Gillow Family

Ruth Gillow
Born 14 Feb 1878
Married, 30 April 1907, Westport, NZ
to, Henry Aiken Young
Died, 1963

Edmund Gillow
Born, 7 January 1837
Married, 17th February 1870, Invercargill, NZ
Died, 11 September 1931 in Wellington, NZ

John Gillow
Born, 11 May 1797, Kent, UK
Married, 28 June 1827, Surrey, UK
Died, 19 June 1866
Thomas Gillow
Born, 5 March 1756
Married, 12 June 1788
Died 16 September 1824
Elizabeth Bridges
Born, 1761
Married, 12 June 1788
Died 6 November 1831
Sarah Bushell
Born, 22 March, 1807, Merstham, Surrey, UK
Married, 28 June 1827, Surrey, UK
Died, 22 January 1866
Daniel Bushell
Born, abt 1781
Married, 7 December 1806
Ann Burgess
Married, 7 December 1806
Mary Hilder Kingswell
Born, 1852, Tasmania, Australia
Married, 17 Feb 1870, Invercargill, NZ
Died, 27 May 1924, Wellington, NZ

William Burcher Kingswell
Born, 15 July 1826, England
Married, Elizabeth Bryant, 1850, Tasmania, Australia,
Died, 2 November 1888, Melbourne, Australia


NOW IN DOUBT Elizabeth Bryant

Born, 24 September 1831, Married, William Burcher Kingswell, 1850, Tasmania, Australia.

Biographical Details:

Edmund Gillow (1837-1931)
Born, 7 January 1837.
Christened, 10 May 1837, St. Nicholas, Wade, Kent, England.
Married, Mary Hilder Kingswell, 17 February 1870, Invercargill, NZ
Died, 11 September 1931 in Wellington, NZ

The text in blue is from the Gillow family papers that Edmund Gillow had in his possession around 1928. Edmund has written on pages 25 & 26 a short history of his movements and life. His words have been fully transcribed, and in order, below.

Margaret Austin, when describing seeing the huge length of south facing stone wall near the Church of St. Nicholas when she visited – followed by other recollections of her grandfather. 

Soon as I saw these big stone walls I could hear my grandfather; he said to me the ‘fruit was so lovely’, no fruit used to taste like home fruit because it was all ripened against these walls.
… and they where always at boarding school, and they got one weeks holiday a year and never went home any other time during the year. At the age of six they had to drink cider because there was nothing else to drink. He said that if he didn’t have an older brother at school he would have died of starvation because he was a rather weak little boy. And he lived til he was 94!

Margaret Austin

when describing seeing the huge length of south facing stone wall near the Church of St. Nicholas when she visited - followed by other recollections of her grandfather.

Above: taken when Edmund Gillow was 90 years of age.

“Early education at Mrs Watson’s Canterbury, 1844 to 1846. At first this school was in the precincts of the Cathedral, southside; afterwards at a terrace, St Sepulture’s (exact spelling unclear).”

“At King’s School 1846 to 1852, Rev. George Wallace, Headmaster. The playground was the Green Court in the precincts, Northside.”

The 1851 Cenus shows Edmund at Kings School, with his brother Alfred.

“In London 1852-56 pupil, in service, of Henry Simpson and Co, Pimlico, In Edinburgh University 1856-1857.”

“Self and brother (George Gillow) left Plymouth on Sunday January 31st 1858 on the ship Nourmahal (846 Tons, this trip with 164 passengers), Capt Lewis Cowell Brayley of Liverpool. Reached Port Chalmers 4th May. Stayed in Dunedin until July 7th. I went to Sydney.”

This is confirmed in the Shipping News in the 15 May 1858 edition of the Otago Witness.

The following newspaper clipping is undated but appears in the Gillow family papers on the page after Edmund’s 1931 Obit and appears set in the same type and has the same column width.

The Brig Content
Another of Mr. Edmund Gillow’s experiences was in the brig Content, 158 tons, the property of Mr. James MacAndrew. She was loaded with a cargo of wheat for Sydney, and left Dunedin on the 7th July, 1858, and arrived in Sydney on 4th August. She made a good run up the coast, and went right through Cook Strait on the one tide, much to the disappointment of the captain, who was looking forward to some fishing at Port Underwood. They were, however, within sight of Mount Egmont for four days, and later they were hove to for a week, during which time she drifted 200 miles off her course. Considering the time occupied on the journey Mr. Gillow used to say it was the cheapest trip he had ever had in his life.

“Thence to Rockhampton, returning to Dunedin June 1859. By the end of the month we had taken possession of a property which Brother had purchased at Mararoa, Southland (NZ).”

