SHOEMAKERS in New Zealand 1841 - 1944 :: Genealogy
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SHOEMAKERS in New Zealand 1841 - 1944

Journal by ngairedith

SHOEMAKING was a very popular trade throughout the ages and repairs were very important to ensure your footwear stayed in good condition.
The shoemaking profession makes a number of appearances in popular culture, such as in stories about shoemaker's elves, and the proverb "The shoemaker's children go barefoot".
Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand. Traditional handicraft shoemaking has now been largely superseded in volume of shoes produced by industrial mass production of footwear, but not necessarily in quality, attention to detail, or craftsmanship.
The patron saint of shoemakers is Saint Crispin
Chefs and cooks sometimes use the term "shoemaker" as an insult to others who have prepared sub-standard food, possibly by overcooking, implying that the chef in question has made his or her food as tough as shoe leather or hard leather shoe soles, and thus may be in the wrong profession. Similarly, to "cobble" can mean not only to make or mend shoes, but "to put together clumsily; to bungle."

6 SEPTEMBER 1839 REGULATIONS FOR LABOURERS WISHING TO EMIGRATE TO NEW ZEALAND. The company offers a free passage to the colony (including provisions and medical attendance during the voyage), to person of the following description:
* agricultural labourers
* shepherds
* bakers
* blacksmiths
* braziers and tinmen
* smiths
* shipwrights
* boat-builders
* wheelwrights
* sawyers
* cabint-makers
* carpenters
* coopers
* curriers
* farriers
* millwrights
* harness makers
* tailors
* tanners
* brickmakers
* lime-burners
* and all persons engaged in the erection of buildings

The following is a small number of shoemakers found in New Zealand from 1841

9 October 1841 - WELLINGTON
... An accident, which we are sorry to say, was attended with loss of life, occurred in the bay on the night of Tuesday last. Mr SEED, shoemaker, a man named William TELFORD and another whose name we have not learnt, were returning from Kia wara-wara in a canoe, when opposite the Royal George Inn, they were upset. It was dark at the time, and blowing nearly half-a-gale of wind from the N.W.; their cries, however, fortunately, were heard from the beach and two boats put off with lanterns, and succeeded in rescuing two of them from a watery grave. Telford, unfortunately lost his life

23 September 1843 - WELLINGTON
... On the 14th September, the wife of Mr TURNER, late of London, boot and shoemaker, of a son

30 December 1843 - WELLINGTON
... DIED - On Tuesday last, the 26th December, Frederick, son of Mr Amos SPARKS, shoemaker, late of Cranbrook, Kent, now of Wellington; aged 13 months

15 June 1844 - NELSON
... PETITION TO PARLIAMENT to the Honourable the House of Commons:
* Thomas BLANCHETT, shoemaker
* John BREWERTON, shoemaker
* Hiram DANE, shoemaker
* Thomas EDEN, shoemaker
* James HAGAN, shoemaker
* James HARPER, shoemaker
* Z. HARPER, shoemaker
* George HARWOOD
* Charles LUCAS, shoemaker
* George McDONALD, shoemaker
* Alexander McGEE, shoemaker
* Charles McGEE, shoemaker
* Henry McGEE, shoemaker
* Richard SUTCLIFFE, shoemaker
* Charles VINCENT, shoemaker
* Henry WILLIAMS, shoemaker

19 June 1847 - NELSON
... R. LLOYD, boot and shoemaker, begs to return thanks to the ladies and gentlemen of Nelson for past favours and to inform them that he has removed from his late residence in Hardy street to premises in Bridge street, nearly opposite the house lately occupied by Mr A. PERRY, where he hopes by strict attention to business to secure a continuance of their patronage

19 June 1847 - from the NELSON EXAMINER but list not necessarily of there
H. DANE, shoemaker
J. HARPER, shoemaker
Z. HARPER, shoemaker
G. HARWOOD, shoemaker
C. McGEE, shoemaker
H. McGEE, shoemaker
R. SUTCLIFFE, shoemaker
W. BARNETT, shoemaker
T. EDEN, shoemaker

26 June 1847 - WELLINGTON
... The undersigned has just received, ex "Sunflower", a large assortment of Gentlemen's and Children's Boots and Shoes. The above are of the very best quality and the undersigned can with confidence recommend them. Thomas KEVEN, Boot and Shoemaker

