Earlier I recounted a story of the emigrant ship Adamant on her 1875 voyage from England to New Zealand, but I didn’t give much detail about my connection to that ship. The Adamant brought the Spratt family, of Liverpool, to New Zealand, where they settled in Invercargill, one of the most southern cities. James and Maria Spratt (nee Rawlinson), both 31 years old, and four children, Maria (who turned 12 and became a “single woman” during the voyage), Elizabeth, Ada, and Harriet, all set out for a brave new world, leaving behind the life they had known. James opened a shop in Invercargill as a sailmaker and cloth worker, and he and Maria had four more children after arriving in the new country. One of these, Florence, born almost exactly four years after arrival, would become my great-grandmother. James would live to the age of 90, and Maria to 65.
In 1905, at the age of 25, Florence Spratt married John Crabbe Winning, another native-born New Zealander of Scottish parents, moving their family slightly north to live in Dunedin, Waimate, and Timaru. John was a butcher, and then a stationer, by trade, with a fancy goods shop in Waimate. The both of them enjoyed singing, composing their own songs and performing in an orchestra. They had two children, the elder of whom, Dulcie Rawlinson Winning, was my grandmother. Florence would live to the age of 68, and John to 87.
Dulcie, born in 1908, at the age of 20 married a Christchurch man, John Charles Hargreaves, another native New Zealander born of English parents who would take her north to his town. There they would have a daughter, Judith, who would later become my mother. The family later moved to Wellington on the North Island, where John would rise to the position of managing director of a large department store, Kirkcaldie and Stains. Unfortunately, Dulcie did not live a long life, passing away at the age of 47, and John went on to marry twice more, eventually being survived by his third wife when he died at the age of 84.
A year before her mother’s death, my mother married a dashing sailor, a merchant marine officer by the name of Robert Fraser from an Auckland family, and Auckland is where they chose to live, until 1969 when they emigrated to the United States with four children, one of whom was — me.
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