Monro Library

William Watts was born on 1st June1791 at Kent England. He married Sophia Buss at Ticehurst, Sussex on 13th October 1814.
In 1841 they had 10 children and on the 12th June they and their children sailed from Plymouth England on the 506 ton Oriental arriving at Wellington on 22 Nov 1841.
The family tree shows the members of the Watts in New Zealand. The members underlined in red can have data accessed by clicking the mouse on their cell.

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Mouse over and click the items colored red for additional information.

The Oriental, 506 tons, under Captain William Wilson, sailed from Plymouth on June 22, 1841, and arrived at New Plymouth on November 7, after having first called at Port Nicholson. There were only 90 emigrants aboard. Sixteen cabin passengers (including the Watts) left the ship at Port Nicholson, Wellington 27 Oct 1841, because when they got to Wellington they heard of fighting with Maori in Taranaki. they did not like the reports of fighting in Taranakiby Maori,they heard about The Oriental had a fine weather passage from the Old Land. As she had so few passengers and little cargo beyond the belongings of the passengers, she got quick discharge. Apparently there was some trouble with the crew, and in weighing anchor the orders of the Captain were not properly carried out. The barque was perilously near the shore, at one time being about half a cable's length off, but fortunately the anchors held when promptly dropped. Captain Liardet then went aboard and skilfully worked the vessel out of her difficult position. As it was she struck the bottom two or three times, but no serious damage was done. (3)

When they arrived in Wellington the settlement was just a few months old. There was however adequate employment especially for an agricultural labourer. Land around Port Nicholson was being cultivated but the settlement did no extend far from the port. A local newspaper, the Colonial and Port Nicholson Advertiser was established in 1842 to serve the needs of the community . This can be read on line at Http:// and is the source of some of this early information.

Jane Watts married Baker Polhill in 1841 at Port Nicholson. Baker was the son of Captain Polhill (see newspaper 18.11.1842). He applied for a position with the City Council on 18/10/1842 and was presented to the Governor at Barrets Hotel on 21st Jan 1843 (see paper of 24/1/1843)

In late 1842 the Road to Karori was being developed but land owners in the Hutt valley were delaying clearing their land, because there was no access road. There was some criticism of the land owners that many were absentee investors whilst others had invested their money in permanent buildings in the city instead of bringing their land into production.

Port Nicholson was however a busy port. with around 300 arrivals of vessels (up to 500 tons) a year and usually about 10 sailing vessels in the harbour at any time.
A City Council was established in 1842.
The fire of 1842 destroyed about 50 homes and forced may settlers out to their land and by 1843 the road to the Wairapa was being investigated (see paper 16/12/1842) as a place for grazing cattle where they would not interfere with the agriculture.

Ann Watts married John Badams (a Chief Officer of the Oriental) on 21st October 1842 at Port Nicholson but this is not mentioned in the local paper. This is not unusual because birth, deaths and marriages that were advertised were probably based on information supplied by relatives.

Sheep, cows and horses had been continually imported from Australia. In 1845 sheep were in the Wairapa having been driven from Wellington via Pencarrow heads. In 1849 this flock belonging to Tiffen moved on to Hawkes Bay where they had established a lease of 50,000 acres with Te Hapuku for 100 per year. To the South the nearest run was Castlepoint and to the North the nearest was in Auckland.

Matilda married Robert Grace a seaman from the Oriental. in 1846 in Port Nicholson and on 28th September 1847, the Badams and their three sons and Robert Grace and his wife and Edward Watts sailed on the schooner Comet arriving in Port Jackson Australia on 15th October 1847. It is thought that William and Sophia and the family had already made the trip settling at Jamberoo via Kiama to farm near Vidlers and Steadmans.
Edward returned to N.Z after his visit
He started a bullock wagon carting business with John Knight in 1853 ( Hawkes Bay Herald October 16th 1858) in the Hastings area .

From 1851 John Knight had spent four years doing farm work in the Wairapa and in 1855 he moved to Hawkes Bay (Early Stations of Hawkes Bay by Miriam MacGregor)

By 1851 there were tiny beach communities on both sides of the Ahuriri (Napier) Harbour, one at Onepoto and one on the western spit, as well as half a dozen or so shore whaling stations strung around the coast from Mahia to Kidnappers. Each of these stations had two or three boats and 18 to 20 men. Being the only safe harbour between Wellington and Tauranga, and with a hinterland occupied by Maori, who were beginning to produce wheat, maize, fruit, vegetables, pigs, and potatoes for the European trade, Ahuriri Harbour had the potential to develop into a port town where both races mixed and mingled in the market place. But the rapid advance of pastoralists from the Wairarapa was to overtake the development of Maori agriculture and trade, and the town and port of Napier were to become the centre of government, administration, and business for a pastoral province. (Te Whanganui-a-Orotu Report 1995)
Trade had however been conducted with Port Nicholson by sea since the early days

In 1851 McLean had arranged the purchase of land (known as the Te Hapuku or Waipukurau block). In 1858 Watts and Knight were able to purchase some of this land Adjoining Spinners and Hon. A.G. Tollemarch's selection and Mr. Abbot's
(Provincial Government Gazette of the Province of Wellington 1858 (P115) Return of Land Sales and deposits received in the province of Wellington from 1 st to 31 st March 1858 District Ahuriri )
The location and boundaries of this land have been obtained from local knowledge and are shown on the map in the index page. There may have been some minor differences and perhaps over the intervening 150 years some small parcels may have been sold or gifted to form the Otane township. It has been assumed that he owned all the land between the main road and White road and that after the rail was built, the part on White road was sold
The land comprised about 200 acres of low lying ground formed from alluvial run off from the surrounding hills and the rest was in undulating country with small hills of a few metres rising above the plains. The water table in the low land was often near the surface and consequently this land could loosely be described as swamp. Whereas the hilly land was firm underfoot in all seasons. There was no significant supply of permanent water however several natural depressions contained runoff . However all but one of these dried in the summer season. Whether the land was timber clad or bush covered is unknown. It would be expected that it would have some bush cover however it is unlikely to be heavily timbered as was Noreswood a short distance away.

