Taylor/Firth/Kaikora enquiry

From: Jim
To: Jan
Subject: Taylor/Kaikora

Do you cover Otane History as well?
Re checking J.C.Taylor, Waipawa Town clerk. Storekeeper, District Clerk Kaikora, Commision agent, JP, coroner Waipawa.
Lived Otane 1883 to 1927.
Wife Lucy Taylor to 1936.
Children Alice, James, Amy, Vernon,,( Havelock Nth). Winifred, (Waipakurau). Percival, Frederick, Francis , Lucy (Kaikora Nth) 23 Carruthers Rd Otane.

Any early photos of Otane?

From: Jan
To: Jim
Subject: Taylor/Kaikora

I know of a couple of people in Otane who are local historians of the Otane village.
I will pass your email to them and either get them to email you directly or pass on the information to me to send.
I am sure they have early photos of the Otane as would the local CHB Settlers Museum.
I am a little unwell at present but once I recover I’ll see what I can find out.


From: Jim
To: Jan
Subject: Taylor/Kaikora

Re Firth, Just been checking ancestry at Otane and see a link back to Abraham Taylor whose daughter Lucy married J.C.Taylor, my G G Grandfather. I have two photos of them.

From: Jan
To: Jim
Subject: Firth/Taylor/Kaikora


Sorry its taken a while to get back to you since your first enquiry – but I’ve been unwell this week and I’m only just getting back to my usual self.

II was intrigued that you have tracked a Firth connection in your family and I would be really interested to know a little more about the connection and if you have a photo of Abraham Firth (?) and his daughter Lucy I know that Kerry, who corresponded me about his G G Grandad (who is Abraham Firth), would be interested too.

I’m hopefully going to be back at school tomorrow – I teach reading recovery out at Otane so will see if I can drop in at a couple of people’s places to see if they can help with you research into JC Taylor – Kaikora’s town Clerk.

Unfortunately I don’t personally have any information much about Otane and Kaikora so it will be interesting to see what we can find out.

So fingers crossed something will turn up.


OH – How much information have you got on JC Taylor? Do you have births and deaths etc?
II could ask Rosheen to check the Museum data base for these if you don’t.

From: Jim
To: Jan
Subject: Firth/Taylor/Kaikora

Two photos of James Crouch Taylor and Lucy Taylor

Hi Jan

What I am having trouble finding is an article “from” the HB Herald “A Tribute to Aug 30 1920 at J.C Taylor’s Retirement, a little on his life history in NZ.
Its not in the Herald,
Did Waipawa have a paper in the 1920’s?


Found a bit on this link yesterday, several lines.

From: Jan
To: Jim
Subject: Firth/Taylor/Kaikora

Hi Jim,

I would love to have a copy of the photo of Abraham – I’m amazed at how the Firth story keeps on expanding.

As to your question about whether Waipawa had a newspaper in 1920’s – Yes they did. “The Waipawa Mail”.

The data base that the CHB Settlers Museum has on births deaths and marriages was started using information from the Waipawa Mail but I think has been expanded upon since then.

Unfortunately down at our Museum in Central Hawkes Bay(in Waipawa) we do not have the complete set of Waipawa Mail newspaper issues – as space and satisfactory storage is a problem. BUT the Hawkes Bay Museum (in Napier) does have these papers. So if you know the date approximately of what you’re looking for they may be able to help you up there. There was some talk a few years back of Napier Museum getting all the newspapers stored on microfilm as well – but I don’t know how far they got with that.

It sounds like it could be an interesting newspaper story if you can track it down..

II’m a bit pressed for time today as I have a group of people due in to look at my sculpture this afternoon and school this morning – but I’ll pop in quickly to the Museum here at Waipawa on my way home today and see if Rosheen can find anything for you. about JC Taylor for you
And tomorrow I’ll go and talk to some of the local Otane people can help – I’m sure we can rustle up a few Otane/Kaikora photos for you from them..

Oh well – better get to school before I’m late (can’t have the teacher late for school, can we?)


From: CHB Settlers Museum
To: Jim
Subject: Firth/Taylor/Kaikora


From the Museum resources;
TTe newspaper in Waipawa 1920’s was the Waipawa Mail – copies held at HB Museum in Napier.

