Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Isabella MILES 1861-1906


Isabella MILES was born between Jun–Sep 1861 in Hungerford, England. as the second child of George MILES and Mary Ann JONES. She had three (known) siblings, namely: William, Mary Ann, and Charles.
As a young child Isabella  lived in Swindon, Wiltshire, England in 1871. (census)
As a young woman she lived in St Botolph, London, England in 1881. (census)

Isabella Miles emmigrated to New Zealand in 1883-84 aboard the steam ship 'Bombay' as an assisted passenger. She appears to have travelled alone. She is listed as a 24 year old single woman, general servant from Berkshire .
The Bombay left Plymouth, England on 29th November 1883 and arrived at Port Chalmers, New Zealand 23 January 1884 after a 55 day voyage. There were over 580  included amongst the passengers and immigrants; ordinary, steerage, cabin, and 3 stowaways.  A brief description and passenger list is available at

Her first child Beatrice Ada MILES was born about a year later (possibly January) in 1885 in Temuka, South Canterbury. Her father's name was not registered on the record.
NZBDM # 1885/3561  however Thomas KING is the suspected father as:
a) Isabella's marriage took place a month later and
b) shared DNA centimorgans of myself and a proven paperchase 3rd cousin strongly suggests a full relationship with siblings born within that marriage.

Isabella married Thomas KING,son of Daniel KING and nee Eliza FOARD, on 12 Feb 1885 in Office of the Registrar, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ. 

NZBDM marriage # 1885/690 


Thomas KING and Isabella MILES also had the following children:
  1. Isabella Maude KING was born on 26 Apr 1886 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. She died in Mar 1973 in South Canterbury, New Zealand. She married not registered in 1907. She married Ambrose Muriel McKay in 1912. She married Frank Walter KINZETT in 1920.
  2. Thomas William KING was born on 02 Jun 1888 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. He died in 1964.
  3. Maryann Ellen Eliza KING was born on 27 Sep 1889 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. She died on 14 Jul 1935 in Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia. She married William VIRGIN on 12 Oct 1910 in Kent Terrace Presbyterian Church, Wellington City, Wellington, New Zealand (marriage at Pirie Street Wellington New Zealand, witnessed by Annie Elliott and R.D. Elliott. NZ Registration Number 1910/7001).
  4. Charles John KING was born on 28 May 1891 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. He died in 1943.
  5. Sarah Eva KING was born on 18 Jul 1892 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. She died in Sep 1972 in timaru. She married Frederick ROBINSON in 1917 in Timaru, South Canterbury, New Zealand..
  6. George Henry KING was born on 29 Sep 1893 in Arowhenua, Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand. He died on 05 May 1949 in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand (Christchurch Public Hospital from 50 Studholme St, Christchurch.Buried in the Armed Services section of the Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Linwood.). He married Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD on 01 May 1930 in Christchurch, New Zealand (at Knox House, Carlton Mill Rd, Christchurch).
  7. Leona Clara KING was born on 10 Sep 1895 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. She married Edward MARRA on 15 Jul 1919.
  8. Ivena Elsie KING was born on 09 Jul 1900 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand.. She died on 09 Dec 1959 in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Isabella lived in Geraldine, Canterbury, New Zealand between 1896 and 1906.

She died on 28 Sep 1906 in Timaru Hospital, South Canterbury, New Zealand.


Cause of death:
1. Deciduoma Malignoma ie:  an intrauterine mass of decidual tissue, probably the result of hyperplasia of decidual cells retained in the uterus after parturitionls (also called placentoma) about 5 months. 
2. Pyaemia following a curettage ie: a diseased state in which pyogenic bacteria are circulating in the blood, characterized by the development of abscesses in various organs, 8 days.

She was buried in Oct 1906 in an unmarked grave at Temuka cemetry, Plot 487 Row 175.


NB: Beatrice Ada KING was born  in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand. She married  Zaccheus KAY in 1903 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand. She died March 1927 at Temuka.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Baby girl MOFFATT June 19- July 02 1871

Another little serendipitous angel... 

