19 February 2014

The Children of Charles REED 1860 – 1954


        Subject: Children of Charles Reed
        Date: abt 1907
        Photographer: H Mortin, Auckland, NZ
        Found: Warkworth, New Zealand

Today’s photograph is one of five very cute children, on the back is written:-


I saw this one in the Oct 2013 NZSG magazine from Eric Parker who was looking to pass this photo onto anyone who had a connection to the REED family. A few weeks ago I emailed him to see if anyone had come forward and I received a reply from Eric’s daughter to say he’d sadly passed away the previous week. She found the photo so she very kindly posted it to me in the hopes that we could fulfil Eric’s wish.

So far I haven’t had any luck in proving that Charles Reed was the son of the following REED family who arrived in NZ from England on the ship ‘Aloe’ on the 7 Jun 1863, but as the ‘Aloe’ is mentioned on the back of the photograph it seems likely he is.


I found a transcription of the passengers on board the Aloe online but there was only one Reed listed, a George but strangely he was listed in two places, once with the single men and again with the single women! Suspecting a typo I searched in Papers Past and found there was a George and an Emma Reed in the list but no children:-




Strange that George & Emma were listed with the single men and women on the ship if they were married, as there is no marriage listed for them in NZ I presume they were married in England.


Although there are no children listed for George & Emma Reed note that four births took place during the voyage. It is strange there are no children listed for them because there does seem to be children listed with other families.


This is the only voyage with a passenger list of the Aloe to NZ that I can find in Papers Past.


The cutter Aloe, belonging to Mr De Thierry, was lost/sunk at Queen St wharf in a storm on 24 Mar 1871.






George & Emma first settled in the Waikato where he was employed provisioning the troops in the Maori War, afterward they lived in Tauranga for a few years before they moved to Taupiri where they purchased a 50 acre piece of land in Komakorau. They farmed there for about ten years before making the final move to the Maungatawhiri Valley where they farmed on 395 acres until George died. Their children born during this time were:-

1866/8949    Reed Aloe – Emma & George
1873/13126  Reed Rebecca – Emma & George
1876/15641  Reed Oliver – Emma & George
1893/15264  Reed Henry Edward – Emma & George
1893/15265  Reed Benjamin – Emma & George

One would think that with Henry & Benjamin being born in the same year with consecutive registration numbers that they were twins but in 1893 mother Emma would have been 60 years old so either there is another George & Emma Reed or else they are late birth registrations. Benjamin seems to have been born about 1871 according to his age of 74 when he died in 1945. (I cannot find any sign of another George & Emma Reed in NZ at a later date). George died at Vincent St in Auckland after a long illness on the 20 Mar 1894 aged 61.


I wasn’t able to find an obituary for George but when Emma passed away on the 15 Oct 1922 in Newton St, Auckland this is what her obituary said:-


This is where it gets interesting, she left FIVE sons and two daughters but in NZ there are only birth registrations for two daughters and THREE sons, which means they probably had two sons with them when they arrived – that would account for the ‘Charles Reed – born in England’ stated on the back of the photograph.

Then I found an obituary for their daughter Aloe whose birth was registered in 1866 although her obituary states she was born on the ship Aloe on it’s way to NZ – but that doesn’t gell with the other sentence on the back of the photograph ‘also a child born on the ship ‘Aloe’ died later in infancy’ – Aloe didn’t die until 1931 aged 65.


So either I’ve gone wrong somewhere along the line or else there was another voyage of the Aloe to NZ in 1866, so far I’ve had no luck in finding it.

That brings us to son Charles and another possible son also born in England. I did find one tree on ancestry.com that included George & Emma Reed that listed an additional two unknown children with the other five but so far have had no luck in contacting the owner of the tree. He listed the birth years for the two unknown children as 1858 and 1860 (how would you know what year they were born if you didn’t know their names?) and 1860 fits in with the age at death of Charles who died in 1954 aged 94 (too late to find an obituary in Papers Past which currently only goes to 1945).

Charles Reed married Frances Louisa Sprague on 20 Aug 1894 in Auckland, there are seven children listed for them in the NZ births:-

1895/16109   Reed    Kate                   Frances              Charles (died 1896)
1896/10889   Reed    Ivy                     Frances Louisa    Charles (died 1897)
1898/14580   Reed    Frances Daisy    Frances Louisa    Charles
1899/15287   Reed    Herbert Charles Frances Louisa   Charles
1901/2354     Reed    Ernest George   Frances Louisa    Charles
1902/16384   Reed    Albert Edward  Frances               Charles
1907/10183   Reed    Frank                Frances Louisa    Charles

The names on the back of the photo are obviously their family nicknames:-

Back left: Herbert Charles (Charles), Frances Daisy (Daisy)
Front left: Ernest George (Eddie), Frank, Albert Edward (Bertie)

At first I had thought the birth on the Aloe (reverse of photo) referred to one of Charles’ children but realised later that is must have been one of his siblings. There doesn’t seem to be a Reed death after Jun 1863 that would correspond with a birth in 1863 listed in the NZ deaths so perhaps the person who had written that on the back of the photo was mistaken that he/she had died later. If daughter Aloe had been the one born on the ship then why was her birth not registered for another 3 years after the ship arrived. Then again we do have the two late birth registrations for brothers Henry & Benjamin.


Frances Louisa Reed died on 26 Dec 1938 aged 68, she was living in Mt Eden, Auckland and her death notice lists her husband Charles and three of her children, Daisy, Ernest & Edward. Her other children had pre-deceased her – Charles Henry on 4 May 1925 aged 25 and Frank on 4 Jun 1930 aged 13.


All in all there’s a few anomalies that can’t be explained without a lot more research, time will tell no doubt. Although the tree on ancestry that lists George & Emma mentions that George came from Berkshire I’ve found nothing to confirm this one way or the other. Also in that tree Emma’s maiden name is given as Carter, again I’ve found nothing to substantiate this. There are too many REEDs in the 1861 & earlier census to know for sure which one he might be, nothing found in Berkshire at all. I will continue with my search from time to time but in the meantime I’d be delighted to hear from anyone who is connected to anyone in this family.

References: Papers Past; NZBDM Online; ancestry.com.au; NZSG Magazine Oct2013 Page 221


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the REED family please do contact me, I would love to pass this photo onto a family member, even a distant one. 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