Austen Family History

Shallcrass Family Chart #1.
Last Updated October 2010.

Robert William Shallcrass
Born 1870, Nelson, NZ
Married, February 1904,
to, Hilda Gillow
Died 1931, Wellington, NZ

Robert Shallcrass
Born, 1819, Surrey, England.
Married, Annabella Williamson Jeffrey
Died, 27 May 1888, Nelson, NZ
William Shallcrass
born, 1799.
Married, Eliza Davis, 1810.
Eliza Davis,
Married, William Shallcrass, 1810.


Annabella Williamson Jeffrey
Born 1831.
Married Robert Shallcrass.
Died 31 March 1895, Nelson, NZ


Biographical Details:

Robert William Shallcrass (1870-1931)
Born, 27 September 1870, Nelson, NZ
Married, Hilda Gillow, 10 February 1904
Died, 7 December 1931, Wellington, NZ

They are interned at Karori Cemetery, {Area 06, Block A, Row 12, Plot 034}

The children of Robert & Hilda are detailed here.

Robert William Shallcrass attended Nelson College 1885-87.

According to the Cyclopedia of New Zealand, (page 148 of the Nelson, Marlborough & Westland edition).

Appears in the Nelson Evening Mail 13 April 1893 around obtaining probate for the estate of his mother, Anabella Williamson Shallcrass, he and his sister, Eliza Davis Kerr, were the exectors of the will.

Mr. R. W Shallcrass, formerly manager of the Alpine Extended Gold Mining Company, is a native of Nelson, and was educated at the Nelson College. After leaving college he was employed successively in different offices in Nelson, and was appointed manager of the Alpine Extended Gold Mining Company in August, 1895.

Above: the Wedding Party, for Robert Shallcrass and Hilda Gillow, Westport, NZ 1904.
Left to Right: George Gillow, Mrs Blaxall (seated - friend), Edmund Gillow, Busty Low (friend), woman standing with hat - unknown, Ruth Gillow, Mr Dart (Vicar), Hilda Gillow (bride), Robert Shallcrass (groom), Frederick Shallcrass, Sherman Strachan (friend), Sam Nichol, Marge Sinclair (seated - friend), Eliza Nichol, Mary Gillow, unknown male, Mrs Dart (seated - Vicar's wife), and Eliza Davis Kerr.

He appears in the Evening Post (17 May 1910) as giving evidence in an insurance fraud case - he is listed as a member of the firm Levien, Shallcrass & Co. This firm is an auctioneeing house based in Willis Street, Wellington.


The photograph below is of the Shallcrass family about 1916 and likely to be in Nelson - possibly the Matai Valley. Left to Right (based on age); Jean, Audrey, Hilda (nee Gillow), Robert, Gertrude and Mary.

He was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in October 1918 for services in connection with the war (Evening Post, 5 October 1918).

He appears as a Jury member in the High Court in Wellington 1928 (Evening Post 7 Feb 1928);

His death was noted in the Evening Post 8 December 1931:

SHALLCRASS. On 7th December 1931, at Wellington (suddenly), Robert William Shallcrass, of 26 Newman terrace, aged 61 years.

More detailed coverage appears in the Evening Post 9 December 1931:

"For many years I had been brought into touch with Mr. Shallcrass owing to the valuable part he played in the advocacy of daylight saving, and I have to acknowledge that I owe much to his assistance in securing the ultimate passage of the legislation," said Sir Thomas Sidey, in-paying an appreciative tribute to the memory of Mr. Robert William Shallcrass, whose death occurred in Wellington on Monday evening.
"At many elections, as secretary to the New Zealand Sports Protection League, he addressed questionnaires on the subject to candidates for Parliament; he organised deputations to the Minister in support of the proposal, and when the first Act was passed in 1927 he assumed the position of secretary to a Wellington committee - called the Summertime Appreciation Committee, that took charge of the fund raised by subscriptions of 1s each to commemorate the passing of the 1927 Act. That committee's special work was completed when the fund was handed over to the Now Zealand Institute for the purpose of a medal and prize. But the committee continued to, take an active interest in the question, and Mr. Shallcrass remained until his death a strong advocate of the full hour of daylight saving.
"Under such circumstances I came to know him intimately. He was possessed of sterling qualities, scrupulously careful and exact in tho discharge of his secretarial duties and in the compilation of statistics. He could be firm where firmness was required, but, he had a bright, cheerful, and lovable disposition. He will long remain in affectionate remembrance by numerous friends, especially those who are lovers of healthful, out-of-doors recreation."
The Council of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce last evening passed a resolution recording its sympathy with the widow and family of the late Mr. R. W. Shallcrass in their sad bereavement.
"A motion of sympathy with the relatives of the late Mr. B. W. Shallcrass was passed at last evening's - meeting of the Council of the New Zealand Football Association. " The chairman. Mr. P. Campbell, spoke feelingly of his associations with Mr. Shallerass. "He was," he said, "a lovable man, and his quiet effective working for his objectives, especially in regard to daylight saving, gained him many friends. All sports have lost a valnable friend in Mr. Shallcrass." The meeting stood in silence.


The Summer Time Act of 1929 introduced Daylight Time to be observed in New Zealand from the second Sunday in October to the third Sunday in March of the following year. Clocks were set half an hour in advance during that time.

Sir Thomas Sidney (MP from Dunedin) and held the positions of Attorney-General (1928-31) and Minister of Justice (1930-31). He had very publicly campaigned for Daylight Savings time through most of his political career (1901-1931)

Back to top

Biographical Details:

Robert Shallcrass
Born, 29 October 1819, Banstead, Surrey, England
Arrived New Zealand, 1856, on The Spray (ex Melbourne)

Married, Annabella Williamson Jeffrey 4 July 1857 in Nelson, NZ
Died, 27 May 1888, Nelson, New Zealand.

