Thank you for the copies of the certificates - they are most informative and helpful. I should have thanked you sooner but I spent a few days in hospital earlier in the month for an operation to reconstruct the right side nasal passage and sinus blockage which have been troubling me for years - all is now well.
I cannot recall whether I told you that my granddaughter Philippa is very keen in the researching of the Latto and Nidd families - she was intending to get a copy of David Latto's death certificate from Perth.
Philippa is our son Michael's eldest daughter (3 of them). She is married and has a daughter Kate and lives close to her parents in Feilding. Her husband is completing his Marketing Degree at Massey University. They shifted early this year from Wellington. She was doing a law degree here at Victoria University in 1992 but had a year off last year but has decided to continue this year. However Massey University do not offer law so she is back here at Victoria. She comes down from Feilding on a Monday and lives with us until Thursday when she goes home.
As Massey is only a few miles from Feilding her husband is able to be home a lot and when he has lectures her mother looks after Kate.
Philippa does not have any lectures on Tuesdays and has been spending some time at the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Lower Hutt, at the National Archives and National Library. She has been going through a lot of material and comparing and cross referencing and has come up with quite a bit of information.
It would appear that David's [David Latto - grandfather of both Pat and Isabel] marriage to Annie Valentine was a bigamous one. Divorce laws were much enforced in the 1880s and although a bit obscure it is possible that a two years separation was as good as a divorce. But of course when he married he would not have been separated two years. Philippa says it would be interesting to see whether their marriage certificate shows him as having been divorced.
In his death certificate it shows that at the time of his death he spent 11 years in Victoria and 30 years in Western Australia - a total of 41 yewars which would have him as having been in Victoria in 1885. We are wondering whether he went over to Victoria and came back before finally departing (YES HE DID). his certificate also shows him as having been born in Christchurch which is obviously incorrect.
Well, Isabel, that is about all I have at present. We await further word from Alex Latto in Scotland.
I think at last we are building up a picture of the Latto clan. As to the upbringing of my mother and Adelaide, well that is very obscure as is the whereabouts of grandma Janet from 1888 until she married Beckett. To be charitable at least I would say that she must have been a most peculiar woman.
All our love and give my regards to Ron.
22 July 1994
A little bit more on the saga of Constance Amy.
In my last letter I told you that we could not find any trace of her after her husband died and that perhaps she had married again. We have now discovered that she did married again to a D.N. Wilkinson a joiner by trade who lived at 3 Hataitai Road, Wellington. Number 3 was the same house that her deceased husband Timperley lived at and is opposite number 4 where her mother Janet and Beckett lived.
This marriage was in 1929 - thirteen years after Timperley's death (died 1916) and Constance was 36 years of age. In 1930 she had a daughter, Judith, by this marriage.
Constance died in 1960. We presume she died in Wellington and is buried in Karori Cemetery - we are going to check this out. The daughter, Judith, married a Knowles and lives in Hastings (NO! AUCKLAND). Philippa has written to her and awaits a reply.
In respect of William and James Latto I told you that we could find no trace of them and we thought they may have gone to Australia to join their brother David and that an Australian paper had reported the deaths of two men of like name in Queensland. It seems unlikely that these men were William and James because we are pretty sure we have traced them as having died in New Zealand.
A James Latto, aged six, died at Kaiapoi in 1863. James was born in Markinch in 1857 and the family arrived in this country in the SS Sebastapol in 1863. James would have been six years old on arrival. Should all this fit in, he must have died shortly after arrival and Kaiapoi would have been their area. We will check the Kaiapoi Cemetery list.
A William Latto died in 1930. William was born in December 1852 at Markinch and should this be he, then he would have been 78 years of age at the time of his death. Will endeavour to find more of this.
When I was in Christchurch in March, I phoned Violet and spoke at some length with her. I have not seen her or spoken to her since about 1936. I was most surprised to learn that they had a younger brother Alex. I knew David and Eric but did not know of Alex.
Alex has written to the Alex Latto in Scotland and Philippa has written to Alex (Ch Ch) and has had a letter from him. He said when he got Philippa's letter he took it to Violet and they had a good yarn about it. Much of the information in his letter we already knew of. He got it from Violet and is from that compiled by Baden, copies of which you gave me.
He did have a few snippets though. He said that they understand that my mother and Addie were raised by people who lived in Ward Street, Addington - so this more or less confirms what I understood. The name of the people is still unknown. That his father (Uncle Jim) went to the Boer War.
** Slight mistake from Grandad, his mother died in 1937.
*** We were right, as he said earlier, we know she was born in Hanson Street, Wellington.
**** We later found that she had married David Wilkinson and had a daughter - Judith Knowles.