Monday, September 29, 2014

The Last Will of Samuel Middlebrook




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


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 .


20 Ancestors in 20 Weeks–Number 7 - Elizabeth Middlebrook



     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


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.