THE MARRIAGE  of   ELLEN DARBY and WILLIAM LAXTON    was    celebrated    on 12th August 1826 Barking Church, Tower Street, City of London.

A Son was born Friday 14th May 1830.

I would be interested to hear from any family descendants.

Please contact me by email:    mary.cowie@hotmail.com

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I am really thrilled with my new Blog and hope you enjoy it too.   I have been Blogging now since 2007 and really enjoy all the lovely and interesting comments I receive.   Many new relatives and I have found each other here  and been able to share our Family histories of over a hundred plus years ago thus recreating so many long lost threads.   Its so exciting!     

Special thanks to my dearest daughter Cathy for all her time and the artistry which makes this site so appealing and interesting.

Always interested to hear from any realitive or kindly person.  Please contact me my email is:    mary.cowie@hotmail.com

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My new book on my Grandmother, Annie Cowie, Huikumu, New Zealand


My daugher, Cathy Fitzgerald, and myself, are delighted to announce the publication of a book about my grandmother, Annie Cowie and her wonderful paintings of the remote Huikumu area of New Zealand, from the 1890s.

Annie Cowie (1858-1917) was the first European woman to live in the remote Huikumu region of New Zealand in the 1890s. Living on a large farm close to the Whanganui River, her sensitive paintings and sketches reveal vivid details of the wild riverscapes and mountains, the Maori people of the area and personal portraits of the family home she loved so much.

The Whanganui River, with its origins high on of the mountains of the Tongariro plateau (Mt Ruapehu was frequently painted by Annie Cowie) is the longest navigable river in New Zealand at 234 km. It was the home of several Maori tribes and later settled for a time by Europeans. Of interest is that early settlers tried to farm this area but harsh conditions and poor soil fertility meant that many later abandoned their farms. Today, the surrounding area of the Whanganui area is much as it was in Annie Cowie’s day.

‘Ruapehu is the mountain,
Whanganui is the river,
Te Atihau nui a papa rangi
are the people’

The lowland forests of the area consist mainly of kamahi, tawa, hinau and pigeonwood trees… mosses, creepers and tree ferns live along the banks of the Whanganui River and in Annie Cowie’s paintings.

Here’s a poem that suits my favourite painting from Annie


by Dorothy Frances Gurney

Sunrise - painting by my Gt Grandmother Annie Cowie ~1890

The Lord God planted a garden in the first white days of the world, and he set there an angel warden in a garment of Light enfurled, and I dream that these garden closes with their shade and sunflecked sod, and their lillies and bowers of roses were laid by the hand of God.

So near to the peace of Heaven the hawk might nest with the wren. For there in the cool of the even God walked with the first of men.

The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon
the Song of the Birds for Mirth,
one is nearer God’s heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth.

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10  to  12  cups  peeled  sliced  cucumbers
6  peeled   sliced   onions
1  tablespoon   mustard   seed
4   cups   white   or   cider   vinegar
1   tablespoon   sea   salt
2   teaspoons   tumeric
1   teaspoon   celery   salt
3    cups   white   sugar

Cover   cucumber   and    sliced   onions   inwater   for   at   least   1   hour.     Drain. In   a   saucepan   bring   to   the   boilsugar,   mustard seed,   vinegar,   tumeric and salts.

Add    cucumbers   and    onions   to   this   sauce and    return   to   the   boil.     This    then   is   the pickle.    No   thickening   required.     Sauce   can   bedrained    over   lettuce,   fish   etc.

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The MARRIAGE was solemnised 19th August 1827 at St. Mary, Lewisham, Kent, England of RACHAEL  DARBY    and       EDWARD JOSEPH HODGES

I would love to hear from any descendants please email

me at     mary.cowie@clear.net.nz

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