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I’m trying to figure out who my 4x great-grandmother’s parents were. Her name was Elizabeth/Peti Sinclair and she had two sisters Jane/Heni Pioi and Louisa/ Ruiha. Elizabeth was probably born around 1840. Her death certificate states that she was born in Kaitaia but I don’t know how accurate this is. It also gives the surname of her father (Sinclair) but no first name is given and neither are the first and last names of her mother. Family stories suggest that her mother's name was Peti but again, I don’t know how accurate this it.
In 1857 Elizabeth married Isaac Van Arsdale at Kaitaia's St Saviours Church. Isaac was murdered a few years later in 1862 and Elizabeth remarried the following year in 1863 to Abel Dickinson.
This is pretty much all the information I have, unfortunately. However, I recently found a potential candidate for Elizabeth's mother. During the inquest for Van Arsdale’s murder, it is noted that Elizabeth, her husband Isaac, and their two children lived with a man called James Whitaker in Whangaroa. James Whitaker was married to a Maori woman called Irihapeti/Betty. I'm thinking that perhaps Elizabeth and her sisters were Irihapeti’s children from a previous relationship?
If anybody is able to provide any info regarding Elizabeth’s parents it would be greatly appreciated.
I have recently come across a Heni WITAKA who could have also been Jane WHITAKER and her father James WHITAKER was a sawyer who died possibly in 1866, so I followed that thread to see what I could find.
Children of James WHITAKER, all baptized 6 Nov 1848 are:
- John WHITAKER
- Heni WITAKA
- Margaret WHITAKER
- Ellen WHITAKER
The baptisim register entries for all of the above have the abode listed as Mangonui and only have James listed - no mother - but you have him as married to a Maori woman called Irihapeti/Betty - I would be interested in any other details you may have about her 🙂
I am not too sure if this info helps or hinders you, but I know even eliminating something can be a help 🙂
Nau te raurau,
Naku te raurau,
Ka ora ai nga tangata!
Together we will get there!
Thanks for responding.
I found a family tree via google that included James Whitaker. It stated that the death certificate of his daughter Isabella listed her mother as Irihapeti/Betty Hineraria. That’s where I got the info from regarding her name and ethnicity.
I could be completely wrong though about a possible connection. I just thought it was interesting that Elizabeth lived with a man who was married to a Maori woman called Peti. It could simply be a coincidence.
Regarding the baptisms, I had come across that info before but I didn’t really know what to make of it. I have a feeling that Heni Witaka is not Heni Sinclair, however, I found a photo of Heni Witaka and there is a similarity to Elizabeth but again, I could be completely wrong.
Perhaps a better place to look would be Elizabeth's sisters. I recently found an article on Papers Past from 1867 that mentions Heni and Ruiha. Heni’s husband is listed as Hare Napia and Heni is referred to as Heni Pioi. This is the first time I have heard of the name Pioi. Does anybody know anything about this name?
Here is a link to the article:
George Sinclair = Matire Matiaha ( Ngati Raukawa)
Heni = Hare Napia
Ruiha = Henare Raka Ueke
Riripeti = Edward James Vanasdale
I am a descendant if Heni and Hare I am still searching for George’s Sinclair and Matire Matiaha lines if you find anything please let me know
Nice to meet you.
It is interesting that you refer to George’s wife as Matire, may I ask where you acquired this name from?
Also, how did you discover the Ngati Raukawa link? I have been trying to establish a connection to a specific iwi for some time now, but have had no luck.
I should also point out that Riripeti/Elizabeth married Isaac Van Arsdale. I believe Edward James Van Arsdale was their son.
Anything I may find regarding George and Matire I will be sure to let you know.
Do you happen to have any photos of Heni and her sisters? I have two photos, one of Riripeti and one of Ruiha, but they are kind of low quality. I would attach them to this message but I am unable to find the attach option. Let me know if you want to see them and I might be able to email them to you or something.