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

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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Cockroft Connection- An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks - number 13

 

thecockroftconnection

 

The youngest child of John and Ellen Midlebrook was  Henry Cockroft  Middlebrook unfortunately died aged 15 on 25th September 1876 and is buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery in Symonds Street Auckland. I have wondered about the origin of his  middle name Cockroft which sounds very much like a surname

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

n Samuels Will he left his estate in its entirety to John on the proviso he made the following payments
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.
The children in this census  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

And finally - the proof- Henry Cockroft Middlebrook was named after his Uncle Henry Cockroft, first husband of his aunt Elizabeth. 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 assisting 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.Further research indicates there was another child of Henry and Elizabeth Cockroft.
Henry William Middlebrook Cockroft was born on July 6 1836 and baptised on January 10 1837 at Leeds.

Despite hours of searching I have been able to find neither  the marriage of Henry and Elizabeth, nor the death of Henry, which apparently occured before the birth of Sarah in  August 1838, as her baptism record lists her father as the Late Henry Cockroft , cloth merchant of Leeds.
A newspaper advertisement for the sale of the “Modern and Valuable Furnishings of the Late Henry Cockroft” dated Twenty Sixth March 1838 indicates he died in the early months of that year.
The assumption could be that in order to support her 2 children and her unborn child, Elizabeth had to sell the contents of her home and then eventually move elsewhere.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ancestor a week for 20 weeks– week 12 A Blended Family– Sullivan-Middlebrook

 

 

For this weeks Ancestor – I chose to do a family rather than just one ancestor – there are 2 blended families in the Middlebrook clan, and I had previously covered the Simpson family. This time I have done a page on the Sullivan-Middlebrook family

blendedfamilysullivans

When James Thompson Middlebrook married Julia Ann  Sullivan  he inherited a family with 5 children aged from15 year old Frank down to 8 year old Dorothy. Julia was a pupil-teacher at Pearoa School and in 1886  married Arther Walter Sullivan who had recently become the headmaster at the school. Walter died aged only 47in June 1901, leaving Julia a widow with a family of 5 children to support.  It is said she and James met on a “widows cruise”. James however was not a widow but was recently divorced from his first wife Elizabeth who had deserted him some years earlier.   He and Julia married in December 1902 and for some years they resided in Opua where James was employed by New Zealand Railways. In October 1903 they had their first child together- Farrer Middlebrook, followed by twins Nelson Bartle( Bart) and Eva Rhys in 1905. Julia’s last child was Charles Russell (Known as Russell) . Some time after Russell’s birth the family moved to Auckland. Sadly Frank, the eldest son was killed in the Dardanelles on May 19 1915.

For the rest of the children religion features strongly  with Bertha and Phyllis both becoming Nuns (one Catholic, and one Anglican) and Farrer becoming an Anglican Minister) but perhaps the strongest trait in the family is the huge artistic talent.

From Julia , to Eva, Farrer and Russell, each was extremely talented in the fine arts, Eva was a commercial artist at the time of her marriage, Russell becoming a great sculptor- both he and Eva attended Elam Art School. Russell and Farrer are responsible for lettering and sculpture on the Auckland Museum.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

An Ancestor A week for 20 weeks number 11 - Middlebrook-Fazackerley Wedding

Middlebrook-Fazackerley

 

The marriage of Eva Rhys, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Middlebrook, of Mount Albert, to Thomas Henry, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Fazackerley, of Liverpool, was celebrated at St. Luke's Church. The Rev. Beck officiated. The bride, who was given away by her  brother-in-law, Mr. Sydney Runciman, wore a dainty frock of lace over georgette, swathed waistband with diamond buckle, and the simple bodice had a cluster of flowers on one shoulder. Her veil, a family heirloom, was of beautiful Honiton lace. A coronet of orange  blossom was worn round the head. She carried a shower bouquet of tuberoses and asters, tied with silver ribbon. The Misses Runciman looked sweet as bridesmaids, dressed in powder blue georgette with caps of tulle and bandeaux of blue satin. The reception was held at the residence of the bride's parents. The rooms were decorated with bowls of mauve and pink asters and a dainty afternoon tea was served. The bride's mother wore a smart beige ensemble suit with the skirt embroidered in contrasting colours and a hat to tone. Mrs. Sydney Runciman was gowned in mauve georgette with a petal skirt and a black and white velvet flower on the shoulder and black hat. Miss Bartle wore black brocade. Amongst the guests were: Sister Hannah, Sister Agnes ,Mesdames Ruddock, Kaiiand, Potter P. J Bach, Rickard, Wilson, Bowles, S. Hunt, Leahy, the Misses Anne and A. Ruddock, E. Coldicutt, M. Hutton-Whitelaw, Fazackerley and Cock.

