Thursday, August 22, 2013

WILLIAM BRODIE–An Orcadian in New Zealand


When I discovered that Elizabeth Brodie was not the only member of her family to arrive on the “Merope” I discovered a whole new branch of the Brodie family  who emigrated to New Zealand.

One of them was William Brodie who looks like a he might have been a bit of a character based on this photo of him and his wife Jean

Jane & William Brodie



Here is a layout I did about William Brodie .WilliamBrodie

Born at the Orkney Islands in 1852, William Brodie migrated to New Zealand on the ship Lady Jocelyn in 1872,following his sister Jessie, half brother James Petrie, and cousin Elizabeth Lennie,who had migrated in 1870.
Having trained as a blacksmith under David Lennie Master Blacksmith, in Stronsay, Orkney he soon found work at his trade in Christchurch and elsewhere under the employ of Mr G G Holmes at Bangor, in the 1880s, and at Pigeon Bay where his sister Jessie resided with her husband George Mackay. Then, from 1890 for a time at Duvauchelle, and later from 1900, at Little River he engaged in farming on his own account and was quite successful at the business. When still a comparatively young man he returned to the land of his birth. Later he married Jean, the second daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Pettigrew of Duvauchelle Bay .
William and Jean never had children but together they made two further trips to the Orkneys, and on returning to New Zealand the second time settled down to a well earned rest at No 9,Oxley Street , St Albans He was a member of the Edgeware Bowling Club and the members of that club acted as pallbearers at his funeral in August 1929. The Presbyterian Church, Betwick Street of which William was a valued member was well represented at his funeral.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013



Yesterday I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this wonderful photo of William McClellan ( first time seeing him)  with Elizabeth Lennie and her children John, David,Catherine, Lizzie and Letitia ( who appears to change her name to Louisa later).

The McClellans 1876a

The photo has been dated 1876 and this seems accurate though I would hazard a guess it is late 1876.

Leitita was born in October 1875 and the child here appears to be around a year old. Additionally we know that Elizabeths husband John Lennie died some time before March 1876.  

If indeed this photo was taken in 1876 then William and Elizabeth are not yet married yet he looks very comfortably ensconced in the family which is interesting in itself.


The regalia worn by the family appears to be that of the Independent Order of Good Templars which I knew that William was a member of from articles in Papers Past .

I still have no confirmed date that William arrived in New Zealand  and one would expect that being of a Nautical Occupation, he would have been one to have had occasion to drink, but it appears at least as early as 1876  he was a follower of the Temperance movement and in particular the Masonic type organisations who preached the evils of Alcohol.




The Independent Order of Good Templars was a temperance society for either sex . It was founded in 1851 in Utica New York but its membership spread quickly world wide. It was introduced to New Zealand by the Rev. B.J.Westbrooke, who was a minister of the Primitive Methodist Church. The first Lodge Charter in NZ was in Invercargill in 1872. It became headlines news in the newspapers and this added to the popularity of the cause and in a short time the I.O.G.T became one of the most popular organisations in this country. By 1876 when this photo was taken there were over 7000 members in New Zealand .
The great mission of Good Templary as set out in its Platform, may be summed up in very few words. It is simply:
1.—To take the people from the drink by means of the Total Abstinence Pledge and the protective associations of the Lodge Room.
2.—To take the drink from the people by the process of legislative enactment and the faithful enforcement of liquor prohibition
William McClellan and Betsy Lennie, with her children John David,Catherine, Lizzie and Letitia all dressed in the regalia of the I.O.G.T.
The family later joined the Salvation Army which was also based on Methodism and preached Temperance.


It appears the Lodge name in Pleasant Point was the Anchor of Hope Lodge as per this article regarding a meeting of the lodge



W stands for Worthy in these titles and based on reading I have done on Titles and Officers of the Lodges it appears William was the Worthy Inner Guardian which was a Ceremonial officer


The family were still part of the Good Templars in 1883 when son John Lennie died .



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ellen Hardy Miller

I’ve posted about Ellen Hardy before. She intrigues me a lot, partly because she’s so beautiful in the photos we have of her, and also of course because of the sad story of her romance.

Recently I found out that she had a much earlier Katikati connection than we had previously known of.

While going through Katikati school records I found an Ellen Middlebrook that didn’t fit in with the timeline of the only other Ellen Middlebrook I knew of in Katikati ( My Great Grandmother).

This particular record is for an Ellen Middlebrook who’s guardian is Mrs Middlebrook and who has a birthdate of 20 Jan 1874 which is Ellen Hardy’s birth year.  – she was registered into Katikati Number 2 school on 16 April 1883 and stayed until 17 May 1883 from where it says she was going to Auckland.

Samuel and Mary Jane had only just got married the year before and had no children at that stage, so I suspect the Mrs Middlebrook who is the guardian is in fact Ellen Middlebrook sr. ( Samuels mother and Ellen Hardy’s Grandmother) .

There are no other granddaughters named Ellen born in 1874 so it must be Ellen Hardy.


I love this photograph of Ellen and her daughter Ethel and I thought it was perfect for this kit called Tell me a Story


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Not-So-Mystery Wedding



Among the photos in our Great Grandfathers photo album was this photo Rachel and I fondly named “The Mystery Wedding” .
Like many of the photographs in the album there were frustratingly no names on the back of the photo. That lead me to believe that the people in the photo were well known to my G Grandfather.  Like a dog with a bone I kept going back and looking at this photograph trying to get some clues .
One thing about the photo really struck me as interesting and that was the age of the couple on the far left. It really looked like they were Grandparents rather than parents.  This was indeed a clue as I knew that Pa’s niece Lucretia Jeanette Lennie had been brought up by her maternal grandparents.  Her mother having died when she was a child, and her father and brothers moved to Australia.
I  knew that Lucretia ( who was known as Jean) had married Charles Stanley Hawkey in 1913 and this coincided quite well with the fashions in the photograph, but still wasn't convincing enough  proof. 
I googled Charles Hawkey and found a few tidbits of information about him- he was a boot seller in Timaru but couldn't find any photographs of him . More searching on the name Hawkey though proved more fruitful, as I discovered that Charles’ father Tom Hawkey had been the Mayor of Timaru in 1913 right around the time of the wedding.
Google didn't furnish me with any photos of Tom though, so I wrote to the Timaru City Council asking if they had any photographs of previous councillors.
Within 24 hours I had a photo of Tom Hawkey, Mayor of Timaru which was evidence enough for me that this indeed was the wedding of Lucretia Jeanette Lennie to Charles Stanley Hawkey . Lucretia attended by her Grandparents Lucretia and Samuel Peake, and Charles by his parents.
Though we probably never will know who the bridesmaid and best man were, I suspect Charles was attended by one of his brothers as there is quite a resemblance between the men especially around the eye area.
Charles died in 1956, and soon after, Jean and Pa ( her uncle) became companions to each other in their twilight years. I wonder if they had always kept in contact or if they rediscovered each other late in life.

H. Whitnall-Smith -Photographer


Henry Whitnall Smith was an Auckland Photographer who had studios at 298 Queen Street above  Milne and Choyce Department Store and later at Victoria Arcade, and is credited as being a professional  photographer for more than 50 years.
While he appears to have been primarily a portrait photographer, he also appears credited for numerous “news” type photos in the early NZ
Newspapers  He became part of the Middlebrook family when  he married Jane Thompson Middlebrook, daughter of  John and Mary Ann Middlebrook.
It appears that the Middlebrooks  made good  use of the photographer in the family as quite  few of the photographs I have in my family history collection bear the  Whitnall Smith logo such as thephoto on the left of my Great Great  Grandfather Samuel.