Sunday, November 25, 2012

David Wemyss - Builder - and family

While researching the Wemyss family whose daughter married into Alister's Waters branch of the family, I found another Wemyss family.  They may well have been related to the other Wemyss, or not.  However, either way, I thought they deserved their own post, as they were an interesting bunch.  

David Wemyss Snr (1832 - 1915) came to New Zealand, according to his obituary, around 1861.  In 1856 he had married Margaret.  Their youngest two children must have travelled with them to New Zealand.  David worked as a builder, in Grove Road, outside of Blenheim.  Together David and Margaret had a large family, of whom (surprisingly for the times) most lived to adulthood and married:

1. David Wemyss Jnr (1857 - 23 November 1919) married Christina Murray Thompson (1862 - 23 February 1932, London) in 1883.  David lived at Percy Street at the time of his death.  

 1.1 Christina Margaret "Ina" Wemyss (1883).    

 1.2 Agnes Elsie  "Elsie" Wemyss (1885 - 15 March 1968).  Died Unmarried.  Elsie ended her life in Hamilton and her ashes were spread in the Hamilton Park Cemetery. Prior to her death she had been living at 5 Upper Kent Street, Hamilton.  

 1.3 David Murray "Murray" Wemyss (1893 - 1948).  Married Dorothy Ward (1891 - 1969) in 1924.

   1.3.1 Daughter Wemyss (1 January 1927, Percy Street, Blenheim)

   1.3.2 Dinah Murray Wemyss (1933 - 4 February 1940, at High Street, Blenheim).  Dinah was aged just seven years at the time of her death. 

 1.4 Russell Williams Wemyss (1895 - 29 October 1970).  Married Mary Ann McKellar (1888 - 1951) in 1919.  Mary Ann's maiden name was McKenzie.  She had married Dugald Henry McKellar in 1911, however he had died at the age of just 34 a year later in 1912.  Russell was cremated and his ashes spread at the Hamilton Park Cemetery.  He had lived at 7 Boundary Road, Hamilton prior to his death.    

 1.5 Frank Maitland Wemyss (1898 - 1970).  Frank married Ethel Louisa May Wakefield (14 May 1907 - 1992) in 1930. 

 1.6 Leonard Grant  "Grant" Wemyss (1901)

 1.7 Eric Gordon Wemyss (9 February 1903 - 1975).  Married Catherine Brockelbank (1903 - 1934) in 1926.

 1.8 Kathleen Murray Wemyss (1905 - 1907)  Kathleen died aged two years.

David Wemyss Junior died on 24 November 1919 and on that day the Marlborough Express published the following:

Intimation to-day of the death of Mr David Wemyss at his residency in Percy Street yesterday afternoon came as a painful shock to a wide circle of relatives and friends in the district. The deceased had been indisposed for about a fortnight as the result of a chill, and although complications ensued his demise was not anticipated. The late Mr Wemyss was born in Edinburgh and would have been 62 years of age on Sunday last. He spent over 40 years of his life, in Blenheim, being associated with his father in the building trade many years ago. He took up farming in the Old Renwiek Road for several years, and later joined in partnership in the firm of Wemyss Bros., from active participation in which he retired a few years ago. In recent years he had been an enthusiastic member of the Blenheim Bowling Club, of which he was a vicepresident, and for several years he displayed an active interest in rifle shooting in this district. He was the eldest son of the late Mr D. Wemyss (Blenheim). The deceased leaves a widow and a family of eight the older members of which are Miss Wemyss (Blenheim), Miss Ina Wemyss (Wellington), and Messrs Murray, Russell, and Frank Wemyss who are now resident in the North Inland. Mr J. Wemyss (Blenheim) is a brother of the deceased. 

Following David's death, Christina obviously went to live in Wellington for a while, specifically living at 68 Waitoa Road, Hataitai, Wellington, but died while visiting London, on 23 February 1932.  On 29 February 1932 the Evening Post published the following obituary:

Death of Mrs. Wemyss.
Cabled advice was received in Wellington last week of the death, in London of Mrs. Christina Murray Wemyss, late of Waitoa road, Hataita. The late Mrs. Wemyss left with her daughter, Miss Kathleen Wemyss, over a year ago for England, and had been touring since their arrival at Home. It was their intention to remain until the end of the year to visit Ireland. On 23rd February Mrs. Wemyss had a brain haemorrhage, and did not regain consciousness, passing away on the same day. The funeral was to take place, today at Twickenham, London. Mrs. Wemyss was the second daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Adam Thompson, late of Peterhead, Scotland, and later of "The Grove," Marlborough. She was born in Wellington in 1862, and moved to "The Grove" when about two years old. At the age of 21 she married David Wemyss, builder and timber merchant of Blenheim. He predeceased her 12 years ago. She resided in Blenheim until 1923, when she came to Wellington. She was a lady of kindly disposition always charitably disposed to and with kind thoughts for people less fortunate than herself. She will be sadly missed by a large circle of relatives and friends. She leaves five sons — Murray (Blenheim), Russell (Ngaruawahia, Waikato), Frank and Eric (Christchurch) and Grant (Brisbane); and three daughters, Elsie, Kathleen, and Ina, all of Wellington. Miss Kathleen Wemyss is remaining in London for the time being. 

2. Ellen Agnes Wemyss (1860 - 27 April 1936).  Married Hugh Henry Campbell (1847 - 29 August 1935) in 1882.  Ellen and Hugh are both buried in the Hastings Cemetery.  

 2.1 Margaret Marian Campbell (1888 - 1939).  Margaret never married.

 2.2 Radwick/Roderick Forbes Campbell (1890 - 1971) married Doris Edna Fairlie Gardner (1899 - 1945) in 1920.

 2.3 William Innes Campbell (1893 - 1954).  Married Mary Kellow Burnett (15 March 1894 - 1975) in 1921.  

CAMPBELL, HUGH HENRYBuilder and Contractor. Hastings. This business was established in the year 1895, and a large number of buildings in and around Hastings have since been erected by Mr. Campbell. Among these may be mentioned: the Drill Hall, the Hastings Club, the Farmers' Co-operative Stores, the Technical School, and the residences of Messrs H. Campbell (Poukawa), H. M. Saunders (Kopua), C. F. Wilson (Hatuma), T. H. Lowry (Okawa), W. Shrimpton (Matapiro), Lowry-North (Puketapu), W. A. Beecroft (Havelock North), and the Presbyterian Church at Havelock North. Mr. Campbell was born in Ross-shire, Scotland, on the 25th of August, 1854, and is a son of a sea captain. He was educated and brought up to the building trade in his native shire, and came to New Zealand in the year 1871. Mr. Camphell worked at his trade for twelve years in Christchurch, and then removed to Blenheim, where he remained for fifteen years. In 1893 he settled in Hastings, and two years later started in business on his own account. Mr. Camphell is an office bearer and one of the Sunday school teachers of the Presbyterian Church. He married the eldest daughter of Mr. Wemyss, of Blenheim, in 1882, and has two sons and one daughter.  

3. John Wemyss (1862 - December 1935, Blenheim) married Frances Charlotte Margory Smith (1867 - October 1943, Blenheim) in 1892.  John and Frances had the following family, from what I can gather:

  3.1 Cyril Arnold Wemyss (11 July 1893 - 1973) married Christina Ramsay Miller (11 December 1896 - 1988) in 1930.

  3.2 John Alexander Wemyss (11 December 1894 - 1974) married Edith Mildred Kenny (29 October 1898 - 1988) in 1924.

  3.3 Frances Jean Wemyss (1898 - 1938) married Arthur Mansfield Thomson (1894 - 1942) in 1925.

4. Henry Wemyss (1865 - 1865).  Henry obviously died as an infant.

5. Margaret Mary Wemyss (1866 - October 1927) married David Lawson in 1890.  Margaret and David lived in Wellington.  They had the following family:

  5.1 David Wemyss Lawson (1897 - 1962) married Margaret McGibbon Green (11 January 1897 - 1977) in 1923.  They had at least one daughter:
    5.1.1 Daphne Wemyss Lawson (17 February 1924 - 2009)

  5.2 Maxwell Wemyss Lawson (1899 - 1955) married Alice Mary Knox Green (26 June 1898 - 1985) in 1927.  My guess is that Alice was David's wife Margaret's sister.

