Monday, December 8, 2014

MIDDLEBROOK REUNION NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 24

Welcome to new subscribers to our family newsletter.
This newsletter now goes out to 70 separate email addresses. Considering we started with just 13 its great to see the word spreading.
The reunion is fast approaching.
Remember to register before the end of November for the current pricing.
Thanks to the many of you who have registered already. We are looking forward to the many of you coming from Australia.

The Death of Henry Cockroft Middlebrook
In a previous newsletter we researched the origin of the middle name of Henry Cockroft Middlebrook. Henry was the youngest child of John and Ellen Middlebrook. He was just a baby  when they arrived in New Zealand,so would have been the child most "at home" here, with no memory of his previous live in Yorkshire.
Sadly though Henry died aged 15.
For interest sake I ordered the death printout pretaining to Henrys death. He died of Phthitis which is another name for Tuberculosis, which coincidentally is the same illness that killed his father John.
While we have no proof to back this up, there is a theory that John's diagnosis of Tuberculosis may have been the reason the family emigrated to New Zealand in the first place as it was often suggested that sufferers move to a better climate.
If this was true then how tragic that the same disease would also kill his youngest child.
WHO IS ALFRED EDWARD  EVERSHED??

While researching the origin of the name of Henry Cockroft Middlebrook I discovered one of our most notable relatives.
Alfred E Evershed of Launceston Tasmania, was nominated twice, in 1935 and 1937 , for a nobel peace prize, based apparently on his writing in support of peace between nations.
His connection to us is complicated but in actuality for most of us he is a second cousin, 2 or 3 times removed which makes the link seem quite close indeed.
To trace the connection we need to go back to John Middlebrook ( the elder) and his siblings one of whom was Elizabeth who lived quite an interesting life it seems.
She married several times ( more on this later) and one of her marriages was to Henry Cockroft who was a cloth trader , and to whom she had 3 children , Ellen Middlebrook Cockroft, William Henry Middlebrook Cockroft, and Sarah Hannah Cockroft.
Unfortunately Henry died when Elizabeth was pregnant with Sarah, and even more tragically her only son William died a few years later aged only 4.
Elizabeth went on to remarry Thomas Sturdy, who bought up her daughters Ellen and Sarah. ( and they also had another daughter together named Elizabeth Sturdy.
Ellen Middlebrook Cockroft married Frederick Evershed and they had 5 children before Frederick also unfortunately died aged only 30.
Sarah married Alfred Evershed who was Frederick's brother. They took Ellen and Frederick's son Bertrand under their care and along with their other 6 children moved from their home in Sussex to Tasmania in the 1880s.
Sarah and Alfreds eldest son was Alfred Edward Evershed .
The following information is from theLaunceston Family Album website

Alfred Edward Evershed

Date of Birth 22 April 1870

Place of Residence Launceston Tasmania Australia

Spouses Name Did not marry

Childrens Names No children

Alfred Edward Evershed was born on 22 Apr 1870 in Littlehampton, Sussex, England, the elder son of Alfred Evershed (1839-1912), timber merchant, and his wife Sarah Hannah Cockcroft (c.1839-1928). He came to Tasmania with his family in Jan 1885. Educated by a governess, he later attended the Launceston Technical School which his father helped to establish. Alfred received a special first award for his carved coat of arms at the Tasmanian Exhibition in 1891-92. He was the secretary of the Literary Society in 1892.

By 1904 AE Evershed & Co. of 65 George Street, Launceston, were the agents for Merryweather's fire engines, hoses and equipment, ice and refrigeration machines and other items. Alfred Edward did not marry and died in Launceston on 31 May 1941 aged 71. He was buried at the Carr Villa Cemetery in Section C 224. His father and younger brother Harold are also in the Launceston Family Album. See The Examiner, 30 Dec 2006, page 31.
If anyone has any spare time and can research the Evershed descendants ( of the other children of Alfred and Sarah)  and let them know of our reunion it would be much appreciated. - We would welcome them !

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

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

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JOHNSON GIRLS?
This photo above is apparently of Ruth and Joyce Johnson, daughters of Mary Lucinda Wishart (Maisie) Johnson (nee Middlebrook) .
We have no descendants of Maisie registered for the reunion.
What we know is :
Maisie had 4 children,
  • Glenda born 1913 and died 1940 apparently in childbirth though I have no confirmed marriage or spouse for her.
  • Ngaire Joyce Johnson, known as Joyce, born 1914- She married Warwick Francis Harvey and had two children that we know of, Warwick Lynton Harvey born 1937, and Jennifer Farrer Harvey born 1945. ( There could have been more children that we are unaware of). We can not find a death date for Joyce.
  • Ruth Johnson who married Wilfred Henry Pool - we dont know of her children at this point, but we know from electoral roll records that  she was living in Fearon Avenue Mt Eden in 1981 and she died in 1997.
  • Raymond Verdon Johnson who died as a baby in 1930
Can anyone shed any light on the whereabouts of any of Maisies descendants?
From Maisies will  ( in 1975) we know she left property in Auckland to Warwick Lynton Harvey who at the time lived in Tauranga, and left a house in Dillon Street Waihi to her daughter Ruth Pool.
She also left property to another Granddaughter- Glenda Arawa Lindsay .
Joyce and Jennifer are not mentioned in the will and I have yet to ascertain where Glenda Arawa Lindsay fits in.
If anyone has further information regarding Maisies descendants we would really appreciate you contacting any of us on the committee.

The Three Faces of Mary Jane Middlebrook- A Bit of Photographic Deception before Photoshop

Mary Jane Middlebrook nee Rea was the wife of Samuel Middlebrook. We dont have many photos of her, in fact at current count we have 2 definites and one possibly!
However what we do have are 3 versions of the one photograph.  I believe most descendants have a copy of the middle version shown here but we were lucky enough to come across  an untouched up version of the original photograph taken by Harry Whitnall Smith ( who we of course know was family, being married to Jane "Cis" Middlebrook, daughter of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook )
The full colourised version of the photograph shows Mary with hazel or brown eyes, and even the middle version she definitely has dark eyes but if you look at the original version its quite clear she had quite light coloured eyes ( probably blue) and certainly her hair shows the unruly curls which were passed down through several of her daughters and still is dominant in some of the current generations of descendants.
Which version of the photograph do you like best? - She certainly looks more elegant and refined in the touched up versions with the shading in teh cheek, lips and eyes, but knowing her life story and her unconventional relationships, I feel more connected to the untouched version which I think shows a bit more of her true spirit.

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

An Ancestor a Week for 20 weeks–WEEK 20!!- The Sad and Somewhat Mysterious Life of Amelia Fennell

Amelia

The life of Amelia Fennell,(known as Amy), like that of her sister Ellen is shrouded in more than a little  mystery. Born Amelia McRa, the eldest child of Jane Middlebrook and James John McRa, She was born apparently in Tararu Creek Thames in 1869, however as there is no registered birth for her ( nor for her sister Nellie) we only know this , as it is what is stated on her marriage certificate. Even then,it may not be factual, but it is the truth as she had been told.
We know nothing of Amy’s childhood. She first appears in written family history at around age 19 in 1887, when her uncle Welsh McRa writes to Amy’s mother Jane,  suggesting that her current working position with another Uncle and Aunt is possibly not working out to Amy’s best interest, and he removes her from there and returns her to her mother in Opua. (Though it isnt completely clear, it appears Amy’s sister Ellen (Nellie) may also have been with her at the time.
It sems Amy stays in Opua as she appears there in the 1893, and 1896 electoral rolls as a Domestic Servant, but it isnt until the 2nd October 1902, aged around 35 that she married Patrick Fennell,  in Russell Bay of Islands . It seems a strange match. Patrick, a widower, is aged 73 at the time of their marriage. A huge age gap by any standards.
Amy and Patrick remain living in Opua. They went on to have two children, Nicholas John Charles Fennell (known as Charlie) born 1905 (Amy would have been 39 and Patrick 76) and seven years later George Duncan Fitzroy Fennell ( at this point Amy would have been aged 43 and Patrick a venerable 83 year old!!)   Good things were not to come for the Fennell family.

Northern Advocate 4th February 1916
THE OLD MEN'S HOME.
SHOULD CANCER PATIENTS BE RECEIVED THERE?
CASE OF MR P. FENNELL.
In Wednesday's "Advocate" we published some comments made by Inspector Skynner to the Bay of Islands Hospital Board.-The report dealt with the case of an old man, Mr P. Fennell, of Opua. Fennell was a cancer patient and Inspector Skynner complained that he had been driven from pillar to post. Describing the case the inspector continued:—"First he was taken to the Old Men's Home at Whangarei; thence to the Knox Home for Incurables at East Tamaki, and at the instance of the trustees of that institution back to his home a Opua. I consider it my duty to point out in the strongest language. I possibly can that I consider the whole position a most disgraceful one, and if such institutions,  as the Costley Home, the Knox Home for Incurables, and the Old Men's Home at Whangarei will not provide a resting place for our''aged poor”, whose days are probably numbered through suffering from some incurable disease, I consider it is your Board's duty to suffering humanity to bring the position under the notice of the Hon. Minister for Public Health."
Northern Advocate , 8 May 1917, Page 2
In comment on the lack of an essential provision the "Luminary" has the following:—"There is no institution North of Auckland set apart for the care and treatment of persons suffering from incurable diseases, and the Knox Home for Incurables, in Auckland, refuses to receive patients from this district. These facts were brought out at the meeting of the Hospital Board on Friday, owing to a letter received from the house manager of the Auckland hospital asking the board what it was going to do with Mrs Fennell, a resident of Opus, Bay of'-Islands, now lying in the Auckland institution suffering from an incurable disease. It will be remembered that in 1915 Mr Fennell, of Opua, was found to be suffering from cancer. He was 84 years of age and was in a deplorable condition with the disease. The poor old man was sent to the Old Men's Home, Whangarei, which refused to keep him, so the Board sent him to the Knox Home for incurables, Tamaki, Auckland; but even there he was not allowed to rest and was packed back to Opua. The local Board then placed him in a shanty in the hospital grounds, where he soon after died. Now his wife is afflicted with the same disease, and it looks as if the poor woman is to be driven from pillar to post like her dead husband was.

