Thursday, December 27, 2012

150 years ago today - the Keven family

150 years ago today Thomas Henry Keven's birth notice appeared in the Daily Southern Cross newspaper.  His family was comprised as follows:

Thomas Keven (1807 - 29 November 1877, Grahamstown) married Emma Otto (1822 - 7 November 1908) in 1842.  Thomas eventually owned a number of goldfields in the Coromandel area, and was well known in mining circles.  

The Kevens lived in a house in Auckland known as “St Keven's” house. 

Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A4598
The house was situated on the north side of Karangahape Road, Auckland. The house was originally built by David Nathan, and sold in 1853 to Thomas. the house became known as St Keven's House. In 1857 the house was gutted by fire, and rebuilt to the original plan. During the New Zealand Wars, General Sir Duncan Cameron, Commander of the British Forces in New Zealand occupied the house. Apparently, as it was situated on a ridge, the house was in a good strategic position. After the General left, the house was used as the officer's mess by the Royal Irish 18th Regiment. Thomas sold the house to Charles Davis in 1865.

Thomas and Emma had a large family, as follows:

1. George Keven (1844 - 18 December 1908, Shortland Street, Auckland) married Louisa McNiece (1845 - 1 October 1925, Auckland) (third daughter of Adam McNiece of Gilgour Park, County Antrim, Ireland) on 6 March 1873 at Nelson Street, Auckland.  The couple were married by Rev. C W Rigg, a Wesleyan minister.  George apparently died very suddenly.  He had been on the staff of the Registrar of Electors and had, prior to his death, been secretary to a Mr A E Glover's Electoral Committee.

   1.1 Thomas Adam Keven (18 January 1874 - 1881).  Thomas died aged just seven years.

   1.2 George Keven (1875 - 28 May 1929, Auckland) married Louisa Katterns in 1903
      1.2.1 George William Keven (7 March 1912 - 28 May 1980)

   1.3 Emma Louisa Keven (1877 - 1881).  Emma died aged just four years.

2. Alfred Keven (1849 - 8 April 1851).  This child died as a seventeen month old.

3. Emily Keven (1851 - 1887) married George Edwin Laycock (1842 - 1897) on 1 January  1880 at St Matthew's Church, Auckland by Rev. H. Glasson.  George had arrived from London, on the ship Jamna on 24 October 1864.  His death was recorded in the 3 March 1897 edition of the Auckland Star:

An inquest was hold at Whitianga on February 25th respecting the sudden death of a man named George Laycock, aged 55, employed by his brother in one of the latter's stores at Pukiore, Tairua, as a cleric. The evidence showed that the deceased went to work as usual on the morning of the 25th. About 9 a.m. he sent for his nephew (who is in charge of the business) and complained of a severe pain in his chest and back. The latter advised him to go to bed, and gave him a little brandy, but the pain still continuing, Dr. Smith, of Whangamata, was sent for. On his arrival, however, the man had expired. Deceased had suffered for a long time from enlargement of the heart, but the immediate cause of death was rupture of the lungs; a verdict to that effect being recorded.

Prior to his death, Emily and George had the following family:
   3.1 Ethel Laycock (1880).  I'm unsure whatever happened to Ethel.  She may have died as an infant. 

   3.2 Percy Laurence Laycock (1883 - 1962) married Irene Wright Strong (18 November 1885 - 1982) in 1913

   3.3 George Edwin Laycock (1885 - 1961) married Zoe Blakey (10 December 1887 - 1976) in 1917

   3.4 Emily Laycock (1887 - 1887).  This baby died aged just 12 hours.

4. Rachel Keven (1853 - 1928) married Thomas Henry Barclay (1845 - 23 May 1927, Devonport) on 2 January 1878 at Rachel's mother Emma's residence, Beach Road, Grahamstown by Rev. R.S Burn.  Rachel and Thomas don't seem to have had any children of their own.   

The following obituary appeared for Rachel in the 5 October 1928 edition of the Auckland Star:

An old resident of Auckland district, Mrs. Rachael Barclay died at her home, Huia Street, Devonport, this week. She was the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. Keven, who were very early arrivals in Auckland. Mrs. Barclay was born in a cottage in Shortland Street 75 years ago. When Thames goldfield opened in 1867, Miss Keven went to Thames with her parents, where in 1878, she was married by Mr. T. H. Barclay, a well known mine manager, who died 17 months ago. After a residence at Thames of 30 years, Mr. and Mrs. Barclay came to Auckland, and lived at Devonport.

