I decided to talk to my Grandma the other day about her father's side of the family. She said that her father, Arthur Cyril Pearce used to say he was related to Jean Batten the famous pilot. He used to go on about it all the time apparently.
Well I've searched my family tree and looked at her family tree and can't find the connection. It may be a relationship only by marriage somewhere along the line. Jean Batten was born in 1909 in Rotorua.
However my great grandfather visited some family in Rotorua in 1920 with his brother Willy. He travelled a long way from Christchurch in the South Island, by boat to the North Island. I have traced his journey from Wellington and various other towns to Rotorua. My Grandma said that there were family in Rotorua that he visited. We have the following pictures of them with their animals and going about their daily business.
My great grandfather visited the hot springs at Rotorua and the Tarawera crater, the volcano that blew its top and covered the pink and white terraces. He also visited Waitomo caves.
My great grandfather was also into cars such as this one. It is parked in his father's shed, a 1920s blokes shed that housed the car, motorbike and the family business. The father Arthur james Pearce was a cobbler and worked in this shed. However on the journey to the North Island he took boats and horse driven coaches and trains but no cars that I have seen. They don't appear in his photos.
My great grandfather's family tree includes the names Pearce, Luff, Gillespie, Fogden and then more obscure relations such as the names Cheesman, Webley, Vivian, Bennett, Nelson, Bull, Glanville, Stone, Pope, Newman, Riddell, Unwin, Tweedie, Stevens, Skudder, Coombs or Coombes, Franklin, Edhouse, Hood, Potts, Voice, Reed, Brown and Gyde. There are probably other families I haven't found yet.
The main names in the Jean Batten tree are Batten, Blackmore, Rigden, Lanning. I can't find spouses for her brother's though who are:
Frederick Harold Batten born 1901
John Edward Batten born 1903
If anyone can find their spouses, it would be greatly appreciated. Jean also had a brother Stanley Batten who didn't live to adulthood.
So you can see my hunt for the Jean Batten connection is so far hopeless! It must be a pretty vague link, but any link to Jean Batten would have been exciting I guess! Any help greatly appreciated!
Click here for a link to who Jean Batten is, if you don't know already!