My name is John Riddle and I started this site.
This site was created using MyHeritage.com. This is a great system that allows anyone like you and me to create a private site for their family, build their family tree and share family photos. If you have any comments or feedback about this site, please click here to contact me.

Our family tree is posted online on this site! There are 2753 names in our family site.

A lot of the information included in the tree has come from hand written family trees and notes from my mother Isabella Riddle(Hodge) and also from my sister Janet who has published 'Violet' a compilation of the writings of Marian Campbell Riddle (Stevens), our Great Grandmother, who wrote under the pen name 'Violet' in the Otago Daily Witness.

 I must also acknowledge the help from Helen Riddell (Tauranga) who has extensively researched the Riddle/Riddell family and made the information available to me to include in this family tree.

It is intersting to note how the Riddle/Riddell spelling has changed back and forth down through the family with a father sometimes spelling his 'Riddle' and the children being spelled 'Riddell' and sometimes siblings as Riddell and others Riddle.

There is one family that in a Scotland census were all 'Riddle' with the children becoming 'Riddell' here in NZ

I must also acknowledge Sue Simpson who compiled the Simpson family tree and made it available to me to fill in that branch of the tree.

The site was last updated on July 29 2015, and it currently has 117 registered member(s). If you wish to become a member too, please click here.   Enjoy!

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Family stories:Robbie Burns, Walter Riddle, 'The Whistle'
Posted by: John Riddle on Mar 20 2012 21:18

A notable family feat! But of course it would not have been OUR Walter (born 1744) referred to in the story



AS the authentic prose history of the Whistle is curious, I shall here give it---ln the train of Anne of Denmark, when she.came to Scotland with our James VI. there came over also a Danish Gentleman of gigantic stature- and great prowess, and a matchless champion of Bacchus. He had a little ebony Whis­tle, which, at the commencement of the orgies, he laid on the table, and whoever was last able to blow it, every body else being disabled by the potency of the bottle, was to carry off the Whistle as a trophy of victory. The Dane produced credentials of his victories, without a single defeat, at the Courts of Copen­hagen, Stockholm, Moscow, Warsaw, and several of the petty courts in Germany ; and challenged the Scots Bacchanalians to the alternative of trying his prowess, or else of acknowledging their inferiority.—After many overthrows on the part of the Scots, the Dane was encountered by Sir Robert Lawrie of Maxwelton, ancestor of the present worthy baronet of that name; who, after three day and three nights hard contest, left the Scandinavian under the table,

And blew on the Whistle his requiem shrill.

Sir Walter, son to Sir Robert before mentioned, afterwards lost the Whistle to Walter Riddle of Glenriddel, who had married a sister of Sir Walter's - On Friday, the 16th of October, 1790, at Friars Carse, the Whistle was once mare contended for, as related in the ballad, by the present Sir Robert Lawrie. of Maxwelton; Robert Riddle, Esq. of Glenriddel, lineal descendant and representative of Walter Riddle, who won the Whistle, and in whose family it had continued ; and Alexander Fergusson, Esq. of Craigdarrock, likewise descended of the great Sir Robert ; which last gentleman carried off the hard-one honours of the field.

I SING of a Whistle, a Whistle of worth,

I sing of a Whistle, the pride of the North,

Wasbrought to the court of our good Scotish king,

And long with this Whistle all Scotland shall ring.

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Family stories:Some Information on the Meikle Family as Compiled by Mrs Isabella (Belle) Riddle
Posted by: John Riddle on Mar 20 2012 20:00


William Meikle had property at Whenuakite near what is known as Dalmeny Corner. He was also concerned with early timber milling under the Mercury Bay Timber Co (which was taken over by the Kauri Timber Company)

William Meikle’s & his wife (Grace Hook) had three sons

Arthur, Fred & David

Arthur managed Jackman’s store

He had three children, Douglas, Winnie & Bill

Fred had four children, Ross, Clyde, Bruce & Vera.

David had a store at Kuaotuna and later in Auckland

Fred was friendly with William Lee (Fred W Meikle was called after him)

Fred Meikle built Whitianga Interdenominational Church, using his own hand made nails.

Entries copied from official register:

William Meikle JP Engineer Died 8th February 1911

Born Leith, Scotland.

48 years in NZ

Buried Whitianga 9th February 1911

Headstone inscription:

‘In loving memory of Wm Meikle

Beloved husband of Grace Meikle

Who departed this life 8th February 1911

His ear was ever opened to the Lord’

Stonemason McNab & Mason

Jane Meikle aged 83 died 14th June 1891 at Kaitoke (buried Whitianga)

Born in Scotland 27 years in NZ

Jane & David Meikle were parents of Wm Meikle, Ellen (Thom)

Agnes (Brown), Janet (Henderson) (second marriage Cochrane)

and David (who was lost at sea) never married.

Angus & James Brown & five children came to NZ in the ‘Talbot’ sailing from London 2nd August arriving Auckland 22nd December 1864

141 days from London 163 passengers. Captain James.

On Ullcoats arriving 22nd January 1864 W Meikle & David & Jane Meikle

Also an R. Henderson

Reminiscences of Mrs David Henderson (nee Jane Brown) gives an account of the sailing in the Talbot.

‘The passage was a slow one because at time there were storms then into an area where they were becalmed.

To catch some wind the Captain set a more southerly course, but when ice bergs sighted they were lucky to escape’.

After living in Auckland for 9 months the Brown family came to Mercury Bay in the cutter Janet Grey and settled at the Upper Mill.

The Upper Mill had just been built by Schapp & Ansenne

Wm Meikle had been appointed Engineer and

James Brown, Blacksmith and second engineer.

John & Ellen Thom were at the mill to greet the Brown family.

