Sinclair / Jacobson Family

Clarence Henry Joseph 'Erin' Sinclair
Born 27 April 1940, Dunedin, NZ
Married, twice
Died 8 June 2011, Auckland, NZ
*Adopted Father
Clarence Gordon Sinclair
Born 20 Aug 1890, Darjeeling, India
Married, 23 Nov 1920
Died 2 August 1943
*Adopted mother (however, Erin was adopted from another Jacobson family member)
Ellen Agnes Josephine Jacobson
Born abt 1898, Glenomaru, NZ
Married, 23 Nov 1920
Died 16 January 1950

Biographical Details:

Clarence Henry Joseph ‘Erin’ Sinclair
Born, 27 April 1940, Dunedin, NZ
Married, twice
Died, 8 June 2011, Auckland, NZ

Picture to the right is of Erin around 1942.

UPDATE: April 2018.

A DNA test by his oldest son establishes that Erin was adopted by Clarence & Ellen from another member of the Jacobson family. It has not yet been determined the exact parentage (it is possible that this may never be known) but one of his parents is a grandchild of Edward Joseph Jacobson and Ellen Agnes Kelly – listed below.

Biographical Details:

Clarence Gordon Sinclair
Born 20 August 1894 (see below), in Darjeeling, India
Married, Ellen Agnes Josephine Jacobson on 23 Nov 1920, at his mother-in-law’s house in Glenomaru, NZ
Died 2 August 1943, Dunedin, NZ

There are two different birth years for Clarence. His Army Record states his birth year as 1890 and his Death Certificate & Tombstone have him aged at 49 years old (being a 1894 birth year). My assumption is that he lied about his age on enlisting to avoid the need for parental consent for those aged 21 or younger.

Arrives in New Zealand roughly around 1905 (+/- 10 years) based on ‘time in NZ’ on his death certificate.

My current guess is that his India based parents died (or where too sick to travel/support) and that the older brother, Robert, came to NZ sometime between 1900 & 1910 for railway work and brought his siblings (Clarence & Mary) with him.

It would appear that through the railway work the Sinclair’s settled in the very small township of Glenmanu – which was the base for the final stage of building the Catlins River Branch railway line. The building work from Houipapa started in December 1909 and reached its final terminus of Tahakopa on February 1915.

Again I’m guessing, but it appears that the war intervined and Robert left overseas (as part of the non-military war effort), Clarence enlisted and Mary Sinclair boarded with the Wilson family in Glenmanu.

After the war it appears that Robert went back to India (still connected to railways) and Clarence joined his sister in Glenmanu. Within a year Clarence was married to the youngest Jacobson daughter and not long after moved to Dunedin were they settled.

above, Clarence (on the right) sometime in the early 1920s (note his prosthetic left foot which dates this after 1919). To his left is most likley to be John Henry Jacobson (his brother-in-law).
below, Full picture of the above. It is assumed that this is at the Jacobson farm in Glenomaru.

above, Clarence sometime between 1920-1930s –  either at Castle St or Teviot St Dunedin.close up of photo below
below, Full picture (with blur & damage) note his prosthetic left foot.


Clarence’s Military Personnel record:

Clarence Sinclair was in the third body of the NZ Expeditionary Force in War World One. He was a Trooper: 9/881 in the Otago Mounted Rifles. At the time of his departure from NZ he was living at Concord, Burnside, Dunedin. His next of kin was his brother, Robert Sinclair (also living at Concord).

Private, Clarence Gordon Sinclair, 9/881, of the Otago Mounted Rifles. Discharged 14 November 1919 as being no longer fit for war service on account of wounds received in action.

Enlisted 14 December 1914 with an age of 24 years and 4/12 months. He is described as having a dark complexion, black hair, black eye colour, 114 pounds (51 kg), and 5 foot 5 inches tall.

His trade is listed as ‘farming’ and last employer Jensen Brothers. He noted that he had previously been rejected for military service as being “Not up to standard”.

He spent 4 years & 219 days service abroad.

His movement / casualty forms are in very poor state and difficult to read. It can been seen he arrived Egypt 27 March 1915, contracted influenza at ANZAC cove, and admitted to hospital in Malta on 27 Aug 1915. He served at Gallipoli, and France 1916-1918. He is evacuated to hospital again in July 1917 (reason unclear/unreadable) and is wounded in action on 26 July 1918. In Feb 1919 he is treaded for a gun shot wound during which time his left foot is amputated.

Medals received of:

  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal


He appears in the 1919 Clutha Electoral Roll as living in Glenomaru and employed as a farm hand. This township is also where his wife is from.

In the Archives NZ ‘Intentions to Marry’ he appears on 4 November 1920 (BDM/20/127 1920 page 3241). This states his residency at Glenomaru as 1 year, occupation of ‘farm hand’, and as not married before. The wedding occurs at the residence of Mrs E Jacobson, Glenomaru, South Otago on 23 November 1920 – with Rev Father Howard.

On his will, dated 3 July 1922, his occupation is listed as Farmer, his address is listed as 276 Castle Street, Dunedin, and he leaves everything to his wife Ellen Anges Sinclair.

He appears on the 1925, 1928, 1935 & 1938 Dunedin Central Electoral Roll as living at 1 Teviot Street, Dunedin, and employed as a hotel employee.

By 1940 he was employed as a ‘Night watchman’ (source: Erin’s 1940 birth certificate).

His death notice reads:

SINCLAIR – On July 30, 1943, at Dunedin, Clarence Gordon Sinclair, of 1 Teviot Street, South Dunedin, and late of 1st N.Z.E.F. (Main Body); aged 49 years. R.I.P. – Requiem Mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica, South Dunedin, on Monday August 2, at 9am – Private interment.

