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Posts Tagged ‘Ararimu’

Ararimu

Finally, here’s the evidence to prove that the block of land I mentioned in this post is indeed the piece of land owned by my great grandfather William WATSON. I went to National Archives again with my aunty and she found the correct documentation. [Deeds Register Book R354 (Auckland) – BAJZ A1660 23641 Box 403] Thanks very much Von. Your knowledge is much appreciated.

I have photographed the document and reproduce some of it here. Bear in mind that it was handwritten in 1919 and the writing is very hard to read. [You might be able to read it easier if you click on the images to enlarge them.] Basically the document says that on 23rd July 1919 Nesbit Cooksey sold to William Watson of Rotorua, Lot 107 of the Parish of Opaheke for the sum of two hundred and eighty pounds. The witness to William’s signature was none other than my grandfather, David George Watson, fellmonger from Horotiu.

The photo below is of the little cottage that is on the property  – the road running up to the right of the cottage is Turner Road. The cottage appears to be quite old so it may be the one the Watson family lived in. The final photo is a view of the land taken from the corner of Dunn and Totara Roads looking back towards Turner Road (check the map here )

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There was a blacksmith on the  farm  and the property was on the corner of a road in Ararimu. I remember going there with my dad.
Bill Watson

This is what my Dad told me many years ago about the farm his father, David George Watson, lived on before he moved to Whangarata in the 1920s.

Now, as you can see from the map below, Ararimu isn’t a huge district – not too many roads and corners, how difficult could it be to pinpoint where the farm was?

Quite difficult, it would seem. The problem was that nobody in the family could remember the name of the road, so for years we couldn’t figure out where they lived.

While at the Tuakau Museum on Thursday I came across a book called “They Chose This Valley” – published by the Ararimu Centennial Committee in 1967. It is a historical description of the life and happenings in the Ararimu district from 1867 to 1967. Very interesting indeed. Here’s what I found on pages 146 and 147.

Notice how the passage says “Across Turner Road and on to the Bombay Road corner.” It appears that someone with the name Watson bought the property some time after 1918. But what convinces me that this Watson is our Watson, other than the time frame and the fact that the property was on a corner, is the following paragraph I found in the book on page 70.

It seems that the property owned by B. Smith when the book was written in 1967 (lot 107 described above), was the site of Albe Forbes’ blacksmith shed. Lot 107 was sold to a Forbes in 1913. There’s only one other Watson mentioned in the very comprehensive section on Farm Histories and the time frame doesn’t fit at all for it to be our Watson family.

I’m convinced – are you?

Here’s the Ararimu map again, but this time with X marking the spot that I believe the Watson farm was located. I think Totara Road is probably the Bombay Road described in the article. It appears to be the most direct route to Bombay from Ararimu. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

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