Access to old New Zealand Obituaries.?

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Access to old New Zealand Obituaries.?

Post by ChipChip » Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:41 pm

I am looking for a copy of the obituaries for the following husband and wife -
John Wylie Riddell who died in Bay of Plenty in 1947 aged 70 and
Rebecca Adelaide Riddell nee Crawford who died somewhere in New Zealand in 1958 aged 78.
Both were born in Ireland. There is a gravestone for John in Old Te Puke Cemetery in Western Bay of Plenty District as dearly loved husband of Rabie Riddell where Rabie was her pet name.

There is some information about them on including the suggestion that obituaries are only available via a family history centre or at an affiliate library. I am presuming that this relates to centres or libraries in New Zealand.
I appreciate that Covid may be an issue for access but can anyone help.?

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Re: Access to old New Zealand Obituaries.?

Post by WilmaM » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:40 pm

I haven't found any of the obituaries you mention but, Ancestry has a place of death for his wife:
Name: Rebecca Adelaide Riddell
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 1880
Birth Place: Ballysadare, County Sligo, Ireland
Death Date: 27 Nov 1958
Death Place: Tauranga, Tauranga City, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Cemetery: Old Te Puke Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place: Te Puke, Western Bay of Plenty District, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Has Bio?: Y
John Wylie Riddell
URL: ... de-riddell
The find a grave link has this:
Daughter of James and Elizabeth CRAWFORD nee COULTER
Birth does not appear to be registered by sister Emma 1880 and Fanny 1882 are
Also known as Rabie Adelaide RIDDELL

Married 23 Feb 1909 Presbyterian Manse, Wellington - John Wylie RIDDELL

[Not mentioned on headstone]
Family Members
John Wylie Riddell
1876–1947 (m. 1909)

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Location: Australia

Re: Access to old New Zealand Obituaries.?

Post by Currie » Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:55 pm

Hello Chip and Wilma,

A search of the New Zealand newspaper archives “PapersPast” for John Wylie Riddell gives several results in the Te Puke Times, but there’s nothing after 1922. Archives for that newspaper only online to 1950. ... ie+riddell

An obituary will usually only appear in a newspaper. He died on 20 March, 1947.

Edition 21 March, 1947, Te Puke Times. ... 47/03/21/1

Edition 25 March. ... 47/03/25/1

Edition 28 March with the bereavement thanks. ... 47/03/28/1

My eyes aren’t the best but I can’t find an obituary in that lot, and there quite possibly wasn’t one.

Try browsing through these search results in the Te Puke Times. There might be enough material buried there for an obit.

Search for J W Riddell. ... +w+riddell

Search for John Riddell. ... hn+riddell

Search for J Riddell. ... &title=TPT

Archives New Zealand has the Probate record for John. ... IE44433265

And probate and land sale records for Rabie. ... IE61562048

Hope that’s useful,

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Re: Access to old New Zealand Obituaries.?

Post by ChipChip » Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:03 pm

WilmaM and Currie

Many thanks to both of you for the very prompt responses. The obituaries, if they exist, remain elusive. I expected to see them in a newspaper or as part of a funeral notice and still do not understand the reference to their existence in family history centres or affiliate libraries

I was aware of the findagrave stuff, and much more, which I encountered via However, I was treating the place of death with caution given that the index on Archway NZ archives does not specify an actual place. Also the poorly worded statement regarding Rebecca Adelaide's birth record is wrong. Her Irish record is there but she is recorded as plain Rebecca Crawford born in 1872 and not 1880.

I have had some fun going through your papers past links. There are certainly many references to John W as an Agent and even a suggestion that he was selling his assets before going to England around 1917. I don't know if this ever happened because a few years later he was setting up a new foodstore in New Zealand. The trail seems to grow cold from there apart from the bereavement notice submitted by his wife in 1947 thanking various people.
Rebecca does not appear to be mentioned at all. By coincidence there is another Rebecca Riddell seeking separation from a Joseph Riddell.
I was aware of the probate records which are simple one page items.

The quest continues.

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