In 1943, source: death certificate, his occupation is listed as Porter, address 1 Teviot Street, and time in NZ as 40 years. His probate values his estate at £580.

above, Clarence Sinclair 1920s/30s
, Clarence Sinclair, about mid-1940s

Above: Clarence’s signature (1922)
Below: Dunedin’s Anderson’s Bay Cemetery, Block 158, plot 10

Biographical Details:

Helen Agnes Josephine Jacobson
Born abt 2 Nov 1897, Glenomaru, NZ
Married, 23 Nov 1920
Died 16 January 1950, Dunedin.

Before 1928 (Electorial Roll) she settles at 1 Teviot Street Dunedin. 

In Ellen’s will, dated 7 Feb 1944, she leaves her estate to her son Erin. She also appoints Henry Coughlan as guardian – who lives at 486 Anderson’s Bay Road, Dunedin. Her estate is valued at £850 in 1950. I note that Henry Coughlan is a Hotel Manager (from the 1920s til his death Clarence Sinclair, Erin’s father, is employed in Hotels).

Her death notice reads:

SINCLAIR – On January 16, 1950, at Dunedin, Ellen Agnes, beloved wife of the late Clarence Sinclair, and loved mother of Erin, of 1 Teviot street, Anderson’s Bay; aged 50 years. Deeply mourned. R.I.P. – Requiem Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Wednesday, January 18, at 6.45am – Private interment.


Top-right, Ellen & Erin Sinclair, abt 1943
Right: Ellen Agnes Jacobson with her mother – early 1920s

Biographical Details:

Oxford Gordon Sinclair
Married, Mary McKenzie


Is listed as a Tea Planter – source: Marriage record of his son C. G. Sinclair.


Children of Oxford & Mary Sinclair

  • Clarence Gordon Sinclair
  • Robert Sinclair – living in Dunedin 1914
    • Maybe, appears in the 1920s listed as Inspector of Way & Works, Chandpur, Post Office, Assam Bengal Railways
  • Miss Aileen ‘Mary’ Gordon Sinclair (sister, address of ‘Care of: Mrs G S Wilson, Matuanui, Glenomaru’) alive in 1920 and was a witness to the Clarence’s wedding. Note, an ‘Aileen Gordon Sinclair’ appears with Clarance Gordon Sinclair at Glenomaru  in the 1919 Clutha Electorial Roll – which I have assumed is assumed is ‘Mary’.  She then marrys; William John Ashley, in December 1924 (BDM 1924 folio 10119), he’s an ex-solider (service # 34787), born 25/8/1894, and is a farm labourer from Outram, Oamaru, North Otago prior to WW1. Mary/Aileen dies 14 October 1931, and buried at Anderson Bay Cemetery, Dunedin. Her cemetary record reads; “Ashley, Aileen Gordon, Died 14 October 1931, aged 37 years, married. Resident of Pukerangi, Otago Central. Born India, Last came to Pukerangi. Lived 17 years in province. Buried 16 Oct.”  This places her birth year as 1894 +/- a year.
    • Daughter, Aileen Mary Louise Ashley. B 30 June 1926  Married Robert Martin Waide, in Otago (he’s b. 2 April 1924, d. 22 Nov 1976). There was a daughter; Aileen Gail Waide (born abt 1945/6 and dies 1 March 2014) who married Derek Smith (d. 2009 age 67) . There appear to be two daugters from this relationship.


Right:  Gathering outside the Wilson family house – circa 1920s – it is possible the Mary Sinclair is amoung those present in this picture.


Biographical Details:

Note: Annie is listed here as she is Ellen Agnes Josephne Jacobson’s mother – it’s likely she is a gt-Aunt to Erin Sinclair.

Annie Elizabeth Jacobson

Born: 21 December 1879, Glenomaru
Married twice;
1, Andrew James Taylor
2, Percival Sylvester Knipe
Died: 26 May 1944

Right:  This is thought be Annie Jacobson with one of her two son’s with Andrew Taylor – which dates the photo to around 1904/5.  

Annie was a twin, with sister Agnes, and born 21 December 1879 at her parents house in Glenomaru, Clutha, Otago NZ.

Her first child, Helen Agnes Jacobson is born in 2 November 1897 – the father is not recorded.

Marries (1) Andrew James Taylor on 1 August 1900 (BDM registration 1900/5739,

  • Andrew is a Labourer, and has been in the district for two years, they married in a Roman Catholic Church in Balclutha, (Intension to Marry, p 402, BDM20/51 Archives NZ)

Childern from this relationship; (all three are alive in 1922, and one son has died by 1944)

