Benjamin GIBBON & Lydia PIZZEY - Southland NZ :: Genealogy
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Benjamin GIBBON & Lydia PIZZEY - Southland NZ

Journal by ngairedith

BENJAMIN GIBBON (1852-1924) from Wales
married in New Zealand on 24 June 1878 to:
LYDIA PIZZEY (1861-1922) from Felsham, Suffolk
- (Lydia came to NZ at the age of 7)
Benjamin was, for a time, a Blacksmith in Waipiata

BENJAMIN & LYDIA had 13 children:
... 1
1879 - 1962 Eliza Maude Gibbon
Eliza married James ARTHUR in Dunedin in 1897
- their known chidlren:
* 1898 - Marion Lydia Arthur
* 1899 - Margaret Arthur
* 1901 - 1909 John Gibbon Arthur
* 1903 - Thomas Arthur
* 1905 - Muriel Winnifred Arthur (+ William John Fowle 1931)
* 1907 - 1982 Maude Christina Arthur (+ Leitrim Robert Mowat 1932)
* 1909 - 1983 James Benjamin Arhtur
* 1911 - Mary Arthur

... 2
1881 - 1943 Thomas Spencer Llewellyn Gibbon
- born in Southland, Thomas, like his father, was a Blacksmith
He served in the Boer War as Private 8027 and in WWI as Private 91301
Thomas married Mary Margaret CARR (1889-1951) in 1910
- daughter of Robert CARR & Margaret Stewart WILSON
- their known children:
* 1910 - Evelyn Margaret Gibbon
THOMAS died in Dunedin 16 Feb 1943 aged 61. His last address was 48 Murray Street. His ashes were scattered

... 3
1883 - 1954 John Frederick Augustus Gibbon
John married Jeannie FOSTER (1886-1958) in Nightcaps, 2 April 1913
- daughter of James FOSTER (1851-1913) & Mary Jane MONCRIEFF (1852-1921) both from Scotland, both died in Nightcaps
JOHN was a Carpenter. He died 23 Feb 1954 aged 70 in Dunedin
- His last address was 44 Cranley St., Tainui
JEANNIE died 22 Oct 1958 aged 72 in Dunedin
- Her last address was 16 Buller Rd., Reefton
- they are buried together Plot 39, Block 221 at Andersons Bay cemetery, Dunedin
NOTE not to be confused with Jeannie Louise Foster (1885-1932), 1 of 11 children of David Henry FOSTER (1856-1931) & Eliza Jeanie ANGUS. Jeannie Louise married Arthur Charles Littlejohn (1876-1948 from Budleigh Salterton) in 1908. They are both buried in Purewa, Auckland

... 4
1885 - 1907 Mary Lydia 'Lily' Gibbon
- Mary was a victim of a murder/suicide committed by Henry REID (from Tasmania) at Nightcaps, Invercargill on 3 Sep 1907 in a fit of jealousy
Henry died on 8 Sep 1907, Lydia died 3 days later. They were 22
... see the story below ...

... 5
1887 - 1959 Edith 'Bertha' Gibbon
- married William KENNEDY in 1910
Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, 12 April 1910
On Wednesday last a very pretty wedding was celebrated in the Nightcaps Presbyterian Church, when Edith Bertha, daughter of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Gibbon, of Nightcaps, was married to Mr Wm. Kennedy, of Bayswater, Otautau. Though threatening rain in the morning it turned out a lovely day, and there was a large gathering of friends and relations present at the ceremony, which was performed by Rev Mr McDowell.
The bride was beautifully attired in a white lawn gown trimmed with silk lace and drop trimming, and wore the usual veil and orange blossoms, and carried a beautiful shower bouquet of roses, heath and ferns with lomg streamers of ribbon.
Misses C. Gibbon, E. Clapp and L. Gibbon acted as bridesmaids and large picture hats trimmed with feathers and brown velvet ribbon, and all carried shower bouquets. Miss Mamie Arthur also attended the bride.
Mr G. E. Glen, of Invercargill, acted as best man, and Mr F. Gibbon as groomsman.
The bride and bridesmaids were all presented with lovely pieces of jewellery by the bridegroom.
After the ceremony the guests adjourned to the Temperance Hall, where a sumptuous wedding breakfast was laid out, at which Mr McDowell presided. The usual toasts were honoured, Mr W. Kennedy responding to "The bride and bridegroom," Mr Glen to "The bridesmaids," and Messrs Gibbon, sen., and Kennedy, sen., to "The parents."
The happy couple left by motor amidst the best of wishes and showers of confetti and rice for a tour of the South Island.
The presents, which were very numerous, were useful, costly and beautiful.
In the evening a dance was held in Griffin's hall, at which all present spent a most enjoyable time.

