Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ancestor of the Week–Week 18–Samuel Middlebrook–A True Pioneer

samuelmiddlebrookpioneer

 

From the Bay of Plenty Times 1945 :


MR SAMUEL MIDDLEBROOK
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PLAYED MANY PARTS
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PIONEER IN THE DISTRICT
Veteran of the Maori War: one who played a full part in the pioneering settlement in New Zealand in the latter part of the last century,and a well-known and affectionately regarded identity in these parts, Mr Samuel Middlebrook,of Waihi died in the Waihi Hospital last Saturday. He was 91 years of age.

Mr Middlebrook was born in Leeds, Yorkshire in the year 1854 journeying to New Zealand with his family in the ship Shalimar in 1861. At the age of 18 he left Auckland for Tauranga to join the Survey Department , and he resided there for four years. He joined the cavalry in the time of the Maori War and served with that unit until it disbanded. Mr Middlebrook was on the staff of the Survey Department which was under the control of Captain A.C.Turner, and was engaged in surveys inland as far as Taupo. In 1874 he acted as a guide for the late Mr George Vesey Stewart when the latter was selected to inspect the lands for the Katikati settlers. Mr Middlebrook resided at Katikati until six or seven years ago and for about 16 years before that he made his home on his launch Finella

Mr Arthur J Gray, in his book “An Ulster Plantation: relates that when Mr George Vesey Stewart came to Tauranga he inspected all the Government lands in the neighbourhood, the Survey Office putting at his disposal a young man, Mr Samuel Middlebrook.. One Morning they rode out of Tauranga towards the northern end of the harbour and in the late afternoon after twenty miles of hard ringing through trackless swamps and hills, they reached the Elongate River.  This was the southern boundary of the Katikati Block, part of the area confiscated from the Maoris after the Bay of Plenty war. As Vesey Stewart looked across the rolling stretches of fern country watered by six rivers, with the forest mountains on his left and glimpses of the blue see on his right he knew that his search was over.  After careful inspection of three days he and Mr Middlebrook returned. Mr Vesey Stewart then went to Auckland and made an official application for 10,000 acres of the Katikati block. The agreement regarding the acquisition of the land was concluded on June 24 1874

VERSATILE MAN
Mr Middlebrook was a very versatile man, who played many important parts in the early days of Katikati. He was a brilliant Maori linguist, a great sportsman; musical and a great lover of little children. He was one of the foundation members of the Katikati Royal Orange Lodge and to the end was a most keen member.
His wife Mary Jane, pre-deceased him by six years. Mr Middlebrook is survived by one son and four daughters: Mrs R.J. Harris of Waihi; Mrs P. Goodwin of Auckland: Mr Samuel Robert Middlebrook of Hamilton; Mrs Edwards of Waihi and Mrs B Gurk of Waihi. The funeral which left St Johns Anglican Church was attended by a large gathering of Tauranga, Katikati and Waihi mourners. Mr Middlebrook, being an old soldier was buried with military honours in the soldiers portion of the Waihi cemetery . The Rev. E.L.B. Gribble officiated both in the church and at the graveside

This article includes a few inaccuracies mostly based on Samuel’s age. It was commonly thought Samuel was in his 90s, but in actuality he was only 89 when he died. His birth year was 1856 not 1854 and his family arrived in New Zealand in December 1862 not 1861.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks– number 17- Charles Samuel Middlebrook

CharlesSamuelMiddlebrook

Charles Samuel ( Known as Sam) Middlebrook was the 6th child and second son of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook..
Like is father, and his older brother John Thompson Middlebrook, he took up the trade of butcher, helping in the family business in Te Awamutu.
At 28 years old he married Catherine Isabella Murtagh .
While living in Te Awamutu Sam and Catherine had 4 children:  Eldest child was John Walter Middlebrook , born in 1913. 3  years later Emma Jane was born in 1916 , followed by Olive Mary in 1917 and finally in 1918 their final child Zoe Mabel completed their family.  Sam  was listed in the WW1 reserves but unlike  his younger brothers was never called up to fight. He was classified “D” due to the fact that he had ( at the time) 3 children. This may have had a bearing toward the fact that he was never called up to fight .
Sam lived and worked for the family business in Te Awamutu  until the early 1930s when he moved his family to Raglan and , following the family tradition, ran his own butchers shop, assisted by his son John Walter.

