Sunday, October 14, 2012

Frank George Evans' family

My interest in the Evans family was sparked by finding that Alister's great great grandfather was a gentleman by the name of Frank George Evans, who was a Minister in New Plymouth.  Many of Alister's ancestors were clergymen, but typically this was on his mother's father's side - the Calders.  We had not been aware that another branch had a similar leaning.

Frank's daughter Madoline Evans married Dr Herbert Bertram, and was Alister's great grandmother.  More about Frank's immediate family, with his first wife, Hannah Rhodes, here.  

Frank was also the son of a clergyman - William Evans.  Following is their family tree, as far as I have been able to trace it at this time:

Rev. William Evans (1817, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales - 9 May 1907, Tauranga, New Zealand) was a Presbyterian Minister.  He married Rachel Saer (16 April 1818, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales - 22 February 1907, Tauranga, New Zealand) on 28 December 1843 at Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, Wales.  Saer, incidentally, is the Welsh word for 'joiner'.  

William was ordained a Minister in 1840 and was called to Chester, where he was the Pastor of the City Road Presbyterian Church for 25 years.  Following this, for five years, he officiated at Hoylake, near Liverpool.  William and Rachel came to New Zealand in 1877, arriving in Auckland, and soon after he took over the parish at Trinity Church, Cambridge.  He remained there until 1896, when he retired and eventually moved to Tauranga, where both he and Rachel died, at the grand ages of 90 and 88 respectively.  

Together, William and Rachel had a family of at least eight children, five of whom appear to have accompanied them to New Zealand from England in 1877 - with son William and his family accompanying a few years later.  At this time, I'm unsure as to which vessel they arrived here upon.  The family consisted as follows:

1. Mary Ann Evans (1845, Hay, Breconshire, Wales).  Not too long after her arrival in New Zealand with her family, Mary Ann married Frank Jefcoate Brooks (15 June 1846, Kent, England - 14 November 1927, Auckland) on 9 August 1879 at Trinity Church, Cambridge.  Mary Ann and Frank were married by her father, Rev. William.  Frank Brooks was a widower, having previously married Selina Miriam Hougton (1853 - 1875), third daughter of Mr John Houghton, at his residence in Epsom, Auckland on 14 July 1874.  Sadly, Selina died, probably as a result of the birth of their only daughter, Selina Francesca "Eanie" Brooks (24 May 1875 - 1965) on 28 May 1875, at their residence on Karangahape Road, Auckland.  Selina was only 22 years old at the time of her death.  Presumably, Mary Ann took on young Selina as a step daughter upon her marriage, four years later, to Frank.  

Frank's obituary in the 15 November 1927 edition of the Auckland Star tells us that he died at his residence, Elsinore, Fairview Road, Mount Eden, on 14 November 1927 aged 81 years.  Frank was born in Maidstone, Kent, England and had arrived in New Zealand, I have since found, on the ship Victory in 1865.  The obituary records that Frank was for some years in the timber business at Glenmore, but that he later joined the staff of the Bank of New Zealand - in 1868.  In this capacity, he was stationed at Thames and then Gisborne, before being appointed the first BNZ Branch Manager in Cambridge, in October 1875.  Presumably it was this move to Cambridge following his wife's death, that led him to meet his future second wife, Mary Ann Evans.  Later, in 1907, Frank became the town clerk of Cambridge before retiring and going to live in Auckland in 1920.  Religiously, Frank was a vestryman and Synodsman for St Andrew's Church, Cambridge and later at St Barbaba's in Mount Eden.

Mary Ann is, surprisingly, not even mentioned in the obituary, but she was still alive at this time of her husband's death, although she followed him soon after, dying on 7 September 1928 at the age of 83 years.  Frank and Mary Ann are both buried in the Hillsborough Cemetery in Auckland.
Together, Frank and Mary Ann had the following children:

1.1 Mary Gertrude "Gertrude" Brooks (14 August 1880 - 1970).  I don't believe that Gertrude ever married - certainly she was still unmarried in 1927 at the time of her father's death.

1.2 Jessie Jefcoate Brooks (1883 - 1971) married Walter Alexander Lee (1888 - 1964) in 1912.

1.3 John Frank Brooks (18 October 1885 - 1972) married Susie Rachel Emily Alma Way (1885 - 1970) in 1917.   In June 1918, John embarked on the ship Remuera, enlisting in WWI.  At the time he went to war, Susie was living at Queen Street, in Cambridge.  John did his apprenticeship as a chemist in Auckland and Hamilton and then took over R.J. Roberts' pharmacy in Cambridge in 1912.  John then sold the chemist shop in 1917 prior to going to war.  On his return to New Zealand, he and Susie moved to Te Awamutu, where he again commenced business as a chemist.  The couple were still living in Te Awamutu in 1927, at the time of John's father's death.  
John and Susie had at least one child together.

