Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
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Contact: Nick Wallingford - firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm not a Jarlov. But my many years around Averil Christine Andersen-Jarlov and her mother Beryl Taylor Andersen-Jarlov, who was married to Albert John Jarlov has given me a real interest in the family. These notes are based on the information I have found - but as an 'outsider', I'm always ready to hear from those of you who know the people and events more directly!
Axel Andersen was born in Nysted, Denmark, on 16 October 1883, to Hans Christian and Sofie Flemine (nee Lange) Andersen. Hans Christian was a schoolteacher, with a keen interest in linguistics and languages.
Axel was their second child. Ultimately, they would have a family of six - four boys and two girls.
When Axel was 21 he made the decision to emigrate. Family stories have it that that was in order that his remaining brothers and sisters would be able to get a better opportunity for a good education. He left Denmark for Sydney, initially, and then on to Wellington. He gave his occupation as 'Kontorist', or clerk.
Axel arrived in Wellington on 12 April 1905, on board the Monowai, coming into Wellington to dock at 5:30 in the evening. The trip from Sydney took four days, and was described as pleasant, with light winds and a smooth sea.
Axel's younger brother Holger left Denmark about a year later, bound for the United States. He didn't stay all that long - one story has it that he was in North Dakota - but family stories have it that he returned to Denmark and delighted the rest of the family with his ability to use a lasso.
Holger then left Denmark to join Axel in New Zealand, arriving on 21 February 1909 on the Athenic from London. The Athenic's voyage was quite a big deal, with something of a 'race' going on with another ship.
Between Axel's arrival in 1906 and Holger's in 1909, and important change came about. The family name changed from 'Andersen' to 'Jarløv'. Hans Christian Andersen, Axel's father, was a schoolteacher and an eager researcher in languages. Some of his research resulted in him being allowed to take the name 'Jarløv' (it related to the historical pronunciation of his home town of Errindlev). Both brothers, Axel and Holger, took up the new name, but dropped the line through the letter o - they became 'Jarlov'! The 'Andersen' name was still often used, but now as a middle name - and regularly misspelled as 'Anderson' on many documents!
After Holger's arrival into New Zealand, Axel and Holger were living north of Dannevirke, in Umutaoroa and Matamau, and were working in the bush. Soon after his arrival in 1909 Holger bought a small dairy farm, and the intention was that they would both be working on it.
In December 1910, both brothers applied for naturalisation. While Axel was successful, Holger was not, with this first application, as he had not been in New Zealand long enough - he didn't get naturalised until 1913.
In related documents that are attached to that application, Axel's claim for an age benefit made in 1949, he states that though he arrived in New Zealand as Axel Andersen, he changed his name by deed poll to Axel Andersen Jarlov. Though he says that was done in 1909 or 1910 in Dannevirke, no record has been found of that legal step.
Many in the family, including Axel, continued to use the 'Andersen' name as a middle name of sorts, with several of the sons having that middle name.
It would be while living near Matamau, not far north of Dannevirke, that Axel met Eva Larsen...
Eva's father Charles (changed from Karl or Carl) Larsen had come to New Zealand with his mother, two brothers and a sister from Norway when he was twelve years old. They came to join an older sister and her family who had emigrated several years earlier, and settled near Mauriceville, near the Forty Mile Bush, along with many other Scandinavian immigrants.
Eva's mother Johanna Christina Neilsen had arrived with her parents and other siblings about the same time, leaving Denmark in the early 1870s for New Zealand. They, too, settled near Mauriceville.
As a young man, Charles visited Australia with a view to settling there - his brother Halford did in fact stay to work in New South Wales and later Queensland.
After Charles and Johanna married (in Mauriceville West, on 6 December 1884) they started their own family - what was to eventually be twelve children, with three dying young. Eva Maria was born while they were still in Mauriceville West, on 15 December 1890. She was a twin - her sister Minnie Caroline lived only just over one year.
When Eva was about 10, the family moved from the Wairarapa to the Umutaoroa area just north of Dannevirke. Her father Charles was well respected and innovative as a dairy farmer - he had been one of the very first to use a milking machine that was water powered.
In that period around 1910, Eva was working in the Post Office in Umutaoroa - it got the mail by coach on a daily basis from Dannevirke. Axel was working as a sawmiller at Matamau, and probably also working with Holger on the nearby dairy farm. Eva and Axel married on 11 September 1911, at her parent's house/farm in Umutaoroa. At some point after the birth of their first two child, Evelyn and Rita, they moved to Motuhora (now Moutohora), near Matawai, north of Gisborne. It was almost certainly June 1914, as there are two Jarlovs travelling on a boat from Napier to Gisborne to match the pair...
Motuhora is, these days, off from the main road from Gisborne through to Opotiki. Back in the early 20th century, it had more prominence - it was the railhead for a very busy area for logging and sawmilling.
