Harriet Mary Evelyn Howell[1]

Female 1902 - 1996  (94 years)

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  • Name Harriet Mary Evelyn Howell 
    Nickname Lyn 
    Born 16 May 1902  Upper Waiwera, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Female 
    _UID 1CEAE68239904DD98F9D4CC1345EDFA6ADC1 
    Died 14 Dec 1996  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 5
    Person ID I1750  Treefive
    Last Modified 16 Nov 2014 

    Father William Howell,   b. 1861, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1933, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Harriett Brunton,   b. 29 Dec 1870, Wade, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jul 1923, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Married 6 May 1891  Wade, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    the Wesleyan Church 
    Family ID F518  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Constantine St John Olberg,   b. 1899, Wanganui, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Nov 1971, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 8 Dec 1920  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 7
    St Matthews Church, Mt Albert 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F786  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    00225 William and Hettie Howell & family
    00225 William and Hettie Howell & family
    At William's farm, Upper Waiwera
    Back: Keith, Rita, Harold, Nellie (wife of Harold), George, Jack Olberg, Evelyn (Lyn)
    Front: Bill, Edna, Hettie, Elva
    On Bill's knee: Georgina, daughter of Harold and Nellie
    On Hettie's knee: George Creamer
    00117 Howells - Edna, Elva, Violet, Rita, Lyn
    00117 Howells - Edna, Elva, Violet, Rita, Lyn
    Daughters of William and Harriet (Brunton) Howell
    00130 Children of Hettie Brunton
    00130 Children of Hettie Brunton
    At rear: George, Keith, Bert
    Front: Elva, Lynn, Harold, Edna, Vi
    00158 Harriet Mary Evelyn (Lyn) Olberg
    00158 Harriet Mary Evelyn (Lyn) Olberg
    15 May 1994 - day before 92nd birthday
    00299 Wedding of Lyn Howell and Jack Olberg
    00299 Wedding of Lyn Howell and Jack Olberg
    left: William Howell. Bridesmaid: Ivy Howell nee Olberg

  • Notes 

    • This biography is largely based on information from "The Howell Family of Upper Waiwera" (Evagean Publishing, Auckland, 1998). Thanks to Evagean for permission to use it, and to Lyn's daughter Anita Hendrey, who gave her approval.

      'Harriet Mary Evelyn was always known as Lyn. She went to school at Upper Waiwera and for a short time took a "commercial" course at Seddon Technical College, after which she took a job in a solicitor's office. In the mid-1930s she joined the staff of Farmers Trading Co. and worked as a waitress in the rooftop restaurant in the Hobson Street, Auckland, store for 25 years, becoming a member of their "Over 20 Club".

      Lyn was a member of the Hobsonville Bowling Club and won over 16 medals. She also wrote short stories about places she had visited, people, animals and gardens. She loved her garden.

      Lyn was family oriented, devoted to her family, parents, brothers and sisters. She lived most of her married life at Sandringham at several addresses but in 1961, when Jack retired, they built a home at Whenuapai village, living there until Jack died in 1971, she moved from Whenuapai back to Auckland (Penney Avenue, Mt Roskill) where the family had built 2 new home units, one for Lyn and the other for her sister Elva Stringer who was also a widow. In 1989, Lyn moved to live with Anita and Leo, then spent her last few years at the Salvation Army Resthome at Mt. Eden.'

      Lyn's ashes were scattered in the Waiwera River on a full, incoming tide on 17 Dec 1997.

      In Lyn's will she appointed her son-in-law Leo Hendrey as her executor, and she left her estate to Leo and Anita.

      Lyn wrote a wonderful story about the lives and family of her parents, William and Harriett (Brunton) Howell:


      Home is a wonderful place. To some a haven to some a prison but somehow we are bound by both. This is a little true story of my home and I am an old woman now.
      My father was born and has been brought up on his fathers farm Upper Waiwera. His father was a Welshman and I suppose emigrated to New Zealand many years ago. He married a New Zealand girl who my father told me was part Maori. They had five children four boys and one girl, my Aunt Mary, a wonderful woman. Unfortunately my grandmother died quite young and left my Aunt Mary who was the oldest to care for her father and her brothers. and she did it well. I can still remember my grandfather. A tall man with a long white beard. They lived in a corrugated iron house with a dirt floor an open fire and a camp oven to cook in. Who would do that now. But they did it for quite a long time.

      My father was of average height with black hair, dark brown eyes and a handsome beard, which was the fashion in those days. All the men wore them or if they could not sport a beard they certainly had a moustache. My mother, my dear mother she was a wonderful woman, patient and helpful and kind to all. She was Harriett Brunton before her marriage and she was born one of a large family on her parents farm at Upper Orewa which was then called "Wade".

      Quite in contrast to my father, my mother was fair skinned with blue eyes and beautiful wavy auburn hair. Her parents had come, her mother from London, her father from Scotland and they settled on this farm in the "Wade" as it was then called and bought up fourteen healthy children. No doctors, and cot deaths had never been heard of in those days. I can still remember my dear old grannie. Grannie she was to everyone.

      Now Upper Waiwera and Upper Orewa or "Wade" were about six miles apart so I imagine the way my parents met was because of my father being very fond of music was always called upon to play his accordion for all the local dances and he would ride miles to do so. He played such good dance music and enjoyed it, the locals would have no one else. He still played for the dances in my time and earned 10/- a night for it. Any way in due time when my mother was about 20 and my father about 26 they were married in the little Methodist Church in Silverdale. My father bought our farm in Upper Waiwera and there they lived. My father was a bushman among other things and he went to the bush and sawed the timber for the house and cut the shingles for the roof and in due time he built a very nice house with a verandah on three sides, four bedrooms and a little sitting room. I still remember the red velvet cloth on the table.
      We had a big kitchen with a coal range though we burned teetree wood because we had plenty of it and good it was. The kitchen was always nice and warm. The big black kettle was always singing on the stove ready for a cup of tea. And there were many birthday cakes and Xmas cakes and scones and pies and countless numbers of loaves of bread baked in the big oven.