2. William Saer Evans (1847, Hay Breconshire, Wales - 10 April 1928, Auckland) was the eldest son of William and Rachel.  When they emigrated to New Zealand in 1877, William Jnr was a grown man of thirty years and, it would appear, had already married.  
At some stage, William appears to have married Ann Eaton, and moved to Northern Ireland for their birth of their eldest daughter, before returning to Lancashire.  Together, Ann and William Jnr had at least two children:

2.1 Matilda Annie Evans (3 January 1870, Belfast, Ireland - 1947)

2.2 Harry Evans (1874, Rochdale, Lancashire)

There is another Evans who has popped up living with Rev. William and Rachel Evans in Cambridge and later in Tauranga, and I believe that she may have been the daughter of William Jnr and his first wife Ann.  I have added this daughter in, but am open to this not being correct, as she doesn't appear on the 1881 census (however part of me wonders if, after her mother's death, this child travelled with her grandparents to New Zealand, which would explain her absence in 1881):

2.3 Alice Eaton Evans (December 1872, West Derby, Lancashire - 1 July 1921)

I think it's highly likely that if Alice's mother died after the birth of young Harry, or another later child, that upon being left with so many young children, Alice's Grandparents may have decided to take her in as their own.  

One thing which solidifies my suspicion that Alice was a grandchild who was essentially taken in by her grandparents, is finding that Rev. William bought a property in Cambridge in 1896 (from the estate of the late James Paton Thomson), obviously after retiring from the Ministry.  He must have lived there with Rachel for around five years.  On 13 May 1901, he transferred this property to Alice.  After Rev. William and Rachel's deaths in 1907, Alice sold half of the property to William John Semmens on 25 September 1908 and the rest of the property was later sold to F.A. Marcroft in 1910.  Thereafter Alice seems to have lived in King Street, Auckland.  She never married.

Sure enough, on further searching, I found the death notice for Alice which appeared in the 2 July 1921 copy of the Auckland Star:

"EVANS - On July 1, 1921, at her residence, Okere, Norman's hill, Onehunga, Alice Eaton, grand-daughter of the late Rev. W. Evans, late of Cambridge: aged 47 years.  The funeral will leave the above address for Waikaraka Cemetery to-morrow (Sunday) at 2.30."

I am unsure when Ann Eaton Evans died, but it was obviously some time between 1874 and 1879.  Perhaps she was still alive in 1877, and was not keen to move to the other side of the world with her in laws?  In any event, apparently William decided not to accompany his family and instead stayed in England.  

Presumably following the death of Ann, in June 1879, in West Derby, Lancashire, William Jnr married 19 year old Alice Waring (1858, Haughton, Lancashire, England - 26 September 1926, Auckland).  After their marriage, they appear to have moved back to Chester, Cheshire, which is where William Jnr grew up.  Together, Alice and William Jnr had at least one child:

2.4 Ethel M Evans (1880, Chester, Chesire, England)

Ethel is listed as a one year old on the family's Census return of 1881, when they were all living at St Bridget, Cheshire - also listed are her elder half siblings, Matilda and Harry.  I am unsure as to whether or not there were any other children of the union - but it seems that between 1881 and 1885, William Jnr and Alice decided to follow the Evans family to New Zealand.  Try as I might, at this point I have not been able to find a record of the family emigrating to New Zealand, but this is something which I will hopefully be able to update in time.  

I do know that Matilda certainly accompanied the family to New Zealand, because in 1896, when she was around 26 years old, she is listed on electoral records, living in the Bay of Plenty with her grandparents, William and Rachel.  Also seemingly there was Alice Heaton Evans - although I am unsure how, or if, she fits into the family.  It seems likely that Matilda is also the Matilda Annie Evans who married Hastings farmer John Viner Lewis Edson (24 August 1873 - 1965) in 1897.  John and Matilda had the following six children from their marriage:

2.1.1 John Leonard Edson (1899 - 14 May 1911).  Leonard died at the age of just 11 years old.  Perhaps the stress on the family of his death contributed to the break up of his parents' marriage?  According to the Poverty Bay Herald, Leonard drowned in a pool near Whakarewarewa while playing at sailing a boat with his younger brother.  Both got out of their depth, but while the younger one managed to get to the bank, Leonard sank immediately.  

2.1.2 George Norman Lowther "John" Edson (1901 - November 1941).  In 1927 John married Edna Mabel Robinson.  John lived in Remuera, Auckland and was on the Auckland staff of the South British Insurance Company.  He resigned from the position of Inspector in 1936 to take up the job of Manager of the F.A.M.E. Insurance Company Ltd, Auckland.  John resigned from this job in August 1941 and took control of the firm Edson, Francis Ltd - land and estate agents.  He had, however, still apparently retained an interested in the F.A.M.E. Company.

