20 February 2016

The Beattie Family of Waimamaku

This postcard photograph was sent to my grandmother many years ago by the looks of the fashions. I’m not quite sure how I came by it but the Beatties don’t seem to be related to my family so they must have been friends of my grandparents. They lived in the same area of the Hokianga as my grandmother’s father’s sister & her husband, Elizabeth & Henry Fell. I’m sure there must be a descendant or two who would love to have it. It’s only a small photo which didn’t scan well but it could still become someone’s treasure.



Dad turned out to be Robert Beattie, his wife was Emma Elizabeth née Ostler and the three children are Lucy Jean born 1902, Herbert Reginald 1904 and Jessie Emma Elizabeth 1906.

Robert & Emma Elizabeth had at least four other children that I’ve found, they are:-

Robert Avon 1890-1916; Ernest Douglas 1891; Bertha Annetta 1894; Cyril Cicero Peter 1896-1919.

Robert & Cyril, known as Peter, both died in action in WWI, mentioned on the headstone of their parents’ grave in the Waimamaku Cemetery in Hokianga.


It’s been an interesting exercise to research this family as there are many ways you can spell BEATTIE, as proved by the above cemetery entry!

It seems that father Robert was born in the Upperby or Kingmoor area of Carlisle in Cumberland, England in 1858. In the 1861 census he was aged 3 yrs and on the passenger list of the ship ‘Canterbury’ that his family arrived in NZ on in 1864 he was aged 6 yrs.


Robert’s parents were John Beattie and Jane Trimble whom I have yet to find a marriage for. John Beattie was born about 1820 in Kirkpatrick, Dumfries-shire, Scotland according to the 1851 census of Scotland. Jane nee Trimble, was born about 1821, the daughter of Susannah Tremble or Trimble and an unknown father, Jane was baptised on the 21 Oct 1821 at Dalston, Cumberland. Susannah later married Robert Lawson about 1825, in the 1841 census Jane is living with her mother & step-father in Westward, Cumberland and living with Jane is a 1yr old Joseph Trimble, I presume Joseph is Jane’s son but as there are no relationships in that census it’s hard to say for sure, it certainly looks like it:-


The first backslash / on the left under Susanna’s name means that is the end of the first household at that address and the double backslash // is the end of the second household at the same address. That means that Jane & Joseph Trimble were living together, hence my presumption that they were mother & son. I was not able to find Joseph in the 1851 census but in 1861 a Joseph Trimble of the right age is living with Jane’s half brother, Lot Lawson, and his birthplace is given as Rosley, Cumberland which is where Jane & Joseph were living in 1841, again I presume the 1861 Joseph is the same person as the 1841 Joseph. After 1861 I can find no further mention of Joseph and as Jane had named another son Joseph in 1863 I presume the first one had died by then.

Sometime between Jun 1841 and 1846, when John & Jane Beattie’s first child was born, is possibly when they were married, but so far I have not found a marriage for them.

John & Jane’s children & their birthplaces are:-

John 1846 Upperby, Cumberland, England
Robert 1848-? Upperby, Cumberland (must have died before 1858)
Richard 1850 Hoddam Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Mary 1853 Carlisle, Cumberland
Jane 1855 Carlisle, Cumberland
Robert 1858 Upperby, Cumberland
William 1861-1862 Upperby, Cumberland
Joseph Young 1863 born at Sea on board the ship 'Canterbury'

The youngest Robert born 1848 was aged 3 yrs in the 1851 census when the family were living in Scotland, he possibly died in Scotland before the family moved back to Cumberland as there doesn’t seem to be a death registration for him in England.

I haven’t researched Robert’s wife’s line at all so can’t help with the Ostlers.

References: ancestry.com.au; FreeBMD; familysearch.org, NZBDM Online; Papers Past


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the BEATTIE or TRIMBLE 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