NameJohn Frederick Neal , G Grandfather
Birth4 Jun 1868, Waikawa (Picton) [49], [47]
Death1 Sep 1940 [49], [47]
Baptism6 Sep 1868, Picton
FatherThomas Nelson Neal (1842-1924)
ChildrenNorman Percy (1897-1989)
 Lena Watson (1899-1940)
 Marion Eliza Watson (1900-1985)
2Kate Edith Norgrove , G Grandmother
Birth1 Mar 1882, Blenheim [47], [48]
Death4 Jul 1974, Dunedin [47]
FatherOscar Alfred Norgrove (1842-1907)
MotherEdith Brook (1848-1936)
Marriage26 May 1906, Church of the Nativity, Blenheim
ChildrenRanji Frederick (1909-2003)
 Algy Vernon (1911-1984)
 Nita Allison (1916-1926)
 Freda Alice (1907-1993)
Notes for John Frederick Neal
Educated at Spring Creek Public School. Was shearing sheep by the age of 15. Lucky him. In 1898 he went into partnership with his brother Frank in the Spring Creek property, “Burnlea”, previously owned by their father. AFter a few years, Frank sold his share to John and shifted to Marshlands. John continued to crop this heavy agricultural land until his brother, Albert, purchased the property for 100 pounds per acre in 1918. John purchased “Lucknow”, 740 acres of rolling tussock country at Starborough, where he farmed until his death. “Lucknow” was apparently named by the former owner who won it in a land ballot, and exclaimed at her luck. Hmmmm...... sounds plausible. Probably nothing to do with India.

John was a keen sportsman, representing Marlborough in rugby, and playing cricket and shooting guns and things.
Notes for Marion Eliza (Spouse 1)
Died of pneumonia in childbirth, or at least very soon after Marion’s birth. Buried at the Holy Trinity church in Rapaura (just outside Blenheim).
Notes for Kate Edith (Spouse 2)
My great grandmother. I remember her well, living in that old flat along Forbury Road, and walking over to Cliffs Rd regularly. Cold baths every day took her to a great old age. She’d always bring along a tin of something to eat, and she’d rest at the bus-stops on the way home. Great old lady, I remember her with great fondness. Never a cross word from her. She never believed that men ever reached the Moon. “The paper won’t refuse the ink”, she said. More than once. Dad used to tease her gently about Billy Graham. Not sure why.
She died when I was 12 or so, when we were in Wales. I remember Mum crying when she heard the news.

Mum wrote down a lot of Kate’s recollections [50] in about 1973 or so, not long before she died. I have no independent confirmation of most of this information, but I see no reason to doubt it. None of the information is implausible, and Kate is unlikely to have made up wild stories. Here they are in full:

This is a Background History of Kate Neal (2nd )Wife of Jack Neal and Mother of Freda McPherson (Dunedin), Algy Neal (Christchurch) and Rangie Neal (Blenheim).

Kate Neal related this information to her Grand-daughter Dr. Rosalie Sneyd of Dunedin before she died.

Paternal Grandmother, Sara King-Hall whose father was an Overseer on the London Docks and brother was an admiral. Then followed 2 generations of admirals. Stephen King-Hall wrote an autobiography.

Sara King-Hall married William Norgrove, an orphan. Met him while tying up a pig – said she got him through his stomach! William Norgrove’s father bit by a rabid dog and died. William Norgrove broke his leg while saving a child from a runaway horse and carriage. Taken to an inn and whilst recovering, talk came around to ghosts. He was visited by a “ghost” that night, and nearly killed him with his walking stick! Came to NZ on “Gertrude” with 2 sons. Settled in Pi(g?)itea St, Wellington. Oscar, the third son and Kate’s father, was born in Wellington. The big Wellington earthquake broke all the china. Had to travel up the hill for water. Then Grandfather made a pump.

William Norgrove cut the Monument to massacred men at Tua Marina. Also cut the rooster on the Town Hall clock. Went to Nelson after Wellington and thence to Blenheim, presumably by boat because they got stuck on the bar for 3 weeks. First house in Bradford Quay. Then they built a house in Dillon St. where Aunt Emma lived. Aunt Emma a great gardener. Owned from corner of Dillon St. up to corner going up to College. Uncle Walter built houses on this property but lost it in the slump. Oscar went to the Gold Rush and made 300 in 3 weeks at Wakamarina. Horace married Carrie Whiting and lived in Picton. Issue, 2 boys and 4 girls. Boys, Horace and Harold. Horace died. Harold a market gardener in Auckland. Annie married…….. Walter married Esther Gain and lived in Wellington. Frank, Leslie, May (died 9 years – Congenital heart). Stanley and Elsie.

