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Ann McQueen Alexander

F, #5299, b. 1867, d. 20 October 1914
  • Occupation: Ann was midwife; also laid out the dead.1
  • Name-Married: Her married name was Kidd.1
  • Birth: She was born in 1867 at Stafford, Hokitika, Buller, New Zealand.1
  • Birth*: She was born in 1867 at Stafford, Hokitika, New Zealand.2
  • She was the daughter of Thomas Fraser Alexander and Isabel McLean.
  • Married Name: As of 18 July 1885, her married name was Kidd.
  • Marriage: Ann McQueen Alexander married William Kidd, son of Alexander Kidd and Frances Crawford, on Saturday, 18 July 1885 at Presbyterian Manse, Greymouth, Buller, New Zealand; William was a 22 year-old bachelor & coal miner, born in Glasgow, Scotland and residing in Brunnerton. Ann was an 18 year-old spinster with no listed profession, born in Hokitika, Buller, New Zealand and living in Brunnerton. Married by certificate. Both signed their names. Marriage witnesses: Isabella ALEXANDER (Ann’smother) & Mary WESTBROOKE (reverend’s wife).3,1,2
  • (Officiating Clergy) Marriage: Ann McQueen Alexander officiated at the marriage of Edward Henry Gear and Margaret Guthrie Kidd on Tuesday, 10 August 1909 at residence of William Kidd, Millerton, Buller, New Zealand; Henry was a 22 year-old bachelor & blacksmith born in Westport and residing in Millerton. Margaret was an 18 year-old spinster with no listed profession, born in Brunnerton and residing in Millerton. Married by certificate. Both signed their names. Marriage witnesses: James BROWN (storekeeper at Millerton), Myrtle KENNEDY (domestic duties) & William KIDD (Margaret’s father).3,1,2
    August 9th 1909, Millerton, New Zealand. Wedding of Margaret Guthrie Kidd and Edward Henry Gear.
    Wedding party L-R : William Esau Kidd (with unknown best man seated in front), Isabella Kidd aged 20, Margaret Guthrie Kidd, bride aged 18, Edward Henry Gear, groom aged 22, Elizabeth Ann McQueen Kidd aged 11, Ann McQueen Kidd, mother of the bride aged 42, on her knee Fred Fox aged 2, Frances Fox nee Kidd aged 22, Margaret Guthrie Broadfoot, sister of the mother of the bride aged 39, Thomas Alexander aged 84, Jack Broadfoot holding his son Johnny, Thomas Alexander Kidd aged 21, Albert Kidd aged 15 seated on ground. Unfortunately the father of the bride, William Kidd, was standing at the extreme left hand side, but the photographer had his thumb over the lens and William Kidd was blotted out!
  • (Deceased) Death*: Ann McQueen Alexander died on 20 October 1914 at Westport, New Zealand.2
  • Death: She died on 20 October 1914 at Westport, Buller, New Zealand; Unknown GEDCOM info: breast cancer.4,1
Last Edited: 3 Mar 2018

Parents:

Father*: Thomas Fraser Alexander b. 1830, d. 7 Aug 1918
Mother*: Isabel McLean b. 19 Jan 1825, d. 21 Jan 1898

Family:

William Kidd b. 5 Sep 1860, d. 17 Jul 1927
  • Marriage: She married William Kidd, son of Alexander Kidd and Frances Crawford, on Saturday, 18 July 1885 at Presbyterian Manse, Greymouth, Buller, New Zealand; William was a 22 year-old bachelor & coal miner, born in Glasgow, Scotland and residing in Brunnerton. Ann was an 18 year-old spinster with no listed profession, born in Hokitika, Buller, New Zealand and living in Brunnerton. Married by certificate. Both signed their names. Marriage witnesses: Isabella ALEXANDER (Ann’smother) & Mary WESTBROOKE (reverend’s wife).3,1,2

Children:

