Given names: 
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Sheet No: 272
South Canterbury

Biography contributed by Lynda Richards

Catherine Trezise Victor's parents were John Victor and Jane Andrew. Catherine was born on 8 October 1841, in St Just in Penwith, Cornwall. John Victor worked as a tin dresser in the mines and died age 39, when Catherine was thirteen years old.

She married John Williams in St John’s Church, Pendeen, on 19 November 1865. John's signature was marked with a x, but Catherine signed her name in full. The couple had seven children, three of whom died as infants. They sailed from Plymouth in 1878 on the ship Marlborough, with John, Elizabeth, Mary and Ruth. The family was complete with the birth of two more daughters, Lillie and Ada, both born in Timaru.

John Williams had worked as an engine-driver in the mines in Cornwall. Similar jobs were not immediately available in New Zealand, so he worked as a labourer forming roads and bridges around Timaru, until he found work at Evans Atlas Roller Flour Milling Company.

The Williams' home was a wattle and daub cottage, 8 kms from Timaru at the small settlement of Adair. The little village had a public school and a post office. Another large family at Adair school were the Vincent family, Edith Evelyn Vincent, b. 1886, was a contemporary of the Williams children.

The Adair School Minutes Book has an entry for 1890 showing that Catherine's daughter, Elizabeth Jane Williams, was appointed pupil-teacher. A further entry in 1894 lists Catherine Williams, and three others, in a tender for the job of caretaker for the school.

Catherine Trezise Williams' grave is in the Timaru cemetery.

Catherine Williams

Catherine Williams, family collection.

Catherine Williams

Catherine Williams cropped from an image of six people taken at Peter Pan Studios, Newtown, Auckland.


RGO. England. Ref. Baptisms for Parish of St Just in Penwith, Cornwall.

RGO. England. Ref. Marriages for Parish of Pendeen, Cornwall.

South Canterbury Museum website. Http://

'Turn Back the Clock' - Bygone days and ways of South Canterbury by Evelyn Hosken (nee Vincent). Published in 1968.

Archives N.Z. Christchurch. Ref. CH 206/CAMJ/1a

Timaru cemetery database online. 18 February 1926.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

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