The STRONGs of Ulster, Ireland, Chapter 13

The “STRONG Family” section of this site is divided into 13 chapters and 9 appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the “Quick Nav” at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the “Sitemap” page. Note that the chapters develop the story of our family and the appendices contain supporting data… for example the Descendancy Report in Appendix 1 with BDM records and photos of family members.

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Robert STRONG's (b. 1830) youngest child: John Taylor STRONG

This is the last chapter to be added on the STRONG story. Contact has been made with three of John Taylor’s descendants and worthwhile information has been added to previous data. Note also that photos (44-54) about John Taylor's family have/are being added to the photogallery “STRONGs who stayed in NZ”. This gallery focusses on the sections of our family which emigrated from Belfast in 1872 & 1874 to New Zealand and remained there.

John Taylor STRONG was born on 17 Feb 1881 in Wellington St Auckland NZ r/i), fb/i). Family censuses recorded in the STRONG family bible show that he lived with his parents in 1881 at Wellington St Auckland; in 1886 at 24 Victoria Ave Eden Terrace Auckland; in 1891 at the age of 10 he was still at 24 Victoria Ave fb/i).

On 17 Sep 1900 when John Taylor was 19, he married 19 year old Edith Emma WEBB, daughter of William Thomas WEBB & Mary Elizabeth PARKER, in the “Home of William Thomas Webb”, Onehunga, Auckland r/iii). Edith was born on 1 Apr 1881 in Mangere, Auckland r/iv), r/iii). They had a daughter Mildred STRONG, who was born on 20 Jan 1901 in Onehunga r/vi). The marriage may not have lasted long, since John and Edith subsequently lived separately.

Edith Emma STRONG, with the occupation of domestic duties, lived with her parents at Upper Queen St Onehunga in 1905 with the Edith Emma’s parents (same address) were Mary Elizabeth Webb (home duties) and Thomas Webb (gardener) r/xi)…b). There was no mention of Edith Emma’s husband John Taylor STRONG in the 1905 rolls examined. See photos of Edith Emma, and also Edith’s daughter Mildred with her grandmother…Mary Elizabeth WEBB (née PARKER).

In 1908 Edith Emma STRONG (domestic duties) was still living with her mother at Upper Queen St Onehunga r/xi)…b)… though her father had died the previous year. Later in that year Edith Emma Strong (married) moved to Eden St Auckland r/xi)…e). Subsequently, Edith Emma (married) was then in Selwyn St Onehunga at least from 1911 to 1914 r/xi)…b). John Taylor STRONG lived from 1908 to 1914 at “Glenalvon” Emily Place / Jermyn St, (labourer [1911] and porter [1914]) r/xi)…a). “Glenalvon” was originally the Admiralty House, which became “Glenalvon Private Hotel”. I have obtained a postcard of “Glenalvon” in 1908, where some tourists said “we are staying here & enjoying ourselves much”.

Image of Glenalvon Private Hotel 1904.Glenalvon Private Hotel in Jermyn Street (formerly Admiralty House). Photographer: Henry Winkelmann.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries. Item#1-W1148; 1904. [Copyright permission received]

When John Taylor's father Robert died on 22 Aug 1910, John was recorded living in Auckland r/xii), thus he must he kept contact with the STRONG family.

It is still conjecture about the relationship John Taylor had with his daughter. During the first World War (1916), John Taylor had a war classification of “Reserve A” r/xx), (no children under 16) since his daughter Mildred had just turned 16 in 1916. When John died, his death certificate said he had no children… perhaps just the lack of knowledge of the informant. On the other hand, the STRONG family may have given support to Edith Emma and Mildred, since In 1910… the Drury school records show Mildred attended there in 1910 r/xiii), fb/xi), when both her grandfather Robert and uncle William Aberdare STRONG lived in Drury. Regrettably, there is no present-day traditions of contact with the STRONG family. Edith Emma's g-grandaughter says: “Mum said she didn't know anything of the other Strong families in NZ. They were never talked about. I guess that was because of John leaving (Edith) Emma.” fb/viii)

Image of Glenalvon Private Hotel Post Card 1908.Glenalvon Private Hotel "Brett" Postcard 1908.
…“we are staying here & enjoying ourselves much”.

John Taylor at various times had the occupation of tramway employee (1900-1901) r/iii), r/vi); labourer (1911) and porter (1914) at the “Glenalvon Private Hotel” (1908-1914) r/xi)…a); then porter at the Coronation Hotel, Gisborne (1916) r/xx); and at the time of his death he was a barman, probably at the Oxford Hotel Christchurch, which was his address at that time (1918) r/ii). See images as follows: “Glenalvon” above fb/xii) & also right; Coronation Hotel here fb/xiii).

