Topic: Euphemia Jones (c1880-?)

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These photographs of Euphemia Jones were taken by Emily Surtees Katikati in 1899. Euphemia worked for Adela Stewart for a time. In 1899 she returned for a visit to Adela during which these photographs were taken.

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Euphemia was possibly born in Gisborne, but it is not known exactly when she was born, nor who her parents were.

Euphemia is mentioned by Adela Stewart in her book My Simple Life in New Zealand. In 1898 Adela wrote: ' Our friendly neighbour, Mrs Alf Faulkner brought a generous contribution to the feast of roast goose, prepared quinces melons and cakes which were handed to me by Euphemia, her Maori cousin  from Gisborne. Euphemia offered to help me, and most efficiently she did so, working hard  all day and leaving on me so favourable an impression that when a week later she asked me to take her I gladly agreed, for ten shillings a week, and never regretted it' (p. 115).

Euphemia Jones, 1899

Euphemia at Athenree, 1899.

1898: 'Euphemia was most clever at bottling fruit. She loved to watch me cooking, looking so interested, and said, "Let me do that next time." Curry, rissoles, pastry, lemon-cheese and so forth, succeeded well; and when her work was over, jumping astride a bare-backed horse, she would ride home to make the same good things there' (p. 115).

1898: 'She whitewashed the kitchen walls and ceiling, her dark curly locks enveloped in a towel, and her bare brown feet noiselessly jumping from step-ladder to table, table to chair. She could sew, but was not able to cut out, so I taught her, beginning with an apron, then a blouse, the latter with a paper pattern. However, this she despised, and cut out the next one for herself without pattern, altogether by eye, allowing for tucks and gathers, such as she had seen and admired on one of my visitors, and an admirable fit it proved' (p. 116). 

Mrs Fred Faulkner, Mrs Alf Faulkner, children and Euphemia Jones, 1899

Mrs Fred Faulkner, Mrs Alf Faulkner, children and Euphemia, 1899.

1898: 'Euphemia having, Maori-like, got tired of the order and routine of Athenree, went home for a fortnight' (p. 118).

1898: 'In November, Euphemia planted kumaras (sweet potatoes) for me thus; having got from her Auntie a bundle of cuttings, or shoots, from last years kumara, she planted one of each in a drill, four feet apart in every direction. These soon grew and ran all over the ground, care being taken to life the vines from time to time so that they should not root along their course. In autumn we had a good crop, which Euphemia dug and stored in a pit-hole in the ground covered with earth' (p. 118).

Euphemia Jones and friend, 1899

Euphemia and friend, 1899.

1899: 'Toward the middle of March, when I was enjoying a little more rest because of Euphemia's help, that dusky damsel asked leave to go next day with uncle and auntie to the circus in Paeroa, twenty miles away: "I'll finish all my work before I start and come straight back with them," But she did not! She rang no eight o'clock bell the next morning (Sunday). Her room had been unoccupied.... Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday passed. On Thursday "auntie" sent for her sewing-machine, which she had lent to Euphemia, "because she did not known what had become of her." At the end of a week suspense was at an end, Hugh having walked to auntie's and been told she had married a French half-caste and wanted her clothes sent to Waihi, where she was settled! Her husband was a miner, worked in the Battery, and after a few years, died of consumption. Euphemia was not long a widow, and for second husband had a Scotch fisherman, called Stewart, settling in the neighbourhood of our old Tinpot Castle. I missed her all-round help to my last day in New Zealand, never having known a girl with so retentive a memory, or one who could pluck chickens as quickly' (pp. 119-120).

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Euphemia Jones (c1880-?)


Year:1899
First Names:Euphemia
Last Name:Jones
Date of Birth:c1880
Place of Birth:New Zealand
Place of death:New Zealand