Thursday, March 31, 2011

Madgeline Ratahi Taylor--my great grandmother

86/365 Sunday, 03/27/2011
One of the reasons I went to Germany was to go through some of the family documents that Louisa had in a box which she had brought back with her from New Zealand, when she and Ralf moved back to Germany from there at the end of 2002. (They lived there for about four years).
The box contained many interesting documents and photos. Quite a few had to do with my (maternal) great-great-grandfather’s family, the Taylors. And because I found out that Philpotts's middle name was Wright I have even come across an account of a stash of his letters that were found in the British Society of Genealogists basement some years ago. (I’m paying the researcher who found them to make digital copies of them for me).
This picture is of my great grandmother Madgeline Ratahi Taylor. She was a nurse and she married my great grandfather, Philpotts’ youngest son Colin McKenzie Taylor after his first wife died due to illness. (I think that is how Ratahi and Colin got to know each other, she came in as a nurse for his first wife).
Her grandfather was Frederick E. Maning—a very interesting character in New Zealand history. I have not been able to find out which of his children parented Ratahi. Her grandmother was Moengaroa of  Te Hikutu hapu (=the Hikutu tribe/clan). I have to admit I have always been excited and proud, as well as intrigued by the fact that I have Maori ancestors. 


  1. Now I want to see you do the Maori war dance.

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  3. Bill said he wanted to see that too! Guess I better start practicing the haka! (I wanted to link to a version of it on youtube in the comments but that didn't work. I'll post a link in a new post.

  4. Hi, I too am a descendant of Madgeline's. I believe that she was the illegitimate issue of Hauraki Hereward Maning and her mother. My grandmother was Charlotte who was the only issue between Colin McKenzie Taylor and Madgeline. Contact me at as I would love to talk more about this.

  5. Dear Spencer, I will definitely be in touch! I was beginning to think that Ratahi may have been illegitimate since I was having such a hard time coming up with any clue as to her parentage. (and she has the last name Cochrane attached to her).
    On the other hand I have fairly solid proof that Ratahi had TWO daughters with Colin McKenzie Taylor-- Ratahi, and my grandmother Mamari. Mamari's middle name was Augusta and I think Ratahi's middle name was Charlotte. The one thing I remember my mother talking about was that these two sisters absolutely hated each other--I do not know why. My mother told the story about how the great grandmother was the nurse to the first wife of Colin McKenzie. After the first wife died, he married her.

  6. Dear Cathie,

    Charlotte Ratahi Taylor was my grandmother and your grandmothers sister (Mamari/Augusta). Your great, great grandfather is Hauraki Manning and your great, great grandmothers name is Hera Cochrane (or Sarah).

    1. Hi Rosanne,
      Nice to meet you! Sorry for only replying now--I now have a lot of the Cochrane family including Hera in my family tree at So it sounds like you me and Spencer are all second cousins-since our grandmothers were sister. How wonderful to have found all of you!