Frances Kidd+ b. 1887, d. 16 Jun 1958
Thomas Alexander Kidd b. 1888
Isabella Kidd b. 1889, d. 6 Jun 1942
Margaret Guthrie Kidd+ b. 12 Dec 1890, d. 30 Sep 1972
William Esau Kidd b. 10 Aug 1892, d. 1938
Albert James Kidd b. 1894, d. 1962
Elizabeth McQueen Kidd b. 13 Nov 1898, d. 19 Dec 1990
Maud Hayward Kidd b. 23 Jun 1904, d. 12 Apr 1905
  • (Witness) Note for Web: Ann McQueen Alexander and Isabel McLean, George Alexander, Margaret Guthrie, Alexander Alexander, James Alexander, George Alexander, George Alexander, Margaret Guthrie Alexander and William Kidd were mentioned with Thomas Fraser Alexander and Margaret Duff. Thomas allegedly left home when young because he didn't want to be a farmer and his father was very strict and hard on him. The fifth of six children, he may well have discussed with his four brothers the idea of travelling to Australia's goldfields. In the end, three of the Alexander sons left Scotland, never to return. Thomas' older brothers Alexander and James were to die in Victoria.
    According to his death certificate, Thomas married three times but it doesn't quite match up. It's stated he married first at age 23, second at age 30, wives unknown. It does not mention his third marriage at age 33. Death certificates are the least reliable as the recipient is not there to verify the information. We do know that on 8 June 1855 in Condie, Forgandenny, Perthshire, Scotland, he married Margaret DUFF, daughter of William DUFF and Mary SCOBIE, and both were aged 25.
    On 5 April 1856, Thomas and Margaret had a son George born in Forgandenny. On the birth certificate, Thomas's occupation was 'contractor'.
    In June 1857, Thomas and Margaret sailed as unassisted immigrants into Victoria, Australia aboard the 'Red Jacket'. They both gave their ages as 27. Their son George would've been just over a year old but he doesn't show on the passenger list. Also on this ship was James Alexander aged 31, Thomas' brother.
    Sadly, Margaret was to die three years later in 1860. With his father probably toiling in the goldfields all day, we can only wonder who minded young George after his mother died. This was also the year Thomas' mother died back in Scotland.
    Two years later Thomas was struck by a further catastrophe with the death of five year-old George early in 1862, not long before his sixth birthday.
    Knowing that his second son, also named George, was born in Australia, we can only surmise that Thomas met Isabel Mclean in Victoria. A passenger list exists with an Isabella Mclean sailing into Victoria aboard the 'Monica' in March 1859. Her age is stated as 33, which is about right. Though born as Isabel, she was known as Isabella.
    Isabella might have known the Alexanders before Margaret died. After Margaret's death she might have looked after young George.
    In 1862 or 1863 Thomas and Isabella had their first child George in Sandhurst (now Bendigo*). Following the Scottish custom, they named their first son after Thomas' father. * The name 'Bendigo' was used to describe the diggings along the Bendigo Creek until 18 January 1853 when Governor La Trobe named the township Sandhurst. In 1891 after a voters' poll, the name Bendigo was reinstated (F Cusack, Bendigo: A history, Heinemann, Melbourne,pp. 67 &188).