The time of construction of the house is also uncertain. It was erected at the Northern end of the property on the top of the first of the small hills that bordered the swamp and about 5 metres above the swamp. The picture shown is taken from the North showing the verandah from which there was a clear view of the low land to the North. An orchard was planted at the foot of the hill to the North and extended about half the distance towards the road. It has all gone now but in 1948 the grapes, covered with netting, were thriving. The last plum tree died some years ago. Acess to the house was from the Main road. It was slightly raised above the surrounding ground and this is just detectable today. The drive had a small amount of metal which made it navigable in winter. However the edges were very slippery and at least one telephone technician incurred the whip of Annie's tongue when he churned up turf after becoming stuck.
A shed was constructed below the house to the East to store freight waiting for transportation on the bullock wagons.
The swamp was eventually drained with a large open drain and numerous tile drains. However drinking water for stock, remained a problem as much of the ground water had high iron content. Eventually a source was located that had sufficiently low iron content for stock water and a 15 foot deep timber lined well was dug. Water was pumped from this with hand pumps.
Shown in the Electoral Roll 1858, along with John knight is Edward Watts Kaikoura Drayowner, Freehold Otamatiti (Provincial Govt. Gazette of the Province of Wellington Vol.V 1858 Saturday July 24th )
Roads were under construction in 1857 and 1858 (Hawkes Bay Herald October 17th 1857 ) and reached Te Aute on March 30th 1859

He married Anne Mein Steven in Napier on 18th July 1859. Their descendants are the early residents of Hawkes Bay. Theirs is the first entry in the marriage register of the Presbyterian Church at Napier and can be viewed there today.

source unknown

Watts House

Source unknown>

In March 1860 the carting business was dissolved by mutual consent (Hawkes Bay Herald March 24 th 1860). Whilst rumours survive about the possibility of dissent between the two it is without doubt that this partnership enabled both of them to become landholders. It is not difficult to imagine that with the roads becoming complete the demand for bullock wagons was declining. And they had a growing interest in their farms and families.

John Knight had built his house on Argyll Road. Some years later another house was built nearby and remains today. His property has been handed down through the family to this day

.John William Watts was born on 19th March 1861
.Edward was listed as a juror (Hawkes Bay Herald. March 24th 1860 and. Feb 9 th 1861 ) and was able to vote at the election of Members of the Provincial Council for the Electoral District of Te Aute, for the year 1863/64. Edward Watts Kaikoura, Freehold, Otamatiti Moiety of 440 acres in application 247, Napier Hawkes Bay Times November 6th 1863

When the Post Office was opened in 1865 it was under the name Kaikora, though gazetted as Kiakoura. The similarity of the name with Kaikoura in Marlborough caused much confusion, and from 1st March, 1884 the office here changed the name to Kaikora North in an attempt to avoid confusion. (From the Bay to the Bush)
It was later renamed Otane

Edward Grace Watts was born on June 21, 1864
William Watts was born on 9 May 1866
.Susan Watts was born on 19th March 1868
.Thomas Steven Watts was born on 19 July 1870
.Alexander Watts on 27 July 1872
.James Watts on 13th October 1875
.Ann Watts 16th September 1877
Charles watts 12 December 1879
Henry Watts 7 March 1882

In 1873 Edward had 1309 sheep and 1601 in 1876 (Hawkes Bay Provincial Council, Report of Inspector of Sheep; Return of sheep above six months old )
To the West of the house and near the Napier to Waipawa road a carpenters workshop was constructed and nearer Waipawa a ploughman's cottage. The date in which these buildings were erected is not known. With Edwards background as the son of an agricultural worker unable to write, and his skill in ox team transport it is unlikely that he also had carpentry skills. However his wfe's father, John Steven, was a master carpenter having, in 1840 received a medallion from the Royal Society of Arts for his method of hanging windows. Therefore it is probable that John Steven was the motivating force behind this workshop and the subsequent training of Edward's sons in Carpentry that was to become their vocation.

