Topic: Alwina Clarice Hazel Hutchins (nee Garmonsway) (1900-1983)

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Alwina Clarice Hazel Garmonsway was married at age sixteen, left her abusive husband after a couple of years to live with another man, bigamously married a third man in 1925 and remarried again in around 1948. She was my second great aunt - Debbie McCauley.

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Alwina Clarice Hazel Garmonsway was born in Te Awamutu on 30 November 1900 (reg. 1901/3115). Her parents were Thomas and Albertina Garmonsway (nee Meyer) who married in Te Awamutu on 14 August 1880 (reg. 1880/1949).

At age sixteen, on 5 July 1917, Alwina married Hermann Rudolph Wendt (reg. 1917/4805). They had two children together before Alwina left him and had a relationship with David Leonard Hurst.

A month prior to her marriage to Wendt, he had been in trouble with the law as reported in the Waikato Times on 18 June 1917:

In the Magistrate's Court this morning, Tia Huia, was convicted amd discharged on a charge of drunkenness, and Hermann Wendt (a German) and Henry Dunbar were each fined 10s on a similar charge.

On 19 December 1925 Alwina bigamously married John McClennan at the Hamilton Registry Office (reg. 1925/9249).

The case was heard in the Hamilton court and was reported in the New Zealand Herald on 21 August 1930. It seems that Alwina and her two children had been mistreated by Hermann:

ADMISSION OF BIGAMY. WOMAN BEFORE COURT. A charge of bigamy was admitted in the Hamilton Magistrate's Court today by Alwina Clarice Hazel Wendt, aged 29. Accused was committed to the Supreme Court at Hamilton for sentence. Evidence was given by Herman Rudolf Wendt that, he married tho accused on July 5, 1917, at the registry office, Hamilton. Her maiden name was Garmonsway. There were two children of the marriage. He and his wife separated three years after the marriage and he had not seen her until that day. The registrar of marriages, Hamilton, Gordon Arthur Plummer, produced the certificate of the marriage which took place between the accused and the last witness. Accused was then 16 years of age. On December 19, 1925, tho accused went through the form of marriage before him at Hamilton with John McClennnn. Accused described herself as a widow, and declared that her husband had died on April 7, 1922. Coustable Hooker produced a statement in which accused admitted having gone through the form of marriage with McClennan. She said she had not heard of Wendt for some years and did not know whether he was alive or not. She had lived with another man after Wendt had disappeared and had three children by him and one child by McClennan.

The New Zealand Herald reported Alwina's sentence on 26 August 1930:

SENTENCE FOR BIGAMY. WOMAN'S UNHAPPY LIFE. ADMITTED TO PROBATION. The story of an unhappy early married life was told by counsel on behalf of Alwina Clarice Hazel Wendt, aged 30, who came up for sentence before Mr. Justice Smith in the Supreme Court today. Prisoner was admitted to probation for three years. Mr. Noble, who appeared for prisoner, said Mrs Wendt had had a most unhappy and strenuous life since 1917. In that year, at the age of 16, she married Wendt, whom she afterwards discovered was a heavy drinker. She left him six times because of his ill-treatment and cruelty, and after three years of married life she took her two children and went to live with another man. By this man she had three children. In 1925 she met John McClennan, and went through a form of marriage with him in 1925, and had since had a child by him. Counsel said McClennan later turned her out. His Honor interposed to say that the probation officer reported that McClennan did not know she was married prior to the ceremony, and that when he found out he left her. Mr. Noble said the prisoner was a woman of poor education and was somewhat simple-minded She had six children, whose ages ranged from three to 12 years. Her husband Wendt was in prison. His Honor said it seemed prisoner married a member of the criminal class, and he was not surprised that she left him. He accepted McClennan's story that he left prisoner when he learned that she was already married, and it seemed that counsel's description of McClennan was not justified. His Honor said he had also noted that prisoner's mentality was below normal, and he thought he would be justified in admitting prisoner to probation. He realised he was going to the limit of leniency in doing so. Prisoner must understand she could not flout the law. She was ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution, £1 1s. 

The children of Alwina Clarice Hazel Garmonsway: (further research required)

  1. Herbert Winden Wendt (1918-?). Born in 1918 (Folio No: 1918/3776). He married Mabel Iris who was born on 16 July 1915. Herbert died in 1987 (reg. 1987/51685). Mabel died in 1994 (reg. 1994/37532).
  2. Doreen Patricia Wendt (1919-?). Born in 1919 (Folio No: 1919/4314). She married J Cawood?
  3. Cyril Hurst
  4. David Hurst
  5. Trevor Hurst. He married Olwyn?
  6. Doris Hurst. She married Alex Bennett?
  7. Susan Wendt. She married Kevin Stuart ?
  8. Jean Muriel Clarice Wendt. She married of Robert George Scott in 1953 and ? Redshaw?
  9. Roy Wendt. He married Jean ?

The 1946 Waikato Electoral Roll  shows married woman Alwina Clarice Hazel Wendt living at 15 Allen Street in Hamilton.

Hermann Rudolph Wendt died in 1948 (reg. 1948/22366). It is most likely around this time that Alwina remarried to George William Hutchins.

The 1949 Waikato Electoral Roll shows married woman Alwina Clarice Hazel Hutchins living in Tower Road in Matamata.

The 1957, 1963 and 1969 Waikato Electoral Rolls show Alwina living with a retired George at 1132 Heaphy Terrace in Hamilton.

Alwaina died on 4 August 1983  (reg. 1983/41202). She was buried in Hamilton Park Cemetery on 8 August 1983.


Auckland Star (20 August 1930, p. 8).

Auckland Star (25 August 1930, p. 3).

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Edward Garmonsway and Letitia King: Their descendants. A booklet to commemorate the Garmonsway family reunion held 16-17 April 1983 in Cambridge, N. Z. (1983) by Barbara Kelly, Julie Fox and Peter Wood.

Hamilton Cemetery Records Online.

New Zealand Electoral Rolls (via

New Zealand Herald (9 October 1917, p. 6).

New Zealand Herald (21 August 1930, p. 14).

New Zealand Herald (26 August 1930, p. 14).

NZ Truth (28 August 1930, p. 2).

Waikato Times (18 June 1917, p. 4).

This page was archived at Perma cc March 2017

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Alwina Clarice Hazel Hutchins (nee Garmonsway) (1900-1983)

First Names:Alwina Clarice Hazel
Last Name:Garmonsway
Date of Birth:30 November 1900
Place of Birth:Te Awamutu
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:4 August 1983
Place of death:New Zealand
Place of burial:Hamilton Park Cemetery
Spouses name:Hermann Rudolph Wendt
Spouses place of birth:Germany
Spouses date of death:1948
Spouses place of death:New Zealand
Date of marriage:5 July 1917
Place of marriage:Hamilton, New Zealand
Fathers name:Thomas Garmonsway
Fathers date of birth:12 June 1843
Fathers place of birth:Stockport Barracks, Lancashire, England
Fathers date of death:23 June 1918
Fathers place of death:Pāterangi, New Zealand
Mothers name:Albertina Meyer
Mothers date of birth:3 October 1863
Mothers place of birth:Germany
Mothers date of death:3 October 1940
Mothers place of death:Leamington, Cambridge, New Zealand