Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Paskell family

John Thomas Paskell (1831 - 20 October 1882, Dunedin) married Mary Ann Archer (1837 - 1920) in Victoria, New South Wales 1858.  John and Mary must have travelled to New Zealand between 1860 and 1865.  Upon moving to New Zealand, he and his family appear to have settled in Adam's Flat, Otago, where John apparently farmed.  John died suddenly in 1882, leaving a relatively young family still.  His death was reported in many newspapers throughout New Zealand, including the Daily Telegraph on 21 October 1882:

A fatal accident happened on Wednesday morning, about 8 o'clock at Adams Flat, near Milton.  John Paskell, a settler of that place, was at work stripping a seam of coal.  He had removed a large quantity of earth, leaving an embankment ten feet in height, when his son,w ho was working at a little distance off, observed the earth suddenly fall upon his father.  He immediately rushed to his father's aid, and after doing what he could sent for further assistance.  Dr. Reid was on the spot as soon as possible, but on examination he found that life was extinct.  Death must have been instantaneous, as the skull was literally shattered to fragments.  

On 18 October 1882, along with the above information, the Otago Witness also reported:

Deceased leaves a wife, who has for some time past been in the Asylum, and several of a family, who are all pretty well grown up.

1. John Thomas Paskell (1858 - 10 December 1903, Dunedin).  Never married.

2. Mary Ann Paskell (1859 - 1940) married George Robins (1847 - 1912) in 1883

   2.1 Mary Ann Robins (1884) married William Wilson in 1902.  William had already been married, and already had the following children who became his and Mary Ann's children's half siblings:

      Jessie Aroha Scott Wilson (1893 - 1972) married Alfred Francis Drake East (1886 - 1959) on 20 December 1918 at St. Andrew's Church, Wellington.  Jessie was listed as being the second daughter of William Wilson, Featherston Terrace, Wellington.  Alfred was the third son of James East, Gisborne.

Together, Mary Ann and William had the following children:

      2.1.1 George Albert Wilson (7 August 1902 - 1972) married Janet Emma Charlotte Bagrie (9 June 1903 - 1993) in 1925

      2.1.2 William Henry Wilson (1903)

      2.1.3 Dorothy Rewina Wilson (17 August 1903 - 1993) married Albert Thomas Orange (18 November 1904 - 1991) in 30 November 1928 in Wellington.  The wedding was reported in the Evening Post the following day:

A wedding of interest to many friends was celebrated at St. Andrews, The Terrace, yesterday, the bride being Miss Dorothy Wilson, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Wilson, of 12 Newman terrace, and the bridegroom, Mr. Albert Orange, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Orange, of Christchurch.  The officiating ministers were the Rev. Mr. Howie and the Rev. E. Orange (uncle of the bridegroom).  The wedding gown was of bluish pink satin charmeuse with yoke and hem of mariette; the pink veil, which formed a train, was worn mob cap style, with silver lace and orange blossoms.  The shower bouquet was of forget-me-nots and pink roses.  Mrs Styles, matron of honour, was in delphinium blue mariette.  the four little bridesmaids, Colinette and Margot Low, Helen East and Eileen Nash (of Palmerston North), were in forget-me-not blue panne velvet bodices and skirts with georgette frills, and silver lace Dutch caps.  they carried Victorian posies of forget-me-nots and pink roses.  The best man was Mr. Eric Hislop (of Taumarunui).  Mr. Thomas presided at the organ.  After a reception was held at the Adelphi Cabaret.  The bride's mother, who received the guests, wore a navy blue lacy frock and navy blue hat.  Mrs Orange (mother of the bridegroom) wore navy blue georgette.  Mrs. D. C. Low (sister of the bride), bronze charmeuse; Mrs. A. East (sister of the bride), navy blue dore; Miss Orange, floral crepe de chine; Mrs. J. H. Nash, beige crepe de chine.

      2.1.4 Aubrey Ernest Wilson (8 March 1905 - 1978) married Katherine Sarah Ross (1905 - 1966) in 1927.

      2.1.5 Robert Leslie Dignan Wilson (24 July 1906 - 1972) married Helen Blythe Wishart (12 August 1907 - 1998) in 1932.

      2.1.6 Muriel Annie Priscilla Wilson (4 September 1908 - 1992) married Percy Edmund Bonney (14 February 1904 - 1983) in 1928.

   2.2 Henry Robins (1885 - 1969) married Elizabeth Amelia Slaughter (1888 - 1959) in 1907

      2.2.1 Mildred Hilda Robins (1908) married Drake Fordham in 1930.

      2.2.2 Olive Jean Priscilla Robins (1910 - 1916).  This little girl died aged just five.

      2.2.3 Douglas Henry Robins (12 February 1912 - 2006)

   2.3 Emily Robins (1887 - 1959) married Patrick Walsh in 1907.  She then married Robert Brown Hewitt (1883 - 1948) in 1918.

      2.3.1 Norman Edward Walsh (19 July 1908 - 1982)

      2.3.2 Vera Olive Walsh (1910)

   2.4 George Robins (16 September 1889 - 1974) married Florence Eliza Knight (18 November 1896 - 1975) in 1920.

   2.5 Harriet Ada "Ada" Robins (1891) married Stanley Hayward (1883 - 1950) in 1907.

      2.5.1 Dorothy Ada Hayward (26 October 1908 - 2000) married John Henry Paul Rivers (19 February 1899 - 1969) in 1930.

      2.5.2 Ivy Ardella Hayward (1910)

      2.5.3 Ina Florence Hayward (1912)

3. Philip Paskell (1860 - 1946) married Mary Ann Simpson in 1889

   3.1 Mary Jane Paskell (1891 - 1969) married Alexander Barron (1887 - 1971) in 1910

      3.1.1 Colin Stuart Barron (10 October 1910 - 1994)

   3.2 William Henry Paskell (1893 - 1969) married Irene Ruby Maud Robertson (1898 - 1971) in 1920

   3.3 Alexander Fleming Paskell (18 December 1895) married Henrietta Henke (26 February 1898 - 1997) in 1921

   3.4 Leonard George Paskell (11 February 1898 - 1989) married Margaret McKay Murray Parkhill (14 November 1898 - 1981) in 1921

   3.5 Margaret Ellen Paskell (11 December 1901 - 1995) married James Higgie (1897 - 1953) in 1921. James was a descendant of Thomas Higgie.

   3.6 Olivia Eveline Paskell (1903 - 1959) married John Thomas Sim (27 November 1902 - 1981) in 1923

4. Anne Paskell (1865)

5. Henry Paskell (1867)

6. Elizabeth Katherine Paskell (1869) married John Joseph Douglas (1860 - 1920) in 1889

7. Sarah Susannah Paskell (1871 - 1955) married Charles August Thomsen (1843 - 1908) in 1894

   7.1 Thomas William Thomsen (1894 - 1937) married Mary Maud Elizabeth Sands (1891 - 1958) in 1924

   7.2 Sarah Susannah Thomsen (1895 - 1975) married Angus John McDiarmid (1887 - 1957) in 1915

   7.3 Margaret Eveleyn Thomsen (28 December 1896 - 1977) married Robert Toms (1883 - 1959) in 1929

   7.4 William Charles Thomsen (10 October 1899 - 1973) married Agnes Simpson (26 May 1903 - 1983) in 1929

8. William Paskell (1874)

9. Emma/Emily Paskell (1876) married George Walter Riddell (1877 - 1954) in 1904

   9.1 Madeline Isabella Mary Riddell (1905) married Alfred Edward Hoare in 1923

   9.2 Beatrice Louisa Riddell (1908)

   9.3 Ruth Mary Riddell (1910) 

10. Samuel Paskell (1878 - 1946) married Violet Mary Martin nee Shepherd in 1931.  Samuel married a widow, later in life.  The marriage was reported in the 16 April 1931 edition of the Auckland Star:

The marriage took place at St. Mary's Cathedral last evening of Mrs. Violet Mary Martin, daughter of the late Mrs. Fraser of Green Lane, to Mr Samuel Paskell, youngest son of the late Mr and Mrs John Paskell, of Invercargill.  
Canon Fancourt officiated.  The bride was given away by her brother, Mr. A. Shepherd, and wore a gown of mulberry silk crepe de chine, inset with brocaded chenille of the same tone.  the silk velour hat was trimmed with a large bunch of white ospreys on  one side, and she carried a shower bouquet of pink and wine coloured flowers.  
The bridesmaid was Miss Eileen Brennan, in floral georgette of shades of pink.  The small coat and beret were of pink and silver lame, and a sheaf of pink and mauve cactus dahlias and satin ribbons was carried.  The best man was Mr. Leslie Shepherd.  
The reception was held at 128 Parnell Road.  The joint hostesses were Mrs. Rough, wearing an apple green sequin frock, and Miss Milne, in a floral crepe de chine.  


  1. Hello there, just found your blog. I am descended from the Wilson line on your Paskell family page. You appear to have mixed up two William Wilsons. The William who married Mary Ann Robins had not married previously - he lived all his life in the South Island and never in Wellington. If you are interested, I can give you more details.

  2. Hi Minnie, what is your relationship to the Paskell family? Mary Ann Robins was my grandmother. I know a little about Mary's parents and grandparents. John Thomas Paskell was born in Gillingham, Kent in 1829 and emigrated to Melbourne in 1857 on board "Lillies". Presumably he went to try his luck on the Victorian goldfields. Mary Ann Archer was born in 1839 at Becontree, Essex, and she emigrated to Melbourne on board "Istanboul" also in 1857. John and Mary Ann married the following year at Bendigo, Victoria, on 9 Jan 1858. You are correct that they seem to have moved to NZ after 1860 but before 1865 - children were born in those years at Victoria and Otago, respectively. You have the wrong mother for Mary Ann Robins in your blog. Her mother was 4. Anne Paskell who was born at Adams Flat on 13 Jan 1865. There was no "2. Mary Ann Paskell" born in 1859 - the correct name is Sarah Ann Paskell, born at Long Gully Victoria (near Bendigo) on 21 Oct 1860. I can send you my info as family group records in a PDF, if you want them.
    Regards, and interested to know where you fit in with the Paskells,

  3. Hi Minnie,

    Thank you so much for posting all this information on your family! I really connected with your comments around trying to get to know those people. That is exactly what I am trying to do as well.

    I came across your blog when I did a search on the name Charles August Thomsen, my Great Great Grandfather. I am not sure if this is the same person. I have two Charles Thomsen's in my family. My 3 x Great Grandfather Charles Augustus Thomsen born 1843 Yustenburg, Denmark died 1908 Adams Flat New Zealand. He was married Margaret Young.

    Their son is my 2x Great Grandfather as mentioned above, born 1872 Adam's Flat NZ died 1927 Fortrose Southland. He was married twice. Firstly to Sarah Susanna Paskell born 1870 and died 1955. They married in 1894. The children that you mention are the same as well.

    Second marriage was to Adelaide Smith. Their son Charles William Thomsen is my Great Grandfather.

    Anyway I just thought I would pass this information onto you as a number of the names and dates seem to match. However, who married who is a little different.

    I am really happy to connect and pass on the certificates that I have on file. My email is