Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 378
Auckland region

Biography contributed by Bernadette Siebert

Elizabeth Ragg was born Elizabeth Jane WRIGHT in 1840 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, the daughter of Elizabeth and Samuel WRIGHT, a gardener and carpenter.

Elizabeth married a Nottingham man Joseph Higginson RAGG in Birmingham in 1858. Joseph and his father William, were both dyers.

The two children born to them in Birmingham both died young; Sylvia Elizabeth (1860-62) and Ralph Maxwell (1863-64). Then the little family immigrated to New Zealand on board Golden City arriving in March 1864. A further six children were born in NZ. Maud Ann (1865-1945) Albert Edward (1868-1947) Mary Eleanor (1872-1930) Matilda Mabel (1875-1947) Sylvia Lowe (1872-1930) Laura Alice (1880-1961).

Firstly the family lived in Howe Street, Auckland Central where Joseph H appears on the electoral rolls between 1870-76. But by 1880 they had moved to Mahurangi near Warkworth and from then on Joseph was listed as a sailor and master mariner.

According to the local paper; 'Captain and Mrs Ragg, purchased Thomson’s hotel and bakery in 1885 [Warkworth]. Like their predecessors, the Raggs ran a family business with the unmarried daughters helping their mother. Occasionally an advertisement would appear for a boy who could make himself useful. He was assured of a good home at Raggs Temperance Hotel. Mrs Ragg kept pigs on the land at the back of the hotel.'

On 15 April 1898 Joseph H RAGG suddenly died on board his cutter Spitfire. The cutter had left Warkworth when Joseph complained of illness and by the time it reached Auckland he was beyond medical aid. The coroner’s jury brought in a verdict that death was due to a rupture of the heart.

Elizabeth Jane continued to work and live in Warkworth until her death in June 1912, aged 72. Her obituary said she took over the Temperance boarding hotel and bakery, in connection with which, though of a retiring nature, she became known and widely respected. One son and five daughters comprised the family bereaved.

Joseph and Elizabeth were buried together in the Warkworth Anglican Cemetery. Elizabeth left a probate and estate worth about 1,300 pounds. She left all to her loved children and the family bible to son Albert.

Elizabeth is the mother-in-law of Rosetta RAGG #378 on the petition


NZ Historical BDMs

Mahurangi Matters 5 Oct 2016

NZ Electoral Rolls (

Rodney & Otamatea Times 5 Jun 1912

New Zealand Herald 16 Apr 1898                                                                                                                 

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.

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