John Pearce Smith History


These are the ancestors whose memory we are celebrating with a gathering of their descendants at Port Ahuriri Bowling Club Sunday 31 May 1987.

Who were John and Edith? What do we know of them and their lives? Of their families and of their hopes and aspirations? We have a number of answers but sadly there are many unanswered questions.

What do we know?
Edith Ward was born in Phillack, Cornwall on 16 July 1854 the daughter of Richard and Mary Anne (Rutter). Her grandparents were Samuel and Mary (Ching or Chinn) married 1815, and her great grandparents John and Marjory (Johns) married 1765 in Phillack. She had two brothers Richard and Alfred and one sister Jenny Glanvill who married Thomas Hogg in NZ 1886.

John Pearce Smith was born in Hayle Cornwall 19 April 1853, the son of John Pearce Smith and Julia (Baisley) J.P. Snr was, born at Marazion on 1 November 1829 and died at Hayle aged 88 in 1917. He was educated at Mr Barnes School in Penzance. John Jnr had two brothers and three sisters, one brother F.G. lived and died in Napier, the other brother we believe lived in South Africa, but the writer has no knowledge of the sisters’ lives names or whereabouts. J.P. Snr was a prominent businessman operating a cooperage (barrel making) concern. He was a foundation member of the Hayle Company and was founder secretary of the Passmore-Edwards Institute, was an active member of Hayle Cricket Club and Secretary of the Hayle Regatta Committee. As well J.P. Snr was a keen and prominent Freemason from 1854 until he died. (This information of J.P. Snr contained in a copy of his obituary kindly loaned by John Pearce Wrightson). Incidentally J.P. Snr had six grandsons serving in the army. Whose children were they? The writer assumes they were the daughter’s children.

We know John Jnr left school at age 12 years and went to sea. 12 years later he gained his master’s ticket No 94770 as recorded with Lloyd’s Captains’ register in the Guild Hall London

We know John, Edith and daughter Frances (born 25 July 1876) emigrated to New Zealand in 1879.
That John was a publican at Farndon and Clive from 1886 to 1896 during which time he took an active part in local affairs being a member of the Clive School Committee (Chairman 1893-94). All six daughters attended Clive School.
That Edith died in 1890 aged 36 after bearing six daughters.
John remarried to Mary Ann Honnor in 1895.

We know John became publican of the Empire Hotel in Shakespeare Road Napier in 1896 and thereafter at various other hotels in Napier and Port Ahuriri. At that time “The Port” would have been a very active and busy shipping area and a good place to own a pub.
John and cousin? Warren began a draught beer bottling business that retained the name “Warren Smith and Co Ltd” until recent times.

We know John built and/or bought numerous houses and flats, many still standing today especially in the Shakespeare Rd Battery Rd area.

We know of his love of bowls he was foundation Chairman of the Port Ahuriri Bowling Club, holding office for 13 years. A photo of the foundation committee is owned by the Club while J.P’s photo is prominently displayed.
His donations of land and money for the course [cause] of bowls included land for Marewa Bowling Club.
The special roller he made and loved to use along with his grand-daughters (according to Jean Lawrence) and the levelling plant he designed and was copied by many NZ greens.

Page 2

We know John died aged 93 on 9 August 1946 just a week after telling Bill Wrightson “the books are up to date, I’m a bit tired I think I’ll have a rest for a while.“
That Mary died 9 years later aged 91
That all three are buried in Napier Cemetery on Scinde Hill quite close to William Colenso’s grave

We know many people living today recall many of John’s and Mary’s activities including:
His love of cards
His bowls, many recall having to help roll greens.
His gruff voice.
His goatee beard.
His thumb in his waistcoat.
His fob watch and chain.
His active life.
His gramophone he loved to play and at times entertain the whole neighbourhood.
His weekly trips to town by tram to visit certain hotels – the times well known to “regulars“ who also were there for his regular shout to patrons.
And of course his ‘at times’ rather tipsy journey home by tram.
His old home in Kowhai Road with the countless steps (some still there), the plum and walnut trees.
His ability to become a successful businessman.
But not his ability to leave a practical last will and testament.

Unfortunately there are many things about our illustrious ancestors the writer does not know and may never know. Let us look at some of them, perhaps readers can fill the gaps?