  • Andrew Cecil Victor Taylor, b 20 Jan 1901, (BDM registration 1901/5512,
  • John Reginald Taylor, b, 23 May 1902, (BDM registration 1902/9380,
    • Maybe, John Reginald Taylor, Farm labourer, Tai Tapu, Riccarton Electorial Roll 1928, 1935 & 1938.
    • Maybe, John Reginald Taylor, Farmer, Winters Rd, Halswell, 1942 Army Ballot List Nov 1942. 
    • Maybe, John Reginald Taylor, Farm labourer, Winter’s Road, Halswell, Riccarton Electorial Roll 1946
    • Maybe, marries Annabella Newall, 1930, BDM registration 1930 folio 3136
    • Maybe, Annabell Taylor, married woman, Winter’s Road, Halswell, Riccarton Electorial Roll 1946
    • Maybe, John Reginald Taylor, Crane driver N.Z.R,  332 Hills Road, St Albans Electorial Roll 1954
    • Maybe, son, John (Jun) Reginald Taylor, 332 Hills Road, St Albans Electorial Roll 1954
    • Maybe Annabell Taylor, married woman, 332 Hills Road, St Albans Electorial Roll 1954
    • Maybe John (sen) Reginald Taylor, 332 Hills Road, crane driver, St Albans Electorial Roll 1957
    • Maybe John (jun) Reginald Taylor, 332 Hills Road, bulldozer driver, St Albans Electorial Roll 1957
    • Maybe Annabell Taylor, married woman, 332 Hills Road, St Albans Electorial Roll 1957
    • Maybe, John Reginald Taylor, dies 1962, Christchurch, BDM folio 3 5220
    • Maybe John Reginald Taylor (son), driver, 19 Rowley Ave, Sydenham, Canterbury Electorial Roll 1972
    • Maybe John Reginald Taylor (son), grader driver, Mill Road, Ohoka, Rangiora, Canterbury, Electorial Roll 1981 
  • Selina Margaret Taylor, born 25 September 1903 (BDM registration 1903/13928,

Andrew dies 3 November 1903 (from his Probate), was a Winchman, living at Millers Flat, Otago.

His death is covered in the Tuapeka Times, 4 November 1903.


A Miners Flat correspondent wired yesterday. A drowning accident occurred here today in the river, the victim being Andrew Taylor, who was employed on the Excelsior dredge. From what I can learn it appears that Taylor, with two other dredgehands, was crossing the river in a boat, having on board a dredge rope which it was intended to pay out as they went across. Taylor was in charge of the line which he proceeded to handle and pay out of the boat. While engaged in doing so be overbalanced himself and the rapid current making the boat unsteady and insecure, he failed to recover himself and fell overboard into the river. He was instantly swept beyond tbe reach of help by the rushing waters and drowned, his companions being unable to render any assistaince. The body has not been recovered, but will probably be washed up somewhere near the Beaumont. (Full Inquest coverage)

In October 1904 she advertises that she has taken the lease on the Criterion Hotel, Balcutha (paperspast).

Annie Taylor appears as a Boarding Housekeeper in December 1905 (claiming unpaid debts)

Annie appears in the Otago Witness on 22 March 1905, page 34


A fine of (Pounds) 35.

Annie Knipe and Percival Sylvester Knipe, occupiers of the premises known as the Criterion Accommodation House, were charged with keeping liquor for sale on March 4. Both defendants, who were not represented by counsel, pleaded “guilty.”

Mr J. F. M. Fraser, Crown Prosecutor, stated that on March 4 the police raided the premises. A dance was in progress in one of the rooms. As a result of their search the police found in the bar, in a wooden pail, an empty whisky bottle, they also found two jugs containing beer. Hearing footsteps upstairs the police when up, and found an empty whisky case under a bed and a bottle in a cupboard. In the bathroom in a slop pail, they found a bottle containing whisky, and alongside of it, partly submerged, another bottle full of whisky, and also another bottle lying near the wall. Another bottle of whisky was found in the kitchen cupboard down-stairs. In a shed they found an empty whisky case in a rack, and some empty bottles with the labels washed off. Another empty beer barrel was found over the fence on the adjoining property-next morning. The police reported that they saw a large number of people going in and out of the house.

The Magistrate asked the object of the summing the main and wife. Mr Fraser said it was one concern. Mrs Knipe was until recently a Mrs Taylor, and advertised the premises still under that name. The Magistrate said he would take into consideration the plea of “Guilty,” and that perjury had been avoided. Knipe would be fined (pounds) 35, and costs (pounds) 2 5s, and his wife convicted and discharged.

The initail version of this report appeared in the Clutha Leader on 17 March 1905 

By June 1905 a new propriater is managing the Criterion Hotel. (paperspast).

Marries (2) Percival Sylvester Knipe on 3 Feb 1905, BDM registration 1905/5045, Percvial is born abt 1883 (based on age at death).  His Death Certifciate (DIA 1963029696) shows he dies 29 December 1963 at 48 Willis St, Asburton.  His usual home address is recorded as 12 Skipton Street, Shirley, with occupation as Truck Driver.   At the date of his death his surviving daughters are aged; 58, 54, 52 and sons are aged; 55, 53, 50.

Childern from this relationship; 

  • Grace Irene Knipe, BDM registration 1906/2711, (alive in 1944)
  • Percival Walter Knipe, dies in infacy, Birth BDM registration 1906/22220,, Death BDM registration 1906/7364, age 16 days). Appears to have lived in Fortrose, Southland (
  • Isabella Campbell Knipe, died in infancy, birth BDM registration 1907/24387,, death BDM registration 1908/4604, age 7 months. Appears to have lived in Fortrose, Southland (
  • Percival Sylvester Knipe, 28 Dec 1908, BDM registration 1908/25618,
    • Born in Invercargill ( 
    • 1940 – appears in Territorial Service Ballot (Press 7 Nov 1940)
    • Serves in WW2 as a Sapper, in the 20th Field Company, NZ Engineers (service number WWII 60369)
    • Marries around 1941, his wife is living at 432 Cashel Street, Christchuch (from his Army record).
    • Divorces’s May Olive Knipe – 1945
    • (maybe) re-marries Rita Maude Lurline Wright, and there is a daughter from this relationship (alive in 2010).
    • Dies 26 August 1974. Buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetary, Christchurch (Block 1E, Plot 373)
    • Probate – 1974  occupation listed as Retired Driver.
  • Magdalene Lucy Edith Knipe, BDM registration 1910/6373, (alive in 1944)
  • Thelma Anges Knipe, b. 5 Jan 1912, at 145 Teviot Street (source: NZ Birth Cert, (alive in 1944)

