Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nidd aka Nedd family of New Zealand

Robert Nidd was born c1834 in Norfolk England, and at this stage it looks as though he died in New South Wales, Australia in 1893. There doesn't seem to be any reference to him in New Zealand after 1881.

Robert married Isabella McCready on 22 January 1863 at the Knox Church in Dunedin and one of the witnesses to the wedding was Thomas Nidd from Port Chalmers. This would appear to be my Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Nidd and it seems pretty much certain that they were brothers. Robert was a waterman at that time, and both Robert and Isabella also lived in Port Chalmers. Isabella seems to have been born around 1846 in Ireland. She died on 4 February 1890 in Reefton on the West Coast of New Zealand and buried at the Reefton Cemetery.

As Bernadette McEvedy says:

"The Otago gold fever must have got to Robert, because in 1865 he was working at Kaniere W.Coast and applying for a gold mining license in the 1866 NZ Gazette. December 1866 saw Robert on the ship 'Iona' from Hokitika to Brighton, at the mouth of Fox River north of Greymouth, a goldmining town. This town no longer exists but we spent some time wandering around the area and could see the flat lands where all the streets would have been etc. I had read a bit about that era and area and it was quite nostalgic really. Some locals told me there was a book about to be printed about that area so I bought a copy from Take Note in Greymouth. Robert Nidd was the  publican at A1 Camp Hotel, New St, Brighton, and mentioned in the book."Robert and Isabella had the following children:

Robert Nidd Jnr was born in Brighton 19 April 1867 and the birth registered in Cobden on June 17 of that year.

William John Nidd was born in 1868 at Marsden West Coast, inland from Greymouth.

Elizabeth Nidd was born in 1874 in Reefton but died at the age of just 5 weeks of convulsions.

Isabella was baby Elizabeth's mother but Robert was most likely not the father as he had deserted his wife and children by 1870, as an advertisement in the Grey River Argus on 15 September 1870 attests:

NOTICE.— The undersigned will not be responsible for any debts contracted by his wife, Isabella Nidd, after this date.
Greymouth, Sept. 14, 1870.

Robert sold the hotel lease on 15 October 1867, as the main rush for that area was over. Isabella was an alcoholic and was not the most upstanding citizen in Reefton. The following appeared in the Grey River Argus on 20 June 1872:

Catherine Gardiner was charged with assaulting Isabella Nidd, at Half-Ounce, on 9th June. The evidence of the complainant and another witness was taken, from which it appeared a brutal and unprovoked assault had been committed. The defendant did not appear, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Younger son William survived a drowning accident, as reported in the Grey River Argus on 16 March 1878:

The Kumara Times states that a plucky act, which in some way escaped observation at the time, was performed on the day that Sir. George Grey visited Kumara by Mr George Martin. lt appears that while the address from the miners of Dillman's Town was being read, a boy named William Nidd, between 8 and 9 years of age, fell into a hole containing some 15ft of water. Martin immediately jumped in, and with some difficulty, owing to the steepness of the sides of the hole, succeeded in rescuing the drowning lad. In November, 1874, Martin saved another life in Greymouth under somewhat similar circumstances.

William was eventually sent to Burnham Industrial School due to the apparent lack of care, at the hands of his mother, but did go back to the area later. The Grey River Argus reported on 13 October 1883:

The police have taken temporary charge of another little waif, a boy named Nidd, 12 years of age, who has been growing up at the skirts of a dissolute mother at Reefton, the father having abandoned both. The lad will be sent to the Burnham Industrial School at Christchurch, and will in all probability be dispatched to his future home by the S.S Grafton which is daily expected here.

Robert Nidd Jnr never married.
William John Nidd eventually left the Burnham Industrial School and married Mary Jemima White on 22 January 1892. Mary Jemima White was born in 1869 in New Zealand.

Together William and Mary Jemima had the following children, but throughout their lives, their name appears to have become evolved from "Nidd" to "Nedd":

William Edward George Nedd was born on 27 January 1893 at Reefton. William Jnr never married and died on 16 June 1955 in Nelson.
Isabella Mary Nedd was born on 8 June 1895. In 1932 she married Thomas Edward Bowe and died in 1971 aged 75 years. Thomas Bowe died in 1965 aged 81 years. Thomas was born in 1884 and was the child of Ellen Frances Bowe and Thomas Francis Bowe. Thomas is buried at the Foxton Cemetery with
his family, but Isabella doesn't appear to be also buried there.

Robert Ernest Nedd was born on 29 September 1897 Fern Flat, West Coast. He died on 27 September 1962 at Nelson. Robert never married.

1 comment:

  1. I'm researching children who went to the Burnham Industrial School and came across William Nidd. Both newspaper reports would calculate his birth as late 1870 and 1871 and he was listed as 12yrs 10mths at time of admittance in October 1883. I wonder if William John birth in 1869 in your records is an estimation or do you have a birth certificate? Possibilities are that the newspapers got it wrong twice (very possible), as well as the School who probably based it on police records and that he was older than thought. Given his mother's lifestyle he may not have known his actual age. Also possible is that the first William John died and she gave birth in late 1870 or 71 and used the name again and didn't register the birth as it was 3-4 months after Robert had left her and William may not have been his child. Your blog has helped immensely in painting a picture of his life. If you can help out with this birth date puzzle I can amend my records. Thank you!