On Wednesday evening a public meeting was held in the schoolroom, Kaikora, for the purpose of drafting measures for the erection of a Presbyterian Church in that township. Rev D Sidey and Rev R Fraser were present - the latter, as chairman, stated that Mr Steven had received a donation of £50 from Mr Tiffen for that purpose and other sums had been promised, so that it was very desirable that a more commodious and comfortable place than the present, should be built for public worship, the result of which, he believed, would be an increase in attendance at service. The resolution was carried unanimously and a committee appointed to carry out the objects of the meeting, composed of the following gentlemen Messrs Steven, R Todd, J.Todd, E. Watts, C.Clark, M. McLean, M.Campbell, J. Nicholson, A. Livingstone, A. McMaster, W Cranford, S. Lozell
.(Hawkes Bay Herald Saturday February 24th 1877)

Tenders for building the Presbyterian Church at Kaikora were opened on Tuesday evening and that Mr John Renouf of Napier was accepted
(Hawkes Bay Herald. Friday April 27th 1877 )
Because his run was adjacent to the settlement at Kaikora it was attractive for community events
.The Waipawa County Ploughing match Association held its annual meeting on Wednesday June 15th at Kaikora. Ploughing will be held on land granted by E. Watts Esq., for the purpose. R. Monteith Sec.
Waipawa Mail Wednesday May 11th 1881

A Public meeting organised by Corkill, Robb, Alfred Dillon, Edward Watts, for consideration as to the formation of a Waipawa Country Racing Club was advertised in the Waipawa Mail Saturday November 13th 1880 and held at Fletchers Railway Hotel Thursday evening November 18th 1880 .Edward was appointed a steward
Waipawa Mail Saturday November 13th 1880
The Waipawa Racing Club held their first meeting on Edward's run in December. Waipawa Mail. Tuesday December 28th 1897
The race course and grand stand were subsequently constructed on Edwards run. Their location, shown on the map has been determined from observations made whilst the land has been farmed. At the grandstand site inumerable glass bottles have been recovered over the years. All unfortunately have been broken. The grandstand also had a tiled area formed from 50 sq mm tiles which are still being exposed when the land is tilled. The boundary of the race course to the south is determined by the curvature in the fence line.

Sample photo

Watts Racecourse

picture from John Mudgway

He was also active on Roads Board and the Kaikora Cemetery Affairs committee
Waipawa Mail. Wednesday August 24th 1881 and October 10th 1884.
Apart from grazing sheep he had some land in cultivation. On one occasion, there was a fire in Mr E.Watts paddocks at Kaikora whilst harvesting was in progress resulting in the loss of one stack of oats, calculated to contain 150 bags of grain, one stack of barley, containing about 200 bags, a quantity of straw and the elevator . The stocks were not insured. The harvest was said to have been a fine one and, but for the mishap, would have been safely housed the next day.. Only 72 bags of grain were secured. Fire was caused by a spark from the engine.
Waipawa Mail. February 24th 1885 and Daily Telegraph February 24th 1885

On the 25th(28th) March at the residence of the Bride's Father by Rev. S Douglas, John William, eldest son of Mr E Watts, Early Mount Kaikora married Eliza, second daughter of Mr J. Avison, Willow Bank, Waipawa
Waipawa Mail Saturday April 3rd 1886

About this time the need for additional housing for his growing family must have been apparent. Consequently another house was erected on the Main Road. This house was occupied by Edward Grace Watts in 1926 when he was shot by a Maori youth. Some time there- after it was unoccupied for a period of 21 years and became known as the "Haunted House". When it was constructed the house had a slate roof but after a time this leaked and the house was fitted with an iron roof. Around 1948, the house was re occupied by Alec Watts who had prior to this been living just North of Otane. Another house a short distance towards Waipawa is also thought to have been constructed by the family. It was subsequently surveyed and sold. It is also probable that some of the old houses in Watts Road and Watts Street were erected for family accomodation. However there is no detail available about these

Edward was also active in Church life. The Annual Congregation Meeting of St. Paul's Church was held Friday evening. Rev S Douglas presiding. Report showed that the church was in a fairly healthy state spiritually and financially. Mr Douglas inferred that he would transfer his charge into other hands, sometime in June. Management Committee Messrs Merrylees, J.Todd R.Todd, Clark, McLennan, Somers, Lozell, Watts
Waipawa Mail. Tuesday April 6th 1886

In July they farewelled Rev Douglas with an evening Coffee Supper in Rechabite Hall, Kaikora.
Rev. S.Douglas. speech includes that having ended his student life and having been ordained in Kaikora, he would ever remember the place
Addresses by Rev. J.C.Eccles, J Wrigley, Mr R.Rush. During the evening a very sumptuous repast was partaken of, the following ladies presiding at the tables:- Miss S.Clark, Miss Watts, Miss Soley Miss Lozell, Miss Allanach., Mrs Merylees. Messrs Stanton, F. Dillon W. Pettit, Clark
Thursday July 15th 1886

Otane became a town in 1866 (Waipawa Mail Nov 6th 1886 ) with Edward one of 11 nominations for 5 positions as Town Board Comissioner.(Waipawa Mail.December 23 1886 ) He appears to have withdrawn before the elections (Waipawa Mail.Thursday September 27th 1888 )

.William was popular as a musician for comunity events
The Kaikora Quadrille Assembly closed their season . with a Ball. Dancing commenced at 8pm. Mr Stacey was M.C. and Mr W.Watts supplied the music (Waipawa Mail. Tuesday October 23rd 1888 )
.A most enjoyable time was spent by those who attended the Oddfellows Anniversary Ball Ball at the Rechabite Hall . The floor was in grand condition and the music by Mr W.Watts was all that could be desired. Dancing was kept up with vigour until 4am
(Waipawa Mail.Saturday May 25th 1889 )

Edward continued a a steward of the Waipawa Racing Club as a steward and agreed to an extension of the lease for a term of ten years at a rental of £60 which gave the Club a lease of fifteen years from 1st January 1893. (Waipawa Mail. Saturday August 6th 1892). However this was to be his last year as an officer if the Racing Club (Waipawa Mail.Tuesday August 28 th 1894)

