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Newman School : Jack Monaghan earned a Military Medal and “lieutenant’s commission in the field”.  MM. M.M. 

NewmanSchool : Edward Rubick served with Alfred Shout VC, & John Dunstall in the Boer War 1899 – 1901. Also a later teacher served in the Boer War.    Albert Rubick was in WW2. 


Calton : Alfred, Ernest and Wilfred started at Newman School in 1900 ? cross-reference?

Dillons also. Esp. 1906.  



New Zealand Copy of Register of Marriage by Officiating Minister [R.G.-12] 

1926 Marriage in the District of Eketahuna Entry Number 14

1st NOVEMBER 1926  Sacred Heart Church (Catholic), Eketahuna : Priest Austin Doherty (Catholic). Signed on the back corner “Best Wishes, A.D.”   


Between Edward (  ) Ginnane, labourer, aged 34, bachelor, born at Petone, usual residence at Taumarunui, currently resident at Eketahuna, father : John Ginnane, farmer, mother Winifred Ginnane (nee Roache);


and Frances Evelyn Downey, Domestic Duties, (a.k.a. Eva & Evaline) aged 22, Domestic Duties, born at Taihape, usual residence at Taumarunui, currently resident at Eketahuna, father Harry Downey, labourer, mother Elizabeth Downey (nee Chambers / Charmbers);

Witnesses: David ( Paul ) Ginnane (Edward’s brother), cheesemaker, Rongomai (near Mangatainoka, approx. 25km? north of Eketahuna; about 33 years old at the wedding time ),


And Ellen J or I Dillon, Home Duties, Newman (approx. 4km north of Eketahuna), [In the 1948 Newman Schoolbook there are many Dillon’s, Ellen Dillon went to the school in 1906 – 1908, and became Mrs J Reid, Gonville, Wanganui by 1948; at the wedding she would have been about 26 years old].   

Register Book of Marriages kept at The Presbytery, Eketahuna  (Catholic). 




From : Town Clerk’s Office, Hamilton City Council, N.Z.    8th November, 1955


To : Mrs. (sic) (Frances Evaline) Ginnane,

Dear Mrs. Ginnane,

The Mayor, Mr. Braithwaite, has asked me to tell you that he is to unveil a bronze plaque which is to be affixed to the wall at the entrance to the Council Offices, Alma Street (was Waikato Riverside, south side ), at 12.30 p.m. on Monday the 21st November 1955. The inscription on the plaque, which headed by the City’s Coat of Arms,  reads:

“In memory of Edward James (Ted) Ginnane who lost his life when voluntarily serving in a community effort on the 26th February, 1955.”

If you feel you are able to be present and will let me know, I will arrange to send a car down for you and see you get home afterwards.

                                    Yours faithfully, W. Wadais ???  Town Clerk


Certified Copy of Entry of Birth in the Registrar-General’s Office No. 46465  [R.G.-100]

District of Ongarue (near Taumarunui) Year 1933 

Born 8th April 1933 @ “Avonlea”, Taumarunui.  Edward James Ginnane  Male 

Father: Edward Ginnane, Bushman, aged 41 years, born in Petone, N.Z. 

Mother: Frances Evaline Ginnane, Maiden name / nee Downey, aged 25 years, born Taihape.

Parents married: on 1st November, 1926 at Eketahuna

Only previous child (alive or dead) Female, aged 5 years (Myrtle Roberts nee Ginnane, born 1928 approx.)    

Informant: N.A. Prussing, of Ongarue, agent duly authorised in writing by father, 

Birth registered on May 30th 1933, E.R. Taylor registrar.

Certificate copy issued at Wellington 1st day of August 1950 for 2 shillings & sixpence (25 cents).   Back noted by Norris Ward (Solicitors, Hamilton ?)  file GIN02953/8  1712   & typist stamped / noted on 1st August 1950  --- Teddy was 17.3 yrs old at the time, starting work?  


Newman School Booklet Souvenir of Jubilee Celebrations 1948 : the school opened in 1892 at the Hall, & was purpose-built in 1895 –  (light blue cover).  Opening pupil, Alfred Shout won the V.C. ?!  in the Boer War ? & died?
21 – 22 – 23rd  May 1948 War Memorial & Roll of Honour Services.  Jackie Monaghan chairman. 

Kids like the Monaghans farmed on

In the list of school starters / year, all 4 Ginnane’s : David (deceased by 1948, in 1937 in fact), Edward, James & Michael are down as starting Newman in 1896).  ALSO MICHAEL JOHN GINNANE (MJG) is listed as starting in 1930, during the great depression, when he stayed with his grandparents, John & Winnie, perhaps for financial reasons of his parents, Michael & Kitty?

ELDEST SON??? : James Ginnane attended 1896 – 1899 working at the Polish children’s refugee camp Pahiatua in 1948. The Polish kids & parents were evacuated / captured as slave labour through Russia after the division of Poland in September 1939 & ahead of the German advance in 1941 - 1943.  Finished up in Pahiatua & stayed on.

James was divorced ? & ostracised by mother & father, but not by his brother Michael, according to Myrtle Roberts (2007). 

2nd eldest son ? : Michael (Edgar Clement) Ginnane, attended 1896 – 1901, in Hamilton in 1948.  He had sold-up at the Kimbolton Hotel, and was living at either ‘Lynch’s’ old house in Clyde Street on the Sacred Heart grounds, behind the current Clyde Centre PostShop (2007), or in River Road. 

3rd eldest son ? : Edward Ginnane attended 1896 – 1904  At Mangapehi, North Island Main Trunk Railway (NIMTR) in 1948.  

4th & youngest son ? : David Paul Ginnane is not mentioned, probably because only attendees are listed ?  : he was born in 1893, & the family presumably moved to Newman in 1896.  He should have started school in 1898 or 1899 – maybe at a convent, etc ? 

The School Roll of Honour lists David, Edward, Michael & James Ginnane. 

The Wellington Settlement Scheme gave an urban section at Newman, and rural land at Nireaha (west of there) freehold at one pound / acre, deferred payment system introduced by Balance & Seddon. 1889 started.  Railway not there until 1894 or 5? . 4-horse wagons; railway had a gap between Eketahuna & Pahiatua for many years (2 day trip?)  Mr Neil & Mrs Nelson were teachers about 1895-6-7. New school building June 1896 = 60 pupils; Mr Carter & Miss Higgins; Miss Holm for Boer War; Sawmills & bushfires danger 1903, 4, etc Heavy snowfalls & earthquake 9th Aug 1904. 

10th NOVEMBER 1918 school closed for Spanish Influenza outbreak; Armistice signed NOV 11, 1918.       Polio outbreaks in 1925 & 1937. 


From Edward (Ned) Ryan, US Army Intelligence Corps (retired) B.Sc, M.Sc,

One smaller page B5,  hand-written & postmarked ‘Killeen, TX’ on 24 Sep 1993 to Michael John Ginnane (MJG), aged 75 at the time, 5 Kakanui Ave, Hillcrest, Hamilton, N.Z.     plus a photocopy. 


Dear Michael, I am enclosing a draft of the Ginnane family history as it affects the New Zealand branch. 

Most of the input was collected via electoral rolls, birth marriage & death certificates, military records, school records, phonebooks, etc.

I invite any input of information on the family that you may care to furnish. All anecdotal type information welcome.

I am working now on a draft of the Rahona branch of the family and what’s happened to them.

I am sending the information draft to each person mentioned in it that I have an address on. 

