Monday, September 15, 2014

Middlebrook Reunion Newsletter–August 22


Reunion Pricing for Children

We have had some requests as to pricing for children for the reunion. We of course welcome children to the reunion on both days , especially to the Saturday function. Its so important that we pass on our past to the future of our family and though we understand that children may not want to spend  all day amongst  and so we have devised a price for children that we hope will encourage as many as possible to come. It would be especially great to see as many as possible on the Saturday  for the family photographs.
So to that end the price for children 8 - 13 will be $10 for the Saturday
Children 7 and under are free of charge on the Saturday.
On the Sunday the cost will be  $35 for all children 13 and under.
The Registration forms have been amended to include those children's prices

Reunion Registration is Open - Register Early and Save!

Early registration discount ends August 30 ($10 pp discount to 2 day registrations if paid by Aug 30)
The reunion will be held on January 24th and 25th 2015 at Fairway Lodge, Silverfield, Takapuna in Auckland.
We have negotiated what we feel is the best  price and format for our needs and we are able to offer
several options in our aim to have as many attend as possible. We hope to make  this event pleasurable and enjoyable as possible while making it as affordable as we can.
To that end we have formatted the two days as follows:
Saturday 24th January $ 40.00pp for Adults, $10 for children 8-13 , Children 7 and under  Free
11am - 4pm
The day will begin with check in where you will be issued with name tags denoting which branch of the family you belong to . This will make it easy for you to recognise those who descend from the same branch of the family as yourself.
From 12 noon we will have our photographer taking formal group photos of each branch of the family and of the whole group, along with roaming candid photos throughout the day.
These photographs will be available in an inexpensive  book form, after the reunion. Orders to be taken on the day or beforehand  via a form which will be included in a later newsletter.
Leading up to the reunion we will announce the price of  a photographic family history book which will be available for pre-purchase and pick up at the reunion.
Finger food and tea and coffee will be supplied throughout the day and a cash bar will also be available for those who wish to make use of it.
There will be photographic and informational displays and a large family tree available for viewing.
Saturday primarily though is a mix and mingle event where we can all get to know each other.
Feel free to bring along any photos or copies, along with family mementos you wish to share or display.
Saturday Evening
This is at your leisure. We have suggestions for local restaurants for those interested.
Sunday 25th January $50pp, $ 35 per child 13 and under
12 noon - 3:00pm
Buffet Luncheon
Sit down lunch with presentations and speakers (descendants) and cutting of the Reunion Cake
Middlebrook Reunion Registration Form
If you prefer to print and fill in a paper form you can download it here

Memories of My Grandfather:
Bart Middlebrook

By Diana (Allely) McGregor

My grandfather Bart (Nelson Bartle Middlebrook) always smoked a pipe. He also always owned a boat which he spent most of his time on when he was not working. The brothers were allowed to go away on it but not the girls for some strange reason, only known to him. My mother; also was only allowed to stay at school until the 5th form because why would you educate girls when they were only going to get married.

He had a twin sister Eva who used to visit us sometimes. Apparently she was 11 lbs when born and he was 10. Unsure how their poor mother could stagger around. Though he was never a very big man, probably about five foot five at his tallest.

Bart and Eva

He was a chemist and owned several pharmacy shops in Pakuranga during my childhood. He supplied my mother with all sorts of things that were meant to improve our health; Vit C tablets, malt in large tins and fluoride tablets. All his five grandchildren have beautiful teeth.

He and my paternal grandfather built our Bach at Piha where we had many happy family holidays. When he was younger he would walk from Auckland to Murawai after work for a swim.

I would stay with him and Grandma in Pakuranga when I was small and climb into bed with them in the morning and he would get up and make Grandma a cup of tea. Probably to escape from me.

When he retired he and Grandma moved back to Thames and bought the doctors house on the hill. He would work in the hospital pharmacy when they needed a locum and would sometimes relieve pharmacists up in Auckland when they needed to have a holiday.

He taught navigation to the Coast Guards. Boating was always his passion.

He and Grandma bought a new house on the flat in Thames so that he could walk to his boat if he could not drive anymore. He died when I was 28 so only two of my six children ever met him. He always had a story to tell and I can still remember that pipe and the funny hat he always wore and his jackets that smelt of tobacco.

We are still looking for further photographs to include in the Pictorial book which will be available at the reunion - please email Lauren if you have anything at all which may be of interest. This includes not just photographs from the 19th century but also 20th century photographs pertaining to the Middlebrook family.
If you do not have any way of scanning the photographs we may be able to organise someone to visit .