Axel started work for Sloan's Timbermill, and was involved in several legal disputes that indicates that he was working with timber in various forms - felling trees and working in timbermills as a sawyer.
And Axel and Eva had their family... Evelyn on through to Flora. Only one of their children died young - their first boy (following on from Evelyn and Rita) was named Oliver. He lived for about six months before dying in August 1915 - he is buried in the old Makaraka Cemetery in Gisborne. Oliver would probably have been named for Axel's brother Holger, who after settling into New Zealand used that Anglised version of his Danish name for all his life. It is possible, though, that Eva chose the name as one of her brothers was 'Charles Oliver'.
Albert John, and perhaps some of the other children born after 1914, were born at the Salvation Army Hospital, 12 Carnarvon Street, Gisborne.
During those six months that baby Oliver was alive, Axel's brother Oliver and his new wife, Ellen, came to visit. Ellen (nee Moran) was known as 'Nellie' and was also a Matamau/Dannevirke girl. She and Holger/Oliver married in May 1915, and must have almost immediately come on a coastal ship to Gisborne to see Axel and Eva.
Axel and Eva continued with sawmilling in Matawai and their family. Evelyn, Rita, Oliver (who died young), Ivan, Albert, Lindsay and Flora were all born while they were in Matawai. They were a feature of the community, with Axel often playing piano for social gatherings. Axel also played a significant role in the local Labor Party and with the N.Z.W.U. (New Zealand Workers' Union).
Some time around August 1929, Axel and Eva and their children moved to Ngongotaha, near Rotorua (several of the children began at Ngongotaha Primary School in late August 1929). It may well have been that they followed some of the Tunnicliffe families, with whom they had worked timber at Matawai. After several years there, they moved out to 'The Mill' at Rotoma, which was to be their home until they retired into Rotorua city.
Not so long afterward, there were several significant deaths - Axel's father died in 1931, Eva's mother in 1932, and then Eva's father in 1933.
And again, the name 'Andersen' and 'Jarlov' come into it. At some point in the late 1940s and 1950s, Eva and Axel's son Albert John began to occasionally use the hyphenated name 'Andersen-Jarlov'. All of his children were registered with that name (causing on-going problems when they went to get passports and so forth). Albert appears to have been the only one who effectively 'reverted' to using the Andersen name in this way.
By the 1940s Axel and Eva's timbermill was well established, and they were bidding and winning contracts for felling bush throughout the area. It was certainly a family affair - sons Ivan, Albert and Lindsay all worked in the operation. Sons-in-law Cecil Young (Evelyn's husband) and Roy Nixon (Flora's husband) were also employed.
Though Axel's father had died in 1931 - not long after Axel and Eva moved to the Rotorua area - his mother Sophie lived to be nearly 90 and died in 1947. The brothers and sisters that Axel and Holger left behind in Denmark carried on with life, and most had families of their own. It isn't clear how much communication there was between New Zealand Denmark, but no record of any visits either way have been found.
World War II had, seemingly, a lesser impact on the business than it might have had for other businesses. Both Albert and Roy were called up or volunteered for service (Albert in Italy and Egypt, Roy in the Pacific) but the business continued in spite of the lack of availability of machinery and parts. Letters from Eva to her son Albert described problems relating to parts for the truck, but also seemed optimistic about the opportunities the bush near the mill were presenting to the family business.
The children married and moved away through the 1940s, but the boys stayed involved in the family timber business until the middle 1950s, when Albert John left the business to buy a fishing boat, the Oranga.
Axel's brother Holger, now known as Oliver, and his wife Nellie did not have so stable a marriage. Nellie had run off with a very young man before 1928, leaving Oliver with a young daughter Sylvie, about 10 or 11 at the time. Oliver cared for he daughter on his own from that point.
The brothers, Axel and Oliver, stayed in contact throughout their lives. After WWII, even before heading back to Rotorua, Axel's son Albert went to stay with Oliver and Sylvie in Wellington, where Oliver was a timberyard worker. At one point, Sylvie, her husband and daughter came to visit the Jarlovs in Rotorua - but Oliver did not come on that visit. At least once, Axel did manage to visit with his brother in Wellington. The two brothers were very similar in appearance, especially as they got older, as was Ejnar, one of the two brothers still back in Denmark...
By the late 1940s, Axel was ready to retire from the business and leave it to his sons. Axel and Eva moved to a house on Russell Road. It was the house they were to spend the rest of their lives in. Axel was known for his piano playing and his roses.
The last significant set of family photos were part of the 50th wedding anniversary of Eva and Axel - it was attended by all of the family in September 1961. Photos record the children, their spouses and the (by then) significant number of grandchildren. Axel and Eva's son Albert died less than a year after that set of photos, in June 1962.
Both Axel and Eva died just a bit more than a year apart in 1968 and 1969, leaving behind Evelyn, Rita, Ivan, Lindsay and Flora/Tid, along with their many children.