Updates – April 2014


Updates have been added to my New Zealand Genealogy Project website.  Previous updates were in December 2013.

Genealogy Project Website Masthead

Changes and updates include:

  • Additional biographical details added for Frederick Ernest Trueman (1897-1903) and Norman Edward Trueman (1903-1903) based on newspaper reports of their deaths.
  • The Site Visitors page updated to include visitor details from Google Analytics for 2013, and statistics on the 25,000 visits over four years.
  • Additional family photo added to photo page for Christian August Berkahn.
  • Photographs of Alice Jones (1894-1981) and Walter Jones (1896-1980) added to page of Family notes for David Jones.
  • New page added to site with photograph of nurse Alice Jones (1894-1981).
  • An 1894 letter from Elizabeth McLaren (nee Duxfield) to her children, in case she died, added to her biographical notes. A photograph of Elizabeth’s notebook that contains the letter is shown below.
  • New photo of St Mary’s Matawai Anglican Church added to Matawai page, replacing a previous photo from Google.
  • New page added to site with historical photographs of the Gisborne to Motuhora (Moutohora) railway.
  • Menus and Site map page updated to include links to new pages.

People photographs were obtained during a recent visit to New Zealand. In a visit to Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne, Dudley Meadows was very patient in looking for photos about Matawai I could use – a couple have been used for the page of photos from the Gisborne to Motuhora (Moutohora) railway.

Elizabeth Duxfield's notebook
Elizabeth Duxfield’s notebook. The 90 mm by 60 mm notebook is closed with an ivory pencil.
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1921 Duxfield Letters


My mother inherited three letters that had been passed down from her grandmother Elizabeth McLaren, nee Duxfield. Two of the letters were written by Elizabeth in 1921 when on holiday. The third was written about the same time and appears to be from a family friend in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

The first letter was written on the voyage from Wellington to England, between 1-14 May 1921 while sailing towards Panama.  The sixteen page letter describes Elizabeth’s illness due to being seasick, and once she had recovered, life on the ship. I have not transcribed this letter because it is of little genealogical interest.

The second letter is to my grandmother, written in August 1921 from Northern Ireland. Elizabeth and her husband Thomas McLaren were visiting family near Carmavey in County Antrim where Thomas had grown up. I have transcribed this letter: Letter from Ireland.

The third letter, from the family friend, describes the house where Elizabeth Duxfield spent her early childhood. The description mentions changes made to the house between the time when it was occupied by the Duxfields (until about 1865) and when the letter was written (about 1920). I have transcribed this letter also: Willington North Farm.

If you are a Duxfield or McLaren descendant you may be interested in reading the transcripts of these letters.