Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 503
Hawke's Bay

Biography submitted by Joyce Hislop, Lavinia's great-granddaughter.

Lavinia Wallace was born 14 February 1842 at Rasharkin, County Antrim, Ireland.  Her parents were Alexander Wallace, a wheelwright and undertaker, and Maria, nee Glasgow.  Lavinia, a domestic servant, sailed from Ireland on the ‘Glenmark’ on 29 October 1864 arriving in Lyttelton on 21 January 1865.  Her sister Mary, and brother-in-law Robert Rainey were already settled in Canterbury.

On 4 September 1866 Lavinia married Arthur Rapley a labourer, and they lived in the Canterbury area where their 6 children were born. William (1867-1899) Arthur Wallace (1869-1946) Michael (1870-1900) Lavinia (1873-1945) Albert Edward (1876-1939) and Rhoda (1879-1933).  In 1889 the family were living in Le Bons Bay, Banks Peninsular when William, Michael and Arthur Wallace were named in a group of young men who applied for land in the Wangahao survey district near Woodville.  Early in 1890 the family moved to Woodville.  It is not known if the boys did receive a land grant.

Lavinia lost two sons in the next 10 years, first William who died of gangrene in 1899 after refusing to allow his arms to be amputated after an accident at Waipukurau Railway Station then the next year (1900) Michael dropped dead from heart disease while digging in Taruranga.  Later that year on 4 November Lavinia died in Woodville of peritonitis.  Arthur died in the Jubilee Home in Whanganui on 19 April 1907.  Both Lavinia and Arthur are buried in an unmarked grave in Old Woodville Cemetery.  


BDM certificates

Shipping records


Electoral Rolls


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

'Lavinia Rapley', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 27-May-2019

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about Lavinia Rapley

What do you know?

Jamie M

Posted: 20 May 2019

Thanks, Joyce - I've fixed this now. Regards, Jamie

Joyce Hislop

Posted: 16 May 2019

I believe this is the signature of my great-grandmother Lavinia RAPLEY. If you look carefully you can see the second letter in the surname is an 'a' . Lavinia voted in the 1893 election and there isn't a Lavinia Ripley listed.