It seems Falloons have been in NZ for quite some time. And there have been one or two that have been quite the scoundrels. When I started looking at my mothers side of the family I asked Mum (Elizabeth Falloon) what she knew. It was very little, apart from my Grandfathers (Albert Ronald ‘Toby’) brother William (her Uncle Bill). Mum had an idea of who her Grandfather was but I believe never met him. It was during a project my Dad had got involved with on the Malkin side of the family that the interest in finding out more about the Falloon history was born (at least for my Mum).
Some how Mum had managed to find a John Henry Falloon, that appeared to be her Grandfather. One of the main barriers finding John Henry was his birth appears not to have been recorded. There is a story suggested by Mum that John Henry was born on the road (so to speak) as the family travelled from Christchurch to the West Coast. That has not been confirmed, although the fact John Henry returned to the West Coast with his first wife later in life does give some credence to the story. John Henry had passed away in 1951 and was buried in Karori Cemetery with his wife Elizabeth. And here is where the research gets a little more difficult. Tobys’ birth certificate shows his mother as Eva May Simmons. Well I got some help from a FaceBook Group, and the wonderful people there were able to track down some amazing information about John Henry Falloon and Eva May Simmons. Eva had married previously to a George Arthur Simmons. They allegedly had two daughters Myrtle Pearl, born in 1900 and Dorothy Evelyn born – according to NZ BDM – in 1905.
George passed away we believe in 1903, so we are not sure about Dorothys’ DOB.
What was even more amazing was they found John Henry had married twice, before Eva May came on the scene. His first marriage was to Sarah McSorley who was born in Woodend Victoria Australia. They married in the Saint Francis Church, Melbourne on 29th Feb 1892. They moved back to NZ where they settled in Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island. Here they had two children, Margaret Ellen born 12th Aug 1892 and John Henry born 5th Feb 1894. As the story went, Sarah died giving birth to John Henry (this according to descendants of John Henry Jnr). Sarah passed away 3rd Nov 1895 and was buried in the Nelson Creek/Ngahere Cemetery. John Henry Jnr & Margaret Ellen appear to have been taken back to Woodend to be raised by Sarahs’ parents and siblings.
What happened to John Henry Snr is not known but we find he married again in 1902 to a Sarah Maria Ward. This marriage was in St James Church, Wellington. There appears to be no children as a result of this marriage and between 1902 & 1912 when a divorce was granted to John Henry, there is not much evidence to support that Sarah Maria & John lived together for very long.
We find evidence of Eva May Simmons being at the same address as John Henry – 35 Hansen Street in Wellington. Three children were born to John Henry and Eva May, Walter Percy born 1906 died 1907. Walters birth is registered under the Simmons surname as is William Henry born 1908 died 1968 and Albert Ronald (my Grandfather) born 1909 died 1981. It has to be noted Eva & John did NOT marry. At some point it seems John Henry and Eva parted ways. Eva went on to marry a Richard Henry Gerard in 1912. There were no children. Eva passed away in 1923.
Having bitten the bullet and obtaining a few Birth, Marriage and Death records for John Henry, Sarah Margaret, & Eva May, I was able to confirm what the Sleuths on FB had provided me. Eva May was indeed my Great Grandmother, her maiden name was Beer she grew up in Masterton where it seems her family were well respected in the community.