Gertrude and Joe Dempsey – Wellington – 9 children – 7 boys – 2 girls. Visited Kate and Charlie and her children with Valerie and Kate and had the more-ish coconut ice. Eldest, John, Manager of Wisemans Saddle Shop in Auckland. One boy died about 9.

Ovid a carpenter. Charlie in Wellington 0.0. Alfred – Gertrude her daughter wrote “The Little World of Stewart Island” etc.

Bill Norgrove was also responsible for the rape of several nuns at the convent in Christchurch.

Doris, Arthur, Charlie, Alice, Kate and Sydney. (Sydney, Headmaster in Wellington in Lambton Quay. Killed in World War I). Kate never married. Lived with Aunt Emma and was very fat. Built a shop in their front garden. Groceries and Sweets. Sydney Nellie Wills (niece of M.P.) Ovid, Nellie and Mary. Lived in Scott St. Blenheim. Nellie married Arthur Small – 5 children. Mary looked after Aunt Emma, who was blind.

Maternal Grandparents

Sara Brown – kept school for young ladies when widowed. Married Richard Brook. Both from London. Owned candle factories and ruined during the Crimean War. Kate’s mother remembered being held up to the window to watch soldiers marching to Crimea. Crummy, the maid, was crying because her boyfriend was going.

Sarah Brown – Richard Brook – children: Edmund and Mortimer (Twins). Edmund a Sergeant, killed by being thrown from horse. Largest funeral in Aldershot. Mortimer sent to the Klondyke gold rush and never heard of again. Arthur, and Alfred who was a photographer in Bournemouth. Also had 6 daughters; Agnes, single. Was engaged to a Catholic doctor and father stopped it. Francis, Helen, Isabella (died aged 15 years), Edith (Kate’s mother) had rheumatic fever and came out to NZ for her health with Nellie Follett. Bertha (single). Edith landed at Auckland Point, Nelson. Married at 29 to Oscar Alfred Norgrove.

Ted married Mary Ann Annan who had come from Scotland with her family. Tots married Horace Melville – 2 sons, Eric (minister) married Helen and Allan (builder). Arthur went to sea in “Temple Knight” and the first boat to pick up signals from the Titanic. Killed soon after returning. Intended settling down. Went to Auckland to look for a job. Had a temporary job on a coal hulk. Helped friend to close hatch and fell down 45 ft and broke his neck. Oscar fell out of trap and ruptured liver. Lived 10 days. 65th year. Horse frightened by cans a boy was carrying and shied. Builder and contractor. Edith Brook died 2 weeks before 90.

Gold diggings – Havelock – Park Terrace (where Kate was born), Wainuiomata – 5 months. Oscar and Walter bought a sawmill. Kate not quite 2 when they (left?) on Xmas Day. House just off Main S. – South St. (lived for 7 years) Bradford ??.
Kate was looking after a friends little girl for ?? years at Spring Creek and met Grandfather. Both taught Sunday School. Left school when nearly 12. Helping at home. Learning dressmaking. Mrs Sturtevant paid her passage to Dunedin when she was 16 to help with children. Mrs Sturtevant was pregnant. Stayed for 7 weeks. Came to Dunedin again when she was ??, again to help Mrs Sturtevant because her brother was coming out from England. Stayed for 4 months. Lived up Esther Crescent then at St. Clair down on the flat somewhere.


Grannie Neal – 12 children. No doctor to any of them. Home-made butter, bread, cheese. Crayfish from Robin Hood Bay. Lived at Marshlands on Whites Bay Rd.
Selena Busch born in Nelson and lived up a gorge. No schooling but wouldn’t beat her for 3d. Neither read or write. Her parents came out from Mechlinburg. Farmers.
Grannie Neal’s children: Charlie, John Frederick, Frank, Amelia (Millie), Helen, Martha, Mary, Tom, Albert, Ted, Laura, Montague. Great-grandfather Neal was one of 7 boys and 1 girl (Charlotte). Grandfather Neal born in NZ. Kate never knew grandfather’s parents. Cousin Ginny was the daughter of one of the 7 boys. Grandfather’s parents were farmers.
Grannie Neal: - Selene, Sophie – Mrs Kinsett, Joe and Fred.

Earliest Recollections: (Kate)

