I have identified several Elderkin settlers in New Zealand, and more are coming to light. I will add the details here as I find them. To date I have added all records currently available from Ancestry and Archway. I am currently working through newspapers from Papers Past and I will then move on to Find My Past and Family Search. Note that I have combined records only where they are certain to be the same person.
Matilda Elderkin was born at Great Elm, Frome, Somerset, England, on 9th May 1853. Matilda was the daughter of Eliza, maiden name Court, and either Samuel Flowers, a coal merchant, or William Elderkin, a coal merchant. There is some confusion because Matilda and some of her siblings were registered as Elderkins, but her mother married Samuel Flowers in 1843 and was shown in the 1861 census still with him. Were Samuel Flowers and William Elderkin the same person? Or was this an enumerator error? I have not yet found a convincing death for Samuel or a marriage for Eliza and William. It’s all a bit of a mystery!
Matilda was listed as a dressmaker in the 1871 census. She arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, aboard the ship Halcione which left Gravesend on 28th Apr 1872 and arrived in Wellington on 27th July 1872. She was listed as a nurse on the ship’s passenger records. (Source: Petone Settlers Data). Matilda’s journey to NZ was an assisted passage. The NZ government offered assisted passages to selected migrants and those people nominated by relatives.
Matilda Elderkin married Lawrence B Kerr, who was from Ireland, in 1875. (Source New Zealand Marriage Index, 1840-1937, Folio Number: 1917). They emigrated to Hawaii and had three children. Matilda later lived in Michigan, USA, where she died in Battle Creek, Calhoun on 9th July 1929.
M Elderkin, aged 35, a matron from Somerset, England, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, aboard the ship Waitangi, which left England on 1st Aug 1874 and arrived in Auckland on 20th Nov 1874. (Family Search digitised passenger list. The list reads M Elderkin, but has been transcribed Mant Ann Elderkin for no obvious reason).
Samuel Henry Elderkin
Samuel Henry Elderkin was born in 1886 and died on 9th April 1887 aged 15 months. His death was registered Apr-May-Jun 1887 in Christchurch, Auckland, New Zealand. (Source New Zealand Death Index, 1848-1966, Folio Number: 864 and https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz).
Samuel was buried in Block 0 Plot 1509B at Addington Cemetery, Christchurch City, Canterbury, New Zealand. (Source Australia and New Zealand Find A Grave Index, 1800s-Current, mistranscribed as Samuel A Elderkin. Find A Grave notes that the burial is recorded in the back corner of the cemetery with 20+ other babies and infants, and that it is not known if all the babies with these plot numbers are buried in these unmarked graves).
Dorothea Elderkin was born 1852 in Devonshire (presumably Otago, not England). She was a prostitute. She was tried at Christchurch on 5th Dec 1889 for habitual drunkenness, one previous conviction, sentenced to seven days hard labour, gaoled at Lyttelton. She was 5 feet 1½ inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown hair and grey eyes, a large nose and a medium mouth and chin. (Source: New Zealand Police Gazette 1890).
George and Sophia Elderkin
George Elderkin married Sophia Cooper in New Zealand in 1886. (Source New Zealand Marriage Index, 1840-1937, Folio Number: 1412). This is probably George and Sophia below.
George Elderkin and Sophia Emma Hatterleigh/Heatherleigh Elderkin (restaurant keepers)
George Elderkin, restaurant keeper, residential, Palmerston North (Source Manawatu-Wanganui Electoral Roll 1896, 1900).
George Elderkin, restaurant keeper, Main Street West, Palmerston (Source Manawatu-Wanganui Electoral Roll 1905-1906).
George Elderkin, restaurant, Palmerston North (Source Wise’s New Zealand Post Office Directory 1898-1899, 1900). Main Street specified (Source Wise’s New Zealand Post Office Directory 1903).
Sophia Emma Heatherleigh Elderkin was born in about 1855. Maiden name as yet unknown.
In 1892 Sophia signed the Women Suffrage Petition Roll – Sheet 315 – for Palmerston North. Digitised copies can be viewed on Archway, Archives New Zealand. In 1893 Sophia, then of Broad Street, signed again. The second signature is signed with a slightly broader and more untidy hand, but appears to be the same handwriting.
Sophia Emma Heatherleigh Elderkin, wife, residential, Palmerston North (Source Manawatu-Wanganui Electoral Roll 1896).
The Riverside Boarding House, formerly under the management of Mrs Griffiths, is now owned by Mrs Elderkin, late of Palmerston North. (Source: Pohangina Notes. FEILDING STAR, VOLUME XVII, ISSUE 236, 10 APRIL 1896).
On her death several articles refer to Sophia as the proprietress of the Q.C.E. Dining Rooms.
In 1902 George placed a notice in the paper stating: “I George Elderkin will not be responsible for debts contracted by my wife Sophia Elderkin, without my order. Signed George Elderkin, October 7th 1902.” (Source: MANAWATU STANDARD, VOLUME XL, ISSUE 7419, 8 OCTOBER 1902, via Papers Past).
Mrs Elderkin, boarding house, Main Street West, Palmerston North (Source Wise’s New Zealand Post Office Directory 1904). Listed immediately below Mrs Elderkin is: George Elderkin, settler, Main Street West, Palmerston North (Source Wise’s New Zealand Post Office Directory 1904).
Sophia died at Palmerston North on 9th Nov 1904 age 49. Death registered Oct-Nov-Dec 1904 at Palmerston North, Otago.
Coroner’s Inquest for Sophia Emma Heatherleigh Elderkin was held in 1904. Documents are held at Archives New Zealand, Wellington Office (R23713150), see Archway.
Sophia died at the boarding house in Main Street on 9th Nov 1904 as the result of a fall, allegedly after being struck by a lodger, bricklayer William Saunders. The charge against William Saunders was dismissed as there was no connection between the alleged assault and the cause of death. Death was due to a perforated ulcer of the stomach, aggravated by drink.
Several newspapers reported the case (see Papers Past) including the Taranaki Daily News and the Manawatu Standard.
The undertakers published a funeral notice in the MANAWATU STANDARD, VOLUME XL, ISSUE 7954, 10 NOVEMBER 1904 (via Papers Past), which stated: “Funeral Notice. The friends of Mr George Elderkin are respectfully informed that the funeral of his late wife (Sophia) will leave his residence Main Street West at 2pm on Friday 11th instant. Griggs and Son, Undertakers.
Sophia was buried at Terrace End Cemetery, Manawatu, Horowhenua. No headstone. (Source New Zealand Death Index, 1848-1966, Folio Number: 2362; New Zealand Cemetery Records, 1800-2007).
George Elderkin (death)
George Elderkin, born about 1821, died at Palmerston North on 11th May 1906 age 85. Death registered Apr-May-Jun 1906 at Palmerston North, Wellington.
The undertakers published a funeral notice in the MANAWATU STANDARD, VOLUME XLI, ISSUE 8185, 10 MAY 1906 (via Papers Past): Funeral Notice. The funeral of the late George Elderkin will take place at the Cemetery, Palmerston North, at 9.30 Friday morning, 11th May 1906. Thos. Griggs and Son, Funeral Directors.
George was buried at Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North, Palmerston North City, Manawatu-Wanganui. Plot purchased by Thomas Griggs (presumably the undertaker). He shares his grave with Caroline Smith who died in January 1905 at Palmerston North. No headstone. (Source: New Zealand Death Index, 1848-1966, Folio Number: 965; Australia and New Zealand Find A Grave Index; New Zealand, Cemetery Records, 1800-2007; BDM Online New Zealand).
His obituary was printed in the Paper (Source: MANAWATU STANDARD, VOLUME XLI, ISSUE 8185, 10 MAY 1906, via Papers Past): “The death is also announced of Mr George Elderkin, another very old resident of Palmerston. Years ago he was in business here as a baker, but in recent years has been in recept of an old age pension.”
Sophia Elderton alias Elderkin
Sophia Elderton alias Elderkin, born 1859, native of England), matron, was tried at Palmerston North on 23rd Dec 1902 for drunkenness, one previous conviction, sentenced to fourteen days, gaoled at Wanganui. She was 5 feet 2 inches tall, with a fresh complexion, brown hair, blue eyes, and a medium nose. (Source: New Zealand Police Gazette 1903).
William Henry Elder[ki]n and Jessie Florence Elder[ki]n
William Henry Elder[ki]n, pensioner, 24 Atkinson Avenue, Otahuhu, Auckland (Source: Otahuhu General Roll 1954 – digitised copy smudged but transcribed as Elderkin).
Jessie Florence Elder[ki]n, married, 24 Atkinson Avenue, Otahuhu, Auckland (Source: Otahuhu General Roll 1954 – digitised copy smudged but transcribed as Elderkin).
Elderkin and Pawson
Pawson and Elderkin letter to Provincial Secretary [ICPS] – permission to cut timber – 22nd Feb 1859. Department of Lands and Survey, Christchurch District Office. (Available from Archives New Zealand).
Doris Kate Fulcher
Doris Kate Fulcher born 19 April 1916 died 1998 has some connection with the name Elderkin. (BDM Online New Zealand).
Maud Sarah Elderkin
Maud Sarah Elderkin died in 1898 aged 16, daughter of a lithographic printer (Papers Past)