The parents of my maternal grandmother, Bronwen Elizabeth MAY, were William James MAY and Doreen Alice BEVIN.

William James MAY was born 30 April 1906 in Gelli, Ystrad Rhondda, Glamorgan, Wales, to Samuel MAY & Sarah Elizabeth PROBERT. He had two younger sisters: Alice Maud (1908-1908) & Bronwen (1909-1950). In the 1911 Wales Census, the family was living at 67 Madeline Street, Pontygwaith.

William emigrated to NZ with his parents, sister, and an uncle, James Henry MAY, in 1921, arriving in Auckland aboard the Ruahine on 16 July 1921. The family moved to the West Coast of the South Island, and in 1928 William was working as a shop assistant in Millerton.

The following year, he married Doreen Alice BEVIN on 7 February 1929 in Millerton.

Doreen Alice BEVIN was born 14 September 1908 in Westport, Buller, NZ, to Henry “Harry” BEVIN & Elizabeth Ann TANSLEY. She had five full siblings – Mavis Mary (1907-1921), Ivan Arthur (1910-1960), Edward Roland (1913-1958), James Simpson (1915-2003), & Leoni Mabel (1917-2001) – as well as one half sibling, Thomas Henry James “Harry Jr” (1901-1960), born to her father & his first wife, Mina.

William and Doreen’s first child, Bronwen, was born in Millerton, but by 1935, William and Doreen had moved to Wanganui and were living at 27 Gonville Ave. Their three sons were born in Wanganui. By 1942, the family had moved to 63 Gonville Ave, and in the early ’50s, they moved to number 65 where William and Doreen remained until their deaths.

William died 22 July 1975, and Doreen on 21 July 1982.

Black & white photo of Doreen & William May
Dorrie & Bill May dressed for their daughter’s wedding