From d/base of BDM’s [taken from the Waipawa Mail]
Marriage – At Te Aute now Pukehou, 14th Jan 1873, James Crouch Taylor to Lucy Taylor. Officiating minister, Mr J A Caygill, Waipawa

Marriage – At St Paul’s Church, Kaikora, 6 April 1904, Percival William Tonks was married to Alice Maud Taylor eldest daughter of Mr J C Taylor J.P.Kaikora

Marriage – Wed 21 Sept,1910 at St Paul’s Church Otane, by Rev R Waugh, Alfred Harold 3rd son of R J Dales, Dannevirke to Winifred 3rd daughter of Mr J C Taylor, Otane

Marriage – At Waipawa Methodist Church, Wed 30 Nov 1910, Miss Amy Charlotte Taylor 2nd daughter of Mr J C Taylor, Otane was united in the bonds of matrimony with Mr C F Lindsay, merchant of Hamilton.

Marriage – At the residence of her parents, Otane, 28 June 1912, Lucy Isabel Taylor youngest & 4th daughter of Mr J C Taylor to Alfred Sydney Trower of Otane by the Rev J T Gunn of Waipawa

Marriage – At the Manse, Waipawa, Jan 6 1921, Percival Charles Taylor 4th son of Mr & Mrs J C Taylor, Otane to Florence Catherine Attenborrow daughter of Mr & Mrs Attenborrow, Buckland, Auckland

Death – At Otane, 18 June 1927, J C Taylor, beloved husband of Lucy Taylor aged 83 years.

I also have the book [125 years off the beaten track] with the references in that you found on Rootsweb. Also in that publication p32;
“Owing to his failing eyesight Mr J C Taylor has found it necessary to relinquish his public duties. When forwarding papers to headquarters in connection with the Maroney inquest, Mr Taylor enclosed his resignation as Coroner and as Justice of the Peace, He held the coronership for a period of sixteen years and has been called to do some very rough travelling in the performance of his duties. As soon as the new town board is elected he will resign his office as clerk of that body. Mr Taylor will carry with him into his retirement the hearty good wishes of a wide circle of friends for many years of peaceful quietude after over half a century of strenuous work in this part of the Dominion.”

Applications for invited for the position in September – so I guess research in the Mails over August & September should shed some light on the article you are looking for.

DDid Amy remarry & become Mrs Forsyth?

Best regards

Rosheen Parker

From: Jim
To: Jan
Subject: Firth/Taylor/Kaikora

I’ve just been thinking about the photo I emailed you with what our family thought was Abraham? Then reading the Firth story again I see they must be talking about Abraham Firth, not Abraham Taylor??
Which Abraham donated the silk dress for Lucy’s wedding?
Also when talking about Aunt Elizabeth and Eliza.
Then looking at the photo, four Girls and four boys, was this Paulina’s Family??
Two boys look like twins? Only have dates for Paulina’s family, boys circa 1877-1885-1890. Girls circa 1879- 1881- 1883-1887.

The Firth and the Taylor / Taylor families were still very close, re TeAute store era.

If it wasn’t for your web site this part of the puzzle would never have been known. Please send my thanks to “Judith” for the Elizabeth Firth letter.


From: Jan
To: Jim
Subject: Firth/Taylor/Kaikora

Hi Jim,

I&I’m afraid I still haven’t tracked down those Otane people I was going to get to help with your enquiry. It seems that every time I pop in at their places they are out – but I haven’t forgotten. So hopefully you’ll bear with me.

I was a little confused about how the Taylor / Firth relationship tied in. r> AnAnd when I looked at the family tree you sent me I wondered whether Eliza Crowther (Paulina’s daughter) married one of the Firth brothers – either Samuel or Abraham Firth – as they BOTH married women named Eliza – which made tracking things down and keeping stories straight VERY difficult – they also had a niece called Eliza…
I remember getting information from both Judith and Kerry and getting myself totally confused – even thinking for a moment that perhaps Samuel Firth and Abraham had married the same woman called Eliza -obviously not at the same time. But it appears that Samuel’s wife Eliza who ran the Te Aute store, became estranged from Samuel after he had been to jail – and then Samuel went to live down near Ormondville and nothing much was mentioned of Eliza after that, and then Abraham Firth was living with an Eliza up on Blackburn ridge and they had a daughter Elizabeth??? And Eliza back at the Te Aute store had a niece called Eliza who came to help her in the store!
VERY CONFUSING!!! Anyway it turns out they were different women. It was just that Eliza/Elizabeth seemed to be a common name in their family… a bit like Mary is in mine. (We now use middle names as well to try and stop confusion)

Then to help me get things straight I looked back at the information I found in the Firth Enquiry and found this…. ( from “The Opening Gate “ book)