Sam and Katie retired to South Auckland before 1950, and Sam died aged 75 in 1960, and Katie died in 1963.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Children of Samuel and Mary Jane Middlebrook

 

ChildrenofSamuelandMaryJane1

 

The Middlebrook Family of Katikati, headed by Samuel and Mary Jane (nee Rea) Middlebrook consisted of 6 children . First born in 1884 was son John Stewart Middlebrook, named after both his grandfathers and known as Johnnie . In 1886 Margaret Farrer Middlebrook was born. Her first name after her maternal grandmother, and middle name taken from the family name of her paternal grandmother.. Margaret was known often as Rita while at school and later was known as Dot. Ellen Winifred was born in 1887, named after her paternal grandmother and great grandmother,  though the origin of her second name Winifred is not known. Ellen was known commonly as Ellie. In 1890 , another son Samuel Robert ( named for his father, and paternal great grandfather. He was commonly known as Bertie or Bert. 

After a gap of  6 years  another daughter was born, though family legend has it that Mary Lousinda Middlebrook was not in fact the daughter of Samuel, but of local blacksmith John Grey. Samuel’s name however appears on the birth certificate as the father.
Last born in 1898, was Elizabeth Alice, named after her maternal aunt and known for most of her life as Bess.

John Stewart was the only sibling to not reach old age. His occupation was one of blacksmith, and he married at age 27, having 3 sons, one of whom died as a baby. Unfortunately when his youngest son was only 3 years old, John died leaving his wife to fend for herself and her children. She found a job as a housekeeper but had to move out of the area and could only take one child, and so the family was split up as the eldest son Leslie was bought up in a Salvation Army home until he was nearly 12 .

Mary Jane’s youngest sister, Margaret Matilda Rea was 16 years her younger. It appears that she lived with Samuel and Mary Jane and was bought up as a sister to the girls rather than an aunt. Margaret ( known as Cis ) was bridesmaid to Margaret, and both Margaret and Ellen were bridesmaids to her at first marriage to William Birkett in 1905.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Middlebrook Reunion Newsletter dated September 29th

 

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Middlebrook Family History and the Cockroft Connection

by Lauren Bavin
We've focused a lot on the lives and descendants of the 6 Middlebrook children who arrived in New Zealand with their parents  survived to adulthood .
The youngest child Henry Cockroft  Middlebrook unfortunately died aged 15 on 25th September 1876 and is buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery in Symonds Street Auckland.

I had wondered for some time on the origin of Henrys middle name Cockroft.
It really sounded much like a surname but I couldnt initially find any Cockrofts in the family.
The trail to finding the origin was a tricky one, fraught with transcription errors and changes of location , but I can now confirm that indeed Henry Cockroft Middlebrook was named after a deceased Uncle.
To trace the name we need to go back to Samuel Middlebrook ( 1784-1846) the father of John Middlebrook who emigrated to NZ.
Samuel had 5 children
Mary Ann Middlebrook 1804
Elizabeth 1807
Fanny 1809
John 1812
Thomas 1815
In Samuels Will he left his estate in its entirety to John on the proviso he made the following paments
One Hundred Pounds to Samuels daughter Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Sturdy; One Hundred Pounds to Samuels daughter  Fanny, wife of Philip Smith; and Five pounds to Samuel's son Thomas . ( Mary Ann was not mentioned in the will  but we know she had married Christopher Wharton.
On finding the names of the husbands of Elizabeth and Fanny I then went to look for those marriages.
Fanny's marriage was easy to find in August 1841

However I could find no marriage between an Elizabeth Middlebrook and a Thomas Sturdy.
So instead of searching for Elizabeth Middlebrook I widened the search to Thomas Sturdy and all women named Elizabeth and there was our first clue..
On September 4 1843 there was a marriage between Thomas Sturdy and Elizabeth Cockroft

