Charles Wyeth and Family

Charles was born in Wellington on 18 September 1842 the 2nd son of Robert and Jane (nee Runnalls) Wyeth, was born on 18 Sep 1842 in Wellington, New Zealand. Charles married Elizabeth Ann Shirreffs on 12 May 1873 in Longbush, Southland.

Their children were:

Mary Jane (Polly) Wyeth was born on 30 Jun 1874 in Southland.

Joseph Sherriffs Wyeth was born on 22 Jul 1875 in Southland.

Lucy Maria Wyeth was born on 20 Oct 1878 in Southland.

Charles Henry (Tie) Wyeth was born on 1 Feb 1880 in Woodlands, Southland.

Robert George (Bob) Wyeth was born on 9 Jul 1883 in Woodlands, Southland.

William George Wyeth was born on 24 Aug 1884 in Woodlands, Southland.

James Shirreffs (Jim) Wyeth was born on 27 May 1888 in Woodlands, Southland.

Amy Swale Wyeth was born on 31 Oct 1891 in Woodlands, Southland.

Nora Elizabeth Wyeth was born on 21 Sep 1893 in Woodlands, Southland.

Esther Dora (Essie) Wyeth was born on 24 Oct 1895 in Woodlands, Southland.

Thomas Wyeth was born on 6 Aug 1897 in Woodlands, Southland.

Flora Rose Wyeth was born on 26 Jan 1899 in Woodlands, Southland.


Charles spent his early years in Wellington where he attended one of the two schools then open in the little settlement which was later to become the capital of New Zealand. The family later moved to a property at Silver stream just north of the Taitai (now Taita) Gorge where Charles spent his youth on a bush farm. Charles was confirmed at Christs Church Taita on 1 January 1856.

It was in Silverstream that Charles made himself fit for the fine record he made as an athlete. The farm work included saw milling, bush clearing, and the hundred and one other things that came one's way in a newly settled country. Some of the young fellows prepared a rough running track, where they used to go in for athletics, and Charles and his bother Tom devoted a good deal of their spare time to running.

Just prior to his death Charles was interviewed by the editor of The "Southern Cross Newsletter" a personal friend who was planing to publish a series of articles on early settlers of Southland. Charles died before the article was published and it was therefore used as an obituary. In the article Charles described an event of his childhood

"The two great annual sporting events were Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The Governor, then Sir George Grey , had a place on the other side of the bay from Wellington, and one year the Boxing Day sports were held in his grounds. People came from far and near, including a number from the Upper Hutt. The prize for the boys races included 5 pounds donated by the Governor.

"Some of my companions," said Charles, " urged me to enter but I refused, and then they got me down on the ground and tried to pull the boots off my feet. Naturally I objected, and just then Sir George Grey and some of his party strolled by. He noticed the group of boys apparently fighting on the grass. Thinking I was being ill-used, he called out -`None of that here, my lads!' `We only want him to run in the races.' explained one of the group. `Come, come,' said Sir George, `get up and run like a man.' I did and won my first prize. The course, as I remember, was a straight line on the grass to a thorn bush and back."

The Wellington Independent reported  one of the fastest races we have witnessed here came off on 14 February 1868 in Clapham’s paddock. The competitors were Charles Wyeth of the Upper Hutt, one of the best runners in Wellington, and the “unknown” who, though hitherto “unknown” to the Wellington public, has distinguished himself in other parts of the world by his swiftness of foot. The match was for 30 pounds and the course was 2 miles. The time, considering the course, was very good, being 9 minutes and 45 seconds. At the fall of the flag, both men got off well together, the latter then took the lead and led for 2 laps. As the men were entering the last lap, the unknown unfortunately not seeing the post which was covered by his opponents body, took the inside and thereby cut off a post, to which he had to double back and start afresh, thus losing 40 yards, making Wyeth an easy winner. (Wellington Independent)

Charles competed in Athletic events throughout New Zealand he was sucessfull in 1869 in the Caledonian Games Invercargill

At the 1870 Caledonian Games in Wellington  the 100 yards foot race with a first prize of 2 pounds. To compete for which seven persons came to the post. A good start was effected and all bounded off together but none could touch the two well-known runners, who have carried off many a prize before and Charles Wyeth won 1st place. In the 200 yards foot race, Charles finished 1st but the great event of the day was the 1 mile foot race with a first prize of 3 pounds. On the fall of the flag, all got well away together with Charles Wyeth leading the way and running very easily the whole time. He only lost the race by accident, for at the last distance flag, he threw himself on the group, supposing he had reached the goal. But the younger Wyeth ran on to the proper post, and thus by the merest fluke became the winner. (Evening Post)


But in those days there was other and much sterner work afoot than sports. Europeans and Maoris were at war in the Waikato, Taranaki, and elsewhere. More than once Wellington itself was threatened, and on one occasion was fortified against attack. In those times the bush surrounding Wellington was the home of many natives, with tracks that zig zagged to favourite fishing places and camping grounds on the sea shore. Militia companies were sworn in, clergymen and doctors only being exempted. The Militia with which Charles Wyeth served for over six years, were commanded by a colonel of the Imperial Army. While Charles was a member of the Taita Rifle Volunteers in 1867 he was chosen as one of the bodyguard who accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh round the country districts when he visited Wellington.

In the latter part of his time in Upper Hutt Charles was involved in farm work with his brother. And in 1867 he was awarded the contract for the cartage of Telegraph wires from Wellington to the Waiararpa.

1867 - Silverstream

On 12 December 1867 Charles purchased a piece of land at the corner of Great Eastern Road and the Main road at Silverstream. The land being part of Section 97 of the Hutt District. The land was purchased from John McKenzie of Carterton, Farmer. McKenzie took a mortgage over the land to secure 300 pounds due 100 pounds in December 1868, 69, and 1870. The land was the subject of a mortgagee sale on 8 January 1873, and returned to McKenzie for 40 pounds[1].

1870 - Southland

Charles had moved to Southland about 1870.

1873 - Marriage

On 12 May 1873 Charles married Elizabeth Ann Shirreffs daughter of Joseph Duncan and Mary Ann (nee Cameron) Sherriffs the marriage took place in the home of Joseph Sherriffs at Longbush. Elizabeth was born in Aberdeen Scotland on 9 August 1856.

An interesting point is a comparison of Charles and Jane's Relative ages from various official documents

Document Date Charles Eliz'th Diff
Marriage register 1873 26 16 10yrs
Tie's Birth cert 1880 33 23 10yrs
Bob's birth cert 1884 40 29 11yrs
Amy's birth cert 1891 47 35 12yrs
Pat's birth cert 1893 51 37 14yrs
Essie's birth cert 1895 53 39 14yrs
And their birth dates 1842 1856 14yrs

I wonder who Charles was fooling Elizabeth or her parents. And if it was Elizabeth what happened when she found out.

Joseph and Mary Sherriffs

Joseph Duncan Sherriffs son of Alexander and Elizabeth (nee Skene) Sherriffs was born in Aberdeen circa 1833. On 23 August 1856 in the Zion Chapel in St Nicholas, Aberdeen he married Mary Ann (nee Cameron) Wright daughter of Captain and Anne (nee Stuart) Cameron.

Joseph, a master plumber, arrived in New Zealand in 1868 at Port Chalmers from Scotland to take charge of the tin-making department of the New Zealand Preserving Co.'s extensive works at Woodlands. He was sponsored under a three years' engagement, with the option of returning to Scotland at the end of the term. Part of the engagement involved him bringing a number of single girls to New Zealand to work in the works. Joseph and Mary brought four children with them from Aberdeen, their eldest daughter Elizabeth was to have been left with her Maternal Grandmother, Anne Stuart, who's husband was a Sea Captain, as company while the rest of the family was in New Zealand, fortunately this did not eventuate and Elizabeth came to New Zealand with the rest of the family there to marry Charles Wyeth and give birth to 12 Children[2]. Two other children both named Joseph born in 1862 and 1864 did not come with them having presumably died in Scotland prior to the families departure for New Zealand[3].

When the engagement at the Preserving Co expired Mr Shirreffs thought so well of Invercargill's prospects that he set up in business on his own account. After his death it was carried on by his son Mr William Shirreffs, and when he, William, went to Nelson in 1928 the business was left in the charge of his nephew, Mr Arthur Shirreffs. It was at that time one of the few old identity businesses in Invercargill that has survived the changes and chances of over half a century.

Joseph and Mary Anne's children were:-




Born Aberdeen
Elizabeth Anne 9 Aug 1856 9 Aug1928 Charles Wyeth
Jane (Jean) 14 Jun 1858 19Aug 1900 John Lamont
Joseph 30/11/1862 presumed died in infancy
Joseph 14/6/1864 presumed died in infancy
William Wilson 9 Sep 1865 12 Mar 1948 Margaret Hay Plumber
James Cameron 20 Dec 1866 6 Nov 1926 Christina Yeaman Seaman/Brewery Worker
Born Woodlands
Nisbet McRobie 26 Mar 1871 3 Jun 1954 Janet Hay Butcher
Joseph Duncan circa 1873 29 Jul 1945 Esther Clempson Railway Worker/Herbalist
Born Invercargill
Rachel Ann Duncan 3 Mar 1875 24 Feb 1948 Stephen Fielding
Sarah 4 Apr 1879 1 Nov 1969 William Swale
Gordon Abt 1884 14 Mar 1910 not married Drowned in Sabroan Baths Sydney

Mary died on 23 March 1904 and Joseph on 24 April 1909. They are buried with Gordon in Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill.

