a family story

John Roxborogh

Bill Roxborogh 1914-1996

William Henry Charles Roxborogh was in part named after his father, Charles Henry Roxborogh whose real name was Chapman and who in subsequent marriages reinserted the "u" in Roxborough that was omitted in his marriage to Bill's mother Lizzie (Woolley). William was a common name in the Woolley family including her father, brother and maternal grandfather.

Bill spent his childhood in Devonport in his grandparent's home and later in Cambridge where he was confirmed in the Anglican church when was 14.


In 1937 he married Violet Downes, but sometime after the birth of Alison the relationship ended. Then he was overseas in the War until repatriated for health reasons.

In 1944 he married Cathie Matthews and their son John was born in 1945. He worked in Morrinsville as a store keeper in the dairy company and came close to opening his own store but left town, settling next in Nelson where his third child, Marianne was born. He worked as a salesman for Ivan Watkins Dow and in 1958 married Gwenneth and their family grew to four when they settled in Dunedin. He worked for Speights and at the Gresham Hotel. He is buried in the Green Island Cemetery.

The mystery of the family name

An unusual spelling.