In 1860 (then aged 23) he was, according to ‘History of Northern Southland’, page 55, a run holder at ‘The Plains’ near lake Manapouri. This is called ‘Mararoa’ in the 1950s ‘Biography of NZ’ and in the reference to George Gillow below, a run he shared with his brother George. This run consisted of 25,000 acres and in 1860 the Gillow brothers had 960 sheep. In 1862 there is further mention of the Gillow brothers reluctance to lend their boat to surveyors (page 14).

[Of George Gillow at Mararoa] “He carried on there until April 1866 when Brother went to Nelson; I stayed with him until November 1867.”

“Thence to Riverton where I settled at Westwood early in 1868.

Later, they moved to the ‘Narrows’ in Riverton. According to ‘History of Northern Southland’, Edmund did not spend much time on the run and lived in Riverton and later became a member of the Southland Provincial Council. Through the social aspects related to his Council work is probably how he came to meet Mary Hilder Kingswell. According to the 1950s ‘Biography of NZ’, he represented Longwood on the Southland Provincial Council in 1864, and Aparia for 1869-70. In December 1870 it is published that he resigned as a Justice of the Peace and was living at Westwood, near Riverton.

He, and his brother George, appear as objectors to being removed from the ‘List of Voters for the Electoral District of Wallace’ in May 1870. The reason for removal was that they had ‘parted with qualification’ (ie, sold their land in the Wallace electoral district) which was for:

  • George Gillow: household and freehold land in Te Anau, and
  • Edmund Gillow: household and freehold land in Takatimo Mountains.

In 1870 (then aged 33) he married in Invercargill, Mary Hilder Kingswell (aged 18). According to her granddaughter, Margaret Austin, Mary did not much like life on the farm and wanted to live in town. Which might account for their move to Dunedin in 1873.

“Married 17 February 1870, Moved to Dunedin 1st May 1873.”

As can be seen below he was making a complete break from rural life. Selling an established farm, new house and it appears most of his possessions.

In the Southland Times: 25 April 1873, in the Auction Sales section, we get a sense of the household he was leaving behind:

“That choice freehold Estate, known as ” Westwood,” being
sections 21, 22, 23, 35, and 36, block 111., Jacob’s River Hundred,
containing 421 acres (more or less), situate on the Pourapourakino,
about 3 miles from Riverton, with water carriage to the boundary of
the land.
“The improvements consist of 4 miles of substantial Fencing, and along
a great portion healthy hedges of gorse and hawthorn are growing. The
land is judiciously subdivided into convenient sized paddocks, one of
21 acres and one of 40 acres in grass, one of 60 acres fallow, and 25
acres good Bush. Large and well-stocked orchard and garden, water
power for driving Thrashing Mill ; Cottage, Hut, Stable, &c. ; a large
and well-planned two-storey Dwelling-house, recently erected,
containing 8 rooms, built of first-class material, and finished in a
workmanlike manner.
“Terms, one-third cash, residue at 1 and 2 years, bearing 8 per cent,
per annum interest.”

Later in the listing is states “There is a school within five minutes’ walk of the property.”.

And, it seems he is completely selling up, another listing in the same paper

H.E. Osborne has received instructions from Edmund Gillow, Esq., to
sell by auction, at his residence, Westwood, Riverton, on Tuesday, May
13th, at 11 o’clock sharp, the following Stock, Implements, Household
Furniture, &c, &c, viz. : — 3 Draught Mares 1 Entire, “Young Nana” 1
Grey Cob, “Charley” 1 Lady’s Hack 2 Saddle do 1 Pure-bred Ayrshire
Bull 6 Superior Dairy Cows 20 Head Young Stock Turkeys, Geese, Fowls,
and Bees, Plough, Chaffcutter, Harrows, Dray. Harness, Saddles and
Bridles, Lady’s Saddle, Boat, sundries, &c. , &c.

“HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE— Brilliant toned Pianoforte, by Broadwood,

Mahogany Dining – room suite in red morocco, Brussels Carpets, Fender
and Irons, Tables, Pictures, Matting, Venetian Blinds, Bedsteads,
Mattresses, Chests Drawers, Oil Cloth, Palliasses, Washstands, Toilet
Sets, Looking Glasses, Sewing Machine (works with hand or foot),
Dinner Services, Washing Machine, Mangle, &c. All in first-class
condition, and a lot of useful sundries usually found in a
well-furnished house.
* # * Note. — A Coach and a Boat will leave Riverton about 10 o’clock,
to convey intending buyers to the sale. LUNCHEON PROVIDED.”

He appears in the “Return of the Freeholders of New Zealand” 1882 as a “civil engineer” Roslyn. Holding property of 411 acres with a value of £1,535 in the County of Wallace and:
£600 in Dunedin
£1,350 in Roslyn
£30 in Riverton.
A total value of £3,515.

Right:  the view from Roslyn Hill to Dunedin, cicra 1880s

“Moved again to Westport June 1888.”

According to the 1950s ‘Biography of NZ’, Edmund became interested in mining and later residing on the West Coast. Edmund becoming, according to the ‘History of Northern Southland’, an engineer for the Westport Coal Company. From Ruth Gillows’ obituary we know that the Gillow family lived at the corner of Henley and Queen Streets in Westport and that Edmund Gillow worked for the local Harbour Board.

RightBelow: Left to Right, Mary Hilda Gillow (sitting), Hilda Gillow (Standing), Ruth Gillow (Sitting), George Gillow (standing), and Edmund Gillow (sitting). Westport, NZ, 7 February 1904.

In October 1903 he files for a patent on “a combined drawing board and easel, and T square for use in connection therewith.”

In the Grey River Argus, 12 Januay 1912, “Mr E. Gillow, who has been in the Westport Coal Company’s service for 20 years and who has bean resident engineer for fourteen years, severed his connection with that company on December 31st. Mr Gillow’s position has been taken up by Mr L. D. McGeorge. Mr Gillow will remain in Westport for six months. His departure will be very much regretted by every employee of the company and a wide circle of other friesds.

“Left Westport September 14th 1912. [age 75] By this time Hilda and Ruth were both married & George (son of Edmund) left for England Oct 1909 and Mother and I moved about.”

Picture right, is of Edmund Gillow and his grandson Robert Austen Young – about 1911.

In May 1924 his wife Mary dies. Around this time he is residing at 26 Featherston Terrace, Wellington (now called Newman Terrace)

In the late 1920’s Margaret Austin, his granddaughter, recalls visiting him in Wellington – “he’s in fine health but a little deaf.”

His obit (such as it is) appeared in the Evening Post: Friday 11 September 1931;

Gillow – At 26 Newman Terrace, Wellington. Edmund Gillow, C.E; aged 94 years.

Right, the Karori grave of Edmund & Mary Hilda Gillow.

The following obit was published in the Evening Post (Wellington NZ), 12 September 1931 and again in the Otago Daily Times, 15 September 1931:

Mr Edmund Gillow, whose death occurred in Wellington on Friday, at the age of 94 years, was a “man of Kent,” having been born at St. Nicholas, Isle of Thanet, in the later days of the reign of William IV. He received his education at King’s School, Canterbury, and at Edinburgh. Coming to New Zealand, he and his brother were the first to take up the Mararoa run, near Lake Manapouri, about 73 years ago, importing their flock from Australia. He afterwards moved to a smaller holding at “The Narrows,” Riverton, and later resided for some years in Dunedin, where he practiced his profession. Having acquired some mining interests, he moved to the West Coast, and became engineer for the Westport Coal Company. He retired after a long service, and was appointed consulting engineer to the company, a position which he nominally held until his death. As a young man, he occupied a seat in the Southland Provincial Council, and was probably the last, or, if not, almost the last, of the old Provincial councillors. He was of a retiring disposition, with literary tastes, and was held in the highest esteem by all those with whom he came in contact. He is survived by one son, Mr George Gillow, of Melbourne, and two daughters, Mrs H. A. Young, Christchurch, and Mrs R. W. Shallcrass, Wellington.

Right: (Left to Right) Bertha Gillow, Mary Hilda Gillow (nee Kingswell) and Colin Gillow – Dunedin NZ, about 1875.

Children of Edmund & Mary Gillow:
Colin Gillow (died in childhood – typhoid)
Bertha Gillow (died in childhood – typhoid)
Ruth Gillow (1878-1963)
Hilda Gillow (1883-1945)
George Gillow (1892-1953)

Apart from Edmund, Mary, Ruth & Hilda are interned at Karori Cemetery, {Area 06, Block A, Row 12, Plot 034}.

George Gillow, brother of Edmund (18 July 1832 to 4 December 1912)

An aspect of Edmund’s brother George Gillow’s life is mentioned in ‘On the edge of the bush – Women in early Southland’, 1999 by Sheila Natusch, page 64:

Typical of these itinerant families were the McKerchers. Donald and Isabella had left Scotland in the Strathallan, arriving in Dunedin with their six children in 1858. Donald having agreed to work on Ligar’s run at Riverton, he set off south on foot with the youngest son, while Isabella took the rest of the family in the Star, a five-week trip, in bad weather. Daughter Christina elected to stop off at Bluff, with Miss Burns (met on the voyage) and her sister Mrs. Elles, while the others began their long walk to Riverton, crossing the New River by ferry. Since their beasts had to stay in quarantine, Mrs McKercher stayed in a cottage at Flints Bush for nearly a year.
“The McKerchers later moved on to Blackmount, as far as wheels could at that time go. For two years Mrs. McKercher and her daughters saw no other women at all. It was 1861 before they moved to Longbush to join the company of “later” Southland settlers.
“Lively, fun-loving Christina, the daughter who had stayed in Bluff, continued in the service of Mrs. Elles until the early sixties, when she married George Gillow. The bridal pair then set off in the luxury of a dray with a driver: he camped the night below, they above. Their first home was Mararoa; later they moved to The Narrows. For a time they were in Wellington, but after George’s death Christina returned south. Her sister, Jessie, a handsome, purposeful-looking young woman, married Alexander McDonald; and Mary his brother Kenneth, a boundary rider at Forest Hill.

Mr Gillow’s station at Wangapeka is described in 1867 has having a cart road within five or six miles of it.

His farm appears as a polling station for the 1873 election of a Superintendent for the province of Nelson.

George Gillow appears as a ‘owner or person in charge’ of the Wangapeka station, Upper Motueka with 700 sheep, a flock infected with Scab – 1873.

He appears in the “Return of the Freeholders of New Zealand” 1882 as a “sheep farmer ” Nelson, holding property with a value of £1,000 in Nelson. He dies in Newtown, Wellington NZ, on 4 December 1912, he is survived by his wife Christina.

Biographical Details:

Alfred Gillow (1835-1897) brother of Edmund Gillow – above

Born, 2 May 1835, Kent, England
Christened, 14 July 1835
Married, Eliza Anna Emmerson, 27 October 1863
Died, 12 August 1897, Chartham, Kent, England

In 1860 Alfred Gillow became the first Sandwich cricketer to play for Kent turning out for two of the five games the county played that season. Seven members of is family also turned out to play for Sandwich, including five brothers, between 1870 and 1900. They were a farming family from Woodnesborough who were also involved in the brewing industry.

The 1851 Cenus shows Alfred at Kings School, with his brother Edmund.

The 1861 Cenus shows Alfred Gillow, age 25 – farmer 320 acres.

His wedding notice appears in The Times October 1863, “On the 27th inst. at St. Mary’s Church, Sandwich, by the Rev G. W. Eicklemore, assisted by the Rev. E. N. Braddon, vicar of St. Mary’s, Alfred Gillow, Esq., of St. Nicholas, Thanet, to Eliza Anna, only child of Richard Joynes Emmerson, Esq., of Sandwich, and granddaughter of Admiral Sir Edwd. Harvey, K.C.B., Walmer, Kent.”

The 1871 Cenus shows Alfred Gillow, age 35 – farmer 320 acres employing 13 men and 3 boys. He is also recorded as a Widow.

In 1878, in the Sale by Auction column in The Times, he appears: “East Kent – Isle of Thanet, St. Nicholas-at-Wade. – Bartlett’s Farm, a valuable Freehold Property, situate within easy distance of the favourite sea-side town of Margate and Ramsgate and of the Minster Station of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, having commodious farm-houses and other requisite agricultural buildings, six cottages for labourers, and 183a. 2r. 7p. of very productive arable and pasture land. Let on lease for 15 years from Michaelmas 1868, to Alfred Gillow, Esq., at the very moderate rental of {pounds}415 per annum.”

The 1881 Cenus shows Alfred Gillow, age 45 – farmer 320 acres employing 10 men and 2 boys. The address is shown in this cenus as The Manor House. He is also recorded as a Widow.

In the 1891 Cenus shows Alfred Gillow age 55 – retired farmer residing at The Manor House. He is also recorded as a Widow.

Right, Memorial stone to Alfred Gillow at St. Nicholas at Wade.

Alfred’s cricket scores are recorded at:
It would be fair to say that his scores at county level are, uhmm, unimpressive.


Alfred’s daughter was:


Alice E Gillow

Born, abt 1864
Married, Charles Robert Ogle (b, 27 May 1859)

Alice appears in the 1871 Census as living with her Grandparents: Richard Emmerson (b: abt 1813) and Eliza A Emmerson (b: abt 1817), in Thanet. Richard’s occupation is listed as Solicitor.