Amy died on May 4th 1917, and it seems the 2 boys, Charlie aged 12 and George aged just 5 were split up. George was bought up by his maternal uncle, John Roderick McRae who was a bootmaker in Paptoetoe. George went on eventually to take on the same trade.  Charlie though, aged 12 went elsewhere. By 1923 he was in Awakeri, Bay of Plenty. He remained in the Bay of Plenty area for the rest of his life.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks–Week 19–Farrer Middlebrook – Religion by Design

 

farrermiddlebrook

Narrated by John Farrer Middlebrook , Sydney NSW Australia
November 2014

My father was an Anglican clergyman for all the time I knew him and our family life was in many ways shaped by the needs of each Parish he'd been appointed to. After leaving St. John's College at Remuera, the theological training college, and being ordained, first deacon then priest, he assisted at Taumarunui, Gate Pa, Tauranga, and at St. Matthews, Masterton where he met and married my Mother (Eleanor Hope Dillon).  Dad was sent as Vicar to Ormondville, a small country town and a farming and railway centre, and as WW2  loomed they set up house in a large, draughty Victorian vicarage on a hillside, with a main rail line just across the road, and began a family.
In 1945 we moved to Gisborne, then Ruatoria, on the East Coast, from 1952 until 1957 when we moved to New Plymouth. Dad's last move took him back to Gisborne again where he remained until his passing on 21st Mar. 1968, just a few months before he would have retired.

Dad was born in Opua on 28th Oct. 1903, to a widowed schoolteacher, Julia Sullivan, who already had five children, and her new husband, James Middlebrook, a carpenter, recently divorced and without children, who had lived some seven years in the town.

He left Auckland Grammar school with a passion for drawing and design and perhaps in the early 1920's was articled to Griersons, Architects, or an associated firm, and began study at Auckland University School of Architecture. He described some of his work at the architects, who were designing the Auckland War Memorial Museum, where he prepared both full-scale drawings of the large WWI battle names to be carved into the Portland-stone frieze of the Museum and also the large watercolour drawings of the proposed fa├žade. He had become skilled in classic Roman lettering and was able to produce tracings, for transfer to the stone, with the exact lines needed by the stonemason to cut the complex angles and curves within each letter and for it's spacing from the next. The work stands perfect to this day and in contrast  to the similar WWII battle names on the later section.   Other commissions he worked on included the old Auckland Power Board building near the waterfront, now gone I think, the Elephant House at the Wellington Zoo, the Wintergarden glasshouses in the Domain and others.  It is interesting that his younger brother, Russell Middlebrook, made the models from which the classic oxidised-bronze wreaths and swags that ornament the Museum upper floor were cast. Those fulfilling times were not to last; the Museum had hardly been finished when the Great Depression began to bite.  All public works ceased, businesses failed and work was not to be had.  We think that his mother, Julia, may have had Russell, Eva, Perhaps Bart, as well as Dad, still living at home in Burch St, Mt. Albert. Her husband, James, had died in 1930 and Dad had lost his job when his employer closed the office..
Dad had experience of the Relief Work scheme offered by the Government; he told me of workers, at railway yards, moving great piles of coal or ballast metal with shovels and wheelbarrows and then moving it all back again!  He saw much poverty around;  single mothers with children, and without work and no means to buy food, forced to seek charity; the elderly and the disabled the same.  The effect of his experiences  in the early 1930's convinced him of his calling to the Ministry and his entering St. John's College.


For all the years I remember, he would begin his day at about 5am, or earlier, taking tea and toast into his study. His many books, both theological and architectural, were kept there along with the large table he used for his drawing board and T-square. Sometimes he'd be working on his sermon for the coming Sunday, but mostly drawing and designing.  He designed churches at Waitara, Te Puia,  Makaraka, Ruatoria and a girl's college chapel, among others. Quite often he was called on, by a church somewhere, to supply  a drawing for a fitting or ornament; sometimes a banner or candlesticks or pews. Many of his drawings survive and show the great skills he had.

He was popular with the parishioners and spent much of the week in visiting; no one was missed either at home or in hospital.  It was often mentioned to me how good a listener he was, and by others how he never brought religion into a conversation unless asked about something.
Being a friend was often more help than being a Pastor.

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
____________________________________

PLAYED MANY PARTS
___________________________________

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