Auckland Star 14 March 1929

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Last Will of Samuel Middlebrook

 

SamuelMiddlebrookWill

 

This is number  10  in my Ancestor a Week for 20 Weeks challenge

I thought it would be nice in this layout to not only show the actual will  and the original funeral card which I found in an album belonging to this mans namesake Samuel Middlebrook ( my GG Grandfather) but include the signature – how cool is that to see the signature of your Great Great Great Great Grandfather!!

 

This is the last Will and Testament of me Samuel Middlebrook of Millbridge in the Township of Liversedge in the parish of Birstal in the County of York, Innkeeper. I order and direct all my just Debts, Funeral and Testamentary Expenses and charges of proving and registering this my Will to be paid by my Executor hereinafter appointed out of my personal Estate as soon as convenient after my decease. I give devise and bequeath to my son John Middlebrook all my real and personal Estates whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind soever the same may be to hold the same unto and to the use of my said son John, his heirs, executors administrators and assigns according to the nature and quality thereof respectively. And I do hereby charge and make liable the property hereinbefore given and devised to my said son John, with the payment of the Legacies or Sums following, that is to say, to my Daughter Elizabeth, the Wife of Thomas Sturdy the Legacy or Sum of One Hundred Pounds. To  my daughter Fanny, the wife of Philip Smith the Legacy of Sum of One Hundred Pounds: both the last mentioned Legacies to be paid at the Expiration of twelve months from my decease, but without interest; and to my Son Thomas Middlebrook the Legacy or Sum of Five Pounds to be paid at my decease.  And I appoint to  my son John Executor of this my Will and do hereby revoke and make void all other Wills by me at anytime heretofore made and do declare this to be my Last Will and Testament. In witness where I have to this my Will the whole whereof is contained on this and the preceding side of one sheet of paper subscribed my name this Twenty Ninth day of May in the Year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and forty six.
Signed by the before named Samuel
Middlebrook in the presence of us,
present at the same time who have
hereunto signed our names as
Witnesses thereto in the presence of the
said Samuel Middlebrook and at his
request and in the presence of each other
Joseph Chadwick- Hatter Millbridge
William Sykes Attorney Millbridge

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks–Number 9–Benjamin Hardy

BenHardy

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

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Family of Jane Thompson Middlebrook

 

As part of my family reunion in January I hope to create not only a book with stories but a book with pictures – of as many descendants as I can lay my hands on.

 

Here are the pages I created on Jane Thompson Middlebrook and her family. I mainly have photographs from only 2 of Janes Children – Jane Elizabeth, and Mary, with just one or two relating to  other children .

FamilyofJane1FamilyofJane2FamilyofJane3FamilyofJane4

20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks–Number 7 - Elizabeth Middlebrook

 

ElizabethMiddlebrook

     Elizabeth  was the third daughter of Ellen and John Middlebrook, born in December 1851 in Millbridge Yorkshire. She was at least the third generation of Elizabeth Middlebrooks, being named after an Aunt, and a Great Aunt . Elizabeth was 11 when she along with her parents and siblings left England and made the long journey to New Zealand aboard the Shalimar, arriving in December 1862.
Just 6 years later in 1868 she married George Douglas Hardy, and soon after they made their home in Duke Street ( later called Karaka Street), the same street her family had lived in since soon after her fathers death in 1866. Elizabeth was to give birth to at least 11 children, however tragically 5 of them died as infants or young children.  In addition to her  own 6 remaining children she also bought up her Grandson Frank Leslie ( Son of daughter Ellen Hardy) as her own child. By the late 1870s her husband George became a warder (and later chief attendant) at the Whau Lunatic Asylum. This may have prompted the family to move first to Bellwood Mt Eden and later to New Lynn and finally to Bollard Street Avondale where she lived for over 20 years .In later life George ( and probably Elizabeth) became members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church., her funeral was held at the Blockhouse Bay Seventh day Adventist Church after her death on March 8th 1943 at the grand age of 93.