Gender:
Female

Father's Name:
Samuel Middlebrook

Spouse's Name:
Thomas Sturdy

Spouse's Father's Name:
William Sturdy

Marriage Date:
4 Sep 1843

Marriage Place:
York, Yorkshire, England

At last - there was our Cockroft connection.-
I then looked for Elizabeth and Thomas Sturdy in the 1851 census, however nothing initally came up.
I finally found them in the 1861 Census living at 73 Church Place W, Islington, Middlesex. Thomas was a Linen Draper and he was living with Elizabeth and their daughter Elizabeth Sturdy aged 16 and Thomas's step daughter Ellen Cockroft.
Ellen proved to be the final link in the puzzle to the Cockroft name.
Her baptism records dated 24th July 1834 list the following

Name:
Ellen Middlebrook Cockroft

Gender:
Female

Baptism Date:
24 Jul 1834

Baptism Place:
Saint Peter,Leeds,York,England

Father:
Henry Cockroft

Mother:
Elizabeth

At last - the proof- Henry Cockroft Middlebrook was named after his Uncle Henry Cockroft, first husband of his aunt Elizabeth.
I have yet to find a death for Henry, nor can I find any record of the original marriage but will keep looking.
After I had found Elizabeth and Thomas in 1861 I then tracked back in time to find them in 1851 to see if there were any other Cockroft children.
I finally found them at 13 Trafalgar Street Brighton. They hadn't originally shown up in a search as they had been mistranscribed as Thomas and Elizabeth Slindy.
Thomas was working as a Linen Draper assisted by family. Stepdaughter Ellen is listed as assiting in the family business.
Living with Thomas and Elizabeth at the time were Ellen Cockroft and another daughter Sarah Hannah Cockroft.
From there I went looking for Elizabeth with Ellen and Sarah in the 1841 census .
I finally found them living in a Boarding School in Low Harrogate . I assume Elizabeth was working as a servant there and they accommodated the girls for her.
Interestingly I briefly traced Ellen Middlebrook Cockrofts later life. It seemed her stepfather Thomas Sturdy had a great influence on her life as she continued in the Linen industry becoming an Embroidress.
She married Frederick Evershed who was also a Draper and Silk Miller, and had 4 children. ( in 1871 her mother Elizabeth Sturdy was living with them in Brighton)
Unfortunately Frederick died in 1872 and to support her children Ellen continued as an Embroidress ,by 1881 having her own business, and was assisted by her daughter Ellen Lucas Evershed.
At the time of the 1881census  she is visiting a family in London so there is little information on her family or occupation, however in 1891 she is listed as the Secretary of the Exhibition of Embroidery , and in 1901 and 1911 she is listed as an embroidress and employing staff in London.
Ellen Middlebrook Evershed died in March 1913.

Benjamin Farrar Hardy was a son of Elizabeth ( nee Midlebrook) and George Douglas Hardy.

Benjamin Farrer Hardy began his career in the fashion industry when he joined the company Rushbrook and Company of Auckland, before moving on to other draperies in Auckland where he gained further experience. Subsequently, in 1902 he was appointed manager of the Melbourne Clothing Company of Stratford .
By 1911 Ben Hardy had his own business in Picton Street Howick, where he remained until 1915 at which point he made a name for himself as a Master Draper in Thames.
Electoral roll records indicate that by 1928 he had moved back to Auckland and was living in  Oaklands Road Mt Eden and is still listed as a draper.
Ben Hardy married Martha Neilie in 1899 and they had two children, Norma Madeleine Middlebrook Hardy, ( 1905-1997) and Douglas Nelson Hardy (1905-1992)

The premises on the corner of Pollen and Cochrane Streets now occupied by Mr Ben. Hardy, the enterprising draper, and formally known as Martin's corner, have undergone wonderful changes in the course of a few months. Where formerly stood the old established business of Mr George Martin, has now arisen one of the most up-to-date emporiums in the town, and here Mr Hardy has set up business under modern conditions.