I first found her birth notice at New Zealand BDM records, registered simply as a female born to John and Margaret MOFFATT, 1871. I took a gamble to order the certificate. Further information recorded her birth in Dunedin, her mother as ‘formally RAFFEEN/REFFEIN’. 


For the following reasons I believe it is reasonable to conclude she is the child of my MOFFET ancestors:
1. This is the closest match to the mysterious REFRAIN family name I was origonally given for Margaret when I first started researching the family history about 45 years ago. ***excited***
2. Names match, Year and Place of birth is Dunedin the known residential area of parents at the time.
3. This birth date fits nicely into the ‘gap’ in the birthdates of siblings Frances 1868 and Henry  about 1873.

Noting the informant was an undertaker, further search located her death certificate registered on the same date and by the same undertaker - Baby girl died due to 'low vitality' aged 2 weeks- (19 June- 02 July 1871). 

God Bless her, this very short existence on the earthly plain  would explain why she was previously unknown.

No more little angel... you are now included in our family history from this day forward.

To date I am still unable to locate burial site.

Father is noted as John MOFFATT, shepherd, Dunedin.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Walter Archibald O'MALLEY 1921- 1942

Terence & Maryanne à Eileen Marianne SHERIDAN àJohn Francis O’MALLEYà Walter Archibald O'MALLEY

Walter was born on 22 August 1921 in Hastings, New Zealand, the second of three children to Isabella nee ARCHIBALD and John Francis O’MALLEY.
He was named for his maternal grandfather Walter Patterson ARCHIBALD.

At the time of his enlistment Walter named his mother as his next of kin.
He was assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 11 Operational Training Unit.
On 10 September 1942 a Vickers Wellington IC (DV890 OP-G) of which he was the bomber, set off for a night flight misson over Dusseldorf.   

It was the first flight as crew for the five occupants which also included; Sergeant MD GORTON also aged 21 gunner for the RAF (UK), Sergeant T P HURLEY aged 26 wireless operator and air gunner RNZAF, Sergeant J INSKIPP aged 22 navigator RNZAF, and Sergeant N J ROWE aged 29 pilot RNZAF. The plane was shot down over Gelsen Kirchen-Bismark, Germany close to the Netherlands border. Initially the, comrades were reported ‘missing in action’ but later assumed dead. Walter’s medical notes state ‘killed in action, cause of death- killed on air operations.’
The comrades burial records detail individuals who were originally buried in a smaller or isolated cemetery, but who, at a later date, were exhumed and reburied in a war cemetery. The concentration of cemeteries allowed otherwise unmaintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
Killed on air operations Killed in Action, Cause of Death

Killed on air operations

These five are immortalised at the Reichswald Forest British Cemetery (RAF Extension), Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.  Walters final resting place is Row 19 C Grave 10.
Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany AWMM 19 C Grave 10 AWMM


 Walters father had served in WWI - John Francis O'Malley service number 10083

postscript: I was advised of a living memorial planted in honour of servicemen who made the altimate sacrifice.        


Saturday, 20 January 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks week 3 –Longivity

I had always believed longevity was not an attribute I possessed as all my close rellies ‘popped off’ by fifty.
This week’s challenge has prompted me to take a deeper and closer look at my familial life spans and  the outcome has been somewhat surprising. Using basic statistics to analyse the life-span of 46 direct line ancestors, I conclude it’s not as bad as I had first thought, but I would like to see the longer bars at the end of the scale...     

Closer analysis of my closest direct ancestors included parents through to great-grandparents however brings both good and not so good results; with analysis of the past 4 generations only, the mean average of life span dropped to  55.5 yrs (-6.5 yrs) on my father’s side and rose to 68 yrs (+2 years) on my mothers.