Charles purchased his initial property in Woodlands in 1876 and then in 1879 at a cost of 7 pounds 10 shillings per acre he purchased Section 2, covering 27a 3r 26p from the sale of the New Zealand and Australian Land Company’s Woodlands Estate by Mr. G.F. Martin which took place at Invercargill on Saturday the 21st of June 1879

In 1880 at the time of son Tie's birth Charlie’s occupation was recorded as Contactor, in 1884 it was Farmer , and by 1891 it was Market Gardener at which he continued until handing over to Tom some years before his death.

Market Gardening

While Charles frequently did well in the Agricultural and Pastoral Association shows he excelled in 1897 in the Gore Agricultural and Pastoral Association’s second winter show. The newspaper ‘Otago Witness’ commented that they had a particularly pleasant day for the opening this afternoon of their second winter show, which in every respect was a great improvement upon last year’s. This was highly creditable to the management and to the important agricultural and pastoral districts of which Gore is the capital. Charles won the following prizes for his vegetables:

Roots – hybrid turnips 1st prize

Yellow globe – 1st prize

Red Beetroot – 1st prize

Mangolds, long red (farmers only) – 1st prize

White field carrots – 1st prize

Cabbage – 1st prize

Parsnips – 2nd prize

In a later article on Woodlands we find this “Following the thoroughfare, we soon find Mr. Charles Wyeth among the cabbages. A model market garden presents itself and Mr. Wyeth’s articles of human sustenance are in a forward condition, and are proofs that great care and attention are given them by the practical gardener who owns them. Mr. Wyeth’s potatoes can stand the test of keen competition in the showrooms, where he annexes numerous prizes.  But Mr. Wyeth can produce almost anything.  And under the heading of ‘Gardening’ – Our local market gardener and seedsman, Mr. Charles Wyeth was very successful at the Gore and Invercargill winter shows, securing the special prize for most points in both places.

Charles was actively involved in athletics administration both as president of the local athletics Society and as hadicapper for the Caledonian Society.

“The 1880 Annual Meeting of the local athletic society was held last week with Mr. Charles Wyeth presiding.  The balance sheet disclosed a valuable little nest egg to the society’s credit. Sports will be held on Christmas Day as usual, and a champion chopping match will be one of the many attractive events. A strong directorate was elected, with Mr. C Wyeth as president.” (Otago Witness)

In 1902 at a meeting of the directors of the Caledonian Society of Southland Mr. Charles Wyeth, the veteran handicapper of the society, tendered his resignation, which was received with much regret, directors generally expressing the society’s appreciation of his many gratuitous services, and a notice of motion was tabled to fittingly recognise his long connection with the society. (Otago Witness 1902)

Charles' Grandaughter, Nora, daughter of Amy, well remembers being entertained in Charles' Whare down at the bottom of his garden in Woodlands with bloodthirsty tales of his adventures in the Maori Wars always told after he had sharpened his knife and demonstrated its sharpness by using it to shave the hairs on his arm.

1928 Death

Elizabeth died at the home of her daughter, Nora (Pat) in Gore, on Thursday, 9th August 1928, which happened to be her 72nd birthday. Granny Wyeth had gone there a few days before to spend a holiday with Mrs Price, and one evening suffered a stroke, which resulted in unconsciousness. She lingered for a few days, and passed away on the 9th. Granny had recovered somewhat just before the end and recognised members of her family who had hastened to her bedside. Granny Wyeth's 72nd Birthday had been going to have another significance, it was to be her youngest sons wedding day. The wedding did not take place that day but Tom and Gladys were married, two weeks later, in a quiet ceremony at the home of Granny's eldest daughter Polly.

Elizabeth not only not only looked well to the ways of her household, but ever took a kindly interest in those about her, and was a present help in times of sickness or distress. In later years "Granny," as she was called to avoid confusion with other members of a numerous family, was never happier than when assisting others, and her activities were widespread. She belonged to the order of the generous heart and the helping hand. Her influence extended far beyond her own home, and when any matter on which doubt existed, if someone said- "Mum wouldn't like it," that settled it. She was a motherly woman in every sense of the word, and successive additions to the house of Wyeth were as warmly welcomed as her own children.

Six daughters and six sons were born to Charles and Elizabeth and in the intervening years there was only one death - that of Lucy (Mrs Dewe).

Of the children 11 survive, namely:-Daughters-Mrs Phillips (Invercargill), Mrs James McLeay (Christchurch), Mrs Price (Gore),Mrs Campbell (Upper Hutt, Wellington), and Miss Rose Wyeth (Woodlands); Sons - Joseph, Thomas, and Charles (Woodlands), Robert (Orawia), William (Brydone), and James (Kennington). There 40 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Four generations were represented at the funeral, which took place at Woodlands on Sunday afternoon The Rev. J.H. Robertson, of Woodlands was absent on sick leave, and the Rev. A. Bean (an old friend of the family from the time when the Methodists held occasional services at Woodlands) was to have officiated, but he was laid aside by an attack of influenza, so the Rev. S Bailey, of St Peter’s, Invercargill, conducted the service in the old home, and at the cemetery a little way along the road. Motor cars lined the thoroughfare from the war memorial to God's Acre, and mourners from far and near to the number of 300 or 400 paid a last tribute of respect to their old and esteemed friend- this in addition to over sixty telegrams and letters of sympathy. The coffin was borne to the cemetery by six stalwart sons of the deceased, grandchildren following it with many and beautiful wreaths. The country side was bathed in sunlight as the cortege passed to the burial place, a fitting setting for one who in her time brought so much sunshine to the hearts of others. After the service in the cemetery, a photograph was taken of the wreath covered mound.

Mrs Wyeth had been connected with the Woodlands Presbyterian Church for many years, and at the service on Sunday morning, Mr J. McCurdy, Invercargill, who conducted the service, in the Rev. Mr Robertson's absence, read an intimation of her death, after which the congregation stood in silence for a few moments.

Charles died some four months after his wife on 20 December 1928 aged 86 years. Charles and Elizabeth are both buried in Woodlands Cemetery[4].

Rose had looked after Charles and Elizabeth until their death was left the Market Garden in their will. She sold it to Tom who had been and continued to run the garden.


Mary Jane Wyeth (Polly)

Polly was born in Southland on 30 June 1874 the eldest child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

Left to Right - James, Glad, Polly, Lizzie, Charlie.

Polly was married in the Woodlands Presbyterian Church on 23 March 1892 to James Porter Phillipps eldest son of Thomas and Mary Ann (nee Porter)Phillipps. Polly was 18 and James 27.

James died 1 January 1910[6] age tarted a boarding house in Woodlands a number of Railway cadets stationed in Woodlands stayed with her. Polly later moved to Tay St Invercargill next door to Lange's Bakery, where she continued to run a boarding house with Glads help. Reg Woodham was a boarder during this time.

Polly died 7 May 1958 aged 83 years and is buried in Woodlands with her late husband and Grand-daughter Dorothy.

Inscription from Tombstone " In Loving Memory of James beloved husband of JM Phillips and eldest son of T & MA Phillips, died 1 Jan 1910 aged 44 yrs; also his granddaughter Dorothy May, beloved daughter of Reginald and Gladys Woodham, died 20 July 1930 aged 8 days.  Also the above Mary Jane Phillips died 9 May 1958 aged 83 years."

Mary Ann and Thomas Phillips

Mary and Thomas were married in 1864[5]. Mary Ann wife of Thomas died on 22 February 1912 in her 75th year and was buried in Woodlands Cemetery.

Headstone: Mary Ann wife of Thomas Phillips died 22 Feb 1912 age 75 years also her brother James Porter died 25 Dec 1893 age 51 years. From cemetery records also in plot are: Ellen Winifred Phillips age 5 weeks buried 25 Oct 1898. Charles Phillips and Thomas Phillips no other details known.

NOTE: Elizabeth Winifred Phillips daughter of Bertha Elizabeth and Charles Phillips was born on 18 September 1898. Charles Phillips, aged 26, married Bertha Elizabeth Tucker, aged 21, on 9 Sept 1896 at Woodlands Presbyterian Church.

Polly's Family

Elizabeth (Lizzie)Phillips

Lizzie was born in Woodlands on 26 January 1895. She was married on 27 March 1920 in Invercargill to Charles Henry Radka. Charles was born on 27 October 1892 in Invercargill son of Gustave and Sarah (nee Small ) Radka. Charles was a gardener by trade he died on 22 January 1962. Lizzie died on 16 February 1982 in Invercargill they are both buried in Eastern Cemetery Invercargill. They had 1 daughter.

Charles Thomas Phillips



Charlie was born on 6 March 1895 in Woodlands. Charlie spent all his working life working for the Railways at various times as a Station Assistant and Guard. He was married on 9 November 1927 to Mabel Pearse daughter of Walter and Eliza Hope (nee Pritchard) Pearse. Mabel a dressmaker by trade was born on 19 June 1903 in Invercargill. Mabel died 3 September 1967 in Invercargill leaving Charlie a widower. Charlie was remarried late in life to Alice Lange from the bakery alongside his mother's boarding house. Charlie died on 29 December 1974 in Invercargill where he was buried. Charlie and Mabel had 2 children. My personal recollection of Charlie and Mabel is as keen fishermen. My holiday with them during my school years was spent very enjoyably sitting or standing beside various Southland rivers with Fishing rod or line in hand.

Gladys May Phillips

Glad was born in Woodlands on 15 April 1898. When she left school Glad helped her mother run their boarding house. A boarder in the house was Reginald Horace Allen Woodham who Glad married at the Knox Church in Invercargill. Reg was born in Tinakori Rd Wellington the son of Frank and Lily Elizabeth (nee Allen) Woodham on 22 December 1898. Glad died on 12 July 1978 in Invercargill. Reg spent his later years living in Hamilton next door to his daughter Ruth he died on 27 January 1989 in Hamilton . He was cremated in Hamilton and his ashes interred in Invercargill Cemetery with Glad. They had 4 children. The first child Dorothy died on 20 July 1930 aged 8 days and was buried in Woodlands Cemetery with her grandparents. Their 2nd child Brian died in 1936 aged nearly 5 of Pneumonia. Reg remarried in the latter years of his life, his sunset bride being Eddie Cox  unfortunately Eddie died 8 months after they were married.

James Porter Phillips

Jimmy was born on 16 August 1899 at Woodlands. He was married on 26 July 1922 in Invercargill to Eileen Collett only daughter of William and Rose (nee Church) Collett. Eileen was born on 2 October 1900 in Invercargill. Jimmy worked for the Railways. Eileen died on 28 June 1974 and Jimmy on 16 April 1981 both in Invercargill where they were buried. They had 3 children.


Joseph Sherriffs Wyeth

Joseph was born on 22 July 1875 the 2nd child eldest son of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth

Joe and Tie had a grocers shop in Woodlands together.

Joseph was married on 27 December 1898 in Woodlands Presbyterian Church to Flora Rose McDonald. Joseph was 23 and Flora 21. Flora was born in 1878 the youngest in a family of 3. She died on 11 January 1945 at Kew Hospital Invercargill and is buried in Woodlands.

At the time of his death on 11 April 1956 Joseph owned some 20 acres of farm land[7] in Invercargill and around Longbush on which he grazed some 70 odd sheep.

Flora and Joe are buried in Woodlands Cemetery[8].


Joseph's Family

Joseph Sherriffs Wyeth

Joe was born in Woodlands on 22 May 1901. He did not marry and lived most of his adult life in the Chatham Islands, see obituary following. He died in Kew Hospital Invercargill on 16 April 1970[9]

Chatham Islanders will 
Remember Joe Wyeth

To most New Zealanders the name of Joseph Shirreffs Wyeth, who died in his 69th year in Kew Hospital, Invercargill, this month, held no particular significance. But to the people of the Chatham Islands Joe Wyeth's death was the passing of the uncrowned king of the Chathams, of a man who was father, adviser, storekeeper, local body member, banker and financier, friend and philosopher over nearly 41 years, 37 of which were spent at the island.

Even in the last six years of his life, when he lived at Otatara, Invercargill, Joe's link with the island and the islanders remained as close as ever, and whenever islanders came to the mainland they made a point of journeying down to spend at least one night with Joe.

At times there were up to a dozen of them in his house on one night - and he put them all up. He was friend to them all from the oldest to the youngest, and he had many friends in high places in New Zealand, from a Commissioner of police, (Mr C. L. Spencer), and the leader of the Opposition, Mr N. E. Kirk, down. These two also came to stay with him at different times.

His story is a notable one. He was born at Woodlands where his grandfather went to live many years ago, and where his father also was born. Then he served his time as a cheesemaker at Brydone with an uncle, before going to O'Kains Bay near Akaroa.

It was from there that he went to the Chathams in 1927 as cheesemaker in one-man cheese factory. That was the turning point in his life.

The factory closed down after two years, so Joe brought the store, an old wooden two-story house with a high gable converted into a shop. He ran that store for 35 years, and in all that time he returned to the mainland only three times. Joe quickly and quietly - he was always a quiet man - integrated himself into the island community, taking part in all their activities, helping them with money and goods and his presence as well, so that he became president of the Chatham Islands Jockey Club, member of the Church of England Vestry(he was Presbyterian), a member of the Licensing committee, a member of the football club - and also a Justice of the Peace.

He was recognised for four special qualities among many others - integrity, fair play, generosity and punctuality - all of which were acknowledged in a testimonial that was given to him when he left the island to live in Invercargill.

Never one to talk much, he had an incredible capacity for friendship and warmth. In no time he was acknowledged to be king of the island and he kept open house for all, from Royalty down to the humblest islander. He provided a car for the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited the island, and when the Queen Mother last visited Invercargill he was one of those who dined with her at the Kelvin Hotel.

He ran the only picture show at the island, and all the takings were thrown higgledy piggledy into s drawer. He never bothered counting it, and it was only when something was wanted for the theatre that the drawer was opened and the money extracted.

Sometimes, too, money seemed to run out at the island - there was no baker, no butcher and no electric power - and customers would bring home-killed meat and other produce under a primitive system. It worked well.

He was often paid in swan's eggs from the big lagoon and also in swan meat from the big drives that were held from time to time.

Joe made money, certainly, but it never meant very much to him. His friend Arthur Morgan, in Invercargill, would often receive blank signed cheques from him, with a request to buy certain things he needed from time to time.

When the church of England parson arrived at the island Joe found that there were not enough Anglicans to pay his stipend, so Joe paid it out of his own pocket.

His decision six years ago to come to the mainland to live was like an amputation to the island population, but they lost know time in letting him know what a place he held in their hearts. There were farewell functions, tributes and presentations, and one of these was a plaque made from Chatham Island native wood with a chart of the main island worked in small, high coloured sea shells and paua shell, presented by members of the Jockey Club.

He had asked Arthur Morgan to build him a modern home in a two-acre section at Otatara, and it was not long before this home became a centre for all the people within a radius of a mile, as well as for his many friends in the Chathams, and in other parts of New Zealand, and from as far away as Norfolk Island.

He joined the Otatara Bowling Club, the indoor bowling club, the church, and the flower show. Various other local organisations benefited from his unstinting support. He also made friends with the staff of the local Awarua radio station.

In his six years of exile on the mainland Joe returned to the island only twice, and those were great days for the islanders. He refused to impose on their hospitality and had a caravan sent over to accommodate him, but the neighbours insisted in pulling it around their various homes so that he could at least stay on their properties if not inside their homes.

"He was a great man, a man of enormous prestige," says Arthur Morgan who had been his friend for 25 years.

Joe Wyeth was also a shy man, and it is strange that he never married, because it is generally conceded that he would have been a wonderful husband.

He loved his home at Otatara, which was and still is a place of exquisite beauty, as many who have signed his visitors' book have testified. "A dream place," is a common verdict.

He became a lover of flowers and when he learned of the slender financial shoestring on which the women of Otatara conducted their annual flower show he came generously to their support. He was a man who will long be remembered at the island and in other places - and also at the hospital, where he spent his last days, for he speedily won the deep devotion of the dedicated band of nurses who looked after him.

It is oddly sad that at his funeral service one of his Otatara friends of many years, Alex Billings, should collapse and die in the chapel where the service was being conducted, only a few days before he was due to celebrate his golden wedding.

(By F. W. G. Miller - Christchurch Star)

Charles Wyeth

Charles was born in Woodlands on 4 May 1902. He was married in Clinton in 1932 to Marie Louise Abernethy daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Abernethy. Joseph and Elizabeth emigrated to New Zealand from Ireland . Marie was born in Clinton on 8 November 1911. Charles worked for the Railways. They had 3 children. Marie died on 1 June 1980 and Charles on 22 April 1985 they are both buried at the Burwood Crematorium in Christchurch. 

Maurice Wyeth

Maurice was born 1 March 1907, he died 9 months later on 26 December 1907 he is buried at Woodlands in the same plot as his grandparents Charles and Elizabeth[4].

Allan Rose Wyeth

Allan was born on 3 January 1910. In 1956 Allan was a Freezing Works employee living at Makarewa. Allan did not marry, he lived the later part of his life in Hastings. He died on 18 September 1988 and is buried in a Returned Services Grave in Hastings Cemetery.

Iris Elizabeth Wyeth

Iris was born on 14 February 1917. She married Arthur Thomas Morgan. Arthur was born on 19 May 1900 the son of Charles and Louisa (nee Fearn) Morgan. In 1956 Iris was living in Invercargill. Arthur died on 6 May 1981 and Iris on 29 August 1992 both in Invercargill.


Lucy Maria Wyeth


Lucy was born on 28 October1878 the 2nd daughter 3rd child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth

Lucy was Dux of Woodlands school her Dux medal has been passed on to her Grand daughter Blanche. 

On 4 November 1896 Lucy Married George Dewe at the Woodlands Presbyterian Church. George was born in 1869 in Sutton Courtenay, Berks, England the son of Enos and Elizabeth Dewe. 

'Dewe George, was a rabbit contractor, in Woodlands. Mr Dewe was born in Berkshire England 1870 and arrived in Otago with his parents, at the age of 5 years. He was educated at the public schools at Edendale and Woodlands, afterwards he worked on a farm for 6 years and since that time has been engaged in the rabbit and meat preserving trade. He is a member of Lodge Star of the Forest, Ancient order of Foresters and has filled the office of sub chief ranger.[12]'



Enos and Elizabeth Dewe

Enos Dewe was born in 1845 in Sutton Courtenay, Berks, England the son of Henry and Elizabeth Dewe. He was married on 27 August 1865 to Elizabeth Carter. Elizabeth was born in 1846 in Stanford in the Vale, Berks the daughter of Thomas and Ann (nee May) Carter. They came to New Zealand with 5 children in 1873 on the ship "Scimitar," with Enos's parents and their family and his married sister and her family. When they arrived the ships company were isolated on Quarantine Island for a number of weeks due to an outbreak of fever on board during the voyage out[13]. After being released Enos and his family moved to Woodlands.

Enos and Elizabeth had in total 11 children, 6 girls and 5 boys.

Born in England

Rhoda 1863;

Reuben 1866-1939[11];

Eli 1869-1942;

George 1869-1919 married Lucy Maria Wyeth

Matilda 1873;

Born in New Zealand

Mary 1875-1955;

Jane 1876-1941;

Henry 1879,

Ernest 1884,

Elizabeth 1885;

Matilda 1889.

Enos and his family lived in Woodlands for many years, Enos died on 11 Nov 1925 and Elizabeth on 14 May 1924, they are buried in Woodlands Cemetery. 

"Elizabeth wife of Enos DEWE died 14 May 1924 age 79 years also the above Enos DEWE died 11 Nov 1925 age 80 years".

Cemetery Records show that Matilda Dewe buried 17 Aug 1889 and Henry Dewe age 62 years buried 11 Jul 1940 are included in the same plot. [10].

Lucy and George died within two years of each other Lucy on 17 August 1917 (aged 39) and George on 10 May 1919 (aged 49)[14].

Lucy's Family

Elizabeth Blanche (Blanche) Dewe

Blanche was born in 1897. In 1919 Blanche married John Ratimera Te Au. John was born on 3 October 1898. They had 7 children. Blanche died on 15 January 1969 and John just less than a year later on 6 January 1970 they are buried in  Tuatapere Cemetery, Tuatapere, Southland, New Zealand. 

"9/1242 Tpr John R TE AU born 1899 died 1970 also his wife Elizabeth Blanche born 1900 died 1969 also their son Ian Joseph born 1924 died 1945 also their grand-daughter Wendy Ruth TE AU died 30 Nov 1957 age 13 months also Noel Ratimera TE AU died 17 Oct 1997"

Nellie Dewe

Nellie was born on 13 April 1898. She was married on 16 Jun 1920 in St Pauls Presbyterian Church Invercargill to Gilbert Young Congreve. Gilbert was age 23 and Nellie 21. Gilbert was born on 1 July 1896 the son of James and Agnes (nee Johnston) Congreve. They had 3 children. Gilbert died on 28 May 1973 and Nellie on 19 March 1978. They are buried in Eastern Cemetery Invercargill.

Mary Phillips (Molly) Dewe

Molly was born in Invercargill on 18 December 1901, Molly and her younger sister Ethel were twins. Molly was hurt in a sports accident and died on 20 December 1925 aged 25. She was buried in Woodlands Cemetery in the same plot as her Mother and Father[14].

Ethel Jane Dewe

Ethel was born in Invercargill on 18 December 1901. She married Leslie Joseph Guyton in Invercargill on 1 January 1924. Les, a Baker by trade, was born on 1 January 1899 the son of James Guyton and Emily (nee Timmings) Guyton. They had 3 children. Les died in Invercargill on 14 September 1983 the cause of death being Heart Failure. Ethel died on 15 August 1990, they are buried at Eastern Cemetery Invercargill.

Angus Evan (Bock) Dewe

Angus was born on 27 April 1907. He was married in 1930 to Janet Beatrice (Jessie) Ritchie.  Jessie was born on 19 April 1905 the daughter of  John Buchanan and Susan (nee Cameron) Ritchie.  Jessie and Angus had no children. Bock died on 22 October 1985 and Jessie on 11 January 1993 both in Invercargill. They are buried at Eastern Cemetery Invercargill.


Charles Henry Wyeth (Tie)

Charles was born in Woodlands on 1 February 1880 the 2nd son 4th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

Charles was a Tinsmith at time of marriage

In 1927 Tie and Joe had a grocers shop in Woodlands together.

Tie was married on 30 January 1907 to Jane Jamison(Jean). The marriage took place at the home of the bride's parents Robert and Jane (nee McNaught) Jamieson of Winton. Robert, a Baker by trade came from Northern Ireland.

Charles died on 26 March 1948, Jean died at Lorne Hospital, Invercargill on 13 January 1951 aged 77, they are buried in Woodlands Cemetery.[15]

Uncle Tie's family

Robert Lawrence (Burt) Wyeth

Burt and his twin brother Phillip were born on 8 January 1910 at Woodlands. He married Margaret Lucinda Leebody, daughter of Hugh Thomson and Lucy Adelaide (nee Bartlett) Leebody, at Hedgehope Pres. Church in Southland on 21 March 1934. Margaret was born in Hedgehope on 14 June 1911. Margaret was baptised at Woodlands on 17 September 1946, this was between her the births of her third and fourth children. Burt was a Butcher by trade, he died on 21 July1984 in Invercargill. Margaret died on 13 December 1998 in Christchurch.  They are buried at Southland Crematorium, Invercargill.

Phillip Ewart Wyeth

Phillip also born on 8 January 1910 at Woodlands. He was married on 1 June 1935 at the Rosewood Tearooms Invercargill to Honoria Theresa (Nonie) Forde, the daughter of John Francis and Gertrude Amelia (nee Lynch) Forde. Nonie was born in Invercargill on 18 February 1912. Phillip was a Hairdresser by trade. Phillip and Nonie had 3 children. Nonie died on 22 November 1989 and Phillp on 10 October 1990. They are buried at Eastern Cemetery Invercargill.

Gordon Shirreffs Wyeth

Gordy was born on 7 January 1912. He married Hazel Barbara Robertson. Hazel was born on 25 August 1925 daughter of Robert and Barbara (nee Malcolm) Robertson. They had 3 children. Hazel died of Cancer on 9 December 1968. Gordon died on 14 July 1984. They are buried in Eastern Cemetery Invercargill.

William Alexander Wyeth

Billy was born on 21 February 1919 in Invercargill. He was married on 8 September 1943 at the Central Methodist Church Invercargill to Noeline May Booth. Noeline was born 23 October 1918 in Invercargill daughter of Herbert Harry and Lucy May (nee Humphries) Booth. Billy was a storekeeper. They had 3 children. Billy died in Invercargill on 13 November 1982. Noeline died on 24 August 1993 in Gosford, NSW, Australia. They are buried in Eastern Cemetery Invercargill. 


Robert(Bob) Wyeth

Bob was born on 9 July 1883 the 3rd son 5th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

Bob was married in Mataura Island to Christina Cameron (Aunty Teen).

Robert was the Manager of the Dairy Factory from 1909. In 1925 Bob sucessfully sent a trial consignment of Rimlees Cheese to London. The following is an extract from an article in the 'Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle' reporting on the trial "Mr R. G. Wyeth, Manager of the Merrivale Factory, has been experimenting for several years in the direction of turning out a rimless cheese, and was probably the pioneer in the South Island to systematically tackle the job. That he has succeeded is demonstrated by the report on his trial shipment. Mr Wyeth has obtained protection for his patent, and is at present in treaty with some manufacturers for turning out the appliance on commercial lines. As Merrivale is one of the small factories of the province, and is not modernised, to any extent, it speaks well for Mr Wyeth's skill and resourcefulness that He has so signally succeeded where many have failed."

Christina died on 18 February 1957 aged 74 and Bob on 13 August 1966 aged 84 in Orawa. They are both buried in Hodgkinson Cemetery Otautau along with their second son who died at the age of 20.

Bob's family

Athol Wyeth

Athol was born on 9 August 1911 at Mataura Island . Athol married Josephine May (Ena) Thompson daughter of Joseph and May (nee McDowell) Thompson, on 1 March 1939 in Invercargill. Josephine was born in on 29 November 1915 in Arrowtown Cenral Otago. Athol was an Auto-electrician by trade. They had 3 children. Athol died on 10 August 1973 aged 62 at Invercargill from a burst ulcer brought on as a result of hearing that Ena had cancer. Ena died on 20 May 1977 in Invercargill. They are both buried in Hodgkinson Cemetery Otautau. 

Cyril Avon Wyeth

Avon was born in Otautau in 1918. He died in Riverton on 22 November 1939 aged 20 and is buried in the same plot as his parents.

