Polish Settlers in Jackson's Bay



The primary source for the list below is the 1879 Jackson's Bay Commission. The first spelling of the names comes from the commission's minutes, which titled its list RETURN showing names of settlers at jackson's bay, their native country, trade or occupation, and date of arrival and departure from the bay.1

The commission referred to all Poles as German. We kept the order of the settlers by arrival date rather than alphabetical as there are only 28 Polish families involved. We have included various spellings and linked the single Michael Zimmerman to his full sibling. It was tempting to associate 15-year-old Joseph Maskrunski with the Max brothers, also full siblings, but we have not been able to verify the younger lad's parentage.

The particular ships mentioned in the remarks column refer to the ones that took them from Europe to in New Zealand. Smaller steamers transported them to Jackson's Bay.

As with our larger list of early Polish settlers, this one has been compiled from a variety of sources, including personal input from families and West Coast genealogist Katheine Blakeley. We invite contributions, corrections, and any further information on the families.

—Barbara Scrivens


Names Remarks Arrival Departure
Stobbo, John and family.
Also called Johan and spelt Stoba, Stobba, Saba and Stoka.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Anna, children Marianna, Rosa and baby Anna. 15 Aug 1875 Dec 1877
Shoplifski, Jacob.
Also called Chabalaski, Chablawski and Shaplifski at Jackson's Bay.
Polish spelling is Czablewski.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Marianna, children Franz, Joseph, Jakub, Bernard and Martha, born at sea.
Son John was born on the West Coast.
15 Aug 1875 April 1879
Jacques, John and family.
Also spelt Johann Jakusch and Jakusz.
Arrived via the lammershagen with his wife, Marianne, children August, Leopold and baby Johan. 15 Aug 1875 Dec 1878
Pritzki, Carl and family.
Also spelt Priszke. Polish spelling is Pricki.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Ernestine, and an infant, Johanna. Their son Herman was born at Jackson’s Bay in September 1875, and William in Hokitika in 1878. 15 Aug 1875 Dec 1878
Shamelifski, Matthew, wife and, according to Jackson’s Bay records, just one “child.”
Also called Mathieu Chamelewsky.
Polish spelling is Czepanski.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Augustyne, and children Wilhelm, Augusta and Gustaw. They lived at Arawata. 15 Aug 1875 No date
Tobian, John and family. Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Ernestine, and children Rudolf, Herman, Wera and Emil. 15 Aug 1875 Sept 1876
Rosanoski, August and family.
Polish spelling is Rosanowski.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Maria, and infant Paulina. Michael “Rosanoski” was born at Jackson’s Bay in October 1875, and August in November 1877. 15 Aug 1875 Jan 1879
Donitz, Michael and family.
Also spelt Gedaniz and Golanitz. Polish spelling is Gdaniec.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife Barbara and son Johan. 15 Aug 1875 Dec 1878
Broddinach, Michael and family.
Polish spelling Godyniak. Also spelt Broniac, Gudyniak, Honyniach and Honyniack.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Maria, daughters Michalina and Veronica and a son, Mathew Martin, born in Hokitika barracks days after their arrival. Peter was born at Jackson’s Bay in June 1877, and Francis in 1878. 17 Sept 1875 Dec 1878
Joronoski, Joseph and family.
Also spelt Gorowski, Gernoski and Joronowski.
Arrived via lammershagen with wife, Anna, and daughter, Pauline. Frank Groufsky/ Jofofski was born in Jackson’s Bay in January 1877. According to a Jackson’s Bay death register, Joseph Joronofstle died in April 1878, aged a year and four months. 17 Sept 1875 Dec 1878
John Krepts, wife and family.
Also spelt Kreft and Kraft.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Rosalie, and children Johan and Joseph. 17 Sept 1875 Dec 1875
Maskrunski, Joe.
Also called Joseph Markinski.
Arrived via the lammershagen.
Age given as 15.
17 Sept 1875 Dec 1875
Max, Antonio.
Elsewhere called Antoni Machs.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Catherina, and children Joseph, August and Paulina. Mary Max was born at Jackson’s Bay in 1876, and Franz in 1878.