George Edward KING- father- 48yrs-heart disease
Edna Rose O’MALLEY – mother- 73yrs- chronic lung disease (emphysema-smoker)
George Henry KING- paternal grandfather- 55yrs- heart disease
 Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD- paternal grandmother-57 yrs- breast cancer
Thomas Augustine O’MALLEY- maternal grandfather- 69yrs –myocardial degeneration and  
Beatrice BIRD-maternal grandmother-58yrs-heart disease and emphysemia (non-smoker)
Paternal  great-grandparents:   
Thomas KING-79yrs- heart disease
                                             Isabella MILES- 45yrs –deciduoma malignoma  (due to post-partum issues)
                                             Henry GREENFIELD- 69yrs- unknown
                                             Frances MOFFETT- 37 yrs –uterine cancer
Maternal great-grandparents:  
Patrick O’MALLEY- 68yrs- carcinoma of larynx (smoker) and heart failure
                                              Eileen Marianne SHERIDAN- 66 yrs- cerebral thrombosis and
                                                                                                                                      myocardial degeneration
                                              George BIRD- 65yrs- Carcinoma of the rectum
                                              Sarah TIPTON-78yrs –Myocardial degeneration

Once bringing the information together  I see heart disease is prevalent in the paternal side, whilst making itself known on the maternal side it would appear to be mostly degeneration probably due to other issues.
Lung weakness in one form or another prevails on my maternal side, and cancer in various forms from both lines.

An online test by My longevity considers 5 areas that effect longevity; surroundings, health, attitude, parental relevance, and eating...   it predicts I will live to 81ys..... that will mean I’m beaten by only  3 of my direct ancestors.

Friday, 12 January 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks -week 2-favourite photograph

Week 2 prompt: FAVOURITE PHOTO

How can one have a single favourite photo? Photographs are like children, all special in their own right, associated memories and feelings.

For this reason I have chosen my most precious photograph. It is not old; but the people, related sentiment, and reminiscences are priceless.

The first photo is my precious gem...
Taken in early 2005, it depict my mother Edna Rose O’MALLEY and my step-father Raymond Henry BRETT.
When I relocated to Australia in October 2004 I purchased a voucher from ‘pixie photo’ and asked mum to get a decent photo taken of her and Ray for me. This is the resulting photo.
Never could I have realised that within four years both would be gone.
This is their last photograph together.

Raymond Henry BRETT
, son of Wilfred Henry BRETT and May Victoria STOW, was born 27 April 1937 in Dagenham, England. He was the second youngest of eight children. Ray set to sea quite young where he jumped ship in New Zealand early 1950s. He married Betty WEHI, and had six children; Christopher (adopted, died as a baby), Christina, Maria, Raewyn (died aged 19 due to car accident), Stephen, and Vicky, before divorcing and subsequently meeting my mother about 1975.
Ray was the most significant male in my life, I considered him the closest to a father I would ever have and I loved him as such. I called him Da. Ray was a car/metal spray-painter by trade back in the days of little legislation or monitoring of occupational health and safety. Ray died unexpectedly on 11 April 2006 in Christchurch, New Zealand due to complications from a prescribed medication interacting with a occupationally compromised lung condition.

Edna Rose O’MALLEY, daughter and only live issue of Thomas Augustine O’MALLEY and Beatrice BIRD, was born 21 June 1935 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Edna had a checked life having married three times to produce four children; Corinne, John, Steven, and Ricky, before meeting Ray. I often say mum was a woman before her time; her own life experiences ensured  compassion, tolerance, and understanding of people from all walks and she was loved and respected by many in return. Always a smoker, Edna died from Chronic Respiratory Disease (emphysema) on 13 October 2008.

Mum and Da were introduced by my paternal uncle and, until ill health made it impossible, they often enjoyed  rock and roll dancing, it was always wonderful to watch them and see mum so happy.
Edna and Ray taken early 1985
RIP Mum and Da

Thursday, 4 January 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks -week 1 -START

 Week 1 prompt: START

A three word blog for this prompt could well be ‘where to start?’ fullstop.
Where is the start? Is it how one started? Who got one started?
Is start a person? A time? A place? A memory? A reason? The first amazing discovery?
Is it the first ancestor? The farthest away ancestor? Myself? My newest great-grandchild?
Each in itself could also be a complete blog.

