Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The First Hautapu Rugby Team

Amongst my Great Grandfathers photographs was a wonderful photo ( on silver I believe) of the 1903 Hautapu Rugby Team – part of the Cambridge Union. He was part of this team ( played  five eighths) .
Of course he was very old as long as I knew him  so its very hard to think of him playing any sport let alone rugby but apparently he was quite a good player from what Ive been led to understand
I did a layout using the photo – ( well a scan of the photo and not a very good one because the scan reflected off the silver in the photo ) The photo itself is in pretty good condition given its 109 year life.

Here is the journalling ( information I got from the Hautapu rugby club website ) and names from the back of the photograph.
Boom times in the Waikato at the beginning of the 20th century meant an increase in population and enough good footballers to form a Union of Cambridge teams. One of those was Hautapu. The first meeting of the team in 1903 was in the bacon curing room at the Hautapu Dairy Factory .
The original colours were black and red. Jerseys were collarless , with leather bound shoulders. The team practiced on a field adjacent to the railway station. Goal posts were erected and a Jack Cowling took the role of player coach. . Apparently the team rarely won, but “always came up smiling” The photo above is the very first Cambridge Union Hautapu team 1903.
Names as per back of photo:
Back row: Jack Russell , Roy Cricket, Jack Cowling, Arthur Kelly, Gibb Watt, Charlie Shaw, Tui Rangi, Ned Hall
Front row: Arthur Healy, Cecil Ashwin, Phil Goodwin, Durhum Ashwin , Humphrey Russell ,Jack Milne ,George Beer.
My Great Grandfather Phillip Goodwin ( or Phil as he must have been known of then) is in the front row to the left of the man with the dog – no mention is made of the name of the dog!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Orangeman (Samuel Middlebrook)

I just love this photo of my 2x G Grandfather in his Orange Regalia - when I was a child and before I knew what it was I imagined he was someone royal or in a highly important office!
Journalling reads
The Orange Lodges commemorate and celebrate the victory of the Protestant King of England, William III of Orange, on July 12th over the forces of Roman Catholic King James II in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne, a critical victory in William's war to take possession of Ireland. It was not until 1795 that the first Orange Lodges were set up following further unease and aggression between Protestants and Catholics culminating in a deadly battle at Diamond, County Armagh.
By the time the Ulster settlers came to Katikati there were more than 200 Orange Lodges in Ireland, 500 in England and 600 in Scotland.
Katikati's founder, George Vesey Stewart, was an Orange man and recruited many of the original settlers through the Ulster Orange Lodges. The first meeting of the Katikati Orange Lodge was held in an old shanty but by 1881 fundraising began for a hall, however unlike the Northern Hemisphere Lodges of the time this was proposed as a community hall with no sectarian limitations, and in fact both Presbyterian and Catholic churches held services in the Orange Hall. It was used for almost every social gathering , dances which began at 8pm and finished when the party goers left to milk the cows in the morning .
Katikati Lodge was designated L.O.L 30 , and the lodge remained in Katikati until 1919 when it moved to Waihi but by the 1930s there was a lodge again in Katikati.
Marches and festivities were held by the Orange Lodges on 12th July and still are to this day in Ireland however this tradition was not long lived in Katikati. In fact while old traditions died new traditions were begun in New Zealand which was the only country that allowed women to become Orange lodge members
In 1874 George Vessey Stewart arrived in New Zealand looking for suitable land to form a settlement of people from Ulster away from the religious problems of Ireland. He arrived in Tauranga and the Survey Office put at his disposal a young man named Sam Middlebrook. Together they decided on the KatiKati area of the Bay of Plenty. Stewart applied for 10,000 acres and recruited families and friends through the Orange Lodges of Northern Ireland. Samuel married the daughter of Stewart Rea, a loyal Orangeman and so this and this was the beginning of Samuel’s association with the Orange Lodge Institution.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not a Bad Place

My (newly found) cousin Judith found this wonderful treasure. I letter or diary entry almost certainly written by her GG Grandmother and my GGG Aunt , Jane Thompson Middlebrook, detailing the family’s arrival in New Zealand.


I found the photo of the Shalimar and the photo of Auckland’s main street in 1862 on the internet. The latter, a photograph by John Kinder, being on the Auckland Art Gallery website. 

