Alfred JOHN Titter list of descendants :: Genealogy
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Alfred JOHN Titter list of descendants

Journal by LGWatkins

Record of the Descendants of Alfred John Titter (1836 – 1909)
A New Zealand Family from East London to
Nelson - Buller Goldfields – Nelson
Greymouth – Wanganui – Napier – New Plymouth
And numerous towns throughout the North and South Islands of New Zealand during 132 years
1863 – 1995

Complied by Arthur Blair Titter, Melbourne, Australia 1995
Re-written and added to by Leanne Smith (nee Watkins) 2018


Parents: Thomas Ditchford Titter & Elizabeth (nee Rothon)

Siblings: John Titter, Edward Titter (M. Mary), Charlotte Jane, Titter, Jonathan Titter, Walter Titter, Augustus Titter, Rosetta Titter, Eliza Ann Titter (1874 M. Captain James Watters)

The Apprenticeship Certificate for Alfred John Titter states Ratcliff, Thomas Ditchford Titter bound his apprentice Alfred John Titter for seven years beginning 11 July 1850. The certificate was endorsed on the 11 July 1857 stating “I have no objection to this freedom” (signed) Thomas D Titter, Witness G.H. Hares.
This certificate is in the possession of Jack Harris in 1987 but is now with Brian Titter of Napier NZ.

Although christened Alfred John, he conformed to what seems almost a family custom in that he used and accepted either a nickname (jack) or by using part of his name other than the first part. Between his apprenticeship certificate and the time of his second marriage in 1902 he called himself John Titter rather than Alfred John Titter.

It would also seem that the occupation of lighterman/Waterman did not appeal to him either. Certainly the conditions for the transfer and transport of cargos and shipping were changing with railways and docks in competition with barges and watermen. Then again the insanitary conditions of living close to the river Thames may also had an influence on the decision of a young man I search of adventure and a new life to venture to the southern hemisphere in search of gold.
Although many NZ diggers went to Australia first and men bought their experience to NZ, it would seem that Alfred John made direct to NZ; whether he went to Otago or some other centre first we cannot be sure.

Alfred (John) TITTER
Birth date: 4 May 1838
Birth place: Limehouse London, England
Christening Place: St Anne Church of England, Limehouse, London
Occupation: Waterman, Gold Digger, Brick maker
Religion: Church of England

In 1851 the Otago Goldfields in the South Island of New Zealand were opened up and a large number of Gold seekers were attracted to the colony. Among them was John Titter (we have no firm evidence of being at Otago), but we do know that when Gold was discovered in the Buller River in 1863 many diggers from Otago set out for this new strike.
Travelling by small coastal shipping, miners from the Otago Filed passed through Christchurch and Nelson to Buller Mouth (Westport).

1863 John Titter with some twenty others made the trip from Nelson to Buller Mouth in a small sailing craft, the schooner “Dove” recently arrived from Sydney Australia (although he was not a passenger from Australia at this time>) The ‘Dove” sailed from Nelson for Buller on 16 May 1863 with 20 passengers. John Titter with other passengers singed a letter of recommendation praising their voyage to Buller Mouth.

“Gleanings” from this same newspaper (The Colonist) for 12 May 1863 reported “88 diggers from Otago heading for Buller on SS Ladybird… schooner Dove, Necromancer and Emerald Isle reported to be leaving immediately. The Schooner ‘Dove” with J Levien as Master arrived from Sydney on May 5th“.

An advertisement in the Colonist on 15 May 1863 stated : The West Coast Goldfields, The Schooner Dove, J. Levien Master will positively sail for the Buller River on Saturday (tomorrow). Apply to J. Levien & Co., Bridge Street, Nelson”.

Unsuccessful as a gold digger, John Titter turned to making bricks. This occupation is listed on his marriage certificate and his residence at this time is shown in directories of the day as St Vincent’s Street, Nelson.

Intention to marry: 29 November 1865
Alfred John Titter (Brickmaker) said he was 22 – actual age 27
Lucy Roil (Spinster) said she was 21 / but the marriage certificate states age 18 years

On the 29th November 1865 he gave intention to marry to Rev. Edward Tomas declaring the he was a brick maker aged 22 (he was actually 27), he stated he had been in residence in the city of Nelson for 2 years.
Lucy Roil declared her age as 21 and residing in Suburban South (Stokes) claiming residence in Nelson of 21 years. Her marriage certificate, some few days later states she had been born in Nelson 18 years before.

