James Grubb

#4477, (1853 - 23 Mar 1917)
     James Grubb was born in 1853 at Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand ,

Parents: John and Mary Grubb.1

James Grubb married Betsy McDonald, daughter of Robert McDonald and Elizabeth Grigor, on 21 Jun 1877 at Canterbury, New Zealand .2

James Grubb was on the 1905 Electoral Roll Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand , also listed in the household was Betsy

GRUBB Bessie, London Street, Lyttelton, domestic duties
GRUBB Betsy, London Street, Lyttelton, housewife
GRUBB James, London Street, Lyttelton, shipwright
GRUBB Mary, London Street, Lyttelton, machinist.3

James died on 23 Mar 1917 at Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand , at age 64 years.4

James's death notice appeared on 24 Mar 1917 in the "The Press", New Zealand ,

On March 23rd 1917, at his late residence, 70 London Street, Lyttelton, James Grubb, Master Shipwright; in his 64th year.
By request no mourning.

The Friends of the late James Grubb are respectfully informed that his Funeral will leave his late residence, No 70 London Street, Lyttelton, on Sunday, March 25th at 3PM for the Church of England Cemetery.


The Members of the above Lodge are requested to attend the Funeral of our late Worshipful Brother James Grubb, PM, which leaves his late residence, London street, Lyttelton for the Church of England Cemetery on Sunday at 3PM. Members are requested to meet at the Lodge Room at 2.30pm. All Sister Lodges are invited to attend.
White gloves and ties.
By order,
Worshipful Master

James's Obituary appeared on 24 Mar 1917 in the "Star", New Zealand ,


Quite a gloom was cast over Lyttelton yesterday, when it became known that Mr James Grubb had passed away. Deceased had been in poor health during the past three years, and his death was not unexpected. He will be greatly missed in shipping circles, in which he was held in the highest esteem, and was always sought by old skippers on their arrival.
Deceased was the second son of the late Mr John Grubb, who arrived in Lyttelton in 1848. He was the carrier of the first mails between Lyttelton and wellington in the schooner Canterbury, and was the constructor of the first wharf in the port, known in olden days as Screw Pile Jetty. Subsequently he entered into partnership with Mr Allan as Messrs Grubb and Allan, shipwrights. The deceased served under his father, finishing off at Dunedin, where he worked on the construction of the Discovery and Terra Nova Returning to Lyttelton. He took over the business from his father and was for the last thirty-five years master shipwright for the Union Steam Ship Company at the port.
Mr Grubb became a member of the Lyttelton Borough Council in 1895, and was again returned in 1898. He was elected Mayor in 1902, in which year the Municipality took over the gasworks. During his mayoralty he was active in forwarding the progress of the borough. In 1904 and 1905 he once more sat as a councillor.
Mr Grubb was a founder member of the Canterbury Kilwinning Lodge, then under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and afterwards joined the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. Brother Grubb was PGD and also Master of the Canterbury Kilwinning in 1881, 1883, 1887, 1890 and 1893.
Mrs Grubb pre-deceased her husband twelve years ago. He leaves a family of two sons, the elder of whom was recently reported wounded in the Somme battle; the second, who was at the landing at Gallipoli, has been invalided home; and five daughters.

The Press - 26th March 1917
named the married daughters: Mrs Murchison (Liverpool), Mrs McCaskey (Ashburton) and Mrs Robson (Gore). One of the late Mr Grubb's sisters, Mrs Whitmore of Christchurch, is one of the very few survivors of the first four ships.6

James and Betsy had 7 Children.

Children of James Grubb and Betsy McDonald


  1. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1853 NZ Online Database: 1853/ 3133. Hereinafter cited as NZ BDM Indexes.
  2. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: Folio No 2099
    1877 NZ Online Database: 1877/2134.
  3. [S6] Elections, Electoral Roll (Auckland, New Zealand: BAB Microfilming, 1853 - 1967), 1905/06 NZ Electoral Roll, Lyttelton Canterbury. Hereinafter cited as Electoral Roll.
  4. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: 1917 NZ Online Database: 1917/1289 aged 64.
  5. [S10] Newspaper, Various Papers, The Press, Vol LIII, Issue 15858, 24 March 1917 Page 1 & Page 11. Hereinafter cited as Newspaper Article.
  6. [S10] Newspaper Article, Star, Issue 11964, 24 March 1917, Page 10.