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Watts Family History

John Watts (Senior)NZ pioneer, JOHN WATTS  was son of  father John Watts 1793-1848 occ: coopers and coffeehouse owner at St Brides London St. Bride’s Church of England, Fleet Street, who mar: Sept 30, 1822 his mother Ann Botterill (1801-1878). He was born 1831 in St Brides, London, and died 1916 in Christchurch, New Zealand. On 20th Oct 1852 he married HENRIETTA ELIZABETH WILLS in St Andrews Church, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire. She was born 1828 to parents John Allison Wills (1804-1841) and mother Mary Pitt nee Babbs (1800-1847), and died in 1911 at Christchurch. John was by occupation a cooper

1861 Census: John Watts and his wife Henrietta “C” Watts, and their three children, living in an address of 34 Prince’s Street, Lambeth, Surrey. John is shown to be a 30 year old clerk cooper, born St. Bride’s. Henrietta is 31 years old and born in the parish of St. Peter‘s, Bristol (Gloucestershire). The children in the household include 7 year old John Alfred Watts, born St. Bride’s; William J. Watts, born Westminster; and 10 month old Annie Watts, born Lambeth, Surrey.

1871 census: The family of John and Henrietta Elizabeth Watts are living in an address of 8 Kenelworth Road, Bethnal Green London (Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition as to Marriage, Sex, Age, Occupation, Where Born)

John Watts, Head, Married, Male, 40, Bond Cooper at a Wharf, City of London
Henrietta E Watts, Wife, Married, Female, 42, St. Peter's Bristol
John Alfred Watts, Son, Unmarried, Male, 17, Wine Merchant's Porter, City of London
Arthur James Watt, Son, Male, 8, Scholar, St. Mary Paddington
Joseph Robert Watts, Son, Male, 4, St. Paul's Deptford
Ernest Albert Watts, Son, Male, 10 Months, Bethnal Green

In 1873 With their children  John and Henrietta immigrated on board the "Star Of India"to Lyttelton, New Zealand. The Christchurch Immigration Office interviewed passengers:

14 January 1874: John Watts: "I was advised by my Brother who is a medical man, to emigrate either to New Zealand, Queensland, or Canada. I chose New Zealand on account of the climate. I saw an advertisement in a paper - "Wanted a married couple; wages £65 per annum and all found, the woman to work in the house, man to milk, work in garden etc". This first convinced me that the wages were so good in New Zealand. I went to the Agent General's Office and found every one very obliging, there was no difficulty in getting my papers filled up. I called twice at the Office and my Contract ticket was filled up for the Dilawur. I had to wait five days for the Star of India. I received one shilling and sixpence per Adult for my family during this detention. I believe that the best way of promoting Emigration would be to have popular lectures on New Zealand to the working classes in the East End of London and to distribute gratuitously pamphlets such as that published by Street for Shaw, Savill & Co. I bought one - a great many people saw it and read it. They thus heard of New Zealand for the first time as a field for Emigration. The advertisements for the Agent General are amongst the shipping advertisements and not one person in a thousand for whom the advertisements are intended ever see them. It was quite by accident that I saw the advertisement in the "Standard". (Src: Archives NZ Ref: IM 74/97)

The family settled in Christchurch.  9 October 1876: The Board then proceeded to discuss the report of the committee seriatim. After a lengthy discussion in committee j on the first clause, it was resolved—" That John Watts, caretaker at the West Christchurch School, be appointed as caretaker for the library."

30 May 1878:CHRISTCHURCH HOSPITAL. TO the Applicants for the Office of House Steward-Mr. John Watts has been Appointed.

18 May 1888 ST. JOHN AMBULANCE. The distribution of the medallions won by members of the different classes in connection with the Canterbury branch of St. John Ambulance Association took place last night in the Provincial Council Chambers. There was a very good attendance of ladies. His Worship the Mayor presided, and said that he had been requested by the Committee of the Association to perform the ceremony of presenting the medallions to those members of the Society who were entitled to receive them Among those listed: John Watts

23 Jul 1890: The ladies made use of, and praised highly, a simple but ingenious bandage-rolling machine that has been made and presented to the Ambulance classes by Mr John Watts, hon. secretary of the Fire Brigade Ambulance Corps.

27 June 1916: FUNERAL NOTICES. THE Funeral of the late John Watts will leave his son's residence 72 Conway street. Spreydon on Wednesday, June 28th, at 2 p.m. for the Sydenham Cem. 


i. JOHN ALFRED WATTS, b. 1853, St Brides, London; d. 1923, Spreydon, Christchurch; mar: 1877 to JANE WESTBURY, Christchurch; b. 1849, Richmond, Tasmania to parenst - Father George Westbury (1809-1858) and mother Jane McDougall (1816-?) She d. 24 Aug 1930, Spreydon, Christchurch in her 80th year
Their children were:

Annie Elizabeth Watts (1878-1947); Ernest Alfred Watts (1880-1918) Bertha Louise Watts (1882-1954) Alice Ruth Watts (1888-1945) Harry Westbury Watts (1890-1955)  Lucy Agnes Watts (1893-1968)

ii. EMILY ELIZABETH WATTS, b. 1855, Westminster, Middlesex; d. 1858, Westminster, London.

