01 June 2017

Mrs Drake – Ivy Maude neé Metcalfe

I found this lovely framed photograph recently in my local second-hand dealers, although I wasn’t hopeful of ever finding out who she was I had to have it.


Luckily there was something written on the back of the actual photo but part of an envelope was stuck over the name:-



So after very carefully peeling it off and googling the few words I could read this is what I think it says:-

Mrs Drake
84 Okahu Rd
Cottom Park

The name of the photographer on the front was even harder to read, but it was with him I finally hit the jackpot:-


As you can see it was very blurred but in the right light I was able to make out the word Schmidt and what I thought was ‘Auckland’. That was when Google came to the party and I found out Herman John Schmidt was a well known Auckland photographer whose glass plate negatives of over 26,000 photographs were found in an old building being readied for demolition in Queen St in 1970, you can read about him HERE.

Most of his photographs have now been scanned and made available online at the Auckland Council Libraries Heritage Images database. They have four photographs of the DRAKE wedding including my photograph, how serendipitous is that?

drake-1drake-2drake-3   © Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-WP876a, 31-WP874a, 31-WP875a


I can’t quite make out the name of the street, Okahu is just a guess because I know there is a street of that name in the Remuera/Orakei area.

I had originally posted this photo back on the 6 Mar 2016 thinking I had found the right couple, I had found only the one marriage for a Mr Drake in NZ in 1921 so automatically thought it was them. It has now come to my notice that the marriage I found was not them as I’ve been contacted by a member of the family who has wedding photographs of the correct couple who married in 1921 and they are a completely different couple to the above. So now I think that although the above website said the photos were taken in 1921 that it must have been another year and unfortunately there are far too many DRAKE marriages for the 10 years from 1920 to 1929 to try and work out which one it might be as there is no way of knowing which marriages were in Auckland.

I tried Papers Past but didn’t find anything there so it’s back to the drawing board.

Addendum: I think I’ve found the right couple after all. I’ve found an Emmanuel Oreti Drake and his wife Ivy Maude living at

84 Orakei Rd

in the 1928 NZ Electoral Rolls, and on relooking at the address on the back I realise now the street name must be Orakei and not Okahu. Emmanuel married Ivy Maude Metcalfe in 1919. I’ll add more to this post soon.

References: ancestry.com.au; NZBDM Online; Papers Past; Auckland Council Libraries Heritage Images and Heritage et AL.


If anyone recognises the above photos I’d love to hear from you. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

Dawn Scotting   

07 November 2016

Robert Cook 1850-1900


Robert Cook of Mornington in Dunedin seems to be very well documented online and in Papers Past so I don’t need to go into too much detail.

Robert was born in Scotland about 1850 according to the records of the Southern Cemetery In Dunedin where he was buried on the 22 Feb 1900. Again we have a fairly common name so it took me awhile to sort him out from all the other Robert Cooks in NZ. I did find his death notice but it didn’t mention any family at all, it wasn’t until I came across this marriage that his family fell into place:-


Robert married Janet Marshall in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire on 1 Aug 1873, their parents were William Cook & Elizabeth neé Allison and James Buchanan Marshall and Agnes neé Montgomery.

Robert & Janet arrived in NZ in 1875 with a young son William:-


After settling in Mornington they had eight more children, they were: Agnes Montgomery, Robert, John, James, David McRorie, Elizabeth Violet, Olive and Ernest Hector.


If anyone connected to this family is interested in this photograph I’d be delighted to send it to you, please contact me at:-

Dawn Scotting

06 November 2016

Who are they?

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album

These first two photos look to be the same three girls and on closer inspection I think they might be the same three girls that I’ve previously posted, names unknown.


Do you think they look like three of the girls in this photo? We know the girl sitting on the chair is Ivy Zilpha Thomas, wife of Spen White, probably taken sometime before they married in 1923. Apart from Ivy I haven’t been able to identify any of the others yet, hopefully someone will know them one day:-


I think the girl sitting on the ground has the same beautiful eyes as the little girl in the above photos. These two photos are definately the same three as the one above. WHO ARE THEY?



