with the firm of Messrs. Brodrick and Co., was well known in Wellington amongst cricket and association football enthusiasts, and as a member of the Y.M.C.A. Club was considered one of the cleverest forwards in the Wellington representative team, until ill-health compelled him to give up the game. Mr. Timperley's good nature and cheerful disposition won him many friends.

    The following day, on 7 March 1916 in the Evening Post, this appeared:

    A service in .connection with the funeral of the late Mr. Ernest Edward Timperley was conducted in St. Mark's Church this afternoon by the Rev. C. F. .Askew, who also officiated at the graveside in the Karori Cemetery. Amongst those who attended the funeral were a number of people with whom the deceased had been associated in football and cricketing matters. Mr. Timperley, who was 30 years of age, has left a widow.

    What did Ernie Timperley look like?  Here's a clue:
    Article image
    Ernest Timperley
    Inside left forward in the YMCA and Wellington Representative Association Football Team

    The above cartoon appeared in the New Zealand Free Lance paper on 24 July 1909.

    Cecilia Florence "Florrie" Nidd

    Bill Nidd and his first wife Mary Ellen (known as Florence) had two daughters, Mary born in 1902 and Cecilia Florence "Florrie" Nidd born on 9 December 1903.  Mary died as an infant and is buried with her grandparents in the Mount Street Cemetery.  Florence died in 1908, leaving four year old Florrie in her father's care.  Whether she was in fact left in his physical care is unknown - it seems likely that she did.  

    In 1912, Florrie won a prize at St Mary's Convent, Wellington (now St Mary's College) for spelling.  She would have been aged about 8.

    In 1913 she is recorded as passing music exams, as well as in July 1914, and again in August 1915.  

    On 14 December 1915, she is reported as having got the highest marks, at St Mary's Convent school on Guilford Terrace, in Standard five, for geography.  She would have been aged about 11 years.

    On 26 February 1925, she is reported to have been up from Christchurch, visiting friends in Wellington.  She is reported to have still been visiting on 14 March 1925. 

    Florrie did not enjoy a close relationship with her father, but she was close to her young half brother, Pat.  Pat could recall Florrrie coming to visit him some time in the late 1920s, and saying goodbye to him.  I suspect that this visit was not immediately prior to her trip overseas, but prior to her trip to Wellington in 1925.  Pat always recalled that he was a young school boy when she visited him - whereas he would have been 18 when she actually left NZ in 1932 and would have certainly recalled more about her and the circumstances of her leaving, had he known.  

    On 22 August 1932, it is reported in the Evening Post that Florrie arrived in Wellington with a Mrs H.J. Armstrong, en route for England.  She never returned.

    Years later Pat and Kath Nidd, and Jennifer Nidd, tried to track her down in England, but were never able to find her.  She never married and died in London on 24 April 1984.

    Her death certificate records that she died at the Westminster Hospital in Westminster; that she had formerly been a secretary, but had since retired (she was 80 at the time of her death); that she had lived at Room 93, Murray House, Vandon Street, London.  She appears to have died of a stroke, and also had cancer of the oesophagus.  Her body was cremated.  

    Monica Josephine McEvedy nee Nidd

    Monica Josephine Nidd was the third child of Bill and Mary Nidd.  

    Monica was a good dancer, the is a record of her winning a Monte Carlo waltz with a Mr B. Ridden at a ball held in Southbridge in November 1935, and again (dancing while sister Marie played the piano) at a variety evening with a Mr A. Lilley in April 1937.  Like sister Marie, Monica also played piano.    

    The 1930s was a very social time, and with Marie, Monica attended many balls, social evenings and parties around the district.

    On 22 August 1945, Monica married Gerard J. McEvedy, son of Mr and Mrs W.J. McEvedy.  The ceremony took place at St Joseph's Catholic Church.  Bridesmaid was Monica's younger sister, Angela; best man was Gerard's brother Owen; and flower girl was Marie's daughter Carmen McGrath.

