‘Our little ones’ are the pocket diaries of Frederick Percy Welch. Written from 1888 until 1929 they provide a rich record of the life of a prominent Masterton businessman, and his connections to an extensive family spread throughout the Hutt Valley and on farms near Masterton.
He was born in the Hutt Valley in 1866, the son of William and Sarah Welch. He came to the Wairarapa shortly after his marriage to Bertha Diederich, and farmed in the Rangitumau area with his brother George. He started a land agency business with William Gillespie, later taking over the whole business, and running it until his death in 1932.
Welch always took an active interest in sport, and was a member of the famous Welch family cricket and rugby teams of the early 1900s. He was also very interested in chess and horticulture.
He and Bertha had four sons – Leo, Bernard, Jack and Brian – and three daughters, Gretta, Norma and Marjorie.
The Wairarapa Archive holds 41 diaries from Frederick Percy Welch, covering his personal life as well as giving a good record of the commercial life of one of Masterton’s prominent businessmen.The diaries record many land transactions, as well as notable events in the town. There are also diaries from other members of the family, and an extensive photographic record of the family based on the work of F.P. Welch’s cousin, William Kemble Welch.