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My Treloar Family 
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Early Families

Our family appears to be descended from Robert Treloar and Alice John, from Wendron, Cornwall, who married on the 3rd of October, 1574. Another branch of the family, descended from Daniel Treloar and his wife, Catherine, who married before 1734, joins with Robert’s branch at the time of the marriage of Mary Treloar and Daniel Treloar in Helston in 1794.

John Treloar was born about 1808, the son of Daniel and Mary, and he married Jane Scollar in 1830. John was a copper miner at the time of the 1851 census.

John and Jane had at least six children. There was Mary, Ann, Daniel, Elizabeth, John and Jane.

Elizabeth married William Henry Kissell and had at six children before they immigrated to New Zealand on the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1874. Elizabeth’s son John Henry was later to become the Mayor of North Invercargill.

Mary, gave birth to Bennett Treloar on the 1st December 1850 in Germovean and she registered the birth in Helston on the 5th of December. The 1851 census shows John and Jane’s family with Bennett as the grandson. Mary had him baptised in Wendron in 1856 as Richard Bennett. In 1858 Mary married William Scollar. Mary and William had four children, The next we know of Mary was at the time of Richard and Josephine’s marriage. On their marriage certificate RB’s mother is named as Mary Treloar and there is no father named. This appears the same on RB’s death certificate.

MARY TRELOAR.jpg (136219 bytes)

NB: At this point I have doubt’s as to how Richard Bennett Treloar was known, Richard or Bennett or maybe Dickie as there is a reference to in Jane Trenery’s letter later on. For the remainder of this story I shall refer to him as RB.

Mary with two of her daughers - both deaf & dumb

Josephine Treloar JAMES & Richard Bennett TRELOAR

Richard Bennett Treloar.gif (1389071 bytes)

RB & Josephine were married 25th Dec 1873 in Helston. In New Zealand, Helston was the acknowledged hometown. RB TRELOAR was born on the 1st Dec, 1850 at Germovean. Mary, RB’s mother, married at some stage to a man who treated her badly and who was addicted to drink. When RB was big enough he stood up to his step-father and gave him a beating. RB had two half sisters both of whom where deaf & dumb. The family attended the Methodist Meeting House and class meeting. Their denomination was Primitive Methodist.


Richard Bennet Treloar

RB's home at the time of their marriage was given as Pednavounder Sithney. Pednavounder means, "End of the Lane" and near Sithney there is a place called Pednavounder Farm shown at the end of a lane. Several cottages make up the farm and it is possible that RB lived there.

Times were hard and the young couple considered emigration and there was a choice between San Francisco and New Zealand. The decision was made when a letter arrived from W H Kissell an uncle of RB's (already living in NZ in Invercargill) telling of �5 a week wages in the colony. This was later discovered to be unique and exceptional.

They now arranged to come to NZ under the Cornish Emigration Scheme. Sabina (Beenie) had been born on the 5th of May 1874 at Pooldown, Breage and she was a few months old.

Thomas's farewell to his daughter was "I won’t see you on earth again. Meet me in heaven." It must have been hard parting from her mother as Josephine was her favourite daughter.


Josephine small.jpg (170928 bytes)

Josephine Treloar James

In New Zealand

RB and Josephine went on to have seven more children. There was Mary Annie (known as Annie), then John followed by Lillie (known as Lylie), then Susan, William (Known as Willy), Evelyn, and Ethel.

They went to live at 139 King St which may once have been called Princes or Princess St.

Annie was born there on Oct 7th, 1876 and it is recorded that RB bought the property in 1879. When Annie was old enough to walk, one day a neighbour’s child took her out to play. The section next door was full of stumps and she must have had a fall. When the baby was undressed she grunted in pain and then from walking went back to crawling. The doctor claimed he couldn’t do anything for her (though it turned out later that plaster had been known). Annie was a cripple and she suffered all her life. Her back became a hump back and somehow her condition brought on ulcers. Once when the Doctor asked how she was, she put on a brave face. He said "poor child, she doesn’t know what it is to be without pain". She died on the 8th May 1895 aged 18.


