Search for content in message boards

Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse and Fati Tagamoa

Replies: 10

Re: Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse and Fati Tagamoa

Posted: 1397439476000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brighouse, McIntee
Hi Amy! So happy to hear from you! I started working on my family tree "McIntee-Brighouse family tree (also Hopkins & Cole)" when I was living with my parents to take care of them. It was my "escape". I spent any extra time I had researching and researching and I am sooo very happy that I have connected to some of the Brighouse family members. My Mom passed away in 2006 and then my Dad passed away in 2010. Once my Dad passed away - I couldn't concentrate on anything so I didn't work on my family tree for almost 2 years. I have since had 2 great grandchildren and also a 3 year old grandson who is with us at least 80 % of the time. I am trying to get back into it and it really helps when someone like you writes to me to spark my interest again...thank you!

To ask how we are related...I have sent you this "account" of some of the things I have learned. I have photos, records, etc on my family tree on ancestry however, if you don't have an account with them you wouldn't be able to view my tree. Also - if you do have an account - and you want to send me your email address, I can give you permission to "view the living". I haven't renewed my subscription as money is tight and I have so much to catch up on that I decided to let it go for now. So - I hope this info helps you and if you have anything I can add to my tree re your end of the family - I would really appreciate your help! My email is Thanks so much again for contacting me and hope to hear from you again.

The “Story” of my search to find out info on my grandmother’s ancestry…Mona Annie Brighouse.

I am writing what I know of my gramma’s background with hopes that I might first – find out what her mother’s name was and secondly, to learn something about her history and her family.

My name is Dianne Stone (Hopkins). My mother was Muriel Emma McIntee (Hopkins). Mona Annie McIntee (Brighouse) was her mother.

Some of the information I am writing has been told to me by my aunts as they heard from gramma. Not all may be accurate but I will try to provide proof if I have any.

I’ll begin with Mona:

Mona Annie Brighouse was born in Samoa (possibly Apia) on May 25, 1906. Her father was Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse, born July 13, 1880 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Thomas’ parents were George Brighouse (1855-1893) and Emma (Wilkinson-1858-1913). The family lived in the Liverpool, Lancashire area (some shows Derby). My gramma Mona named her son George.

Thomas W Brighouse’s name is shown on the 1891 England census – along with the names of his family members…he was 11 yrs old. Thomas W Brighouse was the son of George and Emma Brighouse (Wilkinson) of Derby, Lancashire, England.

Terry Brighouse has an account of family moving from England on his website “Terry Brighouse Reunion-2009)”. On there he tells an interesting history about some of the Brighouses who left England for New Zealand. There is also a mention of one brother going to Samoa in the early 1900’s – and I assume this would be Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse. The following is a link to that website:

Sometime in the early 1900’s, Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse moved to Apia, Samoa. I had been told by my aunts that he met and married a woman there (possibly 1905) – and that the woman died giving birth to my grandmother, Mona Annie Brighouse however, I haven’t found proof of this marriage nor of the death of this woman. This woman was Marie Pettibone, wife of William R. Pettibone (see 2 attached courts record I had found - one appears to be a claim for damages by William Pettibone but the other shows TWB speaking in court on behalf of his daughter Mona)

I had also been told that a son George was born to Thomas and his first wife. After much searching and help from others, I have obtained a death certificate showing that George Brighouse, son of Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse and mother “Sinapa’i Nu born in Upolu, Samoa. George died at 21 years of age in New Zealand from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 8, 1929. This record stated that he lived in Wainni that he was buried at a cemetery in Helensville on October 9, 1929. I don't believe that Sinapa'i was the mother of George. Records show that Sinapa’i was born in 1901 – George was born abt 1908 therefore she would have been too young to be his mother. I am wondering if his mother was this Marie Pettibone and if she died giving birth to George? I believe that - when George's mother died - Sinapa'i raised him hence the reason her name was on his death record as his mother. Our family doesn’t know anything more about my gramma Mona’s mother or her brother George.

