William Qualtrough

William Qualtrough

Male 1840 - 1919  (79 years)

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  • Name William Qualtrough 
    Born 1840  Arbory, Rushen, Isle of Man Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    _UID FDCE33C41E044BD2959F954149215F936720 
    Died 1919  Cambridge, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I491  Treefive
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2014 

    Father James Qualtrough,   b. 26 Dec 1808, Arbory, Rushen, Isle of Man Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Oct 1881, Pakuranga, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Catherine Clague,   b. 15 Apr 1810, Malew, Isle of Man Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jun 1881, Pakuranga, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 12 Nov 1835  Malew, Isle of Man Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F115  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Catherine Mary Lovie,   b. 1848,   d. 1919  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 1872 
     1. Catherine Alice Qualtrough,   b. 1873,   d. 1963  (Age 90 years)
     2. Elizabeth Qualtrough,   b. 1874,   d. 1907  (Age 33 years)
     3. Margaret Qualtrough,   b. 1876,   d. 1941  (Age 65 years)
     4. Annie Emily Qualtrough,   b. 1878,   d. 1943  (Age 65 years)
     5. Mary Lovie Qualtrough,   b. 1880,   d. 1968  (Age 88 years)
     6. Amy Fraser Qualtrough,   b. 1887,   d. 1938  (Age 51 years)
     7. Katie Sarah Qualtrough,   b. 1889,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Lilian Elsie Qualtrough,   b. 1895,   d. 1973  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F172  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    00040 William and Catherine Mary Qualtrough
    00040 William and Catherine Mary Qualtrough
    Abt 1905
    00041 William Qualtrough age abt 30 abt 1870
    00041 William Qualtrough age abt 30 abt 1870

  • Notes 

    • WILLIAM QUALTROUGH (1840-1919) - ’Wiremu’ –Waikato identity

      This biography is transcribed from chapter 7 of A Quota of Qualtroughs (authors Elizabeth A. Barlow and Joy McDougall, published in Matamata, New Zealand by Elizabeth A. Barlow in 1984), by kind permission of Elizabeth Feisst. For further information on Qualtroughs worldwide see http://www/qualtrough.org.

      Text in square brackets [ ] refers to matters in A Quota of Qualtroughs that are not included in the biography below.
      William (Willy) seems to have taken to the pioneer life like the oftquoted duck to water and was not one to get his feathers ruffled easily.

      He had pride in his appearance, too, for as a youth walking all the way from Pakuranga to Auckland town on business trips, he would go barefoot, carrying his boots under his arm to keep them clean to change into on hitting Queen Street.

      The route the foot-sloggers followed took them around the beaches, over by ferry to Pt. England, across St. John’s College area, into Parnell via a bridge at Hobson’s Creek, then to Mechanics Bay and up the hill to Shortland Street and Queen Street.

      He served in the Waikato War and, with a younger brother, Tom, went contracting in the district before settling on a farm.

      He courted Catherine Mary Lovie, who lived in Panmure, and would ride horseback from Te Awamutu and Roto-o-Rangi at a weekend to visit her. It was 100 miles over rough country with several streams to ford and the swift-flowing Waikato River to cross – by punt – at Ngaruawahia. Willy would set off early on Saturday, arrive in the evening, eat with and talk with his Kate and leave the next day.

      The horses of those days were, it seems, even tougher than the men.

      Willy and Kate married in 1872 and settled on a property he acquired at Orakau after the confiscation of Maori lands when the Waikato War ended. They produced a family of eight – all girls – most of whom were born at Orakau.

      The children were Alice, Elizabeth, Margaret, Anne, Mary, Amy, Kate and Lilian.

      Their fifth daughter, Mary, told her own family that she had started school at four years of age, walking the four miles each day to the schoolhouse at Kihikihi.

      At one time in their childhood, when Willy and Kate were called way from home, they were reluctant to leave their daughters alone in such an isolated spot so enlisted the aid of an older nephew to act as protector. The girls remembered the night very well for, amusing themselves by telling ghost stories, they worked themselves into such a state of terror, the male stalwart as well, that they nailed blankets over the windows and doors to keep out the spooks.

      The family later shifted to a farm at Kihikihi and a vivid memory was of the eruption of Tarawera in 1886. The rumblings of the fiery mountain blowing its top were clearly heard and the skies were darkened by the ash.

      Another story handed down concerned a young lad shopping with a penny during the lean days of 1880 “A farthing worth of sugar, a farthing worth of flour, a farthing worth of candles and a farthing change please” he instructed.

      Inflation obviously hadn’t been invented then and there was more truth in the old saying, “A halfpenny’s riches in a farthing’s eye.”

