Thursday, April 21, 2011

John Waters and Eleanor Waters nee Tutchen 1835 - 1925

Marion Sutherland's eldest son by her first marriage to John Waters, was also called John.  

John Waters Jnr (hereinafter 'John Waters) was born around 1835 in Haddington, just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.  He was merely five years old when he arrived in Wellington, New Zealand on the ship Slains Castle, having travelled from Scotland with his parents and younger sister Christina.  It was January 1841.

*Note on the Slains Castle passenger list the Waters are listed as "Walters" - this at least explains to me, partially, why I haven't been able to find John Waters Snr's death entry - perhaps I should be looking under "Walters"?  

John followed his step-father Nathaniel Sutherland into the print industry - he was recorded as having been employed in the Evening Post office in Wellington.  Apparently he was variously employed at the Spectator, the Argus, the Independent, and the New Zealand Times.

John met and married Eleanor Tutchen on 2 May 1857 at the Wesleyan Church, Manners Street, Wellington.

John and Eleanor had a total of 15 children including:
  1. Marion Waters (Jacka) 1859 - 1945 
  2. Simon David Waters 1861 - 1882 
  3. John Waters III 1863 -   
  4. Nathaniel James Waters 15 May 1864 - 1940 
  5. Sarah Eleanor Waters (Macey) 1866 - (after 1936) 
  6. Jessie Christina Waters 20 June 1867 - 1946  
  7. Mary Ann T. Waters (Crozier) 20 June 1869 - 1940 
  8. William George Waters 18 July 1870 - 11 April 1879.  Little William died at the young age of 8 years 9 months (when he died, was listed as being John's fifth son, so there must have been another elder brother)
  9. Archibald Thomson Waters 4 December 1871 - 29 January 1873.  This baby died at 14 months 
  10. Frederick Ernest Waters 1873 - 12 February 1902  
  11. Emily Helen Waters (Grierson) 7 September 1874 - 1966  
  12. Annie Maria Banger Waters (never married) 20 July 1877 - 1955 
  13. Ada Hannah Waters (Osborne) 25 January 1880 - 1971 
  14. And two others
Marion Waters, listed as being John's eldest daughter, married Thomas Samuel Jacka on 21 January 1884.  The Jacka family appear to have headed north and settled in Mount Eden.  See separate blog post.

Sarah Eleanor Waters married William Charles Macey, son of Captain W.C. Macey on 29 December 1897.   They appear, according to John's obituary, to have gone to Australia and settled in Melbourne.

Jessie Christina Waters married Walter Franklyn Viles, second son of Josiah Viles of the  Wairarapa, on 25 September 1896 at St Mary's Church in Ashhurst.    See separate blog post.

Frederick Ernest Waters married Edith E. Upson, of Waiuku, on 24 April 1901 in Auckland, but unfortunately the marriage didn't last long, as Frederick died in Auckland on 12 February 1902.  I'm unaware of there being any children from this brief marriage.  Edith herself died in 1949.

John Waters III married Catherine Jane Wemyss, the youngest daughter of John Wemyss, Renwicktown, Marlborough on 2 July 1886 in Blenheim.  They settled in Ward with their family.  See separate blog post.

Nathaniel James Waters was in Gisborne in 1925 at the time of his father's death, and was apparently 'associated with Messrs Thorburn and Bush Men's Outfitter's of Willis Street.  He seems to have been around the Foxton area during the late 1890s, and is reported playing cricket in a Foxton Cricket Club game in 1895.  He died in Wanganui on 3 February 1940.

Pipitea Point seems to translate to Courtney Place, Wellington and this is reflected in birth notices in the 1860s and '70s recording that the births had taken place in Courtney Place.

The following is a photograph of the Waters' home in Pipitea Point/Courtney Place, taken in 1859:

Below is another shot of the area, estimated to be about five years after the Wellington earthquake of 1855:

John and Eleanor celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Wednesday, 2 May 1917.  On 5 May 1917, the Evening Post reported:

Mr and Mrs John Waters, of Pipitea Street, Wellington, celebrated their diamond wedding last Wednesday, and received numerous congratulations.  Mr Waters arrived in Wellington with his parents in the Slains Castle in January 1841, and Mrs Waters, who was a daughter of Mr and Mrs Peter Tutchen, came out with her father and mother by the bargue Aroi [Arab] in the following year.  Mr and Mrs Waters were married at the Wesleyan Chapel, Manners-street, on Saturday, 2nd May 1857, by the Rev James Buller.  Mrs Waters has been the mother of fifteen children, eight daughters and seven sons, nine of whom are alive:- Mrs T.S. Jacka, Auckland; Mrs W.C. Macey, Melbourne; Mrs N.F. Viles, Colyton, Feilding; Mrs C.E. Crozier, Palmerston North; Mrs A. Grierson, Hutt; Mrs H.O. Osborn and Miss Waters, Wellington; Mr John Waters, Ward, Marlborough; and Mr N.J. Waters, Palmerston North.  There are thirty three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.  Mrs Waters is the sole survivor of the Tutchen family, three sisters and four brothers having pre-deceased her.  Mr and Mrs Waters have lived in Wellington ever since their arrival in 1841, with the exception of a few years at "The Hollies" farm, Johnsonville, where their home was burnt to the ground.

