Given names: 
Given address: 
Lees St
Sheet No: 28
Central Dunedin

Also signed as 111 L Alexander

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley.

Elizabeth May Alexander was born in 1870 in London, England, the daughter of Arthur Alexander, a lithographer, and Ellen Holmes.

She emigrated to Wellington with her family in 1874 on the Conflict.

They settled in Dunedin where the family had a troubled life. Both of Elizabeth’s parents were regularly charged with drunkenness and in 1879 her father was also charged with using threatening language towards his wife.

He “habitually got drunk, and then his wife had to come to the Police Station for protection. Mrs Alexander said that when sober her husband was kind to her – but this, unfortunately, was not often”.

Elizabeth’s father served a short jail term after which he disappears from the records. He is possibly the Arthur Alexander who died in New South Wales in 1880.

In December 1880 Elizabeth’s mother was charged with vagrancy and sentenced to one month in prison. The children were sent to the Caversham Industrial School.

Elizabeth’s mother remarried in 1884, and she was released from the school the following year.

When Elizabeth signed the suffrage petition she was living with the family in Lees St, Dunedin, working as a dressmaker.

She married Arthur Edward Fisher, a bag manufacturer, in 1899 in Timaru. They had a son the following year before Arthur died in 1904. He is buried in the Timaru Cemetery.

Elizabeth remarried in 1915 to Constable Charles Edward Wooton, a divorced man with four children.

They lived in Dunedin where Charles died in 1934. He is buried in the Southern Cemetery.

Elizabeth died in Whangarei on June 1st 1941. She was cremated and her ashes interred in the Waikumete Cemetery.


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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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