  • William John Knipe, changes name via Deed Poll to; Walter Whittaker, born 17 November 1912 at 145 Teviot St Invercargill (source: NZ Birth Cert,
    • Appears to have been known as ‘Curly’.
    • Married Rona May Lyes on 18 April 1935 in Christchurch – his name at the time was recorded as William James Knipe. (BDM registration 1937/1589). Rona was born on 21 August 1915.
    • Does not appear in any of the Army Reserve rolls (1940-46), and his first appearance on Electoral Rolls is in 1946 (under either surname).
    • Appears on 1946, 49, 54 & 57 Electoral Rolls with Rona M Whittaker; living at 85 Reserve Tce, Lyttelton, with occupation of labourer, motor driver, truck driver.
    • Appears in the 1963 & 69 Electoral Rolls with Rona M Whittaker; at 181 Quinns Rd, Christchurch, as a Truck Driver
    • Last appearance in the 1972 Electoral Roll, at 40 Briggs Rd, Christchurch
    • Died 13 December 1978 in Christchurch (BDM registration 1978/41992)
  • still-born child, BDM registration 1915/17477,
  • Terence Joseph Knipe, BDM registration 1916/9380,
    • Born in Invercargill (
    • Family was living at 384 Cumberland St, Dunedin (source Dunedin Cemeteries records)
    • Died 11 October 1918 in Dunedin. Source: Death notice  Evening Star 12 Oct 1918
    • Buried Block 180A Plot 51, Northern Cemetery, Dunedin 
  • Eileen Violet Knipe, born 22 October 1917 BDM registration 1917/29062,
    • Married in 16 May 1936, Harold McCormick (b. 1911, d. 2004)
    • Child of; David John McCormick
    • Died, 20 Oct 1963, buried at Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch. 
  • Flemming Lawrence Knipe, born abt 1921 (based on age at death, 22)
    • Sapper, WW2, service #447510, NZ Engineers
    • Appears as ‘Killed Accidently’ NZEF Casulatly list, 8 Dec 1943 in the Christchurch Press.
    • Died 5 December 1943, died at Vella Lavella, Solomon Island (around the time of the Battle of Vella Lavella) buried at Bourail NZ War Cemetery, New Caledonia.
    • Death Certificate (DIA 1945052641) sates his age as 22 years, occupation as ‘Transport Driver’, the fields for a relationship are all blank as are surviving childern. 

In 1909 Percival Knipe appears in the Magistrates Court for failure to pay mainatence (Southland Times 13 Feb 1909)  

In 1921 Percival Knipe appears in the Otago Daily Times (paperspast) for failure to pay maintence. In 1922 he appears three more times on the issue of his failure to pay maintenance in Police Court: Arrested in Gisboure January 1922 (paperspast), then appears to be transported back to Christchurch (see ODT coverage below), in Court again 13 March 1922, (paperspast)  and to increase the maintenance amount in 1927 (paperspast). 


Percival and Annie appear in the Otago Daily Times, 3 August 1921

Magistrates’ Court

Tuesday, August 

Damages for Alleged Trespass

Percival Sylvester Knipe (Mr Brasch) v. Clarence Frederick Carter (Mr Anderson). This was a claim for £50 damages for trespass and deprivation of rights in connection with a dwelling-house situated at 384 Cumberland street. —Mr Broach said that the defendant was the owner of four or five houses, all of them being in a very dilapidated condition. Defendant wanted to erect a garage, and he applied to the Board of Trade for permission to do so. Defendant was given authority to pull down some of the houses, but was told that he must not interfere with two of the houses, as they were habitable. He also obtained permission to build on the back part of the section. Defendant, however, built over the right-of-way and along the front of the section. This prevented the plaintiff from using the right-of-way, and, in the event of fire, those living in the house might be caught in a death-trap. The gate had been removed from its former position, and was, generally speaking, kept locked. Counsel contended that the defendant had shown a flagrant disregard of the rights of other people, and also of the laws of the country. Evidence was given by the plaintiff. His Worship asked how the defendant had obtained a building permit. Mr Brasch said that the defendant had exceeded the terms of the permit. Mr Anderson said that he intended to prove that consent had been given to allow the alterations to be made. His Worship said that he thought it would save a lot of witnesses if he inspected the place. Annie Elizabeth Knipe, wife of the plaintiff. said that she had told Carter that as long as he did not block up the back gate it would be all right. She told her husband this, and he said that nothing was to be done until defendant had seen him about it. His Worship visited the locality during the luncheon adjournment. Mr Anderson said that defendant would deny that he had wrongfully entered on the premises to do the work, as consent had been given to do it. The defendant also denied that any rubbish had been deposited on the land, or that light had been taken from the plaintiff’s residence to any extent. Plaintiff gave evidence corroborating counsel’s statement. Elijah Mullenger (builder), Jonathan Rhodes, and George Lawrie (assistant to the city building surveyor) also gave evidence. lt was decided to take another case between the parties before his Worship gave judgment.  Mr Anderson said that this was a claim for possession of the premises at 384 Cumberland street. Clarence Frederick Carter gave evidence to show that he had tried to get another house for Knipe. Witness was a single man. He might possibly live in the house in Cumberland street himself. He had told Knipe of two vacant places. Evidence was given to show that a house in Serpentine avenue was in as good order as the house in Cumberland street. Mr Brasch said there were nine children in the Knipe family. His Worship said that in this case the question was whether plaintiff had made out that the premises were reasonably required for his own occupation. He would say at once that he had not. He had also to be governed by the point whether there was any other ground which would influence the court to make an order. He had not had any evidence that there was that ground. Mr Anderson applied for an adjournment to enable him to bring evidence regarding plaintiff’s general conduct while resident in the house. His Worship granted an adjournment till Thursday, plaintiffs to pay £1 13s costs. As regards the claim for damages, his Worship said he was of opinion, on the evidence, that plaintiff was entitled to a certain amount of damages. He would assess the damages at £l0, with costs (£5 10s).


