George Carter Mason

Male 1840 - 1919  (79 years)


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  • Name George Carter Mason 
    Born 24 Apr 1840  Bagshot, Windlesham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Gender Male 
    _UID FBFC2141D10E42B0B521A1DD2F3761115693 
    Died 14 Sep 1919  Great Barrier Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 6, 7
    Buried 16 Sep 1919  Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Hamilton West Cemetery 
    Person ID I9256  Treefive
    Last Modified 9 May 2017 

    Father Aaron Mason, Esq.,   b. Abt 1792, Chobham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Elizabeth Lucas,   b. Abt 1795, Windlesham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F3120  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Rose Synnot,   b. 1856–1857, Ballymoyer, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jan 1933, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 13 Jan 1875  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 9, 10, 11
    Address:
    St Paul's Church 
    Children 
     1. Mary Elizabeth Mason,   b. 12 Jan 1876, Cambridge, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jul 1949, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     2. John Mason,   b. 23 Nov 1876, Cambridge, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1876, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     3. Marion Adelaide Mason,   b. 18 Dec 1877, Cambridge, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1954, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     4. Violet Mason,   b. 14 Feb 1879, Cambridge, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Aug 1960, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     5. Florence Epiphany Mason,   b. 6 Jan 1881, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Dec 1951, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     6. Charles Henry Mason,   b. 25 May 1882, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Sep 1959, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     7. George Mason,   b. 14 Sep 1884, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Dec 1965, 141 Firth Street, Matamata Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     8. James Mason,   b. 22 Jul 1887, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jun 1981, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
     9. Richard Ernest Claude Mason,   b. 3 Jun 1890, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Nov 1969, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     10. William Arthur Mason,   b. 14 Jun 1892, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1967, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     11. Freda Kathleen Mason,   b. 24 Sep 1893, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Dec 1946, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years)
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F3065  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 


    • George was the 6th son of Aaron Mason, Esq., of Bagshott, Surrey.

      A local history of Hamilton gives an insight into the earlier days of the Mason family in Claudelands:
      Betty Laloli Smith "Next Stop - - Claudelands" (B. L. Smith, Hamilton, NZ, abt 2002) page 47:

      'MASON AVENUE

      As the Mason family owned land surrounding this Avenue it was named for them. I have been reminded that Mason Avenue hasn't got an "S" on the end although at the present time [1999] the street sign says Masons Avenue. This from page 34 - 'Settlers in Depression': George Mason – A nursery gardener, who came to Hamilton in 1874, commenced his business across number one bridge, where some of the lime trees he planted are still growing. In the flood of 1875 he and another man ferried travellers across the number one gully in a Maori canoe, the bridge being far under water.

      Grey Street Trees - The large trees in Grey Street Hamilton East, some of which had to be removed in recent years, were all planted about 1875 by the late Mr. George Mason, a Surrey Hills [England] landscape gardener who landed in Auckland in 1863. He had with him Sam Bates, Tom King, Tom Keep, and E.T. Davey. Tom King was chainman to Mr. W.A. Graham, who surveyed Hamilton in 1864.

      Mr. Mason established a nursery on a fifty-acre block forming an eminence overlooking the old No. 1 bridge. The eminence was for many years known as Mason's Hill. This area, or part of it, was eventually sold to Mr. Gurnell, and Mr. Mason transferred his nursery to Mason's Avenue, Claudelands, and from this nursery he supplied trees, free, for the beautification of Hamilton.
      Mrs. Nancy Mason-Riseborough has lived in Hamilton all her life, mostly in the Claudelands area. Nancy told of how her grandfather's nursery extended from Te Aroha Street to Argyle Street in 1875. In his later years he and his wife shifted to the west side of the river and he is buried in the Whitiora Cemetery, north of the central city. Nancy recalled the often foggy winters and humid summers of the 1930s. She also told me of 1930 when there was snow at Frankton Station! I bet that gave everybody a surprise.

      James [Jim] Mason wrote this for the Hamilton East School 1972 Centennial Magazine: "I am the last of a family of ten, all of whom attended the Hamilton East School. The headmaster Mr. Stevens [a very fine upright gentleman] was usually referred to by the younger set as "Percy Edward" and by the older generation as "Lathery" as he was a most loyal and patriotic Britisher. On one occasion Mr. Stevens grabbed me by the coat lapels to stir me into action and as I had a flower fixed with a pin to my lapel the result was a bleeding finger, Mr. Stevens thereupon held his finger up for all the class to see and remarked dramatically "Bleeding for my country!" but I have to record I wasn't sorry for him.

      For the first four years that I attended school I crossed over the school gully by way of a wooden traffic bridge, and on one occasion pulled a paling off the school fence then nipped back and dropped it off the bridge into the creek, and continued onto school, but Mr. Stevens had been watching and on my arrival at school introduced me to his cane or as it was commonly known as his "first assistant".

      We often went down to the Waikato River to play and to try to swim. At the stem of the old "Rangiriri" on which we used to play was a wooden bridge, and on one occasion one of the boys set this on fire and as the smoke was rising from it another of the lads leaped onto the platform and with outstretched arm began reciting 'The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck' - but that is as far as he got as Mr Stevens with his first assistant arrived and Jim Bartan was treated to another dose of medicine as prescribed by Mr. Stevens.

      About 1901 all the pupils of Hamilton East School marched down to Frankton to welcome the Duke and Duchess of York who had arrived in New Zealand on the ship "Ophir" [later to be an escort ship in First World War]. We all cheered and waved Union Jacks and we were all presented with a small souvenir. I remember seeing Richard Seddon come onto the platform and wave his hat, calling for three cheers for the Royal couple. My three children all attended Hamilton East School and my youngest daughter's three children also attended there."