I hope we have the opportunity some day to meet. Until then, Best wishes, From “Ned” Ryan.  


And 4 full A4 pages hand-written Aug 4th 1993 after visiting Ireland. Postmarked Aug 3rd?, 1993  Killeen & WACO, TX   plus a photocopy. 


I have returned from a visit to Ireland and found this pile of letters waiting for me. There must have been at least thirty. The letters contained information on probably all the Ginnanes in New Zealand, as well as related Ginnane names i.e. Guinnane, Guinan, etc.

I also had a letter from ‘Murray Michael’.  Murray is often a ladies’ name here, as well as a man’s name. I wasn’t sure if Murray is really a man or a woman? However, I was more inclined to think of Murray as being a lady, rather than a man, based on the handwriting.

My mother, who died in 1985, used to often speak of her cousins in New Zealand.  I could only remember Michael’s name, but when someone wrote me giving the other names of James, Edward & David I recognized them right away.  I believe all four of the boys visited Ireland, but Michael, or Mick, was well remembered.  You see the Ginnanes (meaning the family in Ireland in the early 1900’s) were all over 6 foot 2 inches ( 1.85 metres). My mother was 6 foot (1.8 metres).  Michael was called “Mickleen beg” by my grandparents which is a term of endearment in Irish / Gaelic and means ‘my little Michael’.    

John Ginnane had at least two brothers, Edward / Edmund Ginnane being my grandfather and Daniel Ginnane my granduncle.  John was born in 1852 and died on 6th October 1933, although his burial records in Pahiatua list him as 82 years of age, which would mean he was born in 1851.

Edward or Edmund was born in 1859. 

Daniel Ginnane was born in 1855 but died in 1874 from pneumonia (aged 19?) 

Now I know that there were other children born.  Other daughters and sons.  I have the names of all the Ginnane’s but I am faced with a problem, you see, the farm next to our ancestral home is owned by another Ginnane family. They also had ‘Johns’ and ‘Daniels’ and ‘Edwards’ in their family as well as ‘Marys’, ‘Noras’, ‘Margarets’,  and ‘Bridgets’.  This makes it confusing and it’s like a crossword puzzle.  The two families grew up together and attended the same school etc.  I have managed to identify two (NEW PAGE, 2)

daughters from the other Ginnane family and I am sure I will identify all.  Records were not well kept, if at all, in the 1800s.

John Ginnane’s father was Patrick Ginnane and his mother was Mary Murray Ginnane.  They both resided in the townland of Rahona , Parish of Carrigaholt, County Clare.

I watched the old home ‘gradually collapse on itself’ over the years until today there is hardly any trace of it.   When my uncle Michael died in 1965, unmarried, my mother Margaret Ginnane Ryan inherited the house and small farm.  She sold it for a small sum of money to the other Ginnane family that we regarded as cousins, although I have no evidence of this relationship, so far as I have gone back to 1828.

Patrick Ginnane died at the age of 69 from cancer of the face. That must have been terrible.  His wife Mary died three months afterwards.  They both died in 1878.  Was your grandfather John in New Zealand by this time? 

When John was in New Zealand he met Winifred Roche ( Roache ?) from Newcastle, County Limerick.  She was known as Winnie to her friends.  She must have been a very brave woman to set out from a rural village for a journey which at that time was considered to be the end of the world – bottom really.  I would have liked to have met them both. 

Still, their children were chips off the old block, as when their turn came they joined up and endured the hell of Gallipoli. (Literally? – maybe not? – maybe went straight to France / England – check military records for sailing dates; Gallipoli started on April 25 1915 through to Christmas 1915. The four brothers have quite different regimental / enlistment numbers).   

Funny, but Edmund had six sons and four of them emigrated to the USA just in time to join up and go to France.  Uncle Dan (Daniel) didn’t go to the USA – instead he joined the International Police in Shanghai, China, where he remained for 27 years.

One son, Michael, remained at home and didn’t marry. (Presumably Michael died a bachelor in about 1965? and “our” 40 acre ‘half’ of the Rahona farm passed to the writer, Edward (Ned) Ryan’s mother, Margaret, who sold it ‘for a small sum’ to the next-door neighbour Ginnane’s, currently (in 2000) Tony & Janet Ginnane).      

Dan (Daniel) was a Chief Superintendent in the (Shanghai) police and we used to enjoy his visits.  He was very generous.  He retired in 1938 and died from heart problems in 1943.  He was over 6 foot 4 inches (1.9 metres) and had “Ginnane hands”.  They were so large that two packs of cards could be hidden in either fist.  His brothers in the USA had the same


 type of hands. 

Two of the boys in the USA died young – around 1918. (after World War 1 – Spanish influenza time 1918 - 1919?)

Uncle Denis? / Remus (?) married and had one daughter.  Her name is Peggy Ginnane Denon (/ Dinan / Dinon ??? – looks & may sound like Irish Duignan / Dynan?) and her husband is a naval surgeon in Portland, Maine, USA. 

Another uncle, John, married and had two sons. One died, but one resides in Long Island, New York.  His name is Donald Ginnane. 

In addition to my mother, Margaret Ginnane, there was an older sister named Mary.  She also emigrated to New York and married a man called Foley.  They had four sons. One died after the war (World War 1 ? – Spanish influenza time 1918 - 1919?), two are priests in Florida, and one is a lawyer in New York.  I believe he is retired now, as he had a stroke.  His name is James Foley.  Two of his sons are in Hollywood. One is a cameraman, and one is a director.  His last movie was called “Glen Garry Glen Rose”.  I didn’t see it, but my daughters did. 

I was born in County Clare and often slept at the old family home when my granddad  (Margaret’s father ?  ) was alive.  He developed cataracts and became blind.  In the late 1930s and early 1940s cataract operations were practically unheard of in Ireland (Eire).  They are common there now (1990s) – anyway for a big man they were the kiss of death.  It just killed him.  He died in 1941 aged 82.  He was preceded (in death) by his wife, Honor McMahon / McMahan Ginnane. 

We are related to nearly everyone in the townland of Rahona. 

Although the name on our side of the family has died out, there are people who remember my mother and grandparents. My mother, Margaret, died in 1985, aged 87.  She died from being lonesome for her husband ( ? Ryan) who died in 1983. A broken heart is how I would describe it.  She was a beautiful woman both in looks and spirit. Loved by all who met her. 

I emigrated to the USA in 1950.  I arrived just in time to join up for the Korean War.  I got promoted quickly in Korea and the US Army sponsored me to a

 [NEW PAGE 4 ]            

University.  I had to study Oriental languages : Japanese, Korean and Chinese Mandarin.  I visited Uncle Daniel’s oed (adopted?) city, Shanghai.  I returned from the army in 1977 after 27 years of service.  I am a widower.  I have four daughters : two are teachers, one is a sales representative for the large medical firm of Johnson & Johnson, and one is a major in the US Army Nursing Corps.  I have two grandchildren. 

I hope you are able to decipher this. I can write atrociously bad in six languages. 

When I get around to writing a history of the Ginnane – McMahon family I’ll send you a copy. 

I have visited Australia. My sister is retired in Sydney.  She was a nursing director in a hospital there. I had intended visiting New Zealand but I went to England and Ireland instead, as my sister was visiting from Australia. 

I wonder if you remember hearing when John Ginnane returned to Ireland?  He did return for a holiday.  I think his parents were long gone by that time.  (refer face cancer death of ? in 1878? )        

Did he ever mention other relatives?  -- brothers / sisters in Ireland?  This is important as it may help sort out some of the names I have on record. 

