I’m grateful to the folks at the NZ Genealogy Forum for their help in tracing my New Zealand Robb relations. So far, I’ve confirmed that Thomas Bowman Robb (born 1887), the older brother of my great grandfather Charles Edward, married Eva Bennnett in 1912.  During the First World War, Thomas served as a reservist Fire Station Officer in St. Albans, Christchurch.

I’ve also managed to confirm that one of Thomas’ and Eva’s daughters, Mabel Eva, married Leslie Churnside Holtham in 1937. I think they had a son, Trevor, who married Glenis. It appears that Mabel died on 10th October 1992, at the age of 79, which means she would have been born in about 1913. Her husband Leslie predeceased her and she died in the Palmerston/Feilding area.

As for their other daughter Edna (whom I met in the early ’70s when she visited Britain), it’s possible that she remained unmarried. There’s a record of an Edna Robb, ‘retired matron of Christchurch’, who died in 1995.

If any descendants, relatives, or friends of Edna, Mabel or their family would like to contact me, I’d love to hear from them. As mentioned in a previous posting, I’m particularly keen to find out what happened to the documents and information that Edna discovered on her visit to Britain – including, possibly, the Robb family Bible.


Having spoken to my dad, I can confirm that Edna Robb was, in fact, unmarried, and did indeed work as the matron of some kind of residential home. The information that Thomas Bowman Robb was a fireman also rang bells (if you’ll forgive the pun). My dad has a memory, from when he was about five or six years old (this would have been around 1939), of going down to Tilbury with his parents, to see his Uncle Tom and Aunt Eva arrive from New Zealand on a six week visit.