a family story

John Roxborogh


Cathie Matthews and Bill Roxborogh

Cathie Matthews and Bill Roxborogh were married in 1944. Cathie was a teacher from Morrinsville and Bill a storeman from Devonport recently repatriated home from the NZ Army. I was born in 1945 and Bill left home not long after, something I would one day discover that his own father had also done. My grandparents and Doug were important parts of my early life and I discovered Bill's story somewhat later.

This photo, taken in Hamilton, dates from around the time of the wedding in the registry office, in Te Aroha. My uncle Doug is in his uniform as an Aircraft Technician, my grandfather in a suit and one of the ties of which he seemed to have a large collection for a dairy farmer. My mother Cathie, grandmother Mary and Bill.

For many years Cathie worked on the family history, particular the story of her father from Devon whose real name was German, and her mother from the Highlands who was a Robertson descended from a group of Mckenzie crofters who migrated to New Zealand in the 1870s. She also tried, sometimes in correspondence with her ex-husband, to get to the bottom of the mystery of Bill's family name.

So this is the story of Matthews Mckenzies and Roxboroghs. I hope you enjoy our family history.

John Roxborogh, Dunedin, 2011