Any snaps (photos) from Ireland?  I know your grandfather (John) visited Rahona for a rest, but I can’t believe he had one.  My grandfather (  ) drank, his relatives drank, and all the neighbours drank, and a couple of pounds went a long way in Ireland of the early 1900s. 

I will now close.  Yours sincerely Edward “Ned” Ryan 




And 9 pages A4 size, hand-typed, entitled : “The Ginnanes of the Wairarapa” : 

[ PAGE 1 of 9 ]   

The earliest Ginnane ancestor that I have discovered so far is a Daniel Ginnane.  Daniel was born in Rahona, Carrigaholt, County Clare, EIRE Ireland circa 1779. 

According to available records he had a small farm in the above townland.  He probably married a local farmer’s daughter as was the custom.  They probably had a large family and at least one son named Patrick / Pat (/ Padraigh sic?) Ginnane.  Patrick was born in 1809, (when his father was 30 years of age)  also in Rahona.  Patrick Ginnane married a neighbouring girl named Mary Murray.  Now there were two Murray families in Rahona, and there were also two Ginnane families.  There was Patrick Murrays and they were known locally as Murray “Pats”.  This family exists today, and is known as the Murray “Gents” – a nickname they don’t particularly care about.  The second Murray family was Connor Murrays and were known as Murray “Connor” or as “Con” Murrays.   

Mary Murray was the daughter of Connor Murray.  Because of the famine of the 1840s, emigration and deaths the Connor Murrays no longer exist.  The remains of their old home were once pointed out to me. 

Patrick Ginnane and Mary Murray were married circa 1850.  They had at least six children that I am aware of:   John Ginnane, born 1852;   Daniel Ginnane born 1855;   Mary Ginnane born 21st May 1856;     Thomas Ginnane born 9th April 1859;   and Bridget Ginnane born 7th May 1863.    Reading the above, I see I left out my grandfather, Edmund (NOTE ADDED: or Edward? – they seem to be transferable?) “Ned” Ginnane, born 9th April 1859.   [NOTE ADDED: Ned Ryan has doubled up the birthdates on 9th April 1859 of Thomas & Edmund – one may be incorrect, or were they (even identical?) twins?  Old typewriters made it difficult / impossible to go back and fix big errors. ].  

I have not yet discovered what happened to Mary, Thomas and Bridget – did they die young as often happened in them days?  Did they emigrate or marry locally?    

We know that John emigrated to New Zealand. 

I also know that Daniel died from pneumonia on the 12th April 1874. He was only 19 years old.  When I read his report of death made out by his father, Patrick Ginnane, I was impressed by Patrick’s handwriting.  For a man born on a farm in West Clare in the year 1809 it was excellent penmanship.  Edmund (NOTE ADDED: or Edward? – they seem to be transferable?) “Ned” Ginnane died at home in (on the 13th of July? Therefore aged 82?) 1941 (corrected by typing fluid). 

Patrick Ginnane, John Ginnane’s father, died on the 15th May, 1878. He was 69 years old.  The cause of death was cancer of the face.  What agonies he must have endured before death took him.  His wife Mary was present at the death but Mary also had not long to live.  She died on the 5th December, 1878, aged 59.  She was born in 1819.  Her son Edmund  (NOTE ADDED: or Edward? – they seem to be transferable?) “Ned” Ginnane was present at her death.  I wonder if John had gone to New Zealand by this time?  Edward (NOTE ADDED: or Edmund? – they seem to be transferable?) “Ned” Ginnane, John’s younger brother and my grandfather, died on the 13th of July 1941 (therefore aged 82?).   Since he was better known as ‘Ned’ Ginnane, I will refer to him as Ned Ginnane henceforth.      

Ned Ginnane inherited the ancestral farm on the death of his mother, Mary, in 1878. [NOTE ADDED: did this cause eldest son John &/or Thomas Ginnane et al to leave Ireland? Or had they already left?  See later research for dates of emigration? ]

The farm was small, around 40 acres. [NOTE ADDED: large for Ireland?]   However, Ned Ginnane had a contract to deliver the mail by sidecar / jaunting car [ horse-drawn, of course ] to the post offices in Carrigaholt and to Kilbaha, a village about 3 miles / 5 kilometres further west in the peninsula.  So, all in all, they were not badly off. 

[NOTE ADDED: did he collect / deliver the mails from/to Kilrush, about 30km north-east?; also see the postmistress at Carrigaholt in 2000 was Mary Ginnane].

More about the Ginnanes of Co. Clare in a later section.  (I have decided to divide the family history into three sections.  One each dealing with the Ginnanes of the Wairarapa, the Ginnanes in America, and the Ginnanes of Rahona).     

John Ginnane emigrated to New Zealand around 1878 / 1879.  He was

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(John Ginnane was) employed by the New Zealand Railways.  He lived at first in the Wellington area.  He was employed as a platelayer.  A platelayer bolts the railroad ties to the sleepers.  I guess one could say that John Ginnane bolted every plate from Lower Hutt to Pahiatua.  If John was a typical Ginnane he had hands that were twice the size of the average hand.  The Ginnanes could lose two packs of cards in each hand.  The most significant things about the Ginnanes were their hand size and their height.  All well over 6 feet (1.8 metres) in height.   [NOTE ADDED: this puzzled MJG; this height / size trait did not seem to carry through to New Zealand – perhaps exhuming would be interesting!? See photos of blacksmith, Waimiha book, talk to Myrtle Roberts, military records, etc etc  ]

We know that John resided in Lower Hutt, Nireaha, Newman, and Mangamahoe.  I couldn’t find this village, but I phoned the NZ Embassy in Washington and they informed me that it’s now just a hamlet near Eketahuna.  [NOTE ADDED: it is in the middle of nowhere, southeast of Eketahuna about 10 km, INTERESTINGLY, you get there by going up Mangaoronga Road, past the cemetery where John ( & Winnie?) Ginnane are buried;  East of Mt Bruce Reserve; near Mauriceville;  north of Masterton ]  

The Newman settlement was unique in that each settler was allotted, by ballot, three sections: a rural section of from 60 to 100 acres (24 to 40 Hectares) in Nireaha;  a 5 acre (2 Hectare) suburban section, and a ‘town’ section of one acre (0.4 Hectare, or 40 metres x 100 metres) in Newman. [ NOTE  ADDED: Remember that horses had to be kept and fed in town; and that the whole area was heavy bush. The ‘Wellington Settlement Scheme’ gave an urban section at Newman, and rural land at Nireaha (west of there) freehold at one pound / acre, deferred payment system introduced by Balance & Seddon (Prime Minister King Dick Seddon).  Land Settlement Scheme started in 1889 approx.  The railway didn’t get there until 1894 or 5?  4-horse wagons were used instead; railway had a gap between Eketahuna & Pahiatua for many years (2 day trip to connect by horse wagon?)  ]

Records show that John (& Winnie?) Ginnane farmed in Nireaha, and that he also resided in Newman.  It’s possible that John was a recipient of some of the above sections of land. 

In 1897, there were 70 students at the (new in 1892 / 1896) school in Newman, and a Mrs Kate Nelson was the first school teacher there.  I am sure the (4) Ginnane boys were among the students attending there in 1897.  [Yes (?) – see separate file from the Newman School Reunion book 1892-1948]  NOTE : a founding student in 1892 was Alfred Shout, born 1881, who fought for N.Z. in the Boer War, and won a VC when killed at Gallipoli on Aug 9th, 1915 with the Australians.  

