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William Hearn & Margaret Reefe - England c 1770's

Hi am searching for information regarding Henry Nathan's wife - Jane Hearn's parents.

All I have is:

William Hearn bc 1777
Margaret Reefe bc 1780
they married on 31st December, 1797 in London, England. Children:

Jane b 28th June, 1816 England
George Hearn
Joseph Hearn

Any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.


2 comment(s), latest 8 years, 7 months ago

Obituary - Mrs Henry Nathan, Wanganui, New Zealand - 1898

Found this in the Wanganui Herald, 4th April, 1898, via National Library of New Zealand.


It is our painful duty to record the death of Wanganui's oldest settler, in the person of Mrs Jane Hearn Nathan, relict of the late Mr Henry Nathan, which occurred at her residence, Glasgow Street at the advanced age of 81 years 10 months. The deceased was a sister of the late Mr George Hearn, of the firm of George Hearn and Co, soap boilers of, Hearn Street, Shoreditch, England. Mr and Mrs Nathan arrived in the colony considerably over half a century ago in the Slain's Castle, landing in Wellington on the 22nd January, 1841 the first anniversary of the arrival of the first vessel in New Zealand. They only remained in Wellington for a few months, and then came on to Wanganui, where they resided till the time of their death. The late Mrs Nathan was of a kind and generous disposition, always willing to assist in cases of sickness and charity, to which many old residents of Wanganui can testify. She it was who dressed the wounds of the survivors of the Gilfillan family after the dreaduful massacre on the No. 2 line in the early forties, and many times since then, during the native disturbances on this coast, the deceased was called on to perform duties that we who live in happy and peaceful times have little idea of.

Mr and Mrs Nathan were the first custodians appointed by the Government to take charge of the old Wanganui Hospital, then a primitive building, in marked contrast to the beautiful structure but recently erected here.

The deceased leaves a grown-up family five sons and five daughters to mourn their loss, viz. Messrs John and Joseph (Palmerston), Anthony (Ohingaiti), William (Stratford), and George (Wanganui) and Mrs Ormsbee and Mrs Bush (Wellington), Mrs Morey and Mrs Coker (New Plymouth) and Mrs Gardiner (Wanganui). The deceased also leaves 30 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren. The funeral is appointed to leave her late residence on Thursday at 3 p.m."

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 1 month ago

Obituary - Mr Henry Nathan of Wanganui, New Zealand- 1893

I found this in the Taranaki Herald dated 6th November, 1893 via National Library of New Zealand.

"Referring to the death of Mr Henry Nathan, the Wanganui Chronicle says -

For some three weeks past Mr H. Nathan had suffered from an affection of the heart, and on Friday, after dinner, which he enjoyed and at which he was quite cheerful, he took a seat on the verandah of his residence, in Glasgow Street, and suddenly without a moan or a murmur, fell back and expired. Mr Nathan was 77 years of age, having been born in 1816, in London, of Irish parents. In 1840, after having learned the trade of a goldsmith, he emigrated to New Zealand, arriving in Wellington in January 22nd, 1841 (the first anniversary of the colony)in the Staine Castle. (This should read Slain's Castle). No work being obtainable in his trade he joined the Police Force and was sent to Wanganui as Sergeant under Sub Inspector Garner. After serving time in that capacity he gave it up and went in for timber cutting, in which line he was very successful, nearly all of the timber of which old Wanganui was built being cut under his supervision. After carrying on that business for many years he went farming on his land at Goat Valley. Having spent some years on the land he sold out and came to live in Wanganui where he soon became a member of the Town Board and remained one until Boards were abolished. He was in the first Municiple Council and continued to be a memeber until he was elected Mayor of Wanganui, but after his Mayoral term had expired he retired from public life.
In the early days Mr Nathan saw some rough times with the Maoris. He was in charge of the party that brought the bodies of the murdered Gilfillan family into town and he also assisted in arresting the murderers. He took great interest in Masonic matters, having been several times Master of both and the local lodges; in fact one of them almost owes it's existence to him. Until latley he enjoyed the best of health. He leaves a widow, five sons and an equal amount of daughters to mourn their loss. Mr Coker of New Plymouth is married to one of the daughters".