I found a record that showed Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse married a Samoan lady named Fati Tomagoa (the daughter of a chieftain in Samoa) in 1920. I found the information on his marriage and children on the Familysearch site. Others I have met have helped me to add names to those that were listed as "living" in the LDS site. I came across the records of Sinapa'i re Ramona and Pusi during this search. Between them they had 16 children however – 2 died at birth. I found the information on his marriage and children on the Familysearch site. Thomas also had other children whose mother was not Fati…Ramona, George, Pusi (I have found no other info on) and my gramma Mona Annie. Thomas died June 19, 1945 in Apia, Upolu, Western Samoa.

Terrence Brighouse, from New Zealand – was kind enough to give me an account of what he had on record. He wrote to me with the following:

“I have two records about a first marriage by Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse. The first is to the effect that he married in England and had two children there. The second is that he married a Samoan woman in Fiji and that they had two children, Mona and George. When his first wife died the children went to North America. (Your information would seem to confirm the latter.)

After Thomas' first wife died he moved to Samoa was later to remarry to Fati Tagimoa. They first lived on the island of Savai'i where Thomas managed a trading station for the island traders Burns Phillips. Their first three children, Lornorah, Anne and Rex were born there. Then they moved to another trading station at Samatau where June was born. Thomas then took up the lease of a cocoa plantation at Nu'u some 15 kilometres from Apia. It was here that the remainder of their children were born, Patrick, Thomas, ?, Doris, Stephen, Marjorie, Leslie, Sheila and Audrey.

Thomas died in 1947 at the age of 67 while Fati lived till 1974 and died at the age of 78 years.A number of their children were sent to New Zealand to be educated and some stayed on. June married Des Bell who became the Mayor of Kaitaia, the northernmost town in New Zealand. While at a conference in Kaitaia in 1975? I met June. Des Bell in a letter sent to me in 1988 told me that from Thomas' first marriage that George was deceased and that Mona was living in the USA. He also said that at that time that 9 of the children from Thomas' second marriage were still alive, 3 in NZ, 3 in Samoa, 2 in the USA and 1 in Australia.The family has had several reunions in Samoa and several of the descendents are coming to our reunion.”

My aunt Betty told me that gramma Mona stayed in Samoa until she was about 4 years old (as she had to be climatized?) and then she was sent to live with an “aunt” in England. I’m not sure if it was an aunt she went to live with or Thomas’ mother Emma. I haven’t found anything to show that she lived with anyone in England but I do know that she did live there.

I don’t believe my gramma Mona ever had any contact with her father, Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse after she left Samoa. I wonder who might have raised her while she lived in Samoa at that young age?

