Friday, March 14, 2014



The Middlebrook Reunion News.

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Hello again!
Welcome to new subscribers! We are slowly growing in number but we still need you to be spreading the word.
Remember to forward this newsletter to your family members who may be interested in attending or finding out more about our upcoming reunion on Auckland Anniversary Weekend next January 24-26.
We know it seems miles away but in order to maximise value for money it would help a lot to have a vague idea of numbers who  might attend.
Make sure they sign up  to receive future newsletters on the blog

In the mean time there is quite a lot of news on Middlebrook Family Research since we last wrote.
The big news is the opening of the "Samuel Middlebrook Collection " at Katikati Museum on March 30th
Samuel was known to be well acquainted with the Maori and fluent in the language. This is probably why he was hired by the Lands and Survey Office, and acted as a guide to George Vesey Stewart.
He also apparently acted as dentist to the local Maori tribes and this collection includes a bag of dentist tools which must have been those he used.
The collection was in the possession of Samuel's son Bert ( Samuel Robert Middlebrook) until close to his death and until recently was housed in the Thames Museum to where it was donated by Bert's daughter Valerie.
Valerie's children have most graciously donated the collection to the Katikati museum, returning this important collection to the area in which it rightfully belongs.
There will be a group of us attending the opening on the 30th and we would love to meet up with other family while we are there.

Samuel Middlebrook 1856- 1945
Here is Samuel Middlebrook, looking very regal in his "Orangeman" regalia. Samuel, like his other brothers was a devoted lodge member - In Katikati the local lodge was the Orange Lodge, being a town predominantly made up of Irish Protestant immigrants.  (John and Benjamin were known to be members of the Masonic Lodge)
Samuel married Mary Jane Rea , daughter of Stewart and Margaret Rea who were settlers  in  the 1st party of Irish Immigrants in George Vesey Stewarts scheme.
For some time he was a butcher like his brother, father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather,but also followed other trades, carpentry, mining and engineering.

Elizabeth Middlebrook  1851- 1943
Elizabeth Middlebrook - This photo must have been taken not long after her marriage to George Douglas Hardy in  December 1868  as it is annotated on the back as Mrs G Hardy, Auckland. The photo was taken by Crombie Photo Auckland ( John Nicol Crombie was a well known early Auckland Photographer who set up a studio in Auckland in 1855. He took over 1000 portraits in his 1st 15 months in Auckland . He travelled extensively, returning at least twice to Europe before selling his studio in 1872)


The man in this photo is a real mystery man.  We know who all the other people are.
This photo is a photo of Ellen Hardy ( known as Ellen Miller) and her 3 children, John Rowley Miller, Ethel Muriel Miller and Douglas Stewart Miller, along with Margaret Stewart and her sister. We know the man's surname is Hardy because there is a photo in the Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection of the same  man identified as "Sapper Hardy"

Despite researching the sons of Elizabeth and George Douglas Hardy in NZ Archives WW1 Collection we cant identify this man as one of Elizabeth's sons.  If anyone knows who this man is please please let us know!

Thanks to you we have identified the woman in the photo in the last newsletter as "Mrs Harrison" - so apparently not a family member. Another mystery put to rest.

Remember to fill in a Family Group Sheet Form here if you havent already

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