The WHITE FAMILY of Croydon Bush.
William George White was born in England at Wallingford, Berkshire,and spent his early youth as a sailor.
In Australia he met and married Elizabeth Ann Cole (or Coyle) of Gippsland. Elizabeth was also English-born, originally from Surrey, near London. She and William had nine children, and at some point the family moved to New Zealand and settled in the south island, in a village named Croydon Bush, four miles west of the town of Gore. This village had sprung up in the bush in the 1870s -- the residents made their living by farming, dairying and woodcutting. A sawmill was built, as well as a church, a school and a social hall, and the trees supplied timber for the families' houses, as well as some of the buildings of Gore.
The Whites probably came to Croydon Bush in the early 1880s. William bought Section 787, of over 12 acres, and worked as a bushman. He had a good team of horses and wagons, and delivered posts and firewood around the district. Two White daughters, Elizabeth and Alice, were first-day pupils at Croydon School in 1883.
It's likely that the family's religion was Church of England (Anglican.)
According to Paula Dickie's 1988 book: "The History of Croydon Bush" William had a fine singing voice, and many of his family sang or played musical instruments. The villagers held concerts and social occasions to brighten their hardworking daily lives.
The White children were: William; David (married Catherine Anderson); Elizabeth (Mrs J.Comber); Minnie (married William Spinks in Gore); George; Joseph (married Jane Iskirka)in Palmerston North; Alice; and Amelia (married Harry Campbell Stock of Hawkes Bay; after being widowed she married William Henry in Sydney, Australia). In her book,Mrs Dickie doesn't mention the ninth child (perhaps he or she died in infancy?)
An article in the Mataura Ensign of 1888 reported that William and "two gentlemen from Gore" had discovered bones of the large, extinct flightless moa bird in the bush. "These bones were picked up over a considerable distance, and in some cases roots of trees had grown over them."
The Southern Standard of Friday January 10, 1890, reported that William G. White and Elizabeth his wife became involved in a court dispute, starting with a stand-off in the bush when some sawmill men blocked a track which William had carved in the bush to get to his timber. After the bushmen called a meeting wanting protection for the tracks they had made, the Commissioner of Crown Lands met with them and the sawmill owners, but eventualy ruled that it was not permissible to make private tracks.
William and Elizabeth left Croydon Bush in 1893 and settled in Napier.
Their third son Joseph White moved to Palmerston North and married Jane Iskirka, daughter of John (Jan)Iskirka and Clara Malgraff Iskirka on April 8, 1912 in St Patrick's Catholic church. Joseph and Jane had three children: Violet May, b. circa 1913, died 1923; Joseph Thomas, b. 1916, died January 15, 1995 in Nelson; and Eileen Mary (Lee) White, b. January 31, 1925, of Sydney, Australia.