David Bruce Watt

Male 1853 - 1925  (72 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name David Bruce Watt 
    Born 11 Feb 1853  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Christened Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    _UID EF89AE599CFE44509B76CBEF2ECDA44259DA 
    Died 8 Oct 1925  [4, 5
    Person ID I6173  Treefive
    Last Modified 20 Apr 2017 

    Father James Haldane Watt,   b. 1799, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1876, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Mother Jane Sanders Neilson,   b. Abt 1829,   d. 26 Jun 1911, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 82 years) 
    Married 25 Sep 1849  Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6
    Family ID F453  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Esther Mossman,   b. Oct 1858, Kingston, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1946, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 87 years) 
    Married 13 Oct 1880  Waipawa, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 7, 8
    Children 
     1. Mary Eleanor Watt,   b. 26 Sep 1881, Napier, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Apr 1949, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     2. Edith Jane Watt,   b. 5 Apr 1884, Napier, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Oct 1968, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     3. Beatrice Isabella Watt,   b. 3 Feb 1886, Napier, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jan 1981, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)
     4. Minnie Evelyn Watt,   b. 8 Dec 1887, Napier, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jul 1980, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
     5. Charlotte Letitia Watt,   b. 11 Sep 1889, Napier, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Mar 1970, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     6. Dorothy Urcilla Watt,   b. 3 Nov 1891, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Aug 1975, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     7. Elsie Elizabeth Mercy Watt,   b. 20 Jun 1893, Gisborne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1987, Havelock North, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F1954  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 


    • David was baptised by the Reverend David Bruce of the Presbyterian Church, Auckland, being the first child whom he baptised.

      He was a farmer in the Gisborne district from 1892, having initially farmed in the Ellerslie district then been in business in Napier. David and his wife Mary (nee Mossman) were pioneer settlers in the Hangaroa district.

      The following biography is an extract of an article by Rowan Mossman, sent to Rex Sinnott 19 Apr 2017. The original article also contains photos and documents which greatly enhance the story of this coupe and their children.

      Mary Esther Mossman October 1858 in Kingston Canada, died 17 February 1946 in Gisborne.

      Mary Esther Mossman was the 4th child and first daughter of parents Thomas and Eleanor and was born in Kingston Ontario in Canada in October 1858. She came to New Zealand with her parents and siblings as an 8 year old in 1866. During her time in Auckland she met David Bruce Watt who was the son of an Auckland Jeweller and Scottish immigrant James Haldane Watt. Bruce had been born in Auckland on 11 February 1853. In 1876 he lived at Great South Road in Auckland where he was a farmer in the Ellerslie district. Mary’s uncle, the well to do Mr James Dilworth did not approve in any way of their romance and saw young Bruce Watt as a totally unsuitable match for his niece. He arranged for Mary to be sent down to Waipawa in Southern Hawkes Bay where her parents Thomas and Eleanor had moved to, following a stint farming in the Waikato. Bruce followed Mary to Hawkes Bay and the couple were married from Mary’s parents residence at Waipawa on 13 October 1880. Bruce was 27 and Mary 21 at the time of their wedding, Mary’s brother Willie and sister Isabella were the witnesses to the occasion.

      James Dilworth decided that, as a consequence to his niece’s marriage, to cut her out of his will. He was a very well off man and his estate worth thousands of pounds.
      Mary and Bruce first established their home in Napier where Bruce set himself up running a bakery. His background or training in this field is unclear; In 1881 he had secured an interest in a bakery business and established himself in business.

      Mary and Bruce Watt had the following 7 daughters:

      Mary Eleanor “Ella” Watt born 26 September 1881 (died 21 April 1949)
      Edith Jane “Jean” Watt born on 5 April 1884 died (17 October 1968)
      Beatrice Isabella “Isa” Watt born 3 February 1886 (died 13 January 1981)
      Minnie Evelyn Watt born 8 December 1887 (died 23 July 1980)
      Charlotte Letitia “Letty” Watt born 11 September 1889 (died 18 March 1970)
      Dorothy Ursula Watt born 3 November 1891 (died 31 August 1975)
      Elsie Elizabeth Mercy Watt born 20 June 1893 (died 25 January 1987)

      In late 1887 Bruce sold the bakery business

      Bruce and Mary together with their 5 oldest daughters then moved to Gisborne, their last two daughters Dorothy and Mercy both being born there. In Gisborne Bruce took up farming taking on a largely undeveloped property at Hangaroa known as ‘Cheviot Hills’ around 48 kilometers from Gisborne but relatively close to Waerenga-o-kuri where Mary’s older brother Willie Mossman was living and had inherited the Laurels property through uncle James Dilworth. In 1899 Bruce who had become a well-recognised settler in the area was appointed a J.P.

      Mary and Bruce brought up their family at Cheviot Hills and developed the property. Later in 1908 the family moved to Patutahi where Bruce had acquired a small farmlet known as ‘Waitaka’ from Mary’s brother Willie Mossman.

      Waitaka was situated off Elmers Road close to the Waipaoa river. Bruce was highly respected within Gisborne, 5 of their daughters were married from ‘Waitaka’. Later they sold this property and moved into a large 2 storey house known as ‘Arnloss’ situated at 253 Stout Street Gisborne. Bruce passed away at 72 years of age on 8 October 1925. Following his death the two unmarried daughters Ella and Dorothy both spent time at Arnloss looking after their widowed mother. Mary outlived Bruce by some 20 years. She died in Gisborne on 17 February 1945 aged 87.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1593] BIR Birth Index New Zealand on-line, David Bruce Watt; 1853/1541; 1853.

    2. [S4296] TRE148 Family tree - Dilworth and Mossman (Rowan Mountfort), TRE148.

    3. [S4437] BAC344 Watt, James Haldane - family bible, BAC344.

    4. [S3309] DTH Death Index New Zealand, David Bruce Watt; 9187; 1925.

    5. [S4738] TRE183 Family tree - Mossman, Watt and Stubbs descendants; (Rowan Mountfort), TRE183.

    6. [S3793] DTH Death Register New Zealand, DTH720., Auckland; James Haldane Watt; 28 June 1876; Registrar's Return of all Entries of Deaths in the Register Book for the District of auckland; 414; 21 July 1876.

    7. [S1596] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, David Bruce Watt; Mary Esther Mossman; 1880/2919; 1880.

    8. [S3070] MAR247 Marriage Watt, David Bruce and Mossman, Mary Esther, MAR247., David Bruce Watt and Mary Esther Mossman; 20 October 1880; page 2.