On 25 November 1941 John's body was found in the vestible under the light well in Endean's buildings, Queen Street, Auckland, having fallen sixty feet.  The matter was referred to the Coroner.  While one witness said that they did not know of any financial reasons to cause John's death, Police inquiries showed that he was financially embarrassed and depressed.  The Coroner found that he had been suffering from bouts of sinusitis which caused crippling headaches, and his wife said she knew of no reason for a suicide.  However, the Coroner eventually found that the fall could not be ruled accidental.  

2.1.3 Harold Cecil Edson (1903 - about 1973, Western Australia).  Harold seems to have studied initially in New Zealand, and then, some time in the late twenties or early thirties, he seems to have emigrated to New South Wales, Australia.  He is listed in Electoral Rolls as being a poultry farmer.  Later, he can be found listed as a farmer in Western Australia.  I believe that Harold probably never married, and died in Australia some time in the 1970s.

2.1.4 Reginald Arthur Edson (1905 - 13 September 1907).  This little child died aged just two and a half years.  Reginald is buried with his elder brother John Leonard, at Waikaraka Cemetery in Auckland.

2.1.5 Mary Winifred Alice Edson (3 November 1906 - 30 September 1987).  Mary never married.  Mary trained as a nurse at the Nelson Public Hospital.  In 1930 she obtained hours in the maternity State examination and further distinction by passing first for the whole of the Dominion!  Quite an accomplishment.  Throughout her life, and no doubt in part due to her vocation, Mary lived in various places, between Waipawa, Auckland, Otaki, Wellington and New Plymouth.  In 1963, prior to his death two years later, Mary was living in Auckland caring for her elderly father, John Edson, whose second wife had died ten years earlier.  Mary was living in New Plymouth at the time of her death, and was cremated.

2.1.6 Eileen Dorothy Edson (18 November 1908 - 1998).  Eileen, like her elder sister, also never married.  Unlike her sister, Eileen doesn't appear to have ever left the family home, and she stayed there with her mother, at 31 Fairview Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland until long after Matilda's death in 1947.  

Unfortunately the marriage between Matilda Evans and John Edson doesn't seem to have been a match made in heaven.  After six children, by 1912, Matilda and John had separated, with them continuing to live apart, although John supported Matilda and the children, until John was granted a decree nisi at the Supreme Court in Auckland on 12 June 1924.  Matilda had originally filed a defence to the application, but on the day, withdrew it.  She never married again.  Undoubtedly John's motivation for the divorce was his desire to remarry, and this he did, in 1924, to Violet Rebecca Revina Bayly (1877 - 1953). 

From the age of 14, William Jnr is listed on Census returns as being a piano tuner - this is an occupation he would continue in Auckland, New Zealand.  The family eventually lived at 29 Prospect Terrace, Mount Eden, Auckland and as time passed, William became not merely a tuner but also a piano dealer. 
Upon their arrival in New Zealand, Alice and William went on to have the following family: 

2.5 Evelyn Beatrice Evans (29 December 1885 - 1978).  Evelyn married William Thomas Weller (4 January 1876, Walthamstow, Essex, England - 6 February 1931, Wanganui) on 1 January 1919.  William appears to have been yet another clergyman in the family - this time, probably a Methodist minister.   However, prior to emigrating to New Zealand, as late as the 1901 English Census, he was working as a plumber/gasfitter. However, after leaving England and by the 1914 electoral roll, William is listed as a Missioner, living with what must be his brother and sister in law, Ernest and Maud Weller, at Urquhart Street, Wanganui.  William was later listed on the NZ Army WWI Reserve Rolls in 1916/17, he was recorded as residing at St John's Vicarage, Ohakune. The last trace of William is with Evelyn, living at the Vicarage, Gibson Street, Aramoho Wanganui.  Three short years later, he was dead, at the relatively young age of 55.  
Following William's death, Evelyn seems to have moved to Auckland and in 1949 it appears she was living in Tamaki with son, Clifford.  Later, in 1957, she was living in the North Shore with her brother in law, Sidney and his wife. Finally, just prior to her death, she lived in the East Coast Bays in Auckland, close to other family.

2.6 Frederick Saer Evans (1887).  Fred worked as a salesman and engineer prior to his enlisting in WWI.  He left New Zealand on the ship Tahiti on 12 June 1917 - his next of kin was his mother, Alice, of 29 Prospect Terrace, Mount Eden, Auckland.  Fred is listed again as a salesman in the 1928 electoral roll in Mount Eden, but following this, there is no further trace of him.  I'm unsure, but suspect he may have emigrated overseas?

