Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Shire, SM/PROG

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Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Shire, SM/PROG's Geni Profile

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Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Shire (Maillot), SM/PROG

Also Known As: "Henry", "Elise", "Cherie"
Birthplace: Réunion
Death: 1876 (66-67)
Milkwood Kraal, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Wife of Henry Shire, SV/PROG alias Lyster Henry
Mother of Joseph Elias Shire; Lady Henrietta Arbuckle; Jeannette "Jemima" Shire alias Henry; Rosette Wilson and Elina "Nelly" Fewcus

Managed by: Leoné Gardner
Last Updated:

About Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Shire, SM/PROG


" Lyster Henry (1800–1866) and Elizabeth Maillot (1809–1876) arrived in Natal in mid-1846 from Mauritius via the Cape, with their first child, Joseph who had been born at sea. In 1896 Joseph provided information for Christopher Bird’s project on the history of the early settlers. He related that his father was an Irishman of German extraction who had joined the British Army in his youth, and had landed up in Mauritius with his regiment. He bought his discharge after 14 years’ service, married, and for seven years ran an ‘academy for girls’ on the island. It did not prosper, so towards the end of 1845 he gave it up and sailed for the Cape, and ultimately Natal. Elizabeth, born on the island of Bourbon, is said to have had pirate ancestry.

They settled on the Little Umhlanga river on the farm Melkhout Kraal (later Milkwood Kraal) where Henry was the first in the colony to cultivate sweet potatoes, and by 1850 was also growing cotton. Sugar became his main crop in later years. Joseph maintained that their home was the first substantial house to be built in Victoria County. Family information also has it that the flamboyant tree near the house was the first in Natal, grown from seed brought from Mauritius.

It appears that Nelly’s mother was the one with the money, and Melkhout Kraal (4 280 acres) was originally registered in her name, viz. Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Maillot and that of co-buyer, William Wilson (c.1813–1868). In 1854 something happened which changed their circumstances completely. The first inkling comes in a letter to Henry from the Colonial Secretary dated 15 June, recording that the Lt.-Governor had no objection to Lyster Henry assuming his own name, Henry Shire. Just over a week later an advertisement appeared in the press giving notice that he had resumed the name Henry Shire. On 8 July he and Elizabeth made an ante-nuptial contract. This particularly excluded community of property in regard to any possessions in Mauritius to which Elizabeth was entitled, or to which she might in the future become entitled. They were married at ‘the Umhlanga’ on about 31st July. An explanation could be that his wife Catherine Barrett had died in Mauritius, leaving him free to marry Elizabeth.

Shire died in 1866, ‘after a long trial of bitter afflictions’5, according to his gravestone, and Elizabeth died ten years later, both at Milkwood Kraal. Their only son Joseph Elias carried on with sugar cultivation after his mother’s death, but by 1877, while still farming, had a contract from the Durban Corporation for road works. "

- Natalia 39 (2009), pp. 1–6

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Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Shire, SM/PROG's Timeline

March 5, 1846
Born at sea (British)
December 30, 1847
Duff's Road, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
August 11, 1849
South Africa
September 22, 1852
Victoria county, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
South Africa
Age 67
Milkwood Kraal, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa