My Bentley Family Tree
Any convicts in your family tree?
No! None in mine either!
But then I wasn’t born in Australia
What about Bentleys?
Any Bentley’s out there?
I mean real people,
not the cars (maybe).
I was born in Fiji, with family ties
to northwest India on my father’s side
and an interesting complex on my mother’s side
to Samoan chiefs, Fijian chiefs,
and the Bentley clan from England.
There will be separate blogs in the future
covering the Indian, Samoan, and Fijian connections,
but, for today,
The Bentley connection is my topic.
I was named after my grandfather.
His name was Ronald Bentley.
But he had moved to New Zealand
around the time of my birth
so I never got to meet him.
All I knew from my mother
was that he was a tall person
and his family had come from England.
In Fiji he was married to Emma but had
a relationship with my Samoan grandmother, Kumaiuka
resulting in the birth of my mother, Agnes Margaret Bentley.
Kumaiuka passed away quite early so mum was
brought up by Ronald and Emma Bentley.
My chance meeting with Grandma Emma Bentley
It was in November 1981.
I spent a week in Auckland New Zealand
while en route to start a career in Sydney Australia.
Mum was living with her step-mother, Emma Bentley
and caring for her during her last days.
That was my first ever meeting with Grandma Emma
and she was all family
and wanted to tell me the history of the Bentley family,
revealing information I had never imagined.
Scottish (?) roots for the Bentley Clan
This was totally unexpected.
She said the Bentley clan originated from
Gourock Greenock Renfrewshire near Glasgow in Scotland
where William Bentley tried to build a huge mansion
which the locals called the “Bentley Folly”.
My good friend Sandie Starling discovered the
attached information while researching my Bentley
roots for me.
Emma said the elder Bentley actually married
the cousin of Florence Nightingale,
and had two children:
Ronald Alfred Bentley, and
William Bentley had 6 children:
James, who moved to Wellington New Zealand
Henry, who married Elizabeth Miller and moved to Fiji
William, who moved to Australia
Hubert, who moved to England, and started the Bentley Cars
and then moved to the US,
Dick, who married Rebecca Thorpe and moved to Fiji
The Fiji Bentley connection
Henry and Elizabeth Bentley had 9 children in Fiji:
William, who married Annie Moyer on 24 May 1889
Harry, who married Lumepa McCarthy
Robert, who married Lorrine Hayes
Fred, who married Emily Cuthbert
Mary, who married Dick Heady
Maudie, who married Sabin
Gertie, who married George Buchanan
Ethel, who married Bob Campbell, and
Charlie, who married Annie.
William and Annie Bentley had 4 children:
Margaret, who married Alex Eastgate
Norman, who died in 1910 or 1911
Ronald, who was born in 1892, and
So my grandfather Ronald Bentley married Emma
and they had two children, Annie and Violet,
and he had another daughter, Agnes Margaret
with my Samoan grandmother, Kumaiuka.
But his line of the Bentley family ended there
because there were no sons.
The Florence Nightingale and Bentley cars surprise
Well, I’ll be gobsmacked.
Not in my wildest dreams
would I have ever expected
to have the family of Florence Nightingale
in my family tree.
Is that why I’m a scientist?
As for the Bentley cars,
Holy Moly, Holy MartianCuriosity
Totally out of the blue!
That’s a humdinger connection!
Maybe explains my interest in fine cars
Like my Mercedes Benz
which is, of course, nothing like a Bentley
My Bentley Family Tree
So that’s my two cents for today
on my Bentley family tree.
Any Bentleys out there?
to comment, or correct, or update
the Bentley family tree!
Any comments or connections
would be much appreciated.
Even if you’re not a Bentley
what surprises lurk in your family tree?