28 July 2011

The Flower Family of Whangarei, New Zealand.

A few years ago I picked up a handful of candid photos plus 3 studio photos that all seemed to be connected somehow, it wasn’t until a week ago that I was able to finally connect most of the people in them thanks to ancestry.com having the NZ Electoral Rolls available.

Some of the photographs are addressed to Auntie Hazel so it seems some of her photographs have found their way into an antique shop after she passed away. I’m sure there must be some descendants of the Flower family who would love to have these photographs back again.

The first one is “To dear Auntie Hazel from wee Merle Flower, aged 1 year & 9 months”

Second is “Owen Lawrence Flower, 6 weeks old”.


Merle Jean Flower was the daughter of Wilfred Sydney Flower & Edna Rowe neé Conaghan, probably born sometime before 1928. Wilfred & Edna also had two sons, Donald Barrie & Desmond Wilfred. Alfred Sydney had four siblings one of whom was Lawrence Vivian. Lawrence married Mabel Jane Fussell in 1925 so I would presume they are Owen’s parents in the photo. Lawrence & Mabel may have also had a daughter Lola Joy.

Another brother was John William Flower who married Hazel Evelyn Coup 1936 in Whangarei, presumably she is Auntie Hazel. The last sibling is Catherine Margaret Flower who married George Percival Moore in 1923.


Best Wishes to Hazel from Lizzie and below Lizzie & Luther are the couple in the middle.


To me the middle girl in the first photo looks very much like a younger version of the Lizzie in the second photo. They are both quite small candid photos so I’ve enlarged them for comparison. The second photo has the date of Aug 1951 and ‘4 West View, Wooldale’ written on the back along with the names of the people. I’ve Googled the address but the only Wooldale I can come up with is in Yorkshire, England. So it’s a mystery as to who Lizzie & Luther are at present.


On the front of this photograph is “Dear ‘Aunty’ Hazel and ‘Joe’, Best Wishes for the coming Year from Angus, Evelyn Wilson and family”. I found Angus & Evelyn Wilson living in Paparoa Northland in 1946 which is just a hop, step & a jump from Pahi, Angus was a soldier then, don’t know how they might be connected to the Flowers though.


This one was taken on 16 Mar 1956 at Lake Okataina in Rotorua, the ladies are listed thus on the back ‘Effie, Doris, Elsie, Hazel’, so I think that means Hazel is the one on the left hand end.


This is a photograph of the Dressmaking Staff at D W Jack & Sons of Banks St in Whangarei.

Here you can see the premises of T G Palmer Photographers in Cameron St, Whangarei.


I’m not sure just which one of the two girls in the front Maggie Flower is and neither have a I found a Margaret Flower so far except for Catherine Margaret who could have been known by her middle name. The ‘To Billie with love’ is interesting because the photo below is addressed to ‘Billy with love 1931’.This one is taken in the Bell Studios in Auckland. I didn’t originally think this photo was connected to the Flowers but with both of them being addressed to Billie/Billy it seems like there could be a connection, unfortunately Electoral Rolls don’t give nicknames!


There could be a resemblance between the woman in this photo and the one on the left of the three woman apple pickers above.

The small Flower family tree I found is:-

Sydney Flower married Elizabeth Downie in 1899 in New Zealand. Sydney was born in NZ in 1871 but there are no parents names listed on his birth registration entry. Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter & Margaret Downie & was born in NZ in 1879.

Sydney & Elizabeth had the following children:-

1911/1401 Flower  John William  Elizabeth Sydney m Hazel Evelyne Coup
1901/2964 Flower  Wilfred Sydney  Elizabeth Sydney
1899/17449 Flower  Lawrence Vivian  Elizabeth Sydney
1903/2244 Flower  Catherine Margaret  Elizabeth Sydney

Their various spouses & children are listed above.

ancestry.com; NZ BDM Records; Coup Family Tree; Vans Family Archive


If any of the descendants of the above Flower family would like to have these photographs please get in touch with me. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

All the information I’ve found on this family may also be seen on the next update of the Strangers in a Box database on WorldConnect.

Dawn Scotting

1 comment:

Brett Payne said...

I think I like the photograph of the apple pickers best, although it is the shot of Lake Okataina which is most familiar to me.

You have so many details of the family here, that I'm sure a descendant of other relative will drop out of the woodwork eventually.