Newspaper Excerpts



NOTE:   These articles are contributed to our newsletter by individuals and do not necessarily represent branch advice and/or policy.




Stuck in the muckAn interesting article found in the Clutha Leader, Monday January 21 1929:


‘Some 15 car loads of visitors visited Jack’s Bay yesterday, but when the rain came on in the afternoon owners of cars all prepared to get over the clay hill leading to the bay before it became too greasy.  The arrival of a Ford car, however, set all at ease, and the party remained, for, as one man put it “With even one Ford available, we had a fair prospect of getting out.”’


That reminded me of a quote my Uncle Ed Tapp was fond of:  “If you can’t afford a Dodge, dodge a Ford”.  Of course our family were Ford people for as long as I can remember, for obvious reasons I guess, and we would switch it around to “If you can’t afford a Ford, dodge a Dodge”.  Perhaps that is where the term ‘dodgy’ came from.  FORDz RULE – yeh!!!



(Jan 2007)



Clutha Leader in October 1905:


 “A friend of Bishop Wilmer, of Alabama, lost by death a dearly beloved wife, and in his grief, had these words inscribed on her tombstone:

‘The light of mine eyes has gone out’.

“Within a year the bereaved married again.  When asked by a gentleman with whom he was viewing the tomb what he would say of the present state of affairs, in view of the words on the tombstone, the bishop replied:  “I think the words ‘But I have struck another match’ should be added.”


“No one needs to be told that this inscription is from an Irish churchyard:

Here lies the body of Jonathan Mound,

Lost at sea, and niver was found”

(May 2007)


“Chief Officer of Abandoned Ship Pay Visit to Milton”


The following article was found in the Clutha Leader, Monday February 12 1951:

 “During a short visit to Milton last Wednesday, Mr DUNNE, chief engineer of the ‘Mill Hill’ related his experiences when the ship was abandoned in the Australian Bight after the cargo of pig iron had shifted and caused a sharp list of 45 degrees in the ship.  Mr Dunne, whose home is in England, was in the engine room at the time of the mishap.  The order was given to abandon ship and after reaching the deck Mr Dunne found it necessary to return to the engine room.  He found steam hissing in all directions and stated it was an experience he would not wish to recur.

j0312568“The crew all dropped overboard from the stern of the boat and were only in the water for two minutes before being picked up by a launch standing by.  It was not until later that they learned that the area was infested with sharks.


“The ship was anchored and the crew stood by.  They were surprised to see an Australian ship alongside and take the ‘Mill Hill’ in tow.  It was afterwards learned that the Australian ship had claimed the ‘Mill Hill’ as an abandoned ship and placed a prize of £100,000 on her and the cargo.  Protracted negotiations are at present proceeding in Adelaide.


“Captain E L BEGGS, who accompanied Mr Dunne on his visit to Milton, was flown from London to take charge of the ship in October.  The captain at the time of the mishap is still in Australia.  Captain Beggs stated that he had not long returned from a two years’ cruise when he received the summons to take charge of the ‘Mill Hill.’  He had spent only ten days of the eight weeks’ leave due to him and was enjoying the ‘land lubber’ life at his home in Surrey.


“Both men showed a keen interest in a tour of inspection of the Bruce Woollen Mills and will take home with them a memento of the visit.  It was their first visit to a woollen mill and they said later “We’ve seen everything barring taking the wool off the sheep’s back.”


“The visitors were the guests of the general manager, Mr J MURRAY, at afternoon tea.


“The ‘Mill Hill’ has entered dock at Port Chalmers for inspection and is due to sail this week for the West Coast of America to load a cargo of timber.


“Both the captain and chief engineer considered the ship suffered no damage by the mishap, although all got a fright when a heavy swell caused her to roll.  The crew were smartly out of bed and stood by till the swell subsided.”

(Sep 2007)




There is nothing like writings of the era of our ancestors to help us understand the world they lived in.  The following article was published in the Otago Witness on 21 March 1874 pg 4.  It is a delightful ramble through South Otago 133 years ago and I hope you enjoy it.  Perhaps the fit walkers among our members will replicate it over the summer?

Dunedin to Bloody Jack’s Bay – Catlin’s River – Owake River – Saw-Mills – Owake Flat – Hauredi [Ahuriri] Bush and Flat– Glenomaru – Puerua – Willowmead – Port Molyneux – The Nuggets – Koau Branch to Clutha Ferry – Tokomairiro – Home.


The writer, with a friend of like tastes, having determined to put in course a long expressed desire to have a run over the above-mentioned district, made arrangements with the agents of the s.s. Wanganui, to be landed either at Catlin’s Bay, or at some point adjacent as near as possible.  So we started per the seamer on a fine evening a few days ago.  All was very pleasant until we got outside the Heads and well on our way to Cape Saunders, when a heavy sea began to roll in on the vessel’s beam, and she commenced to roll exceedingly.  A slight haze hung out on the sea, through which the moon had just risen, giving us a view of the high bold cliffs of the coast line.  But the motion of the vessel soon put other thoughts into the minds of the passengers, who might be seen in various groups very intently studying the waves, and occasionally sighing deeply.  This very soon gave way to actions of a more violet nature, of which the less said the better.  The writer’s mate had been boasting of his sea-going powers; but, alas! he too joined the sacrificial groups and there was nothing but offering up going on all around.  By this time, the vessel was well round the Cape, the night mild and fine, the moon shining brightly, which lasted till off the Ocean Beach, when the writer, who was lying on the cabin skylight, which formed a pretty comfortable couch, felt like to roll off, and laid hold of the edge of the frame to steady himself.  But he had better have rolled off, for the affair gave way, and caught one of his fingers, tearing off the nail, and lacerating the point.  This was bad, and put an end to his pleasuring.  He went below, and the stewardess very kindly dressed the hurt, and wrapped the finger in cloth.   But the pain of the finger, and the smells in the hot place below, turned his stomach, and for a time he was dead sick, and lay still.  Towards 4 o’clock, he was better, and went on deck to find the weather changed – a slight drizzle of rain falling, the seas still high, and the Wanganui just off the Nuggets light, which shone beautifully bright and clear.  We shortly after ran into Catlin’s Bay, and hove-to till daylight.  The morning being dull, it was not till about 5 o’clock that we could see what like the place was, and the state of the surf.  This latter was far too high to allow of our landing anywhere in sight, so the captain ran the steamer round the point into Bloody Jack’s Bay, and let go his anchor.  Things did not look very bright, but a boat was lowered, the three passengers – one a lady – got aboard, and were pulled in the direction of a fine sandy beach, a little way off.  But, on nearing the surf it was easily seen there could be no landing there with safety to life.  So the boat was pulled along the bay towards a rocky channel at the southern end, which divides the island from the main.  Here a little nook among the rocks was noticed, in which the sea seemed easier than elsewhere, so the boat was run in and the passengers discharged dry-footed, with the lady’s baggage.  Here we sat down to see how the boat got back.  But there was little trouble – a bump or two, and she was off clear of the rollers, and on her way back to the steamer, which shortly afterwards up anchor and steamed off on her voyage.


red - Aerial of Jack's Bay and Catlins Estuary 'Catlins Pioneering'

Aerial photo showing the places featured in this part of

‘Holiday Ramble’

Source:  ‘Catlins Pioneering [Otago Daily Times]

So here were the three of us left, at an early hour in the morning, on a desolate rocky coast where neither had ever been before, with not the slightest idea of how to get through the thick scrubby bush which encircles the bay, and cut us off from the settlement at Catlin’s River, some miles away.  But here a little circumstance occurred, which helped us greatly.  The lady had brought a dog with her, which got terribly frightened at the sea, and whenever it got on the land it bolted along the beach.  We followed on its track, and on reaching the far end of the bay found the dog had left the beach, and gone into an opening in the scrub.  On round the bay we found a large case, part of the cargo of the Surat.  With some difficulty we turned it over to see the brand, which was RG in diamond, No. 13--, two figures rubbed off.  (We reported this to the people employed at the wreck, and found it was a box of paper collars, melted to pulp by the water.)  Following the dog’s track led us up a steep bank into the bush, and then it was lost of course.  But both my friend and myself felt at home among the trees, and it was not long ere we found a blazed tree and then another and another, till we struck a fairish track.  The vegetation was very different from the Dunedin bush, containing a great many trees which do not grow here – such as ironwood, beech, bastard birch, and so on.  We had not gone far through when we came upon a fine patch of Hymenophyllum Javanicum – a lovely fern now extinct about Dunedin.  … 


Passing up from this we crossed two or three dirty gullies, with fallen trees blocking the path, and then came on a place where a tree had been recently felled, from which a broad track led down hill.  From thence our way was easy, and in a few minutes, tired and heated, we emerged from the bush at the tents of the Surat people, where our appearance excited no small surprise.  My first enquiry was for a doctor, as my hurt finger gave me great pain; but the reply was, “No, sir, there is no doctor, but I am the cook, and if you like I’ll give you a cup of tea.”  I was in the act of thanking him for his kindness when his eye caught our female companion, and he at once directed us to the Harbour Master’s house close by, where we were made as comfortable as possible.  A good breakfast was soon on the table, and

red-'Surat' at Gravesend  London

The ‘Surat’ at Gravesend, London

Source: ‘Catlins Pioneering’ [Catlins Historical Soc)

afterwards my finger looked to and made right, with new bandages, by Mrs Hayward.  We then started off with Captain Hayward to see the lions of the place.    Passing the tents, we struck along the beach towards the Signal Station, where vessels entering the port are guided over the bar.  A new house is being erected for the Harbour Master and his family by the Government, and not before it was needed, for the present hut in which they live is quite miserable.  From this point we had a fine view of the unfortunate Surat, lying stern to the rollers, which were breaking over her whole length, sometimes the spray flying over her topmasts.  It is not likely the ship will ever be got off.  From the flagstaff we went down to a remarkable cave washed out by the sea in the stratified rock of which the hill there consists.  We looked about for fossils, but were not lucky enough to find any, though said to be plentiful. 


red - Hayward family l2r John  Cptn  Bessie  Mrs  Frank  Andrew & Charles 'Catlins Pioneering

Hayward family outside their home at Catlins Heads

L to R: John, Cptn Hayward, Bessie, Mrs Hayward, Frank, Andrew and Charles

                              Source: ‘Catlins Pioneering’ [Catlins Historical Soc)

Leaving this we turned up to the left, and through a very thick bush, to the top of a cliff, from whence we had a fine view of the coast down to Jack’s Island, where we landed in the morning.  On the edge of the cliff we found what to us was a new Senecio … but was past flowering, and only the seed-pod remaining and it was hardly worth risking life or limb for.  We had hoped to see some birds in this bush, as the crow, saddle-back, thrush, and others, are not uncommon.  But a thrush was the only one that fell to Captain Hayward’s gun.  Retracing our steps, we got down to the beach, and back to the houses to dinner, after which we began turning over the stones in the pools, and found four different sorts of crustaceans, of which specimens were stowed away.  While so doing, we were terribly annoyed by clouds of sandflies.  We had intended going up the side of the lagoon to the new saw-mills, and thence across Catlin’s River to the Owake.  But we were hailed by some of the Surat people, and told that their boat was going up to the landing at the Owake with one of the men to take a message to town of the loss of the staging and diving apparatus by the heavy sea of the previous day.  Of course we jumped at the chance, and bidding a hasty good-bye to our kind entertainers and our fellow-passenger, we got on board the boat and were pulled up the lagoon to Catlin’s River, and then round a sharp turn into the Owake River.    This was really a pleasant sail, through most lovely scenery.  The river winds along through the flat, covered with timber to the water’s edge, and is about 100 yards wide, with a scarcely perceptible current.  Our only regret was that it was too soon over; for just as we were thoroughly enjoying the scenery, the Old Mill hove in sight, with the schooner Huon Belle lying alongside taking in a cargo of sawn timber for Oamaru. 

red-The Landing c1880 'Catlins Pioneering'

The Landing on the Owaka River c1880

Wharf shed at right with two mill houses at left

Source:  Catlins Pioneering [Catlins Historical Soc]


The landing place is on the opposite side of the river, where a good made road begins.  Here we got ashore, and went up the road to an incipient hotel, where a buggy was to have been in waiting to carry on the man.  While waiting here a little, we became acquainted with Mr Dutton, who manages the saw-mill below.  He very kindly invited us down to spend the evening with him.  So we returned accordingly, and re-crossing the river, examined the saw-mill, &c, and went up to his house, were introduced to Mrs Dutton, and had our tea.  The evening was spent in the bush, up a long tramway which was used to bring the logs down to the saws.     There are still a great many trees standing, both pines, ironwood, and beech; but all the best and most accessible have been cut down long ago.  The land all round the Old Mill is of a first-class kind, and will eventually carry crops of every sort.  As yet there is no cultivation near – not even a garden or a flower.  The millers do not seem to have any time to spare for gardening, nor do they look upon a tree with any other idea than that of how many feet of timber there may be in it.   

To be continued in your January newsletter  ………………

All photos in this article have been reproduced with kind permission of Mr Ron Tyrrell, writer of ‘Catlins Pioneering’

(Nov 2007)





We conclude the article published in the Otago Witness on 21 March 1874 pg 5.  The journey is picked up again at the sawmills at Catlin’s River where the travellers are hosted by the DUTTON family: 


Dunedin to Bloody Jack’s Bay – Catlin’s River – Owake River – Saw-Mills – Owake Flat – Hauredi [Ahuriri] Bush and Flat– Glenomaru – Puerua – Willowmead – Port Molyneux – The Nuggets – Koau Branch to Clutha Ferry – Tokomairiro – Home.


As darkness came on we got back to the clearing, and had a look over the engine, a horizontal 14-horse power, which drives the saw;  as also a miniature one, on the beam principle, made by the engineer, Mr Marshall, which went at a great rate by a small pipe from the other, and ground his coffee for him – a really first-rate bit of work.  On getting back to the house, we found a concert going on, one of the daughters (Grace) playing sweetly on the harmonium.  After some time spent thus we got to bed, and immediately after breakfast in the morning took to the bush again, working up the hill at the back, and over to the other side – back up another spur, and round to the Owake, getting back to the vicinage of the mills just as the whistle was sounding noon.  This gave us a good idea how the land lay, and we added many nice ferns to our collections.  After a hearty dinner, we took leave of our kind hosts, were put across the river, and started again on our travels shortly after one o’clock.


Our way lay along the road we traversed on the previous day up to the hotel already mentioned, where we called for information as to our future course.  This was freely given, and we proceeded over some flax and scrub-covered low hills with intersecting gullies till we arrived over an extensive level – the Owake Flat, which consists of some fine fertile land, most of which is settled on, and in course of breaking up for cultivation.  The view here was very extensive, embracing a large extent of diversified county – hill and dale, bush and open, and capable in time of supporting a large population of industrious settlers.  Up the Flat we could see a good deal of cut crop, and the stooks seemed standing pretty thickly.  Starting again, we got down to the edge of the plain, which is here of a swampy nature, and proceeded over its surface a short way to gather some mosses.  We found only one in fruit – a Sphagnum – but we found what pleased us better, the Gleichenia dicarpa, growing plentifully in small tussocks.  We lost no time in filling a few leaves of our books with specimens, which, however, are rather difficult to preserve well. 


Starting once more, we got to the Owake River, here a nice clear running stream, and went down its banks for some distance to where a reef of fossiliferous rock crosses its bed.  But not having a hammer or other implement for rock-splitting, our fossil hunt was rather barren.  However, we got some impressions of ferns, &c, of which we carried off the best.  The river is here crossed by a fine bridge, lately erected by the Government, connecting the Owake district with a fine road cut through a bush some three or four miles thick, leading over to the Hauredi [Ahuriri] Flat.  This was a very pleasant walk, the scenery very varied;  the hills now approaching, now receding, from the road, the bush entirely unbroken save by the road line.  We did some exploring on our way, but found little difference between this bush and that we traversed in the morning.  Plenty of fine timber of all kinds. 


When we got through to the northern side of the bush, our time was pretty far gone.  It was late in the afternoon, and we thought of tea and rest for the night.  On enquiring of a man we met on the road, a locality was pointed out where he thought we might get accommodation.  So we accordingly plodded on till the place was reached, and knocking at the door, made our wants known.  But to our surprise, we were rather churlishly refused, and even a drink of water grudgingly granted.  There was nothing for it but to push on for the next settlement, which was a long way off, over a rather rough tract of country.  But pluck and patience will work wonders, and after an hour or two’s longer stiff walking, we found ourselves rapidly nearing civilization, in the shape of another sawmill, Messrs Pollock and McVicar, Glenomaru.  On addressing the latter gentleman, he at once sent us up to his house, where his wife kindly made us welcome, and had tea before us very soon.  To this we both did ample justice, for our appetites were pretty sharp set with our long walk.  We had not sat long when rain came on, at first gently, but afterwards heavily, and of course farther progress that night was out of the question.  So a shake down was spread for us.


