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New Zealand Completed Requests / James Herbert HASTE. WWI service certificate
« on: Friday 09 November 18 18:58 GMT (UK)  »

Someone may be able to help repatriate, the certificate mentioned in this WAIKATO TIMES 9/11/18 front page article.


Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / 'colourable only' transcribing help !
« on: Sunday 02 September 18 10:00 BST (UK)  »
Hello again.

I am struggling with transcribing the attached 1874 correspondence.

What I read as “colourable only” and thought odd, I now find is a legal expression. The discussion being a land claim involving, survey, and plans there of.

The underlined seven words, I can not justify my interpretation of, in the context of the petition, and the correspondence therefore generated.

A second opinion would be appreciated.  Thanks.


DEATH: 1874  Elizabeth  Agnes  SHARP.  Parnell - Interment ??

In 1979 I started out on my quest to learn more about the pioneering families that would have associated with my Gt Grandfather as he slowly worked his way up from being a newly married 1842 immigrant, to leasing and then owning land, in greater Auckland and finally arriving in the Waikato, before passing.

Hence my often returning to the areas of Ellerslie/Otahuhu, Waikumiti/Oratia, and Pukekohe East, as Auckland’s heritage is celebrated.

My recent involvement with the Franklan District gathering of bio’s for the first women voters on the 1893 voting roll, has brought to light a gap in my knowledge that I’m so far unable to verify fully. I find that there is newspaper coverage for the above infant, and I have my hand written notes from my November 2nd 1979 visit to the basement of the Birth Deaths and Marriage Registrar, to view the original bound registers of early Auckland. Which go back to the mid 1850’s with the start of civil registrations.

Yet what should have been a simple online confirmation of the historic birth and death registrations, proved not to be. No hits on line.

9884  1874  Elizabeth Agnes Sharp. 2.  Daughter of farmer. Premature birth, imperfect development.  James Doull.  Grand Father.  Sea Field View, Parnell.  Auckland.

The Auckland Star, Daily Southern Cross, NZ Herald, and Waikato Times all record with Birth and Death notices for the child’s arrival, and passing on March 7th 1874.
The Mother, Celilia Brown SHARP, nee Doull, was the teacher, then principal at Pukekohe East school for 21 years.

Not sure why B D & M's do not include the info I witnessed on line, but also would like to know what other researchers have discovered was "normal" practise with still births etc, in the Parnell area in the early 1870's. Can any one find reference to an interment. I don't believe I have noted it on the Pukekohe East interment list, but at this time can not lay my hands on a copy I once had. Photo possibly on a 3 1/2" red disc that I no longer have a computer port for.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Surname suggestions.
« on: Wednesday 18 July 18 22:51 BST (UK)  »
Hello again.

The name Maria Harietta Duff..... appears on several deed and land transaction documents that I have looked up in our archives. The research period being the 1870's and 1880's following the land confiscations, and survey, with titles being issued to Militia and those who supported the crown.

Most were European, but some were to Maori and part Maori. Harietta could imply a Maori woman which would be rear, but not unknown to be involved in land title. The intrigue for me is that it is a name combination that has not already appeared in my research, nor can I pick it up in other contemporary records or newspapers. If she was a Maori she could have been known by several names and phonetic spellings.

Suggestions, from the underlined writting  would be appreciated.



Carrington Mental Hospital (Avondale – Auckland - NZ)

Records from the above hospital, held in the Auckland branch of ARCHIVES NZ, can be full of detail, if the one I looked up for a UK enquiry is anything to go by. My previous Auckland Archives look-ups, had been for Auckland hospital records held, and they were mainly brief single line entries in 1940’s bound registers.

The Carrington request for info pre WW1, was full of detail, and second opinions, as the Courts are charged with deeming there is fit cause for them to assign an individual’s rights of independence, over to an institution, to care for them.

The file contained ‘Medical Certificate under the Mental Health Defectives Act 1911’ certificates signed by two independent doctors, One being the Medical Superintendent of a regional public hospital. Full of detail re NOK, addresses for service, medical and mental health, at time of application.

‘Further details signed by the applicant/s’  More details including those of NOK, of spouse, parent’s and siblings. In this case including known UK addresses.

‘Statutory Declaration’ Application for reception order placed before the Stipendiary Magistrate. Names institution assigned to take care thereof, and to whom is entrusted the responsibility of arranging transfer. (This case a named policeman.)

Medical notes of significance; telegram’s to spouse [NOK] and progress, or other wise; correspondence between the parties. (Original letters in, and carbon copies out.)

Telegram notification of discharge, or DEATH. Correspondence re same with spouse (NOK).
Arrangements for assigning body to undertaker etc, and re personal effects of the deceased / discharged.