5. David Keven (1855 - 1855).  This baby died as an infant.

6. Esther Keven (1856 - 1914) married Henry James Grubb (1859 - 1889) in 1879.  Henry died young, as a 30 year old, and Esther was a widow for 35 years.  Prior to his death however, they had three children:

   6.1 Florence Rachel Grubb (1879 - 1962) never married. When her brother, and her cousin James Keven enlisted in World War One, her address was given as their immediate recent place of residence.  

   6.2 Henry Thomas Grubb (1883 - 1963) married May Emily Victoria Fuller (1892 - 1955) in 1919.

   6.3 Otto Underill Grubb (1887 - 1 October 1918, Cateau, France).  Otto served in World War One and was killed in action.  Prior to enlisting, he had been a pipe layer.

An account of the premature death of Henry Grubb appeared in the 12 February 1889 edition of the Auckland Star, under the heading "Thames Notes":

A young man named Henry Grubb was admitted into the Hospital last Thursday evening suffering from what was then thought to be inflammation or stoppage of the bowels. It would appear that on Thursday morning Mr and Mrs Grubb, accompanied by three children proceeded down the coast to Whakatete, with the intention of camping out, a method of holiday-making now very popular here. Mr Grubb complained of not feeling well immediately upon his arrival there, and was engaged erecting his tent when he was seized with violent pains in his stomach, and became so bad that he had to be taken to the Hospital. The usual remedies not proving successful in removing the obstruction, Dr. Williams decided to perform an operation for that purpose, which took place on Sunday afternoon, but did not succeed in reaching the foreign substance, which is thought to be a bone swallowed by him on Wednesday, and which was lodged in the upper bowels. Mr Grubb succumbed to his seizure yesterday afternoon. An inquest on his remains is to be held today.

7. Edward Costley Keven (1860 - 6 July 1914, Pollen Street, Thames) married Mary Hancock (1867 - 1957) in 1887.  Edward was buried at Tararu on 1 December 1914.

   7.1 Thomas Edward Keven (1888 - 1962) married Harriet Cecilia Brinsden (1891 - 1970) in 1912
      7.1.1 Thomas Edward Keven (26 October 1912 - 1989)

   7.2 Robert Henry (21 April 1890 - 1972) married Rosina Edwards (1887 - 1969) in 1912
      7.2.1 Rose Florence Keven (1912)

   7.3 Edward Stanley (2 July 1892 - 1980) married Dorothy Comer (6 November 1895 - February 1972, Thames) in 1915

8. Elizabeth Keven (1858 - 1930) married Groombridge Robinson (1851 - 1943, 6 Huia Street, Devonport) in 1882

   8.1 Groombridge Robinson (1883 - 1934) married Sarah Ann Healy (1883 - 1921) in 1908.
      8.1.1 Rachel Josephine Robinson (1 November 1909 - 2005) married William Edwin McTainsh (18 July 1911 - 1982)  in 1932
      8.1.2 Thomas Groombridge Joseph Robinson (1911 - 1930)

   8.2 Lillian Emma Robinson (1884 - 1951) married John Walter "Wally" Callaway (1874 - 16 September 1926, 6 Huia Street, Devonport) in 1907.  Wally was the son of John Callaway of the Coromandel.  Wally served as a Sergeant-Major (later a Lieutenant) in the Seventh New Zealand Contingent during the Boer War.  During the war he was seriously wounded on 24 July 1901, while rescuing a comrade who was under fire.  Apparently Wally suffered until his death from the injuries he incurred.  