John Taylor died in Christchurch Hospital Christchurch, on 23 Jun 1918 at the age of 37, from a perforated gastric ulcer. He was buried on 26 Jun 1918 in Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch NZ. Block# 27C; Plot# 27 w/iii)…labelled satellite view here w/v). The officiant was Rev CG Mutter, Church of England r/ii). His grave was initially unmarked and was probably in a Hospital Board plot, supplied free by the council. If his family required a memorial to be erected, they needed to purchase the plot. Four years later on 3 Aug 1922, John Taylor's brother William Aberdare STRONG bought the plot r/xxi). A transcription of the plaque on his grave says: “In memory of John Taylor Strong. Died June 23rd 1918. Aged 37 years. At rest.”… see photo of his gravestone here. Just as well he had a plaque and not a gravestone, since many gravestones in this graveyard were destroyed by frequent earthquakes. His grave is located near the middle of the NE border of the graveyard w/vii).

Edith Emma died shortly before John Taylor in Auckland Hospital, Auckland, on 23 Apr 1918, also at the age of 37, due to long standing heart disease. The family story was passed down that Edith was "always being sickly" fb/viii), which bears out her death certificate report r/v). She was buried on 24 Apr 1918 in Waikaraka Cemetery, Onehunga NZ. Area# 3; Block# 2; Lot# 109A w/ii)…labelled satellite view here w/v), see the photo of her gravestone here. The burial officiant was a Salvation Army officer, Adjutant R. Simpson. r/v). Her grave was bought by an unknown “L. Evans” of Panmure r/xxii). A transcription of her gravestone is: “ In memory of Edith Emma Strong, died 23rd April 1918, aged 37 years. Sleep dear Mother sleep.” Regrettably, there is no evidence of John Taylor STRONG’s involvement in Edith Emma’s burial.

John Taylor and Edith Emma STRONG’s daughter Mildred.

Mildred was born on 20 Jan 1901 in Onehunga r/vi).

School records show that Mildred attended Newton West (Auckland) School; Waiau Pa School… Enrol: 29 May 1905, Last day: 8 May 1906; Drury School… Enrol: 19 Sept 1910, Parent John STRONG, Last day: 9 Dec 1910; Waiau Pa School… Enrol: 17 Feb 1913; Panmure School… Enrol: 10 Mar 1913, Last day: 18 Dec 1914. fb/ii), fb/xi).

Mildred's early life is a bit of a puzzle. When her school attendance records are compared with her mother's Electoral Roll records (both shown above), Mildred must have spent time with other relatives and friends. Her mother would have had problems looking after Mildred, since she was a single mother, had heart problems for some time, and was "always being sickly" fb/viii), r/v). Most time at school (away from her mother) was spent at Waiau Pa, where she probably stayed with relatives… her uncle Arthur WEBB and aunt Lillian LEAMING (née WEBB) both lived there r/xi)…f), fb/viii). It is interesting that when she enrolled at Drury in 1910, her parent's name was given as John Taylor STRONG. Was this because she was staying with her grandfather Robert and uncle William Aberdare STRONG who lived in Drury? Her later attendance at Panmure might be connected to the “L. Evans” of Panmure who paid for her mother’s grave?

There is a photo of Mildred as a young woman, after she left school. Family tradition says she was a cobbler before she married, but the location is unknown fb/viii). She was also thought to have an interest in starting a clothes factory fb/viii), which showed real entrepreneurial flair at that age.

