Topic: Letitia Ann Garmonsway (nee King) (1809-1892)

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On the way to New Zealand aboard the 'Inchinnan' in 1852, Letitia gave birth to her daughter Martha. On the same voyage, her daughter Jane died during a severe outbreak of measles and chicken pox. Letitia was my third great grandmother - Debbie McCauley (2013).

Letitia Ann King (1809-1892)

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Letitia Ann King was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on 21 December 1809 to Ann King. She was baptised at St. John's, Portsea, Hampshire, on 25 January 1810.

Letitia's mother married Robert Gordon of the 21st Limerick County Regiment in St Mary's Church of England, Portsmouth, Hampshire, on 2 May 1812. In August 1813 the County Militia returned to Ireland along with Robert and his family. On 28 March 1817 Ann, Robert and their daughter Caroline departed from Cork, Ireland on the ship Matilda, arriving in Sydney, Australia, on 3 August 1817.

Letitia was left behind in Ireland to be raised by her grandparents, but she was never forgotten by her mother who wrote to her on 5 January 1845; 'There is no doubt you lost a friend a humble friend in your poor grandmother but pray be comforted and consider you have a friend a home and a mother that never forgot you although length of time and circumstances and thousands of miles across the wide ocean separated us. Yet my poor child, you were never forgotten by your mother'.

On 10 January 1831 Letitia married Edward Watts Garmonsway (1809-1875) in St. John's Parish, Church of Ireland, Limerick, Ireland. They had eleven children together:

  1. Edward Thomas Garmonsway (1832-1835). Born in Limerick, Ireland on 24 January 1832, he was baptised St. Mar's Cathedral, Limerick. Edward died, aged 3, in Jamica on 17 November 1835.
  2. Francis Garmonsway (1834-1834). Francis was born on 1 January 1834. He died 6 weeks later on 12 February 1834.
  3. John Henry Garmonsway (1835-1915). Born in Shoreditch, London, England, on 3 June 1835, he was christened at St Leonard's, Shoreditch, London, on 25 December 1835. He married Crichton Petrie in Auckland on 19 December 1859. John died, aged 81, on 29 July 1915 (reg. 1915/5175).
  4. Sarah Garmonsway (1839-1840). Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 10 April 1839. She died ten months later on 24 February 1840.
  5. Edward Watts Garmonsway (1840-1935). Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, on 10 December 1840. He had a son with a Maori woman, Miss Whe Whe. He was a member of the 3rd Waikato Regiment. Edward died, aged 95, on 4 July 1935 and was buried in Pironga Cemetery on 6 July 1935
  6. Thomas Garmonsway (1843-1918). Born at Stockport Barricks, Lancashire, England, on 12 June 1843. On 20 August 1863 he enrolled in the Waikato Militia (2nd Regiment). He married Albertina Meyer (1863-1940) on 14 August 1880. Thomas died, aged 75, in Paterangi, Te Awamutu, on 23 June 1918 (reg. 1918/3059) and was buried in Paterangi Cemetery.
  7. Caroline Garmonsway (1845-1925). Born in Portsmouth, England, on 14 November 1845. She married Thomas Rogers (1841-1907) on 20 April 1862 (reg. 1862/5006). Caroline died in Mt Eden, Auckland, aged 80, on 23 January 1925 (reg. 1925/1162).
  8. Charles Garmonsway (1848-1848). Born on 30 April 1848. Charles died six months later on 17 October 1848.
  9. Jane Garmonsway (1849-1852). Born 17 August 1849. Jane died aboard the Inchinnan on 29 April 1852 of Intestine Ulceration as a result of either measles or chicken pox. She was buried at sea.
  10. Martha Garmonsway (1852-1930). Born aboard the Inchinnan on 26 January 1852 (reg. 1852/1724). She married Charles Frederick Schrafft (c1846-1930) on 27 April 1871. Martha died, aged 76, on 13 December 1930 (reg. 1930/9341).
  11. Letitia Ann Garmonsway (1854-1935). Born in Howick, New Zealand, on 9 August 1854 (reg. 1854/2122) and baptised there on 19 November 1854. On 2 March 1875 (reg. 1875/647) she married James McConnachie (c1850-1946). She later married William Moore. Letitia died, aged 76, on 29 October 1935 (reg. 1935/21688).

