Sunday, June 17, 2012

Isabella Sutherland and Benjamin Ling

My research thus far leads me to believe that this Isabella Sutherland who married Benjamin Ling was probably not related to Nathaniel Sutherland - ie was not his sister, as she was twenty years too young.  Despite this, it has been interesting looking into this family history, and so like I've done with others, I've published it in the hope it will be of use to someone.

Isabella Sutherland (1829 - 1921) married Benjamin Ling (1820 - 1881) on 29 September 1853 at the residence of Dr Taylor on Hutt Road, Wellington.  Benjamin was Carcass and Shipping Butcher on Lambton Quay, Wellington for years until he sold the business to James Gear on 1 April 1868.  Benjamin died suddenly of "apoplexy" (probably a stroke, or aneurysm) at the age of 61 leaving his widow with at least three daughters.  Given that Isabella was married from Dr Taylor's home and that their eldest daughter was given the middle name Taylor, I wonder whether Isabella had been married previously and if Taylor could in fact have been her maiden name?

Ben and Isabella had the following children, at least:

1. Benjamin Henry Ling (1854 - 1855).  Died as an infant.  Probably buried in Wellington, but not noted in the cemetery records.  

2. Jane Ann Taylor Ling (1856 - 2 November 1936, Masterton) married Robert Wellwood (21 May 1936 - 26 January 1927, Hastings) on 14 March 1883 at St Paul's Church, Wellington by Archdeacon Thorpe. Robert's property was known as Maxwell Lea, Hawkes Bay, although he was originally Irish.  Robert worked as an auctioneer and a stock and station agent was the first Mayor of Hastings, and was well respected in Hawkes Bay.  See more about him here.   Robert was twenty years older than Jane, and she was his second wife.  His first wife was Annie Heslop (1849 - 12 August 1881) and they married on 11 April 1872 at Puketapu.  Together they had the following children:

   2.1 Norman Richardson Wellwood (1877 - ) Norman was married at least three times.  His first wife was Ruth Holden (1882 - 1909) and they married in 1903.  In 1905, Ruth was recommended for a bravery award, for her efforts to save some friends in a drowning accident.  This was reported the Bush Advocate on 24 February 1905.  In 1909, Ruth died aged just 27 - I don't believe they had any children.  

In March 1912, Norman was in the news himself, having been injuring when the car he was driving 'smashed.'  

Norman moved to Australia sometime after 1916 and was living in New South Wales in the 1920s.  He had married Jean Mackay Gow in New Zealand later in 1909 and on 21 April 1926 they were divorced.  By September 1927 he seems to have remarried Madge ? and was possibly living in or around Murwillumbah, New South Wales.  Norman and his first wife Jean had the following child:
      2.1.1 Shislah Annie Wellwood (1911) 
   2.2 Arthur Trevor De Montmorney Wellwood (1880 - 18 April 1961)  He doesn't appear to have  married or had children.  Arthur served in the Boer War and his papers are available online.

Following their marriage, Jane and Robert had the following children:
   2.3 Eva Ling Wellwood (1884 - 1959) married John Alick Betts (1886 - 1959) in 1911
   2.4 Robert Terence Wellwood (1885 - 22 November 1918) married Alice Maude Brown (1889 - 1937) in 1914.  Robert died during WWI of disease.
      2.4.1 Terrence Wellwood (June 1915 - 16 August 1915).  Died aged just five weeks.
   2.5 Ruby Maudine Wellwood (7 January 1887 - 1980) married Frank Middleton Poynter (son of James Benjamin and Kate Poynter nee Simpson, who had married in 1875)(18 May 1878 - 1945) in 1914.  They lived in Tauranga.  The Poynter's wedding was reported in the Hawera & Normanby Star on 23 December 1914:

At St. Matthew's Church, Hastings, Miss Ruby Maudine Wellwood, second daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Wellwood, of Brooklands, Hastings, was united in matrimony to Mr Frank Middleton Poynter, youngest son of Mr J. P. Poynter, of Eltham. The bride wore a gown of white charmeuse and veil with orange blossoms, and carried a bouquet of white flowers. The bridesmaids were Misses Doris and Zeta Wellwood (sisters of the bride), who wore floral ninon frocks and pretty flower-trimmed hats with black velvet streamers. They carried bouquets of pink sweet peas. Mr Harold Symes was best man and Mr Hartshorn, groomsman.

      2.5.1 Dick Middleton Poynter (1915 - 24 December 1941).  Dick was killed during WWII.  There is more information about him and his death here.
      2.5.2 James Middleton Poynter (1923 - 1923) Died aged just six months
   2.6 Eileen Isabel "Isobel" Wellwood (1889) married John Campbell in 1928
   2.7 Erick Benjamin "Eric" Wellwood (1890 - 17 September 1940) married Margery Myers (19 February 1900 - 1983) in 1931.  Eric also served in WWI but unlike his older brother, he returned to New Zealand, where he and his wife seem to have lived in Masterton.  It's likely that following his father's death, Eric's mother Jane came to live with Eric and Margery, as she died in Masterton in 1936.
   2.8 Bessie Doris "Doris" Wellwood (13 August 1892 - 1976) married Eustace Percival Baker (11 June 1888 - 1974) in 1923
   2.9 Zeta Kathleen Wellwood (1897) married Leslie John Edmondson (son of John Alfred and Prudentia Elizabeth Edmondson nee Grey, who had married in 1891) (1895) in 1925.  Leslie served in WWI and then it seems like that he and Zeta moved to Australia.

3. William Sutherland Ling (January 1858 - 21 October 1869, Melbourne, Australia).  Died overseas aged 11 years and nine months.

4. Benjamin Ling (1860 - 1925)

5. Margaret Isabella "Isabella" Ling (1861 - 1935) married John Peat (eldest son of David Peat) on 20 April 1887 at St Paul's Church, Wellington by Rev. Still.  The Peats lived in Oriental Bay, Wellington.
   5.1 Elvira Peat (1889 - 1931) married Albert Oliver Douglas Boddington (son of Henry Albert and Mary Ellen Caroline Boddington nee Rutherford in 1887) (1892 - 1951) in 1926
   5.2 Isabel "Bunty" Peat (1894 - 11 January 1919, Leura, New South Wales) 
   5.3 Jack Peat (1 February 1898 - 1990) married Ellen Irene Chesswas in 1923.

6. Bessie Wilhelmina Ling (11 March 1871 - 1952) married Percy Archibald Gillies (1873 - 1920) on 19 November 1902 at Otaki, by Rev. T.C. Pargiter.  Percy was a farmer in Te Horo, and given that Bessie's mother owned property in Te Horo, this is likely how they met.  Percy was well known for his beautiful garden at his property at Te Horo.  Percy and Bessie moved to Palmerston North and Percy disappeared from there on 25 February 1920.    The mystery of his disappearance was solved and reported upon in the Feilding Star on 5 August 1920:

A gruesome discovery, made yesterday morning, indicates the cleaning up of the mystery surrounding the disappearance from Palmerston North on March 24 last of Mr Percy Archibald Gillies, a married man, aged 48 years. For some time after his disappearance searching inquiries were made by the police and relatives, and a substantial reward was offered for information leading to the discovery ol Mr Gillies dead or alive.
At 11a.m. yesterday Mr C. T. Keeble, of Fitzherbert, and an employee named E. C. Edmonds, were working on the form's property, facing the riverfront, when they noticed the body of a man held fast in some drift wood, it having apparently been washed down the river.
The police were immediately informed of the fact, and Constable Gow proceeded to the scene. The body was in a very advanced state of decomposition—in fact, nearly all the flesh had gone from the bones, and the features were unrecognisable. Only a few shreds of clothing and the boots remained on the body. The clue to Mr Gillies identity, however, was discovered in an overcoat, which was found some 20 yards from the body.
On the maker's tag, inside the garment, was written, in indelible ink, the name “P. Gillies, Otaki." Mr Gillies had lived at Otaki for mony years, and had only resided in Palmerston for a comparatively short period before his disappearance. Deceased was a nephew of Mr Hugh Gillies, of Rangitikei Line, and is survived by a wife and family. Times.

   6.1 Wyvern Benjamin Gillies (9 September 1903 - 1998) married Edna Jean Rowlands on 31 October 1903 - 1979) in 1931. (Coincidentally, Edna was a descendant of Mary Tutchen and Edwin Bannister and is mentioned here.)
   6.2 Ruby Ellen Gillies (14 July 1910 - 1998) married Mr Reid.

Isabella died at the grand old age of 93 in 1921 and her passing was recorded in the Evening Post on 17 September 1921:

The burials that take place at the old Sydney-street Cemetery are very few and far between nowadays, and only the very early settlers have space there. Yesterday afternoon another of the rare funerals took place there, being that of Mrs. Isabella Ling who left Wellington a good many years ago for Otaki, but for the past year had been with her daughter, Mrs. Percy Gillies, at Palmereton North. Mrs. Ling had attained the age of 93 years, and till last year, when she received a severe shock, her house at Otaki being burnt, she enjoyed good health.
Mrs. Ling lived for many years in Wellington, and saw some of the excitements of the early days, some of which were very alarming. Her home was widely noted for its openhearted hospitality, and many old friends of the family will regret to hear of her death.
(The funeral took place at the Sydney-street Cemetery yesterday afternoon. Mrs. Ling leaves three daughters and a son—Mrs. Robert Wellwood (of Hastings), Mr. B. Ling (of Otaki), Mrs. Peat (of Wanganui, formerly of Wellington), and Mrs. Percy Gillies (of Palmerston North). Mr. Ling predeceased his wife several years ago.


  1. A lot of research went into this and your findings certainly confirm that this Isabella is not our ancestor Isabella Sutherland.

  2. I've been researching Benjamin Ling and Isabella Sutherland too – my grandmother was their grand daughter Zeta Kathleen Wellwood, daughter of Jane Ann Taylor Ling.
    I haven't had any luck so far finding anything about Isabella's parents, as there were quite a few Isabella Sutherlands born in Caithness around 1829. I do have some stories about her, and a picture of her, if you are interested.

  3. Norman Wellwood and Ruth Holden had two children Ralph Holden Wellwood Holden and John Wi Te Ota Wellwood Holden