    Unfortunately, the day was marred by a motor accident.  

    Following the ceremony, Angela, Owen and Carmen were travelling on High Street Southbridge in a car driven by Mr Sydney Greenwood, from St Joseph's to the Town Hall.  Another car, driven by Mr W.K. Steven of Leeston, reached the intersection from North Rakaia Road and a collision between the two cars occurred, with Mr Greenwood's car being overturned.

    While the other occupants were largely uninjured (Carmen was though seriously hurt at first but was then found to only have cuts and bruises), Angels had been seriously hurt, including a broken right arm and cuts and bruises on her head.  Apparently both car drivers were severely shaken and the cars were badly damaged.
    A Dr W.G. Volckman was in Southbridge at the time and attended upon Angela, later having her removed to Christchurch Hospital by ambulance.  Afterwards she made "satisfactory progress" according to a newpaper account two days later. 

    Gerard was the son of a local family and Monica and Gerard stayed in the area following their marriage.  They had three daughters, Bernadette, Vivienne and Christine. 

    Marie Margaret McGrath nee Nidd

    Marie Margaret Nidd, eldest daughter of Bill and Mary Nidd, was known in the Ellesmere district as an "accomplished musician".  With other locals, such as Miss Lambie, Marie would often give her services as a pianist at many social events in the district for various causes.  Marie was playing piano for these events from as young an age as 15.  It was reported that she was a very popular girl.  

    With her siblings, Marie attended the Leeston Convent School in Leeston.  
    In 1936 Marie belonged to the Southbridge Crocquet Club and would play locally.  
    Marie and Monica would socialise together, attended events locally - for example one put on by the Hibernian Society - a social evening and euchre tournament on St Patricks day, 17 March 1937.

    In the Ellesmere Guardian on 8 October 1940 it was reported that her many friends throughout the district were glad to have the opportunity to attend a gift evening in honour of Marie, and her upcoming marriage to Mr J.M. McGrath, which was to take place at the end of that month.

    The gift evening is then reported in the 11 October 1940 edition of the Guardian.

    A very pleasant time was spent at the Southbridge Town Hall on Wednesday when a gift evening, organised by Miss P. Dearing, was held in honour of Miss Marie Nidd, in view of her approaching marriage.  Dancing took place to music supplied by Mr R. Lambie, Mr J. Taylor acdting as M.C.  Prized for a Monte Carlo were won by Mr J. Taylor and Miss Taylor.  At cards the successful players were Mesdames F.H. Greenwood and A. McCartin and Messrs R. Hannah and J. Lilley.

    In asking Miss Nidd to accept many useful gifts brought by friends for her future home, Mr D. Paterson spoke of the regard in which Miss Nidd was held and extended good wishes for her future happiness.

    Mr Hector McEvedy, on behalf of the parishioners of St Josephs's Catholic Church, presented a handsome dinner set to Miss Nidd, at the same time referring to the loyal service she had given in the choice and in other church activities, and wishing her a happy future.

    Mr J.M. McGrath made a suitable acknowledgement on Miss Nidd's behalf, specially thanking Miss Dearing for organising the evening and Mr and Mrs Ridden for their help.

    Jim McGrath was from a local family who farmed at Lakeside - near Leeston and Doyleston.  It's possible that in August 1943 he put his 120 acres up for auction, as he was going to take up military duties.*

    Marie and Jim McGrath had three children - daughter Carmen and sons Bernard and Clement.

    In August 1945, Carmen McGrath was injured in a motor accident, following the wedding of Monica Nidd and Gerard McEvedy in Southbridge.  Luckily, she sustained only cuts and bruises.  Later that month, Marie placed an advertisement in the Ellesmere Guardian, along with her father, F.H. Greenwood and W.J. McEvedy, thanking Dr W.G. Volckman and all the people who had assisted their families after the motor vehicle accident.  