I started my family history about 45 years ago. My best friend introduced me to her ‘hobby’, and I was hooked! By that time my four grandparents had all passed, my parents divorced when I was young, and my mother was an only child. My mother knew very little about either her father’s (Catholic) family history, or her mother’s (Church of England) upbringing. There was not a lot of extended family interaction. When I asked her why she hadn’t enquired about her own parents’ family history she replied ‘you just didn’t’. Not conducive for beginners or oral family history.

                                                   Paternal grandparents                         


               George Henry KING                               Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD
                      1893-1949                                                 1904-1962

                                                 Maternal grandparents

    Thomas Augustine O'MALLEY                             Beatrice BIRD                 
                       1903-1973                                                1902-1960

Research was very different back then. Personal use computers were still about ten years away, very complicated, and expensive. Research consisted mainly of physically visiting the library, Church of the Latter Day Saints, or by snail mail. One would write away for information and if that was overseas the process could take MONTHS... take for example my two year ongoing correspondence to find if my 2x great grandfather was indeed a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary... no conclusion after much to-and-froing, but confirmed serendipitous online decades later.

My research habits were different too... very lacking in documenting resources -sadly. There are things I definitely remember hearing or seeing but can’t recall from where, other things I think I remember, and no doubt some things I have totally forgotten😡.
The habit of gathering information and ‘filing’ them in a box to sort later is one I have unfortunately found hard to break, and as numbers of family tree members and availability of information has increase exponentially... so has my disarray of priceless facts, figures and photographs. My two filing cabinets, two bookcases, and numerous boxes would surely rival any hoarders stash.

Finally, there is the start of new friend and cousinships discovered and developed along the way, time and distance presenting no barrier. Some will only ever be cyber family, but the blood and history of those who started our lineages flow through our collective veins.
...and PLEASE don’t get me started on DNA genealogy!!!!!



Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Margaret FLANAGAN 1825-1912

Margarets probable TIMELINE                  

23 December 1825   birth to: John FLANAGAN and Mary BURKE probably Kilfenora, IRE
23 January 1856       married to: Michael MALLEY Kilfenora, County Clare, IRELAND
23 April 1883            emmigration:     from South Hampton, United Kingdom
16 June 1883            immigration:      to Lyttleton, Canterbury, New Zealand
05 April 1905             admission to:     Nazareth House, Christchurch, New Zealand 
11 Sept 1912     death:             fatty degeneration of heart at Nazareth House, Chch,  NZ.
13 Sep 1912       burial:                   Block 13B, plot 11.   Sydenham Cemetery, Chch, NZ

Siblings: Michael FLANAGAN (sponsored and paid for passage to NZ after husbands death)

Children:       John-      baptised 12 Dec 1858      sponsor: Michael Malone
                      Bridget-  baptised 20 April 1861    sponsors: Denis Flanagan, Mary Carroll
                      Michael- baptised 18 Feb 1863     sponsors: Michael Malone, Honora Hogan
                      Michael- baptised 25 Sept 1864    sponsors: Patrick Flanagan, Sarah O'Malley
                      Charles-  baptised 31 May 1866    sponsors: Thomas Carroll, Margaret Kierse
                      Sarah-    baptised 26 May 1869    sponsors: Denis Flanagan, Mary Hogan
                      Patrick (emigration records birth c1858-9)
 Correspondence:      Nazareth House/Sisters of Nazareth
                                   David Atkinson descendant of Margaret’s brother Michael-4
th cousin
                                   Tremauritz descendant of  Margaret’s daughter Bridget- 3rd cousin
                                   Clare Heritage Centre (17 Sept 2002)

 RECORDS:               Marriage (FMP from National Library of Ireland))
                                   Assisted Emigration (NZ Archives Passenger Lists)
                                   Death Certificate (NZ BDM)

                                   Cemetery record  (Christchurch Library Cemetery  Database)

Margaret and Michael married 23 Jan 1856 in the parish of Kilfenora, Barony of Corcomroe, Co Clare.

