A CHRISTCHURCH PRESS PROJECT

Elijah Harper
The Randolph

Original information:
Elijah (1849-1933) lived on Ferry Road at first. He married Louisa Whittington. He died at his house in Woolston.

Readers' response:
All three Harpers were born in Norfolk, England: John at the village of Blofield, c. 1826; Elizabeth in the neighbouring village of Lingwood, c. 1827; and Elijah in 1849 at Strumpshaw. Elizabeth was heavily pregnant during the voyage and gave birth a month out from New Zealand to a son, named Randolph George in recognition of the ship. John is listed in the ship’s manifest as a steerage passenger aged 26, an agricultural labourer, with wife Elizabeth, 22, and Elijah, aged 1.

Elizabeth is reputed to have been a strong woman who turned her nose up at the conditions of the Lyttelton Barracks, choosing instead to walk with two small children and the family possessions over the Bridle Path to make a home in a hole in the Heathcote riverbank. Later they settled in Ferry Road, where John ran a coach service.

John and Elizabeth went on to have 10 more children, with 10 alive at their deaths in 19164 − William (July 1852-c.1916), John (b. June 1854), Alfred Benjamin (August 1856-1928), Ellen Elizabeth (1858-1918), Walter (November 1860-June 1931), Louisa (b. c. 1862), Edward (b. c. 1864), Alice (b. 1866), Elizabeth (December 1868-July 1931) and Rosena (b. c. 1870).1

John was an active participant in any Old Colonists’ reunions and in 1880 became vice-president of the newly formed Canterbury Old Settlers Association. Elizabeth died at their home in Ashbourne Street in January 1916. John died in December 1916 at the home of his daughter in Maunsell Street, Woolston.2

Elijah William (January 20, 1849-June 10, 1933), a labourer, married Louisa Whittington in 1869. In 1905 he married Charlotte Wykes, Louisa having died in December 1904. Elijah died in 1933 of bronchopneumonia, aged 84. He was living at Dampier Street, Woolston, and his profession was described as retired wool classer. He is buried in Linwood cemetery. He had six children, five alive at his death.3

Randolph George (November 16, 1850-August 9, 1937) married Amy Woodward in 1870. Randolph spent all his life in Canterbury. Educated at Mrs Dickson’s private school, he later worked on his father’s farm. When this property was sold and subdivided, Randolph Street in the old district of Ashburn was named after him.

Randolph later worked as a sawmiller and at a tannery, and continued living in Randolph Street until ill health forced him to move in with his daughter, Emily Coates, in St Albans. Randolph also became involved in the Pilgrims’ Association.

He died in 1937 of cancer, his wife Amy having predeceased him by 21 years. He is buried in Linwood cemetery. Randolph and Amy had three children − one daughter and two sons.4

 

Footnotes:
1: Chris Waller nee Harper, unpublished family history
2:Gwen Straight, unpublished family history
3:Chris Waller nee Harper, unpublished family history
4:Chris Waller nee Harper, unpublished family history