Sunday, April 24, 2011

David Latto

David Latto - my great great grandfather

David was the youngest child, and fourth son of James and Mary Latto nee Brown.  He was my Great Great Grandfather.  

David was born on 3 July 1859 at Markinch, Scotland.  He arrived in Canterbury, New Zealand on 21 May 1863, on the ship Sebastapol, with his parents and three elder brothers.  His sister Catherine had already died previously in Scotland.  The trip must have been a long one for a young child - they had left on 7 January that year - four and a half months earlier!  David's elder brother, James, died soon after they arrived in New Zealand. On the shipping list, the family are listed as coming from Fifeshire and James is listed as being a ploughman.

The family settled around Kaiapoi and West Eyreton, and newspaper accounts in 1868 recall a young George and David participating and doing rather well in running races! (Star , Issue 196, 29 December 1868, Page 2)

David also seems to have enjoyed boating and belonged to the "Cure Boating Club" in Kaiapoi around 1881.  That same year, David married Janet Hislop, who had not long been in the country.  David and Janet had four children:

James Latto born 1883
Jane Latto born 1884
Mary Latto born 23 May 1886
Adelaide Latto born 17 December 1887

At some point, David went to Western Australia, to mine apparently, and effectively deserted his wife and four children.  

David married for the second time on 16 January 1888 at Fitzroy, a suburb of Melbourne, to Anne Valentine.  Annie had been born in January 1860 at Warrnambool on the western coast of Victoria to James and Jane Valentine nee Anderson.  Most probably unbeknownst to Jane, the marriage was a bigamous one, as David and Janet Latto never divorced.

On 23 November 1888, it looks as if a Mr and Mrs Latto travelled in steerage to/from Sydney/Lyttleton.  Perhaps this was David bringing his new wife back to New Zealand to visit his parents - however this seems unlikely as there is no mention of a child, and his eldest daughter with Annie would have been born by this point.  

It looks as though David was still in the country on 20 May 1890, as he was attending an Annual General Meeting in West Eyreton! (Star , Issue 6857, 20 May 1890, Page 4).  However, this doesn't fit with his marriage to Annie Valentine...

David and Annie had six children, the first three in Victoria, the others in Western Australia.  These six children were all my great grandmother's half siblings, and my grandfather's uncles and aunts.  They were:

Annie Lizzie Latto 1888 - 1971

James David Latto 1890 - 1962

George Stanley Latto born 1892 Married Ethel May Latto. 

John Alexander Anderson Latto born 1897 died Belgium 1 November 1917

Raymond Burrage Latto born 15 May 1899 in Midland, WA. Married Alpha Mavis Castledine on 29 March 1921 at Meckering, WA.  Died 19 August 1985.  Had three children:John Jarvis Latto; George David Valentine Latto (8 November 1822); Neville Raymond Latto (4 March 1925) and Mavis Latto.

Elspeth Dora May Latto 1902 - 1976

Three brothers - George, John and Ray Latto served in WWI.  George was already married when he signed up on 21 March 1916.  His wife Ethel obviously lived with George's parents, David and Annie, in Henry Street, Midland Junction while he was away at war.  Ray must have lied about his age, as he was only 17 when he signed up in June 1916, but was listed as being 18.  He returned to Australia on 18 January 1918; George came home to Australia on 24 December 1918, but their brother John was not as lucky - killed in action in Belgium on 1 November 1917. 

According to an Australian historical society website, in 1914 David and Annie were residing in Helena Street, Midland Junction and in 1915 were living in Henry Street, Midland Junction.  This site says that during the first World War they shifted to 69 Tower Street in the Perth suburb of Leederville and then to Walkaway.  The site lists David as a Railway Fettler in Gunyidi 1922-1925 and the same in Winchester in 1925 and 1926  It then records that David resided in Winchester until his death on 28 February 1926. David was buried at Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth WA (Presbyterian, GA, 407).  Annie Latto, late of Mullewa, died at the age of 74 years on 1 July 1936 and was buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth.

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