Alice’s son was:
Henry Robert Ogle (photograph, right)
Born, 24 August 1886, in Eglingham, Northumberland, England

Biographical Details:

John Gillow (1797-1866)
Christened, 11 May 1797, St. Nicholas at Wade, Kent, UK
Married, Sarah Bushell, 28 June 1827, Southwark, St. Saviour, Surrey, UK
Died, 19 June 1866

The 1841 Census shows the family residing in St. Nicholas St, the record states:

John Gillow, age 40 – occupation”Farmer”
Sarah Gillow, age 30 – wife
Alfred Gillow, age 6
Edmund Gillow, age 4
Ann Gillow, age 16 months.

The 1851 Census shows:
John Gillow, age 54 – occupation “Esquire”
Sarah Gillow, age 42 – wife
George Gillow, age 14

The 1861 Cenus shows:
John Gillow, age 64 – occupation “Landed (unreadable word)”
Sarah Gillow, age 53 – wife
Alfred Gillow, age 25 – farmer 32 acres

The listing of Ann Gillow is the only suggestion that there was a further child after Edmund.

Above: Sarah Gillow (1827-1926) in 1868. 

Children of John and Sarah Gillow:

1. Sarah Gillow (picture right) b: 12 August 1827 in Birchington, Kent, England. Married William Gillow on 13 February 1851 at St. Nicholas at Wade, and she died 24 April 1926.
2. Frances Gillow b: 21 Apr 1829
3. John Gillow b: 5 Jul 1830
4. George Gillow b: 18 Jul 1832 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Came to NZ with his brother Edmund. Dies Wellington NZ, 1912
5. Eliza Gillow b: 30 Jan 1834, d: 1 Feb 1846.
6. Alfred Gillow b: 14 Jul 1835. Stayed at St. Nicholas.
7. Edmund Gillow b: 7 January 1837 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent, England. Came to NZ with his brother George.
8, (not confirmed, see above) Ann Gillow b: abt February 1839 at St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent, England.

Right: Wall plaque at St. Nicholas at Wade.

Biographical Details:

Thomas Gillow (1756-1824)
Christened, 5 March 1756,
Married, Elizabeth Bridges, 12 June 1788, St. Nicholas at Wade, Kent, UK
Died, 16 September 1824

Children of Thomas and Elizabeth Gillow:

1. Thomas Gillow b: 16 Apr 1789 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Lived in Marshbrough. Died 1862. Had issue of: William (of Woodensborough), Richard, Thomas (of Buckland), and Frederick.
2. Francis Gillow b: 16 Dec 1790 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Married Elizabeth (surname unknown b, abt1802 d, 18 June 1868). His obit in The Times on 30 Aug 1853 reads “On the 25th inst., at Way, Thanet, Francis Gillow, aged 61”. Lived in Way near Minster in Thanet, Kent. Had issue of: Francis (farmer/owner of Way Farm), Thomas, Edward, Herbert, Ellen, Matilda, Augusta, Clara, another daughter who died in childhood, and Gertrude.
3. Mary Gillow b: 27 Sep 1792 in Saint Nicholas At Wade, Kent, England. Married John Gaskell on 11 Aug 1826. She died in 1851.
4. Eliza Gillow b: 15 Aug 1794 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Married John Gaskell (the same, who had been married to her sister). She died in 1857.
5. Edward Gillow b: 22 May 1796 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Died in infancy.
6. John Gillow b: 11 May 1797 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Died 1866.
7. Bridges Gillow b: 14 Jul 1799 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England
8. Edward Gillow b: 25 Mar 1802 in St. Nicholas At Wade, Kent England. Died 18 August 1821. His obit in The Times on 30 Aug 1821 reads “Early on Tuesday morning last, in Budge-row, Mr. Edward Gillow, youngest son on Thomas Gillow, Esq., St. Nicholas, Thanet: he was a youth of great promise, and deservedly beloved and respected by a large group of friends.”

Below: Wall plaque at St. Nicholas at Wade.

Ok, before this time things get a little disjointed:

According to ‘England’s topographer: or A new and complete history of the county of Kent’ page 598:

“The other two third parts of Ewell manor, which included the court lodge, were, in the reign of Elizabeth, the property of Mr. Edward Fagge, gent, of Faversham, who died in 16’18, leaving two daughters his coheirs. How this estate passed from them, we have not ascertained ; but, in the reign of Charles II. they were become the property of John Pennington, of Agmondesham, in Bucks; who, in the year 1691, suffered a recovery of the same. His trustees, under his will, then sold the property, in 1723, under a decree of chancery, to Mr. Thomas Gillow, of St. Nicholas, in Thanet, when it became vested in Mrs. Gillow, widow of his grandson, Stephen Gillow, of Cooksditch gate.”

page 611:

of the Manor of Buckland “who sold his portion, in 1770, to Thomas Gillow, of St. Nicholas, in the Isle of Thanet. “