The Summer Meeting of WCRC had a fair attendance. One of two showers fell which made the course and lawn a perfect sea of mud . The Totalisator put through the sum of £3496 Waipawa Mail. January 23rd 1894

The weather was fine for the April 1894 meeting and there was a fair attendance. A great number of whom came from Hastings and Napier. It seems ridiculous but it is nevertheless true that it is easier to come from Napier to the course, a distance of 35 miles, than to go from Waipawa, a distance of 5 miles . The wants of the Inner Man were attended to by Mr J Watts, who provided race goers with an excellent luncheon at a moderate price .(Waipawa Mail.Thursday April 5th 1894 )
.The Waipawa County Racing Club was concerned about the amount they were paying Edward for the rent of the racecourse ground and had approached him about a possible reduction.
He replied stating that he would reduce the Annual rental of the course by £10 providing the Club gave up the training track and laid down the best rye grass seed.Waipawa Mail. Thursday August 12 th 1897

.And when this was not to their liking he replied
"I have again considered the matter re rent of Race Course and I have come to the conclusion, as you are anxious to get a course about Waipawa, I propose another way I will meet you. As your cash assets are now over £300, it would be very reasonable to divide the said assets between us and you may hold your Boxing Day meeting, as intended, this half year and then remove all your plant away, but to stop horse training now". Waipawa Mail. August 26th 1897

The Waipawa Racing Club held their last meeting on Edward's run on 27th December 1897. Waipawa Mail. Tuesday December 28th 1897 and the last grandstand eventually towed to a new site by two steam driven tractaction engines. Waipawa Mail. March 31st 1898
It is been told that at its peak the Racecourse accomodated 60 horses at a meeting providing stables for them. It is little wonder therefore ( with this growing entertainment industry) that it was becoming an excessive burden for the swamp land and he was happy to see it go.

A singular accident happened on Saturday last to Mr Thomas Watts, son of Mr Edward Watts, farmer of this place. It appears he had gone alone towards the corkscrew gully to lop the willow tops for sheep, cattle to feed on. He was, it is conjectured, sitting astride one of the boughs while cutting another below him when it suddenly snapped, precipitating him to the ground upon his head, producing unconsciousness. Here he remained until discovered by his brothers shortly after 7pm.. He was carried home and a doctor was quickly in attendance. The sufferer, at intervals, remembers something of the accident but his utterances are at times, incoherent. Last night, I learned, he is getting on towards recovery, fairly well
Waipawa Mail. Thursday March 3rd 1898

.Edward was nominated for appointment to the Patangata Road Board however he polled lowest of 7 candidates on May 7th 1898 and was not elected

Tuesday April 26th 1898 .The police have been put to a lot of unnecessary trouble over the reported robbery of sheep from Mr Watts paddock in Kaikora. It appears the gate was left opened and the sheep wandered away. Why the police should have to find lost animals instead of the owner is a question the public would like to have answered Waipawa Mail. Saturday October 7th 1899
Edward replied adamantly that his missing sheep had been deliberately dispersed. Ninety six 4 tooth wethers had been missing from the old racecourse paddock. Some had been found later but 34 were still unaccounted for. Probably stolen. Total number in mob were 329 sheep Tuesday October 10th 1899


Edward Watts

Picture thought to be from Lesley Ann
Edward died on 16th May 1914

Edward grave

Edward's headstone in the Otane cemetry.

Picture by John Mudgway

On Thursday afternoon October 31st, 1918 the last mortal remains of Mrs Watts, relect of the late Edward Watts of Early Mount were interred in the local cemetery. Deceased had resided in Otane since her marriage 59 years ago and was one of the last of the Kaikora pioneers, her sister, Mrs Clark of Hastings, whom she visited just before her death, being another of the fast disappearing band. Mrs Watts leaves a family often surviving children. They are John Watts of Feilding, William, Charles , Harry of Wellington and Edward, also James, Thomas.and Miss Annie of Otane )


Ann Mein Steven

Picture thought to be from P Ancell

Following the death of the parents the children chose to liquidate some of the property. It is thought that a block bordering Racecourse road was the first to be sold.
Waipawa Mail. Monday 6th December 1920
The sale of Otane sections of the Estate of the late Edward Watts and of other local properties held on Friday was not a particular success
Block 1 6acres passed in at £60 an acre
Block 2 14 acres passed in at £68 an acre
Block 3 22 acres passed in at £62 an acre
Block 5 26 acres no. bid .
Block 7 85 acres downs Edward Watts £25.0.0
Block 7 85 acres downs passed in at £24.0.0
Block 9 186 acres downs passed in at £20.0.0

By the end of the Second World War the farm was showing the effects of its neglect. The paddocks were strewn with the carcases of sheep which had decayed where they had fallen. The low land pasture had reverted to bull rushes growing head high and had become the haven for quail. Henry took pleasure in shooting the quail which was abundant.
The storage shed was sold and removed and also the four wheel carriage with its complete set of harness in excellent order.
Seventy five acres of the low land was put up for tender. The highest price offered was £60 per acre by a returned soldier. However at this time land could not be transferred without the consent of the land court. The court subsequently ruled that the land value was £36 per acre and the sale was completed at this price much to the purchaser's delight. A further 83 acres was sold to the same purchaser in 1960.
Following Annie's death, the remaining estate was sold. The house was sold separately and was dismantled. The materials were used to construct a small house on the corner of Dee and Bell St in Otane. However there is no similarity at all between the two buildings. Another house in Otane has a verandah and french doors in the same pattern as the original house. Therefore it can be said that the materials of the house were dispersed throughout Otane. Most of the furniture passed to a Watts relative who at that time was residing in Wellington.