Next morning the rain was incessant, and the day was passed in the best temper we could.  Towards evening, the rain slackened, and I sallied out alone to find another friend who lived in the locality nearby.  Here, on making myself known, I was as heartily welcomed as it was possible, and sent off, after a crack, to bring down my mate, who was made as welcome as myself.  After tea we went out to have a look round, and found a fine garden, with fruit trees and bushes, and all the etceteras belonging to the old settlers.  The evening was cold, and there were frequent showers of sleet and hail, so we found an adjournment to the fireside a most agreeable change, where the rest of the evening was spent in sociable talk about “Auld Lang Syne” and things in general.



Willowmead homestead, now owned by the GRANT family

Photo:  E McLaren ‘The Two Posts’

Next morning we proceeded down Glenomaru, amid some fine scenery, to Begg’s flaxmills, where we diverged from the road, and crossed over several flax ridges, past Foswell, a little way up from which we emerged on the main road again.  The roads were in some parts very heavy from the rain of the previous day, and walking was both slow and toilsome.  Puerua was reached at 1 o’clock, and leaving our impedimenta at the inn there, we went on over the hill to Willowmead, the picturesque residence of the Hon. Major Richardson, where we were expected, and most hospitably received.  After dinner we went out for a walk through the garden, and then round by the back of the bush to the River Puerua, a lovely stream here, flowing through wooded banks, and winding in and out, from light to shade, in a way that would gladden the heart of an artist…  Getting back to Willowmead we got tea over, and then started back on our tracks, picked up our books, &c., at Whytock’s, and then took the road to Port Molyneux – nine long miles.  Of course it was dark long ere we reached the Clutha metropolis, so we at once made for the Alexandra (Paterson’s), which we found nearly full of guests.  There had been a schooner wrecked the day before on the Clutha Bar – the ‘Mary Van Every’ – and her crew and a number of other people thronged the house.  However, we found accommodation, and that was all that was required.  In the morning, we began another stage of our journey – the walk along the coast to the Nuggets lighthouse.  This is a much better walk than a ride, and we got along beautifully.  We passed the place where the schooner lay, very much exposed to the surf, and then proceeded to the site of the Clutha Beach diggings.  But all the workings were found deserted, the races all dry and crumbling back to their original surface; all that remained were the half-filled-up holes and mounds of black sand, with a wheel and a broken-down Californian pump.  Getting back to the beach again, we walked over the point and down opposite the Maori Kai, along the sand of Wiltshire Bay, and it being low water, we had the fine hard sand to walk on, as well as the shortest curve of the bay to round.  We soon got round into the next bay – Little Bay – and in it we found a dead porpoise, so well cleaned by the sand-hoppers, and others of Nature’s scavengers, that it required little effort to disengage the bones.  So carefully marking the spot that we might gather them up on our return, we went ahead again.  Beyond picking up a few shells here and there in the next bay or two, there was little found.  But in getting down among the rocks again to cut off a corner, we found another new fern – this time a Lomaria.  We were rather surprised at this, for the district has been done again and again.  We pulled a lot and stowed them away carefully.  In the next bay porpoises were plentiful, and it was most amusing to observe them gambolling about and chasing each other in the waves.  Sometimes they would come quite close in, and we could see them in the breaking wave, just as if set in a green frame.  Farther out, we could see them leaping out of the water, and over each other, as if fighting, the leaps reaching as high as ten feet out of the water.


2008 01 Nugget Point Lighthouse

Nuggets Lighthouse

Photo:  SO Hist Soc

We reached the lighthouse about midday, and were kindly received by Mr Cunningham, an old friend, who showed us over the lighthouse and explained all the various parts of the apparatus, as well as put the clock in motion to let us see how the oil was pumped up to the flame.  The numerous lenses also came in for a share of our attention, with the singular view of the Nuggets and the sea outside, as seen through the glass refractor, as well as the funnily lengthened and distorted appearance of our faces.  All was interesting.  We lingered a little on the platform outside looking at the wild scenery away to the southward, where we landed a day or two before.  To the north we had also good views, extending over the Clutha plain on to Tokomairiro and Maungatua.  But a slight haze prevented our seeing the coast.   The water beneath was beautifully clear and smooth, presenting  a  delightful  contrast  to  that on the other side, which is well named Roaring Bay, the seas coming in there in long rolling surges with immense violence.  On the hill above the path to the lighthouse we observed some good ferns and other plants …  On our return to the house, we found Mrs Cunningham had dinner ready, after which and a few yarns, we started on our return.