2.7 Arthur Roy Evans (9 November 1888 - 1 September 1972).  Arthur married Annie Ita Whyte (12 August 1890 - 28 October 1977, Hawera) in 1913.  Together Arthur and Annie had at least two sons, including:

2.7.1 Arthur Bernard Evans (20 May 1916 - 19 June 1998).  Arthur married Jean Elizabeth (21 June 1919 - 27 March 2003).  They lived in Hawera and are both buried in the Hawera Cemetery.

2.7.2 Cyril Emmett Evans (25 August 1921 - 13 March 1994).  Cyril married Agnes Emma.  They also lived in Hawera.  

Unfortunately it doesn't appear that the marriage between Roy and Itawas successful, as the Evening Post of 3 October 1921 reports on Maintenance cases which were dealt with in the Magistrates Court that day, including a report that Arthur, having allowed his arrears to amount to over 34 pounds, was sentenced to three months imprisonment, only suspended on the proviso that he paid 20 shillings per week.  
While married, Arthur and Ita lived on St John's Hill in Wanganui and Arthur worked as a labourer - this is confirmed by electoral roll records in 1914 and 1919.  However, apparently signalling the end of the marriage, Ita moved to Patea, where she lived with her two sons.  Later, as she got older, she lived with her son and daughter in law in Hawera.  Ita is buried in the Hawera Cemetery.  
It's unclear what happened to Arthur following the demise of the marriage.

2.8 Olive Mabel Alberta Evans (1890 - 12 August 1931).  In 1921 Olive married Louis Hamilton Browne (son of George Evan Browne and Ellen Browne)(1881 - 1937).  Louis made his public debut in a report in the Auckland Star on 3 November 1891 when, along with five other boys, he was caught not in school as he should have been, but instead, stealing strawberries!  This was treated very seriously, and the boys were all fine five shillings (or 48 hours, presumably in cells, in default) and warned that if they appeared before the magistrate again that they would be headed either for an industrial school, or for prison!  I have noticed, via a death notice for Louis' mother Ellen in 1928, that the Browne family lived at 33 Prospect Terrace, Ponsonby - just two doors down from Olive's parents' home, which is undoubtedly how the two met.
In 1928, Louis and Olive were living at 11 Preston Avenue, Auckland, and Louis was listed as being a 'Tally Clerk'. 
Olive died at the young age of just 40, after only ten years of marriage, leaving Louis and some children - this is evidenced by the In Memoriam notice published a year after Olive's death.  Louis himself died only seven years later.  I'm unsure what happened to any minor children.

2.9 Norma Cecilia Gladys Evans (1 July 1893 - 20 August 1979).  Norma married Eric Jackson Smallfield (1893 - 30 January 1972), a surveyor, in 1914. Together they had two children:

2.9.1 John Manfred Smallfield (31 August 1915 - 2009).  John married, had children and worked as a company director.  

2.9.2 Patricia Lloyd Smallfield (4 April 1918 - 2005) married the older Thomas Langley Simpson (9 June 1905 - 1975).  Thomas worked as an 'estimator' according to electoral roll records. 

Their own dramatic story is that Eric, Norma and their son John were all held at the Buta Lintang Camp in Borneo  during WWII.  Eric wrote an account of their incarceration in 1947, apparently called "Internment Under the Japanese" (New Zealand Surveyor 19, no 4, April 1947, 301 - 310).  Eric was a government surveyor in Borneo and he and his family were captured by the Japanese and held in the civilian part of the camp.  Norma and Eric had spent a lot of time between New Zealand and Borneo throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and newspaper accounts comment on parties being held to welcome them back.  Obviously, Norma had a great sense of style and enjoyed socialising, as there are numerous accounts of her out and about, and stunning descriptions of her dress.  
By 1949, Norma and Eric seem to have permanently settled back in Auckland, New Zealand.

William Saer Evans' obituary appeared in the Auckland Star on 12 April 1928.  it read as follows:

After a residence of 40 years in Auckland, Mr. William Evans died this week, aged 82 years, at his home, Prospect Terrace, Mount Eden, where he has lived for the last 18 years.  Mr Evans, who was born in Wales, came to Auckland with his father, the late Rev. W. Evans, a minister of the Presbyterian Church. Three years later his wife and family joined him, and three brothers also came later to Auckland.  Mrs Evans died over a year ago.  Two sons and six daughters survive their parents.  There are also 15 grandchildren."