[ NOTE ADDED : MJG commented in 1993 on this document, that “John & Winnie were burnt out of Nireaha by bush fires” – these were extensive and common in the area as felled trees & cleared land were deliberately burnt-off, particularly under hurricane winds in the summer of January 1898, and got out of control. All news of the time mentions the catastrophe; farms and sawmills suffered. Refer to ]  


The railroad officially arrived (and construction stopped for 6 years?)  in Eketahuna (from the new capital, Wellington in the south, over the Rimutaka Incline Fell Railway cogged / toothed centre-rail system)  on 8th April, 1889.  Newman is 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Eketahuna and on the 18th of March, 1896  the Eketahuna – Newman section of the railroad was handed over to the NZ Railway Department.  The small Makakahi ??? River flows north between Newman and Eketahuna.  The village of Eketahuna was first called Mellenskov in 1873.  [ Scandinavian settlers (refer to websites of Norwegian, Danish, Swedish immigrants) were common just north of this area (Dannevirke = ‘Danes Work’ , Norsewood (MJG was left in a dray in Upper Norsewood by his blacksmith father MECG, and the horse bolted to Lower Norsewood before being boarded & stopped by a passing horseman – circa 1922-1924? ); Ormondville, etc. 

ALSO : this railroad simultaneously approached Pahiatua from the north (Napier / Palmerston North? ) where it linked west through the difficult Manawatu Gorge to connect to the North Island Main Trunk line which travels north from Wellington (originally via Johnsonville), up the west coast towards Mangaweka, where MECG was a blacksmith 1925 – 1936 approx.   ]    

The fact that the rail terminus was in Newman for a time made little difference to the settlement, as coaches still left Eketahuna each day for Newman, there being no type of accommodation in Newman.   

Somewhere along the line John met a lady named Winifred / Winifrid / Winnie Roche / not Roache.  She resided and worked in Masterton.  John lived in Lower Hutt, 80 km over the Rimutaka Mountain range south.  Winnie Roche was born in Newcastle, County Limerick, Ireland in 1860.  She married John Ginnane on the 13th January, 1885.  He was 31, she was 25.  They were married at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Masterton, N.Z.  Patrick Mulcahy was the best man and Ellen Roche, Winnie’s sister, was bridesmaid.  Ellen also resided in Masterton. 

Winifrid Roche [ not her sister Ellen, or other family members – see below ]  left her home in Ireland on a cold March day 22nd March 1883.  She sailed from Plymouth, England on 24th March 1883 board the ‘British Queen’.  It arrived in Wellington on 13th May 1883.  It carried 213 passengers and the only thing royal about it was the name.  The voyage took approximately 7 weeks.  Winnie was scheduled originally to go to the Canterbury (South Island, N.Z.) Settlement (Christchurch?).  If she had, the history of the Ginnanes might have been different. 

Ellen Roche, Winnie’s sister arrived in Wellington aboard the ‘Victory’ on 26th May, 1884.  N.Z. at that time was considered to be at ‘The End of The Earth’.  Few people who emigrated there ……

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Few people who emigrated there ever came back.  There would have been a lot of ‘keening’ on the night prior to her departure from Ireland.  Her relatives and friends felt that she would be gone forever (she probably was).  I often wondered if she ever returned?  We know that (her husband) John Ginnane did.  Winifrid Roche’s father was one David Roche of Newcastle, County Limerick.  Her mother’s maiden name was Johanna Kiely, also of Newcastle. 

A platelayer on the Wellington – Woodsville railway made approximately eight shillings a day.  [ One pound became $2 in July 1967, and was 20 shillings, one shilling was 12 pennies, a guinea was 21 shillings, a crown was 5 shillings, a penny was 4 farthings; a florin was 2 shillings; coins were also half-pennies, threepence, sixpence, half-a-crown, etc; & a brown 10-shilling note  ] .

A man felling timber along the right-of-way earned 6 shillings & 6 pence a day to 7 shillings a day.  I am sure that this was good pay in them days, as the work was brutal and the living conditions bad.  By the way, one of the first police constables in Eketahuna was Constable Roche.  I wonder if he was a relative of Winnie’s? 

Roman Catholic Mass was first held in Mr Kelliher’s Club Hotel in Eketahuna.  It was said that Mr Kelliher was an Irishman that always welcomed the priest (Father John McKenna from Masterton [– buried near David Paul Ginnane at Mangatainoka Cemetery in 1939? – see photos taken Jan 20 2007 of large monument next to the row of white Nuns’ crosses ].       

In 1898, Fr McKenna felt that there were sufficient Catholics in Eketahuna, and so in March 1898, he staked out a site on

John & Winnie had four sons : James (Jimmy / Jim ) born in Wellington in 1886, after the wedding on 13th Jan 1885.     Michael Edgar Clement Ginnane (MECG) born in Petone in  1887.     Edward “Ted” Ginnane, born in Wellington in 1889.    David (Paul) Ginnane, born in Mangamahoe in 1891.   

John Ginnane worked for the railways in the Wellington Area (Petone & Lower Hutt) from 1885 – 1889.  Later he worked (80 kms northeast) in the Masterton District.  Prior to getting married John lived in Lower Hutt and Winnie lived in Masterton.  I am sure that John knew that stretch of line between Lower Hutt & Masterton pretty good.  [ Staff fares would have helped?! ]


We know that the boys attended school in Mangamahoe and Newman.  One particular year they all left Newman, and stated on their school records that they were transferring to Nireaha about 8 - 9  kilometres west.  James indicated on his school records in 1901 that he was discontinuing his education as he “had to work at home”?  There is no record of the boys attending school in Nireaha.  Records also show that John Ginnane was a farmer in Nireaha.  All this makes me believe that John had a farm in Nireaha and that he withdrew the boys from school to help work it.  I imagine that felling trees and clearing stumps occupied a great deal of the sons’ time. I imagine that John may have been a hard taskmaster, that is, if he was like his younger brother, Ned Ginnane in Rahona.  Ned had 8 sons (two died from whooping cough / pertussis), and two daughters.  I knew four of the sons (my uncles) and they all thought he was a pretty strict taskmaster.  Only the daughters said he was easy going.  In addition to having the mail delivery contract, he also had a contract for road repair and that meant that a lot of stones had to be broken and a lot of gravel spread.  Guess who did it?  More about that in another section. 

The Ginnanes were on the move following the railroad. For example: James was born in Wellington in 1886; Michael was born in Petone in 1887;  Edward (Ted) was also born in Wellington, in 1889; David was born in Mangamahoe in 1891.           

[NEW PAGE 4 of 9]   

They lived in Newman and also in Nireaha.  From 1891 to 1896 John was a platelayer working in Mangamahoe.  By August of 1896, John was in Newman, and in 1901 (Census?)  he was in Nireaha as a farmer.  He is also a farmer in Nireaha in 1906 (Census?)  However, by 1915, he is listed as a farmer in Eketahuna.  Since Newman is only 4 kms north from Eketahuna we can safely assume that he is actually in Newman still.  The fact that he had land in Nireaha and land in Newman makes me think that he was one of the settlers who received two or possibly three different parcels of land.  Rural, suburban, and town.  Possibly some reading this can confirm it?