Xmas Day 1883 when 1 year 10 months, going to get tickets to go to Wellington on Boxing Day. Father and uncle Walter bought a flaxmill. Boat went up the river and over the bar. Kate dressed coat and bonnet made out of father’s old overcoat turned. Given a 6d wooden doll. Remember standing on boat and seeing cook’s dirty galley. Cook coming out with the pannikins of tea. Mother 6 (5?) months pregnant with Arthur when they went to Wellington. 2 weeks before Arthur born Kate dressed with shoes with brass toecaps and put out to play and saw a hen lay an egg. Heard Uncle Walter and Father quarrel and Uncle Walter punched him on the nose which bled. Aunt Esther didn’t pull her weight feeding the men at the mill. 3 roomed cottage – sheets of iron. Mrs Purser the nurse when Arthur was born. Mrs Purser had to sleep with mother. Went into Wellington to register the baby. Came back and said “Arther Oscar” is his name and Kate could remember the children all repeating it. Returned to Blenheim on the river boat “Waihi”. Remembers her mother lying on a rug on deck with a paint pot to be sick into. Kate put to be and didn’t remember anymore till reached the river. Stayed in Main St. then father bought a section and built house in Hawkshaw (later Muller Rd.) – I think. Six rooms with French doors to outside from 2 front rooms. When father’s sick mortgagee claimed house (when Kate 5 _) they went to a little house off Main St. They rented a house from Mr. Ratchett in South St. Flood came and father ran to river to fix his boat. Came back and said that Dodson’s bank had broken. Some minutes later water 2 ft deep inside. Children and Mother on bed, and Tots caught a chamberpot as it floated by. Ted and Father on kitchen table. There all day (Sunday). Only crusts to eat and tea without milk. Went for a row next day (Monday) and found a little patch of dry ground at corner of Scott and Stevensons Sts. Visited Aunt Kate who made Potato cakes. Stayed there until flood receded. Mother’s bedroom table was a packing case draped with white muslin. White crotcheted quilt with water lilies on it, and handsome bed the main furniture. Went to live in Bradford Quay – had 3 floods through one January. Father went down with gout. A two-storeyed house. Sent Ted down to the river to see how it was going and piece of the bank fell in. Ted just managed to jump off. There 3 years, then moved to Main St. When 15 – Wellington for 3 months. Holiday with Aunt Esther and Gertrude. Left school in Nov. before 12 years. Helped with the house and minded the baby. 5/- p week. Then learnt dressmaking when 16 from Mrs Bunnicliff. Started school when nearly 9. Over a mile to school and ran home to dinner. One day late back after lunch after dragging Arthur home to lunch. Roamed round Redwood St. and met friends of Mothers. Each had a message for Mother “Tell Mother I’m coming round etc…” Life revolved around boats. Followed Father down to the Bar when 11. Rowed all the way in a flat-bottomed punt. Went with Nellie Ball who got a sick headache. Sent her 2 younger brothers home and squabbled over who would row. Shifted to Eckfords and left boys to row. Sigden(?) Eckford and Nellie smooged!

Billie Carr:

Kate’s mother knew Mrs. Carr. Mrs Sewman(?) went to Carr’s grocers shop under spreading willow tree which dripped on her. Mrs S. grizzled to Billie while he was washing at the pump. He threatened to throw a bucket of wather over her if she didn’t shut up. She didn’t, and he did! Taken to court and fined 5 pounds. Said as he left the dock – “I’d willingly pay another 5 pounds to throw another bucket of water over her too”! A lady from Picton in a hurry to catch a train was buying a chamber pot and Billie slow getting the paper to wrap it. Lady said “Hurry up, haven’t you got a bit of paper?”
Billie: “Why, you don’t want to use it now, do you?”
Took carpentry jobs and got Ted to do them. He didn’t like the Wesleyans – claimed(?) he didn’t have something when they came in. His old Mother serving in the Crockery Dept. said “Yes, William, there’s one up there” – whereupon Billie said “Can’t you keep your tater trap shut?” He married late and had no children. No will found when he died – Anglican.

Electricity came in when Kate was a married woman with big children. First car in Spring Creek when Algy was 14 months. Only 2 others. Dove grey. Much brass -–Cricketers dropped bats and ran to see car go past Redwood St. ground. Curtains pulled aside down Grove Rd. Aberhart the greengrocers had a black Ford. Dr. Redmond had a little two-seather. Grandma’s car was the 3rd in the district. A 4-seater. Traded it in for a Willies Knight. Grandfather married 4 years when lost his 1st wife. Pneumonia. Grannie Watson took the baby (Marian) 3 weeks old. 7 years later married Kate. Both teaching Sunday School at Rapaura. Grandfather in his 30s and Kate was 24. Went to Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide and Melbourne again. Had first motor ride there at Duncan and Frasers. Paid sovereign to salesman for taking them up Mt. Lofty. Leaving Wellington going round Cape Palliser, boat stood on its end twice. Went on the Westralia (?). came down river Yarra. Called at Hobart and Mt. Wellington. Returned to Bluff(?) and came up overland, staying at Temuka with Adam Gibson so Grandfather could buy a sprayer for his potatoes. Joined boat at Lyttelton and home by Picton Ferry.

Spring Creek threatened by floods and wanted a bigger place. “Lucknow” advertised on Wednesday, and they bought it on Saturday. Bought it from Mr Bliej(?), who had called it “Lucknow”, because he was lucky to get it!
Last Modified 15 Jan 2013Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh