Stew50 on Family Tree Circles
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Charles Gordon Stewart
From: The Morrinsville Star, Friday 5 June 1914
The Late G. Scotcher
The district has been thrown into mourning by the death of Mr. G. Scotcher, which occurred suddenly on May 27 . The funeral took place at Thames on Saturday last, attended by the majority of Patetonga inhabitants, and many other friends of the deceased. He will be sadly missed in the district, in the affairs of which he took a prominent part, and where he held large interests.
One of the last public acts of the late G. Scotcher was the loan of a building for six months to be used as a temporary school, while the Education Board proceeded with the building of a large new one. The board has appointed Mr. McIntyre, late of Huntly district, as schoolmaster, and he hopes to have the school open this week.
THE Uprichard Family
Although much has been written about the linen industry in Northern Ireland and the workers in the mills, not much seems to have been written about the families behind the industry. A wealthy industrial elite, many of these families were involved not only in running their factories, but also in the politics of Northern Ireland and particularly Unionism. To coin a phrase, these people have been described as the ‘linenocracy’ and one family, which typifies this almost neglected history of the industry, were the Uprichards of the “Springvale Bleachworks”.
Originally of Welsh extraction, the Uprichard family – James, Thomas and Henry arrived in Ireland in the 19th Century to the Silverwood area of Lurgan. Described as linen drapers, the three brothers bought the old ‘Millpark Bleachworks’ from a long established linen family in the Tullylish area, the Christys. It was here that they built their “Springvale Bleachworks”.
From Bann Valley CIC 2010
Extracts from an essay by Nina Herriman, October 2002,
Final research essay: Work, Leisure and Danger on the Hauraki Plains
George Scotcher arrived in Patetonga in the Waikato province between 1902 and 1904. His history prior to that is sketchy.
“According to [one of his granddaughter’s] Joan Hey, he ran away at age thirteen in 1871 from England and journeyed to New Zealand by working his passage. He made his fortune through being in the right place at the right time. There are two versions of the story, one set in the Coromandel, the other in Wairoa. Joan relates the story of a huge storm that flooded Lake Waikaremoana and the Wairoa River ‘ripping huge trees and floating them down’. Borrowing an axe he put his mark in as many trees as he could so they would become his property. Joan puts his age at the time at about thirty so this would have occurred around 1895.
The other version, told by [another granddaughter, Beverley Stewart], has George living in or near Thames where there was a great deal of timber felling. In order to get these logs down to the sea they were put into a dammed area in the creek and then released to sweep to the sea. They were then formed into rafts and taken to Auckland. On this occasion there were ‘continuous rain storms’ which burst the dams before they could be marked. These washed up on shore so George ‘took a hatchet and put his mark on as many logs as he could’.
He met his wife, Hilda Emilie Gunlock nee Hansdatter (or Hansen) than a widow, soon after this when he came to stay at her boarding house, which Joan locates in Wairoa. Greenmeadows in Napier is where Hilda and George were married and their daughter, Florance, was born.2
[These records lend credence to the location being the Wairoa River.]
“Other sources place George’s former residences as Shannon, in the Manawatu, and Florance relates that they lived in Thames before moving to Kerepehi and then Patetonga.3
There are indications that George Scotcher was a flax miller in the Manawatu and this was one of his business enterprises at Patetonga. Here he worked for F Bourke Flaxmills and appears to have owned a share in the business. The ledger for the period 1908 to 1910 shows substantial payments to George Scotcher, C Gunlock (George’s stepson), and M J Bourke. He also had flax mills at Kerepehi and Kaihere.
George appears to have had some standing in official circles that benefited him financially. In 1907 a report from the Commissioner of Crown Lands, J. Mackenzie, notes the success of an experiment undertaken with Mr. Scotcher to plant flax in the poorest part of the Piako swamp. In respect to the reclamation and drainage scheme of the swamp he worked closely with Mr Breakall, the engineer-in-chief. In 1909 George successfully placed a tender for the snagging and clearing of the Piako river as well as supplying the timber for sleepers. A scrapbook of newspaper cuttings records a fire in 1913 in which George Scotcher and his employees were fighting a fire and became surrounded by a ‘ring of flame’. They were forced to lie full length in the drains for several hours until the fire passed.
George owned a large amount of land with various crops planted. The Auckland Land minute Books record the transfer of 106 acres [in the Waihou survey district] from Michael Francis Bourke to George Scotcher on 25 July 1912.4 These same records note the sale of flax on an educational reserve to George Scotcher on 24 April 1913.5 Other writers attribute him as owning up to 750 acres of land in the Patetonga/Kerepehi area - ‘by 1910 Mr Scotcher himself had over 400 acres in grass, 100 acres in turnips, 200 acres under the plough and seven miles of fencing.’6 Early Land Information New Zealand records show G Scotcher as the owner of much land around the Patetonga township. He built a beautiful house on this property and named it after his hometown of Guildford in England.
The annual sheep returns show him as owning 226 sheep in 1909 with the area listed as Thames and from 1911 through to his death in 1914 he owned between 30 and 56 sheep in the Patetonga region. This is a very small flock compared to others in the area and compared with the rest of the country. [It appears the animals were kept to supply his butchery shop and the home pantry].
Aside from these enterprises George ran several businesses in the area. Post Offices in both Kerepehi and Patetonga were at some stage run by the Scotcher family. The Scotchers ran the store at Kerepehi for some time until it was rented to Mr Pateman on 17 August 1914 just after Hilda completed the move to Patetonga. At Patetonga George also ran a butchery shop, a bake house and a cookhouse. He supplied the butchery from his own farm and sold the meat at a flat rate of eight shillings a pound. ‘Thus the first buyer got the best joint while the last was rather unlucky’.
The running of these businesses was not, however, always smooth sailing. George had to lock and bar windows to hold off a group of drain workers and Waihi strikers who had decided to raid the store. ‘He was besieged in there and had to take refuge behind sacks of flour, when they took pot-shots at him.’ M. A. Whiteman recalls that ‘the Cookhouse was riddled with bullet-holes’ when she arrived in Patetonga in 1920.
Joseph Uprichard came from Bleary, County Down in Northern Ireland. His father had some kind of spinning mill but died when Joseph was only 12. He was the youngest of the family. He married Mary and they sailed to New Zealand with their first three children, Rebekah, John and baby Ellin, in the sailing ship Zealandia, reaching Lyttleton on May 24th 1862. From Lyttleton they trekked over the hill to what was then the small town of Christchurch. From Christchurch the family went to Akaroa on Banks Peninsular. Their they had Joseph (Jnr) and Mary. They had sufficient capital to establish themselves on good farming land but lacked any farming experience. Instead of settling in Akaroa, in 1865 they bought land at Loburn becasue it was flat and looked easy to work. However it had poor soil. But there were nieghbours and less isolation. Their house was a whitewashed sod house with seven large rooms and they raised 10 children who all established themselves in and around the district. Three of the girls married shepherds who had sailed out from Scotland on the Wairoa in 1882: William Elliot married Belle Uprichard, William Anderson married Mary Uprichard and Jasper Stewart married Esther Uprichard. The Uprichard name underwent changes around 1870 becoming Upritchard and U'Prichard used by some members of the family.
Jasper STEWART born 3 December 1861 in the village of Mersington. Parish of Eccles, Scotland. He was the son of Helen STEWART, agricultural labourer. Declaration of Paternity [CE Vol 1 P8 15/12/1862]by James STARK, farm labourer of Rumbleton. Jasper was raised by his grandmother Agnes MIDDLEMAS.
He arrived in Lyttleton 28 June 1882 on the Wairoa. (I have a conflicting record of arrival on June 1876 - but this does not fit in with other information). He brought with him a horse, a border collie and five pounds. He worked as a shepherd for W A Low of St Helens for 2 years then went to Parnassus Station as head shepherd for 4 years. He married Esther UPRITCHARD [b. 08/12/1870] on 21 June 1888. They had 3 children: Mary Agnes, Charles Gordon [b. 5/06/1892] and Esther.
He worked for a further 4 years at Leslie Hills Station. In 1891 he took up a small grazing run in the Waikari Valley. In 1893 he bought a 450 acre farm at Scargill. This was part of Glenmark Station. He got his first sheep from James Little of Allandale. His first wife Esther died at a young age in 1894. Anecdotally, Jasper did not treat her very well. He married again in August 1897 to Harriet Greig and had 7 more children.
Jasper was a good judge of sheep and judged at shows. He got soaking wet when judging sheep one day and this brought on an illness from which he died in Christchurch 23 March 1912
Jasper STEWART born 3 December 1861 in the village of Mersington. Parish of Eccles, Scotland. He was the son of Helen STEWART, agricultural labourer. Declaration of Paternity [CE Vol 1 P8 15/12/1862]by James STARK, farm labourer of Rumbleton. Jasper was raised by his grandmother Agnes MIDDLEMAS and I would like to know more about this side of the family. Jasper was my great grandfather.
I am looking for the family of Hendric Gustaf Wilhelm Silvius (born 1839) from Stockholm and Hilda Emilie Hansen (born 1857)from Christiansen, Norway.
She married Henric Silvius 15 May 1864 in Blenheim. In 1878 she had a son, Bernhard. The Birth Certificate states she was 30 years old (which makes birth date 1847 to 1848) and from Wisconson, America. I would like to know more about her parentage and how she come to New Zealand. Bernhard was my great grandfather
Henric(also called Henrik, Henry and Harry)was born in Stockholm in 1839. I would like details of how and when he arrived in New Zealand if anyone has that information. And any information about his parents? I do know he was married to Mary Ann Berryman in 1864 at the Church of the Nativity in Blenheim. He was a telegraph linesman and was stationed at White's Bay in Marlborough. He and Mary had a son, Bernhard Silvius, who was born at Whites Bay 1 September 1878. According to a newspaper article in the Marlborough Express, "In 1873 the staff and equipment were moved to Blenheim". The Silvius family were stationed in Kekerengu for a period and finally lived in Blenheim. He was a member of the Callout of the Blenheim Fire Brigade from 1870 to 1895 and again from 1900 to 1901. Henric was naturalised 26 August 1885 and the naturalisation papers say he had lived in the province for 22 years at that time. He died 1 December 1904 aged 66 and is buried at Omaka cemetery in Blenheim.
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