View Full Version : John Holmes, died 1907, MHR Christchurch
04-10-2009, 12:54 AM
Can someone help me unravel some Holmes people, please?
George Holmes of the Lyttelton Railway fame, built a mansion in Moonee Ponds, near Melbourne in the 1850s. After he left for Lyttelton the house was subsequently occupied by John Holmes, barrister-at-law, from 1870-1872. I think it is the same barrister who appears in a courtcase representing a George Holmes who is in New Zealand. I can only assume they are the same John and George at this stage, don't really know.
In 1880 John Holmes, barrister, married Gertrude Isabella Holmes, daughter of John Holmes, late of Christchurch, NZ, formerly of Huntley, Canada. They married in East Melbourne.
Now, I believe the John Holmes formerly of Huntley Canada is the brother of the aforesaid George Holmes - but who the heck is the John Holmes who married Gertrude Holmes? He seems to have become an MHR in Christchurch, unless Gertrude had a brother named John who was also a barrister. Was he George's son?
Hopelessly befuddled with these John Holmeses. Can anyone tell me who this MHR was - not in the Dictionary of Biog, done a bit of Googling, to no avail, done Papers Past.
This is a local history enquiry (I'm interested in the Moonee Ponds mansion), so I don't have lots of certificates and won't be buying them, but if anyone knows the antecedents of this John Holmes, barrister, I'd be most grateful.
04-10-2009, 1:02 AM
Here's a Wikipedia article on the John Holmes from Huntley Canada. I'll see what I can find in Canadian records:
04-10-2009, 1:11 AM
Here is the Holmes family of Huntley township on the 1852 Canadian census:
No George Holmes in the family.
04-10-2009, 1:17 AM
Here's the family on the 1871 census of Canada in Huntley:
John Holmes 42
Elisa Holmes 34
Elisa Ann Holmes 16
Mary Amelia Holmes 14
Gertrude Isabella Holmes 13
Celena Florence Holmes 12
George Gordon Holmes 10
Rose Emma Holmes 7
John Alexander Holmes 5
Andrew Graham Holmes 3
04-10-2009, 1:43 AM
Thanks for looking at those records. I should have said right away that I've had a good look at John Holmes of Huntley. I'm really interested in NZ records with which I am not familiar which may give some background for John Holmes who married Gertrude (but thanks for finding Gertrude, I didn't think of her having been born in Canada.)
I believe George and John were born in Ireland. John went to Canada, George I think was less settled. He seems to have worked on railway engineering, and talks about having been in Canada, America and England, so he is a heck of a lot harder to pin down in th records than the brother John.
He is said to have left his property to his brother John - but as I haven't yet seen the Will, I wonder if someone skimmed the Will and that in fact the Estate was left to John in Trust to look after wife and son. That is something I have to follow up. I don't know much about this son (and have spent quite a bit of time on him in the past, but things are turning up all the time), but I should probably put more effort into discovering where this John Holmes the barrister did his training. Maybe i couldn't find Mrs Holmes and son because son was in England training to be a barrister. Don't know.
In the meantime, I'm just wondering if there is some local NZ stuff which might shed more light on who the John Holmes was who became an MHR in Christchurch and died in 1907.
04-10-2009, 2:09 AM
Here's some Holmes brothers mentioned on this web page:
Wednesday 4 February 1891
HOLMES - on 2 February at Queenstown, Southland, Alexander Holmes, of Dublin, Ireland, barrister-at-law, youngest brother of D.Gordon Holmes, of Holm-lee, South Rakaia, and of John Holmes, of View Mount, Methven, and Cashel St, Christchurch, barrister-at-law.
04-10-2009, 2:42 AM
This article mentions that D Gordon Holmes is the nephew of George Holmes, so from my previous post, we now know that George Holmes had a nephew named John Holmes who was a barrister at law, as John is the brother of D Gordon Holmes:
... Mr. D. Gordon Holmes was born in Ireland, in 1836, arrived in Victoria in 1857, and came to New Zealand in 1862 to take charge of the construction of the Lyttelton tunnel for his uncle, Mr. George Holmes, then absent in Australia....