The registration No. for this application to marry was 927. The reference in the Wellington archives for BDM is 20/10 p259/66
The New Zealand directory 1867-68 on page 106 Brick makers (among 5 others) there is a listing for Nelson Province of Fitter, John St Vincent’s street.

Marriage Date: 2 Dec 1865
The marriage certificate indicates the marriage between John Titter and Lucy Roil took place on 2 Dec 1865 at the residence of *Walter Roil, Suburban South, Nelson NZ, farmer.

*NOTE: No “Walter Roil’ is known – it is probable that William Roil either through fault or design is here – called Walter.
William’s wife – Jesse Roil, nee Cook used ‘Janet’ as a Christian name in preference to Jesse so William Roil may have been known to some as ‘Walter’.
Charles Walker of Stoke (married Harriett Roil in 1849)
Janet Roil (Cook) also of Stoke (married to William/Walter Roil)
Lucy Titter must have had a close relationship with all the Roil family, as in the naming of her children she used many of the names from the Roil family.

Lucy (Roil) - Birth Date: 1847 or 1844?
(No birth certificate available to valid name)
Not even sure she is part of the Roil family - but will let it stand for now.
Birth place: Stoke, Nelson NZ
Religion: Church of England

Registering the birth of the children:
Charles Walker’s daughter Hannah Walker (Spinster of Stoke) registered births of Edward and John William in Nelson and gave Lucy’s maiden name as Walker.

Alfred JOHN Titter also had trouble and registered the following maiden names for his wife on his children birth certificates:
Henry (Harry) (Lucy Roil)
Ella (Lucy Walker)
Daisy (Lucy Roil)

Lucy Titter herself registered her maiden name as ‘Roil” on Elizabeth, Harriet and Andrew’s birth certificate.

Children of Alfred John Titter and Lucy Roil / A – L with descendants:

A. Elizabeth Sarah – Born 29 July 1867, Nelson
(She was probably named for Elizabeth Rothon – John’s mother who had died 7 months earlier, and Sarah Roil - Lucy’s mother?).
Note: Mother’s maiden name was listed as Roil, on birth certificate
1892 – Elizabeth was the Witness at sister’s wedding – and residence listed as Mosstown, Wanganui, NZ.
Known as Auntie Liz

Married: 1889 John Berrett (1863 – 1942)
A.1 Children: Harold Berrett died during WW1 on a sunken ship
According to Jack Harris – Harold Berrett, changed his name to enlist for the first World War and he died when the ship he was travelling on was sunk.

B. Edward John - Born 3 April 1869, Nelson NZ
Note: Mother’s maiden name was listed as Walker, on birth certificate

Edward John Titter spent time in Sydney, Australia at the turn of the century.
- Married Emily Carvell – Born 1869
B.1 Lucy Emily - Born 1898 NZ
- Married: Mr… Farmer

B.2 Mabel Ethel Brown Carvell – Born 1898
- Married David Arthur Duck Robb
B.2.1 Davina (married Neville Carter) – 1 son and 3 daughters
B.2.2 Ivy Aileen (married Robin Watkins) – 4 daughters and adopted 2 sons

B.3 Myrtle Annie - Born 1903 NZ
B.3 William Percy Carvell Born 1903 ?? Death 6 Dec 1972 Wanganui

B.4 Jack – Born 1897? / Born 1904 NZ /I believe his name was Charles Edward John Titter
(Is Jack Titter born Henry John Titter) – Arthur Blair wrote
– if so then Edward John Titter would have had 2 children before going to Sydney to enlist for service in the Boer War in South Africa.
- Married: Maisie Cameron
B 4.1 Nita May Born 1924 (Married Richard Matthews) - 5 sons
B 4.2 Emily Myrtle Born 1926 (Married Edward Davies) – 5 daughters ad 1 son
- Married Bessie Simpson (no children)

Corporal Edward John Titter is listed in the Biography Index of the Latrobe Library Melbourne – the reference is to a photograph in the Australian Town & Country Journal of the 26th May 1900 published in Sydney on p.32. This photograph was taken of the Third Infantry Contingent just prior to its departure for the Boer War in South Africa. In “From Sand to Papa – a history of Wanganui county” (1986) p.164,

His eldest son Edward seems more of a roving spirit. He too engaged in making bricks, but on his own and away from home moving from locality to locality.
Edward Titter is mentioned as a Brickmaker. This was probably in the years just prior to World War One.
“To avoid the cost of carting bricks from Fordell. Most of the settlers patronised Ted Titter who moved up and down the district making bricks where and when they were required. The Lilburn’s home situated on Rata Road alongside the Ridge Road, was constructed with bricks made by Titter. Bricks were also used to make sheep dips.”