[ Michael John Ginnane MJG recalled in 1993, going to stay with them in about 1930, during the great depression, at the age of 12, from where he also attended Newman School. Perhaps his (MJG's) parents (Michael & Kitty) had money or health troubles, during the Great Depression? MJG also remembered his blacksmith father arguing at the blacksmith shop with the local priest in Mangaweka. Perhaps the Convent in Mangaweka wanted payment? The State School in Mangaweka was burned about this time – I (MMG) was taken by MJG to see the burnt rafters – the Crowther boys were alleged to be the culprits – in what was then the lunch / play shed.  The Newman School Reunion book of 1948 shows him (MJG) as joining the Newman school in 1930. This would be where he met Jackie Monaghan the neighbour, when they were both 12 years old. ] 

John Ginnane of Newman died on 6th October 1933. He was 81 years old.  He was buried in the “Pahiatua” Cemetery. [  IMPORTANT CORRECTION? : Pahiatua & Districts cemetery is actually about 7 kms north along S.H.3 at Mangatainoka, opposite and just south of the famous old, tall, red-brick TUI Brewery.  While the youngest of his four sons, David Paul Ginnane, was buried there in 1937 (see photos from Jan 20th 2007), John is apparently in south-east corner of Eketahuna town, on the Mangaoronga Road Cemetery “administered from Pahiatua Town Council?”, on the way to Mangamahoe].        

After John’s death in 1933, I located a record (census?) of Winnie working as a housekeeper for the Calton (3 of the Calton family kids attended Newman School from 1900 – Ernest from 1900 – 1906; he then worked for the NZ Railways, and in 1948 was retired in Roseneath, Wellington. Alfred Calton enrolled in 1900, and is on the school WW1 Roll of Honour, and is deceased by 1948. Wilfred Calton also enrolled in 1900. Edna Calton enrolled in 1901. Mr F. Calton was School Committee Chairman in 1906 & 1907; and secretary in 1910 & 1911  ) family in Pahiatua ( or Masterton? – MJG )  . This was in 1938, and she is over 78 years old.  She has only two more years to live.  She died on the 13th January 1940. [ (refer wedding anniversary?) during WW2, after the good news of the Battle of The River Plate in Uruguay, involving the NZ crews on H.M.S. Ajax, Exeter & Achilles]. 

She was 81 years old.  She is also buried in the “Pahiatua” Cemetery’.   [  IMPORTANT CORRECTION? : ‘Pahiatua & Districts’ cemetery is actually about 7 kms north along S.H.3 at Mangatainoka, opposite and just south of the famous old, tall, red-brick TUI Brewery.  While the youngest of her four sons, David Paul Ginnane, was buried there in 1937 (see photos from Jan 20th 2007), John (& Winnie?)  is/are apparently in the south-east corner of Eketahuna town, off S.H.3 on the Mangaoronga Road Cemetery “administered from Pahiatua Town Council?”, on the way to Mangamahoe, where they lived before 1896 – refer ?? cemetery database ].        

MJG noted that their house had no indoor bathroom, and was burned ‘after they died’.

There may have been some kind of mistake made above. I cannot visualise her working as a housekeeper at that age. Can anyone shed some light on this?    If it was a census record, something had to be entered for “occupation” ?  Also, the Caltons were probably old family friends and associates of the children, too.    


EDWARD (Ted) GINNANE: Military Service Number 23/1988. Served in the NZ Rifle Brigade in the First World War, 4th Reinforcements. 

Edward ‘Ted’ Ginnane was named after his uncle Ned Ginnane back in Rahona.  His birth is listed as Wellington District.  He attended Mangamahoe School in 1896-1901.  In 1901 he attended school in Newman for a short time before going to Nireaha.  But like I mentioned above, there is no mention of Ginnanes in Nireaha School.  His army record lists him as being a bushman prior to entering the army.  After the war we find him farming in Taihape.  In 1931 ( to 1941 at least)  he is working in a sawmill in Waimiha, north of Taumarunui.  My question is, did he work in the sawmill and farm? __ Answer is yes, but at Waimiha, not Taihape (simultaneously). Refer to Waimiha School Reunion book of 2002 ? & his daughter, Myrtle Roberts, Hamilton 2007.      

Taihape seems rather distant from Waimiha?  Anyway, along the road of life he met a lady named Eva and they got married. 

[ NOTE ADDED : They first had their only daughter, known as Myrtle, born 1928? And who contributed to this document in January 2007.  She married Fred Roberts, and had two sons, John Roberts of

82 Harrowfield Drive, Hamilton
, and ?,  and a daughter, Julia Hazlett [related to Charles Hazlett Upham VC & Bar ?],  born February 22nd 1950, of Rukuhia, Hamilton, behind the Gostiona Restaurant.  They all had children:     ].     


Edward (Ted) & Eva Ginnane then had their only son (also) named Edward James ‘Teddy / Ted’ Ginnane, born 1934?   

In the Newman School Reunion book of May 1948 EG is listed as at Mangapehi, Main Trunk Railway, aged 57? , and attended that school from 1896 to 1904.  Ages 5 – 13 approx.  

The year 1955 was a terrible and tragic one for the Ginnanes.  For in that year we have young Edward James Ginnane being accidentally killed on 26th February 1955. He was only 21 years old.  R.I.P.  On the 5th of August, 1955 his father, Edward ‘Ted’ Ginnane died and is buried in the Hamilton East Cemetery at   He was 66 years old, and had suffered lung trouble, emphysema, and damage resulting from mustard / chlorine gas attacks in WW1.  R.I.P.          


I received information (circa 1992 or 1993?) from Murray Michael Ginnane (me, MMG) that Edward “Ted” Ginnane also had a daughter named Myrtle Ginnane Roberts.  He also stated that Eva Ginnane, the wife of the late Edward “Ted”, resides in Hamilton.  I wonder if this could be Francis Evaline / Evelin / Evilyn Ginnane, at 1a

There is also a Mark Francis Ginnane and a Clare Margaret Ginnane in the Hamilton area [ - they, together with Pamela Anne Cash (nee Ginnane) of Tauranga, are siblings of MMG, and are the 4 children of MJG & Kathleen Rita Ginnane; also grandchildren of MECG, and great grandchildren of JG & Winnie. ]    I feel sure that they are all descendants of John and Winnie Ginnane – yes, they are.    

[   IMPORTANT NOTE ADDED: In the Newman School Reunion booklet of 1948, “Who’s Who?” section, Page 49, there is an entry. Amongst the 3 ‘Henry’ surnames who attended Newman school are :

1.  Kathleen Henry : from 1909 – 1914, living in Miramar, Wellington, near the airport, in 1948 (unmarried?)  

2.  Philip Henry : from 1909 – 1910, living in Miramar, Wellington, near the airport, in 1948.

3.  Mary Henry : at Newman School from 1909 – 1912, living in Miramar, Wellington, near the airport, as MRS GINNANE (?!)  She is the missing, widowed, wife of David Paul Ginnane, also mother of a ? Ginnane?  They would have both been at Newman School, but ? years apart.  Schoolyard sweethearts?    Four Henry children (including a William) are recorded as all starting at Newman School in 1909. If Mary alone left in 1912, then she was probably born in 1899 or 1900?, while David Ginnane was born in 18??, and left the school in 19??, ? years before Mary started at the school.  So he was ? years older than her.     Research needed. SEE LATER IN THIS DOCUMENT.  ] 

Also, Michael (MECG) died in Hamilton later in August ’55, 2 weeks after his younger brother, Edward Senior, and 7 months after his nephew, Edward Junior.  Also with lungs affected by war gas / emphysema, etc.    


I am sure that the Banshee keened for the Ginnanes that year (1955) in Rahona, but, unfortunately there were no Ginnanes left in the old ancestral home to accompany her.  They were all dead and gone. 

