Mary Ellen Curtis was the first born child of Gersham Curtis and Elizabeth Jane Molyneaux.
Born 6 November 1847 Prince Edward Island. Arrived in NZ aged 8 years. Married Charles Ferdinand Patterson, a boatman, on 27th January 1870 at Trinity Church, Greymouth. The marriage was witnessed by Phoebe Hope and William George Curtis.
They had four children:
Elizabeth Ellen Patterson born on 28th March 1871 in Cobden.
Elida Gyllenspitz Patterson born on 26th June 1873 at Arnold. (Charles was a carpenter at this time).
John Samuel Patterson born in 1876.
Louisa Laura born on 27th May 1878 at Jones Flats. (Charles was a miner at this time).
After 1878 the family moved to the North Island and purchased land.
"Freeholders of New Zealand" published in 1882 list the following:
MARY ELLEN PATTERSON, FEILDING, MANAWATU COUNTY, 20 ACRES 84 POUNDS VALUE.
CHARLES PATTERSON, LABOURER, FEILDING, 40 POUNDS VALUE.
On 30th October 1899, Mary wrote the following letter to her niece, Elizabeth Rose Curtis in Westport.
My dear niece Lizzy,
You seem to have been very gay over your way lately - I wish I could hear some of the bands too.
William gave Looie a violin and she has learnt herself to play very well. She has also an accordion and both her Father and her play on that but I do not like the accordion.
Bessie has a piano and has been taking lessons since she was married but now she has a baby she does not practise much.
Looie has a talent for music and she has taught herself to play a lot of tunes on Bessie's piano.
Bessie still thinks of coming over. I only wish I could too. She wants me to go with her.
We have been having such a bad time lately. The only cow I had in milk some weeks ago went mad, I think, and died in two or three hours. The night before she kicked me into the next bail and the next night (I had been to W. that day) and when I was going to milk her she would not go into the yard. I thought she did not look well and so left her. After I had tea I went out to look at her and she was rolling about and then got up and went for the fence and smashed a chain or so of it and then (I was alone) it was night you know, I caught a horse and rode across the creek and let the horse go, and went over the hills for your uncle to come and shoot her. It is a heavy walk to get to the top of the hill. It takes me an hour to walk there. I never stopped once and when I got to his tent he was in bed. It gave him a fright - he thought Johnnie was killed or hurt.
He went home with me and when we got there she was dead. I went back with him to his camp the next day. I could not bear to stay alone. Wasn't I tired when we came home at night.
Since then we have had a cow and steer put in the pound and got 2 pound 10 shillings for them and lost a foal. What do you think about shooting cats?
We have all been bad with most frightful colds.
I hope you will be able to make this out. I have had such headaches lately. I cannot see very well.
Love to all,
Your loving Aunt Mary.
In the Wise's Post Office directories from 1901 - 1915 Charles is listed as a sheep farmer at Pohangina.
He applied for naturalisation in December 1908 and it was granted on February 9th 1909.
Mary Ellen died on November 20th 1918 aged 71 at Woodville and is buried in Ashhurst Cemetery.
Charles died on November 13th 1924 at the Public Hospital in Palmerston North and was buried in Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North.