I'm not sure that the way the family arrived in New Zealand is quite correct, as it appears clear that William was actually still in England at the time of the 1881 census, with his wife and children, while by that stage his father and other members of the family were already ensconced in Cambridge, New Zealand!
The interesting clue from the Obituary, is the number of children still alive.  These would presumably be as follows:
Six daughters: Matilda Edson; Ethel Evans; Evelyn Weller; Olive Browne; Norma Smallfield and ?
Two sons: Frederick Evans and Arthur Evans.  
Harry Evans probably died as a child, possibly before they left for New Zealand, and Alice Eaton Evans had died, unmarried, at the age of 47 in 1921.  

3. Elizabeth Evans (28 June 1848, Chester, Cheshire - 10 June 1871, Chester, Cheshire).  Prior to the family emigrating to New Zealand, their second daughter, Elizabeth died just short of her 23rd birthday.  Unfortunately I'm not aware of any further information about her.  

4. John Evans (7 March 1851, Chester, Cheshire - 22 October 1950, Palmerston North).  John accompanied his family to New Zealand in 1877.  In 1878, he married Elizabeth Horn (1857 - 23 August 1937).   Due to the annoying common place nature of his name, it is extremely hard to find out much of anything about John Evans.  However, I do believe and the and Elizabeth had the following children:

4.1 George Bertram Evans (1885).  George married Gladys File in 1916.  Following WWI, for which George appeared on the NZ Army Reserves List, they moved to Hamilton and George was recorded as being a carpenter in 1919 and again on the 1928 electoral roll.  However, following this, there seems to be no further trace of them in New Zealand.
There appears, on the 1944 electoral roll for Launceston East, Tasmania, Australia, a record of a George Bertram Evans, who is a builder living at 104 Frankland Street.  Perhaps this is our George?  There is no sign of Gladys.  In 1949, in Launceston East, Tasmania George Bertram Evans the builder appears again, this time with a Doris May Elizabeth Evans - "Home duties".  Both reside at 50 Howick Street.  Is Doris George's daughter?  In 1968, George Bertram Evans appears to be retired (no occupation is listed) and he and Doris May Elizabeth Evans are residing at Flat 3, 16 Somers Street, Chisholm, Wattle Park, Victoria.  Even in 1980 they are both still living at that address - making me wonder if this IS the correct George Bertram Evans.  Hopefully someone will be able to enlighten me on whether or not it is, and if not, what happened to George and Gladys Evans.

4.2 William Saer Evans (29 June 1888 - 13 December 1976, Hastings).  Clearly named after his Uncle, William Saer, Bill was the first William Saer Evans to be born in New Zealand.  On 7 September 1915, at Mangaweka, he married Florence Bodley (16 June 1896 - 12 March 1972, Hastings).  Throughout the electoral rolls, Bill was listed as being an engine driver and as an engineer.  Bill and Florence are both buried at the Hastings Cemetery.  

Bill and Florence had three children:

4.2.1 Leslie Evans (3 May 1918, Lower Hutt - 19 June 1984, Hastings).  Leslie worked as a mechanic.  He lived in Hastings largely, and was married to Elizabeth Campbell Evans (30 November 1926 - 17 December 1998).  They are both buried at the Hastings Cemetery.  

4.2.2 John Cuthbert Evans (14 September 1919, Napier - 28 December 1996, Haumoana).  Like his brother, John also lived largely in Hastings, and he also worked as a mechanic and as a contractor.  Towards the end of his life he lived in Haumoana.  I believe that John was married to Harriet Alix Evans, and appears to have had a relatively large family.  

4.2.3 Florence May Evans (17 November 1923, Hamilton - 26 April 1926, Hamilton).  Florence was only two and a half when she died.

4.3 Alfred Evans (1891 - 1891)
4.4 Frank Chester Evans (1891 - 1891) Alfred and Frank were twin babies whose lives were both extremely short.  Frank died aged just four days, and Alfred died three days later, aged a week.

4.5 Grace Ruby Evans (1894 - 1972).  Grace married Herbert Nathaniel Simmonds (1894 - 1971) in November 1914, when she was just twenty years old.  Their wedding took place at St Augustine's in Napier.  Later, the couple moved to Mount Roskill, Auckland, where Herbert worked as a Warehouseman.  

4.6 Alice Lillian Christina Evans (26 September 1896 - March 1995, Hillingdon, Middlesex, England).  Alice married the unusually  named James McCurdy Tudhope (1886 - 9 October 1954) in 1921.  James' father Thomas was also from Cambridge, Waikato, where Alice's grandparents had initially settled.  James was a solicitor and had graduated from Victoria University in Wellington after studying between 1904 and 1913 - he would have been no doubt working fulltime while studying.  James, Alice and their family lived at 6 Belvedere Road, Hataitai, Wellington.  They had at least one daughter.  Following James' death in 1954, Alice stayed in Wellington for a while before permanently emigrating to England, arriving in Southampton on 1 January 1960.  I suspect Alice's daughter had emigrated to the UK herself, which then prompted Alice to emigrate.  
Alice finally died in Hillingdon, Middlesex aged 98 years.  James was cremated at the Karori Crematorium.