   8.3 Rachel Charlotte Robinson (28 January 1887 - 1974) married Edward Roscoe (1882 - 1955) in 1911.  They had a number of children, including:

      8.3.1 Edward Groombridge Roscoe (1911 - 22 March 1944, Italy) married Audrey Jocelyn.  Edward died during World War Two.

   8.4 Ida Harriet Robinson (5 September 1890 - 1991) married Julian William Roope (1886 - 1930) in 1921.  Julian died suddenly as a result of a car accident, as reported by the Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette on 7 May 1930:

On Monday night about 6 p m. a fatal accident occurred at Puhoi in the vicinity of the old ferry boat camp on the Main Highway. Mr J. W.Roope, of Stanley Bay, was the only occupant of the car, and was coming north. The road skirts the Puhoi river at this spot and instead of coming round a bend the car came straight on and dropped into the river the tide being low at the time. The accident was witnessed by those on the ferry boat, who went to the rescue of the driver. They got him out of the car and on to the bank, but he died almost immediately. By some means he had received a deep gush in the thigh, which had severed a main artery, and the unfortunate man had bled to death. Deceased was formerly, a member of the well known firm of Roope Bros., debt collectors; but latterly had been travelling selling shares in flax, employed by the Australia and New Zealand Flax Growing Company. He leaves a widow, but no children.
Dr. G. H. Osborne, of Warkworth, was called but could not do anything. An inquest was opened on Tuesday before Mr Alex. Warm, coroner, but after taking the evidence of Mrs. Roope was adjourned — on the application of the police — in order to try and get more evidence.

   8.5 Alfreda Barclay Robinson (1896).  Alfreda died in 1942 and never married. 

9. Ada Keven (1861).  I'm unsure what happened to Ada, but suspect that she is another who died as a baby or young child.

10. Thomas Henry Keven (22 December 1862 - 1946) married Louisa Maria Moore (1867 - 1950) (youngest daughter of the late W. Moore of Belfast, Ireland) on 12 October 1887 at the Pitt Street Wesleyan Church by Rev. Henry Bull.  Thomas worked, during the 1880s, as a tobacconist in Brown Street, Grahamstown, Auckland.  However, they must have relocated to Waihi as when Leonard enlisted in the army on 13 January 1917, they were living at 6 Regent Street, Waihi.  

   10.1 Harley Armstrong Keven (30 June 1888 - 1978) married Lilian May Jessop in 1913.  Harley and Lilian divorced in 1938.  Prior to their divorce, they lived at Wheturangi Road, Green Bay, Auckland and then at Atherton Road, Epsom.  The family were all (including their daughter) very musical.  They had at least one daughter:
      10.1.1. Gayzene Florence Mary Keven (1915 - 1950).  Gay married Stuart Monteith Doull (15 February 1911 - 2002) (second son of Mr and Mrs H.M. Doull of Richmond, Auckland) (after becoming engaged in February 1937).  Unfortunately the marriage was not successful and by April 1945, they were divorced.  Only five years later, and very prematurely, Gay died aged just 35.  I'm unsure whether or not they had children.

   10.2 Leonard Victor Keven (24 January 1890 - 1942).  Leonard also served in World War One, but unlike his brother, he returned home.  Prior to enlisting Leonard worked as a Salesman.  On his war records, Leonard was recorded as being fit, 5 foot, 7 inches tall, weighing 161 pounds, with fair hair and hazel eyes.    

   10.3 James Henry Keven (1891 - 7 June 1917).  James was killed in Belgium, in action, during World War  One.  

   10.4 Thomas Garrett Keven (1893 - 14 September 1893).  This baby died aged only five weeks. 

   10.5 Eric Roland/Rowland Keven (23 July 1895 - 1971) married Elsie Minnie Trembath (1906 - 24 July 1982) in 1924.  Elsie is buried at Purewa Cemetery.

When Emma died, the following obituary appeared in the 9 November 1908 edition of the Auckland Star:

Another of Auckland's earliest colonists, in the person of Mrs Emma Keven, died at her residence, Devonport, on Saturday afternoon, at the age of 88 years. The deceased, with her parents, arrived in Sydney from London over 70 years ago, and, a few years later, came on to the Bay of Islands in 1838. Returning to Australia, she came over again to Auckland a year later, when 19 years of age. In 1842 she married Mr. Thomas Keven, a well known figure in mining circles in those days, and the owner of a number of large goldfield areas at Coromandel. Mr. Keven died at Thames after 37 years of colonial life. After living for some years at Thames, Mrs.Keven removed to Devonport. She leaves three sons and three daughters, but also brought up six orphan children. The funeral took place at the Symonds street Cemetery to-day.

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