Percival Knipe appears in the Otago Daily Times, 19 March 1922.

City Police Court – 11 March 1922

Percival Sylvester Knipe was charged with failing to maintain his wife and family. Mr Brasch, for the complainant, stated that the man had disappeared some time ago with another woman. He was brought back, but his wife did not wish to proceed further against him, and the question was the payment of the expense of bringing him back. The expense was £l9 6s 6d. The man was now working in the country and had sent some money to his wife. There were six children not earning anything. His wife was under the impression he was sending her as much as he could. The magistrate said that while he could hardly make a peremptory order at the present time the matter could not be allowed to drift indefinitely. He would adjourn the case for a further month and the defendant would have to give a proper account of his work and earnings.

In the Otago Daily Times, 15 July 1922, page 15


Friday July 14

(Before Mr H. W. Bundle, S.M.)


In the ‘Maintenance Orders’ section:


Annie Elizabeth Knipe proceeded against her sons, John Reginald Martin Taylor and Andrew Cecil Victor Taylor, asking that orders be made against them for her maintenance. Mr Allan appeared for the two sons. Complainant in evidence said that father of the defendants had dies when the elder was about three years old. She married again about 19 years ago, and her husband was working on a coal cart in Christchurch earning (pounds)4 15s weekly. There was a family of seven by the second husband, and she had to go out working. To Mr Allan: The defendants had been in the industrial school until 1920, but she had had to pay for them to be there. She got (pounds)550 compensation for the death of her first husband, but she did not get much handling of that. She expected to join her husband in Christchurch the following day. She had always been a good mother to them. Mt Allan submitted that she was not entitled to maintenance from either of these boys. The Magistrate said he was not satisfied that the applicant was a destitute person at the present time, and the application would be dismissed.


Annie appears in The Press 23 January 1931

OBSCENE LANGUAGE. Annie Elizabeth Knipe, for using obscene language, was fined £2 and costs, in default 14 days’ imprisonment. She was allowed one week to pay.

It appears she did not pay the fine, and appears in The Press on 4 April 1931

The Courts.

For using obscence language Annie Elizabeth Knipe was convicted and sentenced to 14 days hard labour. She was allowed 24 hours in which to pay.


In 1940 (from Percival Sylvester Knipe WW2 army records), Percival Sylvester Knipe is living at 62 Essex Street, Linwood Christchurch.


Annie dies 26 May 1944, at 73 Queens Street, Christchurch (Heart Failure) – source Death Cert,  Buried at Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch – Block 18B. Plot 2

At the time of her death she was resident at 73 Queens Street, Sydenham, Christchurch (funeral notice). 

Her husband,  Percival Sylvester Knipe dies in Christchurch in 1963.

Edward Joseph Jacobson
Born, 30 April 1844, Nykarleby Finland
Changed name from Matts Edward Jakobsson (presumably soon after arrival in NZ)
Arrived NZ about 1872
Married, Ellen Agnes Kelly, 21 March 1875
Died, 21 July 1905 in Glenomaru, NZ
Buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 9



Right top: Glenomaru Hall (circa 1920s)



Right: Ahuriri School c1896 (renamed Glenomaru school in 1904) – four of these children are Jacobsons. 

Is listed as a Bushman on the marriage certificate of his daughter Ellen Agnes Josephine Jacobson. Appears on the 1890 Electoral Roll for Clutha as a Bushman and owning property in Glenomaru.


 Appears in Otago Daily Times, 22 July 1905, page 6; 

Deaths: Jacobson. On the 21st of July, at his residence, Glenomaru, after a long and painful illness, Edward Jacobson; aged 62 years. Deeply regretted. 


Children of Edward & Ellen Jacobson:

Note (October 2017). This data differs in part from family held copies of this generation which have been circulated since the 1980s. The data below is based on formal Dept of Internal Affair’s Births Deaths & Marriages data, sighted copies of Probates & WWI army records, cemetery headstones, and Electoral Roll entries. There remains some name confusion – which I attribute to differences between registered name and names used within the family, and maybe an attempt to disguise Helen Agnes Jacobson birth details – in particular that she was born out of wedlock and the father is not registered. 


