Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wilkinson family

Another family who is interlinked with the families in Wanganui, through daughter Christina, is the daughter of David Norman Wilkinson, Nurseryman of Oriental Bay, Wellington.  Christina is an Aunt of Constance Mary Latto's husband David Norman Wilkinson III - and a great aunt of his daughter, my grandfather's cousin Judith.  

David Norman Wilkinson I (January 1810 - 17 December 1902) of Roseneath, Oriental Bay.  From Ayr, Scotland.  On 24 December 1842 David advertised that he was opening a Wellington Nursery.  David and his wife Elizabeth/Isabella came to New Zealand from London on the ship Olympus arriving in Port Nicholson on 20 April 1841 with their eldest child, daughter  Christina, who was 14 months old at the time of arrival.  David was listed as being aged 28 at the time of their arrival and Elizabeth was listed as being 23.  I believe that Elizabeth may have been Isabella Mary Dunlop Wilkinson (1809 - 1867) buried at Bolton Street Cemetery.  This  is confirmed by a newspaper report in the Wellington Independent, Volume XIX, Issue 2172, 25 February 1865, Page 3, where a report about an infanticide case refers to Isabella Wilkinson being the wife of David Wilkinson of the Wilkinson Tea Gardens in Oriental Bay.  It also explains the use of "Dunlop" in family names.  Isabella and Elizabeth were names which were often interchanged.  

1. Christina Wilkinson (January 1840 - 1908) married Thomas Higgie Jr on 1 September 1866 by Rev. J.S. Muir.  Thomas was from Wanganui.  For more details on their family see here.

Of interest, is an unfortunate court case, which Christina brought against her husband and her brother David Norman Wilkinson II as executors of her father's will.  Following are reports of the court case:

First, a report published in the Evening Post 16 June 1903 edition:

When the case of Higgle v.Wilkinson and another, in connection with the estate of the late D. N. Wilkinson was returned before the Chief Justice this morning, Mr. Bell, for the defendant Wilkinson, said there was apparently a will mado by the deceased between 1874 and 1884. There was, however, no trace of it except a reference to it in young Wilkinson's diary, which indicated that his father had seen Mr. Meason, a solicitor, then residing in the same locality. That was apparently after the execution of one of the deeds by the daughters, by which they re-conveyed to him lands he had provioudly conveyed to them. Efforts had been made without avail to trace the will and to find Mr. Meason. His Honour said he knew Mr. Meason personally, and believod he was still living in England. He was a man of some means, and at one time was headmaster of a large college near Melbourne. He practised as a solicitor in Dunedin, and still had property at Merivale, near Christchurch. It was decided to at once send telegrams to Christchurch and Dunedin with the view of tracing the will if possible.
The witnesses called for the defence included the defendant David Norman Wilkinson. In reply to Mr. Izard, he stated that it was some time after the property was given to Mrs. Higgie that witnesess heard of it.
Mr. Izurd: What did your father tell you about that?
Mr. Jellicoe objected to the question, which he presumed was intended to support the suggestion of a trust. His Honour said such evidence would surely be what was known as "self-serving evidence," and he could not see how the defence could bring in statements by the father on this head.
After some discussion His Honour said the question could not be admitted, and it was not pressed.
Mr. Izard said he assumed that ruled out all conversations between the father and the son about the daughters. His Honour remarked that there was the suggestion of the daughters that they were refused access te their father.
Examination continued: Witness knew nothing of the circumstancca under which his sisters gave back their sections. An entry in his diary of 14th March 1882, showed that Mr. Meason drew a will for his father on that day. Witness never read the will, but Mr. Meason remarked to him "The will is very favourable to you."
Witness denied that Mrs. Higgie was never allowed to see her father alone. Her statement to that effect was untrue. He never gave any instructions that any person was noy to see his father alone. Could remember one occasion of two and a half years ago when Mrs. Higgie had an interview alone with the testator in his bedroom.
To Mr. Jellicoe: Witness was married twenty-eight years ago, hod a family of eight, who had lived on the property with his father all the time witness was working there. His father was a widower thirty-seven years, and witness, his wife, and family looked after him. It would not do to interfere with him at all; he wanted his own way.
Witness and his wife repaid the old man £500 of the £1000 he had had to pay as a bondsman on the Rimataka Tunnol contract, in which witness was concerned.
Up till two year ago testator bad a good memory.
During the last ten years was he not entirely in the hands of you and your wife? - Not at all.
Can you suggest any other person who had any influence over him during that time? - No. Witness was being questioned in regard to the treatment of his sister Isabella, who was admittedly not physically strong, when his Honour asked what bearing this could have on the matter he had to decide.
The plaintiff did not set up undue influence in regard to the will.
Mr. Izard: This daughter has brought an action herself.
Mr. Jellicoe: We set up undue influence to induce the testator to break the contract.
His Honour ruled the questions inadmissible.
Mr. Jellicoe (to witness): Is this the first account you have sent to your sister in regard to the small life-estate proparty left her? — Witness: Yes.
Mr. Jcllicoe: Well, it allows what your sister has to expect. She gets about £40 a year, and in the first account you deduct 3d for stamps!
Mr. Izard said his learned friend knew perfectly well why all the details had been set forth. The account was rendered by the witness as an executor, and he (Mr. Izard) had advised him to be very careful.
The Rev. J. Paterson, of St. John's Church, was called in regard to the testator's mental capacity. He thought testator was capable of transacting his business affairs up to within twelve months, or two years at most, of his death. He rcgarded him as a very intelligent old man, and very communicative.
To Mr. Jellicoe: He always spoke kindly of his daughters, and witness never heard him say anything that would indicate any unkindly feeling towards them.
No further witnesses were called, and counsel addressed the Court. Mr. Jellicoe, in moving for judgment submitted that the gift of the land to Mrs. Higgie, originally was absolute and unconditional. There was no evidence that there was any trust, and it was clear that the land was reconveyed to the testator on him undertaking to equally divide his estate among his children.
Mr. Bell emphasised that the words of the testator in the letter to Mrs. Higgie, "You all share alike," were quite capable of meaning "all the daughters." The testator's intention at the time might be called fraudulent – it was to pass away part of his property for the time being in view of possible bankruptcy. There was no contract between testator and Mrs. Higgie in express terms which could be enforced a contract relating to land must be in writing. If it was a representation to make a will in plaintiff's favour it could not be enforced, and the action therefore failed.
His Honour said he would await the result of the enquiries as to the will drawn up by Mr. Meason before giving his judgment.

