Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mehrtens Family Photos

I have two photos in my photo collection which I know to be from the Mehrtens family as they have things written on the back.  One is of Eunice Evelyn Mehrtens aged one.  She was born in 1916.  Her photo has the most information on the back and is a good place to start.

Eunice was the daughter of Robert Mehrtens and Sarah Ann Burgess of Ohoka/Kaiapoi area.

Robert's parents were Jurgen Mehrtens (known as George) and Catherine Dietjin who lived in Ohoka.

They must have been neighbours to my ancestors, the Meng family who were also German.  I'm guessing that they all travelled to the German Church at Oxford and helped each other on their farms and were generally good friends.  I am also guessing that we have many unnamed photos of them in our vast photo collection.  I have managed to find some that match from the one named photo that I have.  This photo was named by my great grandma who was born in 1900.  My Mum has written "Mehrtens Family" on the back.  Could the man be Robert, the father of the young Eunice Mehrtens.  I am unsure however who the two women are.  They look rather young but too young to be his daughters.

There was another photo with the same man in it.  What do you think?  Robert Mehrtens had three sisters that lived to adulthood.  His parents lived until they were quite old.  I'm pretty sure now that this is a portrait of Jurgen Mehrtens and his wife Catherine and four children, taken circa 1910.

And then if you look at the three sisters closely, could this be a photo of them?  This may or may not be them!  I am started to guess now, but one of them looks like the same person as the above photo.  They are a lot younger here.  There is nothing written on the back of this photo.

I also have another photo of one of the women in the above photo, taken even earlier, about early 1880s.  So if anyone is related to this family, please contact me so I can confirm whether these are the correct people!

Sepia Saturday 250: A hand coloured photo which led to finding old autographs!

Ok, so I'm late late late!  I decided to post this anyway as it was a nice circular story.

In a previous Sepia Saturday (click here for more stories) I have talked about how I managed to name a whole lot of photos in my old albums due to an email from someone wanting help on their family.  One of these photos was a nice hand coloured one of Clara Elizabeth Baker (known as Lizzie Baker).  She was a very pretty woman.  One of the themes for this week was hand colouring and this has been ever so slightly hand coloured in the cheek area and maybe elsewhere as well!

Anyway, through one of the Baker family contacting me, I have received these beautiful autographs from my Great Grandma (who this blog is named after) Dorothy Wingfield Lord and her sister Elise May Lord (known as May).

They did little paintings and wrote beautiful little sayings that they knew.  Or did they copy these from a book they had?  I'm not quite sure how old autographs worked.  If anyone can comment below on the old hobby of collecting autographs, I would really appreciate it.

Anyway, I received these in the post on a day I had been trying out my new camera.  I had been taking lots of photos of forget-me-nots in my garden.  And what was written about and painted by May Lord all those years ago?  Forget-me-nots!  I was blown away by the coincidence!

So from a hand tinted sepia photo we jump 100 years to a colour photo taken on a modern mirrorless camera, wth a lot of sychronicity along the way!

Sepia Saturday 251: Beards

I'm posting the following photo as part of Sepia Saturday.  Please click here to view more Sepia Saturday photos and stories.

This photo has two men with beards.  But there is a third man in the photo and he obviously wasn't present when the photo was taken, or was deceased.  He has been not so cleverly added into the photo for some reason.  Maybe this is a four generations photo pasted together because one of the generations was not present at the time. 

On the back of the photo is written  "Lena Grandfather"

I'm not sure who Lena is but she may be the little girl in the photo and one of the men may be her Grandfather, or the Grandfather of the person who wrote on the back of the photo.

I have German ancestry and Lena is generally a shortened version of Magdalena.  Maybe this family shot has something to do with my family.  Maybe it is just family friends.  My German ancestors has a lot of German friends after they came to Christchurch, New Zealand.

Whoever this photo is from, it is very interesting.  Again, I just wish my ancestors had written on the backs of their photos!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sepia Saturday 249: Old Transport and an amazing discovery!

I'm writing about old transport and an amazing discovery for Sepia Saturday 249. Please see click here for more amazing Sepia Saturday stories. The following photo I just obtained a couple of hours ago from V. Baker who is currently one of three people who is helping me with some amazing genealogical discoveries. She sent me this postcard of the Ohoka Store with store transport sitting outside ready to deliver the groceries. The postcard was sent probably between 1913 and about 1919 from Mary Lord nee Meng to her friend Lizzie Baker (Clara Elizabeth Baker nee Harris). Mary was my great great grandmother.

There was a lovely message on the back too:

This postcard is interesting because of the relationship to me but also because of the historic nature of the photo. The Ohoka general store no longer exists. It was in the small town at a time when travelling long distances into Christchurch was not a daily occurance. The local store was much needed, as were the other tradesmen in the Ohoka township. I had heard about this store but had never seen a photo of it before so it is exciting to share it here.

How did I come to receive this postcard? Well, a few day ago I was emailed by a lady looking for her Baker family in Ohoka and she had come across my blog. I am not related to the Baker family but I said I had some Baker photos, taken from about 1915 to the 1920s. I didn't know anything about these Bakers apart from the fact their names were Tom and Lizzie Baker. And I had no idea what Lizzie looked like as a young girl. This lady suggested that it may be Clara Elizabeth Harris and her husband Thomas Henry Baker. I then did some digging and found an amazing photo album online with photos of Lizzie (aka Clara Elizabeth). This album has three of my relations in it as well as photos of Clara Elizabeth Baker who fills my old album from the 1890s and earlier. I found the same photos plus different ones. I managed to name so many of the photos now that it is a huge breakthrough. I have stared at these photos for twenty years, and in the last five years have really tried to do detective work, often without success.

The blog where the album is posted is an excellent one for photo buffs. You should all check it out. I'm blown away by it!  Early New Zealand Photographers and their successors.

Then I got the email of V. Baker, a lovely lady who I have swapped information with and who sent me the postcard. Genealogy is an amazing hobby just for the great people you meet along the way! So I can now confirm most of the photos and it is another mystery solved. Thank goodness for the Internet and other keen genealogists!

Clara Elizabeth Harris

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sepia Saturday 247 - Motorbikes!

Here is a picture of William Pearce and his mum Eliza Pearce for this weeks Sepia Saturday. Click here for more wonderful sepia Saturday pictures and stories!

The picture was taken at their property on Aikmans Road, Merivale, Christchurch about 1920.  Don't you just love the old sidecar, more like a woven basket for your legs than a vehicle, with a place to put your hands under the leather weatherproof cover, to keep them warm.  Of course wearing your every day hat was necessary when posing on a bike for a photo.  From other photos we have they actually wore leather helmets a bit like aviators wore.  I don't think they would have protected the head very much.

We have dozens of these motorbike photos and even a photo of a bloke's shed from the 1920s with car and bike parked up inside.  I'm so lucky to have them.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Sepia Saturday 246: Tents!

The following photos are of the Pearce boys and an unknown friend or relation in a cute tent.  The photo was taken around 1920.  We are not sure where they are camping but it is probably somewhere quite local to the Christchurch region, New Zealand.  It looks like dry hard ground they are on and there is a building visible on the left hand side. 

One can imagine the excitement that two smaller boys would have had camping out for the night.  It looks like they are fairly well set up as it looks like some kind of lamp hanging in the back of the tent.

The Pearce family had four boys and from photos we have, they were into hunting, camping, travelling and lots of boys stuff.  My great grandad Arthur Cyril Pearce was also into photography, hence why we now have these wonderful pics from the past.

From left to right are Albert Pearce, William Pearce, Walter Pearce and a friend! And behind the camera was my great grandad!
Pearce boys camping2 EDITED BW

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The John Temperley: New Zealand Immigration Ship 1865-1866

I am currently researching the clipper ship John Temperley for my new book named, "The John Temperley:  New Zealand Immigration Ship 1865-1866,"  which is being published by Rock Your Boat Publishing hopefully by the end of 2014.

The story of the John Temperley:

Of the female immigrants, “ten were prostitutes and four ballet dancers.”

"The scandalous newspaper reports told of wild single women on board the immigrant ship John Temperley.  But what really happened on the voyage?  Were the women named as “prostitutes” and “ballet dancers” really that bad?"

"This book explores the John Temperley’s journey to Auckland in 1865 and the notorious voyage to Lyttelton in 1866, using first hand accounts and official documents.  It delves into the lives of the single women on board and uncovers the joys, sadness and tragedies of their lives."

I am at the beginning of my research and am putting out a call for help.  I'm especially interested in the single women on board.  If you have stories of their lives you would like to share for the book, PLEASE contact me on the email to the right of this post.  It will help me to tell these women's stories as accurately as possible.