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Constance Phillips

Signed family name
Signed given name
Given address
Dome Valley
Sheet number
Dome Valley
Auckland region

Biography contributed by Bernadette Siebert

Constance is the daughter of Robert and Margaret Phillips. Robert Phillips was born in 1845 in Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire, England. He was single when he arrived in NZ with his brothers in 1859. He married Lancashire lass, Margaret TAYLOR in 1866. They had 11 children, registered in Mahurangi, near Warkworth and all lived to adulthood. Elizabeth Constance was the fourth child and eldest daughter of Robert and Margaret Phillips. She was born in 1872.

She married her first cousin Joseph, son of Joseph and Constance Phillips, also of Dome Valley in 1892. The local newspaper reported the marriage; 'Last week there was a very great assemblage at the residence of Mr Robert Phillips to do honour to and witness the ceremony in connection with, the marriage of his daughter to Mr Joseph Phillips jun, her cousin'. One daughter was born Irene Margaret Constance in 1895.

Unfortunately the marriage did not last long. Joseph is buried at the Kourawhero Cemetery with the inscription 'Joseph beloved husband of E.C. Phillips died 7th June 1897 aged 30 years'. On the day he died Joseph made a will which he signed with his mark because he was incapable by physical weakness of writing his name. He left everything to his wife and two-year-old daughter Irene.

Elizabeth Constance remarried to John Henry O’Callahan in 1898 and they had four children; John Merlin 1899, Henry Rory 1900, Eiley Marie 1902 and Robert Victor 1908. For a few years they lived in Warkworth where John H was a labourer. But the marriage appears to have broken down. In 1911 Elizabeth was advertising for tenders for bushfelling on 30 acres of her land and applicants were told to apply to her directly at Streamlands. And in 1912 John was auctioning off his draughthorses, dray, ploughs, harnesses, horseclippers and other tools. They were officially divorced in 1918. John Henry O’Callahan died in December 1934 in Auckland Hospital and was buried from his son’s house to the Papakura cemetery.

By 1919 Elizabeth was living in Dedwood Terrace, Ponsonby where she lived until she died in 1949 aged 77 years and is buried in Purewa Cemetery. She left a will using both surnames O’Callahan and Phillips. In it she named her eldest children as executors, Irene and John Merlin. She left her property to be sold and divided equally between all her children.

Constance is the daughter of Margaret Phillips #379 on the petition



Southern Cross 19 Jul 1859

Auckland Star 9 Aug 1920

NZ Herald 16 May 1892

NZ Herald 15 Dec 1934

Rodney & Otamatea Times 2 Aug 1911

Rodney & Otamatea Times 24 Jul 1912

Archway – NZ National Archives

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