Dawn Scotting

Is this William James Ward? 1915-1951

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album

This cute baby named Willie sent this photo postcard to his Uncle Jim when he was only nine months old. He didn’t give his surname or the date but going by the address it was sent to I was able to determine it was sent to James Spencer White, known as Spen but in this case Uncle Jim. As it was addressed to Uncle Jim at an Army address I presumed it was taken sometime during World War One. So I set about looking at all the children of Uncle Jim’s siblings and it seems like William James Ward might be the right one.


Spen White had an older sister, Mary White born 1883. Mary married Walter Frederick Ward on 12 Apr 1905 at the residence of Charles White, Onamalutu in Marlborough. Walter & Mary’s fourth child was William James Ward born on 8 Jun 1915.

Although James Spencer White is listed as a Corporal (not a Private) he was in the C Company of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion, 14th Reinforcements which is where the postcard was addressed to. This entry is from the published list of the men in C Company 1 Jan 1916 to 31 Dec 1916:-


While I don’t know for sure who Willie is it seems that William James Ward is the best candidate, so far!


Dawn Scotting

04 November 2016

James Williams 1841-1922

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album

These two photos from the album are the only ones that have the Williams name on them.


It turns out that Victor Williams was the son of James Williams. I puzzled for awhile as to their connection with Spen White but in due course I found that one of the sister’s of Spen’s wife’s mother, Esther Elizabeth Chuck,  had married James Williams. Also in the album was a lovely family group photo with James in it although there are no names on that photo, it seems to me it was taken on the same day and in front of the same tree, as was the photo of Victor Williams, although Victor doesn’t seem to be in any of the other photos, of which there are a few, all taken on the same day (see below for more photos).

Originally I had thought one of the families belonged to James and I puzzled over these few photos for weeks, in the end I made contact with Lynn who kindly sent me another photo of one of the families and she knew who they were, in the end it seems the rest of James Williams’ family was not there that day.

I haven’t been able to ascertain where James Williams was born, it was about 1841 (if it was in NZ there is no birth registration for him) and the first sighting of him is when he married Alice Jane Chuck in 1893, Alice was 26 and James 52 so he may have been married before.

In 1896 they were living in Palmerston North where James is listed as a ‘collector’. Their eldest son, Victor Cyril James Williams was born there on 3 Sep 1894. Sometime before 1897 the family moved to Hastings where on the 1 Jan 1898 the building James had his Herbalist business in was burnt to the ground.


Their second daughter Nettie was born there in 1897, sadly she died aged 14 days old.

By 1899 they had moved to Dannevirke where their last two children were born, Alva Amelia on 4 Dec 1899 and Wesley Arthur on 26 Jun 1903.

By 1911 they had moved again, this time to Trentham in Upper Hutt, in each electoral roll he was listed as a Herbalist.

With a common name like James Williams it had taken me awhile to track down the right one, luckily his occupation of Herbalist was fairly uncommon so I knew I had the right James when I found that.

The 1919 electoral roll was the last one he was listed in and so after scrolling through all the James Williams deaths on Papers Past after that date I found he had died in 1922 aged 81.


Alice Jane Williams died on 30 Jan 1935 in the Wellington Hospital and is buried in the Karori Cemetery in Wellington.



In 1925 son Victor married Alfreda Margaret Kitson. Daughter Alva married Gordon Cyril Jackson in 1940 and son Wesley married Helen Henderson Mouat, they were separated in 1936 and in 1945 he married again to Elizabeth Jane Turner.


