Given names: 
S. J.
Given address: 
Surrey Street
Sheet No: 366
Grey Lynn

Biography contributed by Bernadette Siebert

Sarah Jane PALMER PALMER was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland about 1859 to Henry Palmer and Eliza nee Mawhinney. Henry, Eliza and children Sarah Jane, Jackson and Letitia arrived in NZ July 1864 from Liverpool on board the ‘Flying Foam’. They settled in Mahurangi, near Warkworth where Henry was involved in the first flour mill in Mahurangi and also became Rodney County Council chair, JP and district coroner.

In November 1882, at his residence in Ponsonby, Henry’s two eldest daughters married 'two well-known and respected settlers' Sarah Jane married Mr RW Moody, JP and Letitia married William John Angrove at the same time. Ridley William Moody was 63-years-old and Sarah Jane 23.

RW was born in Benton, Northumberland, England where he had been a station master and colliery master. He had previously been married to Maryann Scorer in 1840, but there had been no children born. Ridley, his wife and her married daughter arrived in NZ in 1865, where Ridley worked as a mining engineer. Maryann died in 1879 and is buried in St Stephen’s churchyard, Parnell, Auckland. Three years later Ridley married again. He and Sarah Jane had four children;

  • Ellen Marion Ray (1884- 1895)                   
  • Ridley William John (1886 -1959)                              
  • Margery Georginia Palmer (1888- 1942)
  • Henry Jackson Thomas (1891- 1968)

Just after the fourth child was born in 1891, Ridley died in Parnell and was buried with his first wife. His will was made three months before he died and the distribution of his estate had conditions. He left money to buy a cottage as a residence for his wife and children, and four hundred pounds allowance a year providing Sarah Jane 'remains unmarried and conducts herself properly during her widowhood'. If she remarried, his 'children were to be removed from her custody and guardianship and placed with some proper and kind protector' [unnamed] and her allowance discontinued.

Sarah Jane did remain unmarried. For about ten years after Ridley died she lived in Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland. Then she moved to Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore where she lived the rest of her days. She died in December 1931 aged 71years, and is buried in Takapuna Cemetery between her married daughter and her spinster sister Henrietta Palmer. Her will distributed lots of family personal effects, piano, silver, paintings of husband’s parents, jewellery, a 400 day clock, and bequests to her daughter and grandchildren.

Sarah Jane is sister to Letitia ANGROVE #379 Warkworth


Ak Star 29 Oct 1891

NZ Historical BDM

Archway NZ Archives

NZ electoral rolls (

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

No comments have been posted about S. J. Moody

What do you know?