William Henry Holmes Jacombs

William Henry Holmes Jacombs

Male 1888 - 1958  (70 years)

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  • Name William Henry Holmes Jacombs 
    Born 7 Oct 1888  Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Will 24 Jun 1957  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Buried 1958  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Address:
    Block B, St Andrew's Church, Epsom 
    Died 25 Dec 1958  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
    Address:
    St George's Private Hospital, Mt Eden (from 243 St Andrews Rd, E 
    Cremated 27 Dec 1958  Purewa, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    _UID CEB86AE853054787AA2C76C8BF9E6A502906 
    Person ID I1507  Treefive
    Last Modified 26 Oct 2016 

    Father Edwin Pitt,   b. 1851, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Apr 1922, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Mother Annie Matilda Holmes,   b. 2 Jan 1867, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Sep 1928, Lyttlelton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Notes 
    • In early 1888, Annie was staying with her sister Sarah and Sarah's husband Edwin Pitt when she became pregnant to Edwin. Annie was admitted to the Christchurch Female Refuge on 8 September 1888, aged 20. The Refuge's Casebook recorded that Annie had a son on 7 Oct 1888, and he was baptised "William Henry". The Refuge Diary noted that Annie left on 18 April 1889, after her 6 months elapsed. She went to stay with a Mrs Nixon in Addington "until she got a situation". The baby went to Sarah, who gave it up for adoption in 1891. She had 3 or 4 children of her own by then.

      John Edward Jacombs and his wife Judith (Lawson), both in their 50s, adopted William Henry and named him William Henry Jacombs, although he was sometimes recorded later in life as William Henry Holmes Jacombs.
    Family ID F583  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Father John Edward Jacombs,   b. Abt 1834, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Aug 1928, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 94 years) 
    Relationship Adopted 
    Mother Judith Lawson,   b. Abt 1837, Hornby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1918, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Relationship Adopted 
    Married 29 Aug 1878  Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [13, 14
    Address:
    St Peters Church 
    Family ID F547  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Frances Mary Howell,   b. 3 May 1889, Waiwera, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1982, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Married 21 Aug 1911  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [15, 16, 17
    Address:
    St Barnabas Church 
    Children 
     1. Natalie Frances Jacombs,   b. 14 Jul 1912, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Nov 2007, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 95 years)
     2. Eric William Mitchell Jacombs,   b. 28 Oct 1915, Palmerston North, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jan 1943  (Age 27 years)
     3. Francis Edward Jacombs,   b. 10 Apr 1926, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Nov 2007, Whangarei, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     4. Philip Richard Jacombs,   b. 10 Apr 1926, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 2006, Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F454  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    01046 William Henry Jacombs
    01046 William Henry Jacombs
    00010 Plaques - FM and WH Jacombs
    00010 Plaques - FM and WH Jacombs
    St Andrews Church, Epsom, Auckland
    00277 William Henry and Natalie Jacombs  7 May 1948
    00277 William Henry and Natalie Jacombs 7 May 1948

  • Notes 


    • This biography of William Henry Holmes Jacombs is a compilation of facts derived from various sources, including his children Natalie, Philip and Frank, and the National Library of New Zealand’s paperspast website.  It is basically a chronology of events, as remarkably little is known of his life.
       
      William was born at the Female Refuge Centre in Gordon Street, Christchurch on 7 Oct 1888.  His birth mother was Annie Matilda Holmes, and his name was initially William Henry Holmes - as a young adult he used "Holmes" as part of his name, but from then onwards it was omitted.  His birth father was Edwin Pitt, husband of Annie's sister Sarah.  William was taken by Sarah when Annie went to a Mrs Nixon's "till she gets a situation"- this was after Annie's six months at the Refuge Centre elapsed.
       
      The Female Refuge Centre records make interesting reading:
       
      CH 383,7/1[12] Female Refuge Diary 1888
      September 1   Admitted
      September 17      "Took down the names of Annie Holmes and Rose Carter with [sic] the Case Book"
      October 7     "Annie Holmes confined of a boy"
      October 28    "Held Divine Service and baptised 'William Henry' son of Annie Matilda Holmes, born 7 October 1888"
       
      CH 3847/1[13] Female Refuge Diary 1889
      April18      "Annie Matilda Holmes left today her baby has gone to her married sister. And Annie has gone to a Mrs Nixons till she gets a situation. Her six months elapsed."
       
      Adoption
       
      William was adopted by John Edward and Judith Jacombs on 23 April 1891.
       
