Given names: 
Jane M.
Given address: 
Upper Riccard
Sheet No: 227

Biographical information from 'The Woman Question' by Margaret Lovell-Smith, New Women's Press, 1992:

This is the signature of Jennie (Mary Jane) Smith (born Cumberworth), later Lovell-Smith, 1848-1924. Jennie is a derivative of Jane.

Jennie Cumberworth arrived in New Zealand in 1859 with her parents and three younger siblings. Her mother died about a year later and Jennie assumed a mothering role for her younger sisters and brother. Her father was a teacher and Jennie became his assistant, teaching first at the Wesleyan Day School in Christchurch, and then at the Colombo Road School, later called Sydenham. In 1874 she married William Sidney Smith, and over the next twenty years had 10 children. As well, she became active in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and was one of the helpers in the suffrage campaign. From 1895-1903 she was business manager of The White Ribbon.

Other positions of responsibility she took within the WCTU were as superintendent of the Hygiene Department and superintendent of the Legal and Parliamentary Department. She was very interested in natural healing methods, following the practices advocated by Professor Kirk of Edinburgh in his eleven-volume Papers on Health, and became involved in the Plunket Society.

More information on Jennie and the Lovell-Smith family can be found on Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

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

'Jane M. Smith', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Oct-2017

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