6. Elizabeth Wemyss (1868 - 1941) married Henry Edward Astbury (1868 - 1931) in 1895.  At the time of her father's death, Elizabeth and Henry were living in Wanganui.  They had the following children:

  6.1 Edward Harold Wemyss Astbury (1896 - 1948).  Edward served in WWI, but returned home.  He married Alice Gibson (1892 - 1937) in 1929.
  6.2 Horace Vernon Wemyss Astbury (1897, Palmerston North - 20 April 1918, France)  Died as a result of injuries received during WWI 

  6.3 Annie Margaret Wemyss Astbury (1899)
  6.4 Ngaire Wemyss Astbury (1904)
  6.5 Kathleen Wemyss Astbury (1905)

7. Catherine Wemyss (1871) married Alexander McLeod in 1898.  Together they lived in Winton.  They may have had other children, but the ones I am aware of are:

  7.1 Ian Wemyss McLeod (1905 -1945)

  7.2 Alan Wemyss McLeod (19 September 1911 - 1985)

8. Jessie Wemyss (8 November 1873 - 1953).  Jessie never married.  

9. Christina Wemyss (1875?).  Christina married Arthur Frederick Cook (1872 - 1943) on 14 February 1900 at her parents residence in Blenheim. 
  9.1 Gordon David Cook (1901 - 1966)

  9.2 Jack Frederick Cook (1902 - 1965)

  9.3 Leslie Hatton Cook (14 August 1903 - 2 April 1977).  Les married Stella Ruth Shepherd (16 October 1913 - 1991) in 1931. He was the father of Clarence Cook and Margaret Cook.  Buried at Mangaroa Cemetery in Hawkes Bay.

  9.4 Margaret Annie Cook (1907 - 1908).  Died aged only eleven months.

  9.5 Douglas Wemyss Cook (1909 - 1912).  Died aged only three years.

  9.6 Arthur Colin Cook (12 September 1910 - 29 September 1977)

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand recorded:

MR. ARTHUR FREDERICK COOK, senior partner in the firm of Messrs A. F. Cook and Company [iron mongers and cycle importers], was born in Cambridge, England, in the year 1872, and is the eldest son of Mr. F. Cook, overseer for the Hastings Borough Council. He came to New Zealand with his parents at two years of age, and after receiving a public school education, was apprenticed to Mr. George Purves, with whom he remained for about nine years, until taking over the business on his own account. Mr. Cook is a member of the management committee and session clerk of the Presbyterian Church, and has been secretary and treasurer of the Sunday school for nearly twenty years. He is an enthusiastic temperance advocate, and was for six years a member of the Hastings Rifles. Mr. Cook married Miss Christina Wemyss, of Blenheim, and has three sons.

10. Emily May "May" Wemyss (23 September 1877 - 17 February 1954).  Emily married Edward Percival Lambert (1880 - 29 April 1964) on 10 April 1913, at Emily's father's home, Hutcheson Street, Blenheim.  Edward was the son of R. Lambert of Brooklyn, Wellington.  Edward Lambert was a public accountant in Featherston Street in Wellington in the 1940s.  Edward and Emily had at least one daughter.  