The tide had risen considerably, and we had to take a much higher line for our walk back, and in one case got jammed altogether, having kept the beach too long.  But we soon climbed up to the point and got on the road again.  This we kept for a long time, and did not get to the beach until reaching Little Bay, where we left the porpoise.  This we carefully gathered together, not omitting a bone if we could help, and having shaken out the sandflies and hoppers, broke off the skin of the fins, and tied the whole up for carriage to Port, where we got a box and packed it for town.


In the next bay to this, my mate noticed a peculiar-looking thing rising and falling with the roll of the sea, and said that it was a whale.  I was incredulous, and replied “Very like.”  But on getting nearer, my companion proved to be right, for a whale it was, of the bottlenose sort, about 24 feet in length [at left].  It had hurt itself by hitting a rock a little way out, and the Maoris noticing this immediately took steps to secure it, in which they were successful, having brought it in and made it fast to a post on shore.  We tried to open negotiations for the purchase of the skeleton for the Museum, but not knowing enough Maori our speculation did not go for much.  We met the chief captor near Port, and renewed the matter, but the same difficulty remained a bar to success.  The tide being well up as we passed the stranded schooner, we noticed that she was rolling about in a way that did not augur much success to any effort that might be made to get her off.  We got back to the hotel about seven o’clock, ready for our tea, and for our beds too for that matter.  Next morning we proceeded up the river bank, a little undecided as to whether or not we should cross Inch Clutha and get over to Kaitangata.  But we felt tired, and the day was very warm, so we concluded to stick to the side we were on, and keep up to Balclutha, where we arrived just after dinner time, having enjoyed the walk up the river side very much.  We spent the rest of the evening taking a walk about the town, the bridge, &c., &c.  Next day, took the first coach to Milton, where we staid [sic] a few hours, and left for town by the afternoon mail.  We were just about a week away, and spent a most delightful time, only chequered by the unlucky accident to my unfortunate digit.


          March 13th, 1874.

(Jan 2008)


Clutha Leader, 14 January 1910, pg 3

“It is often facetiously stated that the most unimportant person at a wedding is the bridegroom.  It is not often however, that a wedding is fully described in a newspaper report without the slightest mention being made of the bridegroom.  This unique feat has been accomplished by a Wellington Post reporter.  It was a pretty wedding too – took place at Karori in the open air.  The bride and what she wore is daintily described, the parson’s names mentioned - two of them, bridesmaids, best man, groomsman, and the man who also played the wedding march, but – the bridegroom, the quite unimportant bridegroom – is not mentioned at all.  As the report concludes by stating that “Mrs Johnson’s travelling dress was pastel blue cloth”, the reader may assume that the bridegroom was present somewhere and that his name was Johnson.  At any rate that is the only clue to the identity of the bridegroom in the whole length of the charming report of the wedding – Wairarapa News”


Clutha Leader, 18 January 1910


“Married 28 Years Without Knowing It

“A case in which a woman was surprised to learn that she was legally married came before a London magistrate recently when Edward HEALEY, 55, was charged with unlawfully wounding Catherine DAVIES by stabbing her with a pair of scissors.

“The woman said the prisoner stabbed her in the hand.  She did not want him punished, as she could not work, and if he went to prison what could she do”.

“The Magistrate (Mr BIRON):  ‘What is he to you?  Are you living with him?’

“Prosecutrix:  ‘Well we had a Scotch marriage.  He was my master, and twenty-eight years ago we went to Scotland to get married, but when we got there we didn’t.  We lived there fifteen months, but I told people I was not his wife.’

“Mr Briton:  ‘But if you went about together and lived together for three weeks in the same house, according to Scotch law you are married.’

“Witness – ‘Oh, lor’, I am sorry.  I always thought I wasn’t married.  I’ve got great big boys over 6ft high, too.’

“Mr Biron: ‘Then you should be pleased, not sorry, for now you know they are legitimate.’

“The prisoner was bound over.”


I am still on dreary dial-up and while waiting for pages to download, I often spot interesting news items and advertisements.  Here are a couple:


Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, Portsmouth, England, Monday April 13 1812:

“BIRTHS,- On Monday, the wife of Jonathan MOON, of Bond-street, of three children, two boys and a girl, which, together with the mother, are in a fair way of doing well.”

