19 October 2009

Mrs Parker of Post Office Creek

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Somewhere in the middle of this map is or was a place called ‘Post Office Creek’. Dunedin is off to the right of the map.

The Waipori Goldfield was discovered in December, 1861, when gold was found on the Yerterburn, afterwards named the Post Office Creek. It developed into a rich and important alluvial field. The Waipori Valley is about twelve miles in length, and has an average width of half a mile.

Tuapeka Times, Volume III, Issue 218, 4 April 1872, Page 3
This Hundred, which has been the cause of so much litigation and legislation, has again obtruded itself on public notice. The Post Office Creek diggings, it appears, which were formerly a portion of the Tuapeka Goldfield, have been included in the boundaries of this hundred. This was not known to the parties working there till recently, when an application was made to buy land contiguous to the workings. On the Post Office Creek there are about twenty Europeans and sixty Chinaman engaged in mining. About twenty- five miles of races have been cut, and including these races and dams, &c, there is mining property to the extent of £4000 or £5000 in value, at a low estimate. The selling of land on this diggings would necessarily impede mining operations, if it would not cause their suspension altogether, thereby causing great pecuniary loss, besides throwing a number of men out of employment, and locking up a large area of auriferous land. A deputation from the miners of the Creek, accompanied by Mr. Cable, waited upon the Waste Land Hoard on Wednesday, the 27th ult., and represented the matter. The deputation were requested to put in a written statement. The miners propose that the boundaries of the hundred should be shifted back to the top of the dividing range. "Were that done, it would give them ample room. We are informed that the matter is to be placed in the hands of the Waipori Mining Association. We have little doubt but that on the matter being properly represented, the Waste Land Board will see their way to acceding to the wishes of the miners.

Tuapeka Times, Volume XXX, Issue 4563, 2 July 1898, Page 3
Chas, Joseph— Water-race, Post Office Creek, Waipori, — Objected to by Jas. Parker.
Jas, Parker — Water-race, Post Office Creek, Waipori, — Objected to by Chas. Joseph and party.

Otago Witness , Issue 2359, 11 May 1899, Page 20
Mr S. E. Brent has forwarded us the following copy of the report from the mine manager (Mr S. B. Carpenter), dated 2nd May, 1899: " Commenced sluicing on Friday last and have continued since. The ground already opened shows a good prospect. If the rest of the claim should prove to be equally good, the shareholders may safely consider that they own a very valuable property."

Tuapeka Times, Volume XXXII, Issue 4720, 10 January 1900, Page 4

Date and No. of Miner's Right: 7/6/99; No. 6179. Dated this 4th day of January, 1900. SCHEDULE. Locality where land is situated and its area —At Post Office Creek, Waipori, a short distance below the gorge within the special claim applied for by applicant by application No. 177/99, being the extended alluvial claim granted to J. R. Parker and F. Parker by license No. 137/99. Area, about 3 acres.

The above is a short exert from an application to take over the claim originally granted to J R & F Parker.

Tuapeka Times, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5436, 8 May 1907, Page 3
Horace L. Parker : Extended alluvial claim of about 4 acres, Post Office Creek, Waipori.

Tuapeka Times, Volume XLI, Issue 5673, 8 September 1909, Page 3
James R. Parker. — Tail race in block VI., Waipori survey district, commencing at north west corner of applicant's special alluvial claim No. 325/09.

By now you’ll be wondering what this is all about! This photograph is what put me onto the search for a place called ‘Post Office Creek’ probably somewhere near Dunedin:-



After searching many many more newspapers than the ones above I came to the conclusion that I was probably looking for a J R Parker. On searching the NZ BMDs I found two getting married around the right time frame:-

1898/845 Margaret Josephine  McDevitt  James Robert  Parker
1909/4730 Annie  Thomson  James Rollo  Parker

After a bit more Googling I discounted James Rollo after finding mention of him being in Gisborne (in North Island, Dunedin being in the South Island). More Googling and I suddenly hit the jackpot in one of the forums on ancestry.com:-

Hi ya, looking for any info on the descendents or ancestors of this couple my great grandparents.
Margaret was born 1872 in Alexandra, her parents listed on marriage license as James McDevitt and Annie nee Madden? James Robert was born 1865 in Dunedin, married Margaret in 1898. His parents listed as James Parker and Annie nee Sullivan?

With fingers crossed the message wasn’t too old I posted a reply to Chrissy asking her if her ancestors have ever been in Post Office Creek and this morning the answer came back:-

“Yes they were definately at Post Office Creek Waipori. Also James father who was also James Parker and his wife Annie nee Sullivan. I dont have any pics of either of them.”

We don’t as yet know just which Mrs Parker she might be, and sadly may never know, but I leave that up to Chrissy now. This time I’m thrilled to have found a descendant before I posted my article!

NZ BDM Records
Papers Past


I would still love to hear from anyone else who might be connected to the Parkers of Post Office Creek. 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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