With a large and new building at his disposal and a stock that for excellence would be hard to beat, Mr Hardy has made a choice Xmas display. Everything is new, and consequently fashion followers can obtain all that they require in dress and accessories. The showroom contains some ravishing millinery samples, the newest shades and shapes being exhibited. Madame Fashion has so many vagaries that it is difficult to keep pace with her whims, but Mr Hardy understands what his Thames clients wants, and buys accordingly. Here lies the secret of his success since starting gin business in this town( and his numerous customers recognise his efforts to please them ); the enterprising draper has secured an exclusive array of chic graceful  millinery, and his ready to wear costumes are the last word in fashion. In all the leading shades and materials, they are perfectly sweet confections, and we would recommend the race goer in search for an original frock to call and inspect the splendid display at Hardy's. In charming military cut with pleated basques, mess coat style and flared skirts, they are le dernier cri . The whisps of lacy blouses: the effective dress trimmings, and the smart little muslin and voile frocks made in a variety of styles, including the popular pinafore design stamp Hardy's stock as thoroughly representative of what is being work in the fashion centres. In hosiery, gloves, stockings, and sunshades, the shop is replete, also with dainty dress fabrics. There are the usual accompaniments for the ladies in toilet accessories, etc, in which the feminine mind delights. Hardy's is an admirable place for the Xmas shopper and the enterprising proprietor is thoroughly deserving of the increasing patronage which is offerings are bringing  him. He has installed one of the latest electric cash registers in the district, it being worked with a minimum of waiting for the customer, and combines efficiency of service with wonderful capabilities for silently recording the sales. It is a striking innovation and is built on an elaborate scale. Mr Hardy is indeed catering for public stores in Thames. His Xmas stock is a fine one.

Thames Star 22nd December 1915

CLOSE OFF DATE FOR INCLUSION OF PHOTOS FOR THE REUNION BOOK


We are still looking for further photographs to include in the Pictorial book which will be available at the reunion - please email Lauren if you have anything at all which may be of interest. This includes not just photographs from the 19th century but also 20th century photographs pertaining to the Middlebrook family.
If you do not have any way of scanning the photographs we may be able to organise someone to visit .
With Christmas between now and the Reunion date, and the busy season encroaching on our lives we have to set a close off date for any photos to be included in the Pictorial History books to be published for the reunion.
The last date for receipt of copies of photos to be included will be November 30.  If Lauren receives photos and stories before this date we will make every effort to have them included. After this date no guarantees can be made, so please dig out those photos and scan them, and more importantly jot down any stories or facts  you think may be of interest for inclusion in the book

WHO AM I?
This photo came from Max Bercich and was probably from the collection his mother inherited from Olive Winks( nee Middlebrook) .
The photo looks as if it could be the same child - this photo was from the Te Awamutu Museum and was credited as Joyce Middlebrook. To our knowledge there was no Joyce Middlebrook but there was a Joyce Stonex.
Joyce Ada Stonex was born in 1921 and was the youngest daughter of Frederick and Eleanor ( nee Middlebrook) Stonex. Could this be Joyce Stonex??

Reunion Registration Details.

We are excited at the number of registrations we have already received. It sounds like there will be quite a few coming from Australia and this is great to hear.  Its very rewarding to think that through the reunion we are connecting so many family members together.
Reunion registration details are below.
Saturday 24th January - Cost $40 for adults, $10 for children 8-13, Free for children 7 and Under
11am - 4pm
The day will begin with check in where you will be issued with name tags denoting which branch of the family you belong to . This will make it easy for you to recognise those who descend from the same branch of the family as yourself.
From 12 noon we will have our photographer taking formal group photos of each branch of the family and of the whole group, along with roaming candid photos throughout the day.
These photographs will be available in an inexpensive  book form, after the reunion. Orders to be taken on the day or beforehand  via a form which will be included in a later newsletter.
Leading up to the reunion we will announce the price of  a photographic family history book which will be available for pre-purchase and pick up at the reunion. The book is well into production now. In order to include as many branches of the family as possible we need your input.  Please send any family stories and or photos to Lauren as soon as possible.
Finger food and tea and coffee will be supplied throughout the day and a cash bar will also be available for those who wish to make use of it.
There will be photographic and informational displays and a large family tree available for viewing.
Saturday primarily though is a mix and mingle event where we can all get to know each other.
Feel free to bring along any photos or copies, along with family mementos you wish to share or display.
Saturday Evening
This is at your leisure. We have suggestions for local restaurants for those interested.
Sunday 25th January - Cost $50 per adult, $45 per child 8-13 and $ 35 per child Under 7  ( Im sure we will be able to accommodate a lesser cost for children under 5 but we are still working on this)
12 noon - 3:00pm
Buffet Luncheon
Sit down lunch with presentations and speakers (descendants) and cutting of the Reunion Cake
REGISTRATION CAN BE MADE ONLINE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK
Middlebrook Reunion Registration Form
If you prefer to print and fill in a paper form you can download it here
Saturday Evening
This is at your leisure. We have suggestions for local restaurants for those interested.
Sunday 25th January
12 noon - 3:00pm
Buffet Luncheon
Sit down lunch with presentations and speakers (descendants) and cutting of the Reunion Cake
REGISTRATION CAN BE MADE ONLINE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK
Middlebrook Reunion Registration Form
If you prefer to print and fill in a paper form you can download it here

Grave Restoration


The restoration of Ellen  Middlebrook's grave is proceeding nicely - You can see that much of the lichen has been removed and the original white marble is now visible and the engraving is easily readable.
With a little more TLC it should be looking very much better than it was 5 months ago as shown below.

Middlebrook Family History Website is now Live

The first stage of the Middlebrook Family History Website is now up and viewable.
The Stories page is regularly updated so feel free to check for new images and stories .
Lauren will be adding to the next generation  pages as time permits

Remember to fill in a Family Group Sheet Form here if you havent already

The Stonex Family- Milk to the Masses – An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks–Number 16

stonex

When Eleanor Middlebrook, eldest daughter of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook married Frederick William Stonex, she would have no idea that her family were to become synonymous with the milk supply of Auckland’s biggest city. Frederick William had 4 brothers, and the elder 3 had formed a partnership in the early years of the 1900s  when they purchased a dairy, and later diversified and developed a milk chilling and delivery business. Frederick had a successful woodturning business but in around 1915 he joined his brothers in the Stonex Brothers Milk Vending Business.
The family firm grew and they purchased many acres of land for dairy farms to supply their factories with milk When brother Joseph Henry was tragically killed in their Newton Factory, Frederick William took over the management .

red and Eleanor had 4 children, Gladys who died as an infant in 1893, Reginald Basil, born 1894, Rita Thelma ( known as Thelma) born in 1896 and Valerie Joyce ( known as Joyce) born in 1921. Both Reg. and Thelma and her husband Norman Till played  important roles in the family business. At the age of 41 he  succeeded his father as manager of the Milk Treatment and Vending company and in 1935 formally incorporated the company. Asa company it was dominant in the Auckland Milk Vending business, with depots i Kingsland, Newton, Pt Chevalier, Remuera and College Hill, and the company remained a strong force into the early 1940s .
Suppliers to Stonex Bros Ltd, including farmers from various localities between Otahuhu and Pukekohe, agree to form a producers cooperative. In 1947 the members of Stonex Milk Producers Cooperative Ltd and the suppliers of the Auckland Milk Company combine to form Auckland Co-operative Milk Producers and about this time the milk processing part of the business was transferred to a newly formed public corporation, the Auckland Milk Treatment Corporation, which was run by Reg Stonex, and brother Percy took over Stonex Bros. Ltd . The family business remained involved in the Auckland Milk scene until 1971 - a total of 65 years

Sunday, November 2, 2014

An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks – Week 15–The Middlebrook–Dillon Wedding

 

Middlebrook-Dillon

Its really great to have a matching newspaper article and photo and this sometimes occurs with weddings.