Monday, September 1, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 weeks–week 6 Nelson Valentine Middlebrook

 

Journalling once again by John McBain to whom I am hugely indebted for all the info on the Te Awamutu Middlebrook Family

NelsonMiddlebrook

Nelson Valentine  Middlebrook was the 9th. child of John and Mary Anne Middlebrook. He was born on February 14th 1894 (hence his middle name. Nelson’s schooling was in Te Awamutu , but in those days it was usual to start work at an early age. Nelson left school at age 13 and immediately went help in his father’s Butchery.   In 1911 he went to work for Titus Rickit (C.T. Rickit who was the father of Sid Rickit that married Ettie Middlebrook) . Nelson enlisted for service in the First World War and served in France. When he returned from the war in 1919 he married  May (Marion Elizabeth) Crawford and they bought a farm at nearby Korokanui .
He was the first in the area to install a milking machine (1922) it would most likely have been driven by a petrol engine.
  In 1933, the family butchery business was growing and it was in need of an extra helper.  Nelson took on a role as part time butcher (3 days a week) and the other 4 days on the farm.
Nelson and May had four children (two boys and two girls). In 1936 when his father John retired from the business, Nelson came into the Butchery full time to support John T.   The farm at Korakonui was sold and Nelson and May bought a house in Frazer Street. When John T. left the business in 1941, Nelson took over the Butchery and continued in the business for a further 20 Years. In 1961 he suffered a serious stroke which meant he could no longer carry on. Nelson died in 1963.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks–Number 5–George Douglas Hardy Sr

 

GeorgeHardyObit

OBITUARY
MR  GEORGE HARDY SR
We tender our sympathy to Councillor G.D.Hardy of the Borough Council ( Devon-port) on the death of his father, Mr George Douglas Hardy, who died at his residence, Bollard Avenue, Avondale at the age  of 88 years.
Mr. Hardy was born at Troon, Scotland, and came to New Zealand in 1865 on the ship Armstrong. For two years after his arrival he served in ships trading between Australia and New Zealand, and he then settled permanently in Auckland and became an attendant at the Avondale Mental Hospital . There was no resident doctor in those days and after a few years Mr Hardy was appointed head attendant. A doctor called daily for about an hour or two, but apart from that Mr Hardy and no supervision of his administration.
After 20 years at the hospital, Mr Hardy entered business , from which he eventually retired about 25 years ago. Mr Hardy was married in Auckland in 1868, and when he and his wife first settled in the Avondale district there were very few houses in the neighbourhood, and the only means of getting to the city was by foot or on horseback along a rough track. Mr and Mrs Hardy celebrated their diamond wedding in 1928.
In earlier days, Mr Hardy was a prominent Mason and was a past grand master of the Newton Mark Lodge and of Lodge Eden. Among his greatest treasures were presentations in the form of medallions from both of these institutions.
Mrs Hardy survives her husband, and in addition to Cr. Hardy there is a family of three sons and three daughters as follows :- Mr Ben Hardy of Mt Eden, Mr Robert Hardy Wellington, Mr Frank Hardy of Newton, Mrs J B Cooper of Otorohanga, Mrs E Miller of Grey Lynn, Mrs W Sill of Remuera. There are also 18 grandchildren and 16 great  greandchildren.
NorthShore Gazette Devonport  October 1933.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks–number - John Thompson Middlebrook

 

 

Thanks to John McBain for the journalling in this layout . He is a wonderful story teller