If Mona left Samoa in 1911 at the age of 4 or 5 - then lived with Thomas' mother Emma - I have learned that Emma passed away in 1913. (My mother's middle name was Emma) Gramma Mona had a picture of a house in her belongings. I connected to a lady named Barbara who is related to the Brighouse's in another line (Thomas' father's sister). Barbara did a search for me and contacted a descendent (Sue) – daughter of Fanny Brighouse/Williams who had originally lived in this house. Fanny was TWB's aunt (sister of Emma Wilkinson/Brighouse). Sue remembers talk of a "brown" cousin. We believe that my gramma Mona had that picture of the house because she may have lived with Thomas' aunt Fanny when Emma passed away. However - Fanny passed away in 1916 and I am not sure where she went from there. I have a baptism certificate of my gramma Mona's showing she was baptized in 1921. Barbara went to the library in Liverpool and found her baptism record. On that record was gramma's address at the time of her baptism....20 Princes Rd, Liverpool, England. Barbara and her husband drove to this residence and spoke to a caretaker outside. The caretaker told them that the house was once a single dwelling and the owner was very "well to do" with a houseful of servants. He also told her that in 1921 - the mansion was used as a school for servants. I searched the internet and that address is now called Alexandra Court - a home for retired people. This is the message Barbara sent me when she drove to 20 Princes Rd.:"In the 1901 census it states that the house was inhabited by Thomas S Rogerson (? Who was he?) listed as an African Merchant. (it appears people of wealth lived in this area: surgeons, physicians, barristers, architects, steamship owners, cotton merchants, etc, etc). Every person in the road was of great public standing and had servants. T S Rogerson was also a JP (Justice of the Peace). What an amazing place it must have been then! In the 1911 Census it states that this residence was a Training School for Domestic Servants. Was Mona training there? My goodness the house is huge! When you look at the photos it looks as though they are all separate houses but it isn't. You will see the house in the middle stands 'proud' of the properties either side. It has 4 doorways and you can see the original entrance with walls either side sweeping in (they are still the original). My husband went across and spoke to an elderly chap who lives there and he told him it is now owned by a housing association and is basically all flats. It is still officially 20 Princes Road but for postal purposes it is 20-34. It's a massive house with 4 floors and cellars and I think you can imagine how grand it was then with it's wealthy family and their servants coming and going. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos. It would be good to find out who else lived there when Mona was there. We may never know but I remain optimistic!"When Mona was about 16 (in 1922), she was sent to live with an aunt in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I learned that Emma Brighouse (TWB’s sister) married Herbert Taylor in 1910 at the Registry Office, West Derby, Liverpool. I have also found a record of Emma and her husband Herbert living in Toronto, Ontario. My aunt Betty said that this it was this aunt Emma that gramma Mona lived with when she came to Canada. Aunt Betty remembers meeting her…she said that she was not a very nice person and that Emma Taylor (Brighouse) had a son that wasn’t right…he had fluid on the brain and his head was very large. She remembers seeing this son.I found the record of the 30A form my gramma Mona had to complete before sailing to Canada however, her name shows as "Annie Mona Brighouse" (possibly used 'Annie' to save confusion with Thomas' sister Mona while living in England).

My gramma Mona met Ernest McIntee and they were married. I found the following in a record of Marriages for Welland as follows:

1925 marriages from MS 932Welland Co., 1925, part 2birth place is given before residence:

21320-25 Ernest A. McINTEE, 18, painter, Niagara Falls, same, s/o Price McINTEE, b. Haldimand Co. & Jennie MURPHY, married Mona Annie BRIGHOUSE, 18, Isletlet 18 Fig--? South Sea Islands, Niagara Falls, d/o Thomas BRIGHOUSE & "does not know", witn: Mrs. William & William McINTEE of Niagara Falls, 3 March 1925 at Niagara Falls

•Note – for the name of Mona Annie Brighouse’s mother, this record shows “does not know”.

Mona and Ernie first lived in Toronto before moving to the Niagara area. They had 5 children – Norma and Elizabeth (Betty)…born in Toronto, Muriel (my mother-passed away Oct 25/06), George and Linda – all born in Niagara.

During the depression, I was told that Ernie was unable to find work. He and his family were in Toronto at the offices that provided social assistance. They had 3 small children at that time, no money and nowhere to live. A man and woman living in Toronto heard their story and invited the family to stay with them in their home. My aunt Betty remembers that the couple put a curtain on their living room door and the family of five shared the room. They called her “aunty Belle”. Ernie found work and they moved to the Niagara area.

Ernest (Ernie) owned a gas station/snack bar/dining room for a couple of years and he and Mona lived in the back of the building with 2 of their children. It was called “MACS Snack Bar” and it was also a Supertest gas station. Ernie also cleaned for the Legion that was located right behind the snack bar on Legion Street. He then worked for the Dominion Chain factory for many years (in Niagara Falls and when the factory relocated to Stratford, Ontario) until he passed away in 1973 in Stratford, Ontario. A couple of years after grampa passed away, Mona moved back to Niagara Falls to be closer to her other children and their families. She passed away in 1979 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Ernest and Mona are buried at the Holy Trinity Church in Niagara Falls (Chippawa), Ontario...I live in Chippawa which is now part of Niagara Falls.

· Mona was involved in a bad car accident in 1957 when their car was hit by a drunk driver. Mona suffered fractures to bones in her face.

