Topic: Herstory: Women of My Family by Debbie McCauley

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Women’s stories have often been relegated to the background in the roles of wives, mothers, daughters and housekeepers. This page is dedicated to the stories of the women in my family and stands as a tribute to the part they all played in the shaping of history - Debbie McCauley (2013).

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Margaret Culley (nee Corne) (1761-1834) Baptised in St Mary's Church in Sandwich, Kent, in 1761, Margaret was my fifth great grandmother.

Roseanna Jane Garmonsway (nee Willson) (1765-1840) My fourth great grandmother Roseanna was born in London in 1765. She married John Garmonsway at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London on 30 June 1793. Rosina died in England a pauper in a Shoreditch Workhouse.

Ann Gordon (nee King) (1795-1868) My fourth great grandmother Ann spent nine years as the superintendent and matron of the Female Factory at Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. She tried to implement policies designed to achieve the smooth running of an institution that was both a place of punishment and asylum, to maintain the health and welfare of the women, alleviate overcrowding where possible, provide some employment and encourage moral improvement. 



Hannah Barnes (nee Law) (1816-1867) My third great grandmother Hannah was a widow when she emigrated to New Zealand from England in 1859. Nine years earlier her first husband, John Bell, was accidentally killed when he fell off a steeple in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.

Kezia Baynes (nee Godfrey) (1834-1902) My third great grandmother Kezia was to marry three times. Born in London, she emigrated to South Africa in 1859 aboard the Matilda Atheling. Her first husband died there is 1860. In 1864 she arrived in New Zealand aboard the Steinwarder, her second husband drowning in 1865. Without any sort of assistance Kezia managed on her own with the children in very basic pioneering conditions for five months before being offered a housekeeping position for a Waiuku farmer whom she later married.

Ellen Birkett (nee Hart) (1837-1929) My third great grandmother Ellen was aged four when her family arrived in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841. They had travelled from London aboard the Tyne.

Letitia Ann Garmonsway (nee King) (1809-1892) On the way to New Zealand aboard the Inchinnan from England in 1852, my third great grandmother, Letitia, gave birth to her daughter Martha. On the same voyage, another daughter Jane died during a severe outbreak of measles and chicken pox.

Margaret Ann Hamilton (c1845-1889) My third great aunt Margaret Hamilton was a devoted employee of Captain Mervyn and Frances Stewart (née Vesey), the parents of Katikati founder George Vesey Stewart. In 1878 she travelled to New Zealand with them from Ireland aboard the Lady Jocelyn. Margaret never married, and her obituary describes her as having a 'noble character' and 'being a friend in the truest sense of that term'.

Rachel Hamilton (nee Lennard) (c1836-1904) My second great grandmother Rachel was eight months pregnant in 1875 when the family set sail from Ireland aboard the Ocean Mail for New Zealand. When they arrived as one of the seventy-seven foundation families of Katikati, conditions were primitive and they lived in raupo whares. Rachel worked the incredibly hard life of the pioneer woman.

Sarah Hart (nee Culley) (1806-1880) My fourth great grandmother Sarah was pregnant with her second child when her husband committed a burglary and went on the run for eighteen months before being caught and sentenced to seven years aboard a prison hulk. She managed to keep herself and her two children alive during this time. The family arrived in New Zealand on board the 'Tyne' in 1841.

Bridget Jane Kelly (nee Bell) (1839-1923) My second great grandmother Bridget married Richard Kelly. After his death, Bridget emigrated with some of her children to Australia on board the Oroya in October 1891.

Elizabeth Kelly (nee Taylor) (c1805-1889) Born in Ireland in c1805, Elizabeth was my third great grandmother. 

Johanna Meyer (nee Pasmun) (1825-1902) My third great grandmother Johanna was born in Germany in c1835. She emigrated to New Zealand from Germany aboard the Orari in 1876.

Eliza Wallis (nee Hart) (1846-1914) Suffragette Eliza was active on the National Council of Women and the Vote for Women. Her signature appears at the bottom of Sheet 532 of the 1893 Woman's Suffrage Petition. Eliza was my fourth great aunt.

Ann Watt (nee Gerrie) (1837-1908) My third great grandmother Ann arrived in New Zealand from Scotland with her husband Alexander Watt on the Queen of the Avon in 1859.



Mary Bell (nee Watt) (1860-1949) My second great grandmother Mary was born in Wanganui. She had twelve children and was described as 'a very kind and gentle lady'.

Emma Birkett (nee Nixon) (1864-1930) My third great aunt, Emma Nixon, was the mother of six children, two who died as babies. She was a signatory to the Women’s Suffrage Petition presented to Parliament in 1893. Her only surviving son died of meningitis in France, just four months prior to the end of World War I. 

Alicia Mary Chipper (nee Kelly) (1874-1942) Alicia Kelly nursed hundreds of wounded from Gallipoli. While nursing at the No. 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station (3ACCS) in Ypres she refused to leave her patients during heavy shelling. She was awarded the Military Medal ‘for gallantry displayed on the occasion of hostile air raids on casualty clearing stations’. She also received the Royal Red Cross in January 1918 and the Croix de Guerre (War Cross). Known by family as 'Loll', she was my second great aunt.

Sarah Ann Crawford (nee Birkett) (1869-1956) My second great grandmother Sarah was a midwife serving the Katikati community.

Mildred Caroline Garmonsway (nee Bell) (1894-1978) My great grandmother Mildred married Thomas Albert Garmonsway and had seven children. They separated in 1931.

Elizabeth Kelly (nee Crawford) (1863-1941) Cambridge pioneer.

