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Cust was originally known as Moeraki Downs, then as Middleton-on-the-Cust, it being the middle town between Oxford and Rangiora.
The current name comes from Sir Edward Cust, a member of the Canterbury Association which organised the immigrant ships and early settlement of Canterbury in 1850.
The land for this cemetery, one of three in Cust, was given to the St James Anglican Parish in 1870 by Mr. John Terry Murphy of local property,“Tara”.
Tragically, he was the first person to be buried there in 1872.
A larger, public cemetery, on higher ground, was opened in 1880 – this is known as the Cust and West Eyreton Public Cemetery.
To learn more about the history of Cust and those who lived and died there visit or contact Cust Museum, open 2pm – 4pm on Sundays or by arrangement.
High-resolution photographs of the grave are available, plus one or two of the cemetery/church if applicable. This includes a full transcription, particularly for those stones that are hard to read or eroded.
Please consider a small donation to keep the site and the work going
Email me for gravestone images: email@example.com
BAKER, Charles Henry Manders (d. 17th November, 1999)
BEATTIE, John (d. 29th August, 1894). Obituary in the Star (Canterbury) on 1st October, 1894 (thanks to fellow Canterbury history buff, Sandy Wilson, for the obit link!). Married Agnes McGenon.
BLUNDEN, Leonard Walter (d. 4th October, 1917). Killed in action in Belgium. Leonard enlisted for the Army on 27th June 1916. His Army record has been digitised and can be accessed here. The records note he was killed in action on 12th October, 1917, different from that noted on his headstone.
BLUNDEN, Reginald (d. 3rd August, 1914)
BOYD, Mary Ann (d. 16th August, 1891)
BRADLEY, Esther (d. 5th May, 1910)
BROWN, Elizabeth (d. 7th March, 1902)
BROWN, Margaret (d. 11th July, 1887). Aged 7 years.
BUNZ (family stone) – Arthur (d. ?), Mabel (d. 1982), Leighton (d. 1977)
COLLIER, Sarah (d. 6th November, 1872). One of the earliest burials in this cemetery.
COOPER, Florence (d. 1918)
COOPER, Florence Mabel (d. 4th October, 1950)
COOPER, Henry James (d. 14th August, 1884)
COOPER, James Gadsby (d. 18th October, 1909)
DOBSON, Mary Trevor (d. 24th May, 1875). Age 11 months.
FOX, Arthur Stewart (d. 15th September, 1913). Vicar of Cust 1896 – 1913.
FRIZZELL, James Wilson (d. 1st December, 1937)
FRIZZELL, John (d. 13th August, 1921)
FRIZZELL, John Richard (d. 22nd March, 1957)
FRIZZELL, Robert (d. 28th September, 1942)
GALLETLY, Alexander (d. 23rd March, 1880)
GARLAND, Alexander (d. 6th April, 1881)
GARLAND, David James (d. 7th April, 1903)
GARLAND, Georgi Alexander (d. 8th October, 1918)
GARLAND, Hellen (d. 1st February, 1910)
GARLAND, John (d. 6th August, 1921)
GARLAND, Mary (no date of death given)
GRAHAM, Alexander (d. 25th May, 1955). Born in Kingston, Jamaica.
GRAHAM, Ian Cunninghame (d. 22nd July, 1989)
HIGGINS, Robert (d. 22nd January, 1888)
HIGGINS, Robert Luke (d. 9th November, 1892)
HURLEY, Cornelius (d. 1950)
HURLY, Ann (d. 11th January, 1903)
KING, Amy Rose (d. 3rd December, 1888)
KING, Robert (d. 2nd February, 1895) Age 5 months.
KING, Thomas (d. 30th March, 1897)
KINGSBURY, Henry (d. 8th August, 1892)
LINDSAY, Charles (d. 1936)
LINDSAY, Charles Frederick (d. 24th April, 1995)
LINDSAY, Eleanor (d. 17th April, 1970)
MAINDONALD, Unknown (d. 13th June, 1933). Wife of Dan Maindonald.
McCULLOUGH, Thomas (d. 7th February, 1878)
McKIBBIN, Hugh (d. 29th January, *1873).
His arrival in 1860 on the Roman Emporer with his wife and one child is documented here. *However, things aren’t always what they seem. A blog reader who has researched Hugh McKIBBIN as part of their family history contacted me to tell me that Hugh McKIBBIN’s death was in 1893, not 1873 as is on the headstone. The headstone is obviously a replacement for an earlier stone that was damaged or weathered, and the date transcribed incorrectly. Furthermore, I was informed that, while Hugh and his wife Mary left Ireland with one child, they arrived in New Zealand with two as Mary McKIBBIN was born en route. Thank you to blog reader Gordon Fidler for providing me with this more accurate information.
