Photograph Album [Johanna's Album]; Ewart, Johanna; 1886-1912; CT77.258


Photograph Album [Johanna's Album]

About this object

Photograph album of Johanna J Ewart, Cannibal Bay, Catlins River.

Johanna (Joan) Rule, a domestic servant, was only 16 years old when she travelled alone as an assisted immigrant on the 'Wellington' from Glasgow to New Zealand in 1877. She married James Emery Ewart in Dunedin in 1879 and they settled in Cannibal Bay, The Catlins. They had seven children.

Johanna's album was found in an old shed at Cannibal Bay.

Although the cover and many of the photographs are missing from the album, a page with family birth dates and deaths, [written by Johanna's hand?], can still be read.

Two poignant entries record the deaths of two of Johanna and James' daughters.

Mary, known as Agnes, aged 5 years and 10 months, became lost in the bush when she tried to follow her brothers and sisters who had gone to gather pebbles. It was a cold July in 1896 and extensive searching failed to find her. Her body was found for six weeks later.

Joanna Agnes, born in 1897, died in Dunedin hospital on Christmas Day, 1912. She was 15 years old and had been badly burnt six months earlier when her nightgown caught fire while she was up in the middle of the night reading by the fire.

The last entry on the page is for Johanna who died two weeks later in January 1913 aged 52 years and 11 months.

Only some of the photographs in the album are named.

Walter Rule, September 1877, Edinburgh, aged 21 years; William Rule, 1 year old, May 1866, 'To Aunty and Uncle with Love'; James Broadbent, November 1885; Mr and Mrs McPherson, Mrs Matheson's brother and his wife; Ewart Family, Cannibal Bay Road; Mary E McAndrews, off the ship 'Wellington', 1877.

Thanks to family research by Kris Owen, we are able to build a picture of Johanna and her life.

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, The Catlins, Cannibal Bay


Ewart, Johanna

Maker Role


Date Made


Inscription and Marks

Owner's name written on first two pages. Record of births and deaths written inside first page.


h 275mm x w 210mm x d 50mm



Object Type

photograph album

Subject and Association Keywords

manners and customs, customs relative to private life

Subject and Association Keywords

manners and customs, customs relative to public and social life

Medium and Materials

processed material, paper;
processed material, cardboard;
processed material, textile, cotton

Credit Line

From the collection of Owaka Museum Wahi Kahuika, The Meeting Place "a rest on your journey".

Object number



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