Ina Wyeth

Ina was born in Otautau in 1920. She married Edwin (Eddy) Goodall. Eddie was born in 1917 the son of William and Mary (nee Edwards) Goodall. Eddy died in Cromwell in 1956. Ina and Eddy had 2 children. Ina remarried in 1964. Her new husband was William Howard (Howard) Hinton. Howard was born in Dunedin on 12 February 1921the son of William Henry and Janet Mary (nee Flint) Hinton. Ian was a Fruitgrower. Ian and Howard lived in Chapple Street Alexandra, where Ina died in 2005 and Howard on 24 November 2006.



William George Wyeth

William was born in Woodlands on 24 August 1884 the 4th son 6th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

In 1914 William married Jean Morton. Jean was born 3 July 1890 the daughter of George and Margaret (nee Noble) Morton.

George and Margaret Morton.

George Morton married Margaret Noble in 1879 in New Zealand.  Their children were.

Richard Morton, born Abt 1880, New Zealand, died 1943, New Zealand

Elizabeth Morton, born Abt 1882, New Zealand

Georgina Noble Mortonborn Abt 1888, New Zealand

Jean Morton, born 3 Jul 1890, New Zealand died 22 Oct 1985, Invercargill, 

Stella Ruby Morton, born Abt 1892, New Zealand

James Robert Morton, born Abt 1893, New Zealand

Mary Sophia Morton, born Abt 1895, New Zealand

Isobel Constance (Connie) Morton born 15 August 1910 in Wyndham, Southland daughter of Richard Morton  married Isaac Giles (Ike) Sykes grandson of Maria Ann Wyeth (Sister of Charles)

Beth Mcleod Morton born 26 January 1953 in Invercargill, daughter of George Leslie (Leslie) Morton (George is brother of Connie, child of Richard Morton) married Andrew Bain McDougall Great Grandson of Joseph Wyeth (brother of Charles)

William was Manager of a Cheese factory in Brydon . He and Aunty Jean called each other Mummy and Daddy and were still obviously very much in love when he died.

William died in Invercargill on 24 July 1954 aged 69 and was buried in Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill on 26 July 1954 Jean continued to live in Invercargill for many years where she died 22 October 1985, she William in eastern Cemetery on 24 October 1985.

William's family

Eric Arthur Wyeth

Eric was born in Waikouaiti on 25 June 1915. He was married on 15 May 1948 to Living.  Eric worked for Wright Stephensons in Gore and became manager soon after Uncle Bert Price's death. They had 2 children. Eric died on 13 December 1987 in Gore. 

George Morton Wyeth

George was born in Edendale on 3 April 1918. He was killed in action on 1 December 1941 while serving with the 6th Field Regiment of the 2nd New Zealand Divsional Artillery near Tobruk. George is buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya



Ronald William Wyeth

Ronald was born in Mataura on 16 January 1926. He died aged 7 months. Ronald was buried in Edendale Cemetery on 26 August 1926.


James Shirriffs Wyeth

Jimmy and sister Amy

Jimmy was born in Woodlands on 27 May 1888 the 5th son 7th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

Jimmy was married on 21 December 1919 at Invercargill to Gladys Devonal Campbell daughter of George and Jane (nee Hopkins) Campbell. Gladys brother Jack later married Jimmy's younger sister Essie. Gladys was born 12 February 1895 she was a school teacher.

Jimmy was a butcher in Kennington, sons Campbell and Bryan took over the business on his retirement. Gladys died 28 November 1962 and James on 13 May 1967 both in Invercargill where they were buried Gladys on 1 December 1962 and Jimmy on 16 May 1967.


Jimmy's Family

Campbell Wyeth

Cam was born on 5 May 1921 at Invercargill. He was married on 13 February 1953 at Holy Trinity Invercargill to Living. Campbell was in the Navy during the second World War. They had 3 children and now live in Tay St Invercargill.Campbell died on 9 August 2000 Southland Hospital and was buried at Eastern Cemetery Invercargill.



Brian Wyeth

Brian was born on 5 May 1925 at Invercargill. He was married on 18 April 1959 at Richmond Grove Invercargill to Velma Joy Shaw. Joy was born on 26 February 1929 at Temuka the daughter of Mervyn and Velma (nee Bate) Shaw. They had 1 daughter. Brian died in Christchurch on 13 October 1992 and Velma in Dunedin on 17 December 2001. 




Amy Swale Wyeth

Amy was born 31st October 1891, in Woodlands, Southland the 8th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth. Like her brothers and sisters Amy went to Woodlands Primary school and to Invercargill High school.

Amy left school in the 4th Form to look after her mother Granny Wyeth who was sick. Amy's elder brothers and sisters did not want her to miss out because she was the one who had made the sacrifice so they ensured that she was able to develop her Musical talents. Uncle Jimmy paid for her music lessons and it may have been Aunty Lucy who paid for her Singing lessons. The music lessons were in Invercargill and so Amy went to Invercargill each weekend and stayed with her Aunt Sal (Swale), a sister of her mother. During her youth Amy was a popular singer around Southland.

Looking after Granny Wyeth meant that Amy did not have any type of paid employment outside the home. After a number of years with Granny Wyeth, in 1914, Amy went to stay with her brother Bill, his wife Jean was expecting their first child and had to rest a lot. Amy stayed there as home help for a year until she got married. When Amy left Granny Wyeths Essie took over.

On Tuesday the 6th of April 1915 at Woodlands Presbyterian church Amy Swale Wyeth was married to James Findlay McLeay, formerly of Gore and Invercargill, but at that time, of Christchurch. A full transcript of the local newspapers account of the wedding follows this section.

James the second child, eldest son of John and Elizabeth McLeay, was born in Otautau, Invercargill on 15 August 1888. James McLeay attended Waihopai School, Southland; passing his First Standard examination on 29 Nov. 1897, and his Sixth Standard examination on 27 Nov. 1902.

As a young man Jim worked in H and J Smiths in Invercargill and was the "White Headed boy". However he had an argument with the managers at H and J Smiths and, although he had been courting Amy, left to go to Melbourne.

Somebody wrote to him in Melbourne, possibly Granny Wyeth, and told him about Amy's singing partner, Tom Kincade. Jim came back to Christchurch, where he worked at Stranges as a Window Dresser. When he came back Tom Kincade moved out of the picture.

When they got engaged Jim gave Amy a Lion bowl which she left to Nora's husband Lloyd and then to Anthony. Amy was normally one of those ladies who selected her own presents from her husband the only other present that Jim ever actually selected and gave to Amy was a ???? Jug.

Jim was called up for World War one and was in camp but never went to war.

Wedding in Woodlands

On Tuesday, 6th inst, at the Woodlands Presbyterian Church, Miss Amy Wyeth, third daughter of Mr and Ms C. Wyeth, was married to Mr J.McLeay, formerly of Gore and Invercargill, and now of Christchurch. The ceremony was conducted by a former minster of the church, Rev E.Bissett, assisted by the present minister, the Rev G.H.Jupp. The church was very prettily decorated with white flowers and ferns, and a Huge bell was suspended over the bride's head. As the bride entered the church on her father's arm, the bridal hymn, "How welcome was the call" was sung. The wedding dress was exceedingly dainty, and the bride looked very pretty indeed. She wore a handsome lace robe over duchesse satin beautifully embroidered, the bodice being very simple, and finished off with a single row of seed pearls; a court train of duchesse satin lined with palest pink descended from the shoulders, the veil being arranged in cap fashion, with orange blossom forming a coronet, and a lovely shower bouquet completed a most charming toilette.

The chief bridesmaid, Miss Nora Wyeth, wore a pretty frock of pale reseda green crepe de chine, trimmed with tiny frills and touches of pink and tiny pink rosebuds, Juliet cap of green, frill of white lace, and wide bows across the back, bouquet of pink flowers. The other bridesmaid, Miss Essie Wyeth, wore a dainty pale pink frock of crepe, wide black velvet belt, white muslin Juliet cap with black velvet band and frill of lace,and also carried a pretty bouquet. The brides train was held by a tiny tot, Miss Inez Dunsford her frock being of white nimon, pages cap of satin, and dainty Juliet cap of muslin and lace. Mr W. Tretheway, of Gore, acted as best man, and Mr Chas. Phillips was groomsman. Mrs Milroy presided at the organ, and tastefuly played the wedding march from "Lohengrin" as the bridal party left the church.

After the wedding ceremony the guests repaired to the public hall, where a sumptuous breakfast awaited them. It was served by the granddaughters of Mr and Mrs Wyeth. Their hearts were in the work, and their readiness and skill would have done credit to a corps of professional waitressses. The tables were tastefully laid, and flowers and flags made a bright and pretty setting to the feast. After the company had enjoyed the good things, liquid and solid, with which the tables were laden, the chaimand(the Rev. Mr Bissett) read a sheaf of telegrams conveying good wishes to the young couple. A short toast list was then honoured, that of "The King" being enthusiastically drunk.

The chairman, in giving "The Bride and Bridegroom," said that some might wonder, why he and not the resident minister, should have carried out the ceremony. They all loved and respected the Rev. Mr Jupp, but he had been asked to act in accordance with an engagement made before he left Woodlands, and Miss Wyeth (now Mrs McLeay), unlike the Kaiser, had kept her word, although it was not a written promise. He need hardly say that it gave him the greatest pleasure to be with them on such a happy occasion,and felt that he was expressing the feeling of all who knew the Wyeth family and Mr McLeay when he wished that gentleman and his bride long life and happiness. He trusted that the blessing of God would rest upon them and theirs. The people of the district would miss the bride very much indeed, for she never spared herself when concerts were organised for the Belguim fund or any other worthy cause. Her services as a singer were always readily and cheerfully given, and no doubt she would continue her good work in Christchurch. [16]

John and Elizabeth McLeay

John McLeay was born in Poolewe Ross shire in 1841 the son of Finlay and Grace Bethune (nee Beaton) Mcleay. John arrived in Lyttleton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 26 December 1862 on the ship "Mermaid." On 31 October 1885 in Invercargill, New Zealand, John McLeay, a shepherd, married Elizabeth Fraser a widow with two children,

Henrietta Fraser, born 6 August 1876.

Elizabeth Fraser, born 12 December 1877.

Elizabeth Rogers was born on 5 September 1855 in Upton Bishop Hereford England, she was the 2nd child of James and Jane (nee Phillip) Rogers. Elizabeth had arrived in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 21 November 1874 on the ship "Auckland." Elizabeth had married John Sutherland Fraser, in Clinton on 15 September 1875.  They had had 3 children but the youngest John Cornwall Fraser, born 24 November 1879 died on 4 July 1880 aged 7 months. John senior died on 27 April 1881 aged 36 years.

John and Elizabeth had 4 children: 

Grace Eleanor McLeay, born Dec 1886, died 10 Aug 1887 Southland

James Findlay (Jim) McLeay, born 15 Aug 1888, Otautau, Southland, died 11 Oct 1952, Christchurch, Canterbury

John McLeay, born 25 Jul 1890, Morton Mains, Southland, died 24 May 1965, Riversdale, Southland

Murdoch Beswick McLeay, born 25 Sep 1892, Morton Mains, Southland, died 10 Oct 1966, Invercargill, Southland.

Elizabeth died on 30 December 1893 and John on 28 August 1904 they are buried together with their daughter Grace in Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill.

Stranges went bankrupt in the Depression and Jim moved to Farmers as a shop Assistant. He progressed there to be Head of the Shirt Dept and also did Window dressing.

He was very popular with the customers in this position and at Xmas got presents of things like a side of lamb and a Goose. His Manager retired and he failed to get the promotion due to a drinking problem.

When Jim retired from Farmers he got a Cleaning job at the Government Buildings. He was working there up to his death. On the Tuesday night before he died he was up a ladder doing some cleaning. He fell and injured his ear, this resulted in a stroke from which he did not recover. He was in Hospital until the Friday when he died. Gran Kay had been visiting him and he had come out of the comma enough to tell he that he would be a good boy in future, by this she thought he was refering to his drinking. The doctors asked her to stop coming as they said he would just be a vegetable it he did come out of the comma properly.

On the Saturday night before he died he had taken me,(Anthony) to the bookshop in Kilmore St and bought me a toy tow truck. He the went to work and next day we went back to Culverden without seeing him again. When he was in Hospital Mum arranged to come back down the following Friday but he died before they arrived.

Jim died on 11 October 1952 as the cause of death being recorded as Cerebal Haemorrhage for 5 days. Jim was cremated at Bromley Cemetery on 13/10/1952.

Amy and Jim made their home in Christchurch after they were married living for many years in Haast St and after Nora married Lloyd they moved to the botton story of Lloyd's mothers house in Chester St. After Jims death Lloyds mother found she was unable to manage the stairs and had to move downstairs. Lucy and Brian brought a House in Dacre St Christchurch where Amy lived for many years. In the final years of her life she moved in to a home for the elderly where she died on 1 October 1970.

Amy's Family

Nora Elizabeth McLeay

Nora was born in Christchurch on 25 July 1918. Her early childhood included frequent and sometimes quite extended trips to Aunty Pat and Uncle Bert in Gore. Nora's friend Essie Suckling asked Amy if she could take Lu and Nora to Sunday School and so began a long association with the church. One that was to influence all our lives. Lucy and Nora were both painfully shy because we had not mixed with other children in their early days. These were the days of the Depression but they were very lucky as their Dad always managed to keep his job. One family down our street lived on parsnips for a week, as that was all they had in the garden.

Nora was educated at Avonside Girl's High School, Christchurch.  As a young woman she worked as a clerk for HG Livingston Auctioneers. She married Lloyd George Scholfield Frost at Holy Trinity Church Avonside Christchurch on 5 December 1942. Lloyd the only son of George and Lilian Roland (nee Scholfield) Frost was born on 3 April 1919, George died when Lloyd was an infant and Lloyd was brought up by his mother. Lloyd was a Chartered Accountant with the Railways up until his retirement in 1977. With the railways they moved around New Zealand living in Amberley, North Canterbury; Woolston a suburb of Christchurch; Culverden again in North Canterbury; Maia a suburb of Dunedin; Upper Hutt; back to Christchurch living in the Suburb of Shirley; and finally back to Upper Hutt where Lloyd retired and they lived, out the remainder of their lives including their 50th wedding anniversary. Nora and Lloyd had 4 boys, of which I (Anthony) was the eldest. Lloyd died on 1November 1995 at the Norman Kirk Home, Upper Hutt, and Nora in Hutt Hospital, Lower Hutt on 6 January 1999. The are buried in the Churchyard of St John's Church, Trentham.

Lucy Maria McLeay

Lucy was born an November 18, 1920 in Christchurch. As a child her most distinguishing feature was her mop of red curly hair. She was shy and small until her mid-teens. As a child she went to Sunday School at Holy Trinity Avonside with Nora and neighbourhood children. At school she excelled at Maths, and her artistic flair showed through early in life.  Both Nora and Lucy were runners up for Dux at Richmond School. Both were beatten by girls who had had elocution training. For this reason Lucy ensured that both her girls learnt elocution. When she left school she was keen to get work using her artistic talents and do sign-writing; however her parents did not consider this to be a suitable job for a girl in the mid 1930's; so she got an office job at T&G Insurance (which she always called Tickle and Giggle) and later at Lane Walker Rudkin.

As she grew up Holy Trinity Avonside became a important focus for her life. She taught Sunday School, sang in the church choir, took Girls' Life Brigade, and Life Boys. Her association with this church remained until her death in 1988.

Lucy was married to LIVING in 1945.  While her children were growing up the family and children's activities were the focus of her life. She was v" active in school committees, PTAs, Board of Governors, Church Vestry and other church activities. During this time her artistic abilities showed through in her dress making and making fancy dress costumes whenever they were needed.

During the mid 1960's, she purchased her own car, an Austin 7, which gave her more mobility and her garage mechanic a guaranteed income. This was later replaced with a Morris Minor, which was a little more reliable. Returning home on one occasion, she parked the cat in the driveway as usual, and went inside to open the garage door. She opened the door, in her own words, " only to find no car. I thought it had been stolen - till I looked at the river over the road, and saw poor wee Morris giving his last salute as he got firmly sucked into the river." 'Wee Morris' was later restored to his former glory.

As the children were becoming more independent, Lucy renewed her interest in art by going to evening classes for painting, copper work, leather work, woodcarving and clay work. In 1972 she entered a work of art in a promotional competition for a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar'; and won! She found this very encouraging.

Following a radical mastectomy in 1971, she decided in order to strengthen her arm muscle and develop a new interest, she would go to Hairdressing College. She found this invigorating: mixing with younger students; and learning new skills. Although she never worked as a professional hair dresser-, for several years she continued this interest by doing the hair of friends and relations.

Continuing her quest for learning and encouraged by her evening class success, she attended High School as an adult student; studying for her Fine Arts Preliminary. She had to pass this in order to be accepted into the Fine Art School at the University of Canterbury. She enjoyed the challenge of University for 3 years (1980-1982), studying both Practical Art and History of Art. Her works of Art at this time included a variety of media and styles: Oamaru stone and wooden sculpture and carving, modernistic paintings and collages, and she even constructed furniture! Her sense of humour often showed through in her work. like the time she sculpted a telephone: the receiver had an car on one end and lips at the other, when it was lifted, the eyes of the person at the other end popped out on a spring.

During her time at University her cancer had come out of remission and from time to time she had courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment. She continued to make the most out of life, although in the fast couple of years, the cancer restricted her lifestyle considerably. Brian cared for her at home for several years and she died on March 10, 1988 at the Mary Potter Hospice, Christchurch.

She is remembered by all who knew her, especially for the way she refused to let her illness interfere with what she wanted to do.  She was always friendly, caring, outgoing and prepared to lend a hand. Her sense of humour and love of life was ever present. She was always confident in her own ability and positive in her attitude to life. Her Christian faith was always her strength especially when her health was failing.

The above is extracts from a story of Lucy's life written by her daughters.


Nora Elizabeth Wyeth(Pat)

Pat was born in Woodlands on 21 September 1893 the 4th daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

Pat started her adult life as a School Teacher.