JohnTMiddlebrook

John Thompson Middlebrook was born in Auckland in 1883 , and he seems to have grown up mainly in Ponsonby. His father having a butchery business in St Marys Bay Road.  There were stories of him delivering meat before school in the mornings. Leaving school he entered into an apprenticeship with A.& T. Burt in Auckland to train as a plumber. One story that comes from that time was that he was working on the “Clansman” that was a coastal steamer. It operated a regular service between Auckland and Whangaroa , he had some pipework to attend to on the ship. But come sailing time and the job wasn’t yet completed! So John had an unscheduled voyage to Whangaroa and return.  He had leave owing at Christmas/ New year (probably 1904/5) and so spent it in Te Awamutu , with  the family after they moved there.  Fate took a hand here in two ways (1) there was sickness in the staff at the butchery. , so John T. was called upon to do duty in the shop and (2) he had met a girl (Susie Frost) that he rather fancied , who lived at Te Rahu, close to town. The two things must have combined to persuade him to contact A. & T. Burt and terminate
his apprenticeship. So he was now an apprentice butcher, though it probably wasn’t exactly new to him anyway. He continued to court Susie Frost and in 1906 they were married .They lived on the outskirts of town on Te Rahu Road. Their daughter Thelma was born in Oct.1907 and was an only child. In 1918 John T. was “called up” to go to War and entered Training Camp, but happily the war ended , so he was released from duty and he returned to the butchery to work with his Dad . When brothers Nelson and Victor returned from the war , the Government had some scheme to settle Returned Soldiers on the land. Nelson and wife May acquired a farm at Korokonui and ran dairy cows on it. Meanwhile John T. continued to work with his Dad in the butchery. Sometime around 1920, John T. bought land at Korokonui , on Happy Valley Road (the same road as Nelson was on).  It was in a rather rough state with a lot of clearing still to be done. But there must have been quite a good house and there were outbuildings.

But of course John senior still needed John T. in the shop, the more so now as he was aging. Its hard to contemplate now, butKorokonui was quite distant from Te Awamutu in those days .  Monday mornings early, John T. rode a horse down to the Main South Road, and left the horse grazing for the week in a paddock. There he would catch a bus which took him into Te Awamutu. He would work the week in the shop, lodging with his parents and then on Saturday afternoons after the shop closed he would return to the farm. Meantime on the farm Charlie (a Maori farmworker )and Susie would milk the few cows (by hand) (and Thelma helped a bit too!). Charlie did some clearing and the usual farm chores. At a later period , probably around 1926/7, James Mc Bain (who went on to marry Thelma) was engaged to work on the farm  . He took over from Charlie, who I presume was aging. But things were changing, Electricity  was now coming to town and refrigeration was revolutionising the butchery business,. Things had to change. Already things had changed .John T. now had a car , probably early in the 1930’s. Which would have made things easier. So although John T. was still on the farm ,most of his interest had now switched back to the butchery. Somewhere around 1935-36 the farm must have been sold . Thelma  and John McBain  married in 1928 and they had been running the farm in the main somce tjem .  John T. and Susie had a new house built in Teasdale St. It was wartime by 1939 and John Sr. had passed away.  John T. was having some health issues  himself . The doctor was treating him, but said that really his occupation wasn’t helping, as he was in and out of chillers constantly. He said that his health would continue to suffer unless he changed his occupation and even better moved to somewhere warmer. So in 1941 they left Te Awamutu and moved onto a small farm  of 15 acres at Manurewa. But 15 acres is a problem, a hobby farm really, too small to be profitable and yet you are tied to milking cows to the same degree that a larger farm requires. So after a year they sold it and bought 100 acres at Whitford. Again milking cows, but profitably this time.  They needed assistance though and with it being wartime, labour was hard to find. There was a 16 year old lad that worked for them but  after a year they decided to enllist the support of Thelma and James McBain. With 2 houses on the property it was the obvious answer.  By1947, the war had ended and  John T. and Susie had a house built in Howick to which they retired. Unfortunately soon after that Susie was diagnosed as having cancer, but she died quite suddenly one night  John sold the new house it had no happy memories for him, and he had a room at his sister-in-laws apartments in Auckland city. He had his meals with them , so it really was quite good. He could no longer drive (he’d had a stroke some years earlier) I had a license so had taken over the driving of his car. But Health problems returned and he came back to the farm where he was diagnosed as having cancer. He died at the farm in 1950

Sunday, August 10, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks–Number 3–James Thompson