The children

John William Watts was born on 19th March 1861
On August 21st at his residence. Lees Line .Feilding , John William, late husband of Eliza Watts, eldest son of Edward Watts, late of Otane passed away Aged 68years Waipawa Mail Wednesday August 21st 1929
Edward Grace Watts was born on 21 June .1864
On September 6 th 1926 Edward left the house after having locked it and when he returned he found a maori youth in his bed room who shot him as he appeared in the doorway. He rushed him and caught hold of the gun and during the tussel the gun went off again. The struggle continued along the passage and into the back yard where Edward escaped and made for the highway. He was picked up there in a state of collapse and taken to the hospital where he was treated. The youth was sent to a training farm. This is fully reported in the Waipawa mail of 29 th Sept.1926. I have a copy of this
Edward was a teacher at the Waipawa District High School. He is remembered by one of his pupils (1935 to 36) as standing on the elevated platform that was typical for those times twirling his pocket watch on the end of its chain whilst the class looked on hopeful that the chain might break.
William Watts was born on 9 May 1866
Advice has been received at Otane of the death at Wellington, of Mr William Watts, second son of the late Mr and Mrs E Watts, Early Mount, /Otane, pioneer settlers of this district. Deceased spent his boyhood, early manhood in Otane but many years ago removed to Wellington where, with his younger brother, he was engaged in the building business. The late Mr Watts was a keen horticulturalist since his retirement several years ago and had devoted his time to his garden, specialising in the cultivation of Begonias. In addition to his widow and a married son, deceased leaves three brothers, E, A, J, ( what about H ?) and two sisters Misses S and A Watts, Otane
Waipawas Mail Friday February 4th 1938
Thomas Steven Watts was born on 19 July 1870
.A singular accident happened on Saturday last to Mr Thomas Watts, son of Mr Edward Watts, farmer of this place. It appears he had gone alone towards the corkscrew gully to lop the willow tops for sheep, cattle to feed on. He was, it is conjectured, sitting astride one of the boughs while cutting another below him when it suddenly snapped, precipitating him to the ground upon his head, producing unconsciousness. Here he remained until discovered by his brothers shortly after 7pm.. He was carried home and a doctor was quickly in attendance. The sufferer, at intervals, remembers something of the accident but his utterances are at times, incoherent. Last night, I learned, he is getting on towards recovery, fairly well Waipawa Mail. Thursday March 3rd 1898
Thomas did not marry and died on July 24th 1919
Alexander Watts
was born on 27 July 1872
. Another wedding of local interest took place on the same afternoon. Mr E.J.Watts B.A., only son of Mr and Mrs A Watts married Miss Laura Castleton Lowe, daughter of Mr and Mrs E Lowe, Tongoio , at the Tongoio Memorial Hall
January 9th 1931

At the District Hospital, Waipukurau, June 3rd, Isla Margaret, dearly loved daughter of Layra and Edward Watts, passed away, aged 5 years 11 months. The funeral will leave St Peters Church, Waipawa at 2.30pm for the Otane Cemetery
Friday June 3rd 1938
James Watts
on 13th October 1875

There was a large gathering at the Railway Station yesterday morning to say goodbye to five of the local boys who are going to camp. A. Watts, D. Stevens, R. Sharpe, R. Herrington, H. Phillips, E. Coombs and this morning, I. White took his departure — no official farewell has been arranged -— of the boys who left, Angus Watts is the elder son of Mr and Mrs J. Watts and grandson of the late Mr. E.Watts. Douglas Stevens is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs L.J. Stevens and grandson of Mr J.G. Stevens, who was born here over 70 years ago. Harold Phillips is the third son of Mr and Mrs G Phillips and grandson of Mrs L. Higgs. lan White is the second son of Mr and Mrs R.H.White, grandson of the late Mr W. White. R. Sharpe was the Sports Master at Te Aute College and R. Herrington is the son of Mrs G. Robertson
Waipawa Mail. October 4th 1939
.Men from the Otane district attached to the First Echelon, home on final leave are, Privates H.Phillips, G. Herrington, R, Herrington, A. Watts, J.Watts, D. Stevens, J.Searle, Trooper I.White
Waipawa Mail. Friday December 12th 1939

The Otane Town Hall was filled to capacity on Wednesday evening when residents and friends of local men of the first Echelon who are on final leave were given a send off---- Private Angus Watts replied on behalf of his comrades ---- second half of the programme was given to dancing
Waipawa Mail. Friday December 29th 1939

Report of death of Mr J Watts.
The elder son is with the First Echelon in Egypt. The younger son, James, is a member of the N.Z. Airforce, now in camp at the Taiere
Waipawa Mail. January 17th 1941
.The funeral of the late Mr J Watts took place at the local cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, the service being conducted by Rev, F.W. Robertson. Mr Watts, who was 65years was the sixth son, seventh child, of the late Mr Edward Watts, one of the districts earliest pioneers. His death was very sudden---a widower--- the eldest son Angus is with the 1st Echelon in Egypt. The younger son, James, is a member of the Airforce and now in camp at the Taiere Airbase
.Friday January 17th 1941