... 6
1888 - 1937 Christina Gibbon
- Christina served in WWI as Nurse 22/20 or 22/29
- she enlisted from Wanganui Hospital, accepted from the training school at Riverton and served with the NZEF, New Zealand Army Nursing Service Corps
- she embarked from Wellington on the 'Rotorua' on 8 April 1915 listing her father Benjamin Gibbon of Nightcaps, Southland as next of kin. Destination was London
- Christina was promoted to a Nursing 'Sister' in the NZ Army in Sep 1916
Evening Post, 20 September 1917 - ITEM FROM LONDON
At an early date the marriage is to take place of Capt. T. Fergus (Dunedin), N.Z.M.C., to Sister Christina Gibbon, one of the first fifty nurses who came on service from New Zealand. Sister Gibbon has been on the staff at Brockenhurst
- Thomas Fergus (1880-1940) was born in New Zealand to Robert FERGUS (1854-1928, a School teacher from Scotland) & Sarah Jane ALLEN (1855-1933 from Melbourne)
- Christina & Thomas had a son in England, Thomas Gibbon Fergus (1918-1944) before they returned to NZ about 1919. Thomas Gibbon Fergus died in Seacliff Mental Hospital 11 Dec 1944 aged 26
Evening Post, 7 December 1937 - DEATH OF CHRISTINA
DUNEDIN, This Day. The death has occurred of Mrs Fergus, wife of Dr. Fergus. Mrs Fergus, as nurse and Sister Christine Gidden(sic) saw war service in France. After the Armistice she identified herself with various movements directed to the promotion of women's interests and the Nurses' Memorial Fund naturally engaged her warm sympathy. She was the first secretary of the League of Mothers, Dunedin, and founder of the Children's Day Nursery. She was a regular participant in women's golf competitions.
CHRISTINA was buried Plot 32, Block 105 at Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin
- buried with her is:
1928 - Robert Fergus, her father-in-law
1933 - Sarah Jane Fergus, her mother-in-law
1940 - Thomas Fergus, her husband
1944 - Thomas Gibbon Fergus, her son
1946 - Alice McAuley (nee Fergus aged 67), her sister-in-law

... 7
1890 - 1968 Lucy Gibbon
Lucy married John Edward DOCKERTY (1886-1957) in Waianiwa-Waimatuku Parish 3 Dec 1913

... 8
1892 - 1979 Catherine 'Fergus' Gibbon
- Catherine served in WWI as Staff Nurse 22/551 with the NZEF, 43rd Reinforcements New Zealand Army Nursing Service Corps. She embarked from Wellington 17 August 1918 on the 'Ruahine', listing her mother of Nightcaps as next of kin. Destination was London
In June 1926 Sister Catherine Gibbon joined the staff of Apia Hospital, Samoa, in place of Sister Macfarlane, who returned to New Zealand
Catherine married James GRANT in 1930

... 9
1894 - 1944 Robert Evan Gibbon
- Robert served in WWI as Private 8/2922 with the Otago Infantry Battalion, 7th Reinforcements. He enlisted from Nightcaps and embarked from Wellington 9 Oct 1915 listing his father of Nightcaps as his next of kin. Destination Suez, Egypt
Robert married Annie Mary IRWIN (1894-1963) in 1925
- 2nd of at least 9 children of William James IRWIN (1866-1941) & Margaret Annie McCUBBIN (1872-1942)

... 10
1896 - 1954 Esther Margaretta Gibbon
Esther married Edmund Samuel BREWSTER (1896-1976) in 1921
- son of James BREWSTER & Martha DIXON