5 February 1848 - NELSON
... List of persons qualified to served as Jurors
Joseph ALLEN, shoemaker, Waimea east
George BATCHELOR, shoemaker, Hardy street
William BARNETT, shoemaker, Hardy street
Richard EDEN, shoemaker, Waimea west
William FLOWERS, shoemaker, Suburban south
Abel GRAVES, shoemaker, Cambria street
William HARDING, shoemkaer, Bridge street
james HARPER, shoemaker, Nile street west
George HARWOOD, shoemaker, Motueka
Richard LLOYD, shoemaker, Bridge street
John McINTOSH, shoemaker, Bridge street
Alexander McGEE, shoemaker, Nile street
Charles McGEE, shoemaker, Nile street
George MdDONALD, shoemaker, Wakapuaka
George SCHEUCHER, shoemaker, Halifax street
William SHERMAN, shoemaker, Suburban south
Joseph WHITE, shoemaker, Bridge street
William Joseph WALSH, shoemaker, Bridge street

19 February 1848 - AUCKLAND
... MELANCHOLY CATASTROPHE - On Thursday afternoon about 3 o'clock, Mrs WARNE went out to give some directions to a shoemaker named WORELL, who lives close by, respecting some work which he was doing for her children. While there, a report as of gunpowder going off was heard. Mrs Warne went back home, but was seen in a few minutes after, before her house wringing her hands and in a state of great tribulation. WORRELL at once guessing something to be wrong ... more at link

26 August 1848 - WELLINGTON
... Mr MATTHEWS, shoemaker, Thorndon Quay, killed a pig this week, which, when cleaned, weighed no less than 671lbs (304kg). The animal yielded 97lbs of flare. The whole cost of rearing did not exceed ?8 and the pig was not two years old

3 March 1849 - WELLINGTON
... C. VINCENT, boot and shoemaker, Willis street, begs respectfully to acquaint the Inhabitants of Wellington and its vicinity that he has just received ex '"Ajax" the following goods:- Superior Prunella, Cloth, Kid, Cordovan and Petent Leather, Superior Wellington Boot Legs, Calf and Kip Leather

18 April 1849 - WELLINGTON
... John HILL, a shoemaker, living at Karori, gave evidence in a case at the Supreme Court

26 September 1849 - WELLINGTON
... FOR SALE, Cows in calf, and cows with calves at their side, in first rate condition and thoroughly acclimate. For particulars, apply to T. CROSBY, boot and shoemaker, Willis-street

28 November 1849 - WELLINGTON
... FREEHOLD PROPERTY, House and Garden on Cook's Mount, near the Government Reserve to be sold or leased, that Commodious Dwelling House in Wallace-street, at present occupied by the Rev J. INGLIS. The house is a substabtial wood and brick building, with a slate roof and is in excellent repair, it contains four rooms below and two above, and has three fireplaces; also, closets and offices. The Garden contains about an eighth of an acre. The situation is delightful, and the housw well adapted for a genteel family. ALSO, a COTTAGE & GARDEN adjoining the above. The Cottage contains four rooms with two fireplaces and the garden is a quarter of an acre, newly fenced and in good order.
For particulars, apply to Mr Robert HOOD, carpenter, Cook's Mount; or to Mr Alexander FARMER, shoemaker, Lambton Quay

2 August 1851 - DUNEDIN
... At princes Street, Dunedin, on the 27th ult., the wife of Mr William WHITE, shoemaker, of a daughter

... BRUNING, a shoemaker of Nelson was indicted for cutting and wounding a cow, the property of W. BRYDEN

23 October 1855 - CHRISTCHURCH
... On Oct. 23, the wife of Mr T. SHALDERS, shoemaker, London street, of a daughter

11 December 1847 - AUCKLAND
... ?5 REWARD - whereas the Dwelling of the undersigned was feloniously entered on the evening on Monday last, and British gold and silver coins to the amount of ?29 1s 0d., together with a silver guard chain and two small gold seals, on one of which were the initials C.M., stolen therefrom. Whoever will give such information as may lead to the apprehension and conviction of the offender or offenders, shall receive the above reward. Thomas MILLAR, Boot and Shoemaker, West Queen-street

4 July 1856 - AUCKLAND
... BOARD and LODGING HOUSE - Opposite Mr HOLMES, Butcher, and next to Mr HANLIN'S store, High-street. Enquire at Mr W. MILLER, shoemaker, Queen street

27 October 1862 - NELSON
... on the 27th instant, the wife of Mr Thomas FREEMAN, shoemaker, Hardy-street, of a son

16 May 1866 - DUNEDIN
... NEW INSOLVENT - James AINSWORTH, Dunedin, boot and shomaker. Debts ?301 5s; assets ?155 16s 6d; deficiency ?135 8s 6d. Cause of insolvency: The falling off in my business as a boot and shoemaker, bad debts, and pressure of creditors.

21 June 1870 - GREYMOUTH
... NEW PREMISES - T. ALDRIDGE, boot and shoemaker, Brunnerton, late of Tainui and Gresson streets, Greymouth

3 July 1871 - HOKITIKA
... On Friday evening, a man named William DAVIDSON, a shoemaker residing at Greenstone, was brought into Hokitika and conveyed to the Hospital. While felling a tree, an accident happened, by which one of his legs was broken and severly smashed

3 Oct 1871 - BLENHEIM
... JACKSON, a shoemaker, cut his throat, and died shrotly afterwards

7 December 1874 - THAMES
... on the 7th inst., the wife of Mr E. C. MORGAN, shoemaker, Shortland, of a daughter

11 February 1876 - WESTPORT
... At his residence, Palmerston-street, Westport, on Sunday, the 6th instant, William PATTERSON, shoemaker, native of County Cavan, Ireland, aged 45

26 February 1878 - GISBORNE
... The residence of BLAKE, a shoemaker, was destroyed by fire. It was insured in the Norwich Union Company for ?100. The total loss is ?500 (2012 equivalent of $70,500)

3 February 1879 - TAITA (thanks to barbidoll, see comments below)
... FATAL FIRE at the TAITA between 10 and 11 o'clock on Saturday night, a seven-roomed house and shop at the Taita, occupied by Mr James McKENZIE, shoemaker, was destroyed ... two of the boys jumped from the bedroom window and the third from a sky-light, all without injury ... Alice, aged 4, was still in the burning house ... Mr Tom AVERY also made a brave attempt to rescue the child ... Mr CLELAND, storekeeper, tried to effect an entrance through an upper window ... in less than half an hour the house was burned to the ground ... it was fortunate that the wind did not blow in the opposite direction for the out buildings attached to Mr WILLIAMS' Hotel almost adjoined the burning house ... the efforts of the brothers Avery should be specially mentioned, for they were foremost in the attempt to save life and property ... more at link
... ENQUIRY into the Fire - An enquiry into the circumstances of the death of Alice McKenzie, who was burned to death at the recent fire at the Taita. Charles BURT, Carpenter, who lived next door said that when he heard screams, he ran out and found McKenzies house on fire NOTE... Charles Burt (Charles Franklin Smith Burt) married Elizabeth Ann Avery in Taita in 1872, a sister of the Tom Avery mentioned above. James McKenzie, shoe maker, occupier of the house which was destroyed, said he was at work in the shop, the children being in bed. One of the boys lit a fire to melt some wax, and shortly afterwards witness went to examine it, putting the lamp on the floor to obtain a better light. When he was stirring the wax the lamp exploded, and the fire soon communicated with the melted wax. He tried to smother the flames with his coat, calling out to the boys, and when he found he could not put the fire out he ran upstairs and caught up two of the girls. After he had placed them outside he returned and rescued the baby, which was on the ground floor. He next tried to save Alice, but could not re-enter the house. The house was the property of Mrs HUGHEY, of Foxton (who had been the occupant of the previous 2 houses that had burnt down on the same site) and witness had a lease for five years ... more at link

6 March 1879 - WEST COAST
... SALE BY AUCTION, This Day, F. A. LEARMOUTH & Co. - At Stafford Town, at 2 o'clock - Business premises, shoemakers' stock and household furniture

13 August 1879 - AUCKLAND
... Mr Charles MARKS intimates by advertisement that he has begun business as a boot and shoemaker at 111 Queen-street, where all articles of the trade can be had at the most reasonable rates

29 November 1879 - CHRISTCHURCH
... INSOLVENCY NOTICE - Robert FARRANT, junior, of Addington, shoemaker

29 December 1879 - MASTERTON
... At the Foresters' Sports yesterday a shoemaker named JENNINGS dropped dead at the winning post in the quarter-mile race, just as he won the race (George Jennings aged 22)

23 January 1882 - REEFTON
... John CALLAGHAN, a shoemaker, yesterday, in the metalled road, jumped 4ft 10?in for a wager of ?30. This is the champion jump of the Australasian colonies, being half an inch over previous records

23 May 1882 - NELSON
... Copies of the Daily issue of "The Colonist" can be purchased at Mr W. L. BIRD, shoemaker at Wakefield

31 October 1883 - WANGANUI
... Mr AINSWORTH, the poet shoemaker in Wanganui has an announcement, which will be found worth perusal, besides being entertaining from a literacy point of view

15 May 1884 - MARTON
... Daniel MEEHAN, shoemaker, attempted suicide here yesterday afternoon by taking oxalic acid. Emetics having been administered, his life was saved. He had been drinking heavily for some days

16 June 1884 - CHRISTCHURCH
... On 16 June, William MAYZE, of Sydenham, shoemaker, was adjudged Bankrupt

16 October 1884 - WANGAROA
... Charles HALL (1865-1884), a shoemaker, was drowned in the Kaio River while rafting logs last Saturday

11 March 1885 - DUNEDIN
... John STRACHAN, shoemaker, and an old resident of Warepa, in Clutha County, died suddenly to-day whilst on his way to the railway station at Balclutha. The cause was apoplexy

14 April 1885 - DUNEDIN
... A shoemaker, named PATERSON is missing at Balclutha. His two carpet bags and his hat have been found on the river bank, and it is believed he has been drowned (James Paterson 1850-1885?)

28 July 1885 - MASTERTON
... A man named John WILLETT (1861-1911), , shoemaker at Masterton, attempted suicide by cutting his throat. He is now progressing favorably

16 October 1885 - CHRISTCHURCH
... At 12 last night a small shop belonging to WHITELY, a shoemaker, was burned. The House and stock were insured for ?125 in the Equitable Office

18 November 1885 - MASTERTON
... John WILLETT (1861-1911), shoemaker, who attempted suicide at Masterton by taking poison, has been sent to the asylum

21 September 1886 - GREYMOUTH
... Phillip WALKER, shoemaker, a much respected citizen of Maori Creek, attempted suicide on Saturday

20 September 1887 - FIELDING
... A shop and dwelling house owned and occupied by ANDERSON, shoemmaker, Halcombe, were burned down at midnight by the bursting of a kerosene lamp. Nothing was saved

3 March 1888 - HAMILTON
... Mr Thomas BLACKWELL announces that he has opened a boot and shoemaker businmess next to Gwynne's Hamilton Hotel (see Richard Gwynne's Obituary under Hotels )

12 April 1888 - CHRISTCHURCH
... This morning Edward CURRIE, who was committed to Addington Gaol on Tuesday for drunkenness, strangled himself in a padded cell with a strip from his shirt. He was a shoemaker, and was 41 years old

3 August 1888 - CHRISTCHURCH
... Richard Lavars HUTCHENS, of Leeston, boot and shoemaker was adjudged Bankrupt

19 August 1888 - NELSON
... DEATH - On August 19, at the Nelson Hospital, William STRATFORD, shoemaker, late of Hope, aged 69 years

27 January 1890 - TIMARU
... A shoemaker, named TURK, aged seventy-five, living alone, was found outside his door this morning, dead from apoplexy

15 May 1890 - INVERCARGILL
... DEATH - At McMaster street, East Invercargill, suddenly, on the 15th May, James GRAY, shoemaker, aged 71 years

24 February 1894 - CHRISTCHURCH
... Henry STAUNTON, of Christchurch, a shoemaker was adjudged a Bankrupt

20 April 1894 - CHRISTCHURCH
... A man named B. MIDGLEY, 61 years of age, a shoemaker living at Sydenham, was found hanging in his work room yesterday (Benjamin Midgley 1833-1894)

24 June 1895 - PETONE
... On the 24th June 1895, at Richmond-street, Petone, Henry MOORE, shoemaker; aged 78 years

13 November 1895 - PALMERSTON NORTH
... P. DELAHUNTY, shoemaker, attempted suicide this morning, bu only cut his throat slightly

11 March 1899 - AUCKLAND
... William DAVIDSON, shoemaker, was fined ?20 and costs at paparoa, by T. HUTCHISON, S.M., for sly grog selling. The costs will probably amount to an additional ?20

... A. F. MANTELL, shoemaker, Foxton

7 August 1917 - Te PUKE
... Now that the Winter is at hand boots that will keep your feet warm and dry in wet weather. P. CAPON, boot & shoemaker, Main street, Te Puke

27 February 1918 - NGARUAWAHIA
... H. V. HARDWICK, boot and shoemaker, next to Bank of New Zealand

28 May 1919 - NORTH AUCKALND
... A. ORR, boot and shoemaker, Warkworth begs respectfully to inform the residents of Warkworth and district that he has started business in premises adjoining Adams's Store, and hopes by using the best materials, combined with good workmanship and moderate charges, to attract a share of your patronage

16 October 1919 - AUCKLAND
... D. WYLIE, boot and shoemaker. Repairs of all kinds. Country boots by post will receive careful attention. Echo Building, Helensville

1 June 1920 - OTAUTAU, OTAGO
... Robert B. COLLETT, shoemaker & boot repairer. Call and inspect our assorted stock of boots & shoes. I can guarantee satisfaction to customers at bedrock prices. Repairs neatly executed (Robert Barrie Collett 1886-1956)

12 October 1940 - WELLINGTON
... NOTICE - Reserve Book Club Closed. Please return books to Mr D. J. WEEKLEY, shoemaker, 3a Ellice street (David John Weekley 1891-1976)

11 November 1942 - AUCKLAND
... ARMY SERVICE, FOOTWEAR APPEALS, adjournments granted. Appeals by various footwear firms for the exemption of employees from military service on the grounds that they were engaged in essential work were heard at a sitting of the No. 1 Armed Forces Appeal board yesterday. Mr C. R. Orr WALKER, S.M., presided and associated with him were Messrs T. P. McCREADY and A. M. SAMUEL. The board granted an adjournment sine die in respect of the following appeals ...

15 February 1944 - HUTT VALLEY
... On three charges of theft and one of being unlawfully on the premises of 31 Bridge street, Lower Hutt, Joseph Richard RILEY, 22, shoemaker, appeared before Mr A. M. GOULDING, S.M., today, and on the major charge of theft was sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard labour and on the other two theft charges to one month, the sentences to be concurrent. On the other charge he was convicted and discharged. Senior Detective W. McLENNAN stated that the accused had been twice previously before the Court

24 April 1944 - AUCKLAND
... Charges of stealing articles of clothing valued at ?5 8s 8d belonging to the United States Government, and wearing the uniform of the United States Army without lawful authority, were preferred against Derek Frank ROLLITT (20), a shoemaker, in the Police Court to-day. He pleaded guilty. Senior Sergeant MUNTO said Rollitt had stolen the uniform from the rooms of the American Red Cross.

some (rather bad) shoemaker jokes
* Customer: Are you sure that these shoes are worth repairing?
Shoemaker: Oh yes; I can put new soles and heels on them and also some new uppers. The laces seem to be alright

* A toast at a shoemaker's dinner: "May we have all the women in the country to shoe and all the men to boot"

* "Hello Tom" said his friend, "how's your son going in London". "He's doing fine, Joe. In his letter this morning he said he's worked himself up to the top." "What's he doing?" "He started as a shoemaker, and now he's a hairdresser"

* Why is a shoemaker easily satisfied? - Because the first thing he wants is the last

* "Women endure pain more heroically than me, I know it from experience" declared the quiet little man. "Are you a doctor?" asked his fellow-passenger. "No sir, I am a shoemaker"

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-10-05 21:31:27

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by barbidoll on 2012-10-06 23:47:27

Hello Ngairedith....interesting Journal. Shoemaking was indeed a stressful and risky business in the early days of New Zealand i.e. bad debts, bankruptcy, suicide and sudden death by natural causes!
See Paperspast NZ...'A Fatal Fire at the Taita'. My g grandfather ( Charles Burt) gave evidence at an inquest. A shoemaker lost his home and one of his seven children, late at night, when a lamp set fire to melted wax he was working with.

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