John and Ann Doidge nee Branton
Seaview Cemetery Block 24, Plot 475
John and Ann (née Branton) Doidge, pioneer immigrants from Launceston in Cornwall, England, arrived in Nelson on board the Inchinnan in 1856 with five children: William, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, John and Thomas. James was their sixth child and the first New Zealander in the family, being born in Taranaki in 1858. John and Ann went to New Plymouth but returned to Nelson in the wake of the Māori Wars. The settlers at that time were subject to night alarms, and had to take refuge in the churches and other buildings, it being too dangerous for them to remain in their houses.1
John was a well-known, successful sheep farmer in Stoke. Ann lived to a ripe old age as recorded in the local newspaper on the occasion of her 97th birthday. When Ann died she left three sons, two daughters, 27 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Both of their daughters married into the Ching family of Stoke. Along with the Chings, Cresswells and Jellymans, the Doidges were stalwart members of the Stoke Methodist / Wesleyan community.2
In 1868 their daughter Elizabeth Doidge married William Ching and they had two sons and six daughters. William Ching, who was born in 1845, as one of Richard Chings's older sons, was educated in Nelson and had early experience in farming and gold mining. They then moved to Blenheim and lived there for many years while carrying on a business as wood dealers. While there he became the oldest sitting member of the Blenheim Borough Council.
Another of the daughters, Mary Ann, also married a Ching - James Ching, brother of William.
John Doidge died in August 1892, aged 77.3 Ann died in December 1908, in her 98th year, at the residence of her son in law Mr James Ching.4
Albert Branton Doidge, grandson of John and Ann Doidge who died at Gallipoli, is also remembered on this family gravestone.
2017 (updated 2021)
Sources used in this story
- News of the day (1908, December 8) Colonist, p.2
- Baxter, H. (2014) Albert Branton Doidge - Prow story.
- Deaths (1892, August 30) Colonist
- Deaths (1908, December 8) Colonist
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