... 11
1897 - 1907 Benjamin Gibbon
Benjamin died aged 9
Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, 7 May 1907
A bright young lad has had his life cut short. on Saturday, about noon, Benjamin, the youngest son of Mr B. Gibbon, of Nightcaps, attempted to catch a hack which was running in a paddock connected with the Railway Hotel stables, Nightcaps, and was very seriously kicked on the head. The horse, which is stated to have been a very quiet one, moved away as the boy was going to catch it. Benjamin Gibbon, who had a companion with him, made a grab at the horse's cover, and the beast, taking fright, kick out, inflicting a terrible wound on the left side of the head, breaking a piece of the skull and splitting it badly so that the brain was exposed. The groom, who came along shortly after, found the boy crying out, and, seeing his state, quickly had him attended to. Dr Baird, who was in the township, was in attendance within half an hour and, seeing that an operation was necessary, ordered his removal to Otautau, where the operation was performed on Saturday evening. From the first the case was known to be a serious one and although all possible was done for the sufferer he gradually sank, and passed away at an early hour this morning. The deepest sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Gibbon and their family under the tragic circumstances.
The funeral will leave Mr Gibbon's residence, Nightcaps, on Friday, at 2 o'clock, for the Nightcaps cemetery.

... 12
1899 - ? Isabella Elizabeth Gibbon
- nothing known at this time

... 13
1901 - ? William James Ransome 'Jim' Gibbon
- nothing known at this time

... the following accounts were taken from newspapers of the day ...

5 September 1907 - INVERCARGILL
Shortly after 11 o'clock on Tuesday evening a shocking scene took place at the little coal mine town of Nightcaps. Henry Reid, a miner, 22 years of age, was the principal participant. He is a Tasmanian, came to live at Nightcaps about seven or eight months ago, he was hale and hearty in his habits, and was well liked. He lodged with Mrs Gibbons (sic) nearly the whole of that time and, as is not unntaural, it seems that he fell in love with Miss Lydia Gibbon, 22 years of age. She, however, did not encourage his attentions, being engaged to another, a flax-miller, in the district.
About a month previous to Tuesday night's occurrence she told Reid finally how she was placed, and that she could not and would not have anything to do with him.
Jealousy appears to have been working till last night, when Reid could contain himself no longer. He had been working in the mine till 8 0'clock. He came home, dressed, went to receive his pay at about 9, and returned at 10. One of Miss Gibbons' sisters, aged about 14, (Catherine) gave him supper, and a few minutes later Lydia herself came in. Her sister retired, leaving the two alone, the rest of the family being in bed. The only sound audible in the house was the quiet talking of the man and girl in the kitchen. Not long after 11, F. Gibbons, who is a carpenter, was startled by hearing two shots in quick succession, and another, apparently muffled, a few minutes later. At first it did not strike him that the sound was from firearms, and he concluded it was the banging of a door, but presently he heard groans, and rose to find out the cause, but hearing nothing more returned to his room, thinking that the groans came from some of the younger members of the family, who were suffering from whooping cough.
It was not until J. Foster, a miner, who slept in an adjoining room, awoke him that he became alarmed. Foster cried, "Whatever is the mattter?" and both men got up without delay. There were lights burning in both dining room and kitchen, and on opening the door leading outside from the kitchen they stumbled across the prostrate body of Miss Gibbon, lying in a pool of blood. The two men carried the girl into the house, and Dr. Baird and the police were at once summoned. The young woman's face was blackened with the smoke from the powder; and a bullet would was seen just above the right eye. She was quite unconscious.
About a chain away from the house in an adjoining section is a well, about 25ft deep, holding four or five feet of water. Here Reid was found groaning and clutching the rope. He was all but unconscious having shot himself through the palate.
This morning both sufferers were taken to Riverton hospital. The doctor reports that both cases are very serious. Reid is shot through the palate, and the bullet has lodged in an inaccessible place at the base of the brain. The condition of Miss Gibbon is, if anything, more serious. She was also shot in the thigh. Thd doctor holds out little hope of recovery in either case. So far neither has been able to speak.
A packet of strychnine purchased from an Invercargill chemist, was found in one of Reid's pockets.
The latest news from Nightcaps is to the effect that there is a chance of recovery for both Reid and Miss Gibbon. She was able to say "No, thank you" when asked if she wanted a drink of water. It is stated that if she survives she will lose the sight of the left eye, under which the bullet entered.