Journalling on this layout reads

This letter or diary entry was almost certainly written by Jane Thompson Middlebrook,
eldest of the 7 children of John and Ellen Middlebrook . They had emigrated from
Ledsham, near Leeds Yorkshire, as part of the New Zealand
Assisted Immigration programme.
We came out in a sailing ship belonging to the White Star Line called the Shalimar leaving Liverpool on the 23 of August 1862. We bought emigrants for Melbourne arrived there on the 15th November leaving then for Auckland December 6th and arrived in Auckland December 20th 1862. We had a very good passage but a long one and a bit rough coming in through Port Phillips head. then came to New Zealand with wool to take back. When we got here we could not get up to the wharf and had to be landed in a barge and we could not get anywhere to board where we could all be together. There was Father and Mother and 7 of us family and we began to think we should have to stay on the wharf all night. Father thought he had better take us back until someone that came int he Shalimar said we ought to get into evacuation barracks so that was our first home in New Zealand where we have settled down. Not a bad place.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Very Well Thought of Man


Todays post is about Dr Robert FARRER. He was my GGG Uncle, the brother of Ellen MIDDLEBROOK nee FARRER, and son of my 4x G Grandfather Benjamin FARRER.( the clockmaker if you remember him from previous posts).



The journalling on this layout is an except from an obituary. I do not know the publication the obituary was published in. It was stapled into a family bible page, that my new found cousin Judith sent me a photocopy of yesterday.

Clearly this was a great and well thought of man. The obituary goes into great detail about the funeral and is extremely complimentary on the life of Dr Farrer.


Robert Farrer was born on the 1st December 1822, and had before his death,  just attained his 72nd year. He was the son of the late Mr Benjamin Farrer, of Pontefract, and of a numerous family only one brother and one sister survive him. Vis,. Mr Benjamin Farrer of Pontefract, age 79 years and Mrs Ellen Middlebrook, Auckland New Zealand, age 75 years.  Robert Farrer received his early education at Pontefract Grammar school and afterwards studied a the Leeds School of Medicine, and also at University College London. In 1846 he qualified as a licentiate of the Apothecaries Society, and four years later as a licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.  He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons England, in 1852.,a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh in 1856 and was admitted a member of same in 1872. After qualifying in 1846, Dr Farrer was appointed home surgeon to the Halifax Infirmary, a position he held for five years. During those years he endeared himself to all connected with that institution and on severing his connection with the Infirmary in 1851 he was the recipient of a very handsome testimonial.

It was in the latter part of the year 1851 that Dr Farrer came to Brighouse, to start a practice on his own account, and thus commenced that connection with the place with which is name and that of his family will long be associated.
A young man, devotedly attached to his profession, Dr Farrer was not long in making his mark in the sphere in which he had settled down and he soon gathered round a large number of friends and had the satisfaction of seeing that his efforts and work as a medical man were rewarded with the growing confidence and respect of an increasingly large number of patients.  On the death of Dr.  Rowbotham in 1853 Dr Farrer was appointed the certifying factory surgeon to a large district including West Vale and Elland as well as Brighouse and Rastrick. He was also surgeon to the Low Moor Iron Co., poor house medical officer and public vaccinator to various areas during his career.  In all public matters he took a lively interest and for a time occupied a seat on the Brighouse local board . To a devotion almost amounting to an enthusiasm for his profession he united a kindly presence and a cheerful temperament. And his visits were always welcomed to every  home. No call for his services were ever unresponded to and no urgent call even in the night time or however distant was by him every unregarded.  For a period of more than thirty years he worked unceasingly almost day and night and had he not been blessed  with a sound physique and a strong constitution he must have broken down under the strain. Few men could have stood the strain for so long a period.
In 1852 he married Miss Fanny Piercy, second daughter of the late Mr George Piercy of Halifax of which marriage was issued with  four  sons and five daughters of whom three sons and four daughters survive . Mrs Farrer also survives her husband. The marriage proved singularly happy and blessed, and for his wife Mrs Farrer always found a loyal and willing help, and Mrs Farrer is a woman of  kindly instincts and generous sympathies , as the poor of Brighouse know to their benefits.  An infant daughter died in 1862, but for a period of thirty- two years there was no break by death in the family circle. In March of this year  the first break in the family during that long period was caused  by the death of Dr Farrer's eldest son Mr Benjamin Piercy Farrer who died in Scarborough and whose remains were brought to Brighouse for interment in the family vault. At Brighouse  Parish Church. Two other sons- George Albert and Robert were brought up to the medical profession and in 1886 Dr Farrer decided to retire from activities in his profession  and leave his large practice to his sons. This he did in the year named when he took up residence at Eawood Lodge Scarborough where during the last 8 years he has been able to enjoy a well earned rest and to pass the eventide of his life in peace and tranquility.
The funeral of the deceased gentleman took place on Tuesday afternoon at Brighouse Church in which churchyard the family vault is situated. The remains were conveyed to Brighouse from Scarborough in a special N.E.R. Carriage and accompanying the remains were all the members of the family with the exception of Dr Robt. Farrer  Previous to leaving Scarborough a choral service had been held at St. Martins Church . The train was due to reach Brighouse at two minutes past two o'clock, but it was a few minutes after that time before the train steamed into the station. The following were the mourners. - Dr and Mrs Geo. A Farrer, Dr and Mrs Robt.  T Farrer, Mr Charles H Farrer, Miss F.E.Farrer, Miss A.L Farrer, Miss F M Farrer, Capt. Jobson ( Scarborough)  and Mr Geo. Higham.
The funeral cort├Ęge  comprised hearse and three coaches and three private carriages sent by Alderman R Kershaw, Crow Nest; Miss Ormerod, Borthroyd and Mr C Blackburn, Browlee. Preceding the hearse were the following gentlemen,  most of whom met the funeral party at the exit from the railway station:- Messrs W, Boothroyd, H Hirst, W.J. Chambers, Charley Jessop, W.H Newhouse, J.E.B. Howe, W. Laxton, Dr Brown, L Ayton, M Wood, C Blackborne, Alred Stott, Joh T Goodall, Jas. Dybad, E, Dale and E. Stott.  The coffin was of oak with massive brass mountings, the large brass plate containing the following inscription:-
Born 1st December 1829
Died 15th December 1894