In around 1835 Edward was stationed in Falmouth, Jamaica. According to his papers he also served in North America and India. He was discharged in July 1848 and the family returned to England.

Edward joined the Royal New Zealand Fencibles as a soldier/settler. Those who joined signed on as armed settlers for a period of seven years, and with their families, received free passage to New Zealand and upon arrival a cottage and a small land holding which was their's upon completion of the period of service.

Letitia, Edward and family left from Gravesend bound for Auckland, New Zealand on 14 January 1852 aboard the Inchinnan in a complement comprising 78 ex-army pensioners, 68 women and 113 children. On embarkation the surviving children accompanying their parents were: John (1835), Edward Jr. (1840), Thomas (1843), Caroline (1845) and Jane (1849).

Only 11 days after departure, before the vessel had even cleared the Bill of Portland in the English Channel, a sixth child, Martha, was born on 25 January 1852. During the voyage a severe outbreak of measles and chicken pox occurred and Jane was one of twenty-three who died before the vessel reached Auckland after a voyage of 135 days on the 27 May 1852.

The Inchinnan was the last of nine ships to arrive in New Zealand with the Fencible Force. The seaside village of Howick where Edward was to be stationed was already settled. It was one of a chain of such fencible settlements. Sergeants and Corporals in the Howick Fencibles corps were granted one acre lots in the village which were to become their property after seven years of service were fulfilled. The dwellings the Fencibles lived in after they first arrived were just Raupo Whares but cottages were later built. Edward Watts Garmonsway owned lots 42 and 43 in Howick village.

Edward's British Military Pension records show that he moved to Alexandra (now Pirongia) in April 1866. He died at Paterangi, aged 64, on 16 September 1875 (reg. 1875/4323). Letitia died in Pirongia, aged 82, on 25 January 1892 (reg. 1892/675). They are both buried at Pirongia.



Births, Deaths and Marriages Online.

Edward Garmonsway and Letitia King: Their descendants. A booklet to commemorate the Garmonsway family reunion held 16-17 April 1983 in Cambridge, N. Z. by Barbara Kelly, Julie Fox and Peter Wood (1983).

Gordon Family Letters (1845-1892).

Raymond, J. (2000). Descendants of Letitia Ann King.

Waipa Cemetery Records Online.

This page was archived at Perma cc February 2017

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Letitia Ann Garmonsway (nee King) (1809-1892)

First Names:Letitia Ann
Last Name:King
Date of Birth:21 November 1809
Place of Birth:Hampshire
Country of birth:England
Date of death:25 January 1892
Place of death:Alexandra (now Pirongia), New Zealand
Place of burial:Alexandra (now Pirongia) Cemetery
Family Surname:Garmonsway
First settled:Howick, Auckland
Date of Arrival:27 May 1852
Name of the ship:Inchinnan
Spouses name:Edward Watts Garmonsway
Spouses date of birth:21 June 1809
Spouses place of birth:Shoreditch, London, England
Spouses date of death:16 September 1875
Spouses place of death:Paterangi, New Zealand
Spouses place of burial:Alexandra (now Pirongia) Cemetery
Spouses nationality:English
Date of marriage:10 January 1831
Place of marriage:St John's Parish, Limerick, Ireland
Mothers name:Ann King
Mothers date of birth:1795
Mothers place of birth:Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Mothers date of death:1868
Mothers place of death:Maitland, Australia
Mothers nationality:English
Name of sibilings:Caroline Ann Gordon , Robert Gordon , Maria Matilda Gordon , Henry Meldrum Gordon , and Sarah Ann Gordon
Name of the children:Thomas Garmonsway , Letitia Ann Garmonsway , Caroline Garmonsway , Charles Garmonsway , Jane Garmonsway , Edward Thomas Garmonsway , Francis Garmonsway , John Henry Garmonsway , Sarah Garmonsway , Martha Garmonsway , and Edward Garmonsway
Military Service:Royal New Zealand Fencible