“MARRIED.-  Last week, in Lincolnshire, Corporal Dupré, to Miss N. TROLLOPE, with a fortune of £12,000.  Miss T. fell in love with him while he was on parade with the soldiers, the next morning she communicated her sentiments to him, which he joyfully accepted, and on the following day he led her to the Alter of Hymen.”


The what???

(Jun 2008)



Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Oxford) – Sat Feb 4 1809

“Birmingham, Jan 30 – Coroner’s verdict of a person who died suddenly:  Verdict; died by the Visitation of God.”


“An inquest was held at Alcester on the body of a woman who was rode over and killed on the spot by a man who, it appears, was in the habit of riding furiously along the roads.  The coroner ordered the horse to be forfeited to the Lord of the Manor, and the offender to pay all the expenses incurred.”



Grey River Argus, 10 Dec 1910 pg 3:

“A TRAIN AND A BUGGY - THREE PEOPLE INJURED;  By Electric Telegraph Melbourne Dec 9

“A horse attached to a buggy bolted and derailed a Richmond train.  Three persons were injured.  The buggy was smashed and the horse killed.”


The following introduction to a report was found in the Clutha Leader dated November 25 1913 pg 3:


“Glenomaru has had long years of surcease from the concert malady, but an outbreak or recrudescence of the trouble took place on Friday evening, when the schoolroom was crammed to suffocation by a music-loving and recital-appreciative audience of old and young, middle-aged and hoary of both sexes. …”


In other words, there was a well attended concert, the first for some time which was enjoyed by all at the Glenomaru schoolroom on Friday evening!!

(Jul 2008)


From the Evening Post, 2 June 1911 pg 8

“Magistrate’s Court / To-day’s sitting of the Magistrate’s Court was presided over by Mr W G Riddell, S.M.  ... For allowing a chimney to catch on fire, Edward ELLIS was fined 5s, with costs 9s, and one witness’s expenses (4s).


“For allowing a horse to wander, Wm FTIZGERALD was ordered to pay court costs (92), and one witness’s expenses (4s), in default to undergo twenty-four hours’ imprisonment.:


“William TREMAIN, who boarded a tramcar while it was in motion, was ordered to pay court costs (13s).


This rather long but interesting article gives some idea of reasons why families left their country of birth:


The Manchester Times & Gazette, August 14 1841:

How do Farmers Provide for Their Families? (From the Manchester Times 1839)

“If farmers were not accustomed submissively to receive their opinions from landlords they would very soon discover that, even if the corn law was advantageous to them individually (which we deny), it is most injurious to them as heads of families.  What does any man labour for?  Not merely that he singly and without any ties of affinity, may obtain subsistence, but that he may be able to secure comfort and respectability for his family.  There may be exceptions to the rule, but they are exceedingly rare.  The farmer can bring up only one son to his own occupation if the son be intended to hold the same station as the father, which he could not do if the farm was to be divided.  For the rest of his sons he must find other employment.  The church, the law, and medicine, are open to them; but in these professions a protracted and expensive education is a necessary preliminary.  Trade, therefore, becomes the resource of the surplus population of the farm.  If the farmer have two sons he has, so far as their settlement in life is concerned, an equal interest in agriculture and in trade.  If he have three he has twice as much interest in trade as in agriculture.  If he have five or six he may find it advantageous to him (and we know several such instances) to give up farming altogether and remove into a town, in order to push them all forward in trade.


“But it is not alone to make a provision for his sons that a farmer must strive.  The daughters have as great an interest in the prosperity of trade and commerce.  We here give the history of twelve families … We have taken families in which all the sons have arrived at man’s estate, and after they have chosen the occupations which are likely to be followed throughout life.  …We have chosen, in all cases, to include only families where daughters have attained … the usual marriageable age.


“1       LANARKSHIRE.- Four sons:  One, an engineer emigrated to Kentucky, two, farmers, who all emigrated, and one a manufacturer in Glasgow.  Five daughters:  Two married emigrants, two married farmer, and one married a person employed in iron works.

“2       LINLITHGOWSHIRE.- Six sons:  One a manufacturer in Glasgow, one a banker in Lancashire, one a farmer, and three emigrated to Canada.  Six daughters:  Two married Glasgow manufacturers, one a town clergyman, and three are unmarried.

