Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 61

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Esther was born about 1842, she married Nathan Hart about 1870, possibly in Dunedin and they had eight children.

Esther and her husband ran the 'Fancy Bazaar' which, in 1872, was situated in Fleet St, Dunedin which later became Farley’s Royal Arcade, now Manse St.

Esther appears to have kept working after the birth of her children as there are numerous advertisements for 'nurse girls to mind a baby' and 'general servants' especially after the births of her children.

The 'Fancy Bazaar' was sold in 1877 and the Harts started a new business the 'National Loan and Discount Office'.

The family were living in Ravensbourne in 'Lilly Villa' in 1879 when their fifth child was born. In 1882 they were advertising their house for rent as they were 'leaving for England'.

Whether they went or not is unsure as in 1884 Esther was again advertising for a nursemaid, now living in 'Rose Villa', Ravensbourne.

The family moved to Sydney in 1888 -  before they left there was an 'important sale of massive and costly furniture'. The goods included two pianofortes, one in the drawing room and another in the dining room and a telescopic dining table with three extra leaves.

While in Sydney they opened the 'New Zealand Time Payment Furniture Warehouse' in the Central Arcade.

The goods of this business were sold by auction in March 1890 and the family returned to Ravensbourne due to Nathan’s failing health.

Nathan died in Dunedin later that year, he is buried in the Southern Cemetery.

After her husband’s death Esther applied for and was granted a pawnbroker’s licence and she opened the 'National Pawn Office' in George St, Dunedin.

She was still living in Ravensbourne when she signed the suffrage petition, later moving to High St.

In 1901 Esther filed a patent application with the Sydney Patent Office for an 'improved means for securing ladies’ hats to the heads of wearers'.

She died on 31 December 1913 at her daughter’s house in Auckland and is buried in the Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

Esther left an estate valued at £1728.


BDM online NZ

DCC Cemetery Records

Otago Nominal Index

Papers Past

Auckland Council


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

How to cite this page

'Esther Hart', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Jul-2019

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about Esther Hart

What do you know?

Earl Hart

Posted: 22 Jul 2019

Esther was my great grandmother. She was born in Aldgate, London 4 July 1841. She married Nathan (her cousin) 2 Jun 1869 at the New Synagogue, London and moved to Dunedin soon after. They would return to England often to purchase goods for sale back home.
Nathan actually died only a few days after returning from Australia.