Bibby Descendant Enquiry

From: Glenwyss
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Family

I have been doing the family tree of my maternal Great Grandparents,James and Annie Smith. They arrived in N.Z. in 1894 with their family and settled in Uruti, a small farming community in NTH.Taranaki.G.Grandad’s Father was Joseph Smith and he married an Ellen Bibby.
I found all the names of the Bibby family and was surprised to find that her youngest brother, Edward had emmigrated to N.Z.and lived in Hawkes Bay.
Apparently the Bibby family were well known in Lancashire and there is a book, now out of print called “The Bibbys of Conder Mill”a lady whose name I came across on the Ancestry site and who has done a different branch of the Bibby tree, scanned a photo of the Edward Bibby family and emailed it to me..
I wondered if there were any Bibbys still in N.Z, so I typed in Bibbys of Hawkes Bay and there it was.
I wonder if Edward Bibby knew he had a nephew in Taranaki?

From: Jan
To: Glenwyss
Subject: Bibby Family

Hi Glenwyss,

Isn’t it a small world…?
It made me giggle a little when you said I wonder if there are any Bibbys still in New Zealand because there are literally hundreds of descendants of Edward Bibby still living throughout New Zealand, and a few in other parts of the world too.
I find it very interesting this contact over in Taranaki as I wasn’t aware of it, and later today (after I’ve finished rushing around the countryside delivering a few stone sculptures) I will take your email over and show it to mum who I am sure will find it fascinating too.
Mum has the book “The Bibby’s of Conder Mill” and she has even been back to Lancashire to see where the Bibbys came from. She has done a painting of Conder and has it hanging on her lounge wall.

And as for the original Edward Bibby in NZ (there have been a few others since him) his descendents have been written up fairly thoroughly in a family tree which is sooooooooo big that it has to be put in a book – as the Bibbys were very prolific.
Anyway its great to catch up with a long lost distant cousin – and I am sure we will be in touch again to swap information if you want more…. Bibbys are a much easier topic to research than some I have had from the website as there are countless Bibby books recording family and farm history.

Take care

From: Glenwyss
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Family

Hello Again,
  Just checked the emails before off to town to the Hairdresser, and thrilled to see your prompt reply.
Do you think Uncle and Nephew were unaware of each other being in N.Z.?
Seems odd.
I am pretty sure Grandad Smith, (as mum called him so do we), never left Taranaki. I don’t think money was all that plentiful, they never had a car until the early ’20s, and then only the youngest daughter Ethel drove.Grandad Smith died in 1928.
They arrived in Dunedin, lost a son to Scarlet Fever, brought on board when they stopped in Capetown. They were quarantined on an Island in Otago Harbour and little Wilfred was buried there. They had to discard the feather mattresses!
They travelled to N.P. by train I think – then by Bullock Dray to the wilds of Uruti.
On our last trip to the U.K, in August, we visited Lancs. and with the help of an ordnance survey map, found Higherthrushgill Farm where Joe and Ellen farmed when first married.
Poor Ellen! way up on the moors over miles of narrow unsealed roads,cattle stops and wild black faced, horned sheep, imagine what it must have been like in 1846 when she first went there.
He was a widower, with a young son Robert.
His first wife died shortly after Robert was born, perhaps having a second child I am not sure.
They had a further 11 children Their last farm was in Trysul, Staffordshire, where Ellen died, the death certificate.says exhaustion, not surprising with all those children.
We took an extra day there, all so interesting, if I had realised, I would have taken more details to England with me.
We went to Farleton, two of those, so confusing, and I couldn’t remember where the mill was. Maybe next time, although each time we go we find it more trying with security hassles etc.(old age creeping up.)
If there is any chance of borrowing the Bibby book, I would stand all costs of getting it here and take every extreme care and return promptly, appreciating history and such priceless family treasures as I do. If you would rather not – I understand completely.
I also wonder if you have any photos of the Bibbys which would include GGGranny Ellen Bibby (1816-1884) I have one I think is her, not named on the back, so unsure, very frustrating.
This is getting far too long sorry, you will have eye strain.
Thanks again for your response.
  Kind Regards Glenwyss

