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Saturday, December 27, 2008

but wiser?

Fresh this morning is this portrait of me as an older man.

Today I turn 49 and am thinking about age and the past. This is my grandfather, Bill, on the left and his three brothers. He and Dot had eight children. The family moved from Rangiwahia to Kairanga and one of my uncles kept the dairy farm until he retired.
These are Bill's parents, Jack and Lavinia. Jack had moved to a new settlement at Rangiwahia following the ffrench-Pemberton family who his father worked for. He married Lavinia in 1898.

Bill's father's parents, Hugh and Margaret.
Donald Duff and Grace Low who arrived in NZ in 1861 from Perthshire. They both pretended to be younger than they were to meet migration rules. Their Grand daughter Margaret married Hugh Carr.


artandmylife said...

Happy Birthday!
I've also been looking at old family photos recently. Personally I like the sense of place family history gives me.

Fresh Local said...

Thanks - both my parents are rabid amateur genealogists and very competitive about unearthed data. I start to fade out when the connection gets too tenuous.

I like how my father's family were all practical people and there are buildings still in use that they built or worked or lived in.

One of them grew up in a Martello Tower as his father worked as a coastguard in Kent. One of my mother's ancestors was a miller and smuggler who hung an effigy of an excise officer from his house.

Cheryl Bernstein said...

Happy birthday Tony! Gearing up for the big coming of age next year...

I think old family photos become particularly interesting when you have children yourself, and can see exactly where distinctive features or casts of expression come from. We're just hosts for the genes...

merc said...

Happy birthday fella. Ohingaiti isn't too far from Rangiwahia, if it's the Rangiwahia I think it is, if so, your great grandparents probably knew mine.

Fresh Local said...

merc google maps tells me "Rangi" and Ohingaiti are about eight miles apart but with no direct route between them.

My great grandfather was in the area by 1898 but it's hard to tell from here how far away eight miles was then.

In the early 1980s I went to my great aunty Lavinia's funeral and travelled down to Wgtn from PN with my father and an old family friend. He blamed the internal combustion engine for the current high divorce rate. Back in the day, he said, sure we had diagreements but no one left because there was nowhere to go and no way of getting there. You made the best of it and just got on with things.

I think now that's known as settling. Perhaps divorce is a healthier alternative.

What was the pub called? Is it the one that's still there across the railway on a bend?

merc said...

The Rangi pub famously burned down, was a billiard hall and barber shop as well.
Pop was a 200 a day gun shearer (hand clippers) and deer culler by trade, though they used to bend ski's in the bath and take folks up the Ruahine's skiing.

Alex Baird said...

Hi there, I was just searching up my family history on the web and I came across your blog, Donald Duff and Grace Duff (nee Lowe) were my great great great great grandparents and their son James Duff married to Catherine Duff (nee Thompson)was my great great great grandfather.

I was just wondering if you had any documents, photographs etc yuou could impart to me, or any information, perhaps I may have some you may like also,



Fresh Local said...

Alex - if you email me via Blogger I'll pass your details on to my father who does the family history research.


Alex Baird said...

Hi Tony, thanks very much for your reply,

My email is:



Fresh Local said...

Alex, I've sent your email address to my father as well as your connection to "his" Duffs.