iii. WILLIAM GEORGE WATTS, b. 1858, Westminster, Middlesex; d. 1865, Depford, Kent.

iv. ANNE WATTS, b. 1860.

v. ARTHUR JAMES WATTS, b. 1863, Paddington, Middlesex; d. 1956, Christchurch, New Zealand; m. 1889 to ANN ELIZABETH WARD at Christchurch; b. 1865, Lea Marston, Warwickshire; d. 1956, Christchurch, New Zealand.

vi. JOSEPH HENRY WATTS, b. 1865; d. 1865.

vii. JOSEPH ROBERT WATTS, b. 1865; d. 07 Dec 1921, Hawera.

viii. ERNEST ALBERT WATTS, b. 1870, Bethnal Green, London; d. 1871, Bethnal Green, London.

ix ANNE ELIZABETH WATTS b. 29 Aug 1878, Christchurch, New Zealand, d. date unknown

Generation No. 2

JOSEPH ROBERT WATTS  was born 1866 Deptford, Kent, England, and was a farmer at Okaiawa when he died on 7 Dec 1921 in Hawera, South Taranaki aged 55 yrs. He married 1894 to JANE THERESA BALL in Stratford, Taranaki. She was born 1875 in Christchurch, New Zealand, and died 1944 in Hawera, Taranaki.

Taranaki Herald, 18 July 1882:  The Okaiawa hotel is in the hands of Mr. Watts, lately in business at Hawera as cabinet maker and upholsterer, and the host has signified his intention of shortly entertaining the influential settlers of the district at luncheon with the object of discussing the prospects of that portion of the Waimate Plains, and arranging plans for communicating with the Government re the opening up the adjoining bush lands by means of roads to form arteries of communication with the town of Okaiawa. Very commendable energy is shown by the business people in developing the resources of the neighbourhood, and it is likely that the present small settlement is but the nucleus of an eventually large town. The forthcoming sale of land on the continuous reserve will give a further impetus to Okaiawa, whose central situation is so well appreciated by the settlers. In addition to the land previously spoken of in these columns as surveyed and for sale, a further block of 800 acres has been surveyed and sub-divided into 50 acre sections, and will be sold shortly. This block is bounded on the north by the Skeet Road, east by Ahipaipa Road, west by a line cut centrally through the reserve between Skeet Road and the Normanby Okaiawa road. It is said that this land was needed to make up the 5000 acres to be taken by Government for the cost of suppressing the Parihaka agitation, although it is difficult to reconcile this statement with a late intimation in a local paper that the area already surveyed was 7,800 acres.

FUNERAL NOTICE. The funeral of the late Joseph Robert Watts will leave the residence, Burgon Road, Okaiawa, TO-MORROW (Thursday), Dec 8th, 1921, at 1 p.m. for the Hawera Cemetery. Friends please accept this intimation

Clarence, father Joseph Robert; Harold, Ivy; mother Jane; Leslie

In front: Reeford and Percy (twins) Photo abt 1910

Children of JOSEPH WATTS and JANE BALL are:

i. IVY MAY BALL, b. 25 Jul 1898

ii. HENRY JOHN WATTS, b. 23 May 1896; Occ: farmer; WW1 1916-1918;

MARRIAGE. WATTS—MATHESON.-On August 25th, 1920, at the Presbyterian Church, Hawera, by the Rev. H. B. Gray, Henry John Watts, eldest son of Mr and Mrs J. R. Watts, of Hawera, to Isabella Elsie Matheson, second daughter of Mr and Mrs D. Matheson, of Banffshire, Scotland.

Isabella died 1949 aged 52 years and Henry d: 1982.

iii. CLARENCE ALFRED WATTS, b. 25 Jul 1898; d. 1989; mar: 1928 to WINIFRED MAY MCLEAN b. 27 April 1904 to parents John McLean (1841-1947) and mother Eliza Wicks (1874-1964). She d: 1979.

iv. LESLIE ARTHUR WATTS, b. 05 Sep 1899; d. 1985. He mar: Sylvia Irene Lord b: 1899; d: 1985 Their daughter Shirley Irene d; 1932

v. JOHN BERNARD WATTS, b. 1902; d. 1903 aged 13M

vi. PERCY JOSEPH WATTS, b. 06 May 1903; Kaupokonui - Farmer; d. 1966 aged 68Y

vii. REEFORD BALL WATTS, b. 06 May 1903; Occ: farmer at Kaupokonui; he d. 27 Feb 1966, Kaupokonui, Taranaki Bur: 1 Mar 1966 Manaia Cem aged 62 yrs; Reef mar: 1936 to ELSIE MAY GRIFFIN at the Wesley Church, Hawera; She was b: 16 Feb 1909, Kaponga, Taranaki to Father Arthur Griffin (1872-1956) and mother Helena Maria nee Adlam (1874-1963) Elsie  d: 29 Jun 2001, Taupo.