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Woman’s Work is Never Done

We often think on how stressed and rushed our lives are, and the pressures on women to have a career and raise a family and to be “someone” , and yet if we really think about our lifestyle – we are incredibly lucky to be born into an age where our lives have been made incredibly easy in some ways in comparison to those of our ancestors.

I’ve been sitting here reflecting on this today as I thumbed through the tattered remains of one of my Great Grandmothers recipe books. – Most of the pages are long gone and those that are left are  torn, and some hand written recipes have printed recipe clippings glued on top of them but this recipe glued to the inside cover really bought to light the fact that my life is really a bit of a doddle compared to that of my Grandmother and  Great Grandmother. 




In case you cant read it – the recipe is actually instructions on Laundering  Linen Collars .

To Launder Linen Collars ( in reply to M.H. “N.I..,” 28/3/31) – The collars must be steeped, washed, boiled, rinsed, blued and quite dry before starching.  Dip into cold water starch, squeeze out, and rub the starch well into the folds of the linen.  Roll up in a clean dry cloth.  Rub with a dry rag before ironing to remove any starch which, lying on the surface would make brown specks when ironed. Stretch the machine stitching to pull out creases and iron the wrong side lightly.  Iron right side heavily to make linen as smooth and glossy as possible; then iron right and wrong side alternately till dry. Them with a damp rag rub evenly all over the right side.  Put linen on a hard surface, and polish with a hot clean polishing iron.

Curl and air or the polish will pass away. The best time for ironing is about two hours after the starching. The top edge of the colour should be next to the  ironer, so that any fullness can be pushed down to the bottom of the collar,  Borax improves the starch very much.  The following is an excellent recipe for cold water starch; 1 tablespoon white starch, 1/2 pint cold water, 4 drops turpentine, 1/2 teaspoonful borax ( dissolved) . Put starch into a clean basin, add very little cold water, mix with the fingers till free from lumps, add the turpentine which mixes more easily than if added later, pour in remainder of water and, lastly dissolved borax.  The borax is dissolved in a tablespoonful of water ( boiling) If not properly dissolved it is apt to make yellow marks.. If making a larger quantity, only two drops of turpentine should be added to each succeeding pint of cold water .


My, haven’t we come a long way in the 80 years since this was written.  Times were simpler in many ways but each generation has its own trials to suffer, and I for one am glad Starched Linen Collars aren’t one of the trials of my life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Introducing… My 4x Great Grandmother

Yesterday I was visted by some cousins of my mother, who, interested in the research that I had done came around to “compare notes”.

They bought the photos that they have and we were able to swap. Some of the photographs are just photocopies of the originals, with notes written by an elderly relative some time ago but they were good enough quality copies to be really able to see into the past.

Whats more I was able to identify some people in other photos I now have who I previously couldn’t and this made it all the more exciting.

