Garmonsway, Edward Ned

Descendants of Edward Garmonsway

Edward Watts Garmonsway ‘Ned’  born in Nova Scotia on 10 Dec 1840 1 ; died 4 Jul 1835 1,2 in Pirongia, Waikato, New Zealand, buried 6 July 1935 in Pirongia Cemetery - his headstone reads: In loving memory of our dear uncle Edward Watts Garmonsay, died 4 July 1935 aged 94 2.

       Ned Garmonsway is understood to have been the longest living of the NZ family progenitor's at the time of this compilation 600 plus descendants. He did not marry. From a relationship in about 1880 with a de facto of Maori descent he had a son named Maru Edward. The ‘1882 Return of Freeholders’ listed him as a carter of Alexandra with land valued at £8. In the NZ Wises Directory of New Zealand for 1906 and 1918 he was listed as a carter at Pirongia. ‘Old Ned’ as he was affectionately known throughout the Waikato, was a Pirongia area resident for more than seventy years. He came to the Waikato region as a member of the 3rd Waikato Regiment. After his discharge from the Militia he commenced the carrying business between Pirongia and the Te Awamutu railway station which he operated for over fifty years 4.
        It has been written he was well known with his wagon and team of horses. He unloaded coal in huge chaff sacks from the steamer which delivered goods to the wharf at the bottom of Crozier Street and quote: "many a boy was taken for a days outing on the wagon which never went faster than walking pace. Old Ned would take the boys to the Railway Tearooms, run by Langmuirs, buy them soft drinks and biscuits and give them a picnic, with the highlight of the day coming when the boys could take the horses reins as they returned home late at night" 5.
        He was a foundation member of the Alexandra Racing Club and the old Alexandra Brass Band 4. He played the big drum in the brass band with his brother John Henry, who played the Baratone, and nephew Charles who played the Pickelo. This band played the farewell to the Maori King Tawhia on the occasion of him leaving to visit England 6. His local newspaper obituary read:

The Death occurred at Piroinga last Thursday of Mr Edward Garmonsway, aged 95. Well known among the older Waikato settlers, Mr Garmonsway was born in India in 1840. With his parents he went to England in 1848 and three years later the family left for New Zealand. Mr Garmonsway lived in Auckland until 1863 when, as a member of the 3rd Waikato Regiment he was sent to Alexandra, now known as Pirongia, where he experienced some stirring incidents during the progress of the Maori Wars. On one occasion after having walked eight miles to Te Awamutu he was informed that his home had been surrounded by hostile Maoris and it was only after strenuous effort that his family was brought to safety at the redoubt at Te Awamutu. 6.

Children of Edward Watts Garmonsway and de facto of unknown name were:
        1.    Maru Edward Garmonsway b. circa 1880 3; d. 6 Jul 1956 3 aged 76 years.

1  Garmonsway Family Genealogy - booklet published in NZ in 1983.
2  N.Z. Society of Genealogists CD-ROM issued 2000, Pirongia Cemetery Transcriptions.
3  Ibid - Hamilton East Cemetery Transcriptions.
4  Email advice dated 3 May 2001 from Jill Van Der Reyden of NZ - advising the extract from "Personalities of Alexandra (Pirongia)" - quoted from in para preceeding this citation.
5  Ibid  - advising the wording of a ‘item from a booklet’ - quoted from in para preceeding citation.
6  Ibid - advising obituary wording and the brass band family membership.

Compiled by J. Raymond, Brisbane, Australia - dated 5 May 2001