FUNERAL DIRECTORS RECORDS FOR DUNEDIN
Many names of the deceased who appear in the Funeral Directors' Records will also, of course, appear in the burial register of the various Dunedin cemeteries. But Funeral Directors' Records should not be overlooked. There will be those people who died in Dunedin, but were buried elsewhere, and so will not be in the Dunedin Burial Registers.
A. J. WYNN & HOPE, Economical Undertakers, ST. ANDREW ST.,
HOPE & SONS LTD
A. J. Wynn & Hope Undertakers in St Andrew Street, Dunedin
In 1887, Mr .John Hope, in partnership with Mr A. J. Wynn, founded the firm known as A. J. Wynn & Hope, at 36 St. Andrew
Street, as Undertakers, Monumentalists and bing Carpenters.
In 1915 John Hope purchased Wynn's share of the business and took into partnership Mr W. G. Kinnaston, a builder of Roxburgh and traded as Hope & Kinnaston. In 1928 Kinnaston retired and his shares were purchased by John Hope who was joined by his sons. The firm continued to trade as Hope & Kinnaston until 1960 when it became Hope & Sons Ltd.
J. Hope and Sons St. Andrew Street
In 1970 the company moved from St Andrew Street to its present site in Andersons Bay Road.
Records held on the present premises of Hope & Sons: – Records are very brief and consist only of name and date of death.
January 1928 until threcords for each deceased person are identical to those found on a full death certificate.
Hope & Sons management would prefer a written question accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
R. MCLEAN & SONS LTD.
It would appear that the only records to have survived for this business, which operated from Great King Street, Dunedin, are five volumes which are now housed at the Hocken Library, Dunedin. There is no restriction on access to these records. The five volumes consist of two ledger books plus three "Day Books'" – 1 May 1959 – 3 August 1961; 2 April 1962 – 25 April 1967 and 27 April 1967 – 29 March 1974.
These "Day Books"' contain full name, date and place of death,time and place of funeral and burial, ashes disposal if appropriate, to whom the account was sent, incidental charges including organist, flowers etc. and dates of payment.
COLE AND SPRINGER LTD.
Thomas (Tom) Cole, a carpenter by trade and then a cabinetmaker, was later to become an undertaker. He operated a funeral business in joint partnership with George Springer and traded as Cole and Springer of Kensington, Dunedin. Tom Cole took a keen interest in the city and, being a strong advocate for the amalgamation of Caversham with the city of Dunedin, he later became a city councilor. In 1910 he was elected Mayor of Dunedin.
It would appear that the only records to have survived for this firm are: "Death Registration" book, covering the years 7 Jan 1896 – 18 June 1898. Records for each deceased person are identical to those found on a full death certificate. Also surviving is a "Day (or ledger) Book" for the years 2 Aug 1896 – 31 Dec 1902. Details include name, date of burial, all other details regarding the actual funeral and to whom the account was sent. These records have been transcribed and indexed and can be found on the open shelf at the Otago Settlers Museum. They were originally found with the records of R. McLean and Sons and the originals are now housed at the Hocken Library. There is no restriction on access to these records.
FRAPWELL AND HOLGATE (listed as Monumental Masons as well as Undertakers)
At the time of compiling this listing no records appear to have survived.
GILLIONS & SONS LTD.
Gillions and Sons Limited had its beginnings in 1874 when Hugh Gourley Limited was established. Charles J. Thorn, a master builder, entered the business as an undertaker in 1882. In the 1930's Thomas Leslie Gillions became financial advisor to Charles Thorn and after his death Leslie Gillions became a director and company secretary. George and Sarah Thorn, the children of Charles Thorn, held shares in the company but when they retired in 1962 their shares
were sold to the Gillions family.
The business continued to operate in Marion Street, Caversham (later renamed Thorn Street) and in August 1962, the company of Gillions and Sons Limited was formed. In 1966 it moved its premises to the former South Dunedin Fire Station in Hillside Road. In May 1973 Gillions and Sons purchased Hugh Gourley Limited who had begun business in Clark and Maclaggan streets as livery stable-keepers. The two companies operated separately but from the same premises in Hillside Road. In 1988 the company became known as Gillians Bereavement Services. Today it is known as Gillions Funeral Services.