· Mona had also worked for the Dominion Chain Co. at one time and it was there that she lost her index finger when it got caught in a machine.
A baptism certificate was found showing “Annie Mona Brighouse” was baptized at St. Saviour’s, Liverpool on March 3rd, 1921. This certificate was signed by HS Broadbent, Vicar.

Although damaged, we found a Canadian Immigration paper showing that Mona had crossed the border. I believe that she was going to visit one of her husband’s relatives. On this paper, it showed her name as Mona Annie Brighouse, born May 23, 1906 in “Samoa, South Sea Islands”. I have scanned the back and front of this paper and it is in my records.

I was able to obtain pictures from my gramma Mona’s belongings and included them in these pictures as well. Some of the pictures are damaged but I am hoping that they are still worth viewing. I copied a picture of Thomas at a younger age and have also obtained another picture of Thomas W Brighouse when he was older from a member of the Brighouse family from Samoa. One of pictures shows my gramma - Mona Annie Brighouse at the age of 16 (when she was living in England). Mona had received a postcard from Liverpool and I have been told that the picture on the postcard is her aunt’s house in England. I have included these pictures in my family tree on *** I have since learned that the house pictured on the postcard is most likely the house of Thomas’ aunt Fanny who passed away in 1916. The lady I have met in Liverpool contacted a family member and this lady confirmed that the doorway of the house is the same as in a family portrait she has of her great-grandmother Fanny Brighouse (Williams) lived in Gt Sutton, England.

I have also obtained a picture of Fati Brighouse (Tagomoa) in the 70’s - from a member of the Brighouse family in Samoa. I know that a number of years ago, Gramma had written to the "Consulate" in New Zealand as she had heard that was where records for Samoa were kept. She was trying to find out the name of her mother and anything she could about the family. I don't know what she did wrong but my aunt gave me a copy of the letter she received back. I think gramma didn't send a cheque "with" her request but sent one later and they adviced her if she needed to enquire about anything in the future, she would have to include the cheque in the same envelope. I don't think she ever tried again. I have questions in my head as - how would TWB send a 4 year old on a ship to England (unless she was accompanied by someone..but I couldn't see that in the ship's record). Who raised her up until she left Samoa? Gramma always said her mother died giving birth to her...but I am wondering...her brother George was born in 1908...the same year this Marie Pettibone died. Yet - on George's death shows Sinapa'i Brighouse as his mother. The LDS records have Sinapa'i as born in she would have been too young to have George. There may be an error in recording her date of birth however- Ramona (born in 1912) was Sinapa'i's daughter and I heard from someone in the Samoan Brighouse family that she was only 12 when she got pregnant with Ramona. I am wondering if Marie was the mother of both my gramma Mona and George - and maybe this Sinapa'i took care of them when Marie died. Maybe TWB was ok to keep a son with him but not a daughter...I don't know. I have also heard from the Samoan family that TWB's son George had gone to New Zealand at the age of 18 then wanted to return to Samoa but his father, TWB thought it would be best for him to remain in New Zealand so he shot himself in 1929 at the age of 21.· I don't know what "arrangements" were made when gramma Mona was sent to England - or - if TWB paid for her care at all. Barbara suggested that she may have been used as a servant - to help pay her way. I don't ever remember her saying how much she loved any of her relatives...or that she was close to anyone. She never carried on about any house she lived in or pretty clothes...or cousins...nothing like that. Once she married my grampa - I don't think she visited with that aunt Emma Taylor in Toronto very often afterwards. She grew closer to my grampa Ernie's side of the family as I believe she felt as if she was part of a family.

