Edward Bibby enquiry

From: Jan
To: Judith
Subject: re: edward bibby> Hello Jan,

Hi again Judith,
Well I’ve been down to the Museum and talked to Rosheen this morning and she’s going to see if she can find anything.

I’ve also been over now to talk to mum.

She found your email really interesting… and said that there is still part of the family farm called ‘Firth’s block”.

Her cousin is still farming that part of the farm which is called ‘Lunesdale’ and her brother lives on another part of the Bibby farm called ‘Glen Appin’

My Grandad (who was also an Edward Bibby) wrote a book called “Lunesdale” back in 1990 a year or two before he died , where he wrote from a personal point of view about the early beginnings of the farm/ Blackburn area.

We looked up your family name and found the following exert – which I thought you’d find interesting.

Mum’s ringing her cousin at Lunesdale about seeing if can find out more about the Firth’s, and she’s also contacting a person who is part of a committee which has just written a history of Pukehou/ Te Aute region to see if they have any more information about them up there.

Hopefully between us we can help you out a little.

Hope this is of some help to you


Oh – I found a black and white version of Mary Glover Bibby’s painting of Firth’s Block too.

Hopefully I can track down the original and get a colour scan of it.

From: Judith
To: Jan
Subject: edward bibby> Hello Jan,

What a wonderful site. I have enjoyed reading about the Bibby’s and their family history. All those photographs and Mary Bibby’s paintings, great.

The reason for my interest in the Bibby’s, goes back to my gt, gt, gt grandfathers brother Samuel Baines Firth who purchased two blocks of land next to Edward Bibby’s block.

I have a photocopy of a map circa 1872 of the Ruataniwha Survey District.

Samuel purchased block Appl N 130 130 acres and Appl N 122. Edward Bibby had block Appl 99 105 200 acres 10. These were at Blackburn, Onga Onga.

I have a photocopy of a painting by Mary G Bibby, painted in 1904 showing the dairying set up, on Firths block. Haybarn, (calf rearing pens underneath) cowbail and trap shed. I also have another photocopy of “The Cottage” built by Edward Bibby in about 1911.

Samuel went to New Zealand with his wife Elizabeth sometime between 1853-1858. He built and ran Te Aute stores in 1858. From about 1877 it was leased to various people and was sold after his death in 1886 to Florence Grundie. He also had a sawmill at Te Aute. He also had sawmills at Ormondville and Papatu.

Samuels’s brother Abraham also went to New Zealand in 1874 with his wife Eliza and children Tom and Elizabeth. The land at Blackburn was where Samuel built a house for Abraham. Abraham’s daughter Elizabeth married Walter Williams at Onga Onga.

I have another photocopy of Blackburn Bush picnic circa 1879 with Abraham, Eliza, Elizabeth and Walter on it and their daughter Amelia/Milly.

There was also another brother Rueben who went there but didn’t stay.

I was wondering if you new anything about this family.


Judith nee Firth
St. Just