Saturday, 8 November 2014

Dora Agnes Jenkins - a lovely photo

I often mention about my wonderful collection of old photos and how I can't name many of them as no one has written on the backs of them. Well the other day I decided to research one of the few photos that was actually written on. The name on the back said "Dora Agnes Jenkins" aged 4, July/15 1893. This photo was taken in Wellington and is now 121 years old. Amazing when you think about how old it is.

Dora Agnes Jenkins
I had no idea who Dora was so started doing some research. I found that she was born in 1887 to Francis John and Sarah Oram Jenkins. Who they were, I had no idea. I then found out that Dora never married in her lifetime and died in 1963 aged 77. This made me want to find out more about her. She probably had no children and therefore no grandchildren or great grandchildren to remember her when she was gone. And there is probably no one else researching her except me. It is quite sad really.

I tried to find when the family had arrived in NZ and found them on the ship Hereford in 1879 arriving into Canterbury with the following family members listed:

Francis J. Jenkins aged 33 of Middlesex, compositor
Sarah Jenkins aged 28
Frank M. J. aged 7
Melville A. F. aged 4
Beatrice aged 1

They also had more children in New Zealand, Arthur Edwin, 1881, Charles Alexander in 1883, Alfred Oram in 1885 and Thomas William, 1893.

I'm guessing this family got to know my family somehow through being neighbours or going to the same church, so I searched some more.  I couldn't find any obvious links.  I couldn't find the history of the family in Christchurch and I am pretty sure they were not related to my family.  The photo was taken in Wellington, so it is assumed the family lived there, not in Christchurch.

I found out that her father passed away in 1905 of a workplace accident at the Government Printing Office.  Dora's mother Sarah had received some compensation but wanted more.  She would have been struggling to survive.  Sarah remarried in 1909 to Mr. Rees Watkins of Petone. Dora Jenkins wore a pretty dress of white muslin and was one of the bridesmaids. She would have been 22 at the time and probably quite lovely.

Dora though never married and I can't find anything else about her.  Hopefully she had a good life.  She was a dear little girl in the photo!

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