NameSarah Shiner [3], GG Grandmother
Birth14 Jun 1834, Corscombe, Dorset
Death18 Jan 1920, New Lynn, Auckland
BurialPurewa, Auckland
FatherJames Shiner (ca1807-1883)
MotherAnn Bishop (1808-1888)
1Alfred Bond [3], GG Grandfather
Birth22 Oct 1836, Shipton, Montague, Somerset
Death13 May 1914, Auckland
BurialPurewa, Auckland
Marriage29 Jul 1858, Beaminster, Dorsetshire, England [33]
ChildrenJames Shiner (1858-1922)
 Frederick Pacy (1861-)
 Alfred Henry (1863-1867)
 Sarah Annie (1863-)
 Frances Mary (1867-1956)
 Alice Eliza (1869-)
 Rosa (Rose) (1871-)
 Alfred John (1877-)
Notes for Sarah Shiner
Both Sarah and Alfred are buried at Purewa cemetery. Block F 44, Plots 101 and 102. The cemetery record gives her date of death as 19 Jan.

Her marriage record in the Beaminster parish records mentions her father as James Shiner, which is nice confirmation of the relationship.

In the 1871 census she was listed as a dressmaker, and husband Alfred as a smith. Same in 1881.
Notes for Alfred (Spouse 1)
Golden hair, and had a beard “like a Viking”. Worked as a smith (described as a Whitesmith) in Auckland at Dedwood Terrace in Ponsonby. His son Alfred John later continued the business. Alfred’s son, James Shiner, was the first of the family to come to New Zealand. Alfred and the rest of the family came out a few years later, partly because daughter Cherry had a weak chest. In their later years, Alfred and Sarah were cared for by their daughter, Rose.

Alfred and Sarah (and James S and Frederick P) are in the 1861 census, living in Tangmere Village, Sussex.

He and family (including James S, Frederick, Annie, Francis (sic) and Alice) appear in the 1871 census. Living in a place that looks like the Malt Houses Cottages, in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire. I could be misreading that. He was a smith, Sarah was a dressmaker.

By the 1881 census, we see Alfred and Sarah, now living in St. Pancras, Chichester, with Frederick, Annie, Frances, Alice, Rose, Charles and Alfred. No James S., who had already left for NZ (he came out in 1878). Alfred is a whitesmith, Sarah is a dressmaker. Frederick is an assistant whitesmith.

A website which I found in early 2014 ( gives more information about the Bonds in Ponsonby, and even includes a 1926 photograph of the smithy.
It says:
“As at late 1944, the corner site was occupied by a 1913 villa "of fair quality" at 5 Dedwood Terrace, and a dilapidated old smithy at 19-20 Jervois Road, used by a metal shutter manufacturing business, Danks Bros Ltd. The City Engineer proposed that, after purchase from the owner Mr Alfred John Bond, that the site would be a wonderful one for a women's restroom on the corner, and Plunket building from out of the suitably converted villa.

The corner site had been purchased in 1893 by Alfred Bond (1836-1914), father of Alfred John Bond (NA 66/246). The father appears to have followed another son, James Shiner Bond, to New Zealand, possibly in 1872 on the SS Hero, (Auckland Star, 16.2.1872), but his name appears in an 1881 census of Romany hawkers still in England. He was possibly the same Alfred Bond applied to be a steam roller driver working for Auckland City Council in 1884. (AS 26.9.1884)

His son Alfred John Bond (1877-1958) took over the old smithy on Jervois Road from 1909, and remained as owner (even though by the 1940s he was somewhat infirm, living in Epsom, and had rented No. 5 Dedwood Terrace to a Mrs. M Harvey). He admitted, in a letter to the Town Clerk dated 10 October 1944, that the smithy had seen better days, describing it as an eyesore.
"I would have liked to have held on to the property ... until the Harbour Bridge was built when I think Ponsonby will be a second Newmarket, but time marches on and I do not wish to stand in the road of progress."
He put the price at £2250. The Council, after consulting their valuers and considering the selling price of other land in Jervois Road, offered £1650, but finally went up to £1900 in August 1945, which was accepted. The site was formally transferred to Auckland City on 26 November 1945.

So the Bond family house and business thus became a women’s loo. How distinguished! However, this same website goes on to quote the Star newspaper (1 July, 1955), who claimed that
"When the late Mr Michael Joseph Savage was first nominated as Labour Candidate for Parliament, for Auckland West, the necessary papers were signed on the anvil of the forge of a blacksmith's shop at the corner of Jervois Road and Dedwood Terrace, Ponsonby. To mark the spot and occasion, a children's memorial fountain has been erected on what is now the patio of the Ponsonby women's restrooms and conveniences.”

This signing would have been in 1919. In 2012, according to the same website, the drinking fountain that had been put up in 1955 was still there, in the playground of a Plunket toy library. I don’t know if it’s still there in 2014, but I go often to Ponsonby, so must investigate.

One of the most intriguing things to learn from the Timespanner website is the possibility that Alfred Bond was of Romany descent. The website quoted no longer exists, but this would be a wonderful story, if true. I imagine that a whitesmith wasn’t far from a tinker, a traditional Romany occupation in Britain, so the story is plausible at least. Indeed, there is additional evidence for it. A romanyconnections web page ( lists an 1881 census of tinsmiths and whitesmiths. We see Alfred and Sarah there, quite clearly.
“Alfred Bond Sarah, Bc 1837 Shepton, Somerset, England Head St Pancras, Sussex”. (i.e., Alfred and Sarah Bond, born 1837 in Shepton). Also “Fredk. Bond Alfred, Sarah, Bc 1861 Tangmere, Sussex, England Son St Pancras, Sussex” (i.e., Frederick Bond, son of Alfred and Sarah). Note that James Shiner Bond had already left for NZ (he left in 1878), so he didn’t appear in the census, and the other children weren’t whitesmiths. This, by the way, is all consistent with the census information above. Not definitive proof that Alfred Bond was Romany, but pretty strong.
Last Modified 23 Dec 2015Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh