11 October 2012

The Dorset Wedding

Further to this wedding photograph I posted back on 23 Nov 2008:-




The Photographer, George Edwin Harvey, was in business for just a few short years in Pahiatua, from about 1911 to 1918 when he died. In trying to work out when this photo was taken I thought originally it was about the 1910 mark. It is possible that his business was taken over by someone else and they may have kept the name so the photograph could have been taken much later.


I think I may have been able to work out the family this photo belongs to although I can’t say for sure who the couple are. On the back is hand written:-

To Aunt Emily & Uncle Willie
With love from Kathleen & Leslie

That in itself didn’t really help me that much but further down written in very large letters in pencil it says:-

10 x 8 Mrs Dorset

Since 2008 the NZ Electoral Rolls have become available on ancestry.com so I searched for a Dorset family living in Pahiatua in the early part of the 20th century, and found a Willliam Leslie Richard Dorset who looked promising. I searched in the NZ BMDs and came up with William Leslie Dorset marrying Mary Emily Matthews in 1865, the parents of Wm Leslie Rd:-

DORSET Births in NZ
1866/15596 Dorset    Mary Charlotte       Mary Emily    William Leslie
1868/93      Dorset    William Leslie Richard Mary Emily    William Leslie
1869/38792 Dorset    Alice           Mary Emily    William Leslie
1871/41933 Dorset    Reginald           Mary Emily    William Leslie
1873/133    Dorset    Norah Hamilton       Emily Mary    William Leslie
1875/8238  Dorset    Norman           Mary Emily    William Leslie
1877/15089 Dorset    Mabel Mary Jane       Emily        William Leslie
1879/11266 Dorset    Olive Matthews       Emily        William Leslie
1881/3227  Dorset    Richard Mathews       Emily        William Leslie
1883/11309 Dorset    Margaret Richaline       Emily        William Leslie
1887/389     Dorset    Norman Hampton       Emily        William Leslie

It seems to me that Mary Emily was later known as just Emily so there we have a Willie & Emily who might possibly be the Aunt & Uncle the photograph was sent to. William was a sheep farmer in Mauriceville in the Wairarapa for many years, both he & Emily died in 1926 both aged 84.


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Matthew25187 at en.wikipedia

It seems that perhaps a sibling of either William or Emily lived or married in Pahiatua and that one of their children sent the photograph as a Christmas gift.

So without going into further research to find out who Kathleen & Leslie are I’m going to leave it a that for the time being. I’m sure that will be enough for descendants of the Dorset family of Pahiatua to know who they are.

ancestry.com; NZ BDM Records; Photographer’s Database Auckland Libraries


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the DORSET family please do contact me, I would love to pass this photo onto a family member. 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

1 comment:

Brett Payne said...

Excellent work Dawn. I agree that the hats in thios photo suggest a re-Great War date, probably around 1910ish.

I think the "10 x 8 Mrs Dorset" annotation must have been done by the studio. The other annotation suggests that the portrait was sent by "Kathleen & Leslie" - it seems likely, therefore, that Mrs Dorset is Kathleen, and Leslie would therefore be Mr Dorset. A series of suppositions, I know.

There is an extensive family tree for this family on Ancestry - William Leslie Dorset had 11 siblings!