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Christopher Berriman MARTIN & Elizabeth Ann BRAY

New Zealand to Michigan and Western Australia

Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum, Ishpeming

In 1881, according to their marriage certificate, Christopher and Elizabeth's eldest daughter, Elizabeth Ann MARTIN, married Richard Henry LAWRY in the Registrar's Office, Christchurch, New Zealand. They were both aged 21 at the time and living in Sydenham (Christchurch). Christopher and Elizabeth MARTIN (Elizabeth Ann's parents) were witnesses to the marriage and they are stated as living in Addington (Christchurch), Christopher's occupation at the time is stated as "Miner". Richard LAWRY was born 1860 in Towednack Cornwall, he was the son of John LAWRY, a miner, and Honor Pengelly LAWRY.  Richard had also emigrated to New Zealand aboard the Piako

Elizabeth and Richard LAWRY eventually emigrated to Michigan, USA, they had the following children:

  • Richard Henry LAWRY was born 2 Jan 1882, New Zealand

  • Christopher John LAWRY was born 6 Dec 1882, Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Arthur Ernest LAWRY was born 19 Feb 1884, Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Wilmot Jane LAWRY was born 6 Oct 1886, Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Mabel Deane LAWRY was born 18 May 1893, Ishpeming, Michigan, USA

On June 11, 1939, Richard and Elizabeth celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Ishpeming, Michigan. The following article appeared in the local newspaper at the time and a copy has been kindly supplied by their Grand-daughter, Elizabeth Lawry HEBBARD:

"Surrounded by their family and scores of friends, Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Lawry, 117 S. Angeline Street, today observed their 60th wedding Anniversary. Because of their advanced age, no formal celebration was planned, but this afternoon there was "Open House" and in the evening a family dinner was served.

The LAWRYS, who have lived together more years than span many a lifetime, are still in excellent health and Mr. Lawry, particularly, has an amazing retentive memory. To the very day he remembers event after event in his life.  Mr. Lawry is the elder of the two, having been born September 18, 1859, in Penzance, Cornwall. Mrs Lawry was born March 10, 1860, in Redruth, Cornwall.

Tragedy almost caught them before their married life started. In the fall of 1878, Mr. Lawry learnt that Mrs. Lawry, then Elizabeth Ann Martin, was leaving, with her parents, for New Zealand. This territory was being colonized and the Martins were going to take up land in the new country.

Mr. Lawry was young, in love and his girl was going halfway around the world. So he went too. They left October 3, 1878, for the new land. On November 11 their boat, the Piako, caught fire, 90 miles off the coast of Pernambuco and burned from Monday to Friday, before the Loch Doone hove to and took the passengers off the blazing ship. The sea was running heavy and as Mrs Lawry was being lowered into a lifeboat, a huge wave carried the smaller boat away and she dropped into the water. (Her family laughed with her this afternoon as she recounted the experience and she added, "It didn't matter much then. I wasn't married.").

They were landed on a small island, which Mr. Lawry remembers for the never-ending diet of coconuts, which at first were very acceptable after three days of fasting on the boat. They waited on the island until their burned ship could be repaired, then re-embarked and landed at Port Littleton (sic.), New Zealand, March 3. 1879. Two years later, on June 11 1881, Elizabeth Ann Martin and Richard H. Lawry were married in a little church in Christchurch, New Zealand, taking vows that have held them together 60 years and which carried them halfway round the world to Ishpeming.

The LAWRYS left New Zealand on July 5, 1889, sailing from Port Littleton (sic.) for England. On October 21, of the same year, Mr. Lawry sailed for America, and seven months later, in May 1890, Mrs Lawry and the children sailed to join him.

Mr. Lawry arrived in Ishpeming in late in 1889 and has been resident here ever since. In addition to their four surviving children, the LAWRYS have 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Mr. Lawry worked in the mines. He was employed by the Lake Angeline mining company until it was disbanded, after which he worked for the Oliver Iron Mining company. He retired in 1928.

He was a member of the Ishpeming city band seven years and is the only living member of the band that was active in 1899. He also led the choir in the First Methodist Church and the Salisbury Methodist churches and played in the Sunday school orchestra in the First Methodist.

He has been active in the Order of Foresters, "having gone through the chairs" and is still on the active list. He joined in New Zealand and dates his membership back 59 years. He also was affiliated with the Temple of Honor, known to older members of the community, but no longer a recognized organization.

Many friends called at the home this afternoon and evening and the LAWRYS received numerous messages and letters of congratulations."

