Austin Alison  Elder

Austin Alison Elder

Male 1864 - 1896  (31 years)

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  • Name Austin Alison Elder 
    Born 29 Dec 1864  Hampstead, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 3 Feb 1896  Te Nui, Wairapara, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • 1871 Census.
      Carlile House, St John's Hampstead London.

      Alexander L Elder, head, married, 55 years, Australian Merchant, born Scotland.
      Mary E Elder, married, 40 years, born in Surrey, Peckham.
      Mary Ann Elder, daughter, 22 years, born in South Australia.
      William G. Elder, son, 20 years, Undergraduate, born South Australia.
      John Alexander Elder, son, 18 years, Undergraduate, born South Australia.
      Adelaide L Elder, daughter, 16 years, scholar, born Scotland.
      Minnie Elder, daughter, 13 years, scholar, born Middlesex Paddington.
      Margaret J. Elder, daughter, 10 years, scholar, born Middlesex Hampstead.
      Lillian Elder, daughter, 7 years, scholar, born Middlesex Hampstead.
      Austin E Elder, son, 6 years, scholar, born Middlesex Hampstead.
      Alexander L Elder, son, 5 years, born Middlesex Hampstead.
      Malcolm B Elder, son, 1 year, born Middlesex Hampstead.
      One Cook.
      One Housemaid.
      One Kitchen maid.
      One Nurse.
      One Page.
    • (Research):Biography :

      Austin Alison Elder, was born in 1864. His sister Margarett described him as

      one of the best and most unselfish men, she ever knew and such dear. Here was an upright and honourable man and true gentleman in every sense of the word. He was not clever and did not make a big splash, just straight and true.

      He was very good at sport, particularly tennis and football. He went to Langdale before he was 20 and the clearest picture of him comes from the writings in the Langdale Budget, which have been quoted in the section describing the Elders at Langdale. He had a wonderful sense of humour, and always saw the bright side of any misadventure. He showed great responsibility in his management of the property and clearly understood the realities of farming in the early days of British settlement in the Wairarapa.

      It is not known how he met his wife, Josephine O'Meara, but they married in the mid-1880's and had six children. He did not tell his father about his marriage beforehand and the family were not pleased. Austin did not have long to enjoy his family as hee died of pneumonia in 1896, at Langdale. His funeral was held at Tinui, with his friend and neighbour, the Reverend J. C. Andrew presiding. The family in England sent a beautiful granite headstone from his native Scotland for his grave in the Masterton Cemetery, and gifts of church vessels for the Church in Tinui as a memorial. The local newspaper reported the sadness of the community at the loss of the Laird of Langdale. They reported that he was kind and courteous and ever ready to share with others. He had a host of friends and no enemies. He was highly educated and intelligent but was at home in all circles with a quiet and unpretentious manner. The community universally regretted the loss of so valued at a settler and neighbour. If he had lived longer things might have been very different for Josephine and the children.

      After Austin's death, Josephine lived in Masterton until she took the children to England for a short period in the 1890s in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain Austin's inheritance for herself and children. The will of her father-in-law Alexander Lang stated that his children, (but not children or heirs) were entitled to inherit a share of his estate. As Austin died prematurely, Josephine and the six children were left with no income from that source. They did have money to live on from Austin's estate, and this was managed by Chapman and Tripp, Solicitors of Willington. When they arrived in England, they stayed with Austin's mother, Mary Eliza Elder, and sister Margarett Joanna, at Delamere in Surrey. Margarett remembered them racing over the lawn in bare feet, and how much she enjoyed tucking them into bed. Josephine's task to bring up six small children on her own was a daunting one and Austin's sister, Adelaide Lashbrooke Hogg, offered to look after the youngest, Alison. Josephine took Alison to her and then moved into a flat in west Kensington with the other children and the elder boys attended Colet Court, which is the prep school for St Pauls School. Their grandmother, support them financially at this time. When they left the headmaster said they had been good boys and credible pupils. Alison was parted from her brothers and sisters all the time they were in England staying either with her aunt Adelaide or her grandmother. It is not certain whether she returned to New Zealand with the others in 1901 or later, there is evidence that she crossed the equator on the SS Papanui on the 29th of December 1907.