      Sometimes when things were a bit slack on the farm my father would take a big sack and a pick and a shovel go away over the back of the hills and dig for gum. Sometimes he would come home with a sack full and be very excited, sometimes none. All this had to be done to build up a farm. Also sometimes he would work on the road. There were clay roads then and I think still are muddy in winter and dusty in summer. All this had to be done to get money to build up a farm. By now he was starting to stock the farm, buying a few cows and a few sheep. We had about 25 cows lots of sheep and a couple of pigs and hens and ducks. All these animals plus a dog and a cat had to be fed and looked after.
      And by now he was starting a family. On April 18th 1882 [stet] their first child was born. A son, who was a wonderful son to them all their lives. How proud they were of him. Two years later a little girl was born but there was a tragedy here for she was accidentally drowned. And so the family went on almost at intervals of two years until there were nine of us. Nine of us to cook and clean and sew for and look after but we were a happy family.
      My dad and mum were very proud of their brood and though we sometimes got a clip on the ear if we misbehaved. As we all grew older we all had our jobs to do to help around the place. Like milking the cows, separating the milk and churning the butter and of course we baked bread almost every day and made lots of jams out of the fruit from the orchard. Also we preserved peaches, pears, plum, apples, any fruit we had.
      We only got supplies once a week. Mr Schischka the store keeper from Puhoi would come with his two big horses and wagon and bring all we needed such as
      1 cwt flour
      1 sack sugar
      4lb sultanas and raisins and so on.
      We grew all our own fruit and vegetables and so had plenty of them.
      We all got along quite well together. Occasionally a squabble but soon over or else the stick.
      We were really quite a close family. At night time when tea was over and dishes washed up (piles of them) Dad would often get his accordion out and clear the tables and chairs away and he would teach us to dance around the kitchen. How we loved it. Or sometimes he would read a funny book to us (Dad and Dave his favourite) and I remember he could hardly read for laughing. Or we would all sit around the table and play cards and woe betide anyone who cheated. While we were doing this Mum would be sitting close to the lamp doing fine crochet or knitting.
      The little farm was providing pretty well for us by now. We (which I hated doing) killed and cured our own bacon and ham. All the farmers did. It was put in a brine for six weeks and then hung to dry and put in muslin bags and hung on the kitchen ceiling to smoke from the range. It took quite a while before we could use it but it was lovely to eat.
      Dad loved his music so much he bought a piano and got a teacher to come and give us lessons. A Miss Jackson from Puhoi. but he must have been a disappointed in us for none of us did much good at it.

      He also bought a gig and as we were the first ones in the district to have one I felt very proud. We had several riding horses but a special one for the gig because the others not being used to it would kick the bottom out of it.
      We had a one room school and one teacher who must have been very much over worked for she had from primmer one to Standard six and had to get them all through their classes. Old Barbara we used to call her but she was only about thirty. She got me and a few others through their Proficiency Cert. and that was considered quite something in those days. We had to go to Puhoi School and an Inspector would come from Auckland to take the Exam.
      My Dad was always fond of sport: I had photos of the football team. he was captain and they all looked so funny in their kind of knicker bockers trousers and caps on their heads. There was also a cricket team. He was captain there too. He was a ring leader was my father but unfortunately all the photos were burned in a house fire. You must remember this was a country district and they had to make all their own fun. And enjoy it they did. There were no fights and no drink. It was a happy country life. Oh I could go on and on. The first war came and took our young men away my brother among them but fortunately he came back but many did not. Almost one out of every house. Two in some cases. Time was moving on now and my father had the opportunity of buying a cottage at Waiwera by the beach. This he did for he thought it would be a good place for my mother and him to retire in when they sold the farm. In the mean time he let it out for very little. But sad to say it did not work out that way. My dear dear mother got sick and died at the age 51. Dad could no longer stay on the farm without her so he sold it and took the youngest three of the family with him and went to live in the cottage. As they grew older they drifted away and he was alone. I was married by this time and living in Auckland and I had a little girl of my own. But I was always homesick and went down to the cottage to my Dad whenever I could. My dear old Dad lived on until he was 72 but he was never the same after my mum died. Nor do I think was I. But fond memories of them both linger on.'

  • Sources 
    1. [S230] Biography Olberg, Lyn - family life at Upper Waiwera.
      Enclosed with letter #HOW014 - from Ron Howell to Rex Sinnott (1997)

    2. [S262] BOK034 Book - The Howell Family of Upper Waiwera, BOK034., page 74.

    3. [S2550] MAR417 Marriage Olberg, Con and Howell, Lyn, MAR417., Constantine St John Olberg and Harriet Mary Evelyn Howell; 8 December 1920; copy of register of marriage by officiating Minister; 2432.

    4. [S2551] WIL098 Probate Olberg, Hariet Mary Evelyn, WIL098., Harriet Mary Evelyn Olberg; 30 January 1997.

    5. [S313] DTH102 Death notice Olberg, Harriet Mary Evelyn (Lyn), DTH102., death notice; December 1996.

    6. [S211] MAR062 Marriage Howell, William and Brunton, Harriet - transcript, MAR062.

    7. [S938] MAR Marriage Index NZ - on-line, Constantine St John Olberg; Harriet Mary Evelyn Howell; 11408; 1920.