4.7 Sidney Cyril Evans (1897 - 20 February 1968).  Sidney married Aileen Catherine Niven (22 July 1895 -  18 November 1985) in 1920.  Sidney and Aileen lived in Riccarton, Christchurch, and Sidney worked as a labourer.  Aileen and Sid are both buried in the Waimairi Cemetery in Christchurch, but Sidney is buried under the name "Sydney" Evans, which has made him harder to find.  
Sid and Aileen had at least two sons, one being:

4.7.1 Cyril John Evans (3 October 1920 - 23 June 2006, Christchurch).  In 1949, Cyril was living with his parents at 4 Dallas Street, Riccarton and was working as a hairdresser.  By 1954 he had moved out of home and had married. 

5. Alfred James Evans (December 1852 - 1910). Alfred travelled from England to New Zealand with his family when he was aged around 25.  Prior to travelling to New Zealand, Alfred had worked in England as a Woollen Draper's assistant.  Around four years after his arrival in New Zealand, in 1881, he married Hannah "Annie" Shoveller Bright.  Annie and Alfred lived around Cambridge and in other parts of the Waikato area.  I am unsure what happened to Annie, following Alfred's death.
Together, Alfred and Annie had two children:

5.1 Daisy Gwyndoline Evans (1883).  Try as I might, I haven't  yet been able to work out whatever happened to Daisy.  Maybe she ended up wherever her mother Annie, brother Alfred, and sister in law, Jemima, went!  It would be great if anyone can shed any light on this particular family.

5.2 Alfred Noel Izod Evans (1885).  In 1911, Alfred Jnr was living at Bryce Street, Cambridge and was working as a land agent.  Prior to this, in 1907, he married Jemima Cruickshank.  Following his father's death, Alfred and Jemima moved to Auckland where he continued to work as a land agent.  However, in 1919, he apparently decided to join the military and that year he is listed as an accountant at the Trentham Military Camp in the greater Wellington area.  After this, there is no record of Alfred and Jemima.  I theorise that they moved overseas, but I have no idea where or when or if they had any children.  Any information on this couple would be appreciated.  

After much frustration, I finally found reference to "Daisy Gwendoline Martin" and a notice of substituted service against her and her brother, "Alfred Noel Evans" which appeared as an advertisement in the 23 October 1926 edition of the Auckland Star.  The advertisement is hard to decipher, but it appears that between 1 October 1923 and 3 March 1924 Daisy had set up in partnership with the plaintiff in the case, Henry Russell James Short, and established a firm named "The Martin Business Institute".  Appaerntly a debt in excess of one thousand pounds was in dispute and Short was suing Daisy in the Supreme Court for the amount.  Alfred appears to be added in his capacity as Daisy's accountant

Interestingly, Daisy is recorded as being a widow - her last name is now "Martin" and she and Alfred are both recorded as being "formerly" of Auckland, now believed to be living in Sydney, New South Wales.  From this, I was able to find the death notice for Daisy's husband, John Roxburgh Martin, recorded in the 28 July 1923 edition of the Auckland Star:

"MARTIN - On July 21 , at his late residence, 24 Valley Road, Mount Eden, John Roxburgh, third son of the late James Roxburgh Martin, of Edinburgh, and beloved husband of Daisy Gwendoline Martin.  Interred at Hillsboro, July 23."

John Roxburgh Martin was 56 years old at the time of his death, meaning that he was born around 1867.  
I've found that Daisy and John married in Marrickville, New South Wales in 1902 - they then appear to have moved back to New Zealand in time for the birth of their first daughter.  I was also able to ascertain that John and Daisy had the following children together:

5.1.1 Jean Roxburgh Martin (17 October 1904, "Mavia Brae", Milton Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland).  Jean worked as a secretary and obviously cared for her mother in her old age.  The last trace of Jean records her still living in Double Bay, Warringh, NSW in 1980 - I'm unsure when she died.

5.1.2 Margaret Roxburgh Martin (1907).  Margaret attended Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland, and appears to have stayed in New Zealand (or returned to New Zealand), as she is listed as graduating from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Arts in June 1930.  In May 1932, she was then conferred with a Master of Arts, first class in mathmatics.  I don't believe that Margaret went to Australia with her sister and mother.  She never married and  stayed in Auckland, living for many years at 636 Mount Albert Road, Auckland, and is probably the Margaret Martin who died in 2004, aged 97.

