Sunday, October 26, 2014

Middlebrook-Wright Wedding–An Ancestor a week for 20 weeks–number 14


A very pretty wedding took place at St Peters Church Katikati on Wednesday April 7th when Miss Dorothy Clarice, second youngest daughter of Mr and the late Mrs W Wright, of Katikati, was married to Mr Samuel Robert Middlebrook youngest son of Mr S. Middlebrook of Waihi. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Ernest Fletcher, vicar of St Johns Church Waihi, and was attended by a large number of relatives and intimate friends of the bride and bridegroom The bride looked charming in a handsome dress and train of cream charmuse satin with the orthodox veil and orange blossoms and she carried a pretty white bouquet and prayer book. The bridesmaids were Miss A Wright, ( sister of the bride) and Miss B Middlebrook ( sister of the bridegroom. They wore pretty dresses of white embroidered viole, with tulle caps trimmed with ribbon and pearl trimming and carried pretty bouquets . The bride as also attended by her small niece and nephew, Miss Edna and Master George Hepesy. Miss Edna wore a pretty dress of the palest green charmuse satin and carried a basket of flowers while Master George looked very pretty in a suit of saxe blue velvet trimmed with cream lace. Mr Ernest Dale of Wellington, supported the bridegroom as best man, and Mr N Wright of Katikati as groomsman. Miss E Phillips of Waihi presided at the organ and at the conclusion of the ceremony, played the Wedding March. The brides travelling costume was a tailor made champagne serge and a small saxe blue and white velvet hat with blue ospreys . The bride was the recipient of many handsome and useful presents . The Wedding breakfast was held at the residence of the brides father “Glenora” Katikati after which the happy couple left by motor car for Waihi en route for Te Aroha. Mr and Mrs Middlebrook will reside in Waihi.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Cockroft Connection- Week 13 of an Ancestor a Week for 20 weeks


The youngest child of John and Ellen Midlebrook was  Henry Cockroft  Middlebrook unfortunately died aged 15 on 25th September 1876 and is buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery in Symonds Street Auckland. I have long wondered about the origin of his middle name Cockroft which sounds like a Surname.

To trace the name we need to go back to Samuel Middlebrook ( 1784-1846) the father of John Middlebrook who emigrated to NZ.
Samuel had 5 children
Mary Ann Middlebrook 1804
Elizabeth 1807
Fanny 1809
John 1812
Thomas 1815
n Samuels Will he left his estate in its entirety to John on the proviso he made the following payments
One Hundred Pounds to Samuels daughter Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Sturdy; One Hundred Pounds to Samuels daughter  Fanny, wife of Philip Smith; and Five pounds to Samuel's son Thomas . ( Mary Ann was not mentioned in the will  but we know she had married Christopher Wharton.
On finding the names of the husbands of Elizabeth and Fanny I then went to look for those marriages.
Fanny's marriage was easy to find in August 1841.However I could find no marriage between an Elizabeth Middlebrook and a Thomas Sturdy. So instead of searching for Elizabeth Middlebrook I widened the search to Thomas Sturdy and all women named Elizabeth and there was our first clue..
On September 4 1843 there was a marriage between Thomas Sturdy and Elizabeth Cockroft
Gender:     Female
Father's Name:     Samuel Middlebrook
Spouse's Name:     Thomas Sturdy
Spouse's Father's Name:     William Sturdy
Marriage Date:     4 Sep 1843
Marriage Place:     York, Yorkshire, England
At last - there was our Cockroft connection.-
I then looked for Elizabeth and Thomas Sturdy in the 1851 census, however nothing initally came up.
I finally found them in the 1861 Census living at 73 Church Place W, Islington, Middlesex. Thomas was a Linen Draper and he was living with Elizabeth and their daughter Elizabeth Sturdy aged 16 and Thomas's step daughter Ellen Cockroft.
The children in this census  proved to be the final link in the puzzle to the Cockroft name
Her baptism records dated 24th July 1834 list the following
Name:     Ellen Middlebrook Cockroft
Gender:     Female
Baptism Date:     24 Jul 1834
Baptism Place:     Saint Peter,Leeds,York,England
Father:     Henry Cockroft     Mother:     Elizabeth
And finally - the proof- Henry Cockroft Middlebrook was named after his Uncle Henry Cockroft, first husband of his aunt Elizabeth. After I had found Elizabeth and Thomas in 1861 I then tracked back in time to find them in 1851 to see if there were any other Cockroft children. I finally found them at 13 Trafalgar Street Brighton. They hadn't originally shown up in a search as they had been mistranscribed as Thomas and Elizabeth Slindy. Thomas was working as a Linen Draper assisted by family. Stepdaughter Ellen is listed as assisting in the family business. Living with Thomas and Elizabeth at the time were Ellen Cockroft and another daughter Sarah Hannah Cockroft.From there I went looking for Elizabeth with Ellen and Sarah in the 1841 census .I finally found them living in a Boarding School in Low Harrogate . I assume Elizabeth was working as a servant there and they accommodated the girls for her.Further research indicates there was another child of Henry and Elizabeth Cockroft.
Henry William Middlebrook Cockroft was born on July 6 1836 and baptised on January 10 1837 at Leeds.
Despite hours of searching I have been able to find neither  the marriage of Henry and Elizabeth, nor the death of Henry, which apparently occured before the birth of Sarah in  August 1838, as her baptism record lists her father as the Late Henry Cockroft , cloth merchant of Leeds.
A newspaper advertisement for the sale of the “Modern and Valuable Furnishings of the Late Henry Cockroft” dated Twenty Sixth March 1838 indicates he died in the early months of that year.
The assumption could be that in order to support her 2 children and her unborn child, Elizabeth had to sell the contents of her home and then eventually move elsewhere.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ancestor a week for 20 weeks– week 12 A Blended Family– Sullivan-Middlebrook



For this weeks Ancestor – I chose to do a family rather than just one ancestor – there are 2 blended families in the Middlebrook clan, and I had previously covered the Simpson family. This time I have done a page on the Sullivan-Middlebrook family


When James Thompson Middlebrook married Julia Ann  Sullivan  he inherited a family with 5 children aged from15 year old Frank down to 8 year old Dorothy. Julia was a pupil-teacher at Pearoa School and in 1886  married Arther Walter Sullivan who had recently become the headmaster at the school. Walter died aged only 47in June 1901, leaving Julia a widow with a family of 5 children to support.  It is said she and James met on a “widows cruise”. James however was not a widow but was recently divorced from his first wife Elizabeth who had deserted him some years earlier.   He and Julia married in December 1902 and for some years they resided in Opua where James was employed by New Zealand Railways. In October 1903 they had their first child together- Farrer Middlebrook, followed by twins Nelson Bartle( Bart) and Eva Rhys in 1905. Julia’s last child was Charles Russell (Known as Russell) . Some time after Russell’s birth the family moved to Auckland. Sadly Frank, the eldest son was killed in the Dardanelles on May 19 1915.

For the rest of the children religion features strongly  with Bertha and Phyllis both becoming Nuns (one Catholic, and one Anglican) and Farrer becoming an Anglican Minister) but perhaps the strongest trait in the family is the huge artistic talent.

From Julia , to Eva, Farrer and Russell, each was extremely talented in the fine arts, Eva was a commercial artist at the time of her marriage, Russell becoming a great sculptor- both he and Eva attended Elam Art School. Russell and Farrer are responsible for lettering and sculpture on the Auckland Museum.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

An Ancestor A week for 20 weeks number 11 - Middlebrook-Fazackerley Wedding



The marriage of Eva Rhys, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Middlebrook, of Mount Albert, to Thomas Henry, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Fazackerley, of Liverpool, was celebrated at St. Luke's Church. The Rev. Beck officiated. The bride, who was given away by her  brother-in-law, Mr. Sydney Runciman, wore a dainty frock of lace over georgette, swathed waistband with diamond buckle, and the simple bodice had a cluster of flowers on one shoulder. Her veil, a family heirloom, was of beautiful Honiton lace. A coronet of orange  blossom was worn round the head. She carried a shower bouquet of tuberoses and asters, tied with silver ribbon. The Misses Runciman looked sweet as bridesmaids, dressed in powder blue georgette with caps of tulle and bandeaux of blue satin. The reception was held at the residence of the bride's parents. The rooms were decorated with bowls of mauve and pink asters and a dainty afternoon tea was served. The bride's mother wore a smart beige ensemble suit with the skirt embroidered in contrasting colours and a hat to tone. Mrs. Sydney Runciman was gowned in mauve georgette with a petal skirt and a black and white velvet flower on the shoulder and black hat. Miss Bartle wore black brocade. Amongst the guests were: Sister Hannah, Sister Agnes ,Mesdames Ruddock, Kaiiand, Potter P. J Bach, Rickard, Wilson, Bowles, S. Hunt, Leahy, the Misses Anne and A. Ruddock, E. Coldicutt, M. Hutton-Whitelaw, Fazackerley and Cock.

Auckland Star 14 March 1929