This is the other photo with James Williams in it, back left. The appoximate date of the photo and the ages of everyone just did not fit with what I knew about James Williams’ family, in the end it was the


next photo that Lynn sent to me of the Thomas Family that made me realise none of his own family were in this photo. I still don’t know who the family on the right are yet, the family on the left are:-

David Thomas (back middle); he has his hand on the shoulder of his wife Esther Elizabeth neé Chuck, the young boy next to her in white is their son Harold Frank, the girl on the ground in front of him is daughter Olive Maude and the older girl sitting on the ground on the right is daughter Ivy Zilpha Thomas, later to become Spen White’s wife.


This is the same Thomas Family as in the above photo plus their three eldest sons who weren’t with them that day.

So who are the other family, most probably another CHUCK sister and her family but I haven’t been able to work out which one because of not knowing whether all of their children were with them that day or not!

These are the rest of the photos with various members of the same families, none are named so if anyone recognises anyone I would love to hear from you. The first one is obviously Ivy Zilpha with her brother Harold Frank Thomas.


An older Ivy Zilpha in the middle.


Harold Frank with his mother Esther Elizabeth. Unknown Family on right, the two boys look to be younger versions of the same two in the previous photo.


I’d named this photo ‘3 Thomas Girls’ but I’m not sure they are, they are the same three in an above photo with Ivy Zilpha Thomas though. Lastly we have the dog, possibly the same one who is a puppy in the first photo but definately the same one in this photo with the three girls.



Dawn Scotting

15 October 2016

The CHUCK Family of Marlborough

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album

Esther Elizabeth Chuck was the mother of Spen White’s wife Ivy Zilpha. In this photo we have Esther’s brother, George William Chuck, his wife Edith Emma neé Westwood and George Pash (unknown so far).


The next two photos in the album were titled ‘Dolly & Rita Chuck, Uncle George’s daughters’.rita16-dolly14-chuckrita-and-dolly-chuck

Cousins Arthur & Fred were brothers of Ivy Zilpha. Here we have a slight anomaly, Dolly is normally a nickname for Dorothy but in this case it seems that Dolly was actually Nita Alexandra!

George William Chuck, son of Joseph Chuck and Bithiah neé Burgess, was born in NZ in 1869, he married Edith Emma Westwood on 6 Oct 1897, theirs was the first marriage in the new church in Shannon, Marlborough. George & Emma’s first child was Rita Cornforth born 9 Jan 1899 so these two photos must have been taken sometime before June 1915. Their next child was Nita Alexandra born 19 Jun 1901, so that certainly fits in with the date written on the back of the first photo of them.

The next photo is nameless but I’d swear that the man on the right is the same person in the first photo named Uncle George, and therefore his wife Emma next to him and I think the other man looks almost to be George’s twin so maybe a brother & his wife?


George was for many years a prominent miller in the Foxton area but about 1918 he moved to Mangonui to resume his old trade of saddlery. He was living in Mangonui, Northland when he died aged 62 on 7 Sep 1930 and is buried in the Old Cemetery there along with his wife Edith Emma who died on 25 Apr 1944 aged 65.


Dawn Scotting

12 October 2016

Five Botham Sisters

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album


I had previously just glanced at this photo and thought I wouldn’t be able to identify them because it was nameless. On having another good look at it today I realised that was Charles Botham in the background not looking at the camera and after comparing the photos I have of four of his daughters I was able to identify at least two of them.

Zella on the left, she was the youngest born in 1906, she looks to be about 12 or thereabouts, the one at the other end of the front row is Vivian, the next two beside Vivian are Florence & Almira but I’m not sure which is which, so that leaves the eldest Alice Clinton (btw I don’t think that’s a hat on her head, it’s some sort of blob on the photo).

As to who the other three men are I have no idea although the young man standing next to Alice could be her future husband Ebenezer Ben Erskine.

