Lucy Dickens – died 2 April 1901

Recent Spring growth had obscured what turned out to be an unmarked grave.  After nearly twisting an ankle I felt compelled to find out who was interred within rather than just having a tidy up.

Using the Invercargill City Council map provided me the plot number.  The Council online database, unfortunately, requires a surname.  The Bluff History Group panels are alphabetical.  Fortunately, it didn’t take long to see that Block 5, Plot 144 holds the remains of Lucy Dickens.


Papers Past provided some information, two very similar articles in fact.



Sadly, another article confused the issue


Palmerston (a small town in the South Island of New Zealand) versus Palmerston North (a city in the North Island of New Zealand).  Which is the correct location?  Papers Past provided nothing more.  No follow up on the son.  No death notice.  Nothing.

With no other leads, I purchased the printout of her death.


With no-one, other than a boy who just lost his mother, to provide information if fell to the local policeman to fill the role of ‘informant’ on the death certificate.

While the Coroner’s Report is available at Archives, it would cost me $50 to get it (since I am unable to go to the Archives offices).  Given how little they knew on the death certificate, I doubt the report from three days earlier had any other information.


For now, I am at a stand still.  I have searched Electoral Rolls in both towns but have been unable to confirm whether any Louise Dickens I have found is ‘my Lucy’.  One member of a Facebook genealogy group found a Louise Dickens residing at Palmerston Street.  Coincidence?  Or was Palmerston what an upset 9-year-old boy said when asked where they lived?

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