[ NOTE ADDED : Beautiful literature, but perhaps not strictly accurate?  Was the writer, “Ned” Ryan’s bachelor uncle, ? Ginnane still (?) living on ‘our side-of-the-wall’ until dying in 1965 (?), when the writer “Ned” Ryan’s mother inherited the 40 acre / 16 Hectare farm & sold out to the neighbour Ginnanes, who now have 80 acres / 32 Hectares, and demolished the whole old thatched house in ‘the 1960s’ ? ]     

(Keening was very common in West Clare when I was ……….. 

[ NEW PAGE 5 of 9 ]

Keening was very common in West Clare when I was growing up {until 1950} and visiting there.  They keened for the dead and for those who were undertaking journeys from which they might not return again.  I remember, especially, in the 1930s when my uncle Daniel Ginnane, a Chief Superintendent with the Shanghai International Police was returning to China from home leave in Ireland.  He and about ten of his childhood friends, plus my grandfather, Ned Ginnane, and the Ginnane family from next door all joined in a circle in my grandfather’s front yard, and all with their arms around each other’s shoulders and keening in Gaelic.  It was a throwback to another age, and they all had had more than enough to drink.  That was a long time ago, but I can still see it in my mind’s eye. 




Military Service Number: 5/904   Born: 13th August, 1887.  Died on his birthday: 13th August, 1955.  Aged: 68 years (just!) 

Michael entered Newman School on 3rd August 1896 (  ).  Prior to that he had attended school in Mangamahoe (12 kms south-east from Eketahuna).  He left Newman (4 km north of Eketahuna) in March 1898 and his destination was Nireaha (9 km west of Eketahuna), but there is no record of him attending school there. 

[ NOTE ADDED: On the Electoral Roll for 1911 East Coast, Michael Ginnane is aged 24,  recorded as working as a fencer / farmhand at Waipiro Bay, North of Gisborne, N.Z. (Waipiro means ‘Poison Water’ in Maori, named for the illegal poteen stills to brew liquor there.)


From 1913 – 1915, Michael E C Ginnane worked as a blacksmith in Billie Wallace’s Shoeing Forge in Newman.  At age 27 or so he went to World War 1 in Europe. 

After returning from the WW1 in 1918, on a hospital ship, he worked as a blacksmith again in Eketahuna.

From 1928 – 1931 I find him living in Whatatutu (not Whakatutu? ) as a contract fencer. 

Also see 1911 period, and later in 1943.  Whatatutu is inland 20 km, north-west from Gisborne. 

[His son MJG was staying with his grandparents John and Winnie during part of this “Great Depression” time, attending Newman School from 1930.  Kitty Ginnane may have been co-employed with her husband as a farm cook.  Hard times? ] 

From 1935 he is again working as a blacksmith in Mangaweka, [ 22 kms south of Taihape, where their son MJG attended High School, travelling by train, and boarding there during the week].   

At this time, MJG worked further south 10 km at Ohingaiti at a General Merchants Store, where his duties included putting out hand-pushed lawnmowers & putting them away again.  The store became a bookshop / library and was decaying in 2007, 100 metres north of the hotel at the railway crossing.  He also had a job painting the steel girder bridge over the Rangitikei on the Kawhatau road.  A trout was shot off the bridge, and MJG retrieved it to take home – a prize of protein indeed!  Large eels could be speared on the papa rock flats – MECG would make the spears in the forge by barbing old red-hot files in the forge.   Rich farmers would refuse to pay for steelwork & horse repairs – finally bankrupting him.  Emergency tooth extractions probably didn’t pay enough.  They lived south of the town, where a large ‘monkey-puzzle’ tree is still on the front lawn of the cheap fibrolite shack.  One of MECG's brothers was a steam engine driver on the railway, and he would slow the train on the old incline which went across the road so that friends & family could jump on and off.  The old train line tunnels up there are now used for growing mushrooms in, as the railway deviation brought the line through Mangaweka at a different angle in about 1990?     

MECG gained a government contract to supply steel parts for the swing / suspension bridge on a no exit road across the Rangitikei River on the south side of Mangaweka. 


In 1943, he is a station hand, again in Whatatutu (Waipoa Station / also spelled Waipaoa School), inland north west of Gisborne.    See above and in 1911. 

MECG’s mother Winnie died in 1943 ? and Myrtle believes he inherited enough money from the estate to buy the Kimbolton Hotel, south-east of Mangaweka towards Fielding – very much backblocks territory in the Ruahine Ranges foothills, very much small town stuff.  This Kimbolton Hotel venture was an economic failure?  Kitty Deamer Ginnane was not a rough country pub type of lady.   The Nesdale family was from Kimbolton, and Jack & Heather were later friends with MJG & Kath in Hamilton. Barry Nesdale was in the same class as MMG, as Pam (PAG) was with Diane?, Mark MFG was with Grant, and Clare CMG with ?     

In the Newman School Reunion book of May 1948 MECG is listed as in Hamilton, aged 60, and he attended Newman School from 1896 to 1901.    

We know that MECG Michael was wounded during WW1, and that he visited his father John’s birthplace in Rahona during that Great War. He was wounded, and my mother Margaret Ginnane Ryan maintained that all 4 brothers were wounded.  She said when she was old that she met all four of her New Zealand cousins, but the only way she could have done that was if all four had visited Rahona.  The reason I know that Michael visited Ireland is because he had a nickname.  His uncle Ned Ginnane called him ‘Mickleen Beg’ – affectionately, ‘Little Mikie’ in Gaelic. 

The Clare Ginnanes were all around 6 feet 4 inches or 1.9 metres tall.  My mother Margaret was over 6 feet tall, as was her sister.  So anyone of average height would be considered short by their standards.  Like I mentioned previously, the most significant thing about them was their huge hands – about twice the size of average hands. 

Michael Ginnane, MECG, married a lady by the name of Kitty Deamer, who travelled to New Zealand on the ship ‘Tainui’.  They were married on the 16th of January, 1918 at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Masterton.  She was 22 years of age, a clerk in Masterton, and one month pregnant?          

Kitty Deamer was born in 1896 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.  Her father’s name was Arthur Deamer, and he was a postman.  Her mother’s name was Matilda Manning Deamer,.  MJG, KRG, & MMG visited relations in the Hitchin street in about August 1980.  Also, Myrtle Roberts reports that a near-neighbour from Hitchin was in NZ and met Kitty by accident at a Ginnane relation’s house??  

Jack O’Dowd was Bestman in Masterton on 16 Jan 1918,  and Molly Mulcahy, the daughter of Pat Mulcahy, came down from Mangatainoka to be Bridesmaid.  Pat Mulcahy was John and Winnie’s Bestman years before. 

I wonder what happened to the Mulcahy family?  Pat used to work on the railroad, but got a farm in Mangatainoka.  Are there Mulcahy’s still there?  Who did Molly marry? – Jack O’Dowd?  The Mulcahys  …………… 

[ NEW PAGE 6 of 9 ]

The Mulcahys were supposedly good friends of the Ginnanes long ago. 

We know that Michael and Kitty had only one child, a son Michael John Ginnane (MJG). 

He was born in ? September 1918, and he resided at

MJG’s wife was Kathleen Rita Harder Ginnane. They were married at the old St Mary’s Catholic Church, Hamilton East on August 24 1946.    Her parents were Jack & Margaret (nee Sinclair) Harder, of

Clifton Road, Hamilton
during the 1920s to 1950s.  They ? and their parents ? were also originally from Masterton and the Wairarapa. Hanley is a related in-law there.     