Eleanor's sister and brother-in-law Mary and Edwin Bannister's brother John seems to have also once owned the home "The Hollies", situated in Johnsonville.  It was the venue for some of the Waters' family weddings and events until gutted by in November 1896.  Apparently both John and Eleanor were away from the home at the time of the fire.  The property was insured for 150 pounds with the Commercial Union office. 

Wife Eleanor died on 23 June 1922 at the age of 87, after 55 years of marriage.  This indicates that she was probably born around 1835.   Eleanor was buried at the Bolton Street Cemetery (although it was known at the time as the Sydney Street Cemetey), where John would later join her.  The Rev. CC Harris officiated at the funeral.  Also buried there were four infant children as well as Archibald and William.

John Waters died at the age of 89 in 1925.  His obituary is very kind and notes:

For many years past Mr Waters had been recognised as one who possessed the best personal knowledge of the city from its infant days to the present time, for his lived practically the whole of his long life here, and retained good bodily health, clear mental faculties, and took the keenest interest in all matters pertaining to Wellington.  When in doubt about events of days long gone by, those desiring information or verification as to past happenings were invariably referred to Mr Waters.  With his parents, he landed at Pipitea Point when a boy of six years of age and he lived in the same place in Piptea Street all the intervening years.  In this respect his record is unique.

The late Mr Waters was born in Haddington, Scotland, in 1836, and with his parents arrived in Wellington in the ship Slaines Castle in January, 1841.  Wellington was celebrating its first anniversary of the new settlers.  Although so young, Mr Waters remembered the scene.  In those days there was a Maori village at Pipitea Point, and there were other Native settlements in the Hutt Valley and on several parts of the harbour front.  Features of regattas in those times were the canoe races for the Maoris and the contests of boats' crews of the small sailing vessels in port.  

The  hills around Wellington were then densely forest clad.  There were, of course, no streets in those days.  The foreshore of the harbour from about where the Hotel Cecil is now to Stewart Dawson's Corner was then known as "The Beach".  Along the Beach there was an irregular row of small houses, and bush covered the hills behind those houses.  The only open patches were on small areas at what are now Thorndon and Te Aro flats.  The houses were in many cases constructed of mud with a framework of rough logs and saplings.  He remembered when horse-racing was held on Te Aro Flat, on an oval track, from about Upper Ingestre Street down to where Te Aro House is now, and thence round to about Taranaki Street and back to the starting point.  At that time a stream used to flow across the flat from Polhill Gully to the sea at the north end of what is now Taranaki Street.  The land between Tory Street and Cambridge Terrace was then a swamp.  Mr Waters was of opinion that the earthquake of 1855 raised the ground there several feet. 

The late Mr Waters was a printer by trade, and served his apprenticeship with his stepfather, Mr N. Sutherland, on the "Spectator" newspaper, and subsequently was a member of staffs of the "Argus", the "Independent", the "Evening Post", and the "New Zealand Times."

In May 1857, Mr Waters was married to Miss Eleanor Tutchen, who predeceased him some three and a half years ago.  The late Mr and Mrs Waters  celebrated their diamond wedding in 1917.

The article also records that the time of his death, John was survived by nine children (as listed below), 33 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren.

Mrs Jacka of  Auckland (Marion) - husband is Thomas Samuel Jacka
Mrs Macey of Melbourne (Sarah) - husband is William Charles Macey
Mrs Viles of Colyton (Jessie) - husband is Walter Franklyn Viles
Mrs Crozier of Palmerston North (Mary Ann) - husband is Charles Edwin Crozier Mrs Grierson of Lower Hutt (Emily) - husband is Archibald Grierson
Mrs Osborne of Wellington - (Ada) - husband is Harold Osborne
Miss Waters of Wellington (Annie)
Mr J Waters of Wellington (John)
Mr N J Waters of Gisborne


  1. Me again! If I am bothering you I can go away, just say. The order of the Waters children is a difficult one! I do have some solid birth years for Jessie Christina (BDM 1867/8930) and Nathaniel James (BDM 1864/6400)that differ from yours. I have a clipping somewhere that stated that John (3rdgen)is the "eldest surving son" of John Waters. Also see
    Evening Post, Volume XXIII, 21 January 1882, Page 2
    Waters.— Drowned in the Manuwatu River, on Monday, the 16th January, 1882, Simon David, second son of Mr. John Waters, aged 20 years and 9 months. Deeply lamented.
    This could account for one of your missing children.

  2. Of course you aren't bothering me!!! I'm really enjoying your input!! And yes, you are dead right about the birth dates. I found that death, but couldn't find the birth entry for that one. Might have to go down to the library and just go through the W births for 1861/62 to see if he's entered under a misspelled surname. Will update this entry and look further. If he was drowned in the Manawatu River I wonder if he was up visiting the Bertrams?

  3. It was at the John III's marriage to Catherine Wemyss in 1886 - Marlborough Express, Volume XXII, Issue 161, 7 September 1886, Page 2 - where they commented that he was the "eldest surviving son of John Waters". Nathaniel James was still alive, so he must have been younger than John. I'm going to have to break this whole blog post into smaller ones - it's too full of people! ;-)