I was always interested in my ancestry. I grew up hearing the story of my great grandfather George Samuel Emtage who ran away to sea, aged twelve, from Barbados. My mother was born in Scotland and my paternal grandfather in Sydney, Australia. My interest was fostered by my father’s eldest sister who supplied me with letters and documents. She also visited Barbados and I later met some of my Barbados relatives.
My father would caution me “be careful, you may find a skeleton in the cupboard”. What I did find in my researches was that almost every family has one!
I was born in Warkworth, New Zealand, forty miles north of Auckland, into a dairy farming family. My grandparents had bought the land in the early 1900’s, cleared it and planted orchards. Prices dropped for fruit and they then turned to farming dairy cows. Later, my father and his youngest brother farmed the land until retirement.
My husband Rodger Harrison and I married in 1959 and moved to his hometown, Wellsford, 15 miles north of Warkworth. We had three children and Rodger worked in his family’s garage and service station business until 1967 when we moved to Auckland. In 1980 we took leave of absence for 12 months and moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. We enjoyed our new life so much that we never returned to New Zealand to live. We have run several businesses on the Gold Coast and later in Brisbane. We now live in Cleveland, a bayside suburb.
In 2013, I started a family tree on My Heritage and after a false start – they lost a lot of my entries – I tried Ancestry which I find much more user friendly. My tree in now quite large with over 5,000 entries and I enjoy keeping it up to date and adding research. I like to add as much information as I can to the Facts column and try to put in as much documentary proof and stories as I can.
I love photography so I put as many photos as I can on the site. Rodger and I enjoy travel and we have travelled extensively, starting in 1975 when we and another family hired two campervans and took three children each on a nine week tour of United Kingdom and Europe and home via U.S.A and Disneyland. Our youngest son married an American girl, whilst working in U.S.A. and they are permanently settled in Massachusetts, so that has meant regular trips to U.S.A.
I still have an unsolved mystery in my family. What happened to my maternal grandmother? She went missing about 1917 in Scotland and no records of her have been found.
One of the things that I enjoy in my ancestry research is the messages and letters that I receive from people all over the world, asking questions and sharing information. The best thing is that they are often cousins 5 or 6 times removed! I traced vital information about my great grandfather’s family in Somerset, UK, from a remark in a tree of a lady in Wellington N.Z. She kindly sent me copies of letter which gave information about how the family became orphaned and what happened to them.
My ongoing researches give me endless pleasure and keep me very busy. I have shared my research with family in the form of printed booklets and a hard drive of family photos. I am happy to help with the research of the New Zealand Emtages.
John Emtage 1725-1798 and Elizabeth Stafford 1725-1798.
John Emtage 1766-1845 and Elizabeth Frizzell 1758-1832.
Thomas Emtage 1803-1846 and Sarah Ann Jemmott 1808-1861.
John Dixon Emtage (2) 1838 and Margaret Jane Archer 1840.
George Samuel Emtage 1859-1937 and Maude Ann Ragg 1865-1945.
Rose Elizabeth Maude Emtage 1890-1975 and Harry Sheridan Langridge 1884-1969.
Arnold Cormack Langridge 1911-1982 and Agnes “Cinderella” Robb Blair McNeice 1912-1991.