There are many family stories of the earthquakes of 1942, etc etc. Preserves of home-made jam & fruit & veges broken on the floors by the roomful – hard times again.   

MJG & KRG  had four children :

Pamela Anne Ginnane Cash was born August 26 1947, and married Arthur Cash from Hastings, with grandparents from Cornwall, in 1966-1967?   

Murray Michael Ginnane was born 8th February 1950, and married Jane Eleanor Ginnane on July 16th 1977.  In 1993 : he owned Rangitane Station, #???  on S.H. 30 at Ngakuru /  Upper Atiamuri from 1991 to June 1994, after they divorced.  S.H. 30 runs from Rotorua to the Pulp & Paper Mill at Kinleith, Tokoroa where MMG was a computer engineer with Measurex / Honeywell from Dec’89 to Dec’97.  After trying for an Auckland University Electrical Engineering degree in 1968 and 1969, he was a Post Office / Telecom technician in Hamilton Dec’69 to 1973, and in Wellington from 1973 to Nov’77; and again from April 1981 in Rotorua to Dec’89, when he was made redundant from a position as a Senior Registered Engineering Associate.    He was overseas, mainly in Sydney & London, from 1977 to March 1981. 


MMG & JEG had 3 sons : James Michael Ginnane born at Rotorua Hospital on October 12th, 1981.  JMG is de-facto married to Amity from 1999?  to the present (Jan 2007).  JMG graduated at Victoria University, Wellington in 2001 ? with a Bachelor of Computer Administration???

Cameron Murray Ginnane was born on January 24th, 1984 at Rotorua Hospital, and married Carolyn (Caz) Whitehead at her family town in Kent, east of London in 2001?  They (CMG & CWG met after starting junior work at, and now own the lease & manage the 5-star Cobar Restaurant at Days Bay, Wellington from 2004 ? to the present (Jan’07).  

Fraser Robert Ginnane was born April 28th, 1988 at Rotorua Hospital by caesarean section.  He is studying engineering / welding at Petone Campus of Wellington Polytechnic 2006 – the present (Jan’07). 

His middle name derives from his maternal grandfather, RJ (Jim) Hogg. 

Tara Valya Kells :

Nadia (Nadya) Julene Kells :



Military Service Number :

Born : 9th March 1886, in Wellington (or does this only indicate ‘Wellington Province’? – which includes the Wairarapa).  Eldest of the four sons of John and Winnie Ginnane. 

James entered Newman School (8 km north of Eketahuna) on 3rd August 1896 (mid-school year), aged 10.5 yrs – indicates a family move into the Newman area at about this time? 

Prior to Newman School, JG attended Mangamahoe, 12 km the opposite (south-east) side of Eketahuna.  JG stayed at Newman School until March 1897, when he left for school at Nireaha (9 km west of Eketahuna).  There is no record of him attending school at Nireaha, though.  He was later re-admitted to Newman School, and graduated from the 7th Standard on 11th June 1901.  His reason for not continuing his education was that he had ‘work to do at home’.  Clearing land and moving stumps? 

James G had above average education for his time and place.  Not many students went as far as the 7th Standard.  He later was employed by the NZRailways as a clerk, and in 1915 we find him working at the Ohakune Railway Station (Central North Island). 

James (Jimmy) Ginnane joined the Wellington Infantry Battalion.  On 9th October 1915 he embarked with the 7th Reinforcements for service overseas.  [ Note: the Gallipoli Campaign in the Turkish Dardanelles continued from 25th April 1915 to December 23rd ? 1915 ]  


On the 20th August 1920  he had returned from WW1, and at age 34, JG married a lady named Zoe Margaret Spenns-Black.  They were married in the Registrar’s Office at Palmerston North, upper Wairarapa / Manawatu [ NOTE: not the Catholic Church!? ] .  Witness / Bestman to the marriage was James’ younger brother Edward ‘Ted’ Ginnane, farmer from Taihape (Central North Island).  Records show JG residing at Taihape and at Palmerston North (both railway towns).  Zoe’s father was Maxwell Spenns-Black and he was a farmer.  Her mother’s maiden name was Marie McDonnell.  In 1946, aged 60,  James G is listed as a Supervisor at the Polish Refugee Children’s Camp at Pahiatua, south of Eketahuna, Wairarapa.  

In the Newman School Reunion book of May 1948 he is listed as still at the Polish Camp, aged 62, and that he attended Newman School from 1896 to 1899.  [ See separate Polish refugees’ story ].     


James ‘Jimmy’ Ginnane died 2nd JULY 1962, at

JG & ZG had at least one son, named James Ginnane, and one daughter named Wanaka Ginnane Campbell.  With the unusual first name of Wanaka I thought tracing her would be easy, however, I have found no trace of her in New Zealand.  Did she go abroad? Perhaps Australia?  I believe that James Ginnane (Junior) may be at 160 Arthur Street, Onehunga, Auckland.  There is a James Ginnane listed at that address.  I  ……..  


[ NEW PAGE 7 of 9 ]

I haven’t confirmed this as yet. 


DAVID PAUL GINNANE :  Military Service Number 33 / 248  

Born : 21st JUNE 1891 in Masterton, Wairarapa.  He lived in Mangamahoe from 1891 to 1896.  He attended school briefly in Mangamahoe ( from age 5 was normal ) before transferring to Newman School in (August?) 1896.  He left Newman School in 1901 for Nireaha, but there is no record of him starting there.  ( Same details as for his older brother, James G). 

We know that David’s father John G. had a farm at one time at Nireaha, and that James G gave the reason for discontinuing school in Newman in 1901 as ‘work to do at home in Nireaha’.    It is possible that all four of the Ginnane boys were withdrawn from school at this time to clear the 100 acre farmland at Nireaha.  DPG would have been 10 or 11 when he left school, and this was not unusual for that time and place. 

In 1916, David joined the NZ Army on the 27th May 1916, and went overseas with the 13th Reinforcements. 

In 1920, we find him back in NZ, aged 29, in Puaramahoi (?) as an apprentice cheesemaker.  In 1924 he is the manager of a cheese factory at Hapuku (?). 

In 1928 we find DPG in Matahiwi (near Masterton?)  Depression Years were 1929? - 1935?         

From 1932 to 1935 DPG is working in Mangatainoka as an engine driver (perhaps of NZRail steam trains?).  But he has not long to live, because on ? 1937 he died at the age of ??   

Note: Maybe it was this uncle, DPG, who MJG recalls stopping trains on the incline above the blacksmith’s house in ? Road, at the south-west end of Mangaweka, where the house & monkey-puzzle tree still is in 2007; the house is 200 ? metres up on the right from S.H. 1.

DPG is reported (by Ned Ryan) to be buried in the RSA (Returned Services Association – for war veterans) section of the Pahiatua Cemetery, and that his father John G & mother Winnie G are buried nearby in Pahiatua Cemetery. He is young, and left a family. 

Note: in fact, MMG and his daughters TVK & NJK,  have photographed DPGs grave on Jan 20 2007, and it appeared to be in the Catholic Section of the Mangatainoka Cemetery, over the road, and in sight of, the famous, tall red-brick & white mortar, Tui Brewery now owned by DB; this cemetery is also known as the Pahiatua & Districts Cemetery, and is about 10 kms north of Pahiatua on S.H. 3. The local Catholic priest Father McKenna ? [do we find his name on a few family marriage & burial details? Fr McKenna died in ? ]  has a tall granite monument nearby, as do a row of nuns have white crosses.

