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Subject: Zambian Hebblethwaites/Hepplethwaites
Posted by: Victor Hepplethwaite, victorhepplethwaite@yahoo.com
Message: My name is Victor Hepplethwaite. I am Zambian born in 1953. I am of mixed race i.e. my paternal grandfather was English and other grand parents blacks. My grandfather's name was Christopher John Heblethwaite (with one "b"). He was in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) between 1906 and 1910. He served as a District Commissioner at a place in Barotseland (now Western Province of Zambia).

He had two children with my grandmother viz:
     Kefu Richard Hepplethwaite, born 1908
     Mary Getrude Hepplethwaite, born 1910.

He resigned from the Colonial Service in 1910 after it was found out he had children with a local woman. In those days the Service was intolerant of British government officers having relations with blacks. Upon resignation he moved on to Congo presumably as an Administrator as he possessed a degree in Law and Languages (French). This was a requisite qualification for serving in the Colonial Service.

He was compelled to leave the two children behind. Their mother subsequently left them as well and the District Officials sent them to a christian orphanage in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). It is at this point that the name Heblethwaite was changed to Hepplethwaite by the orphanage officials, presumably by error. We have thus retained the name Hepplethwaite. I hope it means the same thing.

My grandfather's records are in the Zambian Government archives which record his stay in Zambia, his resignation, his moving to Congo and his dying in action in Cameroun/Nigeia on 7 April 1915 (First World War). Cameroun was then a German Colony hence the military action. On his death certificate Hebblethwaite rather than Heblethwaite was recorded.

Whilst in London in 1992, I actually found a lead to the record of his parents/birth details (in St. Catherine's) but could not proceed further with my research as I had to return to Zambia. He was born between 1874 and 1884. A search in St. Catherine's would give the exact date and place of birth as well as details of his parents.

The Hepplethwaites in Zambia and Zimbabwe a quite a sizable "tribe" numbering over forty progeny.

Since posting the above details, Victor has added the following:

Christopher John Hebblethwaite was born 1 April 1884 in Victoria Park, district of Wavertree, county of Lancashire (now Merseyside). His father was John Herbet Heblethwaite, Cash Broker, presumably from the same area, and his mother was Sarah Jane Butler.

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