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
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
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.
Contact the writer of this tale