Also, JohnG & WinnieG? are more likely to be buried in the Mangaoronga Road Cemetery on the south-east corner of Eketahuna, 22 ? kms south of Mangatainoka, through Newman.             


DPG is young, and left a family.  On the 14th of July 1920,  DPG had returned from WW1 and married Mary Agnes Henry at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kilbirnie, by the Wellington Airport.  

 NOTE ADDED: Mary Henry had also attended Newman School, from 1909 to 1912, and in 1948 was widowed, and recorded as Mrs Ginnane, Miramar, Wellington (near the airport; must have been her parish church at Kilbirnie?). Also, a Philip Henry went to Newman School from 1909 to 1910, and in 1948 was also living at Miramar, where his other (spinster?) sister Kathleen Henry from Newman School 1909 to 1914, is recorded as living.  Interesting, the 3 Henry siblings living together, in their 50s. Looking through the Newman School Reunion booklet of 1948, it is notable how many of the school kids married each other – about a quarter!  Very old Irish village behaviour?  Philip and William (also enrolled 1909) Henry are on the School Roll of Honour for WW1 – Philip must have been young? – probably only 19 in 1918?   Their father Mr T. Henry was school committee chairman in 1911.  The Bestman at David & Mary’s wedding is a Patrick Henry; he would have been too old to attend Newman School when the Henrys moved there in 1909? – he would have been friends with DPG who had left school in 1901, aged 10 or 11, and later married his sister, Mary.        

Mary Agnes Henry was born in 1898, and was 22 when married on 14th July 1920 (DPG was 29 yrs old).  Mary was born in Norwich, England. Her father’s name was James Henry and her mother’s maiden name was Olivia Purcell.  The Henrys are probably Irish as the name is often found in County Cavan (also where the Kells originate from).  Purcell, of course, is very Irish.  The parents are Roman Catholic. Patrick Henry, of

David and Molly Ginnane had two sons, Patrick and Bill Ginnane.


Bill married a lady named Edith (maiden name ‘ unk ’  -- this is an abbreviation for unknown). 

Bill and Edith had a son named David, and a daughter Julie. 

I believe this David Ginnane is residing (1993 approx) at

I have not traced Julie yet.          

I wonder if the Edith Ginnane residing at


[ NEW PAGE 8 of 9 ]

Patrick Ginnane, Bill & Molly’s second son, married and had two sons named Kevin and Matthew Ginnane, and two daughters, Maureen and Catherine. 

Matthew Ginnane is married and resides (1993 approx) at


The above comprises all the information I (Ned Ryan of Texas, in August 1993 approx)  have on the Ginnanes of the Wairarapa.  I am still short on information on the births, deaths and marriages of the younger generations.  I would welcome any information or anecdotes on the Ginnanes.  For a history to be factual it should include the good and also the bad.  If someone was hung for sheep or cattle stealing, or ran off with someone else’s wife or husband so be it. 

A family history has limited distribution and interest so we must all share the good and the bad.   

I have questions like: Does anyone know if John Ginnane returned to Ireland before, during or after his marriage?  Did Winnie ever return to Newcastle, Ireland?

I see by the map that Auckland is a long way from Napier – across the mountains – thirty years ago it would have been a long journey.  So why was Zoe in Auckland, and James in Napier?  In 1938, Winnie is listed as working as a housekeeper for the Caltons in Pahiatua.  She is 78 years old, and only has two more years to live?  Is this information correct?  I mean, 78 is pretty old to be working.  [ Refer earlier notes, page 5 of 9 ]   

By he way, Roche is the correct spelling of Winnie’s maiden name.  The ship’s passenger list carries her as Roche.  The tax returns of 1855 in Newcastle Parish spell it Roche.  Although her marriage certificate carries the name “Roache”, this may be some clerk’s fault.  In one document, JohnG’s name was spelt “Guinnane”.

I wonder why Pahiatua prospered, while Newman, Eketahuna, Mangatainoka, Mangamutu died?  In 1908 there was a great fire in Newman that spread to Nireaha. It took only 8 hours for the fire to reach Alfredton.  An old-timer from that time said that “Nireaha was like hell with the lid off”.  The fire burned as far as the bridges crossing the Malakaka (sic?) River between Eketahuna and Newman.  Apparently the entire town of Newman was evacuated to Eketahuna. 

There were many sawmills in and around Eketahuna in the early days and there was a lot of employment and it’s possible that the Wellington-Woodsville was vital owing to frequent stoppage of traffic on the Manawatu Gorge (opened in 1891) by heavy slips.  It was felt absolutely essential to have an alternative route to maintain the connection between WellingtonHawkes Bay area and Seventy Mile Bush. 

What happened to the Mulcahy family (Pat, Mary, and daughter Molly) ?  They were good friends of John and Winnie Ginnane.  I wonder if there are any Mulcahys in the Mangatainoka area? 


[ NEW PAGE 9 of 9 ]

John and Winnie Ginnane came a long way from Ireland a long time ago, to start a home and a family.  They reared four sons who kept the faith and did their duty by their country when called to do so.  John, Winnie & the lads did OK, or as they say here in Texas, “Them guys did real good”. 

--- THE END ---   













77 Woodward Street
, Featherston, lower Wairarapa, NZ.  His wife’s name is Linda, and they have two sons: Patrick, born approx 1982;  and Abraham, born ?  



#57 Waiiti Crescent, Woburn
, Lower Hutt, Wellington is Bill Ginnane’s widow?   I hope the foregoing can be confirmed. 

#23 Correndella Crescent
, Lower Hutt, Wellington, NZ. 



Miramar Road, Wellington
is recorded as Bestman.   Mary’s sister Kathleen is recorded as bridesmaid.  Patrick and Kathleen are both employed as ‘clerks’.  Mary Ginnane used the name Molly, which is a pet-name for Mary, especially in Ireland.  So I will refer to her henceforth as Molly.  [ Note added: yes, this is her name as remembered later. ]    







#60 Wellesley Road
, Napier, aged 76.  His wife Zoe preceded him in death.  She died in
Ponsonby Road, Auckland













5 Kakanui Ave
, Hillcrest, Hamilton from 1945, and died there in the kitchen on ? September 1994, aged 76 years. 

























Lovelock Place, Hamilton
? – yes it is / was.  I must get this confirmed. 

Hungerford Crescent
Cobham Drive
Sillary Street
/ Hamilton Gardens, next to his son Edward James, and his wife, Francis Evaline Ginnane.


















Bridge Street
, Eketahuna, for the first Catholic Church.  I feel sure that John, Winnie and the 4 Ginnane boys attended church there.  

























































403 Malabar Street
, Lakeway Estates, Austin, Texas, 78734, PH: +1 512 261 4661










North Road
, and
Old Newman Road
(No Exit), opposite the Newman Hall, & stayed for 8 years at Newman School each (ages 5 to 12 or 13?). 






Rifle Range Road
, Frankton Junction. 


Note added October 9th 2007 in Hamilton, New Zealand : thanks to my 2nd cousin, David Ginnane, in London, and others who have contacted me about this page.  It is certainly a 'work-in-progress'.  I have large updates and extensions to the following information.  I'll try to delete this file, and upload a new version.

February 12th Monday 1500H. in Hamilton, New Zealand : I'm sorry if anyone comes across these notes before they get more completed and sorted out.  Please email direct if you would like to give or receive clarifications, corrections, additions, etc.         

GINNANE family originating in Rahona East townland, Carrigaholt village,  County Clare, Ireland.