Witnesses: Michael & Margaret McNamara.

The priest was shown to charged $2 (pounds) to perform the ceremony.

Unfortunately from a research point of veiw Church Marriage Registers did not commense until 1864.

Parents and place of birth were not a requirement for documentation, however it was customary in Ireland at that time for the bride to be married in her native parish.

It is reasonable then to assume Margaret was born in the Kilfenora parish. 

Emmigrated to NZ 1883 aboard 'IONIC' 1883.  It would appear (by oral history given to David Atkinson) that after the death of her husband Michael O'Malley, Margaret was brought out to NZ with at least 4 of her children. Her fare paid by her brother Michael FLANAGAN who was already living in NZ. – noted on record as single woman, death cert as widow.

Records show the arrival of the "Ionic" which sailed from Southampton 23 April 1883, arriving Lyttleton 16 June 1883 witth passengers: O'Malley; Margaret aged 40, general servant, from Clare.
Patrick aged 24, labourer, from Clare.
Mary aged 23, general servant, from Clare.
Mary (Hogan) aged 23, general servant, from Clare.
                                      Bridget aged 22, general servant, from Clare.
Charles aged 21, general servant, from Clare.  
The 'Clare Heritage Centre' states: "it  is our experience from doing research down through the years that information the emmigrants gave with regard to their dates of birth were rarely if ever accurate with discrepancies of up to 4-5 years being commonplace. This was done for a variety of reasons ie. to obtain cheaper passage, better employment oppertunities, marriage propects etc 
Margarets death certificate states her age as 86 at time of death, it also states she had spent 50 years in NZ. 

Margaret is my maternal grandfathers Paternal grandmother, my 2x great grandmother
                                     Margaret --> 
 Patrick-->Thomas -->  Edna -->
Much of my information has been provided by David Atkinson, a 3rd cousin once removed  who was originally contacted through records and paper-trail and later confirmed through DNA testing.
According to information registered with Nazareth House, formally situated (pre 2011 earthquake) at Brougham Street, Christchurch, New Zealand,  Margaret was born to John FLANAGAN and Mary BURKE 23 December 1825 County Clare, IRELAND.
This date conflicts with immigration records held at Canterbury Museum which gives her age as 40 years upon her arrival at Canterbury in 12 June 1885 aboard the Ionic. However ages were often falsified to meet the immigration laws of the era.
                         Nazareth House, Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Based on my genealogical research this piece of flash fiction is written about a key event in the life of Margaret FLANAGAN. Some poetic licence has been taken and some gaps filled in without proof, but it rounds out an ancestor, adds character, personality and interest.

Margaret stood amid her four surviving offspring, they watched the coastline dissolve into the gloomy afternoon. She thought of the darling babbies and beloved man she left behind. They were covered with the same sod she was carrying in an old whiskey bottle tucked carefully away with her mammy’s lace kerchief  and the crumpled and tattered note she had received informing of husband Michaels death eight months ago.  
She shed silent tears that mingled with the salty sea spray. Her life in County Clare had not been easy... that it looked no better for Patrick, Mary, Bridget and Charles, impelled agreement to her brother’s offer of emigration to New Zealand. He had set sail from these same shores ten years hence and forged a new and prosperous life in the land so far away. None believed they would see him again but now he was providing an opportunity for his five kinfolk by paying their fares.
How she wished Michael was with her though.
"Come in Mammy, you’ll catch your death”, even her thickest woollen shawl couldn’t disguise the thin, slumped shoulders of her mother that Bridget gently put her arm around . Margaret smiled but the sadness of leaving hearth and homeland forever, even when coupled with the excitement of prospective changes, produced emotional bittersweetness.
Bíonn súil le muir ach ní bhíonn súil le tír -There is hope from the sea but none from the land,  this brings new meaning to the adage she thought.
She resisted looking back one more time... like the view, nothing was left there for her anymore.