The records for C. J. Thorn Ltd became the property of Gillians & Sons Ltd in 1962. Since then, as well as continuing to keep records as they appear on a full death certificate, Gillians & Sons also retain a copy of the death notice as it would have appeared in the newspaper of the day. Gil lions & Sons have compiled an index encompassing all their records which certainly assists access, but Gourleys records are not so easily located and require more of the staff's time. Local researchers would be advised to post their query, giving a telephone number for the staff to reply at their convenience. If you prefer to call in person, have your query written out to leave with them, if circumstances make it difficult to attend to on the spot.
A stamped self-addressed envelope for the return of written replies should also be sent.
HUGH GOURLEY LTD
Mr Hugh Gourley established his undertaking business in 1874. He appears to have operated his business from premises in Grant Street, McLaggen Street and Clarke Street, Dunedin. Although the records appear to be complete, they contain very little genealogical details for the years 1875 – 1962. From 1962 onwards, the records held for each deceased person are almost identical to those found on a full death certificate. Also available is the wording of the death notice that would have been placed in the newspaper of the day. For access to these records, see notes for Gillions and Sons.
C. J. THORN LTD
Charles John Thorn, aged 28 years, with his wife, Frances Edwards Perriam, and four of their eventual ten children, arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1875. The family settled first in Mornington and then in Caversham. In March 1884 Charles Thorn established himself as a master builder and undertaker, having brought with him many recipes for embalming corpses (although he championed cremation). He represented Caversham ward on the Dunedin City Council from 1915 to 1917 and 1919 to 1921. He died at his home in Caversham on 10 March 1935.
The records of C. J. Thorn Ltd appear to be complete through the years. They contain valuable information to the genealogist: name of deceased, date of death and burial, cemetery with block and plot numbers (sometimes even the position of the coffin within the plot), sometimes the cause of death, the officiating Minister at the service and the Doctor who attended the deceased. By about the mid 1890's the records also contained the names of the deceased's children, mentioning their ages. By about 1901, the records for each deceased person resemble those found on a full death certificate. For access to these records, see notes for Gil lions and Sons.
James Manning of George Street, Port Chalmers was a cabinetmaker, upholsterer and undertaker. He established his furniture business in Port Chalmers in 1894 but it is unsure when he first began working as an undertaker. He first appeared in Stone's Directory recorded as an undertaker in 1907.
All his furniture was made on the premises and all his undertaking provisions including the hearse and for some years, the deceased bodies, were kept in his workshop out the back of his building. He later had a special room put aside as a parlour for displaying the coffins. No records appear to have survived for his business.
A photograph of James Manning appears in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Otago
edition page 1107.
FRUSTRATION RESEARCHING UNDERTAKERS
It is very difficult to trace who was working as undertakers in Dunedin because undertaking was only a side-line to other professions such as carpentery work. For example there are only four men listed as undertakers in the NZEF lists for l/#.J1 but there was a lot more eligible men in this trade in Dunedin who served in l/#.J1.
WW1 LISTINGS FOR UNDERTAKERS WITH DUNEDIN ADDRESSES
ARCHER, Alfred Stephen, 206 George Street, Dunedin, Occupation: Undertakers Manager MCGREGOR, Duncan Joseph, 170 Castle Street, Dunedin, Occupation: Undertaker SPROAT, Robert, 11 Great King Street, Dunedin, Occupation: Undertaker
THORN, George Thomas, 9 Brunswick Terrace, Kew, Dunedin, Occupation: Builder and Undertaker
You will also note here that there is only two men listed as undertakers in the 1893 electoral rolls for the greater Dunedin area. There were more men working as undertakers in Dunedin in 1893 but as you will see from the list below they did not always cite their occupation as undertaker.
DUNEDIN UNDERTAKERS LISTED IN THE 1893 DUNEDIN ELECTORAL ROLL
COLE, Thomas, Hillside, Kensington South, Occupation: Undertaker
WYNN, Alfred, St Andrew Street, Dunedin, Occupation: Undertaker
Undertakers in 1893 listed under other
BAUCHOP, Robert, Gray Street, Port Chalmers, Occupation: Builder
GILLIES, John, Roslyn, Occupation:
GOURLEY, Hugh, Clarke Street, Dunedin, Occupation: Livery stable keeper
SMITH, William, Mosgiel, Taieri, Occupation:
SPRINGER, George, Ascotvale, North East Valley, Occupation: Builder
THORN, Charles John, Marion Street,
Caversham, Occupation: Joiner
UNDERTAKER FIRMS OPERATING IN DUNEDIN 1850-1939
Most of the information contained here was extracted from Wise's and Stone's Directories. It is interesting to note that the description 'undertaker' changed to being listed in a directory as a 'Funeral Director' in 1937. Many firms began operating as undertakers long before they were recorded in the directories so the years listed are only guides as to approximate dates when businesses began to operate.