 

Jamesthompson

 

James Thompson was born in 1758 in Fairburn Yorkshire. The family been residents  in Fairburn for hundreds of years.
Son of William Thompson of Fairburn .  He was baptiised on July 23rd of that year at Ledsham  Parish Church.  Nothing is known of James’ life until his marriage at Ledsham to Elizabeth Whittaker. In 12 March 1798, James, along with Edward Williamson and Thomas  Jackson purchased a property described as two dwelling houses, a blacksmith and outbuildings.
At what point James decided to create a public house on the premises is unknown but the Baines's Directory and Gazetteer Directory of 1822 lists James Thompson as Victualer of the 3 Horse Shoes  .
James and Elizabeth had 6 children, a son, and 5 daughters.  Son, James, born in 1784  became a chemist and moved to Stonegate York.
Ellen Thompson, born 1787 married Benjamin Farrer, a successful watch and clock maker from nearby Pontefract.
The other daughters were Elizabeth born 1793, Sarah born 1795, Ann, born 1800 and Hannah born 1802 . Hannah married Thomas Elliot a farmer from Wakefield Yorkshire in 1831
James  remained in Fairburn as publican at the Three Horseshoes until his death in September 1841 aged 80 where he resided with his 3 unmarried daughters, Elizabeth Sarah and Ann.  His will was very specific. He left the pub and its surrounding property to his unmarried daughters, as long as they remained unmarried.  Elizabeth and Sarah went on to become the publicans at the Three Horse Shoes until their deaths in 1866 and 1867 respectively.  Ann remained living in the pub until after 1851 (aged 51) but her whereabouts after this date are unknown .

 

willofJamesthompson

 

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me
James Thompson of Fairburn in the County of York, Gentleman, made this Eighteenth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty one. First I direct that all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and the charges of proving and registering this, my will be fully paid out of  my property by my Executor, which I here appoint my Son Mr James Thompson of York, Druggist into whose hands I entrust the whole of  my property for the use of Elizabeth my wife and Daughters as follows. I Will that my said wife Elizabeth Thompson shall have the whole of whatever property I may have for her and by Daughters who remain unmarried/Sole use and benefit during the term of my said wife’s natural life and at my said wife’s death I will that those my daughters, who may remain unmarried shall have a house genteely furnished out of the house which I now reside then I will that the property now consisting of Three dwelling houses, with the premises thereto belonging situate about the centre of the Village of Fairburn, near the crofts be given to my daughters for there support while they remain unmarried  . Should any of them marry or die, the said property to be held by the single daughter or daughters so continuing unmarried and then I will that the completion of this part of my will that the remainder of the furniture with the house in which I now reside together with the land belonging thereto be valued and disposed of according to the judgment of those my son and daughters concerned to do as they may think proper and if the parties concerned agree to sell the property I will that it be so sold and the money equally divided amount them, share and share alike and then I will that at the marriage or death of my daughters, now single, the said property which haws held by them shall with all the residue of my property be disposed of to the best advantage for the use and benefit of those my Son and Daughters concerned and should my Son or any of them my daughters die before the execution of this my will leaving lawful issue such children to have the parents share equally divided amongst them share and share alike And I hereby revoke all my former wills In witness whereof I the said James Thompson have to this my last will and Testament set my and and seal the day and year bore written
Signed sealed published and declared by the said James Thompson the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

Monday, August 4, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks– Week 2–Jane Thompson Middlebrook

 

 

Here is my second instalment in my 20 Ancestors in 20 weeks layout challenge . I chose to do a timeline layout for Jane Thompson Middlebrook – who seemed to move around so frequently- having most of her babies in different towns.

 

JANETMtimeline

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Family of Benjamin Middlebrook

 

As part of the Middlebrook Family Reunion effort I am attempting to produce a book which includes as many of the family photos as I can . Obviously in a book which tells stories of family history it is impossible to include all the photos we have copies of- so there is a need for a book which will display the photos attractively, and will include photos that we currently are not able to identify as well as members of side branches of the family.

I started the basic book design today and started with the family of Benjamin Middlebrook, for it is his branch of the family I have the fewest photos of.

