William John Hooper was born on the 8th January 1853 in Doddinghurst near Chipping Ongar, Essex, England. William's parents John Thomas Hooper and Rebecca Page were both from the Bethnal Green district of London and married there in 1849. William's sister, Sophia, was born in St Leonard's, Bethnal Green in 1850. It is unclear why John & Rebecca were in Doddinghurst at the time of William's birth. On his birth record it says that his father was a plasterer and shopkeeper. Perhpas he owned a business in Doddinghurst at this time. No census records have been located with John and Rebecca, or little Sophia, on them for 1851 so we cannot know when they left London to go to Chipping Ongar except to say it was sometime between 1851 and 1853. The couple appear to have stayed in the Chipping Ongar district until at least 1855 as the 1855 Kelly's Directory lists John Hooper as a Shopkeeper in Doddinghurst at this time. John was listed on William John Hooper's birth certificate as a shop keeper in Doddinghurst in 1853 so it is likely to be 'our' John Hooper in the 1855 Directory. In 1856 the family had to go to Liverpool, Lancashire to board the ship the 'Ann Wilson' for their voyage to New Zealand. John, Rebecca, Sophia and William are listed on the passenger list. Sadly little Sophia did not arrive in New Zealand and no known trace of her or what happened to her can be found. It is presumed she was one of the 18 souls who perished at sea on the ill fated voyage to New Zealand.
WILLIAM JOHN HOOPER & CHARLOTTE COMPTON
William John Hooper's 1853 Doddinghurst - Essex - Birth Certificate
Charlotte Compton's 1859 Staines - Middlesex - England - Birth Registration
William Hooper not only survived the journey to New Zealand but he flourished there. John, Rebecca and son William John Hooper appear to have spent some time in the Wellington/Hutt area before the family moved to the Wairarapa. In the 1860's the travel from Wellington to the Wairarapa district was not a easy trip either. The Rimitaka range had to be traveled over and this was a very dangerous and rough road to travel by horse and cart. John Hooper attained a Crown Land Grant on the 23rd Novemeber 1867 so they had no choice but to make the journey to take up their land grant. If William had attended school when he arrived in New Zealand it is doubtful that continued once the family had settled in Carterton. William would have stayed at home and helped his father clear the land and work the farm.
Chipping Ongar: A small market town near Doddinghurst where William Hooper was born in 1853
(left) High Street - Carterton NZ c.1910 (right) Dalefield Dairy Factory - Carterton NZ closed in 1981
The site for the settlement of Carterton was selected by Isaac Earl Featherston and John Roy as suitable under the Small farmers Association's settlement scheme. The final plan was selected by a committee of the Provincial Council in February 1857. It was not until 1875 that a town board was established and in 1887 Carterton became a borough. Most of the sites at Carterton were 10 acre allotments. At the time father and sons were able to acquire allotments side by side which allowed them to combine allotments and form a larger more viable farm. William would have been to young to take up this oppurtunity but would have worked hard on the rough and rugged land at his father's side. Times were not easy and many of the new settlers in Greytown and Masterton worked small business, based on a person's trade, as well as operate their farms in an endeavour to make ends meet. Settlers at Carterton turned to the Government to provide work, for extra income, on building the new roads. Dairy farming was proving profitable and a new dairy factories were being established in the Wairarpa district. At one time there were 60 different dairy factories operating during the early years.
On the 10th June 1879 William John Hooper married Charlotte Compton. Charlotte was the daughter of William Compton and Maria Cain. She was born on the 10th June 1859 in Stanwell Moor, Staines, Middlesex, England. Charlotte's father, William, died in 1878 so the marriage is recorded as having taken place in the home of Maria Compton, mother of the bride, at Manaia, Masterton, New Zealand. It is now that William truely flourishes. William and Charlotte had fourteen children with twelve surviving into adulthood. To give an idea of just how large the 'Hooper' family was to become is in the knowledge that one son, Walter Henry Hooper, had 16 children of his own and all sixteen raised large families of their own. It is believed that all of William and Charlotte's children were born in the family home which was in Dalefield Road, Carterton. The children attended the Dalefield School in the 1880's and 1890's and were the first generations to do so. The farm at Dalefield passed down through four generations. In the 1880's the farm would have been very primitive but later generations enjoyed the fruits of their father's hard work.The lower paddocks of the farm were swamp land and this was not drained until William's son, John Thomas Hooper, took over management of the farm in 1921.
The marriage certificate of William John Hooper to Charlotte Compton at Manaia - Masterton NZ
The farm house was a two story building with a shingle roof and was amongst the first to be built in the district. All the timber in the house was rough sawn with one wall left in it's original state. In later years a new farm house was built and stood nearby. Located on the boundary near the main gate was a blacksmith's shop. We do not know if William John Hooper was responsible for establishing it but his son, Edgar James Hooper b.1892, worked as a blacksmith in Martinborough and elsewhere and it is understood he learnt the trade at the Dalefield farm. In their retirement years William and Charlotte built a house in High Street, Carterton and spent the remainder of their years living there.
William John Hooper's 1927 New Zealand Death Certificate
Charlotte Hooper (nee Compton) 1929 New Zealand Death certificate
William John Hooper died on the 28th February 1927 aged 74 and was buried in the Clareville Cemtery, Carterton,NZ. Charlotte Hooper died on the 31st August 1929 aged 70 and she was buried in the same grave as her husband on the 3rd September 1929. John and Charlotte's last two male children born were twin boys, Ernest and Albert who were born on the 31st July 1901. Ernest died at 14 days old and Albert died at 16 days old. The interment date for both babies is given as the 15th August 1901, Plot 23 at the Clareville Cemetery. Sadly the twins grave is unmarked. Other family members are also buried in the Clareville Cemetery. There have been many sets of twins born to the Hooper family.
Charlotte & William Hooper's Death Notices
WILLIAM JOHN HOOPER & CHARLOTTE COMPTON'S CHILDREN
1) Alice May Hooper (1880-1956)
2) John Thomas Hooper (1882-1930)
3) Joseph William Hooper (1884-1958)
4) Walter Henry Hooper (1885-1959)
5) Violet Lucilla Hooper (1887-1965)
6) Rose Eveline Hooper (1890-1960)
7) Edgar James Hooper (1892-1974)
8) Hannah Lily Hooper (1893-1966)
9) Clara Daisy Hooper (1895-1972)
10) William Frank Hooper (1897-1980)
11) Herbert George Hooper 1899-1977)
12) Ernest Hooper (1901-1901) twin
13) Albert Hooper (1901-1901) twin
14) Catherine Hooper (1905-1980)
FOR FURTHER FAMILY HISTORY
Visit 'ABOUT ME' Joanne Hooper's History
Visit HOOPER FAMILY TREE page
Visit JOHN & REBECCA HOOPER HISTORY page
Visit WALTER & EVELYN HOOPER HISTORY page
View the HOOPER PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM