Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Published articles
Morrinsville District Memories Print E-mail

Turnbull Homestead, Kiwitahi. John & Jane Turnbull, Mary Turnbull, Bessie Butler
I have been asked to write about the early days in the Morrinsville district, so will tell you a little about our family, the first white family to come to the district.




Elizabeth (Bessie) Butler (nee Turnbull) Print E-mail

ImageJohn and Jane Turnbull arrived in New Zealand in 1863 on the ship Gertrude. In 1872 John moved to Te Au-o-Waikato and his wife joined him there in 1873. It was a further eighteen months before she saw another white woman, as John was one of the first white settlers in the Morrinsville district. At that time all provisions were brought up the river from Thames.



Beatrice Ena Watkins (nee Butler) Print E-mail

ImageMichael Pierce (Percy) Butler set up a thriving flax mill, employing a dozen men, in Morrinsville, and it was here that he met and married Elizabeth Turnbull in 1906, (Refer to the entry on Elizabeth Butler)

Beatrice Ena Watkins, their eldest daughter, was born on 13 October 1907 in Te Aroha.