Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Family History - Crawford

We've been looking into the Crawford family for a descendant whose friend has contacted us. If you have any information about this family, please let us know. So far, this is what we've learned via web sources - Papers Past and the BDM.

The Crawfords came to Otautau in the early 1900s from Dunedin. Frank Crawford had a partnership with John Ravenscroft in the household goods business - Crawford & Ravenscroft. Their store was on Main Street, probably where the empty draper's shop is now - between the old National Bank and the Central Garage. Frank was a member of the bowls team and active in the community. Frank's brother, John Crawford, sold bicycles in Gore.

In 1905, John Ravenscroft took his life, leaving Frank to continue the business on his own. Frank sold various parts of his business but kept it going until he moved to Christchurch with his wife. He sold his motor and bicycle business to W. J. O'Connor who was a blacksmith in 1912. In Christchurch, it seems he may have joined the Opawa Bowling Club.

Frank's brother, John, married Eliza Ann (Annie), the only daughter of Ewen Matheson, a prominent storekeeper and civic leader in the town. They married in 1902, but Eliza died that same year aged 28.

John then married Bessie Ball Turnbull in 1907, and they had a son in 1908. The son, John Percival, died in 1911. A year later, John took his own life in Otamita, northwest of Gore. Though he lived and worked in Gore, he, his first wife and son are all buried in the old Otautau Cemetery.

If you have any more information on Frank Crawford or his brother John, please let us know so that we may pass it on to Frank's descendant.

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