      The adoption came to light through William's son Philip Jacomb. He told Rex Sinnott: "I had asked for one [his father's birth certificate] because I was trying to establish grandparent patriality from England and I didn't know where his parents came from.  I thought I might find out from his birth certificate.  I was therefore surprised when it arrived in the mail with no father's name.
      Being quite ignorant of such matters I went into the Registrar's office to complain. 'Oh dear' they said - 'you shouldn't have that - would you please give it back to us and we will provide you with a correct certificate.'  I gave them back the original as requested(having taken a copy before so doing) and in due course the second one arrived. That would have been in 1977 before I went there [England] to work in October 1977."
       
      Ruth Sweeney advised Rex Sinnott in 1995 that William was not known to the family of his birth mother Annie Holmes, at least according to Ruth's  memory of her father Harold Prisk (half-brother to William), and her Aunt Gladys whose late husband was Norman Prisk (another half-brother to William).
       
      In 1996, Rex Sinnott applied to the Christchurch District court to inspect the adoption record.  A copy of the adoption order was obtained after the granting of an application for information by Judge JJD Stretwell at Christchurch District Court:
       
      Christchurch Guard Book
      Adoption Orders 1882-1899 (inspected and hand copied by Rex Sinnott at the Registrar General's Office, High St, Lower Hutt):
       
      In the Resident Magistrates Court Christchurch Holden at Christchurch
      In the Matter of "The Adoption of Children Act 1881 and The Adoption of Children Act 1881 Amendment Act 1885” and in the matter of an application by John Edward Jacombs of Christchurch accountant.
       
      Be it remembered that on the 20th day of April 1891 application was made to me Richmond Beetham a Resident magistrate sitting at Christchurch by Mr H. H. Loughnan of Counsel for John Edward Jacombs of Christchurch Accountant for an order to adopt William Henry Holmes at the age of two years and six months or thereabouts an illegitimate child of Annie Matilda Holmes a single woman. Now I the said Richmond Beetham as such Resident magistrate as aforesaid having read the application of the said John Edward Jacombs and the affidavits filed herein and being satisfied that the application is made with the consent of the said Annie Matilda Holmes mother of the said child and that the consent of Judith Jacombs the wife of the applicant has been given to the application and that the applicant is of sufficient ability to bring up the said child and that the interests of the said child will be promoted Do hereby order and adjudge that the said William Henry Holmes may be adopted by the said John Edward Jacombs Given under my hand at Christchurch this 23rd day of April one thousand eight hundred and ninety one
       
      (signature) Beetham
      Resident Magistrate
       
      END OF ADOPTION ORDER.
       
      The entire file was transferred by the Christchurch Magistrates Court to the Registrar General's Office.
       
      Henry Hamilton Loughnan was admitted to the bar 23 Jun 1876, and practiced in Canterbury area.  According to a letter from J B R Loughnan (solicitor, grandson of Henry Hamilton Loughnan) to Rex Sinnott on 11 April 1997, Corcoran French incorporated the practice of J B R Loughnan, and it is likely that the relevant files were shredded in the 1980s, when a thorough cleanout was done for the first time since the 1860s. There was no sign of Holmes or Jacombs in the remaining material.
       
      William's childhood

      On 4 Feb 1898 William was awarded 3rd prize in the standard 3 class at Fendalton School.
       
      In Jan 1900 he donated 1 shilling to the New Zealand Contingent "More Men" Fund.  The objects of the fund were to purchase supplies and extra comforts for the Contingent and to aid the Patriotic Fund.  No doubt he was encouraged to donate by his mother who was very civic-minded.

      He then attended Christchurch Boys High School.  He had a good singing voice which he passed on to his children.  He took part in athletic sports, mainly track events, for instance he came second in the Mile Walk Handicap in 1902 and 3rd in the first heat of the 200 yds Handicap (senior) in 1904.

      He was awarded a continuing exhibition by the Boy's High School Board of Governors on 26 Jan 1903.

      After he had left school, his parents took him on holiday to England where his father's many relatives lived.  His mother also had relatives there.  On 29 Mar 1906, they left Lyttelton on s.s. Rotomahana for Wellington on the first stage of the trip.  In London, they visited the office of the New Zealand High Commissioner in June 1906.  They left London on the Athenic on 8 Feb 1907 to return to New Zealand.

      Adulthood
       
      As a young adult, he played cricket as a batsman for the Linwood and East Christchurch clubs.  The highlight was undoubtedly scoring 168 runs for East Christchurch against West Christchurch in Feb 1909.
       
      William married Frances Mary Howell at St Barnabas Church, Auckland in 1911.  The marriage entry gave his occupation as clerk, his present residence as Auckland and his usual residence as Christchurch.
       
