09 December 2011

Could this be Winifred Elizabeth Hardie born 1900 in NZ?


  • Subject: Unknown
  • Date: about 1903
  • Photographer: Robert Barcham, Petone, New Zealand

This one was a little harder to find as I didn’t have much to go on except for what you see above. I could find absolutely nothing on the ‘La Cigale Art Studios’ but I suspect it was the name of Robert Barcham’s Photography business. It’s taken me all day to finally click on to the fact that Robert’s surname is Barcham and not Bareham! I couldn’t understand why I was getting very few hits in the NZ BMD records online and those I did get weren’t helping at all.

I then found that Robert Barcham, photographer, in the electoral rolls was living in Masterton in 1900, by 1905 he had moved to Petone, in 1911 he was in Island Bay, Wellington, 1914 he’d moved to Woodville and by 1928 he was in Hastings where he lived until his death in 1960. For those not familiar with NZ Petone is not far from Wellington so the time frame for this photograph is probably just after 1900 to sometime between 1911 to 1914.

Armed with this knowledge I then searched through the electoral rolls for a Hardie family living in Hutt Park, Petone. I’m still not sure whether the initial before Hardie is an ‘R’ or an ‘M’, maybe neither. In 1905 I found George & Elizabeth Hardie living at Hutt Park, Petone, George was an engine driver while Elizabeth is listed as ‘married’. In 1911 Elizabeth Hardie was still living at that address & still ‘married’ but George wasn’t listed, however, it seems he didn’t die until 1930 so he should be there somewhere. In 1928 George shows up again but this time living at 101 Tinakori Rd, engine driver, living at the same address is Winifred Elizabeth, spinster, Elizabeth is not listed so she may be the Elizabeth Hardie whose death is registered in 1918 aged 56 yrs.

On checking the NZ BMD Indices I found the following:-

1891/4605 Hardie  Herbert John,  Elizabeth & John George
1892/6264 Hardie  Ernest Charles,  Elizabeth & George
1893/7407 Hardie  Cyril George,  Elizabeth & John George
1894/13219 Hardie  Harold William,  Elizabeth & John George
1900/4188 Hardie  Winifred Elizabeth,  Elizabeth & John George

George’s full name was John George and checking back on the electoral rolls I found one entry for a John George Hardie in 1896 living in Tutaekara (Pahiatua region), he was an engine driver. Although they had been married for at least six years by then Elizabeth is not listed that year, perhaps it was too soon after women were first given the vote in 1893:-

On 19 Sep 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

There doesn’t seem to be a marriage for John George & Elizabeth in the NZ records, nor is there a death for a John George Hardie, no George fits the time frame but there is one George John who does:-

1930/12250 Hardie  George John  73Y

That gives a birthdate of 1857 which fits in with Elizabeth’s of 1862.

Papers Past was my next stop and here I found an article on Winifred’s marriage in 1928 to Charles Albert Ernest Purdey:-




















From this we gather that the bride’s mother wasn’t there, Winifred was the only daughter and that although her father received the guests at the reception he didn’t give her away.


Then we have a coroner’s report on the death of John George Hardie aged 73 in 1930, but was this the right person? Further investigation brought up the final proof in the Public Trust Notice:-

























One last note: Charles & Winifred Purdey had a son named Trevor Ian born in 1931 & died in 1947, he is buried with his father in the Karori Cemetery in Wellington. As far as I can find out they didn’t have any other children but as the NZ Birth Indices online stop at 1911 I can’t be positive about that. If it is the case then there are no descendants to claim Elizabeth’s photo, probably the very reason it ended up in a second hand shop.

ancestry.com; NZ BDM Online; Papers Past; NZ History


So there we have it, absolutely no proof whatsoever that the photograph is of Winifred Elizabeth Hardie but quite a nice lot of information about the Hardie Family of Petone & Wellington.

If any of the descendants of this Hardie family would like to have the above photograph (if it is her) I would be delighted to pass it on. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

Dawn Scotting

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