Search billions of records on




Catherine Elizabeth Cornelia Dressen was born in Demerara, (Georgetown) British Guiana, South America in 1852, the daughter of Dr Cornelius Dressen, a noted French surgeon, who was superintendent of the main hospital there.


Catherine was taken as a child to Europe and educated in England and Germany, her special study being that of music in which she was very proficient.  She also spent some years in Holland and visited Switzerland and became an accomplished linguist.


Returning to South America in 1870, she married Roger William Sargent who was born in Battle, Sussex, England.  Roger was a watchmaker and at an early age went to Demerara to join his brother.  In 1878 Catherine and Roger decided to come to New Zealand, settling first in Cambridge where they set up a jewellers business until burnt out in a fire.

They then came to Hawera and set up as jewellers again.


Catherine could tell of many incidents concerning her years spent in South America, where she studied the life of the Indians, and she met many people of varied nationalities.

She was closely associated with the Presbyterian Church for a long period of years, and also took a keen interest in the social affairs of the Masonic Lodge.


Catherine Elizabeth Cornelia Sargent died on the 3 August 1934 aged 81 years,  and is buried in the Hawera cemetery.



Obituaries "Hawera Star" 4 Aug 1934.   "Hawera Star" 16 Mar 1934 (Roger)