Amy Yates

ID# 623, (3 Jul 1878 - 31 May 1918)

Amy Yates was born on 3 Jul 1878 at Woodlands, Upper Plain, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand ,

Amy Yates,
(no father recorded, Illegitimate on certificate.)
Mother Elizabeth Yates, aged 17, born Wellington NZ.
Informant: Agnes Bell Yates, grandmother, Woodlands.1,2

She was the daughter of Elizabeth Yates.

Amy Yates married William Edward Corlett, son of William Corlett and Mary Anne Cowley, on 28 Oct 1894 at St Matthews Church, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand ,

William Edward Corlett,
aged 22, Waggoner, Bachelor,
born Isle of Man
Usual Res: Masterton
Parents: William Corlett, Farmer & Marianne Cowley
Amy Yates,
aged 16, Spinster,
born Upper Plain Masterton
Usual Res: Upper Plain
Parents: unknown and Elizabeth

Witnesses: K. Hole, Kuripuni, Carrier & E Yates, Upper Plain, Farmer.1,3

As of 28 Oct 1894,her married name was Corlett.

Amy Corlett was on the 1918 Directory.

Mrs Amy Corlett, 5 First St, Lansdowne, Masterton.4

Amy died on 31 May 1918 at Masterton Hospital, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand , at age 39 years, 10 months and 28 days

Mary Corlett,
Housewife, 40 (sic - should have been Amy Corlett)
Parents: Amy Yates
Born Wellington NZ - life
Married to: William Edwin Corlett, Carterton when aged 17

Living Children: M, 23, 21, 16, 13, 9
F, 19, 1 ½
(where is Leonard Walter, and who is the female only 1 ½ years old ?).1,5

Amy's cause of death on 31 May 1918 was from Carcinoma of Uterus - 6 months.

Amy's death notice appeared on 1 Jun 1918 in the "Wairarapa Daily Times", New Zealand ,

Personal Items

The death occurred in the Masterton Hospital yesterday of Mrs W Corlett, a well-known resident. Deceased, who was held in high esteem, was the Mother of Mrs A Pauling, of Masterton, and Mr W Corlett, of Opaki. The funeral will leave the residence of Mrs Pauling, 2 Victoria Street, to-morrow afternoon at 1.30 o'clock.6

Amy was buried on 2 Jun 1918 at Archer Street Cemetery, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand .7

5 Jun 1918 Amy Corlett was mentioned in the "Wairarapa Daily Times", New Zealand , newspaper

The Family of the late Mrs W Corlett wish to tender their sincere thanks to the many friends for the kindness and sympathy extended during their recent sad bereavement; and also to the Hospital Staff and Doctor.8

Amy Corlett's estate was probated on 19 Jun 1918 at "Masterton Court", New Zealand ,

This is the Last Will and Testament of me
Amy Corlett of No 5 First Street, Landsowne, Masterton in the Dominion of New Zealand, married woman.

I revoke all former wills and testamentary dispositions made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. I appoint my son William Corlett of Masterton aforesaid Horsetrainer (hereinafter called my Trustee) to be the executor and Trustee of this my will. I give devise and bequeath to my son Frederick Corlett my house and land situate and known as No 5 First Street, Landsdowne, Masterton, aforesaid together with the furniture therein on his attaining the age of twenty one years. And I empower and direct my Trustee to sell all my household furniture, effects and chattels now in and upon the said premises and after payment thereout of all my first debts funeral and testamentary expenses and debts to hold the proceeds thereof in trust for my said son Frederick Corlett. I also empower and direct my Trustee to use the said proceeds of the sale of the said furniture for the purpose of paying rates taxes, insurance, interest and necessary repairs incurred or payable either before or after my decease in respect of my said house and land. I give devise and bequeath all the rest residue and remainder of my estate not hereby otherwise disposed of unto my Trustee Upon Trust to sell call in and convert into money the same or such part thereof as shall not consist of money and shall stand possessed of the residue of the said money or the investments for the time being representing the same Upon Trust for all my remaining children to be divided amongest them in equal shares, upon their respectively attaining the age of twenty one years. And I declare that my Trustee may raise the whole or any part of the expectant share under this my Will of any infant child or children including both the capital and income thereof and apply the same for or towards the maintenance education or benefit of such infant child or children to such intent and in such manner as my Trustee shall in his absolute disrection think fit. And I hereby empower my Trustee to mortgage my said premises for the purpose of raising money to repay the mortgage now subsisting thereon or for any other purpose he may deem necessary. And I also declare that my Trustee may postpone the sale, calling in and conversion of my estate or any part thereof for so long as he may think fit.
In witness wereof I have hereunto set my hand this First day of March one thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
Amy Corlett

Signed by the said Amy Corlett as and for her last will and testament in the sight and presence of us both being present at the same time who at her request in her sight and presence and in the sight and presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
E F Merrington, Married Woman, Masterton and A W McKenzie, Law Clerk, Masterton

This is the wirtten document produced and shewn by me to, and referred to in the annexed Affidavit of William Corlett and sworn this 11th day of June 1918 before me:-
Signed signature
A Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.
Probate under £100.9

     Research Note: in Jun 1918
When Amy died, she left behind a very young family. Her son William left as executor aged 23, Leonard Edward at 21, Constance at 19 but already married, Frederick 17, Leonard Walter aged 14, Thomas aged 13, and Edward only 9 years old.

She states in her will that the house in 5 First Street was hers and registered in her name and also still had a mortgage on it.

Who did Edward, Thomas and Leonard Walter go to live with after Amy died ?

Family stories have it that after Amy died, due to William her husband having a love of horses, and often not coming home with enough money, dug up the garden in First Street hoping to find any money that the said Amy was suppose to bury on the odd occasion. They found nothing.
I suspect she did hide funds, but had to use them on the regular bases in order to feed the family and pay the mortgage.

It appears from the records that Amy and William may have been seperated for a time, as we have records of William up in Auckland around 1916, and the Will makes her son William Henry who is only 23 at the time her sole executor.

Amy and William had 9 Children.

Children of Amy Yates and William Edward Corlett

Mother*Elizabeth Yates (c 1859 - 11 Oct 1885)


  1. [S1] Certificate held on file, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Hereinafter cited as Certificate held on file.
  2. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Folio No 2344, Sept Qtr. Hereinafter cited as NZ BDM Indexes.
  3. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: Folio No 3386, 1894.
  4. [S12] Directories, NZ PO Directory (Auckland, New Zealand: BAB Microfilming, 1866 - 1955), Wises 1918 PO Directory. Hereinafter cited as NZ PO Directory.
  5. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: Folio No 1220 June Qtr.
  6. [S10] Newspaper, Various Papers, Wairarapa Daily Times, Vol 44, Issues 13557, 1 June 1918, Pge 5 - Personal Items. Hereinafter cited as Newspaper Article.
  7. [S43] Cemetery Records , Masterton Cemetery Burial Records. Amy Corlett, Plan II, 9, Died 31 May 1918 buried 2 June 1918, No 002427. Hereinafter cited as Cemetery Records.
  8. [S10] Newspaper Article, Wairarapa Daily Times, Vol 44, Issues 13560, 5 June 1918, Pge 1 - Advertisements Column 3.
  9. [S59] NZSG, NZSG Index., CD-ROM (Auckland, New Zealand: NZSG, 2000-2009), Various NZ Records, Masterton Court, Amy Corlett died 31 May 1918, Masterton, filed 19 June 1918, 44/18, Will. Hereinafter cited as NZSG Index.