A CHRISTCHURCH PRESS PROJECT

Sarah Winter (nee Stokes)
The Randolph

Original information:
This is Sarah Stokes (6). William (1817-1865) and Sarah (1815-1854) Stokes came from Branston, in Leicestershire.

William went into Riccarton Bush as a sawyer and after six months was able to buy half an acre on the corner of Durham and Chester streets for £26. When Riccarton Bush was logged out he took up 50 acres on Harewood Road and continued felling trees in Papanui Bush. The land was soon freehold and he leased another 70 acres. It was a mixed farm: some grain, potatoes, cows, pigs and clydesdales.

Sarah died in 1854 giving birth to twins, leaving 12 children. In 1858, William married Sarah’s sister-in-law, Mary Ward. William died in 1865. In 15 years he was able to leave an estate worth several thousand pounds.

Sarah Stokes (1844-1930) was 10 when her mother died, and 21 when her father died. She had not always got on with her stepmother and she married John Winter just a few months after her father’s death. They settled in Swannanoa and had eight children.

John Winter originally bought 70 acres in Swannanoa but expanded it to 700 acres. His property was called Melton Grange. Some of Sarah’s descendants are still farming in Swannanoa.