Dawn Scotting

02 October 2016

The Charles Botham Family of Tuamarina

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album

With the next lot of photographs we need to go back a few generations to Charles Botham born about 1808 in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Charles was baptised there on the 8 May 1808 in the St Editha Church, his parents were John Botham and Sarah neé Brant who had been married on 23 Jun 1805 at the St Leonard’s Church in Wollaton, Nottinghamshire, seen in this photo:-


Charles’ parents probably had other children but I haven’t researched them, just sticking with his line. Charles seems to have married twice to two women with the same name – Ann Entwistle, the first marriage was on the 3 Aug 1828 in the St Mary's Church in Cheadle, Cheshire, the witnesses were Henry & George Smith. Charles & Ann had four sons before she died in 1837, just a few months after giving birth to fourth son William, who had been baptised on the 12 Jul 1837 in St Mary’s Church in Stockport, baby William’s death is registered in the first quarter of 1838 in Stockport. Their first three sons were:-

John Cartledge 1830-1913; Henry Brant 1932-1908; Charles Entwistle 1835-1907.

After Ann died Charles married the second Ann Entwistle on 24 Sep 1838 in the Manchester Cathedral in Lancashire, he was listed as a widower and she a spinster & a minor, their fathers were: John Botham printer & John Entwistle labourer. Witnesses: Robert & Elizabeth Cambe.

Charles & second wife Ann had one more son whom they also named William, he was baptised on the 6 Jun 1841 in St Mary’s Church, Stockport. Coincidentally that was the same date as the census and their address on both the baptism and census was King St West, Stockport, so we know we have the right family. Sadly this William seems to have died also as I cannot find him in any census after the 1841 when he was aged 3 mths, there is a burial on the 12 Feb 1845 for a 4 year old William Bothams recorded in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Edgeley (Cheadle parish) that might be him.

The two eldest sons, John Cartledge & Henry Brant, both emigrated to New Zealand but Charles Entwistle stayed in Cheshire where he married & died in Bramhall. Strangely he was the father of one of my other orphan photographs I found last year of Sarah Ann Botham, you can read about her here.

Henry Brant Botham was living with his future wife, Mary Ann Entwistle & her parents in the 1861 census in Stockport, he’s listed as a nephew so he & Mary Ann must have been cousins. They were married on the 3 Oct 1861 in St Mary’s Church in Cheadle and in 1863 they emigrated to New Zealand where their seven children were born. I haven’t researched this family much as I was going down brother John’s line but I did find these two photos of Henry & John online in a brochure about the Methodist Church in Tuamarina:-


John Cartledge (or Cartlidge) Botham was born on 21 Jan 1830 & baptised in St Mary’s Church, Stockport on the 30 May 1830. He married Martha Oldham on 21 Mar 1856 in St Mary’s Church, Cheadle and a few years later they emigrated to NZ according to his obituary which you can read here.

John Cartledge & Martha had six children (that I’ve found), the eldest being Elizabeth Ann, the mother of James Spencer White, second child was Charles the subject of the following two photos and the other children were George, Martha, Caroline & Alice Eva.


Charles was not named on either of these photos but I was able to ascertain who he was from the names of the two girls in the second photo who are his daughters, the woman in the first photo I presume is his wife Elizabeth neé Goodall, they were married in New Zealand in 1897.



Here we have four of Charles & Elizabeth’s five daughters, they were:-

Alice Clinton 1898-1920; Florence Eleanor 1900-1971; Martha Almira 1901-1947; Vivian Goodall 1905-1963 and Zella Isherwood 1906-1988.

Charles died & was buried in the Tuamarina Cemetery on the 3 Nov 1942 aged 79 and Elizabeth was buried there also on the 4 May 1920 aged 53.

References: methodist.org.nz; FindMyPast; ancestry.com.au; familysearch.org 


Dawn Scotting

Fred William Thomas 1894-1917

From the pages of the James Spencer White Album


James Spencer White’s wife, Ivy Zilpha Thomas, had a brother named Fred William Thomas so I’m presuming he is the Fred Thomas in these two photos found in Spen’s album.