MILNE, William (d. 31st January, 1885)
MURPHY, John Terry (d. 1872). First burial in this cemetery.
NANKIVELL Ellen L (nee Wayland). (d. 23rd November, 1959)
PROUSE, William (d. 1st August, 1877). Age 4.
ROBERTS, John (d. 21st December, 1880)
Also mentioned on the gravestone is Edward Percy Roberts, John’s son, who died of heart disease age 11.
SCHULTER, Thelma Ann (d. 9th December, 2000)
THOMPSON, Leo Ernest (d. 14th November, 1995)
TIPPING, B Blaney (d. 31st July, 1888)
TIPPING, James Cobourg (d. 6th February, 1913)
TIPPING, Kathleen Mary Archer (d. 6th September, 1946)
WALKER, Thomas (d. 20th October, 1909)
WARD, William (d. 25th November, 1935)
WAYLAND, Joseph (Jnr.) (d. 4th August, 1883)
WHITEHOUSE, Suzanne Mary (d. 20th February, 2006)
WHYTE, George (d. 4th July, 1900)
WILSON, Hannah (d. 9th July, 1879)
WOLFF, Hedwig Marie (d. 8th August, 1975)
WOLFF, Johanna (d. 3rd August, 1889). Inscription written in German.
WOLFF, Johannes Rudolf (d. 16th September, 1920). Wolff’s Road, located midway between Oxford and Cust, is named after this family. Horrelville Johannes Rudolph (Hans) Wolff from the Hartz Mountains in Germany. For years he leased part of Run no. 78. Descendants later purchased this property, which was south of the Eyre River. His family built a foot swing bridge across the river, west of the road ford.
WOLFF, Louise (d. 24th June, 1888)
WOLFF, Rudolph George (d. 9th April, 1963)
WOOD, Brenda Joan (d. 30th October, 2008)
WOOD, Jane (d. 1894)
WOOD, Louisa Jane (d. 1946)
WOOD, Mary Agnes (d. 1936)
WOOD, Raymond (d. 1920)
WOOD, Samuel (d. 1934)
WOODFIELD, Ernest Alfred (d. 1965)
WOODFIELD, Leonie Beatrice (d. 13th March, 1942)
WOODFIELD, Mary Ann (d. 30th June, 1927)
WOODFIELD, Owen Theodore (d. 3rd September, 2009)
WOODFIELD, *(John) Thomas (d. 13th October, 1908)
In 1858 John Thomas Woodfield married Jemima Iliffe in Leicester, and they came out to NZ on the Victory in 1859. They settled in Oxford where they ran the East Oxford Post Office and store, and invested in a flax mill, and a sawmill with several blocks of forest to mill.
*John Thomas, known as Thomas, was very active in various community endeavours, including the school, the Oddfellows lodge, and St Andrews Anglican church, where played the organ, and their son Philip was one of the first children baptised. Sadly, though, Jemima died, as did Philip and Jemima Jnr. The flaxmill failed due to a spoiled cargo and falling market, the sawmill burned down along with the forest, the shop went bankrupt when the post office was shifted to the new railway station, and the church was blown off its foundations by a Nor-Wester. John Thomas married Mary Ann Weeber in 1873, and in 1880 the family moved to Springwell Farm, on the south side of Tram road near the end of Woodfield’s Road, and became active in the local Methodist church. John Thomas is buried here at Cust because, although Jemima and the children had been buried in Oxford, he did not want to be buried there “where all (my) troubles were” .
With his 2 wives he had 18 children, 14 of whom survived to marry, leaving 1400 descendants as at 1996 when the family put together a book on “The Woodfields of Oxford New Zealand”. Also buried here are his second wife Mary Ann, his son in law Rudolf George Wolff, his sons Rupert Arthur and Ernest Alfred Woodfield, and two of Ernest’s children, Leonie Beatrice and Owen Theodore.
(Many thanks to Grant Read of Christchurch, NZ, for providing this background information).
Please consider a small donation to keep the site and the work going
Fabulous work 🙂
What a great idea. These cemeteries are harder get to for people who live out of the area
Thank you both very much indeed for your kind comments. I was inspired by my personal quest to find my Anglo-India relatives in India – it’s near on impossible to get information about burials, not least a photograph.
There is so much genealogical information to be gleaned from inscriptions – occupations, places of birth and even how they died.
I hope my efforts will help those who can’t get to Canterbury, and give them a glimpse of their ancestors’ final resting place.
