Dec 5, 2022

Family News. No Italian Connection.

I suggest search 'Thomas Durham' on this blog at top left for previous entries about this.

 The question has been who were my grandmother, Agnes Leahanora's birth parents?

We have thought for some time now (since 2010) that her parents, Antonio Wett and Felistea were not her birth parents. Now we have a first hand account of her earlier life from an interview Robyn had with Joan Holt (née Reed) Leahanora’s aunty, just before her death.
Joan said 
Lea’s (Leahnora) mother is thought to be Lydia Durham (Felistea’s daughter-to a previous marriage in England) her father is unknown except to say it could be John Holdane who she had other children with. 
Lea was adopted by Felistea ( Grandmother) and Antonio Wett and raised as their child. She worked at the Pa where they lived. She worked as a servant to Kuia (Elderly females) at Matangi (Nearby Pa at what's now known as Auckland Point*) Joan said Lea was charming, well liked and had a good singing voice. She had a propensity to sell possessions (I recall that story from later in her life where she kept up the practice). Lea was not a great house wife. And she was messy! (When I knew her as a kid she was very messy and lived in her room smoking continuously and we could smell her room through closed doors and it was also a mess)

*While Joan specifically said Lea worked at Matangi pa, which is at Auckland point in Nelson, another information source mentions Antonio living at the Pa in Cable bay. 

As a side note, Agnes Leahnora (Lea)and her husband John Henry Reed had 6 children. My mother was one and another Lily (in the picture) who they named Lydia Felistea Reed. She died at 21 from TB.

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