Archer A. S. & Co 219 George21 (Stones)
Avers T. Albany Street, Dunedin 1864 (Harnotts)Bauchop 1902 (Stones)
Campbell, R & Son (late R. Gordon Road, Mosgiel 1925-1939 (Stones)
J. Campbell & Son Ltd
Cole & Springer 152 George Street, Dunedin 1886-1915 (Stones)
Cole, W. H. (late Cole & 260 King Edward Street, South 1923-1939 (Stones)
Craig & Gillies George Street, Dunedin 1878 (Wises), 1880-81 (Wises), 1884, 1885-86
(Wises), 1886 (Stones)
Fraowell & Holaate 206 George21 (Stones)
Geddes, Walter G. Octagon I Stuart Street, Dunedin 1864 (Harnotts), 1869-70 (Wises), 1871-72
(Wises), 1872-73 (Wises), 1875-76 (Wises),
1878 (Wises), 1880-81 (Wises), 1885-86
(Wises), 1884-87 (Stones)
Gillies, John 18 George Street and 11 King 1887-1925 (Stones)
Gourley & Lewis George Street and Maclaggan 1875-76 (Wises), 1878 (Wises), 1880-81
Street, Dunedin (Wises),
Gourley, Hugh Johnston 7 later 5 Clarke Street, Dunedin 1874 (records show firm began operating),
(later Hugh Gourley Ltd) 1885-86 (Wises), 1884-1899 (Stones), 1901-
Gourley, James M. Clarke Street, Dunedin 1900-01 (Stones)
Hall Harrv J. 3 Great King Street, Dunedin 1904-05 (Stones)
Hope & Kinaston 30 St Andrew Street, Dunedin 1915 (records show firm began operating),
then 78 St Andrew Street, 1916-39 (Stones)
Inglis A. & T. George Street, Dunedin 1884-93 (Stones)
Lewis. John George Street, Dunedin 1884 (Stones), 1885-86 (Wises)
Manning James George Street, Port Chalmers 1907-16 (Stones)
Martin & Son 186 Great King Street, Dunedin 1905 (Stones)
Martin & Waldren 30 St Andrew Street, Dunedin 1906-1912 (Stones)
Mclean R. & Sons 219 George Street, Dunedin 1922-1939 (Stones)
Muirhead R. (later R. 79 Gordon Road, Mosgiel 1928-1939 (Stones)
Muirhead & Son Ltd}
Murrav. H. W. George Street, Dunedin 1871-72 (Wises)
Pattison William S. Great King Street, Dunedin 1900 (Stones)
Smith. William Mosqiel 1887-1913 (Stones)
Spicer and Murray George Street, Dunedin 1864 (Harnotts), 1869- 70 (Wises)
Spicer J. R. George Street, Dunedin 1871-72 (Wises), 1872-73 (Wises)
Svkes G. A. George Street, Port Chalmers 1917 (Stones)
Taylor, David Hope Street, Dunedin 1871-72 (Wises), 1872-73 (Wises), 1875-76
(Wises), 1878 (Wises), 1880-81 (Wises), 1885-
86 (Wises), 1884-1887 (Stones)
Thorn, Charles J. 11 Marion Street, Caversham 1882 (records show firm began operating),
then 29 Marion Street, 1885-86 (Wises), 1884-1939 (Stones)
Watson, John (later John George Street, Port Chalmers 1920-1925 (Stones) 1929-1939 (Stones)
Weddersooon R. Gordon Road, Mosqiel 1933-1939 (Stones)
Willocks, William Dunedin 1850s (appears on death certificates in this
Wilson Robert 152 King Street, Dunedin 1934 (Stones)
Wvnn A. J. & Sons 36 St Andrew Street, Dunedin 1916-17 (Stones)
Wynn, A. J. & Hope St Andrew Street, Dunedin 1887 (records show firm began operating),
Wynn Alfred Joseph St Andrew Street, Dunedin 1889-93 (Stones)