We don t know what their childhood was really like. It does seem they belonged to families that “were comfortably well off” but can we be sure?
What the Ward occupation was.

We don’t know why john went to sea so young.
What type of ships he sailed on for those first 12 years. .
Where he voyaged – was it only the U.K. coast? The coast of Europe? He did tell Peter Wrightson of drinking neat whiskey as a boy while sailing round the Cape Horn.

But we don‘t know if he sailed the coasts of the Americas.
The coast of Africa.
or the Pacific and Far East.
or how many voyages he made to NZ even –
Was it the 1879 voyage with Edith and Frances or did he preview N.Z. first and decide it was a good place to live because it had promise or was he poor and unable to afford life in England compared to opportunities offered in New Zealand?

Did he command or work on ships after age 24?
Remember he married at age 22 and settled in NZ aged 26.

Do we really know where the J.P Smiths came ashore in NZ?
Some folk say Napier, some Wellington and even New Plymouth. Did he come as a crewman or passenger on his 1879 voyage?

What did John do from 1879 to 1886  – 7 years during which time five daughters were born.

Where did they live during this time? Third daughter Julia was born at Awatoto in 1880

Were they at Farndon/Clive earlier than 1886 when John’s name first appears in the HB Directory or “Who’s who?” (Note Julia’s 1880 birth certificate indicates John Pearse Smith was a Publican).

Page 3

It is possible he worked for brother F.G. Smith a carrier – if so where? Awatoto? Napier? For how long?

This is a period in John and Ediths lives that records do not clearly indicate where they were.

Do we know how many hotels or other businesses John was involved with? When? Where?
Did he live in them all or did he lease some or employ managers?

Did John build the Kowhai Road home? or was it already built? Some folk believe it to be over 100 years old now which means it was likely built before J.P. and Mary moved into it.

What other interests and activities was he involved in?

But does it really matter if we can’t find answers to every question? We can be justly proud of our forebear, his wives, his six daughters who were all Pioneers in the true spirit and meaning of the word. Older descendants recall tales told by the six daughters of the work they had to do in the hotels and in later life.

Many of us have numerous interesting tales and anecdotes involving J.P, Grandma Smith and six daughters. One the writer recalls was Frances Smith (Kittow) telling of her planting daffodil bulbs at Farndon which bloomed for years in fact the current owner of the site said they still come up in his garden.

If readers have answers to questions or more information to offer please share them now so a complete record can be compiled.

The following pages contain names of John’s and Edith’s descendants.

Page 1

John Pearse [Pearce] Smith m Edith Ward 17 August 1875
Frances Mary Smith born (m 24.8.98) William Thomas Kittow b born
William Leslie Kittow b   m Ivy Jean-Wallace
David Leslie Kittow b   m Diana Brewster
Virginia Kittow
James David Kittow
Roger Leslie Kittow
Neil Thomas Kittow m Jean Gordon Vosper (div) m Gerharding Salomina Van Royen
Juliet Anne Forch (Kittow) m Lorenz Forch
Thomas Forch b
Ben Forch b
Deborah Jean Kittow b
William Robert Kittow b
Margaret Ella Kittow (dec) m David P Roxburgh
Sandra Margaret Roxburgh b 11.1.58
Peter David Roxburgh b 22.9.59
Michael Leslie Roxburgh b 9.1.62
Graham Bruce Kittow b 29.6.36 (m 4.11.61) Kaye Frances Anderson
Anna Frances Kittow b 11.11.63
Timothy Graham Kittow b 2.10.65
Andrew John Kittow b 16.10.68
Judith Kittow b 28.10.39 (m 1962) Clive Cassidy (dec) (m 1971) James Lyons
Craig Cassidy b 1963
Greg Cassidy b 1964
James Lyons b 1972
Penny Lyons b 1973

