Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 185

Biography contributed by Joyce Hislop

Sarah Elizabeth Woodford was born on 30 June 1850 in Brixton, London, England. 

Sarah arrived in Lyttelton New Zealand on board the Randolph on December 16 1850 with her parents’ Richard (a miller) and Ann Woodford.

Richard and his family went to Kaiapoi in 1855, where he built the Drain Road Flour Mill.

Sarah married Joseph Jesse Rapley on 1 January 1874, a Methodist Church preacher. Their children were: Eva Gertrude (1874-1954), Ethel Mildred (1876-1946), Claud Woodford (1878-1902), Hedley Richard (1880-1949), Hilda Blanche (1881-1962), Maude Elizabeth (1884-1955), Bertha Mary (1885-1911), Raymond Brownlee (1888-1964), Winifred Harrison (1891-1963), and Daisy Constance (1893-1979).

Joseph later became a Wesleyan Home Missionary servicing the Amberley, Sheffield and Methven stations and the family then lived in Amberley. Sarah was known as being shy and reserved but she still managed to take services when Joseph was away preaching at other places.

Around 1900 Joe retired to St Albans and took up market gardening. A niece remembers Sarah having her customers and being a weekly supplier of vegetables in the area. 

Sarah and Joe lost their son Claud in a drowning in the Chatham Islands in January 1902 where he was a school teacher.  

After Joe died in September 1911 aged 63 years Sarah bought a property in Hill’s Road where she and Daisy lived till her death. Sarah died on 10 December 1928 aged 78 years. Both Sarah and Joseph are buried in the Linwood Cemetery, Christchurch.



Electoral Rolls

Papers Past

Family recollections

NB: Sarah is the sister-in-law of Lavinia Rapley (Page 503) and Kezia Rapley (Page 217)

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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