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

Biography contributed by Bernadette Siebert

Ida Grimmer was the wife of Frank Grimmer. Ida went by several variations of her name during her life, but at birth in 1855, she was registered as Agnes Maria Maud Ida SHARPE in Lincolnshire, England. She was the daughter of Nathan William Sharpe and wife Emma nee Kitching. The family emigrated to New Zealand in the 1860s.

On May 19 1879 Frank Grimmer was married to Agnes Maria, third daughter of Mr Sharpe and grand-daughter of Mrs Kitching of London, England. To this marriage were born eight children:

  • Rosa Eunice (1880-1968)
  • Gertrude Louisa (1882-1940)
  • John William Wilfred (1886-1887)
  • Mabel Clara (1889-1972)
  • Ida Ethel (1891-  (known as Ada)
  • Lurline Hazelmere (1894-1987)
  • Ida Kathleen (1896-1950)
  • Lilian Emma Joy (1898-1978)

When the children were young Frank farmed at the Dome Valley by his fathers and brothers and nearby Wayby. The area where they lived was still being developed. In 1902 when Frank was driving along the Port Albert Road, his horse took fright from some runaway bullock team. The horse bolted and capsized the trap over an embankment. Frank, Ida and the children were all thrown out, just escaping serious injury. In 1903 Frank dissolved the partnership he had with his brother Alfred as farmers and cattle dealers, and the family moved to Waiuku where Frank became a well-known dairy farmer.

Ida died in June 1911 after a long and painful illness. The newspaper reported she died at home, 'she was ill some time before the end came, but her many relatives were not expecting the fateful issue.' Her youngest child was not thirteen. She was buried in the Waiuku Cemetery. Frank remarried in 1913 to Margaret May PHILLIPS at Mahurangi, from an old Dome Valley family. There were no children of this marriage.

In 1926 'Mr Frank Grimmer of Waiuku, formerly a resident of Dome Valley, and brother to Mr Walter Valley – passed away in the Auckland Hospital after an operation' aged 68 years. He was buried with Ida. Frank’s will instructed that the trustees sell everything and provide for his second wife and any children under 21 years, and then left everything to be divided equally amongst all the children. So there was a deceased estate auction advertised for September 1926 of 101 acres being a well-known, highly improved Dairy Farm, large residence and a range of outbuildings. The estate was valued at 4000 pounds.

Ida is the sister-in-law of Emily GRIMMER #379 Dome Valley (husbands are brothers)


NZ Herald 10 Jun 1879

Rodney & Otamatea Times 7 Mar 1902

Auckland Star 21 Mar 1903

Rodney & Otamatea Times 21 Jun 1911

NZ Herald 29 Jul 1926

NZ electoral rolls (

NZ Historical BDM

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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