Given names: 
Given address: 
Bluff Harbour
Sheet No: 341

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Ellen Symes was born about 1833. She married Thomas Richard Fordham, a lighterman and boatman, in Victoria, Australia in 1856.

They had three children in Victoria, one who died in infancy – in December 1863 the family sailed for Bluff on the Queen.

Their son Albert Edward was born in New Zealand in 1864 and the family returned to Australia for a time before arriving in Bluff in February 1866 on the South Australian.

Their last two children were born in 1868 and 1870 and when Ellen signed the suffrage petition the family were living in Campbeltown near Bluff.

Thomas worked as a stevedore and they also ran the Eagle Hotel in Bluff for a time.

Ellen died on 9 December 1899 and Thomas died in 1908, they are buried in the family grave in the Bluff 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.

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