TRELOAR - At her father's residence, Seaward Moss on the 8th August, 1895, Mary Annie, beloved and eldest daugfhter of R. B, and Josephine Treloar; aged 18 years. Deeply regretted. The funeral will leave the house at 12 o'clock noon onb Saturday, the 10th inst., for the Eastern Cemetery. Friends, please accept this (the only) intimation. Kingsland & Ferguson. Undertakers.

John was born on Mar 18th 1879 and Lylie was also born in the King St House in 1880. Susan was born in Invercargill. William came next followed by Evelyn in 1887. Then there was a gap of 5 years and Lylie said that they used to be envious of their cousins and were wishing that their mother would have another baby so Ethel was welcomed on April 13th 1892.

RB sold the King St. property to John James in 1888. John later sold it to his brother Bill in 1899. Richard went on to buy the farm at Awarua on Dec 5th, 1892 for 82 pounds, 5 shillings.

Awarua Map.jpg (110192 bytes)

Awarua Plains

The land was 113 acres and was very poor quality soil. It was very Peaty.

On a visit to the land in 1998 we stood on the site where the house once stood. The current farmer must have bulldozed the rubble unto a pile but we were able to see some of the concrete flooring and the original bricks, possibly from the chimney. It was believed that the house was quite well built and sturdy. In Josephine and RB's day there were trees planted around the house and garden, among them the Macrocarpas which had very big roots and a Blue Gum. There was also an orchard and which included a tree of small sweet apples close to the house. There was a well not far from the back door and a detached dairy where the separating, churning and setting of the milk was done and there was an adjoining wash house. Today, Macrocarpa trees, two of which are very old and must have been there at the time of Richard & Josephine, surround the house site. There is also a very conical shaped conifer that is believed was planted by Josephine. We were unable to find any evidence of the well. The boundaries of the land are easy to see from the house site. Across the road is Hall Road where Jim & Susan Hall's farm was.

After the Treloar family moved to the farm and the children were big enough to go to school the father took them in the trap on his way to work in town and the children walked home from the Clifton school. Annie’s greatest desire was to go to school but it only happened on one day, but she learned to read and could sing well as a toddler. The children were not allowed to wear out their boots by skipping. One lunch hour Lylie had borrowed a skipping rope and was skipping round the back when her father drove by in the trap. All the fun went out of her and she expected a reproof but nothing was said. He himself on occasion enjoyed a skip.

There were times when the father stayed in town at work and Josephine was left alone with the small children. At night the flapping of the flax around the house was frightening and even more frightening when the deserters from ships at Bluff appeared and wanted food. Today flax grows abundantly in the area - some farmers using it as hedgerows. Lylie being the one of the eldest was often kept at home and only reached Standard 5. One story was about a conspiracy among the children of her class to cheat and give one another good marks each in a different subject. The prize she got for spelling - she never read.

Awarua House.jpg (119687 bytes) Just prior to Ethel's birth a fire broke out in the stables (at Harper's place) about � mile from the house and the family were worried in case Josephine saw the light of the flames and became upset. Some of the Treloar horses were killed in the fire (a terrible loss). It is believed that Willy got bitten by some horses and carried a scar on his chin for the rest of his life. Unfortunately just at that time John Kissell had bought a smart driving-out rig and asked RB to show them off by driving them through the streets of Invercargill. This alienated the sympathy of the citizens who had been prepared to give some monetary assistance to replace the loss. As they assumed the smart turnout belonged to RB, he received no help.

Before this time a school at Awarua Plains had been opened. There is a photo of the children outside the school. The building is not standing today. It is not known how far John went but Susan got her proficiency at 15. There was trouble in the school when Willy was old enough to help with the milking and he used to arrive late. He got the blame for stolen lunches and his mother Josephine was most hurt and angry. The culprit (a half-wit) fortunately was discovered. Evelyn was the mischief of the family. Josephine used to say that if there wasn’t mud on the road Evelyn would walk in the ditch. One day a photographer was due to come to take photos of the family. Evelyn was missing but she came up with a box to stand on so the men wouldn't tease her about being short. Her long skirt hid the box. She used to say to her father "how can I grow tall when you keep patting me on the head saying what a good girl I am". There is a photo of John sitting on a horse in army uniform that was taken at this time. It is not know where the family photo is today. John was a soldier in the Boer War so was exempt from the First World War. Willy went to the First World War.

