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Barbara Ross

Signed family name
Signed given name
Given address
North Taieri Road
Sheet number

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Barbara Ross was born about 1847 in Tain, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland – the daughter of David Ross, a carter, and Mary nee Ross.

She married David Ross, a watchmaker, on 20 December 1869 in Edinburgh and they had three children, one who died in infancy.

In 1875 the family emigrated to Otago on the City of Dunedin and had a further seven children, two who died in infancy.

After 12 years working for the firm of G & T Young Daniel, in 1886, David opened his own business in Farley’s Buildings in Princes St.

Less than a year later he was judged bankrupt owing  £120 7s 7d. He was given an order for release in June 1889 and opened up for business again in the Arcade.

About a month later he was charged with pawning eight watches that had been brought to him for repair. He had been 'pressed by his creditors, and having taken to drink, he had so far forgotten himself as to commit the crime.' Daniel received a sentence of 12 months imprisonment with hard labour leaving Barbara with seven young children to care for.

In June 1892 Daniel was again before the court, he was charged with assaulting his son and throwing dishes at his wife. Barbara was too ill to appear in court and asked that the case be struck out which it was.

When Barbara signed the suffrage petition the family were living in North Taieri Road and Daniel was conducting business as a watchmaker with a shop at the tram terminus, Roslyn.

In 1895 Daniel applied for an alcohol prohibition order against himself, the first of several.

In 1901 the building containing the watchmaker’s shop burnt down, there was no insurance.

The following year Daniel was, once again, charged with pawning watches meant for repair, he was sentenced to 14 days hard labour.

Daniel died at his home in 1923 and Barbara died on 27 May 1933.

Her obituary said 'soon after settling in Dunedin the late Mrs Ross, who was a most capable housewife, conducted cooking classes in Roslyn, and soon gained for herself a host of friends. She was of a most generous and winning disposition, and was always a staunch church worker. Over a long period of years she was a prominent figure in the Kaikorai Presbyterian Church, and her work in this connection will long be remembered.'

Barbara and Daniel are buried in the family grave in the Northern Cemetery.


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