From: Jan
To: Glenwyss
Subject: Bibby Family

Hi Glenwyss,
Mum was very intrigued that there were other Bibby descendants in New Zealand – that we certainly didn’t know of – and probably that might mean that Edward too might not have known he had a nephew in Taranaki  – but who knows? as he’s not around to ask.
Anyway Mum got out the “Bibbys of Conder Mill” book and she has found a couple of pages where your great, great grandmother is briefly mentioned – although it doesn’t say much. It seems that males were much more important than females in those days that Edward’s sisters hardly even get a mention.
Anyway she will photocopy the relevant pages and post them to you if you would like? So if you send me your address I can get her to forward those pages.
The rest of the book mainly looks at John Bibby and the foundations of the Methodist church in Lancashire.
I have found a little more information in a book written for a New Zealand Bibby family reunion back in 1977 with a family tree that traces the Bibbys back to 1608 – and a little about how they traced this information – so I’ll get a copy of that to you too.
Anyway I’ve attached a photo of Mum’s painting of Conder Cottage (The mill itself is no longer there) which she did when she and dad were chasing family history back in Lancashire a few years back.
She tells me that she even found where her great grandfather (Edward) carved his initials into a wall near the cottage… and I think that may be a family trait leaving graffiti around the place – as at the house where I live I have the initials carved into our back fence of my Grandad (also an Edward Bibby) which he did as a boy.( I live in the house where he was born and lived as a boy).
Anyway I hope you enjoy the painting

From: Glenwyss
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Family

Hi Jan,
I really appreciate your interest and prompt replies.
I would love the photocopies
We too had a reunion, in 1983, – I wrote it, shudder now when I read it, but at least it is a sort of record of the Smith descendants, my genealogy and writing skills are a wee bit better now(I hope).
You may be interested to know the National M.P. Chester Borrows, Kerry to the family, is also a G.Grandson of James Smith , therefore G.G.Grandson of Ellen Bibby. His Granny was Dorothy Smith. His Father Jim Borrows was a great pal of Mums when they were children, lives in Stoke  Nelson and is a very talented artist, although in his 80s now.
No other claims to fame though, one of the Lendrums from the Joe Smith lot had a brief stint as an All Black I think. Anyway I will send you the wee book, it may be of some interest. I grew up on the farm next to the original Smith holding, Granny lived there when I was a child, Grandad bought it from the family. Keith and I lived there for a while but had to move to town, sadly it burned down, still haunts me I’m afraid.
Thank you also for the painting,
I have printed it out on photo paper.
You are right about the girls not being as important in those days, I also wonder if old Joe was not considered to be quite up to scratch, so to speak, all the other spouses feature in family trees on the internet!
He seemed to be reasonably successful, the 1881 census lists him as being “farmer of 350 acres”, They were in Staffordshire by then.
I will enclose some stamps with the booklet, to cover some of your costs.
Thanks again.
 Regards Glenwyss

From: Jan
To: Glenwyss
Subject: Bibby Family

Hi again Glenwyss,
I know I only wrote to you earlier today and I would hate you to think that I spend all my time in front of the computer because usually I am rushing around doing other things. But today I decided to have a lazy day to recover from rushing around madly delivering statues to Hamilton, and to Award ceremonies in Napier,  and also to a lovely country garden north of Napier (all in one week!)
So I looked through the  Bibby Family reunion book and took exerts out of it with the history pieced together about the early Bibbys.
Since you Great Great Grandmother and my Great Great Grandfather were brother and sister I thought you might find it interesting…
Anyway I typed it out and have attached it to the email as an attachment so that the family tree etc doesn’t get out of line which it may do in a normal email. 
If you have any extra information it would be great to fill in any gaps. This family searching was done some time ago as it was written for our reunion in 1977.
So while you’re waiting for the Conder Mill book to arrive via snail mail – here’s a little ‘light’ reading…


Exerts from….

The Bibby Family in New Zealand 1850-1977
This is the story of Edward and Mary Bibby and their descendants. It is also the story of the early pioneers, the people who in the face of great difficulties laid the foundations for the prosperous life we know today.

Conder Mill where Edward was brought up in England.
Our Early Beginnings
Our family’s roots are in England in Over-Wyresdale, the upper part of the valley of the Wyre, a stream that rises in the Forest of Bowland and crosses north Lancashire to empty into the Irish Sea at Fleetwood. How the first Bibbys came to establish themselves there is not known. Probably an enterprising Bibby, perhaps in search of land, migrated from the southern part of Lancashire, either by Garstang or Trough of Bowland, early in the seventeenth century. There is a record at Lancaster Parish Church of the baptism of John Bibby, son of James, on 1st January, 1608.
The earliest record of Bibbys living in Over-Wyresdale is of the marriage at Lancaster Parish Church of John Bibby I to Annas Slayter, both of Wyresdale, before the Mayor, on 1st July 1654, during the period of the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Their son John Bibby II, born in 1656, is known to have lived at Marshaw, some three miles west of Abbeystead, a point where the Wyre, there a mountain stream, emerges from the trough of Bowland. There are several farmsteads at Marshaw, all deriving from the seventeenth century though with later additions, and it was one of these that John Bibby II lived. He married twice and outlived both of his wives. We know little about him – what we do know is from his will which has been preserved.
Here it is. –
In the name of god amen – the seventh day of August 1729 – I John Bibby of Marshaw in over Wyresdale In the parish of Lancaster and county of Lancaster being in perfect memory and remembrance praised bee god Do make and ordain this my last Will and testament in the manner and form of the following = viz. ffirst I Bequeath my soule into the hands of Almighty god – hoping through the merits of Jesus Christ my saviour to Receive free pardon and forgiveness of All my sins and as for my body to bee buryed in Christon burial at the Discreshion of my execiter hereafter nominated = Item – I – I give to my son James Bibby the sum of five shillings as Also my Best Sute of gray cloths that is coat vest and breeches Item = All the rest of my estate god Almighty hath been pleased to bless mee with I give to my son John Bibby upon the Condition that hee shall pay all my Debts Legasees and funeral expencis and makes him sole execiter of this my Last will and testament Revoking all other wills and testaments In Witness Wereof I have here unto set my hand and seal the Day and year first above Writen
Signed sealed
And published
In the presence
Of                                                    JOHN BIBBY
            William Jackson                      HIS MARK
            Thomas Corles
            John Townley
It is evident from the handwriting that William Jackson drew the will, probably on his friends deathbed, for John died before the year was out, and his mark on the document suggests that he could neither read nor write.
We can infer from the will that John Bibby II was survived by two sons, John III and James, and that John, the elder son, was the more fortunate.
John Bibby III inherited the farm at Marshaw on the death of his father in 1729.
John Bibby III married Margaret Townley in 1717. He died intestate in 1739 at the age of about 55, having survived his father by only ten years, leaving a widow and six children, the youngest of whom was only six years old.
Less is known of his younger brother James Bibby I, though he is described in the records as a husbandman and he was probably employed by one of the larger farmers in the lower more fertile part of the valley. He had four children by his first wife Ellen Kitchen, who died in 1721, and at least ten more by his second wife Elizabeth Brewer, whom he married in 1722. His signature appears on administration bond consequent upon his elder brother’s death, showing that he was able to write. The record of death of a James Bibby in 1758 probably relates to him.
The sons and grandsons of the two brothers John Bibby III and James Bibby I were sturdy and fertile. Most of them married and raised large families, and by the beginning of the nineteenth century there were a dozen or more families of Bibbys, a veritable tribe, living in the parish, all descendants of the two brothers. The parish records are incomplete and it is impossible to trace all the branches of the family but it is probable that our branch of the family is descended from James, the younger brother, rather than John.
However, this is all surmise as it is extremely difficult with very incomplete records and large families to contend with to trace any ancestry with certainty. It is known though that our Edward Bibby’s Grandfather was a James Bibby of Ellel but whether this James Bibby was a son of Edward Bibby who died in 1768 is not known for sure though evidence points that way.
If this Edward Bibby was the son of the James Bibby who died in 1758 we have our ancestry traced back to John Bibby I who was born in 1608. The family tree would then be –

Edward Bibby 1829 – 1901
Edward Bibby, born in 1829, was the youngest of three sons in a family of twelve. His father was a miller who owned Conder Mill in the village of Quernmore in Lancashire. This mill was situated on a small stream which had been harnesses for power to drive a mill.
Edward left school at the age of thirteen and was apprenticed to a cabinet maker for seven years. This indenture still in the hands of a great grandson is interesting to us today. The terms were :
“The apprentice’s father had to provide his son with all sorts of wearing apparel both linen and woolen together with meat, drink, washing, lodging, mending and medical advice, etc., for the term of seven years. The wage commencing of four shillings weekly and in the seventh year seven shillings”.
Family records tell us that shortly after the completion of his apprenticeship he was best man for a friend who was to leave for New Zealand. This may have influenced him as he too in 1860 did likewise.
From there there is a long period of which little is known of him. It is said he came to Napier, and owned two houses which no doubt he built by himself. In all probability, the sale of these houses gave him the capital to return to England. His ship was held up at Melbourne as its crew had gone to the goldfields. In the meantime he obtained employment by assembling chairs at 20/- a day, three times the normal rates. He eventually got back to England and soon after married Mary Ann Woodhouse, the daughter of another miller whose families had known one another for generations.
Once again he set sail for New Zealand, this time in the sailing ship Albion taking 100 days to reach their destination. We do not know much about the voyage except that Mary gave birth to a premature son who died mainly from lack of proper nutrition.
They finally landed at Napier where he had previously bought or built two houses. It is understood that he had wished to go to Poverty Bay but due to the unrest amongst the natives he went to Waipawa.
Their first home was a whare somewhere on the north side of Abbotsford road. It is presumed that their son James was born here. Mary persuaded Edward to start a store as there was only one other for the district. The young couple must have had capital as they built a store and a dwelling. This was situated at the junction of where Hampden Road (now Ruataniwha Street) met the main road on the bank of the Waipawa river. The site was well chosen as the Maori Pa was just across the river and Hampden Road served the settlers on the plains. A number of earliest houses were built on the banks of the river.

The store, a gabled building with a lean-to at the back which served for living quarters, opened on July 24, 1862 and flourished under the drive of Mary who became on keen terms with the Maoris. It is said that she was not above selling her own garments to the natives. Her home was an open house…
Here I leave the book and draw on what I’ve been told about my great, great grandparents – I’ve been told that if anyone should come in and compliment Mary on a hat, or a collar, or something she was wearing, she was likely to take it off and sell it to them. She seemed to be a very astute business woman who sounds like she was the real driving force behind the business… She even started up one of New Zealand’s earliest postal marketing systems where people could write in and ask for clothing and other supplies they needed and these would be parceled up and sent out to them.

A sticker that was attached to parcels to be delivered to postal customers..
Anyway Edward and Mary went on to have quite a large family of eight children – The eldest being James Woodhouse Bibby – my Great Grandfather (who was the second baby ever to be born in Waipawa)

This photo of Edward and his children – this maybe the one you’ve had sent to you as it’s clearly labels all their children.
Unfortunately I do not know of any photos of Edward and his parents or his siblings… It’s almost like his life started for us descendants when he came to New Zealand.

So there’s Edward and Mary (Ann) Bibby and their children
– And after that James (my G Greatfather) and his brothers and sisters nearly all went on to have huge families…

James Bibby  and Mary (Glover) Bibby  and their children
and then the next generation is large on today’s standards too … and then the next… well… as you see the New Zealand Bibbys went on to be a very prolific family…
I could rave on for ages – but probably the bit of family history that you’re interested in is the early part ( probably pre-New Zealand) which is the bit we share…

From: Glenwyss
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Family

Hello Jan,

I have just collected the mail and your copies from the Bibby book, thanks. So interesting.I will take a few copies off to send to various people who may be interested and a few for myself as a safeguard, I am inclined to misplace things, must be my advancing years.
Fancy your niece working for Kerry, that is amazing. I sometimes wonder how often in life we bump into distant relatives without being any the wiser.

We are related to half of Taranaki through the Laurences (Dad), but I don’t know half of them.

The name William Howson jumped out at me too- the wedding of James Bibby to Elizabeth Askey in the presence of William Howson.

