09 March 2012

Phyllis Felton Coates & Arthur Briscoe Moore of Moengawahine

Today’s photos are a job lot of candid shots I picked up from a second hand shop a few years ago.  Yesterday I decided to see what I could find in the NZ Electoral Rolls on ancestry.com, this is what was written on the back of the first two photos below plus the one of two women walking down Queen St:


I thought Briscoe was rather an unusual given name so started my search with that, before long I found a Phyllis Felton & Arthur Briscoe Moore living in Moengawahine which is out of Whangarei & near Pipiwai. Two of the photographs had a stamp on the back that said ‘J Batchelor Film Specialist Whangarei’ so it seemed like a good bet!

On further investigation I found they had a son named George MacNeil who was living in Pipiwai in 1954. He had two sisters, Gertrude Mary (True) and Wilma Briscoe. True & MacNeil turned out to be Gertrude & George (I think).



In amongst some of the other photos are probably their father Arthur Briscoe Moore, their mother Phyllis & possibly her sister Molly.  I think the photo of the two women walking down Queen St is probably Phyllis on the right as the same woman is in a lot of the other photos, usually with a horse.

These are just a selection of the 38 photographs I have:-


Arthur passed away in 1984 and Phyllis in 2004. If anyone knows or recognises the Moore Family please contact me as I’d love these photos to go back to the family.


In the course of finding out who this family was I found out a lot more about their ancestors.

Arthur Briscoe Moore was the son of William Alexander Moore & Edith Briscoe MacNeil, he also had a sister named Edith Mary:

1891/18122 Moore  Arthur Briscoe  Edith Briscoe William Alexander
1894/14185 Moore  Edith Mary  Edith Briscoe William Alexander

MOORE, Arthur Briscoe born 31/1/1891, the son of Edith Briscoe and William Alexander Moore of 'Venard', Mornington, Dunedin. fl 1914-1918,. WW1 papers.

William Alexander Moore was the son of William George Moore & his wife Mary Addie, born in Glasgow:

Birth:  25 FEB 1860   Clyde, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland 
Mother:  MARY ADDIEwamoore-web

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand
Mr. William Alexander Moore, the Manager for Messrs Turnbull, Martin and Co. for Australasia, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1860. He was educated in his native place, was brought up to the shipping trade, and joined his present firm as a junior in 1876. After serving eight years in Glasgow, the last four as manager. Mr. Moore came out to the colonies in 1885 to organise the service. The first vessel to load frozen meat in New Zealand was the 'Elderslie' so named after Mr. Martin's residence, and the station of Mr. John Reid, of Oamaru, for whom she loaded her cargo at Oamaru in 1885.

William Alexander Moore married Edith Briscoe MacNeil:

Otago Daily Times, Issue 8745, 6 March 1890, Page 2
Moore-MacNeil. On the 5th March, at Woodhead, Mornington, the residence of the bride's parents, by Rev. Rutherford Waddell, M.A., William Alexander Moore, Glasgow, to Edith Briscoe, third daughter of Hugh MacNeil, Dunedin.

Otago Witness, Issue 1987, 13 March 1890, Page 41
Miss MacNeil, daughter of Mr Hugh MacNeil, of Arthur Briscoe and Co. At Woodhead, Mornington, on Wednesday, 5th inst Miss Edith MacNeil, third daughter of Mr Hugh MacNeil, was married to Mr W. A. Moore, of Glasgow. On account of the recent death of Mr Moore's mother the wedding was a very quiet one, much to the regret of Miss MacNeil's many admirers, who desired to obtain a glimpse of her in bridal, attire. Although the wedding was in the house it was none the less pretty on that account. The large and handsome drawing room at Woodhead looked most picturesque. The morning was a glorious one, and the Venetian blinds were drawn at one end of the long room and open at the other, so that a stream of light fell over the bridal group in a most artistic manner, bringing into prominence the central figures, while a soft, subdued light partially veiled the others. The bride looked queenly in a perfectly fitting gown made by one of the leading court dressmakers in London. The unbroken outlines of the gown set off to perfection the bride's tall, graceful figure. The petticoat was of a rich, creamywhite satin, arranged in pleats finished with long satin-edged ribbon streamers. The bodice and train of lovely brocade. The bodice was in the French crossed style, with Medici collar, and the train square cut and edged with 3oft white silk ruching. A spray of orange blossoms crossed the bodice, and the tulle veil was crewelled in silk and was fastened with a tiny wreath of the same and an exceedingly handsome diamond crescent, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride also wore a handsome diamond bracelet, the gift of the bridegroom's mother. The Rev. R. Waddell performed the ceremony, and Miss M. MacNeil and Miss Reid, of the Taieri, were the bridesmaids. They looked charming, in gowns of soft crepe de chine, beautifully embroidered in silk, the bodices embroidered on one side and arranged in pleats on the other. Mrs MacNeil, the mother of the bride, wore an exceedingly handsome gown of dark green silk made with long sweeping train lined with a blush rose pink silk. This dainty colouring appears on the revers of the drapery, and a panel at the left side exquisitely embroidered with flowers of rich tints in tinsel and silks is a marvel of workmanship. The bodice has a vest and cuffs of the same embroidery, furnished with delicate pink ruffles. The brides cake was more than usually handsome, and would have graced a much larger wedding breakfast, the guests being confined to members of the family. After many good wishes the happy pair departed for their honeymoon to the Lakes, the bride attired in an elegant fawn travelling costume. Miss MacNeil has been a much admired belle of Dunedin society, and if good wishes can bring happiness she will lack none. The presents were numerous and more than ordinarily costly, a number of them being presented by Dunedin and Australian friends, while many more came from Mr Moore's friends in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Among them are rare specimens of jewellery, plate, ornaments, and marvels of women's work, all beautiful to behold and far too intricate and numerous to describe in detail. The bride's trousseau came from Home, and is an exceptionally handsome one. A tea gown is as pretty as a picture long trained and with long angel-sleeves drooping to the edge of the skirt. The colour is of dark green, the sleeves lined with the palest of pale greens, and the front of the same delicate colour arranged in fine accordian pleats.

