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Sheet No: 217

Biography contributed by Faye Lloyd (descendant of Mary Russell)

Mary Russell, nee Walker, was born on 5 July 1818 in Middleton, Warwickshire.

Mary was working as a servant in 1841 in Wishaw, Warwickshire, but by the time of the 1851 census she was listed as unmarried, had three children and was living with her parents in Middleton. In 1854 at the age of 35 she married Richard Russell, a Labourer. Mary, Richard and her two younger children, Elizabeth and Alfred, arrived on the ‘Isabella Hercus’ in Lyttelton, New Zealand on 4 January 1856.  Elizabeth and Alfred both had the surname Russell on arrival in New Zealand. Mary left her eldest son Charles Walker, born about 1839, with her parents in Warwickshire.

The Russell family settled and farmed in Brookside Canterbury. Mary and Richard had twin daughters, Hannah and Mary Ann the year after their arrival. Mary died on 7 April 1904, and her husband died just over two months later 27 June – Richard Russell was found drowned on his son’s property at Brookside. They are buried at Brookside Anglican cemetery.


1841, 1851 and 1861 Census Middleton, Warwickshire, UK
Marriage certificate
New Zealand Cemetery records
Papers Past – Press, News of the day 30 June 1904.

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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