While conducting a search on Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse, I came across a document “Claims of American citizens in Apia, Samoa”. When I first read this document, I believed that it was Thomas W Brighouse filing a claim however, someone else pointed out to me that the name “William R Pettibone” is at the top of this claim and that it is William who is filing the claim. I was unable to copy and paste this document so I used “print screen” so that I could save it. The document is saved in the “photos” of Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse on my family tree on

* Please note that in this document it has been stated: “..claimant left Samoa some time ago on a vessel bound for the United States and is reported to have been lost at sea…” and “The records of the consulate at Apia bear this note opposite the claimant’s registration: returned to the United States March 11, 1905.”
Note - it is then stated: “…claimant’s wife seems to have been married in 1905 to Thomas Brighouse of Apia, to have had a child by that marriage, and to have died in 1908 (the wife died).” It goes on to state: “Mr. Brighouse appeared before me on behalf of the said child, Mona, who he said, was living in England…”

•I have since obtained access to another record of “Claims of American Citizens in Apia, Samoa”. This record shows that it is Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse who is speaking in court. His answers led me to believe that my gramma Mona was the daughter of a woman named Marie – former wife of William R. Pettibone. I have not been able to find any record of the marriage of TWB to Marie – nor of Marie’s first marriage to William R. Pettibone. I wondered why Mona’s brother George was not named in this claim? You will find a copy of this second document saved in the “photos” of Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse on my family tree on

I don't know if it is my gramma Mona that they wrote to but - Wendy (in Samoa) said Aunt Betty (Tom's mom) thought that a couple of TWB and Fati's girls wrote to her for awhile but then they lost touch. She would only have been 4 when she left I think they may have been writing to Ramona in Utah.· As far as gramma Mona not writing to Thomas herself...I am wondering if she didn't have the nerve. Maybe he didn't want her and she knew it. I have a feeling that she grew up feeling very out of place...and without a real family. She was proud of the fact that her father ran a plantation but - she couldn't tell us anymore about him. It must have been so very hard for her to be sent away from her father...and the people she knew - and to go on a long journey in a big ship across the ocean. Then - who knows if she was very welcomed? I would hope that her grandmother Emma would have had some feelings for her but I wonder what really happened to gramma Mona after Emma died. Gramma would have been about 10 when she moved in with her Aunt Fanny - and maybe the agreement was that she act as a servant. I know that we haven't found gramma Mona's name in any census in England at all for the 11 or 12 years she was there.·Gramma may have felt that she was not a part of the family and maybe she didn't have enough confidence to write to TWB to ask who her mother was for fear of being rejected. I think it must have been hard for her know that Thomas had Ramona and George...and she knew he had married a native woman and they had she must have always felt that no one wanted her yet the others were kept in Samoa. I wish she was here to ask her these questions but when I meet with my aunts...maybe they will remember more of what she may have talked about. Unfortunately - both of them are in their 80's and not having the easiest time remembering things so we'll see how that goes.·In the latest photo I received from Wendy of TWB - I really see the likeness of him and my gramma. My gramma had deep set eyes with dark circles around them too. The only other thing we have always gramma's skin is a little darker...not much - but she always looked like she had a tan...winter or summer. You will have to take a look at the photos I attach here and see what you think.* Someone had written to me on GenForum to tell me that George Brighouse had committed suicide in New Zealand in 1929. I obtained a death record for George Brighouse. The document was printed out on a large sheet of paper so I have saved it in two separate sections. These documents are in the “photos” of George Brighouse (*son of Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse and not TWB’s father George). It shows that George died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound (how very sad….). NOTE that it shows his mother as Sinapai Brighouse?

* I also found a burial record for George Brighouse, saved in the “Photos” area of his records on my family tree on

* I obtained records on the Latter Day Saints, IGI – on the Samoan Brighouse family but thought there was in error as I believed that the mother of Ramona and Pusi was Fati Tagamoa (Brighouse). The records I found showed “Sinapa/i” as the mother of these children by TWB. I have attached this link but not sure if it will bring you right to the page where these records are. This is really getting complicated….