      They moved first to Christchurch, then to Wellington, where their daughter Natalie was born in 1912.  He worked as a meat company agent in Wellington. They then moved to Palmerston North, where son Eric was born in 1915.  William worked for Sims-Cooper (a stock firm) as an agent (according to his daughter Natalie) or a clerk (according to son Eric’s birth entry) in the periods 1915-1918.

      Between 1912 and 1915, and possibly at other times, his work took him to the east coast of the North Island, mainly to Gisborne and Napier.

      In 1917, William was on the New Zealand Army WWI Reserve Rolls. In Nov 1918, he was given a temporary appointment as L/-Cpl, A. Coy, 50th Rfts at Trentham, Wellington.
       
      By 1926,the Jacombs family had settled in Auckland. William and Frances' identical twin boys, Frank (the older) and Philip, were born at Onehunga in 1926. The family moved to 35 Grange Road, Mt Eden.  William worked for Collyer Watson- his job was described as an exporter's agent.
       
      William took an interest in the Boy Scouts movement, no doubt through son Eric who was a Scout.   In Jun 1931 he was appointed as a Winter Show convener for the Scouts, and his outstanding work on the Scout's display at the show was noted in a July report.  In Sep 1931 he was a member of the Scouts’ Finance Board.

      Tragedy struck in 1943. Eric, a flying officer for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was declared missing in action. Perhaps this loss had some bearing on William's appointment as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant on 1 Aug 1943. Eric was presumed dead in 1944.

      In 1945, with his brother-in-law Clive Isbister, William was executor of the estate of his father-in-law Richard Pheney.  They transferred title to Richard's land at Upper Waiwera to Richard’s son, Richard Pheney Howell.
       
      The family moved from Grange Road to 6 Dunedin Street, Ponsonby, and in retirement William and Frances lived at 243 St Andrews Road, Epsom.
       
      William died on 25 Dec 1958 at the age of 70 at St George's Private Hospital, Mt Eden (from 243 St Andrews Rd, Epsom) in Auckland.  His occupation was given as Exporter's Agent on his death entry.
       
      His body was cremated on 27 Dec 1958 at Purewa, Auckland.

      William's will, made 24 Jun 1957, left his estate to his wife Frances Mary, and appointed her as sole executrix.

      William has a memorial plaque  at St Andrews Church, St Andrews Road, Epsom, Auckland which reads: "William Henry JACOMBS 25 Dec 1958 a. 70"

  • Sources 
    1. [S134] BIR005 Birth Jacombs, William Henry - adoptive parents, BIR005.

    2. [S135] BIR004 Birth Jacombs, William Henry - birth mother - certified copy, BIR004.

    3. [S162] BIR032 Birth Jacombs, William Henry - birth mother - register entry, BIR032.
      Extract from register showing birth mother Annie Matilda Holmes

    4. [S163] BIR036 Birth Jacombs, William Henry - register entry (birth mother and adoptive parents), BIR036.
      Entry in register has a stamp "Issued under the authority of section 76 of the Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Act 1995". The entry has Annie Matilda Holmes as the birth mother and notes the adoption of William on 23 April 1891 by John Edward Jacombs and Judith Jacombs.

    5. [S193] BIR069 Birth Jacombs, William Henry - transcription, BIR069.

    6. [S546] BIR074 Female Refuge Casebook 1886-1894 - Holmes, Annie Matilda, BIR074., Son born to Annie Matilda Holmes; 1886–1894.

    7. [S4282] WIL095 Will and Probate Jacombs, William Henry, William Henry Jacombs; 27 April 1959.

    8. [S4551] ancestry.com New Zealand, Cemetery Records, 1800-2007, BUR193., St Andrew's Church, Epsom, Auckland.

    9. [S249] DTH042 Death Jacombs, William Henry, DTH042.

    10. [S272] DTH072 Death Jacombs, William Henry - transcript, DTH072.

    11. [S455] DTH095 Death notice Jacombs, William Henry, DTH095., death notice; 26 December 1958.

    12. [S3309] DTH Death Index New Zealand, William Henry Jacombs; 23912; 1958.

    13. [S302] MAR023 Marriage Jacombs, John Edward and Lawson, Judith, MAR023.

    14. [S1596] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, John Edward Jacombs; Judith Lawson; 1874; 1878.

    15. [S287] MAR008 Marriage Jacombs, William Henry Holmes and Howell, Frances Mary, MAR008.

    16. [S510] MAR073 Marriage Jacombs, William Henry Holmes and Howell, Frances Mary, MAR073.

    17. [S1596] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, William Henry Holmes Jacombs; Frances Mary Howell; 4955; 1911.