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Sheet No: 394

Biography contributed by Ruth Ward

In February 1880 Frances, aged 24, with her father George and step mother Betty Fearnley, all from Halifax, Yorkshire sailed to New Zealand on the British Empire. On the same boat was her future husband David Manasseh Swindail, who came out from Stockport before his family. They married in January 1882 after his first wife died in June 1881 and lived all their lives in Birkenhead, Northshore, Auckland. 

Frances had four children: Ernest, born 1883; Harriet, born 1885; Alice, born 1887; and Frances, born 1890. Initially she also looked after David’s children from his first family who arrived in December 1881 from England: Sarah Ellen (13), Emily (11), Herbert (7) and Noah (4).

David was a stonemason and bricklayer, and had bought 24 acres freehold in Northcote where they grew vegetables and mainly strawberries which they sold in town and for the local jam factory, Thompson and Hill. Frances was involved in the formation of the local Fruitgrowers Association. It is believed Frances was a Quaker or Methodist and was remembered as dour with little humour. She died in 1935, nine years after her husband David. She would have lived as a widow with the youngest daughter, Frances, who continued to live in the same house in Mokoia Road, Birkenhead once Frances had died.

Frances Swindail

Frances Swindail with her husband, David Manasseh, circa 1881. Photo supplied by Ruth Ward.

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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