14 June 2009

The Baigent Family of Takaka

Today's photo is quite unusual, it has been beautifully hand coloured and on the back is some interesting information.



Eva & Ella were the daughters of Thomas John Baigent and Alice née Best of Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand.

1876/8357 Baigent  Daisy Annie  Alice Thomas John
1878/14825 Baigent  Ella Millicent  Alice Thomas John
1880/10360 Baigent  Eva Alice  Alice Thomas John
1883/11666 Baigent  Thomas Eustace  Alice Thomas John
1886/6742 Baigent  Clarice Monica  Alice Thomas John

I also have a photo which says it 'could be' a photo of Clarice Monica:-


This photo was taken at the Bunting Studios in Palmerston North (Bunting, F. W., Photographer, The Square, Palmerston North. Bankers, Union Bank of Australia. The business, which was established in 1889, was originally carried on in the name of Billens and Bunting, but in 1894 Mr. Bunting bought his partner out.) I couldn't determine when Mr Bunting's business finished so it's hard to say if he was still going when this photo was taken, 1910-1920 perhaps?

It seems neither Ella or Eva were ever married & Eva lived to the ripe old age of 105 (my aspiration), dying in 1985 & Ellia in 1969 aged 91.

1952/29461 Baigent  Thomas Eustace  68Y
1969/33909 Baigent  Ella Millicent  91Y
1985/41772 Baigent  Eva Alice  5 June 1880

According to the IGI both Daisy & Clarice married, Clarice when she was 48 so I doubt there will be any descendants for her, perhaps there will be some from Daisy or their brother Thomas Eustace.

Clarice Monica Baigent 
Birth:  23 APR 1886, Nelson, New Zealand 
Death:  10 NOV 1968, Nelson, New Zealand
  Spouse:  John Lewis Dickson 
  Marriage:  21 NOV 1934, Nelson, New Zealand

Daisy Annie Baigent
Birth:  08 AUG 1876, Nelson, New Zealand
Death:  14 MAY 1947, New Zealand
  Spouse:  Herbert Willis Baird Packard 
  Marriage:  25 NOV 1903, New Zealand

Thomas Eustace Baigent
Birth:  21 MAY 1883, Nelson, New Zealand
Death:  09 MAR 1952, Nelson, New Zealand
  Spouse:  Vida Marion Turnbull
  Marriage:  14 FEB 1924 Hukanui, New Zealand

The photo of Ella driving the gig looks to have been taken when she was quite young, in her late 20's early 30's perhaps, probably around the turn of the twentieth century. I have no idea who Mrs Savory was.


The BAIGENT family all seem to be descended from two brothers, Edward & Isaac, who came to NZ on board the vessel 'Clifford' in 1842. Thomas John was the son of Edward, he was born in Nelson in 1849. Edward & Isaac were born in Windlesham, Surrey and were living just a few houses away from each other in the 1841 census.

Their lives, businesses & families are well documented on the Internet, these are just a few that I found in Papers Past and the photo of Thomas John is from the Cyclopedia of NZ.


The residence at Takaka of Thomas Baigent mentioned above is most probably the 'Fairholme' mentioned on the back of the photograph. I did find 'Fairholme' mentioned in Takaka on the Internet so it still seems to be standing although I couldn't find a photo of it. You can see a lovely old photograph of Baigent's Timber Mill from the Nelson Museum here.

Lastly a little bit about the town of Takaka in Golden Bay, 1897-1908 from the Cyclopedia of NZ:-

Takaka is one of the most flourishing districts in Nelson; it has five sawmills, two butter factories, and a flour mill, and keeps seven or eight small vessels trading constantly to the port of Waitapu, three miles distant. It has also a weekly newspaper, and several hotels, and is connected by coach with Collingwood and Riwaka, and by a steam tram service with East Takaka, which is eight miles and a half further up the valley. Takaka is fifty-three miles north from Nelson, with which it is connected by a good main road. The township is finely situated, and commands a good view of Golden Bay and two or three lakes. It has post, telegraph, money order, and other Government offices, and a savings bank. There are beautiful limestone caves in the neighbourhood, and the the Waikaremumu and Bubu springs are within easy distance. The Episcopalians and Presbyterians have well-built churches, with resident ministers, at Takaka, which has several fraternal lodges, and cricket, football, racing, and tennis clubs.


               © Aerial photo of Takaka. All rights reserved by Black Pete of Virtual Nature Photography

Cyclopedia of NZ
Papers Past


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the Baigent family please do contact me, I would love to hear from you. All the information on this family may also be seen on WorldConnect here.

Dawn Scotting


Unknown said...


My name is Miles Baigent and I live in Glasgow,Scotland. My distant relation Eli Baigent was, I believe , the father of 7 (yes seven) sons. Th eldest 6 emigrated to New Zealand in 1842 and the youngest stayed in the UK. I am descended from the youngest Son.
It would be great to really build the family tree from Eli down to us all, and maybe back the way to the French connection ? please email me at miles.baigent@sky.com so we can start the tree.



Annis said...

"Fairholme" has been restored and today functions as an art gallery in East Takaka.

Allthough hard to come by, the Baigent family history has been covered comprehensively in Marion Stringer's book, "Just another row of spuds: a pioneer history of Waimea South", which could possibly be obtained using the library interloan service.

Unknown said...

Isaac Baigent did not come to NZ with Edward on the Clifford. He came with another brother aboard the Maori in 1853