9 September 1907 - INVERCARGILL
Henry Reid, who shot Lydia Gibbon in a fit of jealousy, died on Sunday night. The girl recovered consciousness, and though her mind is a blank regarding the tragic occurrence, there is every hope that she will make a good recovery

11 September 1907 INVERCARGILL
Lydia Gibbon, the victim of the recent Nightcaps shooting tragedy, died this morning.
Miss Lydia Gibbon, who was shot in the head at Nightcaps on Tuesday, the 3rd inst., died at the Riverton Hospital at 3.30 o'clock this morning. She became deeply unconscious on Tuesday evening, and was unable to speak or recognise anyone subsequently. All Tuesday she was becoming weaker, until in the evening the end was seen to be near. A message was sent to her family at Nightcaps, and immediately her father and mother commenced the 35 miles drive to Riverton to see their daughter before she passed away. They were accompanied by the girl's brother and two sisters; also by Mr John Syvret (a boarder), who was present when the young woman was picked up after being shot. They reached Riverton at about 2 a.m., but could not speak with the dying girl. The case was exactly similar to that of Reid, the only difference being that Miss Gibbon's wound was more easily dressed, and life lasted longer in consequence. The death was reported to the coroner (Mr S. E. M'Carthy, S.M.), who has decided that an inquest is unnecessary, Dr Trotter supplying the certificate as to the cause of death.

The last stage in the pathetic tragedy which so deeply shocked the mining community at Nightcaps last week was reached to-day, when the body of the unfortunate girl Mary Lydia Gibbon was buried. From 2 till 5 o'clock the mine was shut down, and the flag flown at half-mast. Not an equal was at work, either above ground or below ground. All the miners and, indeed, practically every able-bodied man and woman, boy and girl in the district attended the funeral to pay the last sad tribute of respect to the murdered young woman. The melancholy procession which followed the body to its final resting-place left the house of the bereaved family at 3 o'clock. The coffin, covered by a white pall, and almost buried beneath beautiful floral wreaths, crosses, and anchors, was conveyed in a two-horse waggon. The principal mourners were the four brothers and six sisters of the deceased. Then followed old friends, members of the local Tennis Club (Miss Gibbon was a fine athletic girl, expert in tennis and popular among ail the tennis players in the neighbourhood), and of the Nightcaps Presbyterian Church, in which the deceased was a chorister active worker. All classes were represented in the cortege, which formed a long, sombre line. At the cemetery, which is situated on the top of a bleak hill, many miners and others were awaiting the funeral procession. It was a chilly afternoon, and the sight of the snowtopped Takitimu Range in the distance made the scene appear even more bleak. The service at the grave was conducted by the Rev. T. Tait, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Not a few women and girls wept bitterly throughout the proceedings, and it was pathetic to witness the distress of the young sawmiller to whom the deceased was betrothed. The coffin plate bore the simple inscription: "Mary Lydia Gibbon. Died September 11, 1907. Aged 22 years."
Away in a corner of the cemetery lies the body of Henry Reid, who was buried on Wednesday last.

Lydia Gibbon died 13 May 1922 aged 71
Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, 16 May 1922
GIBBON - At her residence, Nightcaps, on May 13th, 1922, Lydia, dearly beloved wife of Benjamin Gibbon, aged 71 years. After a long and painful illness. Deeply mourned.