      Willy had been brought up in a strictly Methodist home. Kate Lovie was an Anglican. The children were Presbyterians. Perhaps it was a studied compromise; maybe just the propinquity of the kirk. Their children’s memories were of a very happy home life with good neighbourliness instilled by example. Farmers in the district helped each other with haymaking or when stock was in trouble calving, or bogged in swampy paddocks.

      Because Willy had no sons he allotted many farm tasks usually considered men’s work to his girls. The most hated was digging the potatoes. Milking and feeding calves were more popular for the animals were regarded as personal friends.

      On one occasion Willy being unable to leave the farm, he assigned Annie and Mary (nick-named ‘Bunny’ from babyhood) to take a wagonload of pigs to the bacon factory at Hautapu. The girls set out at dawn. Taking the pigs over a primitive road that seemed to go on forever, meeting an old Irish woman on the way they asked her the time. “Half past o’clock,” she informed them. And no doubt it was.

      When darkness fell and the girls hadn’t returned, the family became anxious about them. At last Willy said, relief in his voice, “Here they come!” Though he couldn’t see them he could hear the heavy squelching of the horses’ hooves as they plodded through the swamp.

      William had many Maori friends and was affectionately called Wiremu – wonder what they made of the name Qualtrough? The family was present when a monument to the chief Rewi Maniapoto was unveiled at Kihikihi with Rewi himself watching the ceremony from the verandah of the hotel across the road.

      In 1902 the William Qualtroughs bought a farm at Fencourt, just out romf Cambridge. (Now the Fencourt Stud). Realising that a creamery was needed in the district and that the Cambridge Dairy Company was not able to finance it, Willy donated an acre of his land for the project and local farmers provided the labour for the factory to be built.

      An old barn on the Fencourt property became the community centre for the district and the Qualtrough girls had happy memories of dances, with music provided by accordion, magic lantern shows and wedding parties to which people came from miles around.

      Kate Qualtrough tells the story of a friend who, when off to visit them, met a quail on the road. “Where are you going” asked the girl and the quail replied in perfect English (said she), ”To Qualtroughs! To Qualtroughs! To Qualtroughs!”

      The word must have got around – all welcome, ladies a plate – or just a ‘flight’ of fancy?

      At the dances, it added to the fun to make up rhyming couplets about those present. From a box of memories comes : “Did you notice there the two Miss Q’s who were arranged in navy blues.”

      Prior to and during World War 1, William gave permission for the army to use his land for troop training. A letter in his family’s possession is a note of appreciation from Major-General Godley, dated 13 May, 1913. It reads:

      “.... I desire to express my very sincere thanks to you for the valuable assistance you have rendered to the Territorial movement in the Auckland District by permitting the free use of your land for manoeuvres during the recent Brigade Camp.

      “Exercises in the field, to be of value, should not be cramped and the fact that the troops were able to move about, unrestricted, over a large area of ground, contributed in no small degree to the great measure of success which was undoubtedly achieved and which was almost entirely owing to your generosity.”

      William’s last move was to a smaller farm closer to Cambridge. The property had a picturesque two-storey house set among magnificent old trees including magnolias and rhododendrons. Two giant redwoods at the gate were landmarks in the district. Appropriately, it was named ‘the Glen’.

      The grandchildren and great-grandchildren can recall Christmas and other family gatherings with tables set outside beneath the flowering and rich-scented magnolias.

      When the gentle Catherine Mary died in June 1919, Willy was so grief-stricken that he said to his daughter, Kate : “In six months’ time I shall be with her.”

      And he was. He died December 31, 1919.

      They are both interred in the Hautapu Cemetery, Cambridge.

      The Qualtrough girls - except Lizzie, who died in 1907 of consumption – all made their homes in the Waikato.

      Alice married George McGhie, a farmer of Kihikihi; Maggie wed Henry Feisst, a farmer of Matamata; Annie and Mary (‘Bunny’) married farming cousins, Ernie and Bruno Schwarz, respectively. [(See further reference in chapter on planning the Reunion).] Amy married Charlie Shaw, who was employed at the Cambridge Cream Factory; Kate and Lil remained single and lived together in Cambridge for many years. Rather charmingly, if olde worlde, they were referred to locally as Miss Kate and Miss Lil. [See Genealogical Chart 5).]

  • Sources 
    1. [S1006] 1851 Isle of Man Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 2526; Folio: 108; Page: 28; GSU roll: 105992-105996.

    2. [S2545] ancestry.com 1841 Isle of Man census, Malew: Wm Qualtrough.

    3. [S175] MAR012 Marriage Qualtrough, James and Clague, Catherine, MAR012.