*I have recently connected with others who are great-grandchildren of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse….a son of Thomas Jr., a son and a daughter of Sheila and a daughter of Anne (children of Thomas and Fati). Thomas connected with me on Facebook and sent me a picture of Thomas W. and Fati’s gravesite, located in Upia, Samoa. (in “photos” on my family tree under Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse)

•Any information I have been able to obtain on the Brighouse family is shown on my family tree on To view my tree you would need to provide me with your email address so that I can send you and invitation to “view” my “McIntee-Brighouse family tree (also Hopkins and Cole)”. The “Hopkins and Cole” are my father’s side of the family. I am attempting to add all information on family members to the current time. I will add to this “story” as I learn any new information.


March 20, 2010

I have now connected with a number of ancestors in the Brighouse family that originated in Samoa (also a couple of people who are from a different line but have helped me in my search. I have found that everyone I have connected to are wonderful, kind and thoughtful people who are very excited that I am working on the Brighouse family ancestry. I am hoping that all will try to contribute what they know so that our tree can grow and hopefully – we will find out more about my gramma. The people I have connected to are as follows:

•Wendy and Tom Brighouse – Tom is the son of Thomas Brighouse…who was the son of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB was his grandfather.
•Wendy Brighouse/Sword from New Zealand – not connected to the Samoan family but a wonderful email friend.
•Christopher Kalmar – son of Elaine Kalmar who was the daughter of Ramona “Mona” Kalmar (Brighouse) – daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Sinapa’i. TWB would be his great grandfather.
•Elaine Kalmar – daughter of Ramona “Mona” Kalmar (Brighouse) who was the daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Sinapa’i.
•Jane Collyer – daughter of Marjorie Brighouse who is the daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be her grandfather.
•Litia Brighouse – daughter of Anthony Brighouse who is the son of Patrick Sr. Brighouse – son of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be her great-grandfather.
•Nancy Gordy/ Brighouse – connected to another branch of the Brighouse family but the one who helped me when I first started my search…not knowing where to begin. She still sends me anything she comes across.
•Robin Le Bagge – daughter of Leonora Tebbutt (Brighouse) “Briggie” or “Norah” – who is the daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be her grandfather.
•Mel Shingleton – son of Sheila Shingleton (Brighouse) – daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be his grandfather.
•Charmaine Hanson (brother of Mel) – daughter of Sheila Shingleton (Brighouse) – who is the daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be her grandfather.
•Noue Wallwork – daughter of Anne Rivers (Brighouse) – who is the daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be her grandfather.
•Lisa Va’ai – daughter of Kim Va’ai (Carruthers) – daughter of Audrey Carruthers/Malietoa (Brighouse) – who was the daughter of Thomas Wilkinson and Fati Brighouse. TWB would be her great-grandfather.
•Barbara Graham – related to Brighouses in England through a brother of Thomas’ father George. Barbara has gone out of her way to search for records in the library and drive to various locations in an effort to learn where my gramma lived and what she may had done while in England. She is also a wonderful lady!
•I would like to mention another person. I had sent a request to obtain my gramma’s birth records to the Samoan government and a lady replied stating that she got my email in error as she no longer works for that department. She recommended 2 other departments I could write to (which I have and got another recommendation to write to the Registrar for Births, Deaths& Marriages…haven’t heard back…) This lady – Sita Leota then wrote me back and said that she wanted to help me. She gave me the email address of Litia Brighouse and said that I was to tell her Sita recommended that I ask her for assistance. Once I wrote to Litia – Litia connected me to Lisa Va’ai! Both are going to see if they can find out anything from their families that might help me. Isn’t this something! I honestly think I have a few angels sitting on my shoulders!

Update: 2014
I have received a copy of a marriage certificate showing Thomas Wilkinson Brighouse married the widow-Marie Pettibone (maiden name Wulf). When I sent a copy of this marriage certificate to a Brighouse family member, she didn't believe it was a valid record because it shows that he was born in the US and that his father was a veterinarian. I believe that Thomas purposely gave false information on his background...maybe he didn't want others to know his father was a travelling salesman....I don't know. It just seems like too much of a coincidence that the court records I have read state that Marie is his wife and the mother of Mona.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
D_Stone91 1397439476000 
per page

Find a board about a specific topic