.Susan Watts
was born on 19th March 1868 Ann Watts 16th September 1877


Susie Watts

Susan and Ann both played hockey for the Ngatiawa hockey club of Kaikora North during 1907
Picture from John Mudgway

Ann had a stall at the Presbyterian Church Bazaar
Waipawa Mail. Monday October 12th 1925
.and held office at the Women's Institute firstly on the committee Waipawa Mail. March 21st 1932 and then as President Waipawa Mail. July 18th 1932 and Waipawa Mail. March 20th 1933

One of them entered a frock making competition Waipawa Mail. Monday October 1934

The two sisters did not marry and remained on in the family home. Susan died in 1947 and Ann in 1962.
.The house was removed from its site shortly after their death.
.Charles Watts
12 December 1879
.Henry Watts
7 March 1882


Looking back on the Otane visit I can recall clearly much of the scenery. This particular visit took place some time around 1957/58, and my memories are that of a 12 or 13 year old.
I am not sure as to the reason for the visit as it was a once off and my mother and my grandmother had arranged to go to see Aunt Annie, and it must have been for a very specific reason . A reason that was not deemed suitable to share with a twelve/thirteen year-old and most unusual as in all the times I had stayed with my grandparents I had never before been taken to visit Aunt Annie.
Once again, the reason for the absence or non-attendance by my grandfather on this outing was also unexplained to me as a child. Why my grandfather would not want to visit his apparently dying sister will probably always remain a mystery.
I was pretty familiar with this kind of treatment as I was raised by the "children should be seen and not heard" system. I won't digress into a debate on this weird form of child rearing, but I clearly remember living in a kind of vacuum of never knowing quite what was going on as THE ADULTS had a habit of huddling together and whispering so that children wouldn't know.
I was living in Palmerston North at that time with my parents. My mother had decided she and I would visit my grandparents at Napier. I can only assume that it was school holiday time maybe May or August. I cannot remember the route but the driveway to the property stands out clearly in my mind. As we drove in the main gate the drive extended far into the distance, over rolling green hills with willow trees either side, the whole effect being one of an enormous park. The drive dipped down into a gully and up the other side. The old house was on the left hand side almost totally obscured by enormous trees and bushes which were growing very close to the house and had almost totally overgrown it. I remember being told that Aunt Annie lived in this old house and the farm was run by a manager who lived in a cottage over the rise and to the right, further down the drive and out of sight from the main house.
The over-grown effect was not pleasing-- more sinister and very neglected.
Inside was very dark. I was given the "Shush" treatment. The old kitchen boasted very little in furnishings or mod cons. It wasn't very large and it's main claim to fame was a slow combustion stove in front of which sat an old lady in what appeared to me to be a wheel chair. She was covered in rugs and shawls and hunched over. My mother and grandmother were treated to chairs next to the wood stove and I seem to remember being sat back away from them. They talked in hushed tones and eventually I got bored. I went for a walk but didn't get very far. The bushes and trees pressed in on the house making it impossible to walk around. The rooms were so dark I wasn't game to venture very far into them. The whole feeling was oppressive and gloomy. Needless to say I was relieved when it was time to leave. It was not a long visit and my mother and grandmother were very quiet on the return journey.
The experience was not one which you might say stands out in my memories of childhood as unforgettable , and yet I never have.
It was decidedly strange.


  • Born 1791 (1)
  • died 5 Sep 1873 (1) Kent, England (1) buried Jamberoo, NSW, Australia (1)
  • Married Sophia Buss 18.10.1814 at Ticehurst, Sussex (1)

    1. Sophia Watts baptised 23.7.1815 (UK )married John Wood Mannering
    2. William Watts baptised 24.10.1817
    3. Jane Watts baptised 30.4.1820 married Bovis
    4. Ann Watts baptised 20.5.1822 married John Badams 21.10.1842 Wellington NZ. died 3.10.1902 NSW
    5. Matilda Watts baptised 1.8.1824 married Robert Grace 1846 Wellington died 9 Mar 1903 Woonona, NSW, Aust.
    6. James Watts 1826 died 18 Feb 1827
    7. Edward Watts baptised 18.2.1827 married Anne Main Steven 19.7.59 Napier NZ. died 16.5.1914 Auckland NZ
    8. John Watts born 1.5.29 married catherine Mary Steadman 24.10.1854 Jamberoo died 13.4.1911 Cambewarra, NSW, Aust.
    9. Elizabeth Watts 1831
    10. Henry Watts baptised 4 Oct 1833 1833
    11. Hannah Watts baptised 4 Oct 1833
    12. Daniel Watts 11 Jun 1837 married caroline Hall 27.7.1861 Jamberoo died 4.1.1907 Killarney Queensland or Bangalow, NSW
    13. Jesse Watts born 30.7.1839 married Sarah Steadman 23.3.1861 Jamberoo. Married again in 1879 Sarah Barnes. Died 2.11.1922 Berry NSW
    14. Emma Watts born 23.8.1835 died as a baby
  • 1) transcript of ships log
  • 2) "White Wings" Sir Henry Brett

