Updated 25 November 2019
Edmund Morgan Honeyfield was born at Gillingham, Dorset in 1841 and was the 10th child of John and Hannah.
Edmund was considered a delicate child and the family thought the New Zealand climate would be beneficial. His brother Henry John returned to England in 1855 to marry Eliza Read. Edmund aged 15, travelled with them to New Zealand on the Ashmore in 1856.
In 1877 Edmund married Catherine Gane from Mells, Somerset. She had means of her own. They farmed at Whenuakura near Patea in South Taranaki. They called their house Park Farm.
Edmund’s cousin John Morgan in his writings mentioned visits to Park Farm in 1895: “Thursday I was at Park Farm, stayed the night, after breakfast I took a walk on the farm, it looks grand, but grass is very short, about all day at the farm. ……Friday Cecil Honeyfield started for Wanganui, he promised to visit Newtonlees and to stay a few days helping if required. ……Saturday I found Mrs Honeyfield fully engaged in the baking establishment, there I found a capital old fashioned brick oven all aglow, various dishes and dough worked into loaves, confectionery all ready for the oven.”
Edmund and Catherine had 11 children who became known as the Patea Honeyfields:
- Cecil Reginald, born 1878, died 1958. Married Katherine Wright. They farmed at Park Farm, Whenuakura until 1948 when they retired to Patea.
- Clara Isabel, born 1879, died 1968. Did not marry.
- Lena Eveline, born 1881, died 1967. Married Harry Bradmore.
- Leonard, born 1882, died from a farming accident in 1940. Married Elsie Finch and farmed at Patea. In 1918 Leo served overseas in World War 1 in the 30th reinforcements of the Wellington Mounted Rifles. Leo and Elsie had two sons, Ray and Geoff.
- Edith Mildred, born 1883. died 1970. (Edith) Mildred went to England in the 1920s. Later she married Ernest Morris at Buckhorn Weston Church, 1925. She lived in England until after the Second World War when she returned to New Zealand.
- Irene Katherine, born 1885, died 1947. Married Stewart Wickstead.
- Ivo, born 1887, died 1969. Married Prudence Simmonds. Farmed at Patea. Their only child Kenneth also farmed at Patea.
- Violet Suzie, born 1889. Married Cyril Langdon Dymock in June 1909. He managed the Bank of New Zealand branch at Taihape where Violet was a teacher.
- Alice Muriel, born 1891, died 1964. Married Herbert Hereward Edwards of Stoke, Nelson, where they settled.
- Earle, born 1892, died 1893.
- Victor Maurice, born 1895, died in 1916 of tuberculosis.