Skip to main content

Margaret Dierce

Signed family name
Signed given name
Given address
Sheet number

Biographical information provided by Jared Davidson, Archives New Zealand, for the He Tohu exhibition:

Margaret Dierce was born around 1820 in Germany. She arrived in New Zealand in the early 1850s with her husband John Henry Dierce (born around 1824), where she had three children: Elizabeth (1856-1929), Martin George Wagner (1861-1925), and William Henry (1863-1943). The family settled in Woodend, Canterbury, and it is here that Margaret and her daughters-in-law Charlotte Lydia Dierce (the wife of William) and Ellen Maria Dierce (the wife of Martin) signed the Petition.

The family was not free of drama. After the death of her husband John on 16 July 1891, Margaret distributed her property (valued at £450) amongst her children, Elizabeth receiving six acres of land with house and stable, while Martin and William got the remainder. For a number of years all was well: Margaret lived with Elizabeth and her husband Daniel Colin Shilton. But as their family grew Daniel and Elizabeth found it hard to make ends meet. William and Martin could not agree on the amount they should pay towards aiding their mother, so to force the matter, in 1896 Daniel asked Margaret to leave. Six months later Margaret took Daniel and Martin to Court to settle the matter. The Magistrate 'Magistrate thought it was very hard on complainant to receive such treatment after giving her property to her children', and ordered Martin and William to contribute to her aid.

Margaret died in October 1907.


Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.