  • born 5.1.1827 in the Hawkhurst area.died 16.5.1914 Otane NZ
  • married Anne Main STEVEN (born 20.10.1842 Edinburgh Scotland died 27.10.1918 Otane) 19 July 1859 in St Pauls Napier
  • Children
    1. John William Watts (farmer) born 19.3.1861 Otane. Died 21.8.29 Fielding Married Eliza Avison on 25.3.1886 born 1863 died 27.11.1942
      Their daughter, Annie Watts born 30.12.1886Otane died 5.9.1965 Palmerston North. Married Leonard Mervyn Beazer ( Thrashing plant operator,sheep farmer) born 5.11.1891 Bunnythorpe died 4.10.1952 Fielding.
    2. Edward Grace Watts (farmer) born 21.6.1864 Otane died 26 Jun 1946 m Matilda (d 19 Jun 1948) (9) 3.
    3. William Watts born 9.5.1866 died 1937. He married twice. His second wife Sarah was an Australian divorcee, Edward, Adelaide and Dolly.
    4. SusanWatts born 19.3.1868 Otane. Died 16.8.1947 Otane did not marry and was buried with Anne
    5. Thomas Steven Watts (farmer) born 19.7.1870 Otane died 24.7.1919. Not married
    6. Alexander Watts born 27.7.1872 Otane died 25.8.1951 m Margaret Marian (d 28 Apr 1952)
    7. James Watts born 13.10.1875 Otane died 18.1.1941 Otane. ) m Isabella (d 14 Oct 1972) Children Angus and Edward
    8. Anne Watts born 6.9.1877 Otane died 5.6.62 Otane. Not married
    9. Charles Watts (building contractor)
    10. Henry Watts (building contractor)
    Biographical notes
    · Arrived in Wellington on the "Oriental" 22 October 1841 (1,5), from Plymouth (its second voyage to Port Nicholson), with his parents and 10 of their 13 children (5). Edward left for Australia with his parents in 1847, however, he eventually returned to NZ to manage a station near Waipukurau (5) · He had a profitable bullock wagon business between Napier and Waipukurau with John Knight (probably starting around 1855 (4,6) when Napier became "a declared port of entry" (10)).
    It took 3 days to do the trip to Napier (6). (The Manawatu Gorge road was not built until 1872, and the railway 1891, so wagon from Napier was the only access into Central Hawkes Bay) ·
    He was an early settler in Hawkes Bay and the first to erect a Homestead (1). He settled on 1000 acres soon after marriage (4), a farm called "Early Mount" (2,8). He was recorded as owning 1920 sheep in 1884-84, and 2000 sheep in 1885-86 (8).
    · The first Otane school was established on land donated by Edward in 1868 (4,7), however, this was destroyed by fire in 1899 and was rebuilt on the site of the present school (7). ·
    They were the first couple married in St Pauls, Presbyterian Church, Napier (2)
    · Member Patangata Road Board for many years (1)
  • 1) The Cyclopedia of NZ vol. 6 Taranaki – Hawkes Bay
  • 2) interview with Ian Watts 16 Dec 1995
  • 3) Cemetery photo
  • 4) Newspaper article 1961
  • 5) Letter in Dominion 18 Mar 1985 and subsequent correspondence by Gaye Maddox
  • 6) "Early Stations of Hawkes Bay" by Miriam MacGregor, publ. Red 1970
  • 7) Copy from the Otane School Centenary Booklet (Labour Weekend, 1999)
  • 8) New Zealand Directory 1883-84 & 1885-86 9) NZ Soc Genealogists cemetery records Otane
  • 10) White Wings


    Henry WATTS John STEVEN occupation Builder (6,7), farmer (2)
  • Born Edinburgh (7 1805? (5) died 23 July 1894 (5,7) buried Otane (5,7) cause Heart failure/senile decay (7)
  • Married Susan GRAHAM (6) 6 Feb 1830? (7,9) place Edinburgh (7)
  • Father William STEVEN (farmer)
    mother Grace (maiden name not known)
  • issue 2 males, 3 females (7) ·
    1. John (b est 1828-30?, d after 1894) m ?, 1 known son, 6 grandchildren ·
    2. Jack (b 1831, d after 1894) no record of marriage ·
    3. Anne Main (Mein) (1833-1918) m Edward WATTS (5 Jan. 1827-16 May 1914), 10 children, at least 7 grandchildren
    4. · Mary (1835-21 Aug 1886 @51 or 57) m Samuel LOZELL (1830-14 Mar 1903 @ 83), 5 children, 18 grandchildren ·
    5. Grace (b 1847?, d 26 May 1924, @78 yrs) m Charles CLARK (1835-d 10 May 1906, at 71 yrs ), 9 children 14 grandchildren
  • Biographical notes
    · Arrived in NZ (& Napier?) about 1855 (6,7) (Anne Mein likely arrived with her father) ·
    His son-in-law Mr S. Lozell opened Otane’s first school in E. Watts barn in 1868 (1) ·
    He was one of the first Elders at St Pauls ·
    In 1866-68 he owned a section in Carlyle St, Napier (section #182), and 20 ac at Eskdale (in Section #75) (2). By 1868-69 had changed properties to own a section in Carlyle St, Napier (section #189), and ownership of land at Eskdale appeared to have been transferred to John Steven jnr (whose holding increased to 40 ac – called Eskbank (4)). In 1883-84 John Steven jnr (farmer, Petane) was recorded as owning 400 sheep, no record in 1885-86 (4).
    · By 1879-80 John Steven held no land in Napier (2), and by 1883-84 & 1885-86 he had retired to Kaikora, Hawkes Bay (4).
    · Death of a John Steven was recorded in 1889 (Dunedin), 1892 (Clutha) & 1894 (Waipawa).Death of Janet Grace Steven, Waipawa was recorded in 1889, and of Alexander Dell Steven, Waipawa 1891 (3). · At Otane, cemetery records show a Susan Steven, wife of John Steven, Kaikora died 25 Nov 1880 aged 75 years, and John Steven died 23 July 1894 aged 89 years (5).
    · A. D. Steven, Mrs Alice E Steven & Leslie (Jim) Steven of Otane unrelated.
  • References
    1) Newspaper article
    2) Napier electoral rolls 1866-67, 1867-68, 1868-69, 1871, 1873-74, 1876-77, 1879-80 & 1880-81
    3) Microfiche records of deaths in NZ, PNth library
    4) Wises New Zealand Directory 1883-84 & 1885-86 5) NZ Soc. Genealogy microfiche of NZ cemeteries
    6) Death certificate (Anne Mein)
    7) death certificate
    8) death cert SG
    9) newspaper articles