On 23 October 1918 Pat married Herbert Allan (Bert) Price in Edendale. Bert was born in 1886 the son of Fred and Ellen Price 

Bert was Manager of Wright Stephensons in Edendale. In those days Wright Stephensons made their managers Directors of the company. Directors meetings were held in Christchurch and Uncle Bert came to Christchurch frequently. Pat's niece Nora, eldest daughter of Amy, well remembers Bert's visits to Chch when he took Amy and her daughters Nora and Lucy to dinner at Warners or the United Services Hotels.

Pat and Bert lived all of their married lives in Southland firstly in Edendale and later in Gore.

Fred and Ellen Price

Frederick Augustus Price was born 1854 in Lachlead, Gloucestershire the son of Thomas and Juliana (nee Clark) Price. Thomas and Juliana were married on 25 November 1847.  Fred married Ellen Norris in 1880.

From The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]Published 1905 - Price, Frederick Augustus , Farmer and Cattle Dealer, Waikiwi. Mr Price was born at Lachlead, Gloucestershire, England, in 1854, and arrived in Melbourne, with his parents, in the following year. The family came to Invercargill by the schooner "Pilot," in 1863, and Mr Price saw a good deal of Southland - particularly of the Myross Bush and Otautau districts - with his father, who successfully worked at carpentering, farming, and hotelkeeping. Mr Price started sheep and cattle dealing at Waikiwi, in 1875, and for about five years was buying for Messrs Nelson Brothers, of the Ocean Beach Works. He now owns a fine farm of 800 acres in the New River and Makarewa district, and fifteen acres, containing his home, on the Waikiwi road. Mr Price was married, in 1870, to a daughter of Mr H. Norris, and has a family of six sons and six daughters.

Wilfred Price, born Abt 1882, New Zealand

Ethel Emma Price, born Abt 1883, New Zealand, died Abt 1949, New Zealand

Gertrude Maud Eliza Price, born Abt 1885, New Zealand, died Abt 1971, New Zealand

Herbert Allan Price, born Abt 1886, Invercargill, Southland, died Abt 1957, Gore, Southland

Albert Percy Price, born Abt 1889, New Zealand, died Abt 1939, New Zealand

Mabel Mary Price, born Abt 1890, New Zealand, died Abt 1938, New Zealand

Victor Norris Price, born Abt 1892, New Zealand, died 23 Mar 1977, Calvary Hospital, Invercargill, Southland

Nellie Hilda Price, born Abt 1894, New Zealand, died Abt 1967, New Zealand

Joseph Roy Price, born 19 May 1898, New Zealand, died Abt 1973, New Zealand

Beryl Price, born Abt 1901, New Zealand, died 1901, Waikiwi, Invercargill, Southland

Daisy Stella Irene Price, born Abt 1901, New Zealand, died Abt 1968, New Zealand

Frederick Leslie Price, born 15 Apr 1903, New Zealand, died Abt 1992, New Zealand

Isabella Alice Price, born Abt 1913, New Zealand

Ellen died in 1933 and Fred in 1935. They were living in North Road Invercargill at the time and are buried in St John's Cemetery, Invercargill.

Bert died in 1954. Pat continued to live in the family home in Gore for many years a favorite holiday venue for many of his nieces and nephews. After a period of Blindness Pat died in December 1982, aged 89.

Pat's family



Esther Dora Wyeth


Esther, known as Essie, was born in Woodlands on 24 October 1895, 10th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth. Charles by this time was aged 53 and Elizabeth 39.

After leaving school Essie looked after her parents. Amy who had previously left school to help in the family home had by now gone to look after Aunty Jean.

Essie married Jack Campbell in 1921 in the Registry Office in Upper Hutt. Jack was born on 12 January 1890 in Invercargill the son of George Thompson and Emma Jane (nee Hopkins ) Campbell.


George Thompson Campbell

Mr. George Thomson Campbell was born in Stonehaven, Scotland on  5 June 1854 the son of Robert and Elizabeth (nee Just) Campbell. George came out to New Zealand in the 'Marie Bahn' in 1872 . On his arrival in New Zealand he went from Dunedin to Milton and for several years acted as a journalist on the 'Bruce Herald' with the original proprietors. 

George was married in Registrars Office, Dunedin, on 31 Oct 1882 to Emma Jane Hopkins. Jane was born in 1954 in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales daughter of David and Jane (nee Devonald) Hopkins.

George left journalism to enter into sawmilling and was connected with that trade until about two months before his death becoming a well known figure in the timber trade in Otago and Southland. His sons George, Robert and John moved to the North Island where they continued sawmilling. 

George, the eldest was born in Oamaru , where he had worked for a time on the Bruce Herald newspaper. With his wife May from Bluff he moved to Dannevirke worked for sawmiller Thomas Price. This company had a sawmill at Upper Hutt, and George and May moved there when George took over management of the sawmill. He bought out Thos Price & Sons in 1916, and in 1920 was joined in partnership by his brothers Jack and Bob[17].

George and Emma's children were:-

Bessie Just Campbell, born 21 Feb 1876, Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand, died 1950, Wellington

George Archibald Campbell, born 15 Aug 1877, Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand, died 22 Feb 1959, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

Lilian Jane Campbell, born 1 Sep 1879, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died 3 Nov 1981, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand

Edith Marion Campbell, born 27 Jul 1881, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died 1 Jan 1954, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand

Robert James Campbell, born 10 Aug 1883, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died 1937, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

David Colin Campbell, born 24 Jul 1886, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died Oct 1886, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand

Ethel Annie Campbell, born 5 Sep 1887, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died 25 Feb 1961, Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand

John Just Campbell, born 12 Jan 1890, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died 29 Aug 1963, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

Hilda May Campbell, born 29 Nov 1892, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died 17 Feb 1979, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand

Gladys Devonald Campbell, born 12 Feb 1895, Invercargill, Southland, died 28 Nov 1962, Kennington, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand

Doris Mary Campbell, born 9 Jun 1897, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, died Feb-Mar 1898, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand 

Gladys married Jimmy Wyeth Essie's brother.

Jack's second brother, Bob, was the recipient of the matchmaking attentions of his sister-in-law Essie and as a result married Harriet (Tot) McKendry.

George died at Lindisfarne, 43 Robertson Street, Invercargill on 16 June 1921 leaveing a widow and family of three sons and six daughters. Emma Jane died 31 march 1927.  They are both buried in Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill.

The early part of Jack and Essie's married life was spent at Karapoti where Jack and Bob ran the sawmill. All of Essie and Jack's children were born while they were living there. Bet at their home and the others at Nurse Lomas' in Upper Hutt. All the children attended the local Karapoti school though Judy moved on to Upper Hutt School.

The family moved to King Street Upper Hutt, where Jack built a new family home, in time for June to start College. Jack died in 1963 and and is buried in Akatarawa Cemetery. Essie continued to live in the family home for many years with her second daughter June and June's family. Prior to her death on 8 August 1987 Essie had been resident in Braeburn home in Upper Hutt for a short period.

Essie's Family

Elizabeth Rose Campbell

Bette was born on 13 September 1923 at Essie's home in Karapoti, North of Upper Hutt. After leaving school she worked as a Hairdresser. Betty was married on 25 May 1946 in Upper Hutt to Jack Langdale Andrews . Jack was born in Te Awamutu on 28 October 1920. Jack was a property developer, they had 3 children. Jack died on 27 March 1991 in Waikanae. Betty died on 31 July 2007 in Wellington Hospital. 


Jackie Campbell

Jackie was born in October 1925 at Nurse Lomas' Russell St Upper Hutt. Unfortunately Jackie died as an infant aged 3.

Mary Josephine Campbell

Jo was born on 11 September 1929 at Nurse Lomas' Russell St Upper Hutt. Jo was married on 13 September 1953 at St Davids Prebytarian Church in Upper Hutt to Living .  They had 3 children. Jo died on 8 September 1989 and was buried at the Akatarawa Cemetery after a funeral service at the Rimutaka Baptist Church north of Upper Hutt.



Thomas Wyeth

Tom was born on 6 August 1897 the 6th son 11 th child of Charles and Elizabeth Wyeth.

As a young man Tom worked in the family Market Garden. Grandad Wyeth, who had been a Market Gardener in Woodlands for at least 30 years left the family market Garden to Rose who had looked after her parents for the last 10 years of their lives. Tom bought the family Market Garden from Rose and continued to work it on his own account.

Tom married Gladys Eileen Calder,  on 22 August 1928 at 189 Tay St Invercargill. The Tay Street address was the home of Tom's eldest sister Polly. Tom and Glad had been to marry some two weeks earlier unfortunately Tom's mother took ill and susequently died and the wedding was delayed until the 22nd. Glad was born on 6 January 1904 the daughter of John and Ellen Margaret (nee Jaggers) Calder, she was baptised at Morton Mains.

In addition to working the Market Garden Tom drove the local school bus for 22 years from 1936 to 1958.

Tom died at Woodlands on 24 October 1973, aged 76[18].

Gladys died in Dunedin on 6 January 1979, aged 75. Both Tom and Glad are buried in Woodlands Cemetery.


"Children By The Mile," As It Were

After 22 years,200,000 miles and thousands of children, Mr Tom Wyeth has driven the school bus away from Woodlands School Bus, in Southland, for the last time, and retired.

One of that legion of school bus drivers who have become a legend in their own time, he saw romances blossom in his old bus:and when the boys and girls grew up and married he carried their children to school too.

