Given names: 
Mrs L.
Given address: 
Dedwood Terrace
Sheet No: 11

1893 electoral roll lists Lucy Swales, Dedwood Tce, Home duties

Biography contributed by Lester Chung

Lucy Swales (nee Jones), was born 2nd of June 1828 in Darlaston, St Lawrence, Staffordshire, England. She was the daughter of Richard Jones and Sarah Horton. Her father was an Iron founder who employed several people. 

In 1854, Lucy married John Clemshaw Swales in Stafford. Their eldest two children, Job Horton Swales in 1855 and Sarah Elizabeth Swales in 1856 were born in England. Unfortunately, Sarah died in 1859, aged two. This would have been a difficult time for Lucy especially as the family emigrated soon afterward.

On 22 December 1859, Lucy and her husband along with their child arrived in Port of Auckland from Liverpool aboard the Shalimar.  

The family lived in Ponsonby and had six more children, John William Swales in 1861, Richard Henry Swales in 1863, Annie Maria Swales in 1865, Sarah Ann Swales in 1869, Charles Edward Swales in 1871 and Frederick James Swales in 1873.  

Tragically, Sarah Ann, Lucy’s second daughter to be named Sarah died in 1896 at 26 years old. Sarah had signed the petition as Miss S. Swales. Other family members to sign the suffrage petition were Job Horton’s wife Eva Morris, as Mrs. J.H. Swales and Isabella Swales (nee Craig), the wife of Richard Henry Swales. 

The Swales family was a prominent and respected family, Lucy’s husband was originally a tinsmith and plumber and eventually retired as a gentleman in 1890s. In retirement he became quite influential locally, sitting on the boards of Ponsonby Highway and Hospital Charitable Aid, the Streets Committee, Ponsonby School Committee and was a trustee of the Wesleyan Church. 

As such, Lucy would have been involved locally as the wife of a councillor and helping with her husband’s work. Her familiarity with politics became evident when women won the right to vote, she voted consistently and petitioned to influence local government. She had a benevolent nature, and her work with the Methodist Church was much appreciated by the community.

The family was relatively well off and owned a few properties in Ponsonby. They would often let out rooms and rent out houses.  But the family’s wealth was not without misfortune. In 1890, an eight-roomed house owned by the Swales was rented out to a draper was burned to the ground, although the house was insured for £150, the loss far exceeded that amount. In 1898, a Swales family property was once again struck by a fire, when at a tobacconist on Jervis Road spread and destroyed two houses they owned. Unfortunately, neither of the properties was insured. Another fire broke out in 1903 on one of the Swales’ properties they rented out. This time it was insured and was able to recover half of the loss, and the other half from the renter. All of this would have been extremely stressful for Lucy and her husband.

Lucy Swales passed away on 27 September 1907, at her residence, Dedwood Terrace, Ponsonby. Her funeral was held at her late residence  and she was interred at Purewa Cemetery next to her husband and their daughter Sarah Ann Swales. 


Birth - "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch ( : 21 March 2020), Lucy Jones, 1828.

Parent’s Marriage - "England Marriages, 1538–1973", database, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2020), Richard Jones, 1823.

Father’s Occupation: "England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 November 2019), Lucy Jone in household of Richard Jone, Darlaston, Staffordshire, England; citing Darlaston, Staffordshire, England, p. 1, from "1851 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

Births – FreeBDM -

GRO Online Indexes -

Daily Southern Cross, Volume XVI, Issue 1281, 23 December 1859, Page 2,

Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records,

New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVIII, Issue 8763, 31 December 1891, Page 4,

BAB Microfilming; Auckland, New Zealand; New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981

New Zealand Times, Volume XXIX, Issue 6329, 2 October 1907, Page 7,

New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVII, Issue 8427, 1 December 1890, Page 10,

Auckland Star, Volume X, Issue 2725, 16 January 1879, Page 3,

Auckland Star, Volume XIII, Issue 3672, 18 May 1882, Page 3,

Evening Post, Volume LV, Issue 28, 3 February 1898, Page 5,

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXVII, Issue 144, 3 July 1903, Page 3,

Auckland Star, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 231, 27 September 1907, Page 8,

Find a Grave:

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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