Benjamin Gibbon died 21 August 1924 aged 72
Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, 26 August 1924
A painful shock passed through the community when it became known that Mr B. Gibbon had passed away at his residence, High street, Nightcaps, on Thursday last. Deceased had been in his usual health, and worked at his trade as a blacksmith up to the previous weekend, an acute attack of pneumonia being the cause of death.
The late Mr Gibbon was a native of Wales, and was employed with a British engineering firm which carried out large contracts abroad, and for a considerable time Mr Gibbon was employed on the erection of a pier in a Spanish port.
Deciding to try his fortunes abroad, he came to the Dominion and worked in various places - West Coast, Dunedin, Calcium and Otautau. About twenty-five years ago he, with his wife and family, settled in Nightcaps and established the blacksmithing business at present carried on by Mr J. Dempster. Of an honest upright character, and a staunch member of the Presbyterian Church, he was universally liked and highly respected. Deceased had reached the age of 72 years, and is survived by a family of four sons and six daughters, who have the heartfelt sympathy of a large circle of friends in their sad bereavement.
The interment took place in the Nightcaps cemetery in the presence of a large concourse of mourners, Rev R. C. Boyd conducting the last rites in an impressive manner.

Benjamin & Lydia are buried in:
PLOT 1, BLOCK IV, SUBDIVISION A at Wairio cemetery
the HEADSTONE reads:
Benjamin son of Benjamin and Lydia GIBBON
died 7 May 1907 age 9 years
also their daughter Lydia Mary (Lily)
died 11 Sep 1907 age 22 years
also their mother Lydia GIBBON
died 13 May 1922 age 61 years
and their father Benjamin GIBBON
died 21 Aug 1924 age 71 years

the Takitimu Ranges

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by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-11-20 01:59:34

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by westaf on 2014-07-04 02:22:38

Hi. I am a descendant of this couple, through my grandfather William James Ransome (Jim) Gibbon(s). I'd love to hear from any other descendants or family members. Regards Anita (New Zealand)

by ngairedith on 2014-07-04 05:34:07

Hi Anita,
as you can see I do not have a spouse for Jim. Do you have some more info you could add here of this family

by westaf on 2014-12-28 16:52:53


I'm sorry I missed your response earlier this year. Happy to provide info about my grandparents. William James Ransome GIBBON (later known as Jim GIBBONS) married Joan PINHEY on 20 July 1935 at St George's Seatoun, Wellington. There is a write-up of their wedding on Papers Past if you are interested. Jim passed away at Lower Hutt on 29 June 1967, and Joan passed away, also at Lower Hutt on 3 September 2008.

I am very interested to know what your connection is with this family, as I am keen to identify and make contact with any direct descendants, particularly any interested in the family's history.

Is it possible to exchange emails off site?

Kind regards

by westaf on 2014-12-28 17:38:13


I'm sorry I missed your response earlier this year. Happy to provide info about my grandparents. William James Ransome GIBBON (later known as Jim GIBBONS) married Joan PINHEY on 20 July 1935 at St George's Seatoun, Wellington. There is a write-up of their wedding on Papers Past if you are interested. Jim passed away at Lower Hutt on 29 June 1967, and Joan passed away, also at Lower Hutt on 3 September 2008.

I am very interested to know what your connection is with this family, as I am keen to identify and make contact with any direct descendants, particularly any interested in the family's history.

Is it possible to exchange emails off site?

Kind regards

by Agroth on 2015-10-25 06:20:46

Hello I am also a decendant if this couple. My great grandparents were Tom Gibbon and Mary Margaret Carr. I know they had another daughter Lyla who was born in 1924 and married Jack Jones.
I had heard my grandmother speaking of the Night Caps tragedy but as I was 10 at the time, I wasn't given any detail.
There is also a story that one of the daughters of Ben and Lydia died in the flu epidemic after WW1.

by Agroth on 2015-11-20 19:16:55

Sorry descendant

by edls1963 on 2015-12-28 07:59:43

I am hoping that your Sarah Jane Allen that married Robert Fergus is my missing Sarah Jane Allen. I have been unable to trace her in Australia.

My Sarah was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1855. Her parents were George Allen (? - 1870) and Alice Thornbury (sometimes spelt Thornberry). Sarah's mother remarried and became a Berger - she died in 1888. Both parents were born in Ireland but married in Australia. Sarah had two siblings Ann Belle Allen (1856-1860), who died as a child and William George Allen (1858-1940) who married and had 6 children.

Sarah's father came from a large family. Sarah had three uncles that moved to New Zealand and started the Allen Bros Store. John Allen remained in NZ and had descendants. William drowned in NZ in 1868 and Philip Redmond returned to Australia.

Do you have any information that can confirm your Sarah's parentage or relations?

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