John Pearse Smith m Edith Ward 17 August 1875
Frances Mary Smith b   (m 24.8.1898) William Thomas Kittow
George Harold Kittow b   (m 4.1.27) Lillian May Hobin
Douglas William John Kittow b   (m ) Shirley Renner
Warren Kittow b
Joanne Kittow b
Harold Graeme Kittow b   (m ) Margaret Anne Ingram (Peggy)
Nigel Charles Kittow b   (m ) Dorte Kamp-Hansen
Susan Jane Kittow b   (m ) Martin Jeffery Lee
Noeline Margaret Kittow b   (m ) David Ferguson
Margaret Ferguson b
Gillian Ferguson b
Robyn Ferguson b
Lynette Ferguson b
Stuart Ferguson b
Dorothy Mavis Kittow b   (m ) Alexander Bourhill

Page 2

(Cont’d from previous page)

Dorothy Mavis Kittow b   (m ) Alexander Bourhill
Andrea Bourhill b   (m 15.11.80) Nicholas Lucke
Michelle Lucke b
Jason Lucke b
Nicola Lucke b
Craig Bourhill b
Neralee Bourhill b   (m 22.3.86) Craig Jane
Raewyn Bourhill b

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Frances Mary Smith (m 24.8.98) William Thomas Kittow
Doris Edith Kittow b   (m 26.6.29) James Harold Wainhouse Ebbett
Janet Frances Ebbett b 23. 5.31   (m 20.11.51) (div) Neil Alexander (m 18.3.72) John Leslie Jones
David Ronald Alexander b 2.4.53   (m 11.5.74) Pamela Selby
Jason Ian Alexander b 31.7.75
Karlene Jan Alexander b 31.5.77
Julia Mavis Alexander b 12.10.55   (m 24.3.79) Tama Whaitiri
Stacy Tamaitoia Whaitiri b 4.12.80
Terry Troy Whaitiri b 11.7.83
Kristy Frances Whaitiri b 7.6.85
Hamish Murray Alexander b 28.8.61  (m ) Vanessa McCutcheon
Michael Craig Alexander b 30.12.63
Ronald George Ebbett b  (m ) Wenda Chesterman
Helen Ann Ebbett b 60   (m ) Paul McCormick
Carey Jane Ebbett b 62
David James Ebbett b 65
Peter Charles Ebbett b 67
Gavin William Ebbett b   (m 4.7.59) Jill Harper
Marie Louise Ebbett b 6.8.60
Marianne Gaye Ebbett b 31.1.61
Claire Elizabeth Ebbett b 13.6.64
Matthew William Ebbett b 26.9.65

John Pearce (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Frances Mary Smith (m 24.8.98) William Thomas Kittow
Mavis Kittow b   (m ) James Thomas Fleming

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Edith Smith b 1879   (m ) Cameron Abercrombie Pearson
Isabella Edith Pearson b   (m ) Frederick George Radford

Page 3

(Cont’d from previous page)

Isabella Edith Pearson b   (m ) Frederick George Radford
Carol Ann Radford b   4.8.48 (m ) Richard John Huppert
Clinton Randall Huppert b 10.5.77
Vanessa Jane Huppert b 16.2.79

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Julia Smith b 1880   (m 20.8.02) Albert Edward Wrightson
John Pearce Wrightson b 8.11.04   (m  .7.04) Muriel Lawrence
Peter William Wrightson b 17.4.30   (m 2.6.56) Judith Mary Pointon
Janet Anne Wrightson b 7.2.57   (m 27.3.76) David Lloyd Lean
Kirsten Mary lean b 11.4.80
Brooke Anna Lean b 6.5.82
Greer Julia Lean b 2.1.86
Linda Mary Wrightson b 1.12.60
Scott William Wrightson b 31.5.69
Collin Lawrence Wrightson b 28.2.34  (m 31.8.63) Jennifer Irene Coss
David Colin Wrightson b 10.6.67
Margot June Wrightson b 23.2.70

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Julia Smith (m 20.8.02) Albert Edward Wrightson
Reay Mary Wrightson b 17.2.08   (m ) Edward Stevenson
Brian Edward Stevenson b 4.5.31  (m ) Olga Kathleen Bright
Paul Anthony Stevenson b 5.3.51   (m ) Vivienne May Low
Jason Brian Stevenson b 25.2.74
Robin Brian Stevenson b 17.8.53   (m ) Lynda Brown