[Richard died June 12, 1942 and Elizabeth died September 2, 1943]

Hopkins Street, Boulder  WA, c. 1967

Elizabeth's parents, Christopher and Elizabeth MARTIN, and the rest of the family headed in quite a different direction.

  • Their daughter Nanny MARTIN married Elias Sampson HEAD in New Zealand on 21 November 1883. Elias had also emigrated to New Zealand aboard the Piako.  Nanny and Elias had four sons, Christopher, Amos, Thomas and Walter, born in New Zealand, a daughter Hilda born in Norwood, South Australia in January 1886 and several other children born in Boulder, Western Australia after their eventual arrival on the WA goldfields in the 1890's. Nanny died in Boulder, Western Australia on 1 August 1939 at the age of 73. She is buried in the Boulder cemetery with her husband Elias.

  • Their daughter Emma MARTIN married Richard John BAKER in 1892 in New South Wales, and their daughter Bertha M. BAKER was born in New South Wales the same year. A son Christopher John Stanley Martin BAKER was born 13 February 1894 in Rose Park, South Australia, a daughter Florence Emma Martin BAKER was born 16 September 1894 in Bowden, South Australia and another daughter Kathleen Adelaide Martin BAKER was born 27 August 1897 in Dulwich, South Australia.

  • Their son Christopher MARTIN, (my great grandfather) married Margaret (Maggie) SHEA, daughter of Patrick & Anastasia (Ann) nee HAGAN, in South Australia in about 1898. Christopher and Maggie had four children.  Dorothy Mary was born on 25 April 1902 in West Bowden, South Australia, she died age 16 in Boulder Western Australia; Christopher Berriman Maxwell (known as "Mannie") was born on 15 January 1904 in Bowden, South Australia and died 19 August 1978 in Boulder Western Australia; Elizabeth Ann Eleanor (my grandmother) was born on 22 March 1907 in Hindmarsh, South Australia.  She married Harold Rupert "Dick" MOYLE in Boulder Western Australia, they had three children.   Christopher & Maggie also had a son, Reginald George, who died in infancy of whooping cough. Christopher and Maggie appear to have been the  last of the MARTIN family to arrive in Western Australia (at some time after 1907). Christopher died on 29 March 1931, his wife Maggie died 31 August 1946 and both are buried in the Boulder General Cemetery.

  • Their daughter Catherine (Kate) MARTIN married Charles Montague GRAHAM in Broken Hill, New South Wales in 1891. They had one known child, a daughter, Wilmot Jane, who was born in Broken Hill in 1892.  In 1904, according to the electoral roll, Catherine & Charles were living at 335 Piesse St Boulder, Western Australia.  Charles was elected to the Senate as a WA Representative in 1922 but was defeated in the1928 election. He later lived in Victoria where he worked for the Country Roads Board.

  • Their daughter Mary-Ellen MARTIN married John WARRICK in 1892 in New South Wales and had seven children.  A daughter Mabel was born in 1894 in New South Wales; Roseetta Evelyn was born in 1895 in Norwood South Australia; Stella was born in 1898 in Boulder, Western Australia; Ethel May was born in 1900 in Boulder; and three sons, Roy Federal Hamilton, John Gordon and Richard Harold were all born in Boulder Western Australia in 1901, 1903 and 1905 respectively.

  • Their son Andrew Thomas MARTIN (who as a four year old had arrived in New Zealand aboard the Piako) married Ellen MAYGER in New South Wales in 1894.  They had (known) children Ivy May who was born in 1895 in Norwood, South Australia; Christopher Berriman born 1897 in Boulder, Western Australia; Andrew Thomas born 1902 in Boulder; George Gould born 1905 in Boulder; and Donald Douglas also born Boulder.

Boulder, is located about 365 miles north east of Perth, Western Australia. The area was established following the discovery of gold in the late 1800's and is now one of the major regional centres of Western Australia.  I have no doubt that the members of MARTIN family were attracted there by the need for skilled miners and the hope of a prosperous life. They certainly found work, but, as far as I'm aware, they didn't find their fortune.

Christopher Berriman MARTIN died in Boulder, Western Australia on 23 January 1902 age 63. His wife Elizabeth Ann nee BRAY lived until the age of 87, and died on 3 September 1925. They are buried together in the General Cemetery, Boulder, Western Australia.  A headstone records for posterity that Christopher was of Towednack, Cornwall.

Cornwall to New Zealand - the Piako

I could not have compiled this information without the generous assistance of Elizabeth Lawry Hebbard, Dick Chamberlain, Blanche Charles & Amy Goodman.  It is dedicated to my much loved Grandmother Elizabeth Ann Eleanor MOYLE nee MARTIN who always said "there's not really much to tell".