Fred was born in Blenheim on the 12 Jun 1894, the son of David Thomas and Esther Elizabeth neé Chuck. Fred joined the NZ Expeditionary Forces in WWI and on the 23 Sep 1916 he embarked for England on the vessel ‘Pakeha’. Sadly he was killed in action at Messines in Belgium on the 24 Mar 1917, he is either buried or his name is on the monument at the St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

I found the following photos & memorial card on the Auckland War Memorial Museum website, he certainly looks to be the same person.


References: AWMM Online Cenotaph


Dawn Scotting

01 October 2016

Are they sisters Caroline Ella & Martha White of Onamalutu?

The next two photos from the James Spencer White Album are not named but I think they could be two of Spen’s sisters, possibly Caroline Ella on the right and one of her older sisters, perhaps Martha who was six years older and never married.


The second photo and the young woman on the right in the other photo look to be the same person, her hair style and large white ribbon makes me think she is the one sitting next to her father in the family group photo from the last post. The woman on the left looks to be the same woman standing behind her mother in the family photo.

However, this is just speculation on my part and as the photo of the two women was taken in Wellington and they both lived in Onamalutu (as far as I know) which is near Blenheim in the Wairau Valley, it may not be them although they could have been visiting Wellington as it was only a boat trip away!

Caroline Ella died in Oct 1914 aged 21 and is buried in the Tuamarina Cemetery along with other members of her family including Martha who died in Sep 1935 aged 47.


Dawn Scotting

James Spencer White 1891-1971(updated 29-10-16)


According to the inside cover of this small post card album it once belonged to one J S White who turned out to be James Spencer White known as ‘Spen’. Inside are many lovely old photos from before and after the turn of the century, unfortunately there are many with no names but some are named so I will attempt to identify as many as I can. The first photo in the album is obviously a family group and luckily I’ve been able to identify the father as being Charles White MBE of Onamalutu in Marlborough, New Zealand (There’s a photo of Charles White found in a Temperance Newspaper dated 1916 & reprinted in the book ‘Plum Duff & Cake’). Charles was Spen’s father, possibly he is the one sitting next to his mother Elizabeth Ann neé Botham.


I originally thought the photo might have been taken about the same time as the date on the album – August 1914 – but on further investigation I found that Elizabeth Ann had died on 2 Apr 1912 aged 52 so it must have been before that date. The young lady on the extreme right standing at the back looks to be quite young, maybe 13 or thereabouts and their youngest daughter, Elizabeth Alice, was born in 1898. Charles & Elizabeth had at least nine sons and five daughters (that I’ve found), they were:-

George 1878-?; John James 1881-1881; Frank Oldham 1882-1924; Charles Botham 1885-1907; William Botham 1890-1924; James Spencer 1891-1971; Albert Henry 1895-1981; Alfred 1897-1897 & Robert 1900-1900.

Ann 1879-1913; Mary 1883-1941; Martha 1887-1935; Caroline Ella 1893-1914; Elizabeth Alice 1898-1984.

The only person I don’t have a death date for is eldest son George so if he isn’t in the photo then it would have been taken before the death of son Charles Botham in 1907, in that case Elizabeth Alice would have been less than 9 years old and she’s definately older than that!

PS Since posting this photo I’ve been contacted by the grand-daughter of Mary (daughter of Charles & Elizabeth Ann White) who told me that Mary is the one sitting on the extreme right. She also told me that her mother said that the older couple in the middle of the photo were the parents of Elizabeth Ann Botham and the rest were their grandchildren, however, that remains to be seen as the grandmother, Martha Botham neé Oldham, died in 1904 and that would make the youngest in the photo (Elizabeth Alice) only aged 5 or 6, she’s definately older than that!

References: Marlborough Museum; Papers Past; NZBMD Online


If you can help identify anyone in this photo please leave a comment including a contact email address. More photographs of this and other families from the album to follow.
(With many thanks to Chris Ward & Suzanne for their help).


Dawn Scotting