Lived in Arawata.
17 Sept 1875 April 1879
Max, Franz, wife and four children.
Also spelt Nix.
Arrived via the lammershagen with wife, Catherina, and daughters Anna, Maria, Ania, and Bernadina, born at sea. Julia Max’s birth was registered in Hokitika in 1877. 17 Sept 1875 Nov 1876
Klempel, Martin, wife and four children.
Also spelt Kimpel.
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Rosalie, children Ernestine, Christine and Johann and infant Emilie. No firm date of arrival. 1879
Belamsky, Carl, wife and, according to Jackson’s Bay records, three children.
Also spelt Bielawski, Bielanski and Bilawski.
Polish spelling is Bielski. (Brother of “Volenti Belski” below.)
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Augusta, and children Anna, Julius, Władysław, and Marianna, born at sea. No firm date of arrival. Dec 1878
Karkow, Auguste, wife and three children.
Also spelt Karkall.
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Florentine, and children Gustaw, Ferdinand and Susanne. 22 July 1876 Oct 1878
Stellan, Johann, wife and four children.
Also called John Stiller and Stieller.
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Barbara, children Franceszka, Michael, Johann and baby Marta. Rosalie Stellar was born at Jackson’s Bay in June 1878. 22 July 1876 Dec 1878
Learka, Johann, wife and four children.
Also spelt Lehrke.
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Marianne, children Franz, Anton and Franciszka, and infant Apolonia. Maria Magdalena Learki was born at Jackson’s Bay in July 1877. 22 July 1876 Dec 1878
Sporra, Johann, wife and child.
Also spelt Spora.
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Anna, and daughter Franceszka. Their younger daughter, Mathilde, died at sea. August Sporra was born at Jackson’s Bay in August 1878. 22 July 1876 April 1879
Zimmerman, Frank, wife and child.
Also called Franz.
Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Barbara, and baby Józef. Agnes Ann Zimmerman was born at Jackson’s Bay in December 1878. 22 July 1876 Dec 1878
Zimmerman, Michael (23). Arrived via the terpsichore with Franz (26) above. 22 July 1876 1878
Witzki, Franz, wife and three children. Arrived via the terpsichore with wife, Catherina, children Juliane and Franz and baby Teodor.
Catherina died in July 1877 after a tree fell on her.
22 July 1876 Franz and his children left in Dec 1877.
Osofski, Martin, wife and, according to Jackson’s Bay records, “four” children.
Also spelt Osiowki and Offsoski.
Arrived via the shakespeare with wife, Anna, and children Berta, Juliana, Rosalia, Johan and Franciszek. 1876 Oct 1878
Belski, Volenti, wife and three children.
Also called Walenty and Valentin and surname spelt Biesche and Belesky.
Polish spelling is Bielski.
Arrived via the shakespeare with wife, Weronika, children Franciszka and Franciszek and infant Walenty. 1876 Dec 1878
Zylifski, Fred and wife.
Also spelt Zilawsky, Ceglewski and Czuglewski.
Arrived via the shakespeare with wife, Anna. 1876 Dec 1878
Kurowski, Franciszek, wife and four children.
In Jackson's Bay called Franz Coronfoki, F Courofski and Franz Conronfok.
Family name changed to Crofskey.
Not listed on the Commission’s return but mentioned in other official reports and returns. He arrived via the fritz reuter with wife, Franciszka, children Franciszek, Rosalia, Johan, and baby Maria.
Franciszek senior drowned in June 1878.
1876 Franciszka and four children left by the end of 1878.
Lipinski, Robert, wife and three children.
Also spelt Lipinsky, Von Lipinski and Zopinski, R Von.
Not listed on the Commission’s return but mentioned in other official reports and returns. He arrived via the fritz reuter with wife, Juliana/Johanna, and children Anastasia, Franciszek and Johan. August Von Lipinski’s birth in January 1879, was recorded at Jackson’s Bay. 1876 No specific date


© Barbara Scrivens, 2016.
Updated April 2021


THANKS to Katherine Blakeley, a genealogist living on the West Coast, for sharing information on the Polish children born at Jackson’s Bay and Hokitika.


ENDNOTE:

  • 1  Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1879 Session I, H-09a, JACKSON'S BAY COMMISSION (MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS, EVIDENCE, CORRESPONDENCE, ETC., IN CONNECTION WITH THE), page 73.