On 10 May 1921 when Mildred was 20, she married 31 year old James NICHOLSON (farmer), son of Arthur NICHOLSON (1870- ) & Mary MOORE (1867-1924), in St Peters Church, Onehunga, Auckland, NZ. r/viii)… see photo. Mildred had probably met James at Waiau Pa (see above). Both James and the marriage witness John Henry POOLE had been farmers at Waiau Pa from 1911. James was born on 25 May 1889 in 13 Wolseley Rd, Ecclesall Bierlow, Co. York, England r/xiv). A signed reference showed that James had completed his apprenticeship in joinery with a builder in Attercliffe Common, Sheffield, England, and left him after serving 7 years fb/viii). He emigrated to Wellington NZ on the SS 'Rotorua' on 16 Mar 1911, giving his occupation as a joiner w/vi). When he arrived, he worked as a farmer in Waiau Pa r/xi)…f)(1911, 1914). In 1914, he enlisted from Waiau Pa as a trooper in the Auckland Mounted Rifles, part of the "Sixth Reinforcement Draft" in the NZ Expeditionary Force (serial # 13/2233). He gave his next of kin as his mother… Mrs M. Nicholson, 501 Attercliffe Common, Sheffield, England fb/x). He embarked on either the ‘Willochra’ or ‘Tofua’ for Suez, Egypt fb/iv). He was discharged from the army on 20 Mar 1919, "on account of illness contracted on Active Service"… (malaria in the Jordan Valley, Middle East).fb/iv), fb/ix). He returned to Waiau Pa r/xi)…f)(1919) and took up land under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act fb/viii). When he married in 1921, his present and usual address were given as Onehunga r/viii). Later in civilian life James was described as a poultry farmer in 1945 (at the marriage of a daughter), and when he died he was a "retired poultry farmer" at Papatoetoe r/ix). On the other hand, James gave his occupation as carpenter in the electoral rolls. These said that Mildred (married) & James (carpenter) lived at Puhinui Rd Papatoetoe from 1928 to 1954 r/xi) …b), …c), …d)… see photo of middle-aged Mildred & James. The rolls then showed Mildred (married) and James (retired) were at 24 Park Ave Papatoetoe in 1957 r/xi)…b) and finally Mildred (widow) at 24 Park Ave Papatoetoe in 1963 r/xi)…b).

Rita, daughter of Mildred and James, continues the family story about her parents: “Mildred & James met before the war in 1913, probably at her mother’s home. Mildred thought he was ‘just so handsome and wonderful with his curly black hair’. She was only 13. Mildred hoped that James would return from war and would want her too. He was discharged early from the war because of malaria and so the story unfolded. Mildred .” Rita tells the story after their marriage, seven years later: “Jim would have remained a carpenter if it wasn’t for Mildred. When they shifted to Puhinui Rd, Mildred began to keep a couple of hens for their own eggs, then she bought a rooster and it was all on. So they began a poultry business and Jim left working as a carpenter for Grinters in Puhinui Rd. Grinters was a general carpentry business, next door to their place. His son (Gordon) later took over the poultry business when Jim retired and moved to Park Ave.” fb/viii)

Mildred’s grandchildren remember her living at 24 Park Ave. “There was a house, garage and large section on which she grew the gerbera plants and sold them by mail order. This was not a thriving commercial enterprise just a little money for herself.” fb/viii) She must have had a long standing interest in gerberas, since they featured in her outfit at her son Gordon's marriage. It was reported: “Mrs. Nicholson, the bridegroom's mother, wore a saxe blue ensemble with navy accessories and a spray of gerberas.” n/i)

Mildred was recorded with property interests. In 1945 there is an Archives New Zealand file "Application for consent to sale - Barrie Alfred Evans to Mildred Nicholson", and the next year an "Application for consent to sale - Mildred Nicholson to Harold Noel Hare"… all in the Auckland area. These documents show that Mildred bought a garage in Victoria  Rd Papatoetoe in 1945, renovated it to make a 2 room cottage. It was then sold at a small loss in 1946 fb/vi-vii), suggesting that it was not an investment, but rather bought for children who decided it wasn't for them? 

Mildred died in Beachlands, NZ, on 1 Jan 1965 at the age of 63 fb/vii). At the time of her death, Mildred lived at 24 Park Ave, Papatoetoe, NZ r/vii). Her husband James had died 5 years earlier at 24 Park Ave, Papatoetoe, NZ r/ix). They were both buried in the Old Papatoetoe Cemetery (ANGLI-PLOT-822) w/i)… labelled satellite view here w/v), and the inscription reads: “In loving memory of our dear husband and father James NICHOLSON. Passed away 14th August 1960 aged 70 years also his loved wife Mildred passed away 1st January 1965 aged 63 years. United Sadly missed.” Also buried in plot: “Lisa Rae DEADMAN 6th June 1968 -7th June 1968 "An angel only lent".” Lisa Rae DEADMAN was Mildred and James' g-granddaughter. See the photo of the grave here.

Mildred's obituary in the NZ Herald said:

NICHOLSON, Mildred. On January 1, 1965 (suddenly), at Beachlands (late of 24 Park Ave, Papatoetoe), loved wife of the late James, loved mother of Gordon, Rita (Mrs K.A. Potts, Papatoetoe) and Maurice and mother-in-law of Vera, Kelvin and Gladys, grandmother of Janice, Beverley, Diane, Lois, Ross, Irene, Jeanne, Glenys, Jimmy, and Colin. A service will be held at St George's Anglican Church, Landscape Rd, Papatoetoe, at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), funeral then leaving for the Papatoetoe Lawn Cemetery. n/ii).

