AtoZChallenge Worser Bay – things we may never know

I found this photograph of Worser Bay at the online digital collection of images at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa where I  occasionally look for images as I do not have many family photos. I do search sites in New Zealand for images that can help me add context to my research. This particular one I shared on Instagram with some family background and thoughts about the beach cottage at Worser Bay, Wellington.

AtoZChallenge Worser Bay

AtoZChallenge Worser Bay and Wai Iti

There are some things we may never know unless we are really lucky with our research. Did my grandmother initially name the beach cottage at Worser Bay but later this name was forgotten? Or did she first move into a different residence to the one I knew as a child at 161 Marine Parade, Seatoun, Wellington? Was there a sign on the front of the cottage with this name or did my mind just dream this up?

The cottage I remember is just visible about the middle of the image to the right of the larger building.

My paternal grandmother was born in 1887 and named Olive Constance Beatrice Ireland. Prior to moving the Marine Parade, she lived with her husband, Charles Adolph Kitto and their two boys at 47 Matai Road, Hataitai, Wellington. The 1922 electoral roll was the first to list my grandmother for a Worser Bay address. It was not a regular street address. Her place of residence was listed as “Wai Iti”. I wondered if it was named for Wai Iti, from the Nelson area in the South Island of New Zealand. Olive’s mother, Mary Scott McDonald, was born in the Nelson area around 1847.

Let’s return to the places Olive lived. Starting in 1925 to the 1963 rolls the nominated address for Olive changed to 161 Marine Parade. In her later years, she moved in with my Aunt Doris Richardson (née Kitto) sometime between 1963 &1966. I have found nineteen rolls with Olive’s address from the New Zealand Electoral Rolls.

Electoral Roll 1922

Electoral Roll 1925

The Cottage

In another #GenealogyPhotoADay I posted a picture of the cottage on Instagram with a short message… This is the beach house at Worser Bay that my paternal grandparents lived. We used to have holidays at the beach. A home with fun memories at the beach.

Worser Bay Cottage
Follow me on Instagram to see these Worser Bay in 1936, the cottage in 2015 and other images.

Worser Bay

Finally, a Te Papa image that I needed to request approval for use on my blog from the Te Papa Museum. The copyright was “This image has All Rights Reserved”. The first image has no known copyright restriction and a download button. Personally, I prefer this image as there are people on the beach and you never will probably know yet some might be my ancestors or their friends.

Worser Bay Postcard

Copyright Te Papa – used with approval on 26/3/2019

Again, there are some things we may never know unless we are really lucky with our research. Not that I expect to get answers to all the things I wonder about, there is a chance I will discover some, if I keep researching.

Do you wonder about the small details in your ancestor’s lives? Leave a comment, thanks.

1. Image source Te Papa Museum #A.007032, Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964,
2. New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1922 to 1963 from Ancestry and Archives New Zealand.
3. Google street view from February 2015.
4. Image source Te Papa Museum,

AtoZChallenge Worser Bay

4 thoughts on “AtoZChallenge Worser Bay – things we may never know”

  1. My wondering led me to write a historical novel, a companion piece, and 26 very short stories (for AtoZChallenge 2019.) “Yes” to your question. There is so much we will never know about our ancestors. But bits and pieces of information paired with research can give us a good idea of how they lived, what they ate, and where they worked.

  2. I love this post Fran. The old images are so evocative and even if they’re not your family on the beach, on another day it would have been. I would say that the house name was definitely “Wai Iti” as I’ve seen the same sort of thing on Qld electoral rolls before houses were given numbers. Yes, wondering about the whys and wherefores is all part of the fun of family history.

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