When Wm Meikle’s young lady (Grace Hook) came from England to marry him, a nice house was built on the hillside.

When the bridal couple arrived from Auckland an archway was erected at the wharf & a social dinner prepared in the Mill Kitchen.

The Maoris in the area were invited to a feast the next day.

Data obtained from Mrs Alf Simpson:

Meikle Family of 1897

References in brief:

William Meikle of Mercury Bay enquiring by what authority the council constructed a road through his property. March 19th 1897

Councillor Meikle: Specifications may also be seen at the store of Councillor

Meikle, Kauotuna June 2nd 1897

Wm. Meikle Appointed justice of the Peace, June 24th 1897

Messrs Meikle & Moniarty stating they had received 22.10 pounds only,

of the 50 pounds as voted by the government.

Councillor Meikle:

Council meeting held at Kuaotunu Present:

Mr McFarlane (Chair)





Councillor David Meikle: Coromandel County Council, calling for nominations to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of

Councillor David Meikle: November 29th 1897

C.H. Bennett & W Meikle Snr, directing the attention of the Minister to the necessity of a policeman & a lock-up at Kuaotunu

David Meikle of Kuaotunu re sale of his business (Grocery & Drapery, ironmongery etc) October 11th 1897

Extracts from a book on Pollok Settlement published 1970

Thomas, William & David Meikle were brothers who worked as engineers in Kauri Mills at Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula but

later took up land at Pollok

William & David were granted land jointly with Thomas Cochrane ,however they do not seem to have stayed long in the area.

Thomas Meikle was the Grandfather of Jack Meikle of Pollok (now deceased) & the family is the one still farming on the original grant of land.

“Thomas Cochrane met & married a Mrs Henderson, a widow with two boys, who was a daughter of Mr David Meikle & a niece of Mr Thomas Meikle”

Thomas Meikle & his wife came to NZ on the ship

“Queen of the North” in 1862

John & Ellen Thom came to NZ on the ship ‘Ida Zeigler’ (most likely in 1864)

When ‘Ida Ziegler’ was later wrecked off Napier, one of her cables was used on the Mill Booms.

Wm Meikle was appointed as an engineer to a James Dundas (reputed to be Sir James) somewhere around Leith or Edinburgh

In a testimonial given him at the end of his time, James Dundas mentions that William “was for many years long in my family as a boy”

There is a Dundas Castle in the vicinity Queensferry

There is a place called Dalmeny also (hence the name given to his property in Whenuakite)

Copy of a letter written by William Meikle (probably the son of William Meikle and Mary Bryce)

Bombay 24th August 1862

Dear Mother

I take this opportunity of writing to you hoping this will find you well as it leaves me but very poorly. I took bad the day after I wrote my last letter with the dysentery and have been very bad, but I am getting all right again, but I am still very weak – you would not know me now – you might see through me now. The Captain has been very kind, he would not let me go to hospital but attended me himself like a brother. We sail for Manila on the 26th. I shall write again from Manila and let you know whether we are coming to London or Liverpool. I should like to go to London to see my new friends, but I expect it will be Liverpool. I was out of my mind for a week and I was at home all the time , but thank God I am all right now. I only want feeding up now. I should like to be at home now to get plenty of good milk - what you cannot get here. I think you may be looking out for me about the 1st of April. I must conclude for I am getting tired. Give my love to Maggie and Mary & cozen Ellen & John & Tom.

Kind love to Aunt Jane & Uncle David not forgetting Uncle William.

So remember me to all my friends. Write soon & let me know how you are getting on. So no more dear Mother from you affectionate son

William Meikle

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Other:The Will of Alice Collett, 1557. Alice was the wife of Thomas Collett, grandson of John Collett born 1432
Posted by: John Riddle on Mar 20 2012 19:45

The Will of Alice Collett (1D1) of Over Slaughter

made on22ndJune 1557

In the name of God Amen on the twenty-second day of June in the year of our Lord fifteen fifty seven I Alice Collett of the parish of Over Slaughter widow sick in body being in my perfect mind do make my testament in manner and form following

First I bequeath my soul to all mighty God and blessed virgin saint Mary and all the holy company in heaven to pray for me and my body to the earth

I bequeath to the mother church one pound I bequeath to the high alter of my parish church one pound I bequeath to my said parish church a sheep

I bequeath to every God child that I have four pence

I bequeath to every child’s child that I have a sheep except the children of Anthony Taylor

I bequeath to my sonJohn Collettten sheep

I bequeath to every one of my daughters a cow and because I have four daughters and but three cows I give to her that have not a cow three sheep

I bequeath to Elizabeth Hanks a sheep and to Eleanor Taylor a sheep

I bequeath to my God son William Collett a sheep

I bequeath to Thomas Bayliss the quantum amount of malt that John Bayliss may share in

I bequeath to Elizabeth my daughter my best two smocks my best hat and my best cape

The residue of my goods unbequeathed my legacies paid I do give to my son Henry Collett whom I make my whole executor

Overseers of this my Will Robert Rooke and Anwin Matthews and for their pains taken I give both of them a sheep.

The Will was witnessed by those present: John Bayliss, Robert Rooke and Thomas Bayliss with one other

Anthony Taylor was husband to Alice Collett (Ref. 1E5)

John Collett(Ref. 1E8), Elizabeth Collett (Ref. 1E4) Henry Collett (Ref. 1E3)

Elizabeth Hanks may have been daughter to Joan or Agnes Collett (Refs: 1E6/7)

Eleanor Taylor may have been the daughter of Alice Collett (Ref. 1E5)

John Bayliss was the husband of Elizabeth Collett (Ref. 1E4)

and Thomas Bayliss may have been his father

Robert Rooke was likely related to Richard Rooke who married Marian Collett (Ref. 1E1)

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