Like Daisy's brother, Alfred, John Roxburgh Martin was an accountant.  Following John's death, and the obvious problems with The Martin Business Institute, I've found that Daisy did, indeed, go back to New South Wales and lived around Sydney, working as a secretary.  As she got older, she lived with her elder daughter, Jean, who doesn't seem to have ever married. The last trace of Daisy records her living in Double Bay, Warringah, NSW with her daughter, Jean.  She would have been around 80 years of age at this point,a and I'd presume she died not long after.

I still have no idea where Alfred went or what happened to him and Jemima.  
6. Mathilda Rachel Evans (26 December 1854, Chester, Cheshire - 23 December 1857, Chester, Cheshire).  Mathilda died just short of her third birthday.  Several of her siblings children were named after her.

7. Frank George Evans (September 1857, Chester, Cheshire - 9 November 1947, New Plymouth).  Alister's Great Great Grandfather - family outlined here

8. Sidney Percival Evans (March 1860, Chester, Cheshire - 1941, New Zealand).  Sidney would have been around 17 years old when he accompanied his parents on the voyage to New Zealand.  He was their youngest child.  In 1885 he married Sarah Matilda Louisa Marsh (17 January 1859, Wellington - 24 November 1905, Auckland).  Their marriage notice appeared in the Thames Advertiser on 20 July 1885 as follows:

EVANS-MARSH - On the 18th July at St. George's Church, Thames, by the Rev. F.G. Evans (brother of the bridegroom), Sidney Percival, youngest son of the Rev. W. Evans, Cambridge, Waikato, to Sarah Matilda Louisa, eldest dauhter of the late Octavius John Blake Marsh, Capt. H.M. 65th Regt."

Together, Sidney and Sarah had two children:

8.1 Sidney Theodore Evans (1886 - 1 August 1904).  Theodore was educated largely in Dunedin, where the family were living at the time.  He seems to have been quite bright, winning at number of school prizes.  Upon the family's shift to Auckland, Theodore attended Auckland Grammar School, and in January 1904 it was announced that he had won a junior scholarship in the University Examinations.  Later, he sat and had passed, with merit, the Civil Service examinations, in February of 1904. 
Sadly, despite so much promise, Theodore died later that  year at the age of 18.  He had evidently gone to Christchurch to study at Canterbury University, but returning to Auckland for his vacation in August, he died suddenly and unexpectedly at his parents' home in Remuera.   

8.2 Dorothy Augusta Caroline Evans (1889, Auckland - 1972, Auckland).  Dorothy was only around 16 years old, and a student at Epsom Girls Grammar School, when her mother took her own life, following the death of her elder brother just a year earlier.  This must have been extremely difficult for the young girl.  I'm unsure what her relationship with her step mother was like, although she would have been at an age where she may have left home by the time of her father's remarriage, in any event.  
In February 1917, I've found reference to a case between Dorothy, plaintiff, represented by Mr Bamford, in the Supreme Court, where she was suing one Egmont Annesley Eyre (represented by Mr Reed) for one thousand pounds for alleged slander!  Egmont Eyre was a 40 year old man, and I have been unable, at this time, to assess the basis of the case against him, nor have I been able to find the outcome.
Later in 1917, a happier event was to take place, with Dorothy's marriage to George Charles Stevenson (June 1880, London - 1958, Auckland).  It is quite difficult to find any information on George Stevenson.  Certainly, he and Dorothy lived in Auckland up until their deaths, but on electoral rolls, he is listed time after time, until his retirement (from what?) as having no occupation, while Dorothy is traditionally simply recorded as being "married."  
Nevertheless, the union yielded two children:

8.2.1 Marjorie Stevenson (27 May 1918 - 1985).  At some point Marjorie went to the United Kingdom, and married William Hart McTurk (17 November 1911 - 20 April 1985, Wellington) in September 1950, at Runcorn, Cheshire.  They both then returned to live in New Zealand - both appearing living together in Dawson Street, New Plymouth in 1954.  William worked throughout his life in New Zealand as an engineer.  I don't believe their marriage was particularly successful, as although I haven't found a divorce, by 1957 Marjorie was back living in Auckland with her parents, and later William moved to the Hutt and Wellington area - they never lived together again.  
By 1963, Marjorie was working as a nurse, and still living with her mother.  I believe that Marjorie and William had at least one daughter together, who lived with her mother following the break down of the marriage.    

8.2.2 Frederick Charles Stevenson (30 June 1920 - June 1995). Frederick worked as an electrical engineer, a polisher and a moulder and was married to Gladys.  He lived in the Henderson and Te Atatu area.  I'm unsure if he had any children. 