C. John William – Born 6 July 1871, Nelson NZ
Note: Mother’s maiden name was listed as Walker, on birth certificate
Death: 14 February 1899
Death Place: Reefton Hospital (South Island) NZ
Burial date 16 February 1899
Burial Place: Burkes Creek Cemetery, Reefton
Occupation: Miner
Religion: Church of England

John William was also known as “Wilfred” – was killed in a (Gold) mine accident in the South Island of NZ. The accident was caused by a jealous rival for a young ladies attention. The jury at the inquest in the Supreme Court of Hokitika NZ on the 4th April 1899 – found “that the deceased known as John Mason died from injuries received while working in the Globe ‘B’ shaft at the Progress Mine on the 14th February 1899, caused by the reckless manner in which the cage was lowered by the Engineer in not applying the brake in time”

This mine was one of the deepest gold mines on the Reefton field. It worked 13 levels. The bottom level was 2270feet below ground level. That's nearly 700 metres....a long way down!

John William (Wilfred) Titter had recently come to work at the Progress Mine at Reefton, NE of Greymouth, from Auckland and was working under the name John Mason. The recording of the death of a ‘John Mason’ in the register at the Courthouse in Greymouth has a pencilled note (also known as John Titter. contact St Stephens Anglican death register). Enquiries at St Stephens Reefton and the Diocesan Centre in Nelson failed to find any trace of this register. A coronial inquest over several days immediately after the death failed to return a majority verdict and the inquest was transferred to the Supreme Court at Hokitika on the 4 April 1899, where the verdict in the death register was made John William Titter (alias) John mason was buried in the old Reefton Cemetery. There does not seem to be a record of John William Titters birth in the register of BDM at Lower Hutt. However a record of the birth of John William Titter was seen in the Courthouse at Nelson, NZ on the 27th October 1988 – No. 205 for the year 1871. On the 6th July 1871 at Nelson City, Name John William, Father John Titter, Brickmaker, Mother Lucy titter formerly Walker – Informant Hannah – Spinster of nelson NZ. Registered 9 August 1871 by Robert Pickett register.

In 1872 John Titter and his Wife Lucy and 3 children moved from Nelson to Greymouth.
The Pioneer Room at the Greymouth Public library has a Burgess Roll / Electoral Roll dated 24 August 1874 for the borough of Greymouth listing John Titter Brickmaker – the description and situation of the property was – Brickyard, Alexander Street, Greymouth.

An event may be noted for this period whilst in Greymouth.

1874 – Alfred John Titter was reunited with surviving members of his family
Edward Titter and his wife - Mary
Walter Titter
Augustus Titter
(Augustus went to Melbourne and his family are still living in Melbourne)

Eliza Ann Titter
(Eliza Ann married Captain Jane Watters of Schooner ‘Amia” and returned with him to Melbourne, Australia)

None of the above remained in NZ
Augustus Titter told his family in later years he had lost Edward and Walter in a shipping mishap in the China sea. More details are not known – perhaps returning to England perhaps sailing as crew on a trading venture to China. The trade in tea was important element of NZ trade at this time.
It is unknown also what happened to Edwards’s wife – Mary.

D. Harriet Annie – Born 18 August 1873, Greymouth NZ
Note: Mother’s maiden name was listed as Roil, on birth certificate
Death Date: 24th August 1940
Death Place; Wanganui
Burial Place Wanganui Cemetery

Married: 30th April 1892 Robert Mann / Witness was Sister: Elizabeth Titter)
Registry office Wanganui NZ

Harriet Annie preferred t be known as Annie. The stone on her grace reads: “In memory of Annie Harriet beloved wife of Robert Mann died 24th August 1940 aged 67 years.”
Robert Mann born 1868, Birth place London England, Death date: 18th may 1939, Wanganui, Burial Place: Wanganui Cemetery, Occupation; labourer. (Parents George Mann and Catherine Plumridge
D.1 Charles
D.2 Grace

E. Henry (Harry) – Born 20 May 1875
Note: Mother’s maiden name was listed as Royal, on birth certificate
Birth place Greymouth, NZ
Occupation Brickmaker
Religion: Church of England
Henry (Harry) Titter worked in partnership with his father John and on John’s death continued in with the brickmaking ad contracting business.