Not only were there 2 small copies of portraits of Ellen ( nee THOMPSON) and Benjamin FARRER, but there was even a photo of Benjamin – in fact it was a photo I had already received from another cousin but we had no idea who it was until yesterday.  ( I will be posting those photos soon)

As I was making this layout today I sat and wondered what this woman born back in the 18th century in Pontefract Yorkshire, would make  of her descendants interest in her life – we are becoming quite a little group now – I hope I can gather more Middlebrook descendants to share history with so we can piece together what appears to be a tale that could rival some of the best epic novels.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Four Brothers Goodwin?

My trip to the Wellington Archives resulted in some wonderful discoveries but also some more questions.

Ive felt ( though Ive yet to get any firm proof) that my William Henry Goodwin ( also known as Henry Goodrum/Gooderham/Goodram) had a brother Charles.

His marriage was witnessed by a Charles and I did find out that there was a Charles also in the 58th Regiment of Foot who discharged in New Zealand.


While looking for more information on the life of William Henry, I decided to see if there were any records on Charles in Wellington and hit the jackpot so to speak


It seemed that Charles made a land claim on behalf of his brother… but that brother was Not William nor Henry, but George Goodrum.

Apparently George died in a battle between the 58th Regiment and Hone Heke’s tribe in Northland in 1845 and Charles must have thought that perhaps he had a shot at getting the land that might have been given to George should he have survived.

In support of his claim was this letter


The transcript of this letter reads:

This is to certify that I joined the 58th Regiment of foot at Richmond Barracks Dublin on 10th May 1842.

I had three brothers in the said regiment, the eldest being shot during the Bay of Islands war in 1845.

I served in the same regiment then legally discharged at Britomart Barracks. I am drawing a pension from the Imperial Government and I have three good conduct rings and received twelve months pay for good conduct the day I was discharged

Charles Goodrum .

So another Goodwin/rum mystery – If I am correct and Charles and William Henry are brothers, and now George was a third brother, who was the fourth?? – More research is definitely warranted.

The muster rolls for the 58th regiment are on microfilm at Auckland Museum – I think I may have to pay a visit there.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Confirmation of my Research


Remember back in these posts on Henry Goodrum/William Henry Goodwin and again here and then again here. In trying to work out who Wiliam Henry Goodwin actually was I had pretty much decided that he had been called Henry Goodrum and was ex the 58th Regiment of Foot.  He had pensioned out here in 1857 then later joined the 4th Waikato Militia Regiment as a replacement.

Well today on my way down to Wellington ( to check out what I am hoping are his war records at Archives here, I stopped at the Old Ngaruawahia Cemetery and found the grave of William and his wife Jane. – Its in row 1 – closest to the road and is quite hard to photograph front on because of a large dense bush in front of the grave but I surely was excited to find them in such good condition 


What excited me even more though I didnt even see at first till I leaned in to get a close up of the text on the gravestone – and as you can see – my theory seems to be confirmed


I took photos at a couple of angles to get the clearest view of the words on the gravestone and enhanced this one just a bit to make it as clear as I could – it definltely says – of the 58th Regiment. !


Im making that trip to Archives tomorrow – Now Im sure Im looking for the right man its even more exciting.

Saturday, October 6, 2012



I remember that when I heard talk from my older relatives it seemed like everyone in New Zealand must be my Great Grandmothers cousin, she seemed to be related to so many people at the time . ( Not that there were any vast family “get togethers” of the MIDDLEBROOK family during my lifetime, its just that I recall her saying,” Shes my cousin” or “He’s my Cousin you know” so often, to the point that it became a bit of a family joke that when we saw someone, one of us might say –” oh thats Nanna’s cousin”.

Well now that I’ve got involved in family history research I do realise that Nanna did in fact have lots of cousins, because the MIDDLEBROOK family seemed to have a propensity to have many children.

Nanna had 2 Aunts and 3 Uncles ( 2 of that generation had died in childhood leaving 6 children of Ellen and John MIDDLEBROOK)

Her Uncle James Thompson MIDDLEBROOK  had from what I can gather 4 children, her own parents had  6. her Uncle John MIDDLEBROOK and his wife Mary had at least 12 children . Her Aunt Elizabeth and her husband George Hardy had 10 children that I’ve discovered, and her Uncle Benjamin in Australia had at least 3.

Her eldest Aunt Jane Thompson MIDDLEBROOK had 7 children with her first husband James John McRA(E)

Last Friday I met up with a cousin of mine. – Well at 3rd cousin once removed in fact- a descendant of Jane Thompson MIDDLEBROOK  and Judith and I  had a great morning sifting through records and comparing names and dates and even a few photographs.

EllenMiddlebrooklateteens copyJaneelizabethmcrae

On the left is my Great Grandmother Ellen MIDDLEBROOK, and on the right is her cousin Jane Elizabeth MCRAE . I have several photos of Nanna but I chose one here where both girls appear to be about the same age.

Ellen’s childhood was spent in KatiKati and Jane’s in the Bay of Islands so I have no idea if they knew each other or met at any time in their youth, or indeed if they ever met each other at all ,Jane, being born in 1880 would have been 7 years older than Ellen who wasn’t born till 1887.

The both carried family names, that were duplicated many times within their generation.  Ellen was named after her Grandmother Ellen MIDDLEBROOK (Nee FARRER), who in turn was named after her own mother Ellen FARRER( nee THOMPSON), and there were at  least 3 other Ellens within her own generation of cousins.

Jane, being named after her Mother Jane Thompson MIDDLEBROOK, was one of 2 Janes in her generation.

As a matter of interest there were 5 Johns within their generation of cousin ( I imagine named after their Grandfather John MIDDLEBROOK)

The name FARRER is used ( usually as a middle name)  at least 6 times, and there are 2 Nelsons ( though I have no idea where that was just coincidence or if there was a familial reason for it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Layout Prompt: Journey

This weeks Layout prompt for our family history chats at DSP was journey. Ive already done one journey layout this week but decided to do another.

This layout features the journey of the Middlebrook family aboard the Shalimar in 1862 .

It sounds like a much more prestigious vessel than ships that some of my other ancestors came out on and I love the description which is taken from The Shipping gazette and Sydney general trade list. Volume 12, Number 560 (29 January, 1855) Page 28


Journalling on this layout reads as follows

he Arrival of the Shalimar
The White Star Ship “Shalimar, JG Harley Lieut. RNR Commander arrived in harbour on Friday night 19 December 1862, eleven days out from Melbourne having sailed from Liverpool for this port via Melbourne on the 25th August . Arrived of Port Phillip Heads November 12 70 days out. . The Shalimar brings 112 passengers from Liverpool for this port.

Among the passengers were John and Ellen Middlebrook and 6 of their children,all who made successful lives in New Zealand and Australia amongst the early settlers. The family bought land in Matakohe and Whangarei before moving to Auckland. John died in 1866 leaving Ellen a widow until her death over 50 years later. She is a handsome looking vessel—always a recommendation—neatly rigged, her bow ornamented with a well executed female figure, and her stern enriched with a tasteful design in giltwork. Her arrangements on deck comprise a topgallant forecastle for the crew, a large, well-built house amidships, and a full poop aft with a commodious structure built on that, which includes the chief cabin entrance, and a very comfortable smoking room, with stained glass windows. She has plenty of deck-room for passengers to promenade, and her high bulwarks will shelter them in heavy weather. The appearance of the deck arrangements is very compact and tasteful for the houses are finished in an ornamental style, and painted blue and white. The chief cabin in an elegant apartment upholstered in dark polished woods, mahogany, rosewood and walnut, with a rich head-work of satinwood marking the panels. In the cornice-decorations the "white star" is conspicuous on a red ground. There are berths for a dozen passengers, with baths and every other sanitary comfort attached. Although the first impression which strikes us is its limited size, a more close examination shows that a much more than usual space is bestowed upon the state-rooms and berths.
The forward part of the poop is fitted to accomodate thirty second-cabin passengers, and twenty of the same class are located in the house amidships. In these apartments the improved plan is adopted of making the meal-rooms apart by themselves, and placing the state-rooms, with their sleeping berths, along corridors attached ; and the cabins are, by the aid of numerous windows and spacious skylights, cushioned seats, convenient tables and rich paperhangings of chaste and tasteful designs, rendered as light and airy, and agreeable as could be desired. In the deck-house are more bathrooms and the whole forward part of it is occupied with a large "kitchen," divided into two cooking galleys, one for the passengers, the other for the crew. It is fitted in berths of two, with a large family berth on each side of the centre division. In the aft and forward ends of the deck-house, and in front of the poop, are covered companion-ways, leading to the 'tween decks below, which have a height of eight feet in the clear. Here, as in every other part of the ship, the cabins are well finished, and unusually spacious, and light is secured by means of large ventilating shafts, skylights, deck lights, and other appliances. The midship portion is appropriated to first-class passengers in berths of two, arranged on each side of a passage way, and the fore and after ends to intermediate passengers. The general arrangement is on the ordinary plan, with the state room ranged along either side of the vessel ; but there is observable a useful novelty in the intermediate portion of the ship, which consists in several of the state-rooms being fitted with berths for eight or ten people, made on the telescope principle, so as to slide quite out of the way, and give great room in the apartments when not required for sleeping purposes.