Friday, April 22, 2011

Mary Nidd nee Latto

My grandfather, William Thomas "Pat" Nidd was born on 17 February 1914.  He and I became close around the time of his 80th birthday and together started piecing together his family history.  He died aged 89 in November 2003 and is buried at Makara Cemetery in the Returned Servicemen's area.

I knew that he had been writing down some of his memories of his family, and after his death I tried, discreetly, to find them at my grandparents'  house, but it was only after my grandmother, Kathleen Nidd, left the house to go to a rest home in February 2009, and I helped clearing the house out, that I found the piles of writing my Grandad had left.  

I want to ensure that even if the originals get lost, misplaced or destroyed, that there is a record of what he wrote, so I will be publishing pieces as I can, on here.  

The first one I've got today is a piece Pat wrote on his mother, Mary Nidd.  

Mary Nidd born Latto
Daughter of David and Janet

To write anything about mother is such that it must be pretty sketchy because little is known of her early life from babyhood to going to Wellington about 1905.

Her father David Latto arrived in NZ with his parents James and Mary Latto (see genealogical table - family tree - marked 1.) in a ship the SS Sebastapool.

Her mother was Janet Heslop - it is not known to us when or how she arrived in NZ.  Possibly she came from Australia about the time of the Lattos.

They were married at Kaiapoi on 16 December 1881.

Janet had three children by David - James born 1883, Jeannie born 1884 and Mary born 23 May 1886.

The children were deserted by their father.  Also deserted was a baby Adelaide by Janet, but David was not the father.*

James and Jeannie were looked after by James and Mary Latto being David's parents and also by David's brother George.  Jeannie was also looked after by people Northcott who were relations of the Lattos.  Have seen a photo of them with Jeannie.

Mary and Adelaide were brought up by foster parents in Ward Street, Addington.   Nothing is known of them as little children and up to the time when they went to Wellington.  Nothing is known of the school or work.  Mother never told us - it is possible she could not remember but could hardly have forgotten, we have never solved this.  Mother told me several times that they lived in Ward Street.

Mother and Adelaide went to Wellington about 1905 - they were very close.  Why they went to Wellington is not known.  Perhaps they knew their mother was in Wellington then.

Adelaide worked in a private hotel where she met a Tom Gill to whom she eventually married.  I have heard that mother met Jim Gill, Walter's brother at the same time and that she was engaged to him in Christchurch - but nothing ever came of it.

Mother worked in the Te Aro Hotel in Wellington as a licensed barmaid - they had to be licensed then. William Nidd became the licensee when she was working there and eventually married her.  I was born there.  

Father came to Christchurch in 1919 and had the Star Hotel in Addington and later the Royal Hotel and Southbridge later.

* There had long been family talk about the youngest child of Janet not being David's daughter.  For decades we weren't aware that there was another daughter, younger than Adelaide, who Janet gave birth to in Wellington.  This child Constance Amy Latto, was undoubtedly not David's daughter, as by then he was well and truly in Australia by the time of her birth (although Janet did list him as the father on Constance's birth certificate).  Based on dates and emails with Megan Prendergast, who is married to Adelaide's great grandson, it is fairly obvious that Adelaide was in fact David's daughter.

Photo of Mary Latto at her sister Adelaide's wedding to Tom Gill in 1910
Mary Nidd's obituary appeared most fully in the Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LIX, Issue 1, 4 January 1938, Page 5:

The close of the old year brought sorrow to the home of Mr W. M. Nidd, the respected licensee of the Southbridge Hotel, and members of his family, Mrs Nidd passing away on Friday after a severe illness. Her cheery disposition, broad sympathies and kindly nature won for her the warm regard of all with whom she came into contact during the seven, years she had resided at Southbridge and Mr Nidd and the members of the family have the sincere sympathy of the community in their loss. 
Formerly Miss Mary Latto, of Wellington, her marriage to Mr Nidd took place about 25 years ago. After residing for a time in the capital city, Mr and Mrs Nidd remqved. to Christchurch, where Mr Nidd was in business for a long period. Seven years ago they settled at Southbridge. Of a family of nine children, seven survive. Although the claims of her home and family did not allow Mrs Nidd much time I for social and other activities, she always took a keen interest in district affairs and was a generous supporter of worthy causes and a sympathetic helper of those in need. 
A very large number of friends attended the funeral on S/unday. Service at St. Joseph's Church, Southbridge, was conducted by the Rev. Father Creed, parish priest, assisted by the Rev." Father O'Connor, of Addington, both of whom took part in the burial service at the Catholic Cemetery. Members of St. John's branch of the Hibernian Society, of which Mr Nidd is an active member, and visiting members of the order from Christchurch, formed a guard of honour at the church and also at the cemetery, and Bros. J. Bohan, E. R. V. Winter, W. J. Galvin, C. J. Dugan, T. Carroll and R. Twiss, of St. John's, acted as pall-bearers. 
Floral tributes were received from the following:—Southbridge Town: Board; Mr and Mrs Strutton; Southbridge Cricket Club; Mr and Mrs J. M. Coffey; Mr and Mrs Alf. Barrett; Mr and Mrs J, T. Sutton; Mr W. T. Mahar; Southbridge Rugby Football Club; Mr and Mrs Peter Watson; Mr and Mrs Arnold Fussell; management and staff, Quill, Morris (1936), Ltd.; Mrs Goulden, Shona and Jean; Mrs Klee, Tim and Les; Marie, Monica and Archie; Mr and Mrs A. Hannah and family; Mr and Mrs J. C. Wallace; Nance Hancock; Mr and Mrs T. G. Brown; Canterbury Licensed Victuallers' Association; the Bennett family; Mr and Mrs M. O'Brien; Mr and Mrs W. Hickman and family; Mr and Mrs Paterson and Colleen; Mr and Mrs W. R. Green and family; D. and R. Lochhead; Mr and Mrs J. Mac- Kenzie; Mr and Mrs C. Britliffe; Jim, Mary and family; Mr and Mrs E. Lilley and family; Mr and Mrs E. Gowland and family; Mr and Mrs G. Ridden and Pat; Naomi Galvin; Mr and Mrs W. V. Rowan; Mr Peter Gallagan; the Southbridge Labour Branch; management and staff N.Z. Breweries, Ltd.; the chairman and members, North Canterbury Provincial Council of the Licensed Trade.

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