  • Mary Jacobson  1876-1931
    • Born, 1 April 1876, source, BDM registration 1876/15131, (mother’s name recorded as Allan!)
    • Appears in the Clutha Leader on 16 September 1892, as giving evidence in Court (details below with her mother’s details)
    • Marries Thomas Dwyer in 1897 (BDM 1897/4556)
      • Daugther; Helen Dwyer, b, 2 Nov 1898  in Balclutha region  (BDM 1898/12704)
      • only son, Patrick Edward Dwyer, b. 10 Nov 1902   (BDM 1902/19732). m. Elsie Montgomery 18 June 1930 at Milton, Otago (paperpast). d. 20 Oct 1965 in Greymouth (BDM 1965/34920)
    • Mary & Thomas Dwyer, are listed as living in Glenomaru in 1930 (in the marriage notice of their son).
    • Mary dies 24 June 1931  (BDM1931/8792)


  • Edward J JACOBSON  1877-1954
    • Born, 26 AUG 1877 in Glenomaru.source, BDM registration 1877/11961,
    • Married Grace Annie White, 31 Aug 1898 in Mosgiel.  She’s buried 7 Jan 1946, (age 71) Plot 18 Block DB, East Taieri Cemetery, Mosgiel, Dunedin
    • WWI Nominal Rolls, Edward Jacobson, Railway Ganger, of Dunedin. Private 22337 in WWI.
    • Serves as Private in Western Europe 1916-17.
      • 6 foot 2 inches, 13 Stone 2 lbs, blue eyes, fair coloured hair. Presbyterian faith. 
      • With 2nd Battaion Otago Regt, 10th Company in France, Dec 1916.
      • Wounded in Chest and left foot (from a shell blast while in trenches), June 1917 (Cable 3500).
      • Discharged from the Army: “No longer physically fit for war services on account of injuries sustained on active service.” 17 April 1918.
    • Appears in 1938, Dunedin South, Thames Street, as retired.
    • Died 18 Aug 1954. Buried (with wife) Plot 18 Block DB, East Taieri Cemetery, Mosgiel, Dunedin.

Their children are (source Edward’s 1916 Army record/ and DIA’s BDM records): 

    • Grace Annie Jacobson, b. 23 Jan 1900 at Glenomaru. d. 9 Nov 1964, Millers Flat, Otago
      • Marries, William Norman Adams, 24 Dec 1919.  (BDM1919/8118)  He’s b. abt 1896, d. 9 Aug 1964, a Farm Manager at Millers Flat. Otago.  Both are buried at Millers Flat Cemetery, Central Otago.
    • Violet Mary Agnes Jacobson, b. 4 July 1901 at Mt Allan (BDM1901/1670), d. 21 May 1984 in Invercargill
      • She marries John Pedlar in 1920 (b. 1896 d. 6 Dec 1971 in Invercargill)
      • Their children;  Thomas Raymond Pedlar, and Noline Mary Pedlar (b. 11 Dec 1926 d. 17 March 2016)
    • Helen Kate Jacobson, b. 4 Dec 1902 at Glenomaru (BDM1903/13530)
      • She marries, Matthew Beatie, in 1923, they have childern & grand childern.
    • Edward Ernest Jacobson, b. 11 Nov 1904 Hampden (BDM1904/18259), d Papakura, Auckland 1964
      • Married Rose Amelia Merry, 1929.
    • William ‘Reggie’ ‘Reg’ Reginald Allen Jacobson, b. 19 June 1912 in Dunedin (BDM 1912/14080)  and d. 8 Feb 2011 in the Waikato area (BMD 2011/3933)
      • Marries, Phyllis Josephine Ellen Arthur, in 1935.


  • Annie Elizabeth (TWIN) JACOBSON 1879-1944
    • Born: 21 Dec 1879 in Glenomaru (source, BDM registration 1880/18898,
    • Died. 26 May 1944, BDM registration 1944/21664,
    • More details about her above


  • Agnes (TWIN) JACOBSON 1879-1941
    • Born, 21 Dec 1879, source, BDM registration 1880/18897,
    • Maybe ‘Agnes Ellen Jacobsen’ and married Robert Barry in 1913.
    • Robert, a Tobacconist in Danniverike, dies 17 July 1926 (age 47). His Probate has Agnes stating there are no children.
    • Agnes Ellen buried 22 Nov 1941 (with Robert, at Mangatera Cemetery Dannvirke, Hawkes Bay).

 Appears in the Otago Witness, 1 June 1893: 

Dear Dot, – I live at Glenomaru, and it is a very nice place. The measles are very bad here just now. Some of the schools are shut up through it, but ours is not. The bush is very thick up here. We climb trees for fuchsias and tear our clothes, and then I suppose you know what we get. We have a pretty black-and-white cat. Please would you give me a name for it. There was a play a Romahapa called “Life’s looking-glass.” I did not go as it was too far, and our buggy was not available. Yours truly, Agnes Jacobson May 18.


Right: Wedding Photo of Tom Jacobson and Isabella Findlater – 2 Jan 1909.  

  • Thomas ‘Tom’ Alexander JACOBSON 1880-1958
    • Born, 22 Dec 1880 in Glonomaru, source, BDM registartion 1881/14925,
    • Adverstises a lost horse in Glenomaru in 1900.
    • Appears on Clutha 1905-06 Electoral Roll. as a labourer, Glenomaru
    • Married Isabella Cornwell Findlater on 2 Jan 1909.
      • Appears in the Otago Witness, 17 February 1909 page 51
        JACOBSEN— FINDLATER —On January 2, at the residence of the bride’s parents, by the Rev. Wingfield, Thomas Alexander, son of the late Edward Jacobsen, Glenomaru, to Isabella Cornwell, daughter of James T. Findlater, Craigannet, Cathn’s River.
      • Son, Thomas Alexander Jacobson, b. 5 Dec 1909 (BDM1910/5001).
        • Married, Violet Gordon Cameron, 14 April 1937 (BDM1937/5144)
        • Later of Palmerston North (Civil Servant). Died Gisborne 1997,
      • Son, Frank Jacobson, b. 17 Nov 1912 (BDM1912/21883)
        • D. 23 Feb 1971 (BDM1971/25932)  of Napier (Company Mgr)
    • Lived (1950s) at 39 Southey St, Sydenham, Christchurch
    • Died in Christchurch 26 Sept 1958 – Woodlawn Memorial Gardens (BDM1958/23846)
    • Probate lists his occupantions as ‘Retired Sawyer’ 1958.
    • Isabella Cornwell Jacobson dies 1971 (BDM19971/44883) aged 90.




