Given names: 
Given address: 
Sawyers Bay
Sheet No: 47
Otago peninsula

Biography contributed by Colyn Storer (nee Morley) of Sydney Australia (Elizabeth's son's second wife, Helen Lilian Morley, was my father’s half-sister)

E Duke of Sawyers Bay, was born Elizabeth Beck on 31 Dec 1832 at Hastings SSX, the daughter of Joseph Beck, a baker, and Harriet Apps who married in 1827. She was baptised on 29 Jan 1834 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Hastings.

In 1841 they lived at London Road St Mary Magdalen. By 1851 her widowed mother is the baker, along with her older brother Henry and Charles Duke, her future husband. 

Charles and Elizabeth Beck married on 13 March 1855 at the Wesley Chapel in Hastings SSX. Their first child William Henry was born on 15 January 1856. 

They sailed on the Palmyra from London on 28 October 1857 and arrived at Dunedin on 27 Feb 1858 but during the voyage their second son, Charles Joseph was born on 18 November and died on 21 December 1857.

Henry Beck 1811-1877, the brother of her late father Joseph Beck, travelled on the same voyage with his wife Charlotte Collins nee Carey 1811-1863 and their eight children James Albert, Thirza, William Henry, Ellenora, Sarah Jane, Walter, Jabez and Frank Theodore. Most of these or their wives signed the Petition. They were another committed Wesleyan Methodist family and well known in those circles.   

Charles worked in various jobs in the early years till they purchased a section at Sawyers Bay in 1863. Then he was the superintendent of the Quarantine Islands for two years. In 1872 he was appointed deputy Immigration Master at Caversham, and Mrs Duke was subsequently appointed matron. They held these positions till their retirement in 1888 and returned to live at Sawyers Bay. 

They had three daughters in New Zealand, Hariot and Elizabeth Ellen who both died young and Mary who later married Jefferson Counsell Stephens. 

They were very proud of their early roots in New Zealand and were long time members of Otago Early Settlers Association of which Charles was President and Vice President at various times and remembered their early friends and families. The meetings of this and similar associations are well documents in local newspapers.  

They were also deeply involved in all aspects of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Port Chalmers where he was for many years the Circuit Steward of this church and held every office which a layman can occupy and represented NZ at the Methodist General Conference while Elizabeth’s hospitality and Christian witness was long remembered. 

Their Golden Wedding in 1905 was celebrated by all the family with detailed coverage in the local newspapers and a family photograph. 

Charles and Elizabeth moved to live with their son at London Street Dunedin in 1908, where Charles died on 7 Aug 1913 and Elizabeth on 14 May 1919. They were both remembered with extensive obituaries in The New Zealand Methodist Times and Charles also in Otago Daily Times speaking of their life and work in the community and especially within the Wesleyan Methodist church. They were buried at the Southern Cemetery.

Others of her family who signed the petition were her daughter, Mrs Stephens (Mary nee Beck) of Bay View Road South Dunedin, Sheet 71 and daughter in law Annie S Duke, Annie Throne nee Aslin, Sheet 125.

Her BECK relations who signed were: her cousin, Mrs J Bell (Thirza nee Beck) and Thirza’s daughter, Kate Ellen Bell, sheet 160; her cousin, Ellen Borrie (nee Beck) of Invercargill, sheet 354; H J Beck, Henry Beck’s second wife, Hannah nee Logan, sheet 158, and their daughter A C Beck, Alison Carey, sheet 167; Mrs J Beck nee Eliza Musgrove Growden, wife of Jabez Beck, sheet 96,; their daughter Eliza Beck, Eliza Ethel, sheet 90, (aged 14); E J Beck, Eliza Jane nee Marten, second wife of Albert James Beck, sheet 90; and his daughters from his marriage to Jane Hall Murray,  J L Beck, Jeannie Lyall, sheet 122; and M J Tennet, Mary Jane nee Beck, sheet 122.


Birth and Baptism: and                            

Parents and Siblings and extended family: 

Birth and death indexes UK: (NOT the indexes on free.bmd or Ancestry or findmypast)

These GRO indexes give mother’s maiden names and age at death.

1841-1851 censuses – findmypast

British Newspapers on findmypast

Especially the tragic death of her brother Joseph Beck on 28 Aug 1850 at Hastings, extensive reports of the Inquest.


Otago Early Settlers Association


Golden Wedding 13 March 1905, many tributes including a Telegram from the Methodist Conference meeting in Wellington and Otago Daily Times 14 March 1905 Page 7  “Golden Wedding”

Electoral Rolls: 

findmypast 1893 AND


The History of Methodism in New Zealand by Rev Dr William Morley1900 McKee & Co, Publishers Wellington. 

Both Charles and Elizabeth are recorded on pages 485-487 of The History of Methodism, detailing the work of the Wesleyan church at Port Chalmers, their photos on page 487, Charles in group photo page 485. 

Death & Burial: 

NZ BDM online and PapersPast New Zealand, Cemetery Records, 1800-2007


Papers Past: for Charles, Otago Daily Times 7 Aug 1913 and The New Zealand Methodist Times

Charles: 28 Aug 1913, Issue 19130828, page 15 “Within the Veil”

Elizabeth: 5 July 1919, Issue 19190705, page 5 “Within the Veil" 

John Kinder Theological Library                 


Charles Duke  FamilySearch 

New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998


Elizabeth Duke

Charles Duke

Charles and Elizabeth Duke's Golden Wedding Anniversary, 1905.

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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