    Maybe staying in Australia held too many sad memories for Thomas. Within eighteen months of his first son's death the family had immigrated to New Zealand.
    Thomas and Isabella were married in the house of the officiating minister/registrar Benjamin Drake on Don Street, Invercargill on 22 September 1863. Two more children were born in New Zealand: Ann at Stafford, Hokitika, and Margaret at Takaka.
    In the mid-1870s the Greymouth Coal Company had let a contract to sink a new main shaft to a mine; unfortunately the newspaper article doesn't name the mine. Striking trouble at 27 feet, the contractors threw in the contract and a new contract was let to Thomas at eight pound per foot. According to the 'Grey River Argus' of 20 June 1876, Thomas had sunk the shaft 216 feet and work was progressing well at about 10 feet per week.
    Thomas and Isabel lived in Cromwell at the time of the Otago gold rush, before moving to Stafford (where Ann was born) and later Drury. Nothing more is known of the family until they lived in Brunnerton where Thomas was manager of the Brunner Coalmine.
    The 'Grey River Argus' of 16 December 1881 reported on a meeting at the Volunteer Hall about the proposed East and West Coast Railway. It was resolved that the best information and data available should be prepared and presented to the Commissioners about to visit the West Coast, the Commissioners having been appointed by the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce. To this end a committee was to be elected to carry out the resolution and receive the Commissioners on their arrival in Greymouth. The duties of the committee were in the capacity of affording information and practical assistance in respect to the line, as well as greeting the Commissioners. Manager of the Coal Pit Heath mine at the time, Thomas was elected to the committee.
    In 1882 The Working Miners' Gold-mining Company was registered and Thomas bought 500 shares.
    In December 1883 Thomas wrote a letter defending a dentist who had operated on one of his daughters.
    Thomas was manager of the Coal Pit Heath Company mine in 1883 till at least 1886 and was jointly responsible for a luncheon for visiting dignitary Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois, 'Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over Her Majesty's Colony of New Zealand and its Dependencies' on 5 February 1886 when Sir William visited the Brunner and Coal Pit Heath mines, the two leading mines in the district.
    On the Electoral Roll for Hokitika in 1885, Thomas was listed as living in Taylorville, Brunner.
    In 1886 Thomas bought three sections.
    Thomas got his name in the newspaper when he was clouted on the head by a piece of coal. While putting in a prop in the Brunner mine, a large piece of coal fell from the roof, hitting him on the head and severely wounding his scalp. According to the 'Evening Post' of 6 October 1887 he went to Greymouth to get the wound stitched.
    Along with an article in the 'West Coast Times', Hokitika's local newspaper the 'Grey River Argus' dated 25 November 1887 listed Thomas among the candidates standing for election to the first Brunner Council. The elections were held in November 1887. Thomas was unsuccessful, gaining 41 votes. There were ten men appointed to Council - the lowest polling of these had 65 votes. Thomas was next in line as he had the highest number of votes of the unsuccessful candidates.
    Early in 1895 Thomas moved with his wife and younger daughter Margaret to manage the Mangatini mine; he was the first state-appointed mine manager. Mangatini was a mining town up around the back of Millerton, north of Westport. At one time, the town was the home to about sixty miners and their families, and a colder, rougher place was hard to find. It was reached via the Millerton Track, and through a dank tunnel. The houses were little more than huts, surrounded by steep hills that often were covered in snow. There was a boarding house, run by a formidable lady named Sarah McCANN. She was reportedly a huge woman, who nobody dared to cross. A plain cook, with a heart of gold, Sarah kept her accounts by writing in chalk on the wall, and no doubt many a loan was simply erased. The population peaked at 100 in 1911, and had dropped to 51 in the 1916 census. By the 1931 census the settlement had ceased to exist. Also living in Millerton at that time were Thomas's daughter Ann and son-in-law William Kidd, with their six children. Thomas was now 70 years old.
    After he'd left Brunner, a disastrous mine explosion occurred there on 26 March 1896 and many men lost their lives. Thomas knew them all. It was the highest loss of life in a New Zealand mining disaster. This explosion is New Zealand's greatest workplace disaster. Sixty-five men, virtually everybody underground, died when inflammable gas ignited. The impact on West Coast families lasted for generations. A significant memorial commemorating the disaster greets the visitor to the Taylorville side of the complex. The area is important for its social history, in particular its long and vigorous history of trade unionism. The Brunner Mine had the greatest coal production in New Zealand. At its peak over three hundred men and boys were employed there, and a range of industries made up the wider complex. In 1891 the borough of Brunnerton had 2,231 people. Even though it had passed its heyday by 1900 it remained a centre of great industrial activity until the late 1930s - nearly eighty years of industry in this narrow valley. Alongside the extraordinary output of coal, coke and bricks were produced in large volumes. Brunner firebricks, in particular, were famous products in their own right and established the reputation of Brunnerton, as it was generally known in the nineteenth century.
    Around July 1897 Thomas became manager of the Wakamarina Gorge claim goldmine in Marlborough, which he was still managing at the time of Isabella's death.
    In the 1900 Postal Directory Thomas was also listed as being in Deep Creek. Listings have been found for him in Coal Creek, Seddonville and mine manager at the Mokihinui Coal Company in Mokihinui 1898-1899.
    He was also listed in the Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives as holding a First Class Mine Manager's Certificate issued under the Coal Mines Act 1886 and 1891(Alexander, T-Brunnerton); and a Certificate of Competency granted to holders of Provisional Warrants under Section 32 of the Mining Act Amendment Act 1896 (Alexander, Thomas, Deep Creek).
    Thomas's great-grandson Fred ('Snowy') Fox had a memory of Thomas looking for gold in the sand on the beach at Birchfield. Thomas carried the gold pan and Snowy carried a special bucket that Thomas had had made for him. It carried the water needed for panning the gold.
    Another of Thomas's great-grandchildren, Maud Gear, remembered sitting on his knee as a small child and being fascinated by his long white beard. She also told of a holiday she had at Thomas' daughter Margaret Broadfoot's house in Birchfield, which is twenty-one kilometres north-east of Westport. Thomas always read his bible on a Sunday and never worked on the Sabbath. On this particular weekend, Margaret (known to her nieces and nephews as Aunty Maggie Broadfoot) came to her father's bedroom to see if he was alright, as he usually rose early in the morning. Thomas was sitting up in bed reading his bible. When Margaret explained it was Saturday, Thomas jumped out of bed and appeared in his working clothes, axe in hand, and was off to the woodpile where he worked for the rest of the morning.
    Thomas visited Otira to see the tunnel work in progress. His son-in-law William Kidd was an electrician working on the tunnel project.
    Thomas Alexander lived the last twenty years of his life with the Broadfoot family in Birchfield. He died at their home on 7 August 1918, aged 88. His death certificate gives the cause of death as senility and cardiac arrest. He had lived in New Zealand for fifty-eight years.

    Not much is known about Isabel. We can only speculate that she may have immigrated to the goldfields of Australia in her early thirties in search of a husband. On the 1859 passenger list of the 'Monica', all the people on the same page as Isabella were young women aged from 17 to their mid-thirties, bar two who were travelling with a younger relative.
    Isabella died of stomach cancer on 21 January 1898; she'd had her 73rd birthday two days earlier. Her death was registered in Waimangaroa.

    Details were obtained of Thomas and Isabel's death certificates from their death registrations at the courthouse in Westport.

    NEW ZEALAND ELECTORAL ROLLS -
    1 September 1881, Grey Valley electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, residential, Taylorville, miner.
    24 October 1881, Inangahua district, ALEXANDER, Thomas, residential, Taylorville, miner.
    24 October 1881, Greymouth electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, residential, Coaldale, coalmine manager.
    18 June 1885, Inangahua district, ALEXANDER, Thomas, residential, Taylorville, miner.
    1885-86, Greymouth electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, residential, Coaldale, coalmine manager.
    12 September 1890, Grey electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, residential, Coaldale, coalmine manager.
    1905, Buller electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, Birchfield, mine manager.
    1911, Buller electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, Birchfield, mine manager.
    1914, Buller electorate, ALEXANDER, Thomas, Birchfield, mine manager.

    NEW ZEALAND GAZETTES -
    1882, 'Working Miners' Goldmining Company', shareholder Thomas ALEXANDER, Brunnerton, miner, 500 shares (as at 21 December 1881)
    © LGB 2015.1
  • Note for Web*: Ann McQueen Alexander William was born at home in 158 Cumberland Street in Glasgow on 5 September 1860 and named for his father's father William KIDD according to Scottish custom. Tragically, his 21 year-old mother Frances died of puerperal (childbed) fever when he was just nine days old.
    He can't be found in the 1861 Scotland census but the 1871 census shows William as a scholar aged ten, living with his bachelor uncle James Hart Kidd in Govan, Glasgow. William does not appear in the censuses after 1871 and his uncle James was lodging with a Mary Ann McPhail and others in 1881.
    Why didn't William live with his father Alexander? Alexander appeared in the 1861 census living with his mother Catherine. After his wife died, it almost seems like Alexander didn't want anything to do with his son. I wonder how that made William feel, to maybe be blamed for his mother's death and to all intents and purposes, deserted by his father?
    William went to sea in the 1870s when he was about 15 and worked on sailing ships for several years. Some time before 1885 he made his way to New Zealand and decided to stay.
    He worked as a coal miner in Brunnerton. He was of small stature and appeared frail. He always made the porridge in the morning, claiming only a true Scotsman knew how to make it.

    Ann was named for her mother's mother, Anne McQUEEN.
    She was born at Stafford, Hokitika during the gold rush era. Situated on the bar-bound mouth of the Hokitika River on the West Coast of the South Island, Hokitika sprang into life in 1864 when gold was found at her back door and despite its hazardous entrance and the snags that infested the river, Hokitika was officially gazetted as a port on 8 March 1865 by the Canterbury Provincial Government which was desperate for revenue. It developed into a thriving mining town and an important port. The first settlers were John Hudson and James Price who set up a store on the banks of the Hokitika River in 1865 to cater for the miners pouring in following the gold strike in 1864. In 1866, with a population of more than 6,000 the town was almost twice it's present size. People were either digging for gold along the banks of the river or servicing the gold mining industry that had spread along rivers in the region. By 1866 Gibson Quay was usually crowded with small ships - or at least those that had survived the ordeal of entering port. Despite this more overseas vessels and more immigrants arrived at Hokitika than at any other New Zealand port in 1867. Between 1865 and 1867 there were 108 strandings - 32 of which were total wrecks. River floods joined the surf in making difficulties. Food and supplies came by sea by many coasting-craft which broke their backs crossing the bars or which ended their working-life on the north or south. Hundreds of adventurers were willing to pay £5 apiece for the 12 hours' passage from Nelson and the high rates of insurance did not deter ship-owners. The Hokitika Harbour Board did not come into existence until 1876 and the Hokitika Harbour limped on long after the gold ran out, trade dwindled and the port was closed in 1954. Hokitika was the largest 'port of value' between 1865 and 1867.
    In 1948 there still several banks, hotels, boarding houses, a hospital, newspaper, breweries, dairy factory, a whitebait canning factory etc. and the largest gold dredge in the world was still working three miles from the town. The population of the Hokitika borough was 2,840 with gold mining (sluicing and dredging), saw milling and farming the chief support for the town.

    Ann was the elder daughter of Isabel and Thomas. Her father was the mine manager at Brunnerton when she met William Kidd.
    She was a self-taught nurse and midwife. It must be remembered that they always lived in mining communities that were quite small and most had no doctor, and the nearest hospital was far away. Ann's grandson Frederick ("Snowy") Fox had grown up with his grandparents close by. Snowy told how his grandmother Ann was often out at nights attending sick people or delivering babies.
    When Snowy himself was born his mother Frances (nee Kidd) was very sick and they could not get Snowy to breathe. He was premature and weighed only two and a half pounds. Ann put him under the kitchen tap and ran warm water over his face; after two minutes of this he cried. She oiled him, wrapped him in cheesecloth, tucked him under her coat and took him to her home, which was just along the road. Despite his perilous beginning, Snowy lived till his nineties.
    Ann got her skills from delivering many babies over many years and looking after sick people. With her daughter Elizabeth (Ann), she also laid out the bodies of anyone who died. (Ann) was about 15 when her mother died so she was pretty young to be doing this.

    In 1895 the family moved to Millerton.

    On 20 October 1914 Ann died in Westport of breast cancer. William was an electrician at this time and went to Otira to work on the tunnel project. Work had begun around 1909-10 on the building of a tunnel through the Southern Alps, connecting Westland and Canterbury. His youngest daughter Elizabeth (Ann) went with him, presumably to keep house.
    William and Elizabeth (Ann) later moved to Wellington where William worked as an insurance agent. Upon Ann's marriage in 1918, William's address was 92 Austin Street. One year later, both were living at 29 Edinburgh Terrace.
    While living in Wellington, William took his grandson Frederick ("Snowy") Fox to buy a new pair of boots to match his new suit. When William felt in his pocket for the money to pay for the boots, he discovered he had been the victim of a pickpocket. He was upset, but the next day went back to the shop, paid for and collected the boots. William decided he would not lose any more money to a pickpocket. He purchased a gun and carried that in his pocket, only to lose the gun to another pickpocket.
    Snowy remembered his grandfather taking him on many occasions, down to the docks to see the ships that came into Wellington Harbour. William never lost his fascination with ships or his love of the sea.
    William lived with his daughter Elizabeth (Ann) and family in John Street, Newtown in Wellington till he died in Wellington Hospital on 17 July 1927.

    NEW ZEALAND ELECTORAL ROLLS -
    1885-86, Greymouth electorate, KIDD, William, Coaldale, miner.
    1890, Greymouth electorate, KIDD, William, Coaldale, miner.
    1893, Grey electorate, KIDD, William, Coaldale, miner, residential.
    1896, Motueka Supp 1 electorate, KIDD, William, Seddonville, miner.
    1905-06, Buller electorate, KIDD, William, Millerton, engine driver.
    1911, Westland electorate, KIDD, William, Otira, labourer.
    1914, Buller electoratel, KIDD, William, Granity, engine driver.
    1919, Westland electorate, KIDD, William, Otira, labourer..1

Citations

  1. [S123] LGB, Tait Gear & related surnames in "GEDCOM from LGB via FB", listserve message to Facebook, 2015. Printout dated 11/11/2015, [Nov 2015]. Hereinafter cited as GEDCOM LGB.
  2. [S40] From CFmsM [Mar 2010].
  3. [S98] Unknown name of person, unknown record type (unknown file date), unknown repository, unknown repository address.
  4. [S73] Unknown name of person, unknown record type (unknown file date), unknown repository, unknown repository address.