Otago Daily Times , Issue 8795, 3 May 1890, Page 2
A fire broke out about 2.30 o'clock this morning in a dwelling house, occupied by Mr William Alexander Moore, in Leith street, between Howe and Duke streets. It was discovered by Constable M'Callion, who, with the assistance of Mr Jago and others, succeeded in keeping the flames in check till the Fire Brigade arrived. The damage done will be covered by about £30. The house was the property of Mr C. W. Kerr, but it is not known whether it is insured.

Otago Daily Times, Issue 10221, 1 December 1894, Page 4
Moore - On the 30th November, at Nevada House, Roslyn, Edith Briscoe, the beloved wife of W A Moore; aged 26 years.

Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10683, 15 June 1900, Page 4
The marriage of Miss May Gertrude Kinsey to Mr William Alexander Moore was celebrated at St. Mary's Church, Merivale, yesterday afternoon. The church had been especially decorated for the occasion. There were a large number of guests and others present. The church itself being completely filled, and many others waiting outside. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Christchurch, assisted by the Vicar, Rev. H. Airay Watson. The bride was attended by one senior and two infant bridesmaids. The Wedding and other marches were played by Miss Gertrude Dobson. At the conclusion of the ceremony the bridal party and guests were driven to the schoolroom, where the wedding breakfast was laid.

NZ Births
1901/9434 Moore  Victoria May  May Gertrude William Alexander

Video of headstone in the Old Cathcart Cemetery, 160 Brenfield Rd, Glasgow:-

•Mary Addie, wife of William George Moore, on Jan 26th 1890;
•William George Moore Nov 30th 1821-Nov 29th 1909;
•Margaret Addie, Nov 1896 age 74 yrs;
•Elspeth Laidlaw Glass, grandchild, March 1898 age 7 weeks;
•Elizabeth Reid, daughter, wife of R.L. Glass on May 27th 1914;
•Robert Laidlaw Glass on March 9th 1922;
•John R Bird April 26th 1907;
•Jessie Addie, wife of J.R. Bird on Nov 20th 1953.

Jessie Addie & Elizabeth Reid were the sisters of William Alexander Moore.


Edith Briscoe MacNeil was the third daughter of Hugh & Ellen May MacNeil, born in NZ in 1868.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Mr. Hugh Macneil, a pioneer whose name was intimately connected with the colonial success of the well known firm of Messrs Briscoe and Co., hardware merchants, was born at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1832. He acquired his first business experience with the firm of Messrs P. and W. MacClelland, of Glasgow. At the age of twenty-nine he went to Melbourne, Victoria, accompanied by his wife and two sons, under an engagement to take the management there of the business of Messrs Briscoe and Co. Three years later, as a partner in the firm, he came to Dunedin, to start the business in New Zealand. He opened a warehouse in Dunedin as the firm's New Zealand headquarters, and subsequently opened branches in Auckland, Wellington, and Invercargill. Under his able management the firm prospered materially, and became one of the leading mercantile houses in the colony. After spending a great portion of an active life in building up an immense business, Mr. MacNeil retired some years before his death, which took place in August, 1900, at the age of sixty-seven. He left a widow, three sons and three daughters. Mr. MacNeil never took any part in public affairs, as his time was fully occupied in business. His two eldest sons, partners in the firm, are managers, respectively, of the Melbourne and Sydney warehouses, and his third son is owner of a large sheep station in New South Wales.