      Austin's sister, Margaret Joanna was the only relation who consistantly helped them. She paid for the children's education and was very generous to her nieces and nephews throughout her life and her philosophy is very evident in the following letter which you wrote to Una Elder, wife of her nephew Kenyon.

      Don't let Ken be worried if you write to me whenever you are anxious (or not) about him. I do like to hear how you are and how things are going generally with you and if you are in need of a little help to tide you over times that are not so good. Surely if anyone needs sympathy now and again, it is a good steady worker like him. I have been left so comfortably off myself that I am only too thankful to share with those who are less well off than I am, and there are a few among my 20 nephews and nieces who are glad of a helping hand at times. I have never had to go without any thing that I needed in fact, I have always had more than I ever wanted and I must confess to having been spoilt all my life.

      Perhaps the greatest contribution to her fatherless nieces and nephews came from her letters to them when she tried to tell them as much as she could about Austin and the Elder family. As she wrote to her niece Alison.

      If I can be a sort of vent or relief in your father's daughter. I shall only be too glad.

      Her interest in her nieces and nephews and their children were very genuine and many still treasure the books and gifts she sent. They were able to repay her kindest in the war when Alison, Boo and Ken all sent food parcels to her.

      Austin's aunt Mima Constance Patey left money for Kenyon in her will. The will of Sir Thomas Elder left part of his estate to his nieces and nephews without including their heirs. So once again, Josephine and children missed out.

      On their return to New Zealand, the family lived at Masterton for a short while and then moved to 66 Aurora Terrace, Wellington, which was the family home until Josephine moved into a flat in Brooklyn Rd Wellington in her old age. They also owned a property at Upper Hutt, which they apparently rented out, except when the family spent holidays there. Family photos showed that they owned the property at Upper Hutt aas early as 1908, and they did not sell it before 1923. The tenants and the property itself were a constant source of worry to the family as evidence in letters between Ken, Paul and their mother in 1923 Ken wrote Paul.

      You'll be a hero, if you dispose of the Upper Hutt place. You will never get thousand pounds, it has gone back so much of the house and plant (fowl houses) are none the better after all these years. No practical farmer except a poultry man would look at it. It seems to me that the best thing would be to get in touch with men, like the military man opposite, and give him a commission if he gets a friend to buy it.

      Their happiest times were at 66 Aurora Terrace before the first world war.
    Person ID I148  Simpson & Elder
    Last Modified 18 Oct 2007 

    Father Alexander Lang Elder,   b. 18 Apr 1815, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Sep 1885, Kensington, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Mother Mary Eliza Austin,   b. 11 Aug 1830, Peckham, Surrey. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Nov 1915, Surrey, England. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 8 Apr 1847  Residance Of Rev J.B. Austin, Lashbrooke, South Australia. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F32  Group Sheet

    Family Josephine Neville O'Meara,   b. Abt 1865, Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1935, Wellington, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Married 25 Sep 1886  Wellington, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Ursula Austin (Boo) Elder,   b. 30 Jul 1888, Marton, Rangitikei, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jul 1974, Dannevirke, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     2. Roderick Austin (Rae) Elder,   b. 1889, Masterton, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 May 1963, Auckland, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    +3. Kenyon Austin (Ken) Elder,   b. 6 Dec 1890, Wellington, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1958, Old Maleny Hospital, Maleny, Queensland. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    +4. Hortense Austin (Hoani) Elder,   b. 9 Aug 1892, Greytown, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1984, Fielding, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
     5. Paul Austin Elder,   b. 1894, Nz Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jun 1972, Masterton, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     6. Alison Enid Austin Elder,   b. 15 Nov 1895, Te Nui, Wairapara, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Oct 1974, Christchurch, New Zealand. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 18 Oct 2007 
    Family ID F31  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Austin Alison Elder
    Austin Alison Elder


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