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Ernest Arthur Oliver

In my post Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – How many children/grandchildren in your matrilineal line, I listed the number of children and grandchildren for my 2x great grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Ball as 10 children and 25 grandchildren.

When I was reviewing the grandchildren, I found that there may have been more grandchildren that I didn’t have in my records, so I have been doing more research on her children to find out if there were.

In my previous posts, I have covered her first three children, Mary Ann Oliver, Emily Alice Oliver and Frederick George Oliver, as well as her 7th child, Harry Silvester Oliver.

Her fourth child, Esther, died aged 12 days.

Her fifth child, Mabel Florence Oliver, married Samuel Answer, and I only had 3 children listed for them: Eric Edward Answer (1906-1978), George Oliver Answer (1913-1981), Samuel Answer (1921-1921).  This is an uncommon surname, which made it easier to determine that these would have been their only 3 children – the other entries I found on the Electoral rolls and birth, death and marriage indexes I could trace back to Samuel Answer’s brothers.

Elizabeth’s sixth child was her son Ernest Arthur Oliver.  For a long time, all I knew about Ernest was that he was born in 1884 in Bairnsdale.  Then I received an email which showed that an Ernest Arthur Oliver had served with the New Zealand forces in World War 1.  Was this my Ernest Arthur Oliver?  Then another family member sent me a copy of the Letters of Administration for Elizabeth’s brother George Edward Ball. George never married, and died without a will, so the Letters of Administration listed his siblings, and the children of his siblings who were deceased, as his next of kin.  This confirmed that Ernest was living at the time, 1930, in Lepperton, New Zealand.

From there, I was able to find a burial record for him on the New Plymouth District Council website, in the Cemetery Search

This was still the extent of the information I had for him, so I started with a search on Ancestry.com.au for Ernest Arthur Oliver in the Historical Records from New Zealand.  There were a number of entries for him in the New Zealand Electoral rolls, and then two marriage entries:

Ernest Arthur Oliver to Ellen Catherine Cameron in 1907
Ernest Arthur Oliver to Beatrice Wells in 1919

I then went to the New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages website, firstly to check the marriage entries, since Ancestry had Folio numbers, rather than registration numbers

1907/1799          Ellen Catherine    Cameron            Ernest Arthur      Oliver
1919/1879          Beatrice             Wells                 Ernest Arthur      Oliver

Then I searched for any children for the first marriage – the births under 100 years are restricted, so there wouldn’t be any children listed from the second marriage.

There were 3 children listed

1910/14269       Oliver                       Ernest George Cyril       Ellen Catherine           Ernest Arthur
1908/13898       Oliver                       Alfred Henry Arthur       Ellen Catherine           Ernest Arthur
1907/16365       Oliver                       Evelyn Myrtle               Ellen Catherine           Ernest Arthur

I still needed to determine whether the 2 marriages were for the same Ernest Arthur Oliver, and if so, what had happened to Ellen.

There was no death that seemed to match Ellen, so I decided to check the newspapers at PapersPast, to see if I could find a notice about a divorce.

There was nothing for the exact phrase Ernest Arthur Oliver, so I then checked for any articles for Ernest Oliver, between 1910 and 1919.

There were too many results, so I tried using the option All of these Words, and then in the Keyword or name search Ernest Ellen Oliver. The first result was:

Supreme Court
Wanganui Herald, Volume 1, Issue 15019, 16 September 1916

SUPREME COURT
(Before his Honor, Mr Justice Edwards)
IN DIVORCE

Ernest Arthur Oliver v. Ellen Catherine Oliver and Arthur Quilter. A decree nisi for dissolution of marriage was granted, to be moved absolute at the expiration of three calendar months; costs on the lowest scale. Mr Hussey for petitioner; no appearance of respondent or co-respondent.

This confirmed that Ernest and Ellen had divorced, so the marriage in 1919 was probably for our Ernest.

The New Zealand Probate Records are available on FamilySearch, so the next thing to do was to check for Probate records for Ernest Arthur Oliver.  .

Ernest Arthur Oliver
New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records
Name                                                               Ernest Arthur Oliver
Event Type                                                      Probate
Event Date                                                      1952
Event Place                                                      New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Residence Place                                              Lepperton
Occupation                                                      Butcher
Agency                                                            ABAJ
Accession                                                        W4079
Series Number                                                 21954
Series Name                                                    New Plymouth probate files, 1867-1981
Note                                                                Lepperton – Butcher
Item Code                                                       R23003707
Box Number                                                    90
Record Number                                               9328
First Image Number                                        67
Last Image Number                                        74
Number of Images                                          8

“New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2SB-H6JY : 29 April 2016), Ernest Arthur Oliver, 1952; citing New Plymouth, New Plymouth probate files, 1867-1981, record number 9328, Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office.

His will didn’t mention his children, but it did confirm that his wife’s name was Beatrice.

I then went searching for the Probate file for his wife Beatrice, and found this record

Beatrice Oliver

New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records
Name                                                               Beatrice Oliver
Event Type                                                      Probate
Event Date                                                      1961
Event Place                                                      New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Residence Place                                              Lepperton
Occupation                                                      Widow
Agency                                                            ABAJ
Accession                                                        W4079
Series Number                                                 21954
Series Name                                                    New Plymouth probate files, 1867-1981
Note                                                                Lepperton – Widow
Item Code                                                       R23007261
Box Number                                                    111
Record Number                                               47/61
First Image Number                                        180
Last Image Number                                        191
Number of Images                                          12

“New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2SB-HVT8 : 29 April 2016), Beatrice Oliver, 1961; citing New Plymouth, New Plymouth probate files, 1867-1981, record number 47/61, Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office.

Her Will named her four children, as well as her 3 step-children, Arthur Oliver, Myrtle Openshaw and Ernest Oliver.

I now needed to determine if the four children listed in Beatrice’s will would have been from her marriage to Ernest, or from a previous marriage.

The first child mentioned in the will was Ernest James Oliver. I traced him through the electoral rolls, and then found that he was also listed on the New Plymouth District Council Cemetery Search.  Ernest James Oliver died 30 March 1991, aged 74 years.  The New Zealand death index shows death entries if the person would be over 80 years old, so I also found his death entry, which listed his birth date 31 January 1917. He was born before Ernest Arthur Oliver and Beatrice Wells were married but since he is listed on all the records I have found as Ernest James Oliver, he would appear to have been Ernest Arthur Oliver’s son.

Beatrice’s will had named one of her executors as her son in law, John Filbee.  I had trouble finding the right entry for Joan on the Electoral rolls, so I tried searching for John, and found a Dorothy Joan Filbee listed at the same address. They are also listed on the New Plymouth District Council Cemetery Search:

FULL NAME        AGE AT DEATH  DATE OF DEATH                CEMETERY

FILBEE , Dorothy Joan               90 Years            22 Sep 2011           Cremation
FILBEE , John                             64 Years            24 Jun 1982           Cremation

Based on her age at death, Joan was born about 1921, so it appears she was also Ernest Arthur Oliver’s child.

To find the other two children, I decided to first follow Beatrice in the Electoral rolls from when Ernest died in 1952, to when she died in 1960.

In 1954, Beatrice Oliver was in the Palmerston North District, Region or Province: Manawatu-Wanganui. She was living at 63 Albert Street. I then went searching for each of her daughters, and found that this was the same address where Dorothy Joan and John Filbee were living.

In 1957, Beatrice was in the Bay of Plenty District, Bay of Plenty Region.  She was living at 3 Rimu Road, Murapara.  Dorothy Joan Filbee was in the Egmont District, Taranaki Region.  I then searched for the next child listed in the will, but couldn’t find an entry that seemed to fit, so I then went searching for the last child, Elsie Townsend.  I found an Elsie May Townsend in the same district, and found that Elsie May Townsend, married, and Tasman Townsend, bushman, were living at the same address as Beatrice – 3 Rimu Road, Murapara. I was then able to follow Elsie and Tasman in the Electoral rolls through to 1978.  I found Tasman in the 1981 Electoral roll, but Elsie wasn’t with him.  It seems possible that she died between 1978 and 1981.

I then did a Google Search and found a memorial for Tasman:

http://www.amemorytree.co.nz/remembrance.php?personid=267938

This showed that Tasman Townsend was born 23 April 1925 and died 17 November 2014.

By following the links, I found the name of a newspaper his death notice might have appeared in: The Taranaki Daily News.  I then did another google search, and found a page where I could search for an obituary. – http://deaths.taranakidailynews.co.nz/obituaries/taranaki-daily-news-nz/

I selected: Given name Tasman Surname Townsend and the Date Range: All Time, and found his death notice at http://deaths.taranakidailynews.co.nz/obituaries/taranaki-daily-news-nz/obituary-search.aspx?:

TOWNSEND Tasman (Tas) Passed away Sunday, 17 November 2014 at Cantabria Resthome & Hospital, aged 89 . Much loved son of Racheal & Henry Townsend. Husband of Elsie (Dec). Longterm companion of Theresa. Father of 6 children. Grandfather to 14…
daterange=99999&firstname=tasman&lastname=townsend&countryid=12&stateid=217&affiliateid=3333

If Elsie was about the same age as Tasman, then she would also be one of Ernest’s children.

Since two of Beatrice’s daughters were listed by their middle names on her will, this has made finding the other child more difficult.  I therefore don’t know at this stage whether this child was from a previous marriage, or Beatrice’s marriage to Ernest.

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