Joseph Smith who married our Ellen Bibby, was a widower and all very confusing as his first wife’s name was also Ellen, took me ages to work it all out, anyway she was an Ellen Howson, probably connected somehow

Thanks also for the email with your family info.

I have printed out the sketch of the actual mill and it is on my Bibby page in my ancestry scrapbook.

Your interest and help has been beyond expectations and very much appreciated.

Kindest Regards,

From: Anne
To: Jan
Subject: Another Bibby branch

My great great grandfather John Bibby, born 1821 Quernmore, Over Wyresdale was the cousin of Edward Bibby, who emigrated to Waipawa.

John, my great great grandfather was the son of John Bibby born 1777 Ellel, whose parents were James Bibby and Elizabeth Askew.  John married Nancy King in 1810 at Cockerham and Edward Bibby Snr. and Peggy Bibby were the witnesses at his wedding.  In about 1823 John and Nancy moved to Preston, Lancashire to work in the cotton mills, but shortly after they moved there, John died and was taken back to Ellel to be buried in the same graveyard as his father James and later his brother Edward and Ellen.
 My John is not mentioned in the book ‘ The Bibbys of Conder Mill. Also his sister Mary born 1775 was not mentioned in the book either.
Are any of my distant relatives still living in Waipawa.

Kind regards,
Anne Burrows (nee Bibby).

From: Jan
To: Anne
Subject: Another Bibby Branch

Hi Anne,

The internet certainly does make the world small and its really exciting when I have emails from people around the world who are some how linked to me.
You asked whether there were still distant relatives of yours still living in Waipawa…?
That question sort of made me giggle as around the place there are hundreds of Bibbys – if not by name then as descendants (like me)
In Waipawa itself –  there is of course me -being a great, great granddaughter of Edward who was one of the early settlers here in Waipawa, and I live in his eldest son, James’ house… and there’s my mother (who lives next door), and her sister Rachel who also lives in town…
But there are countless others who live in the surrounding area of Central Hawkes Bay like my uncle Ted (another Edward Bibby) who farms out towards the Mountains and quite a few of his cousins who have neighbouring farms…
But really the Bibby family is very diverse and haven’t all stayed in the area but can be found all over New Zealand, and America, and even in your part of the world!

It was interesting reading your email and I think your part of the family fits into the ‘Others’ category in “The Bibby of Conder Mill” book – as the time line seems to match. It’s great getting some of those blank areas in our family history linked up again – just like we did not long ago with another Bibby branch that came to New Zealand too – which none of my Bibby branch I’ve talked to about it knew about..
The number of John’s, James’ and Edward’s in our family tree make things very confusing doesn’t it?
There is a little more info about the branch of Bibby descendants that I belong to on the  website under the headings in the Main menu of … A little history of Waipawa, Positively Stoneaged, and a few photos of some Bibby descendants dressed up to go to a 150th celebration here in Waipawa in the Pines 150th. Also if you’re interested there are some paintings done by my great grandmother and a few photos on click on photo gallery on the left side of screen.
Anyway great to make contact with you.
I’ll go over to Mum’s shortly and show her your email – I think she’ll find it really interesting finding this new link we didn’t know of previously.


From: Anne
To: Jan
Subject: Another Bibby branch

Dear Jan,

Thank you very much for your reply and the interesting information you have supplied.

I have also been reading up on the Bibbys of Charleston, West Virginia..  There is a Bibby Street, a Joseph Street and a Margaret Street named after Joseph Bibby and his wife Margaret.

Something else amazing has happened recently.  My husband and I have an American friend who lives near Boston.  We met him in Edinburgh a few years ago and have corresponded with him ever since, and visited him last year.  I have just been doing some family research for him and found that his ancestor lived next door to Joseph Bibby’s son John H. Bibby, in Charleston on the 1880 Census.

I am attaching two photographs which I took in March this year.  You probably have such photos already.  One is of Conder Mill and the other is the grave stone of Edward and Ellen Bibby at Ellel.  I have previously sent these photos to Gordon Jackson, who is researching the Bibbys for his daughter Amelia.

Best Wishes and a Happy New Year.