Prior to arriving in New Zealand Robert had trained as a policeman. One source suggests he had actually served as an English policeman and had experienced life on goldfields overseas (3). However, on arrival he found work as a printer on Nelson newspaper the 'Examiner'. On 14 January 1861 he was appointed Sergeant Major of Police in Nelson. As a result of his work during the Maungatapu Murders, he was promoted to Inspector at a salary of £260 per year. In 1869 he was further promoted to Chief Inspector of Police for the Nelson and South West Goldfields. (1) and (3)

A provincial select committee of May 1868 had noted with favour his efforts to put destitute and deserted children into care. But in attempting to impose more 'order' and 'better behaviour' on the provincial capital in particular, the police had often been castigated for unnecessarily harsh methods - for prohibiting bathing in the Matai River on the grounds of public morality, or for arresting a man for 'barking' at a street preacher. (2)

Appears in the 1870 City of Nelson Electoral Roll, residing in Bronti Street.


  • Inspector of Police
  • Relieving Officer
  • Registrar of Brands
  • Collector of Dog Tax.
The Tomstone of Robert Shallcrass and family, in Fairfield Cemetery, Nelson, NZ.

After a short period of holding both positions of Chief Inspector of Police and Superintendent of the Nelson Gaol, Robert resigned from the Chief Inspector duties on 10 May 1875. He continued as Superintendent of the Nelson Gaol until at least 1883. (2)

Robert Shallcrass died in 1888 and the 'Examiner' reported that his funeral was largely attended. His grave, with that of his wife and five of his sons, lies in the Fairfield cemetery. There are five elms planted around the grave to represent his five sons. (1)

Biographical Details:

Annabella Williamson Jeffrey
Born, 4 June 1831, Sccotland.
Arrived Nelson, NZ, 6 October 1856, on the Cresswell (ex Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

Married, Robert Shallcrass 4 July 1857 in Nelson, NZ
Died, 31 March
1893, Nelson, New Zealand.


Obiturary of Annabella Williamson Jeffry
1 April 1893, probably from the Nelson Examiner:

"Deep regret will be felt at the death of Mrs Robert Shallcrass, which happened about one o'clock yesterday afternoon. It was known by the deceased and her friends that she had an affection of the heart, but the end came very suddendly. Mrs Shallcrass was married in Nelson about thirty-five years ago. Her husband was for many years head of the local police force and was a most efficient officer, especially distingishing himself at the time of the Maungatupu murders. He was afterwards Governor of the gaol, and died nearly four years ago. Mrs Schallcrass was of a most charitable disposition and did many good works in an unobtrusive way. She leaves a family of six, five sons and one daughter."


Children of Robert & Annabella Shallcrass:

  1. William Frederick Shallcrass, b. 5 July 1858, d. 21 August 1861
  2. Robert Shallcrass, b. 26 September 1860, d. 15 September 1861
  3. George Shallcrass, b. 28 February 1863, married Jane Kyle "Jeanie" Turnbull 24 December 1902 Sinapore. d. 29 June 1906 Elsternwick Victoria, Australia.
    Their childern where Phyllis Maude Shallcrass (b. 1904, married Arthur Menzies Ellis in 1931, d. 1993), and Muriel Constance Shallcrass (b. 1905, married Henry Alexander Atkins in 1929, d. 1991).
  4. Eliza Davis Shallcrass, b. 10 December 1864, married William George Kerr (no issue) 1892, d. 1953.
  5. Charles Edward Shallcrass, b. 1866, married Elsie Eliza Nichol in 1894, d. 1944. Their childern were: Charles "Chas" Arnott Nicol Shallcrass (b. 1896), Robert Errol Shallcrass (b. 1897), George Willis Shallcrass (died young), and John Frank Shallcrass (b. 1904, d. 1944).
  6. Arthur Williamson Shallcrass, b. 15 November 1868, married Vera Kate Johns in 4 October 1893, d. 1949. Their childern were: Jeffrey Williamson Shallcrass (b. 7 August 1894), Arthur Hubert Shallcrass (b. 7 April 1898), Alan Douglas Shallcrass (b. 4 July 1899), Vera "Lass" May Shallcrass (b. 4 August 1904), and, Dorothy Betty Shallcrass (b. 1913)
  7. Robert William Shallcrass, b. 1870, married Hilda Gillow 1904, d. 1931
  8. Frederick Walter Shallcrass, b. 30 August 1875, married Mary Phyllis Taylor, d. 1960 at Christchurch. Their childern were: Nelson Shallcrass (b. 9 April 1904), Franklyn Shallcrass (d. 1992), and Fredrick "Dick" Nettleship Shallcrass (b. 1915, d. 30 October 1944, Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) RNZAF  WW2 Service No. 40678). Phyllis Shallcrass was awarded an OBE - although details are yet to be found. An image of her in 1949 is available here.


  1. "The Nelson Police, the story of the Nelson police district 1841-1986", June E. Neale, Nelson NZ, 1986.
  2. "The Colonial Frontier Tamed, New Zealand Policing in Transition, 1867-1886", Volume Two of 'The History of Policing in New Zealand. Richard S Hill, Wellington NZ, GP Books, 1989.
  3. "Policing the Colonial Frontier" Part Two of Volume One of 'The History of Policing in New Zealand. Richard S Hill, Wellington NZ, Government Printer, 1986.
  4. "The Descendants of Jasper Shallcrass" a work in progress by Graeme Kitney, more information available from

Back to top - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.