One thing I have noticed since I started researching the Middlebrook Clan, and moreso on meeting various relatives is how the Middlebrook Family members have  remarkable likenesses between siblings,  and cousins, close and distant . One example shown here as these photos show. Jane Thompson Middlebrook, eldest daughter of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook,  not to be confused with her Aunt of the same name) on the left, and on the right, Ellen Hardy , 2nd daughter of Elizabeth and George Douglas Hardy were first cousins but as shown in these photos could almost be mistaken for the same woman. Jane ( known as Cis) was born in 1876 in Auckland and Ellen was born two years earlier in 1874 also in Auckland.  We know the Middlebrook families connected with each other frequently despite geographical distance between them - I wonder how often Jane and Ellen's paths crossed and if they too remarked on their likeness.

New Photos

Here are some photos we have received copies of in the last couple of weeks.

This photo  of descendants of  Samuel Middlebrook shows Lily Dunne ( Widowof John Stewart Middlebrook), Margaret ( Dot) Harris, Bess Middlebrook and Maisie Middlebrook

This is Katikati Number 2 School dated 1900.
In this photo are likely to be Ellen Winifred Middlebrook & Samuel Robert ( Bert) Middlebrook - who appears to be known as Robert in School records for this date. It appears John Stewart had left Katikati Number 2 school on 12th June 1899 aged 15  ( headed for Waihi) , Depending on the date of the photo it also could show Margaret' ( Dot) who's last day was May 1900- aged 14 (destination listed as home)  Maise and Bess were too young to be at school at this time .

This Whitnall-Smith photograph  postcard of Olive Whittaker Middlebrook - daughter of John Middlebrook was sent to John Thompson and Thelma Middlebrook  when she was staying in Garden Terrace Devonport . I am unable to ascertain the date in the postmark . She appears  possible she is wearing some kind of uniform - could it be a nurse or teachers uniform?? - We have no contacts with anyone descended from Olive, who went on to marry William Winks . In both of the electoral rolls ( 1914 and 1919) she qualified to be on before marrying she was living in College Rd Te Awamutu not Devonport.  She married William Winks in 1920.  If anyone has more information on Olive and William we would greatly appreciate it
Olive and Olive and Olive and Olive and Olive and Olive....

There are many name repetitions in our family, the most common you would think are John and Ellen - and certainly there are quite a few Johns and Ellens numbered in the descendants of the original John and Ellen Middlebrook, however there are other names that are duplicated multiple times with less obvious reason.
Olive is one of those names
The earliest that I have found was the Olive shown in the photo above
Olive Whittaker Middlebrook - daughter of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook  born 1891
Olive Marion Simpson - Granddaughter of Jane Thompson Middlebrook and James John McRa, daughter of Jane Elizabeth and Duncan McGregor Simpson  born 1903
Olive Gladys Whitnall Smith -Granddaughter of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook, daughter of Jane Thompson and Henry Whitnall Smith born 1908
Olive Mary Middlebrook - Granddaughter of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook, daughter of Charles Samuel and Kate Middlebrook- born 1917
Olive June Rush - Granddaughter of Jane Thompson and James John McRa, daughter of Mary and Christopher Rush born 1921
Olive Jean Harris Granddaughter of Samuel and Mary Jane Middlebrook, daughter of Margaret and Robert Harris  born 1922

Your Stories Urgently Required

It is our goal to complete a  page for the book a week for the rest of the year. In order to do this and to include as much family as possible in the book we NEED YOUR HELP. We are still urgently requiring stories on many branches of the family. We often have just boring facts such as dates and locations but people are more than that - The best way to remember family is to learn more about their personalities - the good and the bad . Without your help there are most certainly going to be gaps in the research. Helping  could be as simple as jotting down your memories of your parents, grandparents, or any stories you have been told relating to all branches  the family.
Send an email - even if its just a paragraph to Lauren with anything you think might be useful.
Thanks to those who have helped so far - your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Remember to fill in a Family Group Sheet Form here if you havent already.

If you find the online  form confusing - send an email to Lauren with your name and date of birth and include the following info
Your spouses name and date of birth and date of marriage
Your parents names and dates of birth marriage and death
Your siblings names , dates of birth, spouses names, dates of marriages and death dates ( if applicable)
Your children's names dates of birth, marriage, spouses names
Include as much info as you can.

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