2. David Norman Wilkinson II (1843 - 12 May 1919) of "Glen-Lea", Grass Street, Oriental Bay.  David married Annie Honor O'Meara (1852, Victoria, Australia - 29 May 1926, Wellington, NZ) in 1873.  They lived at 13 Grass Street, Oriental Bay.  Together they had eight children:

2.1 David Norman Wilkinson III (1874 - 1957) married Constance Amy Timperley nee Latto (1892 - 1960) in 1929.  David carried on his father's business in the Nursery at Oriental Bay and although he married late, to widow Constance, they had one child: 
   2.1.1 Judith Wilkinson (1930+?)

2.2 John Dunlop "Jack" Wilkinson (1877 - 1937) married Ada Mary Moir (1898) (daughter of John Roger Harrison and Martha Ann Moir nee Bryan, who had married in 1894)  on 10 October 1921.  John worked as a metal worker and is buried at the Karori cemetery.  I'm unsure what happened to Ada after John's death, but it's not impossible to consider that she may have remarried, as she was only 39 at the time of his death.

2.3 Jannette/Janet Ellen Maud Wilkinson (1880 - 1969).  Janet never married.  She lived with her mother until her death, and then continued to live at the house at 13 Grass Street until her own death in 1969. 

2.4 William Oswell Wilkinson (1882 - 1968).  I was somewhat confused about where this gentleman fit in, but I knew that he was related to David Wilkinson II and shared in his estate (see Evening Post, Volume CIV, Issue 8, 9 July 1927, Page 16).  Thanks to Roger Wilkinson (Wilkinson descendant) I relooked at this whole family and came across the following marriage report which answered my questions and confirmed that William was David's third son - from a report in the Manawatu Standard on 21 April 1909:

"On Thursday last a quiet wedding took place, when the marriage of Miss Eva Bryant, second daughter of the later Mr T. Pascoe Bryant, and Mr William Oswell Wilkinson, third son of Mr D. N. Wilkinson, of Oriental Bay, Wellington, was solemnised at Holy Trinity Church, Ohariu Valley.  The Rev. J. Vosper conducted the service.  The bride was given away by her cousin, Mr Arthur Stone.  The bridesmaids were Misses Babs and Lorna Bryant, sisters of the bride, and Miss May Wilkinson, sister of the bridegroom.  Mr Earl Wilkinson acted as best man. "

Finally, I now know that William married Eva Ellen Bryant on 15 April 1909.  Together, they had at least two children:

   2.4.1 Vyvienne Joyce Wilkinson (1910)

   2.4.2 Kenneth William Pascoe Wilkinson (1911) 

2.5 Isabella Mary Wilkinson (1884)

2.6 George Earl Wilkinson (23 July 1886 - 9 September 1975) married Elizabeth Anne Morris (daughter of Alexander and Jane Morris) (1884 - 1 January 1958 ) in 1913.  George and Elizabeth lived in Mersey Street, Oriental Parade for at least the early part of their marriage - their first daughter Jean was born there:

   2.6.1 Jean Honor Wilkinson (11 July 1915, Mersey Street, Island Bay - 2007).  Jean married Baker

   2.6.2 David Dennis Morris Wilkinson (6 August 1917 - 21 January 2005).  David was a mechanic and married Ailsa Joan Norling (16 June 1920 - 2008) on 4 March 1942.

   2.6.3 Earl Gordon Wilkinson (12 February 1920 -  13 September 2012).  Earl worked as a bank clerk in Wellington, and later as a bank manager in the Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua.  I don't believe Earl ever married.  

   2.6.4 Nancy May Wilkinson (30 March 1921 - 19 August 1986).  Nancy married Arthur Hildreth (7 July 1920 - 2001). 

   2.6.5 James Stewart Wilkinson (27 June 1923 - ?) 

2.7 James Gordon Wilkinson (1888 - 21 April 1920).  Worked as a clerk and died aged just 32, Gordon is buried at Karori Cemetery.  Gordon apparently died of the effects of influenza, which he had suffered badly from the year prior to this death.  He worked for Treasury in the City, and had been educated at the Clyde Quay School.  He was an amateur runner and boatsman.  He never married.  At the time of his death, he was listed as being his parents fifth, and youngest son, meaning that the last child listed for his parents, Arthur Wilkinson, must have already died.  

2.8 May Olive Annie Wilkinson (1898 - 1985) married Francis Kennedy Gasquoine (1898 - 28 September 1968) in 1921.  They had at least:
      2.8.1 John Wilkinson Gasquoine (22 May 1929 - 2006)
Following Frank's death in 1968, May appears to have married again late in life, this time to Guy Hanbury Masfen (5 November 1894 - 1996).  

2.9 Arthur Eric Wilkinson (1899)

Their mother Annie Honour Wilkinson died in 1926 and The Evening Post reported in its "Women in Print" section on 2 June 1926:

On Saturday afternoon last there passed away after a protracted illness one of the old pioneers, Mrs. David Norman Wilkinson of 13 Grass street, Oriental Bay at the age of 73 years. Her husband predeceased her by seven years. Mrs. Wilkinson was born in Victoria, and migrated to New Zealand fifty-five years ago, and spent her subsequent life at Oriental Bay.  Mrs. Wilkinson was one of the first residents of the Bay, and saw it grow from a wave-washed toi toi foreshore to a populous suburb. She was highly esteemed and respected in the community, as evidenced by the large number of magnificent floral tributes received.  Four sons and three daughters are left to mourn the loss. The funeral took place on Tuesday morning. 

3. Ellen Wilkinson (1846) married William H Hales (1830, New Brunswick, Canada - July 1909, Wanganui, New Zealand) in 1869.  Much more about the Hales family here

4. Isabella Mary Wilkinson (1851 - August 1923).  Isabella never married and she is buried at the Bolton Street Cemetery.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi thanks for putting up this info really intriguing , my grand father was David Dennis Morris Wilkinson, how do you fit into to this family