I was brought up in the then little village of Richmond, near Nelson. The towns of Collingwood, Motueka, Takaka et al were familiar to me in my early teenage years ... so when I saw these photos on ebay today, I had to investigate ...
The photos have been inscribed clearly on the back. These three folk are siblings. The elder children of an English immigrant from goldrush days.
(1) Janet Ellen ELLIS (b Collingwood 18 May 1851; d Lower Hutt 26 July 1930) photo May 1864
(2) Montague Mardoc ELLIS (b Broxbourne, Herts 1846; d Collingwood 1903)
(3) Charles Montague ELLIS (b Bromley, Kent 31 December 1841; d Collingwood 11 November 1869) photo August 1863
Their father was, by name, one Montague Arden ELLIS (1820-1896), a merchant's clerk from London, their mother Sophia Louise née HILL. The young couple had been married on Christmas day 1840, and can be seen in the 1841 census living in Trafalgar Place, Hackney. Around about 1850, following the rush for gold to the Pacific colonies, the Ellises, with their three sons -- Charles, Francis Henry and Montague set sail for New Zealand, and settled in the province of Nelson, where they added four daughters to the family.
In 1856, papa -- designated as a van proprietor -- comes into view, living at Richmond, and a bankrupt:
The next sign of the family is our photos, taken in Nelson (city or province?). Twelve year-old Janet and Charles 'aged 21 years and 9 months'. The early 1860s.
The next news was not so good. In 1868, now based at Collingwood, they lost daughter Emma Florence, at the age of fourteen. And the following year, it was Charles, married (Grace Emily daughter of Winfield Higgin, goldfields surveyor, of Waimea West) and with a child, who died at 28 'after a long and painful illness'.
But Montague junior was seemingly doing all right. I didn't realise the pole vault went back so far!
I say! Sounds like fun!
Brother Francis went off to run a winery at Motupipi and Waiwera, married, bred fluently and lived to 1917.
|The Francis Ellis family at the winery|
Little sister Ada married Mr Robert Henry Garlick and ended her days in 1929 in 'New Zealand's second most boring town', the inexplicably spelled Feilding. Sister Minnie outlived them all and died in Gisborne in 1937. Which leaves us with our two photos above:
Janet married a Mr Johnson at Collingwood in 1880. Eldest son of Mr Johnston Esq JP?
This looks like the chap. Died 1912? Father had died in 1900. Father apparently went digging for minerals in the Aniseed Valley (an old haunt of mine!) and had a mine named after him in Collingwood.
Then there is Montague Mardoc (not Murdoch or Murdoc!). I think his photo was taken a little later then the others! Montague -- in spite of his grandiose appelation -- became a shopkeeper and then a publican: the Golden Fleece at Nelson's Nile Street/Rutherford Street corner (1885), the Post Office Hotel at Tasman Street, Collingwood (1887).
He married in 1880
These photos truly belong in Collingwood Museum. But I see folk are bidding for them already.