  • James JACOBSON 1882-1882
    • Born 6 Aug 1882 in Glenomaru, source, BDM registartion 1882/13210,
    • Died 10 October 1882.




 Appears in the Otago Witness, 3 May 1894:   

Dear Dot, I live at Glenomaru. We have one dog, and she has two puppies; please can you give me names for them. We have had rough weather down here lately, and we were a few days away from school. There is a lot of wood about Glenomaru, and we have grand sport among the trees and bushes playing at hide-and-go-seek. Yours truly, Selina Jacobson (aged 8 1/2 years).



  • Henry William JACOBSON 1886-1886
    • Born; 7 July 1886 in Glenomaru. Died 16 August 1886.
    • Buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 9



  • Isabella Florence Jacobson 1887-?
    • Born 21 October 1887, source, BDM registartion 1887/10093,
    • Known within the family as ‘Louisa Florence Jacobson’
    • Listed with siblings in father’s will (and known to be alive in 1904) 




  • William Lawrence Jacobson, 1889-1961
    • Born 8 June 1889, source, BDM registartion 1889/10959,  (but as James William Jacobson) 
    • Listed in WWI Reserve Rolls 1916-17, as a Bushman, Gorge Rd, Invercargill.
    • Daughter; Sarah Elizabeth Gwendoline Jacobson, b. 1914 (BDM 1914/21241) mother’s name Sarah Elizabeth Jacobson.
    • Probate (not yet sighted) 1961 – occupantion ‘Mill Manager’




  • Louisa Jane JACOBSON  1890-1959
    • Born, 11 October 1890 in Glenomaru, source, BDM registartion 1890/16369,
    • Known as Jean. She married Leonard Victor Gee (from Christchruch) and had three chirdren;
      • Mona Gee b. 1910,
      • Edward Victor Gee b. 1911, and
      • Catherine Eileen Gee b. 9 Sept 1912
    • Appears in Clutha Leader 16 September 1913, page 5.
      Glenomaru School, To the Editor. Sir. In reply to Messrs Spence and Gee’s rambling letter of the 10th inst., we consider the composition very vague, feeble and lacking in virility, requiring no answer as it speakers for itself and carries it own condemnation on the face of it. Messrs Spence and Gee inform us that they alone are responisible for thier two letters and we are indeed pleased that this last pre-oration does not represent the combined wisdom of the Glenomaru school committee, although Mr Gee still continues to sign himself chairman Glenomaru school comittee. We all have our weaknesses – this be Mr Gee’s.
      W. Leslie, WM Davis, Ahuriri Flat, Sept 15, 1913.
    • She dies in 1959


John ‘Jack’ Henry JACOBSON  1892-1975

  • Born, 2 July 1892 in Glenomaru,  source, BDM registartion 1892/16414,
  • Appears in the Clutha Leader, 6 Oct 1914 page 2.
    In the coverage of the Clutha County council meetting;
    J Jocobson,Glenomaru applied to lease half-acre of land adjoining his secton. Request granted during the pleasure of the council.
  • Listed in 1916-17 Army WWI Reserve Roll as ‘Jacobson John, Farmer, Glenomaru’
  • Appears Mataura Ensign, 26 July 1920, page 6, Meeting notes, Southland Land Board;
    Section 814 block LXI Hokonu 93ac, John Jacobson to Robert E. Lockerbrie
  • Marries (1), Mary Ann ‘Molly’ Hackett, 27 December 1923  (DIA1923/6644))
    • Assumed son, John Patrick Josesph Jacobson, abt 1924.
    • Appears in Otago Daily Times on 26 April 1926, page 8 “Birth: JACOBSON – On April 22, at their residence, Glenomaru, to Mr and Mrs J. H. Jacobson – a son. Both well.” Unable to idenify name – but is shown in picture below.
  • Appears on the Clutha (Otago) Electorial Roll, 1928, as ‘Jacobson, John Henry, Farmer.’, and his wife, listed as Mary Ann Jacobson ‘married’, in Glenomaru.
    • A daughter, Margaret ‘Peggy’ Jacobson, b. 4 January 1928. She appears to have moved to Australia.
    • A daughter, Colleen Ellen Jacobson b. 21 Sept 1929 in Dunedin, d. 1995 (BDM 1995/31543). She married Brian Markey Fitzsimmons (d. 24 March 2014), and had ten childern (incl. Joseph John Fitzsimmons).
  • Mary Ann Jacobson, dies 21 Feb 1930 at Owaka, buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 11.
  • Appears in Otago Daily Times, 22 Feb 1930, page 12

JACOBSON – On February 21, 1930, at Owaka Hospital, Many Ann, beloved wife of John Henry Jacobson, Glenomaru, and third daughter of Mrs and the late Michael Hackett, Momona; aged 35 years R.I.P. Funeral intimation later.

