Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 61

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Sarah Jane Andrew/s was born on 5 February 1862 in Torphichen, West Lothian, Scotland — the daughter of Francis Andrew, a coal miner, and Catherine Dobbie. (See 61 Catherine Andrews) Sarah emigrated to Otago in 1874, aged 11 years, on the Parsee with her three sisters and brother. Her parents and older brother also emigrated in the 1870s.

She married Thomas Henry Joseph Shanks in 1881 and they had six children. They moved to Ngapara in North Otago about 1888 where Thomas worked as a ploughman.

In 1891 they shifted to Rothesay to live near Sarah’s mother while Thomas worked near Ashburton in South Canterbury, Sarah was living here when she signed the suffrage petition.

The family later moved to South Dunedin. 

In 1920 Thomas was charged with an aggravated assault on Sarah, he had just returned from a nine month stay at Rotoroa to cure his alcohol problems.

He had been home for one week when the assault occurred, he was imprisoned for three months.

Shortly after Sarah applied for a separation and maintenance order, the separation order was granted and the maintenance held over until Thomas was released from prison.

When he was released he continued to harass Sarah when he was under the influence and continued to be imprisoned.

Sarah died on 6 October 1932 and Thomas died in 1941. They are buried together in the Andersons Bay 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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