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Charles William Flowers was born on March 8, 1845 at Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England.  By the time he reached the age of sixteen, Charles had arrived in the United States and was living and working on a farm in the state of Ohio. There, on September 10, 1861 at the age of sixteen, Charles enlisted in the military of his new country, joining the 21st Ohio Infantry Regiment. Upon the expiration of his three year enlistment period Charles re-enlisted, after being paid a re-enlistment bounty of $60; into a Veteran Volunteers Company, on January 1, 1864.  He participated in actions against the Confederate Army on numerous occasions including the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia on July 21, 1864, during which Charles received a serious shoulder wound and after treatment in a military hospital was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps; on January 1, 1865. In September 1865 Charles was granted a military discharge at Nashville, Tennessee.

Like most soldiers, upon receiving his discharge, Charles returned home to Bowling Green in Wood County, Ohio where on April 18, 1871 he married Miss. Rachael Priest at Webster Township. The couple continued to live in Ohio and had two children born there, until around 1875 when they decided to migrate to New Zealand; settling in Southland.

The 1902 records reveals there were no Flowers on the Invercargill electoral roll. In 1914, only Charles and Rachel appear, living at their Catherine Street home. In checking the 1883/4, 1890/1 1894, 1902, 1904, 1906 and 1911 Wises Directory editions, there was found a Charles Flowers who had a Store in Longbush, in 1906, which may have been him; Longbush is a small rural area in Southland New Zealand. It also revealed a Charles Flowers , listed as a settler, at Purahanui in 1890/1;  but it’s possible that may have been someone else.

In the 1908 roll, Charles and Rachel were found living at Jed Street, with Maud Elizabeth Bailey at Yarrow Street. If William Benedict was a son of Charles and Rachel, then it is presumed that either he was living elsewhere in 1908, or that he had not then reached the voting age of 21 at that time.

1911 Electoral Roll for Invercargill Electorate recorded Charles William Flowers, 37 Catherine Street North Invercargill as a  labourer, Maud Lindisfarne Flowers, Invercargill , a spinster, Maud Elizabeth Bailer, 11 Yarrow Street, Invercargill, as being  married, Rachel Flowers, 37 Catherine Street, North Invercargill, as being married and William Benedict Flowers, 37 Catherine Street North Invercargill, as being a labourer. The 1911 Wises Directory lists Chas WM. Flowers as a  labourer living at Catherine St Nth Ingall

In the fiche set listing all the men serving in the NZ forces in the NZEF in1914-1918, Private Sidney James Flowers was shown as part of the Main Body of the  Otago Infantry Rifles, was single and living on Catherine Street in north Invercargill, Otago. His next of kin was Charles E. Flowers, his father; living on Catherine Street in  north Invercargill. That must have been a third son of Charles and Rachel.

In 1919, Charles was not listed, but Rachel was at Catherine Street with Walter Edward Flowers, a labourer, at the same address. Possibly this was another son then of voting age, and possibly one who was away in the armed forces during the 1914-1918 war .

Charles William Flowers was next recorded as living at 32 Catherine Street, North Invercargill, on October 10, 1920 and died  on October 13, 1920 at 77 years of age. His funeral was held at the house at 2pm on Wednesday the 13th, after which it proceeded  to Eastern Cemetery. His wife Rachel Flowers lived at her residence, at 74 Catherine Street, when she too died on December 25, 1945 at 91 years of age. Her funeral was held at the Salvation Army Citadel on Tay Street, and immediately following a service on Thursday, December 27, also proceeded to the Eastern Cemetery. They are both buried in Block 16, General Plot 69a. Death notices for both appeared in the Southland Times newspapers.


International Genealogical Index

Marriage records for Ohio, Wood County Courthouse, Bowling Green, Ohio.

History of the 21st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion,

      Captain Silas S. Canfield. Vrooman, Anderson & Bateman Printers. Toledo, Ohio, 1893

Marilyn Levinson, Center for Archival Collections. Bowling Green State University,

       Jerome Library, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Ohio In The War-Volume II, Whitelaw Reid. Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin. Cincinnati 1868


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