Wanganui Herald 3/11/1893

We regret to hear of the sudden death at about 1 o'clock today of Mr Henry Nathan, JP, one of the earlist and most repected of our settlers. Mr Nathan came to Wanganui about the year 1840, and was a resident of the town at the time of his death having filled various public offices. He sat in the Municipal Council for many years and filled the Mayoral chair for one term, at the expiration of which he retired into private life owing to increasing age and bad health. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, on more than one occassion filling the R.W.M. chair. He leaves a widow and grown-up family to mourn their loss. The deceased had passed the allotted span of man, having reached his 78th year. We in common with the many friends of the family, extend sincere condolences in their bereavement.

Taranaki Herald 4/11/1893

Mr Coker received a telegram from Wanganui on Friday afternoon which stated that Mr Henry Nathan, one of the oldest settlers in Wanganui, died suddenly about 2 o'clock, whilst walking in his garden. Mr Nathan came out in the year 1841 in the ship Oriental, to Wellington, and after a short stay in that city, went to Wanganui, where he settled down some land, and has remained there ever since. Mr Nathan was an ex Mayor of Wanagnui, and very much respected by all who knew him. Mr Coker is a son-in-law of Mr H. Nathan'.

NOTE: Interesting to see 2 different accounts of where and when he died.

4 comment(s), latest 4 years, 10 months ago

Reginald Desmond Coker - Shot Dead - New Zealand, 1913

I found this in the Evening Post, 16th May, 1913 via paperspast site, National Library of New Zealand.

SHOT DEAD - Tragic Occurence at a Bank

The staff of the Bank of New South Wales, before business for the day began, were startled to hear a shot from one of the teller's compartments. On ascertaining the cause, it was found that an assistant check clerk, named Reginald D. Coker, lay to all appearances dead with a bullet wound to his forehead and a revolver on the table before him. Dr Henry was sent for. Life was extinct when the doctor saw the body. The police then removed it to the morgue. An inquest will be held tommorow.
It is customary for the gold to be brought up from and vaults every morning, before the day's business begins, and the revolvers with which tellers are usually supplied by the bank for use at the counter in case of emergency are brought up at the same time. Mr Coker was known to be much interested in firearms, and, as a matter of fact, he had just completed his Territorial training, in which he also took great interest. It is thought that he was merely inspecting the weapon that killed him by the posture in which he was found - sitting down, as if to more easily examine the revolver. He was struck in the forehead as if he had been looking down the barrel or at the chambers. They were all fully loaded. Personally Mr Coker was regarded by his superior officers as a particulary bright and intelligent young man, and his conduct and ability marked him as one whose career was full of promise. His uncle, Thomas Bush, of Wellington, described his as a happy, cheerful lad with no worries or anxieties of any kind. Mr Bush saw him last evening at 10.30 and he was then in his usual bright and cheery condition.
The deceased was a native of New Plymouth. His mother is at present in Wellington, and is a widow. She intended to settle here. He was the youngest of three sons, and was aged twenty-two.

"The remains of the late Mr R. D. Coker, who was accidently shot in the Bank of New South Wales on Friday morning, were interred in the Karori Cemetry yesterday afternoon. The funeral took place from the residence of the deceased Uncle, Mr Thomas Bush. A military funeral was accorded deceased, who was a member of the 5th Wellington (Infantry) Regiment the escort and firing party being provided by D Company under Captain Hawthorne, and the 5th Regiment Band, under Bandmaster McComish, being also in attendance. The service in the house and at the gravesite was conducted by Chaplain-Major W Shires'.

Thomas Bush - An Accident - 1881

I found this in the Wanganui Herald dated 31st Oct, 1881 via paperspast, National Library of New Zealand.

'An accident, fortunately unattended with serious consequences to the principal performers in it, took place on the River Bank yesterday afternoon about 6 o'clock. Mr Thomas Bush with his wife and family, had been on a boating excursion up the river and had returned, Mr Bush rowing the boat down to it's mooring place. One of his children, a fine, intelligent little boy, named Charlie, went to the River Bank to look after his father, and on decending a flight of steps nearly opposite Mr Bush's residence, he fell, and was precipitated over a ridge of four feet high into the river. His own screams, and those of other children who were playing near, alarmed his mother, who rushed out of the house and instantly plunged into the river, which at this point was now up to her shoulders, rescuing her boy just as his struggles were over and he was being carried down the stream. The youngster was extracted with difficulty, and is now none the worse for its adventure, but we regret to hear that Mrs Bush has sustained a severe shock, and is seriously unwell'.

The Death of Mr Coker - Coker's Hotel, Christchurch, NZ 1894

I found this in the Manawatu Herald dated 6th Sept, 1894 via paperspast site, National Library of New Zealand.

A Remarkable Episode
The death of Mr Coker calls to mind a romantic episode in his career, and a still more romantic incident in the life of a young English squire who, for some months made Christchurch his home. The facts are stated to have been somewhat as follows:
A yound scion in one of the oldest families in England had made his way to New Zealand, and became stranded in this city. The late Mr Coker, with that keen insight into human character for which he was remarkable, and with that kindly feeling for which hundreds will revere his memory, befriended the young Englishman, set him on his feet, and aided him in returning to his ancestral home. Now comes one of the strangest parts of the story. There were three lives between this young fellow and the ?, and in a few months these were all sleeping with their fathers. One perished in a railway incident, one in a yachting fatality, and the other was killed in the hunting field.
The younger son then came into the estates, and one of the first things he did was to repay Mr Coker for his kindness, as far as the mere money was concerned: and added a warm invitation to his benefactor to come and see him in England. Mr Coker paid the visit when he went to England, and the young fellow devoted himself to his old friend in a way that stamped him as a thorough Englishman. He did more, taking Mr Coker into the old hall, he begged him to select from the trophies and old oak carvings there-in, something to place in the hall of Coker's Hotel in Christchurch. Mr Coker hesitated, objected, remonstrated: but all to no purpose. He made his selection, and the old oak carvings and other valuable relics stand today in the entrance hall of the hotel. Soon after Mr Coker's return, and when the glorious old trophies and carvings were placed in their new home, our late townsman was distressed to hear that the generous heart of the young Englishman had ceased to beat. He also had been killed in an accident. Verily, truth is stranger than fiction.

Ernest Pirie Bush

Ernest was born in 1889 in New Zealand. His parents were Thomas James BUSH and Mary Ann (NATHAN). Ernest ended up performing in the Theatre in New Zealand and in Australia. His family settled in South Australia, Gawler I think. He was my Great Grandfathers brother and I do not know much about him at all.

T. Bush's Drapery - Shop Displays, Wanganui, New Zealand

I found this in the Wanganui Chronicle dated 10th April, 1876 via the paperspast website, National Library of New Zealand.

"The shutters of which were taken down for the first time on Saturday night. Taking into consideration the space at the disposal of the artiste, the manner of disposal did infinite credit, whoever he was, and few better arranged or more attractively decorated shop windows have been seen in Wanganui than Mr Bush's on Saturday night. There was little or no attempt at a gorgeous display of colours, but there was a simple blending of shade, the proprietor apparently believing in the motto 'that good wine needs no bush", and an artistic arrangement of fabric which augurs well for the resources of the new establishment".

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 7 months ago

Thomas James & Mary Ann (Nathan) Bush - Wanganui, New Zealand

Thomas and Mary Bush married on 17th March, 1876 at her fathers residence. Thomas was the son of Thomas Bush snr and Eliza (Clark). Mary was the daughter of Henry and Jane (Hearn) Nathan. They opened T. Bush's Drapery in Alpha House, Victoria Avenue, Wanganui a few weeks after they married. I am interested to see if a photo exists of this building and his next business address being Ridgway Street, Wanganui. This was advertised as 'opposite Princess's Theatre' in 1882. Years later they moved to Wellington where he expanded his business. Any information would be greatly appreciated.