MEMORY LANE: Family Roots gets answers on New Zealand traveller

MIRIAM Loynes. pictured back home in Hartlepool in 1966, after her round-the-world factfinding trip
MIRIAM Loynes. pictured back home in Hartlepool in 1966, after her round-the-world factfinding trip

FAMILY Roots thanks go to Gillian Smith for shedding some light on Miriam Loynes.

Just two weeks ago, we told how Miriam set off for a trip to New Zealand, and it would be a year before she returned home to Hartlepool.

We hoped Family Roots readers might cast more light on Miriam and what happened to her hopes of a future thousands of miles from her homeland.

Gillian certainly helped. She told us more about Miriam and what happened after that wonderful trip.

Gillian said: “Miriam was married to John Loynes who was a second cousin, once removed. John and Miriam married in 1931 and as far as I know had two children, a girl who died as a baby and a son also named John. Miriam and John died in Somerset, so it would appear that Miriam never got to live in New Zealand.”

Gillian added: “I have spent many years researching the Loynes family. John’s great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather, was also named John Loynes. This John Loynes was born in Norfolk and in October 1862 he and his ship along with the crew were lost in a storm.

“However, before the ship went down John wrote a letter to his wife and sealed it in a bottle and tossed it overboard. The letter was washed up a few days later on the coast of Jutland and forwarded to his widow.”

Miriam first appeared in the Northern Daily Mail when we carried an appeal.

The appeal had been issued by a Mrs J Waddle of New Plymouth in New Zealand who wanted help to find a Miss Mirian Maughan. That was the maiden name of Miriam Loynes and when we carried the story about her, one of Mrs Loyne’s cousins - a Mr Norman Waddle - came over from New Zealand to stay with her.

At that time, Miriam was living in the collieries and her New Zealand family had lost touch with her - until they came to us for help.

Mrs Loynes spotted the appeal in the Mail and left Hartlepool at Christmas 1965 to see the world , including New Zealand.

She returned home with masses of memories including 900 ft of cine film.

She told us in 1966: “New Zealand is a beautiful country with a wonderful climate and scenery and the people are marvellous.

“Everything is green all the year round and the lemon trees can be seen blossoming in every garden.”

Miriam expressed a desire to eventually leave UK shores altogether and become a New Zealand citizen.

But now, as Gillian has explained, it seems the wish never came true.

Our thanks go to Gillian for sharing more information on Miriam.

Do you have a past filled with interesting facts that you would like to share?

Perhaps you have a famous relative or even a link to royalty. Get in touch and tell us more. Contact Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email