  • Appears on the Clutha (Otago) Electorial Roll, 1935, as ‘Jacobson, John Henry, Glenomaru, Farmer.’
  • Marries (2), Mabalah Grace Gray, 25 March 1937  (BDM 1937/3340 copy of certificate ordered 5 April 2018). Shes dies 16 April 1953 as Mahala Grace Jacobsen- (BDM 1953/21163 copy of this cert ordered 8 Arpril 2018)
    • It possible that she is ‘Gray, Mahalah, of Oaro’ who appears as a ‘married woman’ in the 1928 Wairau (Marlborough) Electorial Roll. 
  • Appears on the Rodney (Auckland) Electorial Roll, 1949, as ‘Jacobson, John Henry, Puhoi, farmer.’
  • Appears on the Rodney (Auckland) Electorial Roll, 1954, as ‘Jacobson, John Henry, Te Atatu Rd., Henderson, farmer.’
  • Marries (3), Mary Alice Allen, 24 April 1957, in Auckland.
  • Appears on Grey Lynn (Auckland) Electorial Rolls, 1969 and 1972, as ‘Jacobson, John H. 9 Tweed St. Retired.’
  • Dies 30 September 1975, BDM1975/44807.
  • Buried, “In loving memory of John Jacobson died 30 September 1975, Rest in Peace’ noted as aged 83. Plot 29, Catholic Lawn C, Row 5, Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.




Top, John Jacobson (left) with Clarence Sinclair, at Glenomaru in 1919.

Above,  John Jacobson, at Glenomaru early 1920s

Below, John Jacobson, first wife Molly, and childern abt 1927.

Bottom, John Jacobson cirica early 1960s

  • Sydney JACOBSON 1894-1894
    • Born, 15 Jan 1894 in Glenomaru, source, BDM registartion 1894/1071,
    • Died in infancy – 26 Feb 1894. Buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 9
  • Reginald Martin JACOBSON . 1895-1895
    • Born, 20 August 1895 in Glenomaru, source, BDM registartion 1895/2031,
    • Died in infancy. Buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 9
  • James Herbert JACOBSON 1898-1898
    • Born, 30 Jan 1898 in Glenomaru, source, BDM registartion 1898/3433,
    • Died in infancy – 14 September 1898. Buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 9



Edward Jacobson appears in the Clutha Leader on 27 February 1885 seeking tenders (labour only) to build a dwelling house in Glenomaru. By this stage he already has six childern and another on the way.


On 26 April 1895 he is elected to the Glenomaru school committee (Clutha Leader) not surprising as his childern would make much of the roll!


Ellen Agnes Kelly  (often refered to as Helen)
Born 1854, Waterford, Ireland  (shipping record suggests 1856)
Emigrated to NZ on the ‘Cernatic’, arrived Dunedin 27 Feb 1874.
Married, Edward Joseph Jacobson, 21 March 1875
Died, 23 June 1932, at ‘Little Sisters, Home for the aged, Anderson’s Bay, Dunedin
Buried, Romahapa Cemetery plot 9


Right: Ellen Jacobson (seated) with her granddaughter Helen Agnes Jacobson, circa 1919. 


May have had a younger sister, Mary, born abt 1864, and presumably emigated together to NZ. 


Biographical Details:

Shipping record, Carnatic. Sailed London 23 Nov 1873, via Plymouth 8 Dec 1873, and arrived Port Chalmers, Dunedin 27 Feb 1874. 251 passengers on board.

“Kelly, Ellen, age 18, from Kilkenny, Ireland, Servant”


Appears on the 1893 Women Suffrage Petition Roll (Sheet 106 – Region: Puerua, Glenomaru). However, its her name not a signature – suggests her illiteracy. 


Appears in Clutha Leader, 28 February 1918, page 3

R. M. Court, Balclutha

Tuesday, September 13

(Before J. S. Clenden, Esq., R.M.)


Helen Jacobson v. Johanna Fanning.


Damages for assault, and application to have the defendant bound over to keep the peace. Mr D. M Findlay appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr J. R. Thornton for the defendant.


Helen Jacobson gave evidence as to Mrs Fanning striking her twice and knocking her down on top of both her baby and a child beside her, Mrs Fanning telling her to lie there and die. Her state of health at the time was poor, and since the assault both she and the baby had been under the doctor’s care. She had a quarrel with Mrs Johnston (defendant’s daughter), but none with the defendant.

Thoms. Dwyer, Agnes Jacobson, and Mary Jacobson gave evidence as to witnessing the assault.

Mrs Gillan gave evidence as to Mrs Fanning telling her she had assaulted Mrs Jacobson. She said she knew she would be bound over to keep the peace, but said that Mrs Jacobson would have to look after herself afterwards for she would kill her if she met her.

Johanna Fanning, the defendant, said she was a nurse by profession. She admitted having used her hands to Mrs Jacobson, but denied that she spat on Mrs Jacobson ; the later spat on her. Mrs Jacobson did not fall down at the time she struck her, and her falling down was not the result of the blow. Mrs Jacobson can always faint when she likes.

Mrs Jacobson gave evidence as the quarrel starting through Mrs Jacsobson disconnecting her clothes line with the boundary fence and throwing them on the ground.

His Honor said this was evidently a neighbor’s quarrel, and regretted these things should occur. He considered the defendant had acted under provocation, but her hibernian temper had evidently gotten the better of her. He would bind the defendant over on her own recognisance for L5 to keep the peace for three months, and also pay costs of the court – L2 12s 6d, and solicitor’s fee – L1 1s. To be paid in equal installments in one or two months.


“Clutha-Bruce Early Settlers Annual Picnic” she is mentioned as “Mrs E. Jacobson (nee Kelly), ‘Cernatic,’ 1874.”


Appears on Clutha 1905-06 Electoral Roll. as married, Glenomaru. Living in Glenomaru in 1928 (source Electoral roll)