    Donald McLEAY (Snr) occupation Plasterer (1,4)

  • Born 1803 (1) Ross-shire, Scotland (1) Died from Bronchitis, senile decay (1) on15 July 1890 (1) Buried East Road, Invercargill (1)
  • Married Grace McLENNAN (1) 1828 (1) at Ross-shire, Scotland (1)
  • Father James McLEAY (1) Mother Ann McKENZIE (1)
  • Issue (1,2,4)
    1. Ann (b 1831) m SOUTER?
    2. William (b 1833) many descendants
    3. John (b 1835) – (arrived NZ 1858) great grandfather to Gillian Perkins
    4. Roderick (b 1837) unmarried
    5. Grace (b 1839) m STEVENS?
    6. Kenneth (b 1842) m Emma TYREE; 5 children, 1 grand child (in 1940)
    7. Donald (b 14 Apr 1849) does not appear on death certificate
  • Biographical notes
    Father was a farmer (1) or shepherd (4)
    At time of death had been in NZ 12 years – probably arrived in NZ around 1878 on the “Marlborough”
    Grace was known to Ian Watts as Aunty Stevens (who lived with a son at Jessie St Wellington) (3). Margaret Williamson can also recall an Aunty Stevens in Wellington.
    Birth dates of children are not consistent with dates given by Gillian Perkins, or on the death certificate
  • References
    1) death certificate
    2) copy of letter from Gillian Perkins 1988
    3) copy of a letter from Ian Watts 1988
    4) copy from Scottish General Indexes 1855-1861

    Donald McLEAY occupation Painter (2)

  • Born 14 April 1849 (2)at Inverness, Rosshire, (2) Died from Chronic bronchitis (3)15 October 1914 (3) Buried Karori, Wellington (3)
  • Married Margaret (Maggie) BREMNER in Glasgow (3) on 19 November 1874(3)
  • Father Donald McLEAY Mother Grace McLENNAN
    Issue (3)


    1. Margaret (29 Oct 1875 – 21 Oct 1964)
    2. Grace (17 May 1877 – 1 Feb 1969)
    3. Florence (4 March 1879 - ??) m ?PATERSON
    4. Eliza Sarah b 11 Aug 1880
    5. Kenneth b 6 June 1882
    6. Jessie Mary (15 Jan 1884 – 31 Oct 1970)
    7. Annie Catherine McLEAY b 17 Nov 1885 m Henry (Harry) WATTS
    8. Donald Roderick 15 July 1888
    9. Lily May b 31 May 1890
    10. Ruth b 18 July 1893
    11. Helen Isabel b 13 Feb 1896


    This family picture taken around 1900 supplied by Jeanette Priscott from her mother's collection

  • Biographical notes
    Arrived on the Earl of Zetland (1461 tons, 330 passengers) at Port Chalmers 3 June 1875 (departed Gravesend 16 March 1875). The journey of 77 days was one of the fastest voyages recorded. They were then 25 and 24, and one imagines the adventure of them leaving their hometowns, getting married in Glasgow, and sailing to NZ. Donald’s Uncles (and father?) had made the voyage some 13 years previously. Their fares (totalling £29) had been paid by the Govt. From Rofsshire Scotland (1).
    Lived in Invercargill 15 years, and then moved to Wellington (in 1890) – this may have been immediately following death of his father (4)


    McLeay family home

    Photograph from Jeanette Priscott

    1) PNth Library microfilm of ship logs
    2) Death certificate
    3) Copied from McLeay family bible by Ian Watts
    4) Transcript of obituary notice for Margret Bremner (newspaper?)

    Margaret (Maggie) BREMNER


    Born 20 September 1849 (1)
    Parish of Floderty (1) Scotland
    Died 1938 (2)
    Married Donald McLEAY on 19 November 1874 (1)
    in Glasgow (1)
    Photograph by Jeanette Priscott

    Sample photo

    Margaret Bremner

    Jeanette Priscot has one of the originals still in its original frame (The Hardie Shaw Studios, Wellington NZ)

    Biographical notes
    Member of St John, well known for her Christian spirit (2)
    “Born Mary Burgh, Parish of Floderty, Scotland” (1) ·
    Maggie in ships log (3)
  • References
    1) Copied from McLeay family bible by Ian Watts
    2) Transcript of obituary notice (newspaper?)
    3) PNth Library microfilm of ship logs