Emily Mist was born in 1868 at Woodgreen in Hampshire, where her father was an agricultural labourer. Emily migrated to New Zealand in 1877 with her parents.
Woodgreen is a village in the English county of Hampshire. The village is in the valley of the Hampshire Avon and is located due south of the city of Salisbury. Its nearest town is Fordingbridge, lying 3 miles south and west. The village of Breamore is to its west, across the River Avon.
Woodgreen lies between the River Avon and a hill on the edge of the central plateau of the New Forest. It is a typical Forest village, with brick and thatch cottages surrounded by thick hedges to keep out the cattle and Forest ponies which graze on the surrounding unfenced greens. Footpaths which were once cattle-tracks lead to the Forest tableland and to Woodgreen Common. Footpaths from the common lead down through the woods to the Drove, a broad, three-quarters-of-a-mile-long avenue of magnificent oaks. They are called the Napoleonic Oaks, and were planted nearly 200 years ago to provide the Royal Navy with timber for its men-of-war.
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Woodgreen was part of the Fordingbridge District in the 19th Century. The following is extracted from the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72).
FORDINGBRIDGE, a village, a parish, a district, and a hundred in Hants. ...... The district forms only one sub-district, or is not divided; and it contains the parishes of Fordingbridge, Rockbourn, Breamore, Hale, North Charford, and South Charford, and the extra-parochial tracts of Woodgreen and Ashley-Walk electorally in Hants, and the parishes of Martin, Whitsbury, and South Damerham, and the extra-parochial tract of Toyd-Farm-with-Allenford electorally in Wilts.
Woodgreen is described briefly in the The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) as follows:
"WOODGREEN, an extra parochial place in the upper division of Fordingbridge hundred, county Hants, 3 miles N.E. of Fordingbridge, on the river Avon."
Woodgreen became a small civil parish containing 47 acres. In the 1861 Census, Woodgreen parish had a population of 345. The following information was obtained from 1871 census forms from Woodgreen civil parish: 80 households, 336 people. The occupation of men were Agricultural labourer 69, Farmer 1, Shepherd 1, Carpenter 8, Bricklayers and their labourers 7, Stone mason 1, Boot and shoe maker 3, Labourers 4, Waterman 3, Gardener 2, Sawyer 2, Blacksmith 1, Tailor 1, Innkeeper 1.
It is summised from this that the main economic activity in Woodgreen parish was farming during the mid-ninteenth century. Agricultural labourers ranged in age from teenagers to elderly men.