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Cambridge People

Explore the history of the local people.


Historic Cambridge residents with ‘J’ Surnames

This is a list of our historic residents whose surnames start with the letter J.  JAMES Billy T, JEFFRIES & JONES are just some of those memorable surnames whose living legacy still reside in our beautiful town.



Harry was born 1 July 1872 and joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge 15 November 1898 aged 25 years his occupation a Barber. He appears in the Waikato Advocate in October 1895 playing cricket.

JACKSON Robert Cole

Bob was born 1840 in Ashbury, England. He was a sailor, 5′ 9″ tall, when he enlisted in the 3rd Waikato Militia on 21 September 1863 in Dunedin. He was a Private, Regiment number 153 and his service included Gate Pa in April 1864. Bob was granted one acre of land section 229 in Cambridge East and a farm section 62 at Ohaupo.


Billy T James (William James Te Wehi Taitoko) was born near Cambridge in January 1949 and went to Leamington School from 1954 until 1960. The family lived just over the greenbelt in a small square council house, off Arnold Street.

Billy T James went on to become a well known comedian. His mother Ruby was a foundation member of the Cambridge branch of the Maori Women’s Welfare League in 1953.

JAMES William

Bill was born about 1856 and a barman when he joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge, 12 September 1882. His wife was Jane.

At the end of September 1884 while in Waitoa, Bill broke his leg and received £6 5/8d over 44 days from the sickness fund.

JANE Alfred

Alfred was born 28 February 1880 and when he joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge on 20 August 1901, his occupation was a carpenter. He called on his sickness benefit, £1 13s 4d, in September 1902 when he sprained his ankle and was laid up for 10 days.

In December 1904 he married Lucy May Lydia (the daughter of John and Jane Hjorth) and they had two children.


Charles was born in Broad Maston, Gloucestershire, England in 1852. He was a wheelwright by trade and worked for several years in Birmingham.

On 28 September 1875 he married Rebecca, the daughter of S Loscley in Bedford, England. They had five sons:

Albert Charles = Martha Alice Birkett
Percy John = 1) Mabel Kate Birkett and 2) Kate Marion Klaus
William = Amelia Florice Bearsley

and five daughters:
Mary Elizabeth = Fred Mack
Grace = Geo Berry
Edith = Edwin Bailey
Louise Rebecca
Lillian Anne = Geo Foster.

They came to New Zealand on the ship ‘Avona‘ in 1881 and settled in Cambridge West (Leamington) where Charles developed his contracting business into a large prosperous concern. The Jarrett brothers – Charles and John – ran two traction engines and two threshing machines for 20 years. They also had grain crushers, chaff cutters and circular saws – a boon to the farming community.

Also in the 1880s Charles had a cider making machine which he worked from a 4hp engine. He contracted to supply cider to different parts of the Waikato.

Charles served for some time on the Cambridge West School committee and served as chairman of the Town Board for two years. He was a Freemason and a member of the Alpha Lodge.

Rebecca died 14 November 1926 and Charles September 1940.


JARRETT John Thomas

John was born at Longmarston, Gloustershire about 1863 – the son of Thomas and Mary Ann. He arrived in New Zealand in 1878 on the ship ‘Marvel‘ and joined his sister Mrs Ann Keeley. In business with his brother Charles as Jarrett Brothers, they ran two traction engines and threshing machines in the district for 20 years. John later operated a taxi service when the fare from Cambridge to Cambridge West was 1 shilling and 6 pence.

John Jarrett served on the Leamington Town Board. He never married and died 24 March 1933 aged 70 years.

JARRETT Thomas and Mary

Tom was born about 1821 in Mickleton, Gloucestershire, England. His father was Richard, his mother Ann. Tom married Mary Ann Dyd(l)e and their children were – John Thomas born c1863; Charles born c1852; Ann born 1 May 1845, married James Keeley 1870, then George Hall 1924 and died 1932; another daughter married E Malins and remained in England; Louisa Rebecca born c1856 married Samuel Fletcher and died 5 September 1895; Alfred who died aged three in 1889.

Charles and his wife, Rebeca Jarrett, arrived in Cambridge with their family in 1881. They had 10 children.

Thomas and Mary Ann followed their son John and daughter Ann Keeley to New Zealand in 1880. Thomas died 9 March 1894 and Mary Ann 7 October 1907. They are both buried in the Leamington Cemetery.


William Jarrett was born on 12 December 1884 and he joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge on 8 March 1910.


James was born in Glasgow Scotland about 1841 and enlisted in the 3rd Waikato Militia, 23 September 1863 in Dunedin. His Regiment Number was Private 265 and occupation a ropemaker. On the Cambridge rates assessment list for 1869-70 James paid 2 pence an acre on 51 acres – totalling eight shillings and sixpence. He still had possession of his town acre in Cambridge East in the 20th century.

JEFFRIES Henry Percy

Harry was born 11 January 1883 (son of Henry and Martha) and a clerk when he joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge on 16 April 1901. He called on his sickness fund in March 1902 and again in June 1904. He was Noble Grand in 1903.

He managed Souter & Co’s Te Awamutu branch and left for Dunedin in May 1905.


JOHNSTON(E) Andrew Simpson

Andrew was born in Ellon Scotland about 1836 and was a clerk.

He enrolled in the 3rd Waikato Militia, Regiment Number Private 164 on 23 September 1863 at Dunedin. He was promoted to Hospital Sergeant and in 1866 he joined the Alpha Waikato Lodge, No.449, I.C.

On the Cambridge rates assessment list for 1869-70 Andrew paid 2 pence an acre on 101 acres – totalling sixteen shillings and ten pence. He was still in the district 1875-76 according to the Wises Directory.

JONES Alexander Owen

Alex was born 6 April 1855 in Remuera and was brought up to country life. He married in Ararimu in 1877 to Miss Brisbane and they had four daughters and one son. Mrs Jones died in 1887. Alex came to the Waikato in 1889. He moved to ‘Te Kainga’ at Pukerimu and joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge 21 June 1892 aged 36 years, a widower, occupation a farmer. He married Miss Jessie Hughes in August 1893 and they had three sons.


Davy was born about 1835 in New South Wales, Australia and was a mariner when he enlisted in the 3rd Regiment of the Waikato Militia at Otahuhu, 25 January 1864.

He served with the Cambridge Cavalry Volunteers from 1872 to 1874 and was with Timothy Sullivan when attacked by Maori at Roto-o-rangi.

JONES Edward

Ed was born about 1855 and became an original member of the Cambridge & Waikato Reed Band in May 1877. He was employed as a butcher by John Arnold and then in 1884 was a gardener at Roto-o-Rangi.

JONES Thomas

Tom was born about 1869 and a carter when he joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge 3 May 1887.

JONES Timothy

Tim was born about 1866 and a ploughman when he joined the Duke of Cambridge Lodge, 8 September 1885.

JONES Walter William

Walter was born about 1837 in Denbighshire. He enlisted in the 3rd Waikato Militia as Private 1039 on 8 December 1863 in Dunedin, his occupation was a surgeon.

He was aged 30 years and a surgeon when he was one of the first to join the Duke of Cambridge Lodge on 28 May 1867.

His military acre section 463 was still in his name at the beginning of the 20th century.



Henry was born 1833 in England. He was a tailor, 5′ 6″ tall, when he enlisted in the 3rd Waikato Militia on 30 April 1866 in Cambridge as a substitute for QUILTY. Henry was a Private, Regiment number 1704 and was granted one acre of land section 127 in Cambridge East and a farm section 60 at Ohaupo.