caroline martin sawle c. 1886 (courtesy janet drinnan)

caroline martin sawle c. 1886 (courtesy janet drinnan)

We were contacted by Janet Drinnan, who lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. She is the great granddaughter of Caroline Sawle (neé Martin, 1836 – 1903). Janet kindly provided a photograph of Caroline which she believes was taken in Christchurch after the Sawles moved to New Zealand, probably in about 1886 when Caroline turned fifty.

Janet has been a long-time collector of Martin family history and provided further details about the Sawles in New Zealand. In particular her information emphasised that initially after their move to the South Island, the family was quite successful. For instance, Freeholder Returns for 1882[1] show that James Wright Sawle, farmer of Greendale, held 1545 acres valued at £7557. His son James held a further 435 acres valued at £2122. It was later that his agricultural endeavours came unstuck (p. 180 in The Complete History), although the bankruptcy hearing in 1897 concluded this was not due to mismanagement and Mrs Sawle (Caroline) was allowed to keep their furniture.[2]

[1] A Return of the Freeholders of New Zealand, October 1882, Auckland: New Zealand Society of Genealogists, 2010

[2] Ashburton Guardian (Canterbury), 21 April 1897