11. Minnie Wemyss (1878 - 1933) married Harry Catchpole (1880 - 1957) in 1910.  They had at least two children - one, a stillborn baby in 1915.  The first however was:

  11.1 Joan Mary Catchpole (1911)

Minnie and Harry's wedding was thus described in the Marlborough Express on 15 April 1910:

Yesterday a wedding took place at the residence of Mr D. Wemyss, Hutcheson Street, between his youngest daughter, Minnie, and Mr Harry Catchpole, son of Mr Catchpole, of Canterbury.
The Rev. W. O. Robb was the officiating minister. The best man was Mr Roy Smith, of Picton.
The bride was attired in an Empire gown of white silk, trimmed with white silk lace and fancy buttons. She wore a veil and orange blossom wreath, and carried a shower bouquet of white roses and maidenhair fern. She was attended by her sister, Miss May Wemyss, as bridesmaid, who wore pink and white stripe voile, trimmed with brown velvet, and carried a bouquet of pink roses and autumn leaves.
After the ceremony a reception was held in a large marquee in the grounds. The newly wedded pair left by the four train for Picton, on route for the North Island, where they will make their future home. The bride's travelling dres was a prune and brown tweed tailor made costume with hat to match, trimmed with white wings.

There are numerous advertisements contained in contemporary Nelson newspapers inserted by David Wemyss.  For example- this advertisement in the Marlborough Express on 3 November 1915:

Wemyss Bros, Timber Merchants, Building Contractors etc... Grove Road. 

On 10 May 1883, David Wemyss advertised in the Marlborough Express for a boy to be an apprentice carpenter.  Any applicants were to  apply to Grove road.

An example of the quality of David Wemyss' work is given in this 25 July 1889 report in the Marlborough Express:

Another Nest.
An esteemed old settler, Mr Muirhead, whose misfortune it was early this year to lose his house by fire, has just replaced the destroyed cottage with a very substantial and comfortable residence, designed and erected by Mr D Wemyss. The place is in some respect a model house being remarkably commodious and self-contained.
The outside appearance is very effective. The room are 14ft by 14ft, except the dining room which is 20 x 14. The doors and mantel pieces are of picked rimu and the windows are fitted in a most complete style, an entire novelty being observable in the out side mouldings. The passage 6ft wide has its handsome appearance heightened by the stained glass of the door separating it from the dining room.
The work is carried out in every detail with the scrupulous fidelity for which Mr Wemyss is noted. Mr Iremonger has executed the painting and paperhanging. Mr and Mrs Muirhead are likely to have plenty of friends to visit them in their new nest.

David Wemyss Snr died on 20 May 1915 and the Marlborough Express published the following obituary on 21 May 1915:

A career full of incident in its early stages was closed yesterday morning by the death of Mr David Wemyss at his residence Short Street.
The late Mr Wemyss, who had attained the age of 83 years, had been active until within the last year, but of late his faculties had become impaired, and a fortnight's illness brought about his demise.
Born in Edinburgh in 1832, the deceased served in the militia at the time of the Crimean War but was not called out for active service.
He was married in 1856, and came out to New Zealand five year later, landing at Dunedin. The possibilities of goldmining soon attracted his attention, and he was present at the opening of the famous Gabriel's Gully rush.
He came to Blenheim in 1860, and inaugurated a building business which he conducted successfully until he passed its control on to his sons a few years ago.
For a number of years be served on the Borough Council, and was connected with the Order of Foresters for a long period.
The late Mr Wemyss is mourned by eight daughters—Mesdames H. E. Astbury -(Wanganui), A. Cook (Waipukurau), E. P. Lambert (Wellington), A. McLeod (Winton), H. Catchpole (Awatuna, Auckland), D. Lawson (Wellington), H. Campbell (Hastings), and Miss Wemyss (Blenheim) — and two sons — Messrs D. and J. Wemyss, both of Blenheim. There are 35 grandchildren. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm Trevor Wemyss Cook son of Arthur Colin Cook. He also had a sister Margaret (Madge)Jensen (Cook) who Married to Les Jensen. According to our records my grandmother Cristina Cook (Wemyss) was born on 1871 and died 1943.