Rachel McCauley (nee Hamilton) (1880-1969) My great grandmother Rachel was the daughter of Katikati pioneers and lived her whole life in Katikati. She was married to George (Peg-leg) John McCauley (1876-1943) on 26 November 1902 by the Reverend Katterns. She received an ostrich feather from the Katterns' ostrich farm as a wedding present from the vicar's wife. 

Wilhelmina Miller (nee Meyer) (1868-1954) My third great aunt. Known as 'Minnie' she was born to German parents in in Liverpool, England. She was aged 7 she arrived in New Zealand aboard the Orari in 1876. Wilhelmina was to have fourteen children. 

Sarah Rachel May Nolan (nee Lomas) (1895-1977) My first cousin twice removed, Sarah was kicked in the face by a horse when she was thirteen years old. There being no doctor within miles, she was loaded into the back of the buggy and taken to Waihi from Katikati for treatment. She later worked at the Katikati Hotel before her marriage to John Nolan in 1918.

Albertina Reid (nee Meyer) (1863-1940) My second great grandmother Albertina arrived in New Zealand from Germany when she was aged just eleven. She had sailed aboard the Orari which arrived in 1876. Albertina was to have thirteen children whilst married to Thomas Garmsonway. Two years after he died she married David Reid.

Emily Townsend (nee Wallis) (1863-1914) My first cousin four times removed, Emily was a pupil teacher at Colombo Road School in Christchurch when she became pregnant to a fellow student. Her illegitimate daughter, Esther, was later adopted by Minnie Dean who was later found guilty of infanticide and hanged. Emily was a signatory to the Women’s Suffrage Petition presented to Parliament in 1893 (Sheet No. 1). Her signature appears directly underneath Kate Sheppard’s, both of Clyde Road in Riccarton, Christchurch.

Esther Wallis (1879-?) My second cousin thrice removed was adopted by the infamous 'Minnie Dean' in 1890 and ended up giving evidence at her trial for infanticide in 1895. After the trial, Esther was sent to a Girls Home in Invercargill, and details of her life from this time onwards have yet to be uncovered.

Elizabeth Wilson (1893-?) My great grandmother, Elizabeth Wilson, was born in Porirua, Wellington, on 2 August 1893. She had an illegitimate child in 1910, and it is not yet known what happened to her beyond this point in time. 

Elizabeth Ellen Wilson (nee Cutten) (c1871-1940) My second great grandmother Elizabeth was born in Wanganui. She married gas-fitter Henry Allan Wilson from Manchester, England. 



Kathleen Ivy Barraclough (nee Lecky) (1905-1980) The wife of my first cousin twice removed, Kathleen Lecky was the daughter of Katikati pioneers. In 1932 she married the son of another Katikati pioneer family, Walter Barraclough.

Alice Joyce Hamilton (nee Leigh) (1923-1975) The first wife of my first cousin twice removed, Alice Leigh served as a Land Girl working on high country sheep stations in the South Island of New Zealand during World War II (1939-1945). 

Alwina Clarice Hazel Hutchins (nee Garmonsway) (1900-1983) Alwina Clarice Hazel Garmonsway was married at age sixteen, left her abusive husband after a couple of years to live with another man, and then bigamously married a third man in 1925. She was my second great aunt.

Audrey Jean Robinson (nee Govan) (1921-2005) My second cousin twice removed, Audrey Govan was a radar operator stationed with the army on Motutapu Island (Auckland’s WWII Guardian) during World War II. In 1970 she went to England for a year and after returning home bought the Auckland business Shears of Sandringham where she sold women's apparel.

Renee Sells (nee Turner) (1923-1999) My husband's first cousin twice removed, Renee Turner was in the W.R.A.F. attached to Air Barrage Balloons in the London area during World War II (1939-1945).

Barbara Elizabeth Turner (nee Wallace) My mother-in-law, Barbara Wallace, emigrated to New Zealand aboard the SS Captain Hobson in 1953 along with her husband, Arthur Turner (1929-1995). This links to the story of the voyage as recalled by her fifty-nine years later and was published in New Zealand Memories magazine in October/November 2016 (122, 14-19).

Doris Myrtle Williams (1923-2003) My grandfather's second wife's sister, but always known to me as Aunty Do [pronounced Dough], Doris was struck down with polio and unable to walk for the first thirteen years of her life. She was taught to walk by Australian 'bush nurse' Sister Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952) who developed a radical new method of muscle rehabilitation to treat infantile paralysis; the Kenny Method. She never married, but worked as a Karitane Nurse in Dunedin for many years.



Karla Michele McCauley (1975-1997) My younger sister Karla was very artistic and studied art when she attended Tauranga Girls’ College as well as playing hockey. She died, aged 21, on 19 May 1997 at Auckland Hospital of an AVM (arterio-venous malformation in left parietal lobe causing massive brain haemorrhage).


Other family pages:

Edward Hart (1802-1884) Bricklayer Edward Hart was sentenced to seven years jail aboard a prison hulk for stealing food and drink to feed his wife and family in 1825. The Hart family later arrived in New Zealand on board the 'Tyne' in 1841. Edward was my fourth great grandfather.

John Hamilton (1835-1892) My second great grandfather and a Katikati pioneer.

Lest We Forget This page is dedicated to relatives of mine who either served in wartime, took part in wartime activities, were part of military organisations between wars, or paid the 'ultimate sacrifice'.

McCauley Letters to New Zealand from Wartime Britain During World War II John Glen McCauley and his wife Joan Dorothy McCauley wrote a series of letters to John's older sister Hazel Emily Anderson (nee McCauley) who lived at the time in Wellington and then Wanganui. Since Hazel's death in 1990 the collection, which consists of over thirty letters, has been preserved by her daughter Patricia (Trish) Rae Bowden (nee Anderson).


This page was archived at perma cc February 2017

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