Helen Leggatt/Hunting Kiwis
Correction for Mary Trevor, should be Mary Trevor DOBSON Bd 24/5/1875 a 11 months
Also no photo of KINGSBURY Francis and Daisy’s headstone.
Bernard Kingsbury Trustee in charge of the Cust Anglican Cemetery Tippings road.
Thanks for your correction, Bernard, and always good to receive additional information I can add to the blog. I will check for KINGSBURY Francis & Daisy, unsure as to why they are not listed. Cheers.
It was a great article in The Press and I hope it will create interest in our cemeteries. It should also be mentioned that the Victorian motifs and symbols on headstones and memorials can also tell us something about the person who is buried. Unfortunately in most cemeteries there are many unmarked graves with no headstones so researchers have to still look up these records. The Waimakariri Genealogy Society at Rangiora have recorded all the cemetery headstone and plot information in their district. Bernard Kingsbury
I shall be adding information regarding the motifs and symbols found on older headstones as the blog evolves. I’m also interested in building up historical information on the undertakers and stonemasons of the time. Does the Waimakariri Genealogy Society hold such records?
Waddington cemetery recently cordoned off several small areas of the cemetery and have now updated their cemetery map at the entrance to show these areas, some of which were previously hidden in undergrowth, as containing unmarked graves.
A very good reference book for understanding the symbols from Classical pagan and Jewish/Christian sources on headstones is “Understanding Headstones” A dictionary of Necroiconology by L.M.Seaton. August 2000.
Thanks for that recommendation, Bernard. I can also recommend “Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography” by Douglas Keister.
It can be read online via Google books, here: http://books.google.com/books?id=PpIZEEqB4y4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=cemetery+art&hl=en&ei=xlncTf_yKc_YiALQte0Q&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=cemetery%20art&f=false
It is a good idea to always put the source of your newspaper death notices, obituaries etc. eg Lyttelton Times, 12th December, 1895, Page 3. Dates are really important. Bernard Kingsbury
Yes, I must update them – halfway through!
Hope you and yours are all okay over there.
William PROUSE was born 7 July 1873 and the son of Thomas [1830-1908] and Margaret [c1840 – 1936] PROUSE nee DICK. Information i have is that they are buried with their son at Cust. I don’t know how correct that is.
Margarets parents “arrived on the ‘Bengal Merchant’ 20-2-1840 and she was born 17-9-1841, reputed to be the first white child to be born in NZ”. That was an excerpt from a book by one of the family members. It was apparently full of mistakes relating to the EVANS family of whom my connection is and who marry in to the PROUSE family, so i’d take it with a grain of salt!
William Prouse died 1/8/1877 and is buried in plot no 13 in the Tippings road Anglican cemetery at Cust.
Plots 11 and 12 were purchased by the Prouse family and may be unoccupied as they are unmarked.
Thomas Prouse died 22/10/1908 aged 78 years and is buried in plot no 12 in the Presbyterian section of the Cust Public Cemetery.
Margaret his wife is buried alongside in plot no 13. She died 19/12/1936 a 96 yrs.
Archivist Cust Museum
Hi Bernard – I was wondering if there are any photos available of Margaret & Thomas’s headstones. Margaret was the sister of my great great grandmother, Sarah.
The headstone of Thomas and Margaret is on the Cust/West Eyreton cemetery listing. They are both on one stone.
Thank you for the wonderful photos of these headstones.
I have visited this cemetery some time ago.
But now have photos of my ancestors “GARLAND’ family.
Alexander & Hellen Garland being my g.grandparents
Alexander their son my grandfather.
Mary Garland is my aunt who is the child of Alexander and Margaret Minnie (nee FREE) GARLAND.
Hilda ‘Mary’ Garland died at 2 1/2 years old on 1st September 1913.
It was sad to hear of the fire at “Bankhead” home of the Garland’s at Cust last year.
Glad you found your family’s headstones. For a small donation I can send you close up and hi-res images by email.
Thanks Helen, that would be wonderful.
how do i send you the donation/
Many thanks Helen c
If you email me on firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll send you details for donations along with the images you have requested.
Kind regards, and sorry for taking so long to reply.
Thank you very much for that
There is an interesting Obituary for the John Frizzell d.1921 mentioned on Paperspast. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=CHP19210818.2.27&cl=search&srpos=5&e=–1900—–10-CHP%2cTS-1–on–2%22john+frizzell%22–
Thank you Gayle! I have yet to delve into the social history of this cemetery, and I wish I had the time to start soon but, alas, my Uni studies (history, of course!) are taking up a lot of my time.