A story about the WATERS family

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A story about the WATERS family


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My father's maternal family produced very few offspring and as they were spread throughout the Wairapapa and other parts of the North Island, we never got to speak or meet.  It wasn't until I began my research in 1982 that I found out that my grandmother had four sisters and a brother.


The eldest daughter, Alice (b. 1863 in Dorset) married ? WATERS, and it wasn't until about seven years ago when I did one of those 'checking' exercises on my files, that I realised that Alice was seriously lacking in information.  NZSG Marriage index revealed that she had married a John WATERS in 1900.  It wasn't until 2006 that I acquired her marriage certificate.  It was a very bad photocopy and the writing was extremely difficult to read, however, I figured that she and John were married at the Salvation Army Barracks in Hastings.  Odd really, because her father was a lay preacher and a very strong Methodist.  From what I could make out, John's parents were William WATERS and Jane STRONACH.


At about this time, I received an unexpected e-mail from a lady in Wellington telling me that one of Alice and John's children was her adoptive grandfather - my first real connection to Alice and John!!  Sadly, after exchanging a few e-mails, we lost contact and her e-mail address was bouncing, and apart from a bad photograph of Alice, I did not find out any more about William.


From an elderly Aunt (one of the few remaining interested living relatives), I found out that John and Alice had two adopted boys - Erny and Bill.  Just what every family researcher needs - a Bill and an Erny!!


When BDM came on line, some more digging/fetching/spending, told me that Bill was William Joseph WATERS and Erny was Ernest Ronald WATERS.  Interestingly, their births were not registered until 1936 and 1950 respectively, although Ernest was born 7 Jan 1901.  Perhaps it was time for a pension, or a passport???


Further information from my 90 year old Aunt and BDM told me that Erny married Joyce Evelyn BENNETT in New Plymouth 1925 and for many years he owned the Gladstone hotel out of Masterton, they retired and lived at Mangere Bridge, they had no family.


And now for the exciting part:  Yesterday I received an e-mail from a distant cousin in Gosford NSW.  She in turn had received a request from another cousin, and she herself had received the original request from someone else.  A request that had encircled the globe and gone through various family connections.  Following is part of the e-mail:


Hi Lyn, I hope you can help me out here? I have been tracing this man for 4 years he was known about in our family but disappeared to NZ and nothing was ever heard from or about him again.


All I had to go on was; I have a Great Grand Uncle John Waters B 1846 / 1847 in Middleton Cheney,  Northamptonshire England. In 1872 he left England for Aus and went on to NZ. That was it!


I then found an article his Mum wrote to the Salvation Army paper 'War Cry' in NZ in 1888 asking them to help her find him. We don't know if he ever got the message or replied.


I now know he lived in NZ until he died in 1925. I have just had his death cert from NZ.


On 25 Jan 1900 he married Alice Gaulton B 1863/1864 and they had at least one son I know of = Earnest Rowland Callaghan Waters B 7 Jan 1901 who on 30 Dec 1925 married Joyce Evelyn Bennett B 1897 all in NZ.


So - how about that then!!!!


I made contact and this morning I received the following (part quote):

"My Dad was Dennis Robinson, his Mum was Ethel Waters B 5 Feb 1897.  Her Uncle was a chap called John Waters B 1846 Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire. In the family we had heard about a Gt Uncle who had gone off to start a new life in Australia and nothing was ever heard from him again. As kids we were all fascinated about this mystery so obviously as a member of the family I just had to look for him.


4 years ago I accidentally found an entry in the Salvation Army newspaper War Cry from 1888 in which a Jane Waters was asking them to help get her in touch with her son bingo! But alas all the article said was that her son John had left England in about 1872 and was last heard of in 1882 Tarradale, Hawkes Bay c/o Mr Henry Harrison. So at least she had heard of his address at least."




And the moral of this story (as of every other story) - never stop communicating and be sure to leave requests on Rootsweb mailing lists where they get archived and are searchable.


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