      Thanks to Mrs. Nancy Mason Riseborough for the use of the above.'

      There is a Mason's Nursery on the Hamilton-Te Awamutu Road near Ohaupo - this is not connected with George Mason.

      Nurseries

      George placed a notice in the Waikato Times in Jun and Jul 1875 under the heading Hamilton Nursery. George Mason, (late of Mason Bros, Parnell). He "Begs to thank his customers for their liberal support since his location in Waikato. He hereby reminds them and the public generally that the season has now commenced for Planting Trees, &c. Early orders solicited. The stock on hand has been grown at his nursery and is therefore acclimatised. All orders delivered free within 3 miles of Hamilton."

      In the 1870s, advertisements for products of George's nursery were generally headed "Waikato Nursery, Hamilton West" under the name of "George Mason (late Mason Bros)". Later advertisements were for the Claudelands Nursery, under George Mason. The other Mason brother was probably his brother James - a James Mason was a nurseryman in the Auckland area.

      The general nursery stock for sale were ornamental trees and shrubs, forest, shelter and fruit
      trees, flowering shrubs and flowers.

      It appears that George sold his Hamilton Nursery operation in Hamilton West in 1880 - house, land and nursery stock were put up for auction on 13 Mar 1880. The property was about 74 acres within one mile of Hamilton, plus 3 acres close to Hamilton Railway Station with frontage to the main road between Hamilton and the station (NZ Herald 12 Mar 1880).

      The Parnell nursery continued to operate at least until 1888, when James Mason put up for auction nursery stock plus a large greenhouse, a packing shed, stables and 3 sheds for removal (NZ Herald 11 Aug 1888).

      Bankruptcy

      George faced financial problems in the early 1880s and again in the 1890s:

      In the Waikato Times of 4 Aug 1881 the District Court of Auckland, held at Hamilton, notified that George Mason of Hamilton, nurseryman, had, on 3 August, filed a declaration of inability to meet his engagements with his creditors.

      A meeting of George's creditors was held at the Court House, Hamilton on 12 Aug 1881 under the Debtors and Creditors Act 1876. John Knox of Hamilton, storekeeper, was elected trustee of George's estate (Waikato Times 13 Oct 1881).

      The Waikato Times of 3 Sep 1881 advised that there was to be a meeting at the Court House of the creditors of the bankrupt estate of George Mason, Hamilton on 7 Sep to pass a resolution that the debtor be discharged. On 16 Sep 1881 an application for discharge from bankruptcy was granted at the District Court in Hamilton (Waikato Times 22 Sep 1881).

      On 6 Oct 1894, the Waikato Times carried a notice by J. Lawson, Official Assignee, dated 3 Oct 1894, advising that on that day (3 Oct) George Mason of Claudelands, Kirikiriroa, nurseryman, had been adjudged bankrupt. A meeting of creditors was to be held on 10 Oct in Hamilton.

      However, George Mason continued to advertise annual sales of nursery stock in Auckland, at least until 1896 (Auckland Star, 4 Jul 1896).

      Electoral rolls

      In 1875-1876 George was a market gardener in Auckland, with leasehold property at Parnell and freehold land at Dedwood, later renamed Ponsonby. But he was also the freehold owner of allotments 242 and 243, Pukete (Hamilton). It seems that he was developing the land at Hamilton, while still working in Auckland. A report in the Daily Southern Cross of 30 Jun 1875 by the Hamilton correspondent noted that the nursery of Mr George Mason was in a forward state, and "the improved state of the the ground and the large amount of work done are very creditable to the proprietor".

      George moved to Hamilton after marrying Rose in Jan 1875. He was a nurseryman in Hamilton in 1880-1880 and 1891 electoral rolls, and in Paeroa in 1896. The move to Paeroa was likely the result of his bankruptcy 2 years earlier and his break-up with Rose. He may also have had a special affinity for the Paeroa area, as he advertised his nursery products in the Te Aroha News as well as in Hamilton and Auckland. He then moved to Great Barrier Island where he spent the rest of his life. He was a gumdigger in 1900, and then a farmer at Whangapara, as recorded in electoral rolls of 1905-1906, 1911, 1914 and 1919. It is reasonably certain that these electoral roll entries are the same George Mason, as he was bankrupt and would have needed to find work to survive.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3309] DTH Death Index New Zealand, George Mason; 5549; 1919.

    2. [S4182] TRE Family tree - Runciman 1763 FBK 001 FBC on myheritage.com, accessed; 19 August 2014; Runciman 1763 FBK 001 FBC; Phil James Runciman.

    3. [S1656] ancestry.com 1851 England Census, Windlesham, Surrey: George Mason.

    4. [S3648] ancestry.com 1841 England census, Windlesham, Surrey: George Mason.

    5. [S5569] MAR600 Notice of Intention to Marry - Mason, George and Synnot, Rose, 7 Jan 1875 - George Mason and Rose Synnot.

    6. [S4158] DTH Death notice Mason, George, DTH614., Death notice for George Mason; date of paper edition unknown.

    7. [S5659] DTH835 Death Mason, George, DTH835., Death notice; 16 September 1919; George Mason, d. 14 Sep 1919 aged 79 years.

    8. [S4041] TRE Family tree - Windsor family tree 3 (owner mrwindsor50) on ancestry.com accessed 30 Jun, 3, 7, 12, 19, 26 Jul 2014, Rose Synot.

    9. [S1596] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, George Mason; Rose Synot; 332; 1875.

    10. [S4167] MAR367 Marriage Mason, George and Synnot, Rose, MAR367., Marriage notice - George Mason and ose Synnot; 18 January 1875; page 2.

    11. [S5568] MAR Marriage register New Zealand, Auckland; George Mason and Rose Synot; 13 January 1875; copy of register of marriage; 75/380.