This design will form the basic template for the book which I will put together over the next 6 months. Obviously some branches of the family will have significantly more pages devoted to them – and may have sub-sets of pages of descendants families.

FamilyofBenjamin

Sunday, July 27, 2014

McRae Letters Part 4

mcraeletters4

 

Opua December 14th  1887

Dear Welsh,
I received your letter last week but had not time to answer it for I did not get it out of the Office until Thursday morning. I hope I have not troubled you too  much in asking you to get the calico. If I have, do not get it. I was going to trouble you further in getting a little fruit , for we can not get any down here and I should like to get some for the children at Christmas.
They are all talking about hanging their stockings up. Amy sends her love and she hopes you are enjoying yourself in town.
She also wishes you would come down, but I suppose it is no use to ask you to come to such a dull place as this. Roddy wishes to be remembered to you. I have not sent him to Kawakawa. Mrs Harris says it is too near Christmas for him to go now, but I shall see about him going after.  But I must come to a close for I do not feel inclined to write much and I have two other letters to write, and I am sure they will be short. Things are very dull here but we must live in hope if we die in dispare. (sic)
If things are not better, I shall have to leave Mother in charge and see if I cannot get a situation as a Housekeeper or somethign else to do. Trusting you are well, I remain
Yours sincerely,
JANE

P.S. The Norvel and Saxon will be going to town this week - and both of them will be down before Christmas

 

From Jane to Welsh, 14 December 1887

This letter from Jane to Welsh ( and the first one we have from Jane) could be in reply to his letter of 21st November but I suspec t it is a later letter that we do not have a copy of . Once more though there is much talk of the desire of both Jane and Welsh to be together.
It is clear in this letter that Jane is not in a great financial situation . We assume she is running a boarding house as this seems to have been her main form of income through most of her life. It sounds as if there isn’t much business just prior to Christmas

“Roddy” refers to John Roderick McRae , Jane’s eldest son. Born in 1871 he was 16 years old at the time of this letter and one would assume Jane was keen for him to be out working to help support the family


 

Dear Welsh,
We received your letter last week and all the goods all in good order and we are much obliged. I also let Amy read your letter and what she could not make out , I read for her. I told her to write today but she did not, but she is such a poor writer that makes her not like to write. But I am not a very good scholar myself so I should not say much about any one, eh!  Amy and I are very glad you are so comfortable. It is a nice part of town that you live in, not too thickly built on.
I must now thank you for the things you sent. The calico is very good. It was for Amy and she is much pleased with it and all the other good things. I do not think they would have got much if you had not sent them for I had the misfortune of braking(sic) the clock and had to get a new one for we could not do without the time in a place like this. I am glad that you have the prospect of such a merry Christmas.  The town will be quite lively, but we shall be quieter than usual, for the people are all going to town ( that can afford it); but it is getting very late. I had some work to finish and send home first thing in the morning so I had to finish it tonight, but I will add a few more lines in the morning. I have had a very bad head ache all day, in fact I am hardly ever free from it.
Thursday morning, and a beautiful morning . The Bay is so pretty.. there are a lot of boats about with their white sails set. I trust we shall have Hector over for Christmas Day. We are all going out the day after to a picnic party ad a place called Wapau, a very pretty place.
You say in your letter that you wish we were with you, so I can say in return that I wish you were with us. I wish we could do anything for you to help to pay for your kindness. Amy sends her love and wishes you a merry Christmas. She says you promised to come back, but she will write next week. With the complements of the season, I must now close, I remain
Yours Truly
Jane McRae

From Jane to Welsh, 20 Dec 1887

It is clear from this letter from Jane to Welsh ( replying to a letter we unfortunately dont have a copy of) that he has sent the “fixings for Christmas” he referred to in a previous letter. . Again we get a clear impression that financially things are not great for Jane. Replacing a broken clock ( which could be a considerable expense in the 19th century) used up much of the money she would have spent on the family Christmas .
Jane’s mention of having Hector over is another indication of that relationship growing but it was to be another 3 years until she married him.

I have not been able to find out where “Wapau” might be. We could assume it is relatively close to Opua, a day trip or less by boat or by road as they were headed there for a picnic