31 December 2014

Ann Lilly Arkle 1870-1933


This one took a bit of working out but I think I have it sorted now. All I had to go on were the names signed at the end of the postcard – Auntie Lill who I presumed was also Mrs H A Nicholson.

As the photo had been taken in either Auckland (or Wellington) I checked the NZ BMD website and found only ONE marriage for a Mr NIcholson with the initials H A, Henry Angus Nicholson married Ann Lilly Arkle in 1917.

It seems Ann was better known as Lill or Lily/Lilly which was her mother’s maiden name. First I found this document on the familysearch.org website which I found very interesting as I didn’t really know what it referred to at the time:-


It was found listed with the name of a ship in the passenger lists but it didn’t look like a passenger list to me so with a little help from the members of the NZSG mailing list we finally worked out that it was a list of marriages of men who were leaving NZ to fight in WWI. So now I know, Ann Lilly Arkle, was part of the Arkle family of Arkles Bay that I already knew about because one of my mother’s friends years ago was Alick Arkle and he told me at the time about his family settling in Arkles Bay although I had nil interest in genealogy in those days!

I was also contacted by one of the mailing list members who had done research in Whangaparaoa and she sent me copies of photos from a calendar that she had (with many thanks Elizabeth) and eventually I found similar photos on the NZ Photographic Archives website plus a lot more information on the Arkles.


Caption reads: George and Jane Arkle (seated) and their five daughters. The boys are probably the three sons of Andrew Arkle. A large two storey addition to the house, which is probably that originally built by William Thorburn the first European explorer of the bay in the 1850s, was made when the Arkles decided to concentrate on guests rather than farming. Andrew Arkle and his sons later opened a rival guest house at the other end of the beach.


Arkle's Bay House, Arkles Bay, Auckland. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-000479-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22861370

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The two brothers, George and Andrew, had arrived in Lyttelton, NZ on board the vessel ‘Chrysolite’ in 1861 with their parents, Christopher & Margaret Arkle and nine other siblings, from Northumberland in England. The youngest child, Christiana, was born in 1861 but there is no mention of her in the passenger list nor can I find a birth registration for her in NZ so not sure if she arrived with them or was born later.

The family settled north of Christchurch in the Happy Valley area in a place called Motonau (now Motunau).



At some time in the years after arriving in NZ George & Andrew moved to Auckland (see George’s obituary). They both married, George & wife Jane nee Lilly had five daughters and Andrew & wife Matilda nee Garlick had three sons. At a later date George & Andrew fell out with each other and Andrew built another guest house at the other end of Arkle’s Bay.

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Getting back to Ann Lilly Arkle – she was born in 1870, the daughter of George & Jane (nee Lilly) who was obviously better known as Lill. Lill was aged 47 when she married, as far as I know she had no children. Soon after her marrige to Henry (Harry) Angus Nicholson they moved to America where she died in Los Angeles in 1933 aged 62. However, she seems to have come back to NZ at various times, she was living in Ponsonby in Auckland in 1922 according to her mother’s obituary.





View of Arkles Bay, Auckland. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-001410-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22680892


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the ARKLE families please do contact me, I would love to pass the 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