For him, there were a hundred of memories to every mile as he drove along his route for the last time, picking up the waiting children at the farm gates. When he got to school and the children tumbled out, waiting to greet him were four people he carried as 6 year-olds on the first day he started his run.

They had been there at the start and because of their affection for "Tom," they wanted to be there at the finish. Their children had sat in the same seats as their parents did in the third school term of 1936. As Mr. Wyeth says, both he and his bus were new when he started the run. The bus has never missed a days service and Mr Wyeth has missed only one.

He drove it once when he had the measles. One friday morning a long time ago, he did not feel well and when he got home from his run he found he had the measles. He wrapped himself up in a heavy coat and scarves in the afternoon and drove the children home again. No one ever new, and the spots were gone by monday.

At the outset he made three resolutions. He would never speed, never take a drink while driving, and never swear. He broke these rules only once - when a sheep jumped out in front of his bus and he ran over it. He swore.

In the early days, to keep the children quiet, Mr Wyeth ran a competition to see how many rabbits they could count. "The rabbits are all gone, and now we count kids," he said.

He remembers once letting a lad out of his bus and the boys father saying: "Did you thank Mr Wyeth?" "No," said the boy, "I thanked him yesterday, and he said 'don't mention it.'"

When the children grew up he lost touch with many of them. As far as the girls were concerned it was the lipstick and makeup that fooled him, he says; once their names were mentioned he knew them again.

There was not much that went on in the district that he did not know about. As the bus bowled along the children used to tell him about everything that went on in their homes; it was not like confiding to a stranger, for he new their parents so well.

All over New Zealand, country folk come to depend on their school bus drivers and rural mail delivery men; and when the time comes for one of them to retire, the whole district feels the loss of an old and trusted friend. That is the way it is in Woodlands district now that "Old Tom" has finished up.

- Jack McClenaghan

Tom's Family

Margaret Rose Wyeth

Margaret was born on 31 May 1929 in Invercargill. She was a teacher. On 19 October 1951 she married Stanley Robert Kelk the son of Frank and Elizabeth Kelk . Stanley had 3 brothers. Stanley was born on 17 January 1915 at Otekaieke, South Canterbury he died in 18 February 1991 in Dunedin. The following Obituary was publish in the Dunedin paper shortly after Stan's death.

Stan Kelk, a gentleman of rugby administration, has died in Dunedin at the age of 76. Mr Kelk, the President of the Otago Rugby Football Union in 1978, was a well liked and respected administrator. "He was a top-rate organisor, a great worker and a pleasure to to work with," the Executive Director of the Rugby Football Union, Mr John Hornbrook, said. "Stan had tack, diplomacy, and was never heard to speak a harsh word about anybody."

Mr Kelk was rejected for overseas service in World War II because of heart complaints and lived with the problem for the next 50 years.

He was a member of the management committee of the union for 6 years from 1967 to 1972 and vice-president in 1976 and 1977. Mr Kelk set high demands on himself as a sports administrator. "You have to organise yourself and your job otherwise you don't get results," he said on one occasion. "You must cater for detail because things don't go off if they are only half planned."

Mr Kelk, a retired Post Office executive, had a gift for fund raising and helped many sports organisations. "I like to be a worker in the background," he said. "I don't like the limelight and prefer to do my work behind the scenes." Mr Kelk grew up in Oamaru, but because of shift work in the Post Office he was not able to play much rugby. He did not have a playing background and looked upon himself purely as an administrator.

Mr Kelk was a member of the North Otago Rugby Football Union in the late 1940's at a time when administrators had to work hard, sell tickets at the gate and do other odd jobs such as looking after the showers. He joined the Kaikorai club when he transferred to Dunedin in 1952. There he held the positions of Treasurer, Secretary, and President. He was later elected a life-member. His administrative skills were widely recognised and he was co-opted to the Sassenachs committee.

Mr Kelk also enjoyed tennis, table-tennis, wrestling and bowls. He was a former president and secretary, for nine years, of the Kaikorai Bowling Club. Mr Kelk is survived by his wife, Margaret, and sons Geoffrey, Barry and Bryan.

Frank Kelk

Frank was born in 1870 in Wisbern, Lincolnshire, England the son of George and Marianne Kelk. Frank with his parents and brother Henry sailed from London on March 12th on board the ship Dunbritton arriving at Port Chalmers Otago on June 13th. The ship carried 72 passengers.

On 19 June 1891 Frank married Frances Ann Cornick.  Frances was born about 1874. They had three children.

William Watson Kelk, born Abt 1891, died 13 Jul 1915, Gallipoli

George Kelk, born 1893, New Zealand, died 1964, Waiareka Junction, Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand

Frances Louisa Kelk, born Abt 1895, New Zealand

Francis died on 19 Jul 1895 at Enfield, Otago aged 21 years.

On13 May 1902 Frank married Elizabeth Louisa Cornick. Elizabeth was born about 1877, presumably the younger sister of Francis. They had 2 children

Francis Burkett Kelk, born Abt 1904, New Zealand, died 02 Dec 1941, Egypt

Stanley Robert Kelk, born 17 Jan 1915, Otekaieke, South Canterbury, died 18 Feb 1991, Dunedin, Otago, 

Frank died in 1924, he was buried in Oamaru Cemetery on 26 February 1924 and Elizabeth in 1961 and was buried on 15 December 1961 also in Oamaru cemetery.

Margaret lived for many years at 25 Wales St Dunedin until her death on 23 February 1993. They are buried at Green Park Cemetery Dunedin.


Flora Rose Wyeth

Rose was born in Woodlands on 26 January 1899 the 6th daughter 12th child of Charles and Elizabeth.

Rose had a very good clerical job in Gore which she left when Essie got married to look after Granny Wyeth.

When Granny Wyeth died in 1928 Essie invited Rose to Upper Hutt for a holiday, where she was introduced to Bill Gregor, whose wife had died some three years earlier leaving him with a young daughter, Heather. Bill was in Essie's view having had a very unhappy time trying to manage on his own with his young daughter. Essie's matchmaking was very sucessfull and Rose was married in Invercargill in 12 June 1929 to William Gregor (Bill). His previous marriage had been to Lila Elizabeth Wyeth youngest daughter of Thomas Wyeth. William and Lila had had one daughter Heather.

Bill was born 5 June 1888 at Memsie near Fraserburgh in Scotland, the son of Alexander and Elizabeth (nee Davidson ) Gregor . Further details of Bill's family at provided in Lila's section.

Rose and Bill lived for many years in Wakelin Street Carterton Bill was a joiner by trade, he died in Tawa on 9 November 1981 and was buried in Carterton.

In their later years Rose and Bill moved to Tawa where they lived with Alex and Janette. After Bill's death Rose moved to Wesley haven in Lower Hutt from where she died on 30 September 1986 in Lower Hutt Hospital, she was buried in Carterton.



Rose's Family





[1]LTO Index Vol6,P248; Ref Vol 15, p247;C/T 348/186 No 8220 and C/T 402/23

[2]Source Aunty Rose.

[3]Alistair Sherriffs, Invercargill

[4]Source Tombstone inscription. "Charles WYETH died 20 Dec 1928 age 86 years also his wife Elizabeth WYETH died 9 Aug 1928 age 72 years also their grandson Maurice son of Joseph and Flora WYETH died 26 Dec 1907 age 9 months."

[5]Registrar BDM 1864/1707.

[6]Tombstone Inscription

[7]Sec 25 and pt Sec 31 Longbush Township (8-1-36 and 5-1-03) and lot 47 D.P.115 of Secs 11.41 Blk VI Invercargill Hundred (7-0-35).

[8]Tombstone Inscription "In loving memory of Flora McDonald beloved wife of Joseph Wyeth, died 17/1/1945 aged 67 years; also her husband Joseph Wyeth died 11/4/1956 Aged 80 years."

[9]Tombstone Inscription "In Loving Memory of Joseph S Wyeth died 16 April 1970 in his 69th year."

[10] Southland District Council Cemetery records.

[11]Reuben wife of Emily Elizabeth Dewe died 14/12/1939 in his 74th year. He is buried in Woodlands Cemetery.

[12]Cyclopedia of New Zealand Vol 4 Page 1064.

[13]Source "Family Tree of the Descendants of Henry Dewe" by H.J.Dewe,MBE, "Wharekoa" 9 Denbigh St, Feilding, NZ. Published in November 1976

[14]Source Tombstone inscription "In Loving Memory of Lucy Maria beloved wife of George Dewe, died 17th August 1917 aged 39 years; also George Dewe died 10th May 1919 aged 50 years. At rest. Also their beloved twin daughter Molly died 20th December 1925 aged 25 years.

[15]Tombstone Inscription "In Loving memory of Charles Henry beloved husband of Jane Wyeth, died 26 March 1948 in his 69th year; also the above Jane Wyeth died 13th March 1951 in her 77th year."

[16]Southlands newspaper?????

[17]Source Upper Hutt the History J A Kelleher

[18]Tombstone Inscription "In Loving Memory of Thomas beloved husband of Gladys Eileen, died 23rd October 1973 Aged 76 years, and his wife Gladys Eileen died 6 January 1979 Aged 75 years."