Married 1896: Minnie Christina Lambert, Born 1879, Wanganui District NZ, Burial place: Wanganui Cemetery, Parents: William Lambert and Mary Louisa Ander

E.1 Henry John Born 1895/ 1897
Married Violet Munro
E.1.1 Elizabeth (Betty) Minnie, Born 1926
E.1.2 Lawrence (Law) John, Born 1927
E.1.3 Barbara Helen, Born 1932
E.1.4 Robert Harry, Born 1936
E.1.5 Lorraine Mary, Born 1940

E.2 Norman Edward, Born 1898
Married: Olive Grace
E.2.1 Graham Rex Bavard

E.3 Ella Minnie,
E.4 Myrtle Annie,
E.5 Ivy Georgina,
E.6 William Charles,
E.7 Wilfred Sydney,
E.8 Vera May,
E.9 Mavis Joyce.

F. Eliza - Born 30 June 1877 Greymouth, she lived only 18 days. Eliza is buried in an unmarked grave in the Greymouth cemetery.

G. Ella May Born. 1878
Note: Mother’s maiden name was listed as Walker, on birth certificate

In 1881 the family moved to Wanganui.

Brick works grew as an industry when the houses of the settlement developed from slab or mud walled cottages of the pioneering days.

John Titter continued to conduct a brickwork business ad living on the edge of the town was able to engage in a small farming enterprise. The brickworks and contracting business were conducted in partnership with his son Harry.

“Although not all brickworks can be recorded, the busy and extensive brickworks of Mr Titter and his son were established in the St John’s Hill end of Parsons Street and they continued in operation until the early years of this century. Working by a horse turning the machinery, bricks were made from clay obtained from the face of a deep cutting at the rear of the present Tregarth Street. The adjacent Titters pond provided a favourite swimming hole for the small boys if the district” p.153 Smart and Bates – the Wanganui story. (see footnote)

H. Amy Elizabeth B. 1880 D. 1871 It was recorded that she was born in 1884, but birth reg is 1880 with the last name as Fitter.

I. Lewis Charles (last name ‘Tither’ on birth reg. – I could find).

J. Daisy Green - Born 1884 (last name ‘Eitter’ on birth reg. – I could find).
Mother’s maiden name was listed as Roil, on birth certificate

K. Andrew Walter Born 1885 married Frances (Fanny) Hammond
Mother’s maiden name was listed as Roil, on birth certificate
(Note: His mother-in-law, Fanny Hammond married his father, Albert JOHN Titter in 1902 – 2nd marriage for both.)
- Children:
K.1 Walter
Note: Walter changed his name by deed poll to Walter Phillips

K.2 Rita May B. 1910 D. 2000 / Married Mr… Gilbert (possibly 2 children)

L. Frederick James Born 1886
8 months and 2 weeks when (Lucy Titter- mother) died.
Married: Eleanor Bertha Brass 1912
L.1 Had at least 1 child

Lucy died 16th Aug 1886 giving birth to Frederick James. The eldest girl Elizabeth had just turned 19 years of age. It was on her shoulders helped by some of the other elder children that the raising of the younger members of the family devolved.

Lucy (Roil) – parents???
Death Date: 16 August 1886 / Age 38/39 years
Death Place: Wanganui NZ
On Lucy’s death certificate of 16 August 1886 the informant James Anderson who was an undertaker in Wanganui.
Cause of death – attributed to 1(a) Childbirth (b) Puerperal fever. The duration was 2(a) 7 days and (b) 6 days. ""Father: Thomas Ward, farmer. Mother: Lucy Ward, formerly Royal"".
Burial Place Cemetery Wanganui NZ / Not sure why the last name of Lucy's parent are different on her death certificate???

2nd Marriage for Alfred John Titter
After his children had grown John Titter married again
17 December 1902
Fanny Hammond (nee ……………………..)
On this occasion he signed the marriage certificate A.J. Titter and declared his true age of 66 years.
Fanny declared her age as 46 (she had been widowed for 18 months) .
12 months after the death of Alfred John Titter she married William McLeod (aged 59), but in 8 years Fanny Titter (nee Hammond) only aged 1 year – stating on the marriage certificate as 47 years.)

Jack Harris of Whangarei told a story of Alfred John Titter - his grandfather’s death - at his parents’ home in Whangarei – having some form of stroke after an argument with another passenger on the train north. Alfred JOHN titter died on the 9th June 1909, and was buried with his wife Lucy at Wanganui (aged 71 years).

Alfred (John) TITTER
Death Date: 9 June 1909 / Age 71 years
Death Place: H. of Dau. Whangarei New Zealand
Burial Place: Wanganui Cemetery, Wanganui NZ

Lucy’s possible Parents below ???

Thomas and Sarah Roil migrate to NELSON from Alton, Hampshire, England
Departure 29 October 1841
Arrival 15th March 1841
Ship : Bolton (her 2nd voyage from England).

Arrival 15 03 1842 Nelson Departure 29 10 1841 Gravesend 354 540 ... John Perc. ROBINSON 218 (SURGEON: George T. MORGAN; ALSO: left Isle of Wight 2/11/1841)

Their landfall in NZ is listed in the shipping records in the Nelson Provincial Museum at Isel Park, Stoke Nelson. “Arrived on the Ship Bolton, of 540 tons and captained by J. P. Robinson. The Bolton sailed from Gravesend 29th October 1841, Arr. Nelson 1 Mar 1842. The arrival is listed on page 8 of the Examiner Newspaper for 10th March 1842. On board were the following Roils

Thomas 45 Agricultural Labourer / Woodcutter / Hop grower
Sarah 40 – (note: on the immigration list is says 44)
• Harry 20 Agricultural Labourer and Woodcutter
• Eliza 18 Sempstress (note: on the immigration list is says 16)
(Married James Jackson in 1843)
• Harriet 14 Sempstress
(Married Charles Walker (a widower) in 1849)
• Mary Ann 10 / Born 1831
(Married John James *) Date…………
• William 8 / Born 1833
(Married Jesse (Janet) Cook*) Date…………..
Children: Louisa Sarah Roil born 3 April 1869 / died 13 September 1958 in NZ.
*Double wedding Date TBD

Lucy was supposedly born 1847 or 1844
(means Sarah Roil would have been 42 or 45 when she was born)

In the 1845 listing of the Suburban South Census - The Roil Family as TBE - Tenant, living in a Brick and Earth dwelling.

Some things from the document of Arthur Blair I do not agree with:
I can’t find any evidence for the following, I personally believe that Lucy was either adopted by the Roil family when they reached NZ or was born to one of the daughters of the roil family and raised as a sister to her mother.


Thomas Ward and his brother John Ward arrived as a migrant to Nelson, NZ on the ship “Thomas Sparks” on the 26th February 1843.
THOMAS SPARKS 31 01 1843 Port Nicholson .. .. 1842 London ... 497 ... SPARKS 218 (ALSO: arrived Nelson & New Plymouth 29/5/1843; WHITE WINGS: captain SHARP)
SAILED FROM GRAVESEND 27/07/1842 & FROM THE,ISLE OF WIGHT 01/08/1842. ARR. NELSON 26/02/1843 (Petone Settlers Museum – records).

The ship “Thomas Sparks” 497 tons Captain Robert C. Sharp, sailed from Gravesend 27th July 1842 for Wellington and Nelson. It was wrecked on a rock in Table Bay, Capetown 3 October 1842 and remained in Capetown for two months for repairs.

From 1845 census at Suburban South (now Stoke, a suburb of Nelson)
Two brothers John and Thomas Ward – farmers had a Line Kiln – near Greggs “don’t know the quantity burnt’. The notation TE indicated that they were tenants on the land and E that they had a dwelling of Earth. Also listed at this time was Charles Walker. The notation TE again indicates he was a tenant living in a dwelling of Earth.

In 1849 Thomas Ward is listed as a Farmer living at Wairau.

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on 2018-10-14 21:47:30

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