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Sheet No: 284

Contributed by Clare Cramond

Annie Beatrice Caroline Alcorn was born in 1867 on the West Coast. She was the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Dunlop) Alcorn. Robert was born in Ireland, spent time in Australia and then followed the Gold Rush to Gabriel’s Gully. He then went to the West Coast. Elizabeth died in 1871, aged 24 years. Robert shifted to Ashburton with Annie, was in the drapery business along with his brother, and married Margaret Graham and had two more children.

Annie was enrolled at the Ashburton High School when the girls’ section opened in 1882. Annie’s stepmother, her Aunt Jane and her cousins Mary, Margaret, Olive and Ethel also signed the 1893 Petition and most of them, including Annie were on the 1893 Electoral Roll in Ashburton.

 In 1903, she married Henry Wills who was working on the Longbeach Estate. Later he purchased a farm at Hinds where the couple lived until about 1926; they did not have children. Henry held several senior positions in the Farmers’ Union and other business organisations. From the farm they retired to Ashburton.

Both Annie and Henry were actively involved with the Methodist Church. Henry died in 1930 and Annie died on 28 May 1934. In addition to bequests to her and her husband’s family, Annie left a considerable amount to various church organisations and 150 pounds to the NZ Alliance for the Abolition of Liquor Traffic (Ashburton District). They are both buried in the Ashburton Cemetery.


Births Deaths and Marriages Online

School Lists – Ashburton District Family History Group

"New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1865-1957", Database. FamilySearch.

Papers Past  Ashburton Guardian, Volume XLVI, Issue 10747, 26 May 1926, Page 5

Papers Past  Ashburton Guardian, Volume 50, Issue 257, 14 August 1930, Page 4

Papers Past  Ashburton Guardian, Volume 54, Issue 193, 29 May 1934, Page 6

Ashburton Cemetery Records

 "New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 March 2021), Annie Beatrice C Wills, 1934; citing , Timaru probate files, 1871-1997, record number TU3878/1934, Archives New Zealand, Auckland Regional Office; FamilySearch digital folder 005449453.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

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