A CHRISTCHURCH PRESS PROJECT

Mrs Kingsbury (nee Dixon)
The Charlotte Jane

Original information:
Mrs Kingsbury, nee Dixon, could be one of the Dixon girls − Ann (9) or Jane (2)− who migrated from Cumberland with their parents, Joseph Dixon, a labourer (1815-September 21, 1890), and Mary (1817-March 8, 1898), sisters Elizabeth (1841-1898) and Mary* (8), and brother James (6).

Upon arrival, the Dixon family spent 15 months in Lyttelton while Joseph worked as a foreman on the Sumner Road. The family then shifted to what is now Woolston, where Mary opened a small school in a V-hut. In 1856, the family moved to the Ashley district, where Joseph played a significant role in community life as chairman of the Ashley Bank school and a member of the Ashley Road Board.

Readers' response:
Information from a family member is that this is Mrs Seth Kingsbury nee Elizabeth Dixon (November 8, 1845-April 19, 1919). Elizabeth first married James Maxwell, but he died after one year.1  She then married Seth Kingsbury (1848-1903) in 1872 and lived at Ingleside, Cust Valley, a farm they bought in 1868. The farm is still in the family today.2

Joseph and Mary Dixon had a son, Joseph, who died on board aged 4 months. After their arrival they had two more children, Sarah (b. December 1851) and William (b. 1857).3  Joseph Dixon was involved in the fencing of the Lyttelton cemetery and was also engaged in surveying.

He led an expedition into the Malvern Hills to bring down the first coal to Christchurch. He assisted in building the first house in the Heathcote Valley.

From Lyttelton, the family moved to a section in Ferry Road, where they built a house and dug five acres of land. Joseph was engaged in roadmaking, and secured the contract for the main road between Christchurch and Kaiapoi. He also assisted in the construction of Sumner Road.

In 1854, Mary Dixon opened the first school in the district and taught for some time in a small V-hut, where services were also held on Sundays.

Later she taught school in her own residence. She held the position of mistress for about 12 years. In 1865 (not 1856, as stated above), the Dixons took up land in Ashley. There he was one of the first members of the Road Board and took an active interest in the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association.4

Joseph and Mary Dixon, along with their two sons, James and William, are buried in the cemetery in Ashley Street, Rangiora.   It is believed Dixons Road is named after the family.5

 

Footnotes:
1: Janet Clapcott, unpublished family history
2: Bernard Kingsbury, unpublished family history
3: Alister Anderson, unpublished family history
4: Janet Clapcott, unpublished family history
5: Alister Anderson, unpublished family history