““Unfortunately Samuel Firth ‘blotted his copy book’ rather badly when he was arrested for receiving stolen good. In a Supreme Court report in the Hawkes Bay Times, August 14, 1872, before His Honour Mr Justice Johnston, he was charged with receiving a gold watch and chain and waistcoat, knowing they were stolen, the goods and chattels of David Trone.
His Defence Counsel, Mr Lascelles and Mr Lee argued he was a victim of conspiracy between two named men (the thieves). Firth pleaded not guilty. Police Inspector Scully said there was no record against him but his reputation was not good. He was said to conduct an honest business as his main income, but was tempting some young people to become common criminals. The Police Inspector quoted ‘that one receiver made many thieves.’ And considered Firth was a dangerous enemy to society. The jury returned a verdict of guilty. He was sentenced to three years penal servitude.
This must have been shattering to Eliza Firth who was left to cope with the stores on her own. She had no family and must have been lonely as well as extremely busy. This would have been when she took over the Postmistress position. She then decided to nominate family members from England to come to New Zealand as immigrants to help her.
These relatives were her niece, Elizabeth Firth, aged 23 from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, Eliza’s brother Abraham Taylor, a carpenter, his wife Paulina and their two daughters, Paulina aged twelve and Lucy aged 19 from Halifax in Yorkshire. Elizabeth Firth arrived on the ship ‘Bebington’ in November 1874, but the Taylor family arrived earlier on the ship ‘Douglas’ at Wellington in September 1873 though Mrs Taylor died during the voyage and was buried at sea. Because she died ‘on the high seas’ no death certificate was issued.
It is understood that Lucy helped Eliza Firth in the store. Very little is known of these relatives after their arrival in New Zealand, apart from Paulina, the youngest immigrant who went to school while living at the store, later working as a maid or doing housekeeping. In 1876 at age 16 she met and married Charles Leach whose wife and child had both died on their journey from England. The couple were married in the Christ Church, Pukehou by Rev Samuel Williams, but they could not receive their marriage certificate till a year later as Paulina was legally below marriage age at that tie. There were four children from that union.”


After I read this, I see how it fits in with your family tree… as Eliza Firth came to help her Aunt in the Te Aute store – as did Eliza’s brother -Abraham Taylor and his family.
Now it all fits in place. And I have Abraham Taylor and Abraham Firth sorted out… and the Eliza’s. I’ll send on your thanks to Judith back in England – and you’re right it was an amazing letter that she sent of Eliza’s and very sad to think that Eliza died not long after she wrote it.

Anyway I’ll let you know what I find out this end – if anything, and see if I can track down some photos for you

J Jan

From: Jan
To: Judith
Subject: Firth/Taylor enquiry

Hi Judith,

It’s a long time since I’ve had anything new to report about the Firths – and then suddenly out of the blue I get an email from someone researching Taylors… who apparently had some tie in with the Firths.

IIt took me a while to sort out what the relationship between these families was – but finally the penny dropped after Jim sent me a family tree and said something about “Aunt Eliza” at the Te Aute store.

It works out that his Aunt Eliza was Samuel and Eliza Firth’s niece, also called Eliza Firth – who came out to New Zealand to help in the store (the one you sent me a copy of that really sad letter from). EEliza’s brother was Abraham Taylor. And Abraham (and his family) also came out to help at Te Aute… and Abraham is Jim’s (that’s the guy who emailed me) Great, great, great grandfather.

Jim is actually trying to find out information about Abraham’s son in law James Crouch Taylor (who married Lucy Taylor, Abraham’s daughter). JJames Taylor was amongst other things the Town Clerk of Waipawa, the District Clerk for Kaikora, a JP, coroner… and the list goes on. So far I haven’t really found out much about him – but finding this Firth connection was really interesting.

Anyway Jim asked me to pass on his thanks for that letter you sent of his Aunt Eliza’s… It was another link with his family’s past.

Hope things are well with you

::-) Jan

From: Jim
To: Jan
Subject: Firth/Taylor enquiry

Thanks Jan,

Also found bits in the “Opening the Gate” TeAute, and also “101 Years of Ormondville”, Paulina Leach…. nee Taylor.
After running Te Aute store for a while- they moved to Ormonville following S.B. Firth, and ran a Hotel.
I must continue with J.C. Taylor’s side of the tree, I’m still looking for a piece from the H.B Herald, written sometime 1920 to 1923 regarding a eulogium of J.C. life to go with the other half a letter our family has. I will send you a copy when / if I find it,


From: Jim
To: Jan
Subject: Firth/Taylor enquiry

Hi Jan ,
A few more traces of Paulina Leach nee Taylor, in Ormondville.
There must have been a close tie for the Leachs to follow S B Firth when he shifted saw mills.
I don’t know if you want this “added info for the Firth followers”. Just email me if you don’t want any more findings.



