Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Family with 4 children living in Rotorua. Husband tells wife he has a job in Gisborne, and suggests she go stay with family in Auckland while he gets settled and finds a place for them all to stay, at which point he will call them down to Gisborne. Wife therefore takes 4 children and heads up to stay with her aunty. She does not hear from her husband. She writes to him in Gisborne. He doesn't answer. She wonders whats gone wrong and tells the police her husband is missing. A few weeks later they find him in Taranaki and bring him up to Auckland for a court hearing.

He is ordered to start paying maintenance towards the children. Several months later, he hasn't contributed anything. So he goes to court for a few months. The wife gets a minimal paying job, most of her salary going towards board for herself and one of her sons. The other children have been put into an orphanage/childrens home. He still doesn't contribute anything for the children. 3yrs after they moved to auckland, the wife files for divorce on the grounds of desertion.

3 yrs later the wife is remarried. She gets up and leaves her husband. He writes her a begging letter asking her to come back. She does not respond. He eventually files for divorce.

True story of my great great uncles daughter in the 1930's. Seeing the two divorce files today at the NZ archives office. It definately brought it all to life. I wonder if the breakup of her first marriage caused such a strong fear of abandonment in her, that she left her second husband before he could leave her. I wonder what happened to her and the children afterwards. Maybe one of them is still alive.

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