Otago Witness, Issue 2423, 23 August 1900, Page 28
The Late Mr Hugh MacNeil (of Arthur Briscoe & Co)
Whose death occurred in Sydney last week. Mr MacNeil's home is Dunedin, but he has been travelling for some time, in consequence of the indifferent state of his health.











  SUBURBAN RESIDENCES OF DUNEDIN: "WOODHEAD", THE RESIDENCE OF MRS HUGH MacNEIL. A Guy, photo. Otago Witness, Issue 2524, 30 July 1902, Page 35.



May Gertrude Kinsey was the daughter of Sir Joseph James Kinsey & Sarah Ann Garrard.

Christchurch Press, January 1919
KINSEY  -  New Years Honour
Sir Joseph James Kinsey, K.B. is a native of Kent, England. Born in 1852, educated at Royal Naval School, Greenwich. Master at Dulwich College for 9 years, resigned and came to Christchurch, New Zealand, established shipping firm Kinsey, Barns & Co, Barns becoming a partner after death of Mr T Acland. Sir Joseph in 1898 became Consul for Belgium in Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland. He took a great interest in Antarctic exploration and his firm was headquarters of the late Captain Scott's expeditions of 1902 and Sir E Shackleton's 1907 and 1910 expedition of 1915. The Aurora was fitted out at Port Chalmers but the other 3 expeditions were dispatched from Lyttelton, all under the direction of J J Kinsey and Co.


George Bernard Shaw & Sir Joseph James Kinsey at Kinsey's home `Warrimoo' on Papanui Rd, Christchurch, 1934


May Kinsey in climbing dress standing outside her tent.

These two photographs reproduced here with the kind permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
(Click on the wording to see more photographs from the Kinsey Collection).


Arthur Briscoe Moore married Phyllis Felton Coates in 1925, she was the daughter of William Martin Felton Coates & Ruby Oberlin-Brown.

William Martin Felton Coates was the son of Dr Frederick William Coates (born Salisbury, Wiltshire) & his wife Mary Agatha Smith (born Pendlebury, Lancashire). Mary Agatha was the daughter of the Vicar of Crediton, Devon, Charles Felton Smith. The whole family, parents, 4 sons, 2 daughters, migrated to Auckland, New Zealand on board the ‘Doric’ in Jun 1892. For a few years some of the sons farmed on Waiheke Island before moving to various other parts of NZ including the Waikato & Northland.


On the 15 Apr 1903 William married Ruby Oberlin Brown in Auckland, they had at least two daughters, Phyllis Felton & Molly Felton (perhaps that is them in the photo above of a man & two young women inside a car).


Thames Star, Volume XLIII, Issue 10484, 28 April 1906, Page 4
Our Cambridge correspondent writes that Mr W M F Coates of Roto-o-rangi, has purchased Mr J T Major's interest in the well known Fencourt homestead farm, this is a valuable property.

Northern Advocate, 21 February 1916, Page 3
The Annual Meeting of the Te Maunga Golf Club will be held at the Kamo Hall on Friday, February 25, at 7.30pm. W. M. F. Coates, Hon. Sec.

Northern Advocate, 18 September 1917, Page 1
Whangarei City Council Monthly Meeting
Overhead Spouting
Application was made by W M F Coates, Moengawahine, to put an overhead spouting across the road at Mr R Finlayson's farm, a guarantee being given that the spouting would be well above the traffic. Agreed to, provided the traffic conditions were not interfered with.

Northern Advocate, 1 October 1919, Page 5
The Undersigned will offer by PUBLIC AUCTION at the HORSE BAZAAR, WHANGAREI on SATURDAY, 4th OCTOBER, 1919. At 1.30 p.m. as under:— ON ACCOUNT MR W. M. F. COATES: Subdivisions 1 and 2 of Part of Puriritahi Block Kamo, comprising 14 acres 3 roods 15.1 poles, more or less. A very handy little property, close to Kamo centre. Comfortable house of 6 rooms. Plentifully watered. Volcanic soil. Good orchard. A pleasing home. Anyone thinking of retiring would do well to inspect.

In later life W M F C retired to Matapouri where he built his home ‘The Dunes’ and I believe he was an artist/painter of some renown, he had at least one art exhibition in Whangarei although I’m afraid Google or Papers Past don’t seem to know about it! Wife Ruby passed away in 1956 and William in 1963:

1956/21138 Coates  Ruby Oberlin  78Y
1963/37600 Coates  William Martin Felton  91Y


ancestry.com; Alexander Turnbull Library; Cyclopedia of NZ; FreeBMD; LDS FamilySearch; IGI; Glasgow Ancestry-NZ Blog; Alexander Turnbull Library WW1 Manuscripts; Papers Past; NZ BDM Records; NZ Electronic Text Centre.


If any of the descendants of the Moore family would like to have the above photographs I would be delighted to pass them 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