TTuesday 05 June1877 birth LEACH : At Te Aute, on june 2, wife of C. LEACH of a son

Thursday 14 June 1877 SSupreme Court – Criminal Sittings S.B. FIRTH – Storekeeper – Te Aute HB Herald

Thursday 22 May 1879 Charles LEACH – Store keeper – Te Aute
Robert SOMERVILLE – Store keeper – Hastings

Wednesday 16 July 1879 H.B Herald
BBirth LEACH : At Te Aute, on Friday July 11, wife C. LEACH, of a daughter

Thurs 04 Dec 1879 HBH Court
— Thomas TROVIS – Drunkeness. Removed for medical treatment
– Charles LEACH & Richard ANDERSON – ill treating a horse at Paki Paki. Dismissed

TThe man whose body was found in the Waipawa river Monday last, was SOMMERLEY and that he leaves a wife and 7 children

Monday 17 May 1880 J.C. TAYLOR – General Store, Havelock

TTues 16 Oct 1888
A meeting of gentleman, favorable to the formation of a jockey club was held at Mr LEACH’s hotel, Ormondville

Tues 06 Nov 1888 TThe next hotel to open was the Ormondville Hotel. The proprietor is Mr LEACH. The hotel has 4 sitting rooms 16’x16′, dining room 40’x20′, 9 bedrooms 14’x10′. a bar 20’x16 and a kitchen fitted with patent Leamington Range. The furniture is all new and manufactured to order by Mr SEBLY, Waipawa. New carpetting & oilcloth are also laid down. A magnificent piano by Collard & Collard. A large concreted cellar is under the hotel for storing liquor.

Saturday 15 December 1888
Ormondville Shool Prizegiving
Passing Std I Lena LEACH Charles LEACH Std II

Thurs 25 Apr 1889
NNewly elected School Committees
– Danevirke
– Ormondville
– Norsewood

Sat 18 May 1889
Ormondville School Committee
Special meeting was called to consider the re-admission of William WESTLAKE to the school.
Mr WESTLAKE pointed out the boy had not been expelled and therefore he had the right to send him to school.
The master said the boy was given to shirk his work and unless he was liable to punishment – he was an incorrigible boy.
William WESTLAKE had received six strokes with a thin rule (on what Alf LAWTON called , the bosom of his pants). Mr WESTLAKE had heard from Bertie LEACH (pupil) that William was being flogged. Mr WESTALL (Master) said he would not over step his duty in future and that William could re-enter school.

Sat 08 June 1889 Annual Licensing C. LEACH – Ormondville Hotel

Thursday 19 September 1889
Mr LEACH is making preparations to leave the Ormondville Hotel and retire to his farm. Mr ROULSTON ( not the licensee of the Terminus Hotel) of Napier is to be his successor.

Thurs 24 Oct 1889 Inquest into the Late Fire At Ormondville Hotel
Held at the Ormondville Courthouse on Wed before Mr JOHNSON, Coroner and the following jury:r> G. GRANT, G. HENSON, J.S. ANDREWS, F.W. REDWARD, F.C. SHUGAR & J. BOVAIRD
Evidence by:
Charles LEACH – late licensee of the Ormondville Hotel
Pauline LEACH – wife of above
Joseph ROULSTON – present licensee of the Ormondville Hotel
Joseph CHICKEN – sub agent for Imperial Fire Insurance Co.
William TOWNLEY – Bricklayer
Verdict : The jury find that there is no evidence to show how the fire originated and they are of the opinion that there was no contributory negligence

Charles and Paulina Leach

Charles Leach was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire. He is known to have been a member of the 20th regiment of the US infantry from 24th Sept 1866 to 24th Sept 1869. It is presumed he went back to England and married “Matilda”. On 28th July they sailed from Plymouth as assisted immigrants on the ship “Helen Denny”. His wife Matilda died in childbirth on the ship on either the 10th Sept or 10th October 1874.
Thus Charles disembarked as a widower at Napier on the 22nd Oct 1874.
According to barrack’s records by the Hawkes Bay Art Gallery and Museum he left Napier Barrack’s on the 26th Oct 1874 to work for Mr Ashton of Napier for a rate of 10 shillings per day.

Paulina TAYLOR was born in Halifax, Yorkshire. She sailed to New Zealand on the “Douglas” with her father Abraham and her sister Lucy as assisted immigrants arriving in Wellington on 26th Sept 1873 and then went to Napier.
The barrack Master’s book states that, Paulina aged 12 years a maidservant, left the barracks on 9th Oct 1873 to be employed by Mr Firth at a rate of 12 shillings a week.

Charles and Paulina were married on 2nd Aug 1876 in the church at Te Aute by the Rev Samueal Williams. They moved about the area, finally settling in ORmondville on “The Hill” farm as it was known. They had eight children. The youngest Harry, died of meningitis on the 2nd June 1909.

Charles died on 19th July 1911 in Ormondville. His death certificate says his father was Richard, a cloth factory hand and his mother was Rachel, formally Steel

Paulina died at Dannevirke Public Hospital, noted from Te Rehunga. Her death certificate says her certificate says her father was Abraham, a Policeman, although Abraham’s own death certificate states his occupation as Cabinet maker.
PPaulina’s mother was also Paulina formally Crowther.

Bother Charles and Paulina are buried at Ormondville

From: Judith
To: Jan
Subject: Firth/Taylor enquiry

Hi Jan,

I sent this earlier in the week, I’m not sure if you received it so I am sending it again

It’s nice to hear from you.
Do you know if Jim has an e-mail address as I have more information on the Taylors.

I hope I’m not going to disappoint Jim, because his Auntie Eliza didn’t write that letter.

Samuel Firth and Elizabeth Firth nee Taylor, ran Te Aute stores. Elizabeth was Abraham Taylors sister. Samuels neice another Elizabeth Firth came out to nz in 1874, she was the one who wrote the letter to her parents in the uk. At about the same time Abraham Taylor and 2 of his daughters Lucy and Paulina went to nz on the Ship Douglas, Abrahams wife Paulina had died about eight years ago. There was 2 more girls Eliza Crowther and Elizabeth Taylor who did not go on the Douglas. This Eliza Crowther was the illegitimate daughter of Paulina Taylor nee Crowther.
Elizabeth Firth that wrote the letter arrived nz 1874 died May 1875 of a fever not married or any issue.

Lucy Taylor married James Crouch Taylor
Paulina married Charles Leach
Elizabeth married Richard Croxton
Eliza Crowther I think married Howard Westport
Two more daughters Lena and Susanah stayed in the uk.

Thats all for now

From: Wayne
To: JaN
Subject: Re JC Taylor

Hi Jan,

Was interested to see your correspondence with Jim re JC Taylor. JC Taylor was my Great Grandfather. I would like to get in touch with Jim because I have a lot of genealogical records passed on by my late mother. Could you provide me with his email address? Many thanks,

Wayne Taylor
Perth, WA

From: Jan
To: Wayne
Subject: Re JC Taylor

Hi Wayne,
I’m sure Jim would be very happy to hear from you. I’m glad I’m able to put
you two in touch.
Here’s his email address: (email address given)

Happy family hunting!

From: Robin
To: Jan
Subject: Charles Leach

I have been trying to find out more about my Gt grandfather’s time in the US Iinfantry and found some information re our family including a photo taken of the family taken on my grandmother Lucy’s wedding day
I think Lucy Leach married John fFraser and they are my grandparents. 
Can we make contact?

From: Jan
To: Robin
Subject: Charles Leach

Hi Robin,
It sounds intriguing – your gt grandfather was in US infantry and has a New Zealand connection?

I have searched through all my old files and found the info you wanted – and reread stuff which I haven’t read for ages – about Charles Leach.

This was part of the Firth and Taylor enquiry – and it was sent to me by a man called Jim well over a year ago. I am forwarding your email to him and hopefully he will email you back you two can help each other out with family history.(hopefully his email address hasn’t changed since then).
If you like you can email me any info and we can put it on the website – perhaps then someone else researching their family tree might find a link like you did  and add even more information?

Anyway fingers crossed this will get through,
🙂 Jan

From: Jim
To: Robin
Subject: Charles Leach

Thanks for Robin’s email link, I have emailed her offering any information I have gathered.

From: Robin
To: Jan
Subject: Charles Leach

Yes that is my family all right and I have had an email from Jim so am about to contact him too. It is such fun – and time consuming 
Well we could find out more about Charles in the US army 
I’ll try some lateral thinking when I have time