Im not sure what newspaper this article was clipped from but it describes the wedding of the Rev. Farrer Middlebrook .

The marriage took place at St Matthew’s Church, Masterton on Saturday morning of EleanorHope, only daughter of Mr and Mrs H. Dillon, of Church Street, Masterton, and the Rev. Farrer Middlebrook, of Tauranga, eldest son of the late Mr J.T. Middlebrook and Mrs Middlebrook, of Auckland. The Rev. E.J. Rich officiated at the marriage service which was followed by the Nuptial Eucharist.
The bride, who was escorted by Mr G.L.Thomas, was charmingly attired in a frock of Ivory embossed taffeta modelled on straight lines, the front of the corsage being shirred and the tight sleeves pointed over the hands, the skirt forming a long train. She also work a beautiful embroidered tulle veil lent by a friend and carried a bouquet of roses, carnations and fern.
Attending the bride were Miss Winifred Miller, of Napier, chief bridesmaid, who wore an ankle length frock of golden rust crepe finished with tan velvet, Medici collar and sash and Miss Betty Christie, cousin of the bride, who was attired in a frock of eu de nil made on similar lines. The bridesmaids frocks were finished at the neckline with floral brooches. They wore floral halos to tone, gold shoes and carried bouquets of Iceland poppies, lanchanalia and autumn tints.
Mr Russell Middlebrook of Auckland carried out the duties of best man, and the Rev. T.V. Pearson was groomsman. The ushers were Messrs I.A.McDonald and L.O.Robson, Scout officers.
Scouts and Cubs of the Masterton groups formed a guard of honour at the church.
During the signing of the register Miss Leah Johnston gave an excellent rendering of Tosellis Serenata
the reception was held in the Parish Hall where Mrs Dillon, assisted by Mrs Middlebrook, received the guests. The brides mother work a navy frock with a navy coat and hat and carried an autumn tinted posy. The bridegroom's m other wore a black frock with a lace coat and carried a posy of autumn tints.
The beautiful three-tier cake was decorated by Mrs Gooding
For travelling the bride chose an ensemble of deco blue with grey accessories.
Mr and Mrs Middlebrook’s future home will be at Ormondville.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Middlebrook-Wright Wedding–An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks–number 14

Middlebrook-Wright

A very pretty wedding took place at St Peters Church Katikati on Wednesday April 7th when Miss Dorothy Clarice, second youngest daughter of Mr and the late Mrs W Wright, of Katikati, was married to Mr Samuel Robert Middlebrook youngest son of Mr S. Middlebrook of Waihi. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Ernest Fletcher, vicar of St Johns Church Waihi, and was attended by a large number of relatives and intimate friends of the bride and bridegroom The bride looked charming in a handsome dress and train of cream charmuse satin with the orthodox veil and orange blossoms and she carried a pretty white bouquet and prayer book. The bridesmaids were Miss A Wright, ( sister of the bride) and Miss B Middlebrook ( sister of the bridegroom. They wore pretty dresses of white embroidered viole, with tulle caps trimmed with ribbon and pearl trimming and carried pretty bouquets . The bride as also attended by her small niece and nephew, Miss Edna and Master George Hepesy. Miss Edna wore a pretty dress of the palest green charmuse satin and carried a basket of flowers while Master George looked very pretty in a suit of saxe blue velvet trimmed with cream lace. Mr Ernest Dale of Wellington, supported the bridegroom as best man, and Mr N Wright of Katikati as groomsman. Miss E Phillips of Waihi presided at the organ and at the conclusion of the ceremony, played the Wedding March. The brides travelling costume was a tailor made champagne serge and a small saxe blue and white velvet hat with blue ospreys . The bride was the recipient of many handsome and useful presents . The Wedding breakfast was held at the residence of the brides father “Glenora” Katikati after which the happy couple left by motor car for Waihi en route for Te Aroha. Mr and Mrs Middlebrook will reside in Waihi.