As the institutions covered by the Mental Health Act were probably the only ones providing ‘secure wards’ many people were voluntarily, or court assigned to their care, and included patients that today would not be deemed mentally defective. I have one relative that became a severe epileptic and spent the better part of 40 years ‘in care’. While the 100 year privacy rules preclude me looking up that patients records, I know their records, though sad reading, would not be the harrowing account of someone determined to take their own life.

So be advised some of the material I saw could be most distressing to relatives, unfamiliar with mental health disorders; or the care provisions of the times.

A lot has changed for the better in 100 years.

[Example notes: Acutely maniacal, struggling with attendants & declaring intention to rescue baby from people who want to burn it. Says sees that the ship is wrecked & babies are being drowned. Can hear screaming. – Has delusions that children are starving and neglected. And afraid could kill themselves. -  Hears a porter starting an open fire in the adjoining room, and declares to all, that they are going to place their babies on the fire, and then themselves.]

If you are going to look up those records, take a hanky.


More info on alternative institutions that patients may have been transferred to:-

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / 2 words please
« on: Tuesday 17 July 18 02:05 BST (UK)  »

Would appreciate a second opinion about the two underlined words in the attached extract.

It is part of correspondence written over 100 years ago that I have located, in NZ,  for a UK, RC member. I would like my transcript to be as accurate as possible.

Have included a few lines so that style comparisons can be made, but because of the delecate nature of the correspondence, choose not to show more.



New Zealand Completed Requests / [Elizabeth] Alice SHARP nee BRASS ??
« on: Monday 28 May 18 23:09 BST (UK)  »
Hello fellow researchers.

Over committed at the moment, so help would be appreciated.

Last night as the clock turned over to a new day, I was attempting to put together a 300 word bio on Pukekohe woman Helen SHARP nee SHARP for  ‘Lady Mary’ and their Franklan County Woman’s suffrage petition project.

Went to check informal information supplied to me in the 1980’s, by a niece [since died] re one of Helen’s sons,  Alexander [William John] SHARP and found the B D & M registration gave his wife’s maiden name as BRASS. Marriage 1908 / 1683.  That was a surprise to me.

Alexander died at Auckland in 1923 aged 54.  1923/1160.  Searches of the other names I have, did not provide the results I was looking for confirmation, of the oral history supplied. However last night the PP service would not allow me to refine my search to just Auckland newspapers, so with search criteria of ‘A & SHARP’ the hits were excessively large, even with narrow date time lines. I also attempted to find evidence of Alice in either the Pukekohe East, or Gordonton communities, prior to marriage to Alexander SHARP, but was unable in the time available.

Alexander and his younger brother James went to farm at Gordonton in the Waikato in 1906. Their parents Wm & Helen SHARP sold out and moved down to them in October 1906. Alexander’s health failed him, so he sold out in 1916 and relocated to Auckland, where he ran a general store / dairy / bike shop until his death, I believe in the Grafton area. Have previously seen some adverts etc on Papers Past.

Oral information supplied to me which I would like to verify. Some already published in reunion books, but I would prefer to validate, and not perpetuate miss information.

Alice [Elizabeth Alice] on a Mortgage transfer document, maiden name BRASS [NZ, B D & M 1908/1683] but niece supplied info had Alice LEA-HIGGANBOTHAN married to Alexander SHARP in 1908, bringing to the marriage sons Arthur LEA [married PRICE of Thames] and George LEA, who I believe became a farmer at Ngongataha, Rotorua. Alice and Alexander had one son Alexander [Sandy] SHARP.   1908 / 25397.

Before submitting the bio to the Pukekohe NZSG group, I would like to know more about Alice prior to her marriage to Alexander SHARP.  Eg to sort out the BRASS – LEA – HIGGANBOTHAN surnames.




On a recent visit to Archives NZ Auckland archive, I was searching through old bound copies of typed index and reference pages. Some entries had red ink, hand written notations, one of which caught my eye as the notation was different to other notations that I had seen. I was left wondering if the notation was in reference to the last given name, as it was spaced appart from the two proceeding names, or to the surname listed.

In case this could be signficant to some ones research the info was;

Typed:-      OTTO,  William Andrew      Rexford
Notation:-   Now Redford

If interested in investigating further, please contact me for details.


New Zealand Completed Requests / NZ B D & M; assigned surnames.
« on: Monday 12 March 18 08:47 GMT (UK)  »
Hello there.

How many were aware of the fact highlighted by our TV programme FAIR GO, aired this evening?

In the move to digitize an estimated 2.4 million birth records, NZ B D & M assigned surnames to the new born's given [christian] names. Previously there was no legal requirement to do so. It was just assumed the surname, would be that of the father. And that was the guide line given to those charged with transcribing to creating the digital record.

This is now creating all sorts of problems for those applying for birth certificates, and finding the surname on todays official record, is NOT the one that the applicant has been using throughout their life.

Another curved ball for future researchers, once records become historical records.


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