Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 241

Biography contributed by Mrs Colyn Storer, Sydney, Australia

Margaret Jennings appears to be the child, Sarah Jemima Stapleforth who was born 12 June 1862, as there is no record of her name as Margaret till later in her life. She was a daughter of William Stapleforth and Hannah Bathsheba nee Ivory. Hannah was born in 1834 in Cossey Norfolk, daughter of John Ivory and Sarah Emms and in 1851 census she was with her sister Matilda and family at Glemsford SFK, described as Horsehair Weaver Hand Loom.

William and Hannah married on 29 October 1854 at St Pancras London, their first daughter Hepzibah was born before they embarked on the ship Cashmere for New Zealand on 2 July 1855, arriving at Lyttleton on 23 October. They travelled with her brother William Emms Ivory and wife and four children. They lived at Lyttelton for a short while, but soon after took up land at Rangiora, being amongst the first settlers in North Canterbury

Margaret married Charles Ivory Jennings on 9 June 1886 at the Presbyterian Church at Rangiora. They were first cousins. Charles was born on 6 April at Rangiora, the son of Charles Jennings and Sarah nee Ivory.

They had three children Florence in 1887, Percy 1889 and Ruby 1891. They lived in Rangiora all their married life and Charles held every important position in the town and district, including Mayor for two periods. They were always committed and faithful members of the John Knox Presbyterian church where both of them contributed in many ways and Margaret was a choir member for more than 54 years.

Their Golden wedding was celebrated in 1936 with a Buffet tea with many family and friends present. There were detailed reports in the newspapers of their lives and work. At that time, she was the oldest member of Croquet club and had been an executive member. She was a committee member of the Plunket Society and during the War she worked for the Red Cross Society and Lady Liverpool fund.   

Charles died on 9 Dec 1947 and Margaret on 13 June 1953. Both were buried at Rangiora Baptist Cemetery.  

Others of Margaret’s extended family who also signed the Petition. All were grandchildren or their daughters from John Ivory and Sarah nee Emms of Norfolk.

The four daughter’s of her mother’s sister (Matilda Rebecca) - Maria Keir (sheet 241), Hannah Little (318), L Harman (237) and Rebecca Bradley (262). Rebecca’s daughters, Lucy Emily Bradley and Maud M Davies (both 262). And her cousin by marriage – Helen Ivory (nee Bartrum) Sheet 240.


Details of Ivory families: 

In England, including newspaper reports
Non-Conformist Birth Records on & findmypast
Census records


Family Search of her parents with their relatives
New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973
William Stapleforth
"New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 August 2017), William Stapleforth, 23 Oct 1855; citing ship Cashmere, Archives New Zealand, Wellington; FHL microfilm

And Ancestry public trees to ‘try’ to confirm Sarah/Margaret’s birth details

Papers Past: 

Many records of the extended families, from the 1860s onwards, occupations,
Community involvement, Church associations, Deaths, Obituaries extended family. 

Golden Wedding: 9 June 1936
Mr and Mrs C. I. Jennings, residents of Rangiora for more than 70 years, who will celebrate their golden wedding to-day.
(photo) Press, Volume LXXII, Issue 21804, 9 June 1936, page 3

GOLDEN WEDDING North Canterbury Gazette,
Volume 5, Issue 56, 9 June 1936 Page 5

GOLDEN WEDDING Mr and Mrs C I Jennings
Press, Volume LXXII, Issue 21805, 10 June 1936, page 2

Death, Burial: New Zealand, Cemetery Records, 1800-2007 
[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

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

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about Margaret Jennings

What do you know?

Lynette Bonham

Posted: 28 Jun 2019

I don't believe Margaret Jennings nee Stapleforth is the child, Sarah Jemima Stapleforth who was born in 1862. This child died in 1863 aged 11 months. It's possible Margaret's birth was never registered.