Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thames (NZ): Broad Street House update

Remember the story of the beautiful house at Broad Street, Thames? Well a closer look at the full photograph shows that the photo is pre 1872. Reason being that the St George's Church is not yet at the corner of Mackay and Mary Streets.

The Thames 1870 Directory shows the following people living in Broad Street in 1870:
W SIMPSON, Union Cottage; John WRIGLEY, Cabinetmaker; Seth CLARK; Christopher GOODMAN; Stephen RICHARDS, Manager Golden Crown Battery; John STEVENS, Manager Souter Battery; Charles ROBINSON, Master Mariner.
 Broad Street House identified by family as the Comer homestead. Note the fretwork, identical to the early photograph.

Now, the story gets even better because we now know that from the 1880s to 1920, this was the home of George and Mary Ann COMER and their family. The house underwent renovation many times over the years. Descendants of George and Mary Ann Comer have provided amazing photos of the house (above) and the family (below). What a wonderful family group photo. Just imagine the organised precision required to get all family members so beautifully dressed and groomed, not a hair out of place.

Above: George and Mary Ann (nee Rumsam) COMER centre and 11 of their 12 children, Back row Standing, Lucinda (later MCNEICE), Flora Jane (later NEWDICK), Leonard, John & Anna Gladys (later WILLIAMS). Front sitting in chair- Virney, Father George, Robert, Mother Mary Ann, George sitting far right, very front little girl sitting with flowers – Mary Grace (Grace) (later CURRIE), Frances Cyril (Cyril) and Dorothy (Dolly) (later KEVEN).
The story gets even better, amongst the family photo collection was a WWI photograph for Robert Comer, posing with his parents George and Mary Ann Comer of Broad Street, Thames. Another photo to add to the collection at The Treasury.

Further information:
The New Zealand Comer Family Facebook Page
The Treasury Index
Family trees at Ancestry.au
 
Do you have a WWI group or individual photo of a Thames Soldier?
The Treasury would love a copy for their WWI Photo register.

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