For a time Sidney, Sarah and their children lived in Auckland, where Sidney worked as an engineer.  In June 1888, along with Carey J. Carrington, another engineer, Sidney applied for a patent for a design for "propelling bicycles, tricycles, or velocipedes" to be called "Evans and Carrington's Patent Wave Combined Rocking and Lever Movement."  Again, in June of 1889, Sidney was applying for another patient "for relieving the slide-valve of locomotive, marine and stationary engines from steam pressure, and for dispensing wit the necessity of stuffing-boxes and packing" to be called "Evans' Patent Equilibrium Slide-valve".  I'm unsure of the success or otherwise of these patent applications.
Later, Sidney, Sarah and children appear to have lived in Dunedin, and then in Christchurch between 1890 and 1900 before returning north to Auckland.  This then explains Theodore attending Canterbury University.

Sadly, the death of young Theodore was to have further tragic consequences, as outlined in the following article which appeared in the  Auckland Star on 25 November 1905:

The district coroner (Mr T. Gresham) held an inquest at the Auckland hospital to-day concerning the death of Sarah Matilda Evans, the wife of Mr S.P. Evans, manager of the Newmarket railway workshops, who was admitted to the hospital about seven o'clock last evening suffering from the effects of chlorodyne poisoning, and died within an hour of admission.

Sidney Percival Evans, husband of the deceased, said he resided at Belle Vue Road, Mount Eden.  For about eighteen months past his wife had been in a very depressed state through grieving over the death of her son.  She had, however, always been in an apparently rational state, the frequent expression of a wish to die being the only suggestion of an abnormal mental state.  He had never imagined that she had any intention to do away with herself.  She was accustomed to be alone during the day while going about her household duties, their one daughter attending school at Epsom.  Witness arrived home about quarter-past five yesterday evening, and finding the back door locked went round to the front and let himself in with a latchkey.  The daughter and a niece staying with them had not returned from school, and so, going to his wife's bedroom, he tried the door and found it was locked on the inside.  Putting his back to it he forced it open, and upon entering the room saw his wife lying in a semi-conscious condition upon the bed.  Witness asked her what had happened, and deceased moved her head to indicate some chlorodyne bottles standing upon the chest of drawers and said, "i have taken some of that."  He then said he would go for a doctor, but deceased replied, "Oh, never mind the doctor; I'll be all right."  he at once suspected that something was seriously wrong, and rant up about half a dozen doctors in turn, finally getting Dr. Jones, who arrived about ten past six.  Dr. Jones used the stomach pump and then ordered her immediate removal to the hospital, accompanying her.

Dr Hugh Owen Jones said he got to the residence of deceased a little after six o'clock.  Deceased was lying upon her side upon the bed fully dressed, and was then unconscious.  Her breath smelt strongly of chlorodyne.  he applied the stomach pump and usual remedies, but her condition becoming every moment more desperate, her heart showing signs of failure and her breathing also.  All the way to the hospital he applied artificial respiration, and on arrival the resident staff continued to do all that was possible, but she died from heart failure about eight o'clock.  Witness had no doubt from the general appearance of things that the chlorodyne was self-administered.  The contents of the smallest of the three bottles produced would be sufficient to bring about the result.

A verdict was returned of death from the effects of chlorodyne self-administered whilst mentally deranged.

The many friends of Mr Evans have expressed the deepest sympathy with him and his family in their terrible bereavement.  The circumstances leading to the tragic death of the poor lady by her own hand are particularly sad.  Mrs Evans was strongly attached to her late son, a bright and promising young fellow who was at college in Canterbury.  About eighteen months ago he came home for his vacation, and becoming suddenly very ill, died a week or two after arriving home for his holidays.  The shock to Mrs Evans was so great that she has never recovered from it, and she had lapsed into a state of melancholia, although neither her husband nor friends anticipated the outcome."

Poor Sidney was then left, after the sudden deaths of his wife and son, with just his young daughter, but in 1908 he remarried to a 40 year old woman,  Amy Rose Clarissa Cowper (1868 - 1947).  They appear to have remained happily married until Sidney's death at the age of 81, in 1941.


Following is an obituary for Rev. William Evans which appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 3 May 1907:

Following is an obituary for Mrs. Rachel Evans which appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 25 February 1907:


  1. Hi Minnie, thanks for dropping by my blog! Genealogy is also an interest of mine. My Grandfather has traced that side of the family tree back to 1100, where it gets all a bit complicated due to language evolution. It's fascinating to consider all the lives that came before and what has been continued in terms of personality, attitudes and so on.

    1. Thanks Sara - so true! It really is amazing, when you consider how fragile life was in years gone by, that we are each the sum of SO many people - and how much they all had to go through for us just to be here today! Really blows my mind when I think about it too hard! :)

  2. Hello! My name is Katelynn Evans and I am Sidney Cyril Evans and Aileen Niven's great granddaughter! They have two children still alive, Sidney James Evans (my grandfather) and Bernice Evans - email me at if you would like any info on that particular branch of the family tree :) so great to read this!