    Following her marriage, Marie continued to play piano at local events.

    *This has to be confirmed. 

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Letter from Baden Dingwall to Isabel Butler 26 August 1982 - Latto Family Information

    Dear Mrs Butler

    Thank you so much for your most informative letter, it was very much appreciated, any information no matter how small, when added to what has already been researched can be of great value in the study of Genealogy.  Please excuse the 'one finger typing' I do it for two reasons, one my writing is terrible and second, it enables me to keep track of what I have written to who.

    I did not know of all the children of James and Mary, only George and David, I knew there was another brother but did not know his name.  Do you know if William was in New Zealand or if Catherine died in Scotland or New Zealand?  I also did not know the ship that they came on from Scotland, if you ask at the library in Christchurch you may be able to get a copy of the shipping list, which would then show the Latto's arrival in New Zealand.  I will also try to get a copy from here. 

    I have copies of the following certificates if there are any that you would like pelse feel free to ask and I will photostat them for you.

    James Latto; death certificate
    Mary Latto; death certificate
    David Latto; birth, marriage (Hislop) death certificate
    Janet Latto; birth certificate

    Unfortunately James and Mary were born and married before civil registration started in Scotland (1855) and these details will only be written in the old Parish Registers.  These registers have been microfilmed and I hope to later on view the films and extract information.  

    The death certificates may sound a bit morbid but they have a vast amount of information on them and are a great  help in family research.  James Latto's was one that didn't, who ever gave the information did not know his parents' names and that is one thing we look for in a death certificate.

    I will list below what information I have, it may be of interest to you;

    James Latto, born about 1826, Fife, Scotland, agricultural labourer, married about 1845, parents unkown, died 20 May 1907, buried at Cust.

    Mary Brown, born about 1825, Fife, Scotland, parents George Brown/Catherine Hutchison, died 5 November 1888, buried at Cust.

    David Latto, born 11.30pm (the Scotch even put the time) 3 July 1859 at Woodside in the Parish of Markinch, Fife (if you look at a map you will see Markinch) married 16 December 1881 to Janet Hislop at Kaiapoi, died 1926 at Moora, West Australia.

    Janet Hislop, born 12 noon, 2 November 1861 at Bonnyrigg in the Parish of Cockpen, Fife, parents Robert Hislop (a teacher in Scotland) and Jane Dalgleish (do not know if they came to New Zealand) they were married 12 June 1855 at Bonnyrigg and their parents were John Hislop/Janet Johnston and Robert Dalgleish/Jean Hastings.  I only know this information because by luck they were married the year registration started and I got a copy of their marriage certificate from Scotland. 

    David Latto, second marriage, 16 January 1888 at Fitzroy a suburb of Melbourne to Anne Valentine, born January 1860 at Warrnambool on the western coast of Victoria, parents James Valentine/Jane Anderson.

    David and Annie had six children, the first three in Victoria, the others in Western Australia, they were Annie Lizzie, James David, George Stanley, John Alexander, Raymond Burrage and Elspeth Dora May.  I have other information re birth, death and marriage if you are interested, Raymond is the only one still alive.  I contacted the family just by accident, I knew there were Latto's in the West so got a Perth phone book and found about 12 of them, shut my eyes and picked out 2 of them and would you believe both of them replied and both were relations of David Latto, that is where I got my information from.

    The following are notes from their letters regarding David Latto.  When the family shifted to Western Australia they settled at Midland Junction where David was a Labourer in a brick works, he was then a blacksmith on the Goldfields Water project.  He later worked for the Midland Railway Company as a 'length runner', he later became 'ganger in charge' and lived in a converted rail van overseeing track repairs.

    I have further information on James Latto and Mary Tarling but you would possibly know about that, if you don't and would like to know please ask.

    Well that's about all for now, thanks again for your letter and I hope that this letter finds you and your family in the best possible health.


    Baden Dingwall