Mildred died in pleasant surroundings. What better way to go than to die at your holiday house! The Nicholsons bought a “bach” which is a NZ term for a holiday house or small cottage, at Beachlands, near Auckland fb/viii). See the image below.

Image of Beachlands holiday houseMildred’s Beachlands holiday house. Mildred is the adult standing on the verandah.
Courtesy: Rita Emtage & Jeanne Hulme.

John Taylor and Edith Emma STRONG’s grandchildren.

The marriage of Mildred and James’ elder son Gordon on 19 Aug 1944 is described r/x). Gordon died in 2010, and his wife Doris died on 9 Feb 2011. Also see a photo of Gordon and his sister Rita, as children.

At Christ Church, Warkworth, a wedding of interest took place last Saturday, when Miss Doris Vera Good, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. H. W. Good, Warkworth, was married to Sapper Gordon James Nicholson, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Nicholson, of Papatoetoe. The officiating Minister was the Rev. J. B. Rushworth. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a graceful gown of oyster satin, cut on Empire lines, and a coronet of white buds, to which was attached an embroidered tulle veil. She carried a bouquet of rosebuds and orange blossom.
The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Joyce Good, and Miss Rita Nicholson, sister of the groom, who wore frocks cut on classical lines, the former's being of pastel blue shade, and the latter's of crushed strawberry. The bridesmaids carried bouquest to match their frocks. The bridegroom was attended by Sapper William Burnett who was best man, and by Sapper Kelvin Potts as groomsman. Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Oddfellows Hall Warkworth, Mrs. Good receiving her guests (over 72) in a black marocain gown trimmed with soutache braid, black hat and a spray of pink roses. Mrs. Nicholson, the bridegroom's mother, wore a saxe blue ensemble with navy accessories and a spray of gerberas. n/i)

Gordon had the same electoral roll address as his parents at Puhinui Rd Papatoetoe from 1946 to 1954 r/xi)…d), r/xi)…b). When his parents retired to 24 Park Ave Papatoetoe before 1957, he remained at Puhinui Rd until at least 1957, with the occupation of carpenter r/xi)…b). Some of his children are in this photo.

      Newspapers and Periodicals.
n/i)  Marriage of Doris GOOD & Gordon NICHOLSON. Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette; 25 Oct 1944; 3.
n/ii)  Death of Mildred NICHOLSON. New Zealand Herald; 4 & 5 Jan 1965.
      Registrations and Lists:
r/i)     Birth of John Taylor STRONG. Reg# 1881/1105, Auckland NZ.
r/ii)    Death of John Taylor STRONG. Reg# 1918/1479, Christchurch NZ..
r/iii)   Marriage of John Taylor STRONG & Edith Emma WEBB. Reg# 1900/2818, Auckland NZ.
r/iv)   Birth of Edith Emma WEBB. Reg# 1881/2200, Mangere NZ.
r/v)    Death of Edith Emma STRONG (née WEBB). Reg#1918/ 849, Auckland NZ.
r/vi)   Birth of Mildred STRONG. Reg# 1901/198, Onehunga NZ.
r/vii)  Death of Mildred NICHOLSON (née STRONG). Reg# 1965/955 Auckland NZ.
r/viii)   Marriage of James NICHOLSON & Mildred STRONG. Reg# 1921/3346, NZ.
r/ix)   Death of James NICHOLSON. Reg# 1960/3772, Otahuhu NZ.
r/x)    Marriage of Gordon James NICHOLSON & Doris Vera GOOD. Reg#1944/13225, NZ.
r/xi)   Electoral Rolls: …a) Auckland East Electoral District; …b) Manukau Electoral District;
…c) Hauraki Electoral Dist; …d) Otahuhu Electoral Dist; …e) Grey Lynn Electoral Dist; …f) Franklin Electoral Dist.
r/xii)   Death of Robert STRONG. Reg# 1910/1636, Drury NZ.
r/xiii)  Drury School Index 1906 to 1930.
r/xiv)  Birth of James Nicholson. Year & quarter: Apr 1889. Registration District: Ecclesall Bierlow.
      Subdistrict: Ecclesall Bierlow. County : York. Book: 9c. Page: 414. UK General Register Office.
r/xx)  New Zealand Expeditionary Force Reserve – 1916—1919.
r/xxi)  Christchurch City Council burial records. (Kindly communicated by the Cemeteries Administrator, with comments).
r/xxii) Certificate of Purchase of exclusive right to burial in one parcel of ground. Waikaraka Cemetery, Onehunga.
      Date: 26th April 1918. Edith Strong interred. Auckland Council Archives.
      Family Bibles, Wills & papers, Correspondence, Grave Stones, Archived documents:
fb/i)   Bible: STRONG Family Bible held by Philip Strong. See here.
fb/ii)  Pers. comm: Jill Cargill, 2002. [Jill Cargill died on 8 Jul 2003].
fb/iii)  Probate: James NICHOLSON, Date of death 14 August 1960. Agency: BBAE. Item series: 1570. Box#: 1550. Record number: 2435/1960. Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office.
fb/iv)  Military: James NICHOLSON, WWI serial# 13/2233, Army. Item series: 18805. Accession#: W5549. Box: 80/, Record number: 0086456. Archives New Zealand. See here.
fb/v)   Probate: Mildred NICHOLSON - Papatoetoe- widow. Date of death 1 Jan 1965. Agency: BBAE. Item series: 1570. Box: 1833. Record number: 679/1965. Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office.
fb/vi)   Application for consent to sale: Barrie Alfred Evans to Mildred Nicholson. 1945.  Agency: BBAE. Item series: 5632. Box: 393/ag. Record number: 1945/10883. Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office.
fb/vii)   Application for consent to sale: Mildred Nicholson to Harold Noel Hare. 1946. Agency: BBAE. Item series: 5632. Box: 532/h. Record number: 1946/4298. Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office.
fb/viii)   Pers. comm: Jeanne Hulme, 2011.
fb/ix)   New Zealand Expeditionary Force Certificate of Discharge, no. 21490. Reg#: 13/2233; Rank: Trooper; Unit: Auckland Mounted Rifles; Name: James Nicholson.
fb/x)   Nominal Rolls: Vol. 1: 15 Aug 1914 - 31 Dec 1915. Alphabetical Roll of NZ Expeditionary Force. Reg#: 13/2233; Rank: Trooper; Unit: Auckland Mounted Rifles; Name: James Nicholson.
fb/xi)   Pers. comm: Pam Pakes, 2011.
fb/xii)   Photo: Showing Glenalvon Private Hotel in Jermyn Street (formerly Admiralty House). Photographer: Henry Winkelmann. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries. Item # 1-W1148; Aug 1904. Copyright permission dated 11 Jul 2011.
fb/xiii)   Photo: Northern end of Gladstone Road, Gisborne… from right - Masonic Hotel, Coronation Hotel, Post Office etc. Photographer: Staff photographer of the Christchurch Press. Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of NZ. ID # 1/1-009872-G; 1905. See here.
w/i)   “Manukau genealogy search”. See here. Nicholson grave in "Old Papatoetoe Cemetery".
w/ii)   “Auckland Council Cemetery Records”. See here. Edith Emma STRONG’s grave in "Waikaraka Cemetery".
w/iii)“Christchurch City Council Cemeteries Database”. See here. John Taylor STRONG’s grave in Sydenham Cemetery.
w/iv)“Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness- New Zealand, North Island. ”
w/v)“Kiwi Celts: New Zealand Cemeteries”. See here. Find satellite views with labels of the cemetery locations in this chapter. Other data relevant to these cemeteries are: street maps, street view, old name, NZSG code, location, Council, province, administration, other websites with information about the cemetery.
w/vi)“Find My Past.” See here. Passenger details of the ‘Rotorua’ voyages from England to New Zealand.
w/vii)“Sydenham Cemetery page.” See here. Link to a map of the graveyard available on this page.
I am grateful to my early correspondent Jill Cargill, who alerted me to our relative John Taylor STRONG’s locations. Jill sadly died in 2003. “Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness” members have been most helpful in photographing gravestones. These photos have been placed in the NZ STRONGs photogallery. Many thanks to the generosity of: i) Maria Coyne for the photo of the Nicholson grave; ii) XXXXX for Edith Emma STRONG’s grave; iii) Bryan Kerr for John Taylor STRONG’s grave. iv) Rita Emtage and Jeanne Hulme for the family photos. Especial thanks to the marvellous and enthusiastic assistance by Jeanne Hulme and Glenys Arkinstall. Finally, particular thanks to Rita Emtage for her present time and patience in recalling long distant events and conversations, and also thanks for how she passed down family traditions to her children over the years.


It would be great if descendants of the John Taylor STRONG, or people with knowledge of this family, could make contact with me. See the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.

The Story Continues