Josephine never took the children to be christened in the Methodist church because she felt the more smartly dressed better-off people would look down upon them. Richard & Josephine used to drive to church in town leaving instructions that the family must read a chapter from the Bible. Lylie said that one Sunday they had been wasting their time and it was only when they heard the cart wheels on the bridge that they remembered their duty so Psalm 117 was hastily turned up and they could assure their parents of their obedience. Today the bridge no longer exists. The stream now flows through a culvert under the road but the bridge would not have been very far from the house.

Josephine did some of the babies sewing by hand, working at night by candle and lamp. The older children helped with the milking and John had a milk run into town supplying the hotels. The girls had to be up early to get the milking done.

Edie (James) and Tom Wood farmed about half a mile away just around the turn in the road and Susan (James) and Jim Hall were up the road to the SE. There was much coming and going between the families. They joined company for picnics to Awarua Bay & the Bluff regatta on New Years Day. The older members of the family used to gather & practice hymns from the Methodist Hymnbook. There was a lot of communication with Gertrude (Gertie) (daughter of William H James) and a certain amount with Mary (Richard James's daughter) who eventually visited Invercargill and possibly Kate (Smith) James in Dunedin.

No one could remember when Willie left home and worked on other farms but there were cards sent home by him. Susan was the first and the only one of the girls to leave home and go to work. Pearl thinks her mother's first or one of her jobs was working for someone at Bluff. While there she made a friend Sarah Keinan and she also knew the Johnsons. At some stage she joined the Christian Endeavour Society because Pearl had a Bible that they gave her when she left. It has since been passed on to Ray. She was of a bright friendly nature and earned the nickname of "Smiley Susie". Peter was the only one of her children who inherited her outgoing nature. Ethel was given the advantage of a secondary education and she and Mabel (Wood) used to bike to Woodend to catch the train. After she left school she worked for a dressmaker in Herbert Haynes' but she also got her D certificate for teaching so it is supposed she had three years at high school. Lylie was capable of a quick and apt retort and Josephine said she could always give a ready answer.

RB used to visit his relatives the Kissels frequently and one day (24th Dec 1904) they heard the accustomed thump as he stood his stick by the door. When they investigated his non-appearance, he was found dead on the doorstep. It was found that Richard's death was because of a stroke but he also knew he had cancer and had been putting his affairs in order. He was only 53.

OBITUARY: TRELOAR - At North Invercargill on 24th Dec. 1904, Richard Bennett, beloved husband of Josephine Treloar of Seaward Plains; aged 53 years. The funeral will leave the residence of his brother-in-law William H James, Princes St, North Invercargill at 2 o'clock om on Tuesday 27th inst., for the Eastern Cemetery. Friends, please accept this (the only) intimation. Kingsland & Ferguson. Undertakers.

Letters from Josephine's Aunt who lived in St Just, dated 1818.

Credits: My special thanks to all - too numerous to list.  Very specially though to my cousin Pearl Patterson, who wrote of her times and memories of living in her Grandmother's (Josephine) home.

However, one should not stop without mentioning Orson Lee Treloar who wrote the Treloar Book of Genealogy in the 1960's.  This book was the culmination of he researches into the family, and has become the backbone of Treloar research today.

1881 Census - Treloar names.  The following file in MX Excel format list all the Treloar names in Great Britain at the time of the 1881 Census.  Please click on the file name to download this to your computer.  Take the time to check out the names.  If you recognise any from Orson Lee Treloar's Book please email Peter Treloar and help him tie these names up.

Treloar Genealogy



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Last modified: November 30, 2008