Given names: 
Given address: 
Symonds Street
Sheet No: 13
Central Auckland

Biography contributed by Shalley Zadehfattah 

Jemima was born in 1830 at Tupton, Derbyshire, England, the daughter of Sarah and John Chamberlin, a tailor. Jemima married John Richards, a local lace maker in 1851 at St Stephen’s Church, Sneiton, Nottinghamshire, England. Jemima was 21 years old.

Three years later their first child, Sarah Elizabeth, was born. Jemima gave birth to five children, two girls and three boys, of whom four survived to adulthood. She lived at Chapel Street, Basford, Nottinghamshire, England for another fourteen years before the whole family emigrated to New Zealand in 1865, a year after her youngest son, Eugene, was born. They departed London on 27 March 1865 aboard the Caduceus around the same time that Wellington became New Zealand’s new capital.

Jemima and her family arrived in Auckland and settled at Symonds Street where Jemima and John opened a grocery shop that was located on the corner of Symonds Street and City Road.

Allen, her youngest son, was born a year later in 1866. Jemima must have been heartbroken when she lost her second child, a daughter, who was only five months old when she died.

Over the following years, their business kept growing and they received their wine license in June 1882, only a month before John passed away. After the death of her husband, Jemima took over the business and supported the family.

Her eldest son, Ralph died at Friendly Island in 1899 at the age of 43, which would have been a difficult time in Jemima’s life.

In her later years, Jemima moved in with her eldest daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, in Rocky Nook, Auckland where she died at the age of 83 on 20 October 1913. She was buried with her husband in Symonds Street Cemetery, Auckland.

Jemima’s estate was worth around £1,500, which could indicate that she had run a successful business.


North Wingfield parish register - Derbyshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1916 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2017.

St Stephen, Sneiton, Nottinghamshire parish register Nottinghamshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1937

1861 Census Basford, Nottinghamshire -

FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Shipping Intelligence. New Zealander, 27 March 1865, p.2

Electoral Rolls (New Zealand 1894 and 1903) New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Auckland Star, 9 May 1882, p. 3

New Zealand, Birth Index

Deaths. New Zealand Herald, 22 November 1899, p.1

Auckland Star 20 October 1913, p.12

Auckland Star, 4 April 1914, p.10

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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