“3       LANARKSHIRE.-  Four sons:  Two emigrated to the Unites States, one a grocer in Edinburgh, and one a farmer.  Two daughters:  One married an emigrant, and one is unmarried.

“4       BERWICKSHIRE.-  Six sons:  Two merchants in Glasgow, one a merchant in London, one a drysalter in London, and two unmarried, assistants to the father.  One daughter:  Unmarried

“5       PERTHSHIRE.-  Five sons:  All merchants in Manchester.  Three daughters:  Two married Glasgow manufacturers, and one to a merchant in Manchester.

“6       INVERNESS-SHIRE.-  Four sons:  Calico printers in Lancashire.  One daughter:  Unmarried.

“7       LANARKSHIRE.-  Two sons:  One a merchant in Liverpool, and one a brewer in Birmingham.  Two daughters:  Unmarried.

“8       LANARKSHIRE.-  Three sons:  one a surgeon in India, one a merchant in Edinburgh, one a farmer.  Two daughters:  One married to a mechanic, and one unmarried.

“9       STIRLINGSHIRE.-  Five sons:  All employed in Glasgow.  Three daughters:  Married to Glasgow tradesmen.

“10     LANARKSHIRE.-  Two sons:  one a Glasgow manufacturer, and one a farmer.-  Two daughters:  married to farmers

“11     PEEBLESHIRE.-  One son:  A Glasgow dyer.  Three daughters:  Unmarried.

“12     LANARKSHIRE.-  Five sons and two daughters.  All emigrated to the United States with their parents.


“In these twelve families there were forty seven sons … and only four are farmers.  There were thirty-two daughters, the youngest of them of a marriageable age, only four who married farmers.  Thus, of the whole seventy-nine only eight have any direct interest in agriculture …  Of the thirty-two daughters not fewer than twelve remain unmarried – a proof that if farmers find it difficult to settle their sons around them, it is still more difficult to find suitable matches for their daughters.


“In all these instances the heads of the family, with one exception, held rather extensive farms, and the sons, by emigration, or by trade at home, have sustained their fathers’ station in society, and some have risen considerably beyond it.  But the children on the smaller farmers – of those who held from thirty to one hundred acres of land – have sunk to the class immediately below that of their fathers.  They … have become farm labourers, masons, joiners, smiths, weavers, &c., and the daughters have married into the same class.  This has been almost invariably the case where the father has not been able to confer education upon them, for without the elevating [attain]ments derived from knowledge, there is seldom a spirit of enterprise.  In a parish which we have particularly in view while writing, if the father was a reading man it might safely have been predicted that his family would emigrate or betake themselves a trade or to professions.  If the father was uneducated and took no means to have his children well instructed, it might, with equal safety, have been predicted that they would sink into the class of manual labourers.”

(Aug 2008)


Papers Past – what a great New Zealand resource!  Nola was recently searching the site and says “Did you know that the Otago Witness newspaper covered both Otago and Southland?  Using these place names in the search yielded the following number of hits:

Article imageIn the search for ‘Waiwera’ this photo came up.  Nola thought ‘I know that fish!!’  A hunt in her family collection confirmed that in fact, this was the fish that Nola’s husband’s grandfather caught in the Waiwera Stream.  Weighing in at an impressive 29½lb, according to the article in the Otago Witness 11 May 1904 pg 42, the fish was one of a number comprising “one of the finest collections of trout ever got together in the colony.  They are the property of the Government Tourist Department, and have been procured for the purpose of gracing the New Zealand court at the St Louis Exhibition.”  Presumably after the fish had its fame in St Louis, it returned to its home as Nola reports that it was on display in the Clinton Railway Station.  Where it went to when the station was removed is anyone’s guess.  Maybe you know where it went?


Disclaimer:   Nola is almost certain it is the same fish - I told her that as this was a fish story it was OK if she wasn’t 100% certain!!

(Sep 2008)


From the Bruce Herald, Tuesday 16th October 1900:

“The following birth notice recently appeared in the columns of a Kansas paper.- ‘Born to the wife of Jim Jones, a boy.  The boy favours his old dad in several ways, viz., he is bald, has a red nose, takes to the bottle like a bumblebee to a lump of sugar, and makes a lot of noise about nothing. Selah!’”

(Mar 2009)


NOTE:   These articles are contributed to our newsletter by individuals and do not necessarily represent branch advice and/or policy.



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