04-10-2009, 3:06 AM
You are a genius!!!! Now I know that the John Holmes, barrister who married Gertrude Holmes was her first cousin, and a pretty fair chance to be the same John Holmes who resided in uncle George Holmes' house in Moonee Ponds for a few years.
The George Holmes's may have intended to return because they don't seem to have sold the property until 1876, but then George died in 1877.
I saw a pic of a John Holmes on the Papers Past this morning, quite a handsome fellow, but I wasn't too sure whether it was the barrister or some other John Holmes. I'll have another look at that with a bit of a time-frame in mind and see if the age would match up.
It is helpful when people call their children Gertrude, not so much when they call them John, and so does everyone else! That also sort of solves - or perhaps I should say eliminates him as George's son, because I still don't have a name for him, or his mother.
I've puzzled and puzzled over this John Holmes and who he could be, but then I found that NZ marriage ref this morning, and it is solved by lunchtime! Beautiful!
Thank you so much.
Happy historian, Essendon
04-10-2009, 3:35 AM
Well, that was fun, wasn't it? Glad to help.
I see in Papers Past that the Lyttelton Times is reporting in 1875 that George Holmes Jun is now offering himself to the electors:
Son of George?
04-10-2009, 3:39 AM
Possible death of George's wife in 1891
HOLMES - Feb. 29 Louisa Margaret, relict of the late George Holmes, late of Ricarton. aged 61 years.
04-10-2009, 8:08 AM
On the money again. I think I shall have to get you to do all my research. It has been at least a couple of years since I last hunted for Mrs George and son, and perhaps those things weren't on the net then - I'm very glad to have them now, so another big pat on the back. |bowdown|
(I'll sleep well tonight. )
05-10-2009, 6:12 AM
Was able to spend 15 minutes today in the records section of Canterbury Museum where there is much detail on the Lyttelton tunnel.
John Holmes, surveyor of Huntly, Canada. b. 1828, d 22/9/79 buried in Riccarton, Christchurch
Eliza d. 2/11/1919, also buried in Riccarton, and these relatives presumably sons, nephews etc.
W. G. Holmes, farmer of Methven, Canterbury, buried in Methven
George, tunnel contractor. There is too much in the records (pages of them) for me to note the details, newspaper articles - digging and opening of the tunnel etc etc and there is probably many photographs in the collection.
There is also a Daniel Gordon Holmes and as noted in a previous submission Alexander died in Queenstown
John Holmes, the solicitor died 3/7/1907, probate of will 16/7/07 (a copy should be archives somewhere).
There were comments in one article about buying and selling of farms and money matters - financial problems in the family about 1890 (I think).
The marriage you mentioned, took place in St Peter's Melbourne - from a comment also in these records. But that was all that I saw re Australia. Could have missed much in my skimming.
When discussing possible information sources with the Museum Librarian, the person next to me on the table piped up with " I'm a descendent of that family".
She gave me the name of an elderly aunt who lives in Ashburton in Canterbury - presumably one of the Methven farming family, who apparently knows all the family history. It so happens I'll be in Ashburton (only a few km from Methven) later this month visiting a distant relative of mine, and will try and track her down. He knows much about the farming families of the area.
Should you have any questions that I could help answer please do not hesitate to ask.
05-10-2009, 12:32 PM
Glory be, now I'm being overwhelmed with kindness. I think I am just going to have to have a holiday in New Zealand and dig into those archives.
In the meantime, I'll think about your kind offer and contact you privately. I've spent so many years not being able to track any descendants that I can't quite get the hang of having one almost within my grasp. I can't thank you enough. |hug|
I'll get back to you shortly.
15-03-2011, 6:13 AM
I am researching the Homes family for mt husbands elderly Aunt and think we may have the same family. Would be interested in exchanging info.
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