A Family History Story

Studying Family HistoryPreviously I blogged about the Introduction to Family History Course (HSP105) from the University of Tasmania’s History Department that I attended online over the holiday season.

A Family History Story as part of a Biographical Report

The main submission for the course was a biographical report with conclusions based on the studying and research throughout the course.  This post primarily covers the biographical report. I found it very difficult to cover much of the material I had discovered within the allowed word count.

The next post will cover the studying and report conclusions.

This family history story contains sourcing however typically I do not source my blog posts. If you ever have any questions about sources for my blog posts please feel free to contact me.

Here is the family tree for the following Family History Story I wrote for the main assignment.

Esther Rowe Family Tree for Family History Story

They Left the Family Money to the Cattery

“They left the family money to the cattery!” As a child, this is what I heard about my fathers, Ernest Eric Scott KITTO’s, half aunts. We had nothing to do with them. This incongruity shaped my interest to research their basic family history facts.

Great, grandfather Francis KITTO, born in Cornwall, England in 1853[1] married his second wife, Esther Roe, on 15 March 1890 at his residence in Ghuznee Street, Wellington, New Zealand.[2] The marriage was announced in the local newspaper.[3]

Paperspast Marriage notice for Family History Story

Who were the four children of Esther and Francis KITTO?

The eldest child was Frances Irene KITTO born in 1892 in Wellington.[4] Never marrying she died a spinster aged 70, at home, 47 Laings Road, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. [5] The youngest child was also a daughter, Olwen Zoe KITTO, born on 3 Dec 1908 at 25 Austin Street, Wellington.[6] A spinster too, they lived together as supported by electoral rolls including 1938[7] & 1954.[8] Irene died at the Public Hospital, Lower Hutt on 9 January 1965.[9]

Important sources for facts about Irene and Zoe are birth and death certificates. I located these using a number of secondary sources. Typically these index lists are secondary sources of the same primary data however transcribing errors occur so using several secondary sources can reveal different facts.

The “cattery” family story grew out of the resentment that Irene and Zoe lived off an income generated by my grandfather, their half brother, Charles Adolph KITTO’s business.[10]

Did the money go to the cattery? Reviewing both sisters’ wills it showed that Frances Irene, dying first left her property valued £5,000 in 1962 to her sister Olwen Zoe KITTO. In 1965, with Zoe’s death, most of the £12,000 estate was left to Erica Alice Thompson. Probably Erica Alice KITTO. Zoe also left china to many different persons including some to be sold and the funds donated to the Intellectually Handicapped Children at Silverstream.[11]

Esther & Francis KITTO’s second child, Herbert Cleveland Eric KITTO was born on 12 April 1894, Cuba Street.[12] He married Ivy Alice AUSTIN, an English lass[13], on 1 January 1919 at Norwich, England.[14] [15] Eric, aged 44, died on 8 Mar 1939 at home, 102 Randwick Road, Moera, Lower Hutt.[16] Their daughter, Irene Olwyn KITTO (DOB 1921) died aged 36 years in the Wellington Public Hospital on 18 September 1957, a spinster, like her two namesake aunts.[17]

Widow Ivy and daughters Irene Olwyn and Erica A KITTO (DOB 1923) travelled to England later in 1939[18], returning to New Zealand in 1940.[19] A shipping record (secondary source) provided the second daughters name although the relationship needs verification.

Second son, Frederick Richard Keith KITTO, was born at 16 Austin Street, Wellington on 6 June 1900.[20] He married Edith Myrtle BABINGTON on 26 January 1928 at the St James’s Church, Lower Hutt.

From childhood memories he worked as a surveyor in Sarawak and married [for a second time] a local [woman].[21] I located her maiden name, Susanna DAUD, online from an oral history recorded in 2002.[22] Being first hand information, it is primary evidence. He died in 1967.[23] I then remembered I met Susanna and daughter about 1970.

The prime conclusion from the study is that not all family stories are true while can others guide research directions. Supported by clearly defined research plan only rigorous, objective research methods can evaluate family stories.

Don’t forget to check out the next post with the conclusions from the research and studying.

Comments welcome below.

[1] GRO Birth index on FreeBMB, Francis Kitto, Births Jun 1853, District Truro, Vol., 5c, Page 177. (Sourced 2010)
[2] New Zealand BDM Marriage Certificate 1890/432 Francis KITTO & Esther ROE (Sourced 3 Feb 2015)
[3] Evening Post, Volume XXXIX, Issue 64, 18 March 1890, Page 2, Marriage Notice, KITTO/ROE (Repository – PapersPast)
[4] New Zealand BDM Website Birth Index 1892/10328 Frances Irene KITTO (Sourced 31 Jan 2014)
[5] New Zealand BDM Death Certificate 1921/6796 Frances Irene KITTO (Sourced 29 Dec 2014)
[6] New Zealand BDM Birth Certificate 1908/4551 Olwen Zoe KITTO (Sourced 20 Sep 2014)
[7] New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981, Hutt Electoral Roll 1938, Olwen Zoe KITTO & Frances Irene KITTO. (Sourced Ancestry.com 23 Dec 2014)
[8] New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981, Hutt General Roll 1954, Olwen Zoe KITTO & Frances Irene KITTO. (Sourced Ancestry.com 23 Dec 2014)
[9] New Zealand BDM Death Certificate 1965/25967 Olwyn Zoe KITTO (Sourced 17 Dec 2014)
[10] Various comments from and discussions with my father, Ernest Eric Scott KITTO during 1960-1975.
[11] My collection of photographs of the will and probate documents for Olwen Zoe and Frances Irene KITTO. (Sourced from the NZ Archives 12 Nov 2012)
[12] New Zealand BDM Birth Certificate 1894/18814 Herbert Cleveland Eric KITTO (Sourced 3 Feb 2015)
[13] FreeBMD Birth Index, England & Wales, 1837-1915 at ancestry.com, 1897, Qtr. Jan-Feb-Mar, District Norwich, inferred County Norfolk, Vol., 4b, Page 163, Ivy Alice AUSTIN. (Sourced 1 Feb 2015)
[14] GRO Marriage index on FreeBMD, 1919, Mar Qtr., Norwich District, Vol 4B, Page 209, Herbert Cleveland Eric KITTO & Ivy Alice AUSTIN (Sourced 2 Feb 2015)
[15] NZ Archives Ref: AABK 18805 W5541 0065141 Military Records for Eric Cleveland KITTO (Digital Surrogate produced on Tues 20 July 2010)
[16] New Zealand BDM Death Certificate 1939/25282 Herbert Cleveland Eric KITTO (Sourced 3 Feb 2015)
[17] New Zealand BDM Death Certificate 1957/30585 Irene Olwyn KITTO (Sourced 11 Dec 2014)
[18] UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960, Class: BT26; Piece: 1179; Item: 133 for Ivy, Irene & Erica KITTO (Sourced Ancestry.com 8 Feb 2015)
[19] UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 for Ivy, Irene & Erica KITTO (Sourced Ancestry.com 8 Feb 2015)
[20] Evening Post, Volume LIX, Issue 135, 8 June 1900, Page 6, Birth Notice, KITTO (Sourced PapersPast 3 Dec 2014)
[21] Ernest Eric Scott Kitto, Word of Mouth about 1970.
[22] The Free Library. S.v. Dato Tra Zehnder..” Retrieved Feb 10 2015 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Dato+Tra+Zehnder.-a0113055215
[23] Papers of Frederick Richard K. Kitto (Repository – Bodleian Library, Oxford University, http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/kitto-frk.html) (Sourced 6 Feb 2015)

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