JOHN EDMUND ACKROYD was the son of Jonathan Ackroyd (1813-1890) a carpet weaver, and mother Hannah Eastwood (1818 - 1860) John was b: 16 Feb 1839 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England; bapt 20 Sep 1840 Sowerby Bridge, Christ Church, Yorkshire - he d: 10 Nov 1921 aged 82Y at Temuka, New Zealand.
In 1851 at the age of 12Y, John was employed as a spinner living with his parents, sisters Martha (incorrect name - she was Mary Ann) (25Y); Betty (15Y); Zilpha (9Y); and brother James(20)
Feb 16 1859, John Ackroyd immigrated to New Zealand in the ship Clontarf landing at Lyttelton on the 6th Jan, 1859
John first worked for Major Hornbrook on the Port Hills, Christchurch, then spent a time at the diggings. He next purchased a team of bullocks with which he carted wool and produce to and from the Mackenzie Country - not an easy task then as there were no roads or bridges, and it was necessary sometimes to swim flooded rivers. A humane driver, John took with him a supply of hay for the purpose of feeding his bullocks when they were out spanned, whereas the general practice of some carters to allow the animals to find their own fodder in the tussocks and other herbage. After a time, with the advent of roads, bullocks gave place to horses which were iron-shod, and John then used horses. His mates were John Martin and Michael Gaffaney.
In 1862 John bought a farm at Waitohi Flat in conjunction with another farmer Henry Roland Goodeve, called "Dairy Green", which they later sold. This gave him the residential qualification to be eligible to vote and in 23 Apr 1864 he applied to be put on the electoral Roll of the district of Timaru - John Edmond Ackroyd; Place of abode - Arowhenua; Qualification - Freehold; 156 acres property situated on Rhodes island, Section back of Arowhenua Bush, Geraldine district; (Attested by T R Raynor)
On the 24th Mar 1862, John Ackroyd aged 23Y, mar: at the house of William Hornbrook, Arowhenua Bush, Temuka to MARIA TAYLOR, the daughter of Robert and Mary Taylor of Timaru.
John Ackroyd's next farm was "Mile Thorn," at Waitohi and here he and Maria brought up their large family of 13 children. (2 are not know and likely died at birth) John Ackroyd took no part in public affairs, was a church warden of the Church of England, and a member of the first water race committee of Waitohi - known as a man of integrity he earned the goodwill and respect of all who knew him. Among his old friends, he was at first known as Halifax Jack, and as he became better known, this was changed to Honest Jack.
Friday June 21 1889: Arowhenua Town Board: Advice from Mr W. Ackroyd and Mr Nicholas re the bad state of road between Tavender's bridge and Mackenzie corner
1899 John Edmund Ackroyd wrote: I paid £l8 to come to the country 41 years ago, I have been settled on the Waitohi Flat, alongside of the Arowhenua Estate, for 39 years. I have done half share of the fencing where my land joins the estate. I have had fifteen of a family born on the place. Click years: 1897; 1898 and 1899
Timaru Herald: Death: On Friday last, 16 Jul 1910 there , Mrs J. E. Ackroyd, (Maria) aged 60y died at Temuka
Timaru Herald: 16 Jul 1910: Funeral Notice: Friends of Mr J. E. Ackroyd are respectfully informed that the funeral of his late Wife will leave his residence, Mile Thorn Farm, on MONDAY July 18th, at 2 o'clock, for the Timaru Cemetery.
Temuka Leader: 19 Jul 1910: The late Mrs Arkroyd was the daughter of Mr R. Taylor, one of first settlers in Timaru. She was of a kind and generous disposition, and was well liked, and highly esteemed by her neighbours. She leaves a husband and a family of ten - eight daughters and two sons Arthur and Herbert at Waitohi to mourn their loss. Her, daughters are all married and most of them settled in this district - Mrs Leonard Rooke, Arowhenua; Mrs Joseph Lee, Queensland; Mrs Sydney Morris, Ngaruawahia; Mrs Geo. McCullough and Mrs William Lyon, Waitohi; Mrs Arthur Logan, Studholme, Mrs Mitten, Temuka; Mrs Joseph Barrv, Clandeboye. The funeral took place yesterday, and was largely attended. Mr Ackroyd and family have the sympathy of a large number of friends in their sad bereavement.
John Edmund Ackroyd retired from farming. For years his eyesight had been failing, and age took it's toll on his health. His death was not unexpected when on 10 Nov 1921, at the age of 81 years he passed away at his residence "Mile End Farm", Waitohi, Temuka.
His Will stated: "I desire that my trustees shall expend the sum of £50 in the purchase and erection of a suitable tablet or momento to be placed in St Peter's Church of England at Temuka with the permission of the authories of the said Church" (LCHR: to my wife £3000, all household furniture, motor car and cows, and income from trusts)
Below, are John Ackroyd's (JEA) bequests to his individual children - Click each name to view their page.
i. EDMUND JONATHAN ACKROYD (b: 31 Dec 1862; Temuka; d: 9 Dec 1903) Farmer; He did not marry.
ii Mary Hannah Ackroyd (b: 18 Aug 1864 in Arowhenua d: 26 Aug 1949) (JEA: I bequeath Mary my gold presentation watch and sum of £600) She mar: 1893 to Leonard Charles Home Rooke
iii. ANNIS ELIZABETH ACKROYD (b: 03 May 1866; d: 09 Jul 1936) (JEA: I bequeath £1100) She mar: 1895 to JOSEPH LEE b: 1870 in Temuka; d: 16 Apr 1947 Occ: farmer of Brookstead, Queensland
v. LOUISA ACKROYD (b: 17 May 1869; d: 1949) (JEA: I bequeath £1100) she mar. 1888. to SYDNEY JOLIFFE MORRIS, Occ: Farmer Ngaruawahia (1861-1914)
vii. JANE ACKROYD (b: 30 Jun 1890; d: 08 Jan 1946) (JEA: I bequeath £600) She mar:1892 to Arthur Irwin Logan (1860-1933) Occ: farmer of Studholme
ix. HARRIET ACKROYD (b: 6 May 1876; d: 3 Oct 1949) (JEA: I bequeath £600) She mar: 1902 to William James Lyon (1872 - 1946) Farmer of Temuka
x. ALICE AMELIA (Millie) ACKROYD (b: 18 Nov 1878; d; 5 Mar 1890)
xi. MABEL THERESA ACKROYD (b: 2 Sep 1880; d: 8 Aug 1933) (JEA: I bequeath £500) She mar. 1900 to PATRICK MITTEN (1871-1946) occ: farmer of Temuka