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Julia Smith (m 20.8.02) Albert Edward Wrightson
Airini Anne Wrightson b 20.4.09   (m 24.10.32) Jack Clifford Cater
Douglas Clifford Cater b 18.12.33   (m 7.1.61) Joan-Marie Millner
Jacqueline Anne Cater b 29.1.62
Christine Marie Cater b 22.8.63   (m 25.10.86) Richard Michael Goldsmith
Sarah Alice Marie Goldsmith b 25.4.86
Elizabeth Rae Cater b 8.3.67

Page 4

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Julia Smith (m 20.8.02) Albert Edward Wrightson
William Tom Wrightson (m ) Evelyn Woodfield
John Pearce Wrightson (m ) Jean Crozier
Suzanne Wrightson b (m ) Malcolm Barnett
Amanda Jane Barnett b 12.12.83
Kirsten Barnett b .3.87
Jennifer Wrightson
William Anthony Arthur Wrightson b 2.1.45   (m 12.2.66) Pamela Cherie Bale
Callum James Wrightson b 12.12.69
Bruce Craig Wrightson b 14.1.72

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Julia Smith (m 20.8.02) Albert Edward Wrightson
Jean Edith Wrightson (m ) Roy Frederick Lawrence
Dennis Lawrence b   (m ) Neta Dawson
Dianne Lawrence b   (m ) Keven Webber
Glendon Webber b
Hayden Webber b
Brenda Lawrence b   (m ) William Laity
Noel Lawrence b   (m ) Gaye Francis
Brian Lawrence b
Donna Lawrence b

John Pearce Smith (m 17. 8.1875) Edith Ward
Gertrude Smith b 1882   (m ) Alexanda G Thompson
Gordon Alexanda Thompson (D’cd 3.7.56)   (m 47) Muriel Young
Kevin Alister Thompson b 49
Craig John Thompson b 55
Zeta Thompson b   (D’cd at aged 21 years)

John Pearce Smith (m 17.8.1875) Edith Ward
Una Smith b 1884 (m 19.6.07) Edward Charles Pirie
Lennox Dudley Pirie b .5.08 (D’cd)   (m 11.33) Irene Louise Davison
Kenneth Charles Pirie b 19. 9.34   (m ) Marion Lynda Eagle
Michelle Pirie b
Simon Clarke Pirie b
Gaynor Ann Pirie b 1.7.37   (m 5.9.59) Allan George Lowe (D’cd)   (m ) Broughton TeAkonga Tomlins
Eric Conway Lowe b 22.8.63
Gavin Neil Lowe b 5.1.65
Louise Peti Tomlins b 28.7.73

Page 5

(Cont’d from previous page)

Lennox Dudley Pirie
Norman Charles Pirie (D’cd) b   (m ) Cora Wyatt
Janice Ann Pirie b   (m ) Rex Trenberth (D’cd)
Susan Ellen Trenberth b   (m )
David Wayne Trenberth b
Corinne Norma Pirie b   (m ) John Zutt (Div)
Stephen John Zutt b
Martin David Zutt
Ronda Ellen Pirie b   (m ) David Nilsson
Mark David Edward Nilsson b
Blair Andrew Nilsson b
Amanda Lee Nilsson b
Clifton Raymond Pirie b   (m ) Judith Simpson (Div)   (m ) Cheryl Bright
Rena Pirie b   (m ) George Kelly
Colin Greyson Kelly b   (m ) Lesley Jeannette Robertson
Judith Ann Kelly b
Denise Robyn Kelly b
Lois Kelly b   (m ) Kettle
Harold Keith Pirie b   (m ) Barbara Rachael Stead
Dale Marion Pirie b   (m ) Ashley Stephen Delugar
Sharyn Barbara Delugar b
Robyn Marion Delugar b
Lee-Anne June Delugar b
Carolyn Lisa Delugar b
Denniston Keith Pirie b   (m ) Faye Marie Taylor
Karlene Pirie b
Barbara Pirie b
Gordon Keith Pirie b
Walter Raymond Pirie b   (m ) Isabel Mary Janet Wallace
Lynne Margaret Pirie b   (m) Peter Gibson
Hayley Lynne Gibson b 6.1.86
Ian Raymond Pirie b   (m ) Joanne Margaret Cash
Gwendoline Edith Pirie b (D’cd)   (m ) Cyril Edward  Bickerstaff

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