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Bielawski Family

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BIELAWSKI (Pol) biel. Meaning: white or swamp and root name seen in many places.

SZTUZKE (Pol) sztuka. Meaning: piece, part or stukać. Meaning; to knock, hit.


Szymon Bielawski married Anna Celman (b. abt. 1818–d. 1898).  The family born at Jόzefkowo were:  Karol (b. 3 February 1844–d. 1925), Maryanna (Amelia) (b. 13 October 1845–d. 1924), Jan (b. 1847), Hubert (b. 1850), Julianna (b. 1853), Anna (b. 1857) and Julian (b. 1860).  Karol married on 22 July 1870 at the Evangelist church in Brodnica to Justine (Augusta) Sztuzke (b. abt. 1845–d. 1888).  The family born at Kuligi were: Anna Marie (b. 1869–d. 1938), at Nieżywięć; Juliusz (b. 1873–d. 1947), Infant (b. 1874–d. 1874), and Wladysław (b. 1874–d. 1951). The family left the village of Nieżywięć for Hamburg where they set sail aboard the Terpsichore on 15 November 1875, arriving at Port Nicholson in Wellington on 18 March 1876.  Maryanna (Amelia) had left the village of Jόzefkowo some months prior where she set sail aboard the Lammershagen on 1 April 1875 arriving at Wellington on 11 July 1875.


Amelia Nelson (nee Bielawska), Roman Catholic Block 8, Plot 26 at Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill

Listed aboard the Lammershagen was: Mariane, age 25.  Maryanna, known as Amelia in New Zealand was sent down to Jackson’s Bay where she married on 28 October 1876 to widower, Robert Nelson (b. 1841 at County Down, Ireland–d. 1891).  The family born at Jackson’s Bay were: Ida Edith (b. 1877–d. 1952), at Mataura; Annie (b. 1878–1879), John (b. 1879) at Forrest Hill; Robert (b. 1881–1970) and Annie Sarah (b. 1882).  They settled on section one of Block 32 at Limehills where Robert worked as a labourer. Robert died in October 1891 at Invercargill and Amelia died on 26 May 1924 at 209 Spey Street, Invercargill and is buried at the Eastern Cemetery at Invercargill.


Listed aboard the Terpsichore were: Carl, age 31, Auguste 31, Anna 6, Julian 2 and Wladislaw 1.  The family found themselves sent to the settlement of Jackson Bay which was not the greatest introduction to New Zealand for the newcomers.  Here they had a son born at Smoothwater on 5 January 1878 naming him Clement and it appears he was baptised in New Plymouth.

Australia and New Zealand, Find a Grave Index, 1800s-Current

Carl Bielawski, Block 07, Lot 03, Plot 01 at Te Henui Cemetery

The settlement at Jackson Bay had been quoted as nothing more than a “miserable, unfortunate and very sad fiasco”. Some 26,000 hectares of land was set aside for a special settlement in Jackson Bay where the first party of settlers from Hokitika landed on 19 January 1875. Eventually about 120 Poles resided in Jackson Bay at various times during the life of the settlement. Hindered by the wet climate and lack of drainage accounting to crop failure, the isolation and a growing shortage of remunerative work provoked the general abandonment of the special settlement.  An exodus to other more promising districts was inevitable. One such incident occurred at the Beach, the only place of entry or exit to the settlement. A school squabble between children blew up into an outrage when children returning home told tales which were blown out of all proportion got mothers embroiled in the quarrel. Italian mothers, screeching, pulling hair, pushing, belabouring, and punching their opponents – raucously able German or Polish women. After work the men came running to support their wives of an afternoon of no abating in the free-for-all. It was quoted:

All combatants were supplementing their blows with scurrilous shouts in their own language, ignoring the hopeful pacifiers who spoke only in English.

“JACKSON BAY. Do not come to JACKSON BAY-more especially if you are a sober, steady striving men, losing your time and working entirely upon your own resources, without any aid from Government whatsoever. If you should get stone-broke and on the shelf in this jungle, any settler will give you a few meals or a shake-down. Though poor, there is benevolence, generosity, and hospitality existing amongst them to as great an extent as I have ever seen existing in any colonial community. They are mostly the true grit. But the case is quite the reverse with Mr. D. MacFarlane, the Resident Agent, or any of his satellites that revolve around him in their own circle. Mr. Editor, this place is dead and a total failure, and never can be a success.”  A ROAR from the Jungle-Prospector, letter to Editor of the Evening Star-HOKITIKA, 8 March 1876

The settlement soon ceased to exist around 1878.

Nichols Annie nee Bielawska Headstone

Annie Nichols (nee Bielawski), Plot 6376 at Te Henui Cemetery

The family decided to move to the North Island and settled at Inglewood where Carl worked as a farmer.  The family born at Inglewood were: Bertha (b. 1876–d. 1947, Ludowika (b. 1880–d. 1959), Frank (b. 1883–d. 1979), Monica (b. 1885–1951), Mary (b. 1886–d. 1971) and Michael (b. 1888–d. 1934).

“LAND BOARD. The Land Board met on Monday, when the Chief Commissioner presided. Present: Messrs. Crompton, Kelly, Standish, and Syme. Transfer.— The transfer of sections 51, block 6, Huiroa block, from M. Donitz to Carl Bielaski was allowed…” Taranaki Herald, 3 May 1881, p 2

According to the 1882’ Return of Freeholders, Carl owned 78 acres to the value of £129 at Waipuku.

“EDUCATION BOARD. THIS DAY. Tariki District. — Mr Morgan, chairman of Tariki Road School, reported that at a meeting of householders to fix boundaries for the Tariki school, and elect a Committee, the following resolutions were arrived at: — (1) That the boundaries of the Tariki School District be similar to those mentioned in the application, namely, On the north by the block line of block 6, Huiroa; on the west by the Manganui river; on the south by the dividing line between the Moa and Manganui Road Districts; and on the east by all unsurveyed lands. (2) That the following be the Committee for ensuing term, viz , Messrs T. Morgan, E. Morgan, P. Biesik, C. Bielawski, M. Zimmerman, F. Zimmerman, and J. Stiller. At a meeting held afterwards Mr T. Morgan was elected Chairman, and Ei. Morgan secretary and treasurer.” Tarankai Herald, 27 June 1888, p 3

Augusta died on 1 July 1888 at Inglewood aged 43 and was buried at the Inglewood Cemetery. Two years later Carl was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 26 November 1890.

“TARIKI ROAD.[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. ] A largely attended dance was held last Saturday evening; November 18, in aid of the school picnic in the schoolhouse. In spite of the wet weather it was the largest ever held, and over £5 was taken at the door. The ladies were most charmingly dressed, mostly in white and pink, and their names were, as far as we can. gather, as under :—: — Mesdames Dunick. Mysiewski, Zimmermann, Misses Zimmermann (2), Steele (2), Fabich (3), Jacquach (2) Travitzski, Kurboski, Bielawski (2), Uhlenbung, and many others. The pleasure of the evening was greatly marred by the misbehaviour of certain hoodlams, not from the Tariki Road, but from the York Road, who came there half drunk. Their names are known, and their company is not desired again. ‘Oh! dear no. Not for Joe; or even for three Joes.” [Our correspondent did not send a list of the gentlemen, for fear, he says, he might include some who did not come come under that head.— Ed T.H.” Taranaki Herald, 24 November 1893, p 2

“SUPREME COURT.  Karl Bielawski said that about three years ago he received 3d and 4d royalties for timber and 1s a chain tramway rights. The grant given by Simons would not affect the value of the land.” Taranaki Herald, 3 October 1907, p 3

Carl died on 16 August 1925 at New Plymouth and was buried at the Te Henui Cemetery.


Annie Bielawski was born at Kuligi on 15 December 1869.  She married in 1925 at New Plymouth to widower, Frederick James Nichols (b. 1863–d. 1941) and settled there.  Here Frederick worked as a laundryman and it appears they had no children together. Annie died on 24 June 1938 at New Plymouth aged 69 and is buried at the Te Henui Cemetery.  Frederick died on 25 January 1941 at New Plymouth and is buried with his first wife, Sarah Woodman, at the Te Henui Cemetery.

Bielawski Julius Grave

Julius and Wladyslaw Bielawski, Block 9, Plot 335 at Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill


Julius Bielawski was born at Nieżywięć on 15 August 1873.  He married on 2 Jun 1895 at Inglewood to Annie Antonia Jackush (b. 17 January 1873 at Zaskoczyn–d. 1911), the daughter of Jan Jakusz (b. 1841–d. 1920) and Maryanna Krol (b. 1837–d. 1906). The family were: Theophilus (b. 1896), Frank Stanilaus (b. 1899–d. 1982), Mary Magdalane (b. 1901), Bernard (b. 1903–d. 1983), Annie (b. 1905–d. 1981), Julia Minnie Rose (b. 1909–d. 1965), Grace Ludricka (b. 1911–d. 1965) and Adam (d. 1897).

“LAND BOARD. Applications to obtain freeholds were granted as under: — Julius Bielawski, sec 41, block 6, Hiiiroa, d.p ; and A. S Roberts, sec 26, block 2, Huiroa, dp.” Taranaki Herald, 7 November 1893, p 2

The family were known to have resided at Inglewood, Christchurch, Campbelltown and Green hills in Southland. Here Julius worked as a labourer and Annie was granted an application for Section 34 of Block four at Campbelltown in September of 1900.

“SOUTHLAND LAND BOARD Ranger Campbell reported that Mr Julius Bielawski, lessee of section 35, block IV, Campbelltown Hundred, had now made- more than sufficient improvements and was residing. (Granted six months to build and reside, June 28, 1907.)— Received.” Otago Witness, 4 March 1908, p 23

From Greenhills, Annie was sent up to the Seacliff psychiatric hospital near Dunedin and was admitted on 21 August 1911.  Annie died there on 29 September 1911 aged 42 and was buried at the Bluff Cemetery.

“MAGISTRATE’S COURT. SITTING AT BLUFF. POLICE AND CIVIL CASES. Julius Bielawski, who was charged with being in arrears in payment of maintenance for his daughter in the Caversham Industrial Home to the extent of £lO 10/8 up to January 13, did not appear, and was convicted- and sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment, warrant not to issue if he paid £9 10/- on March 13.” Southland Times, 3 March 1926, p 8

Julius died at Invercargill on 25 October 1947 and is buried at the Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill.


Wladyslaw (Walter) Bielawski, was born at Nieżywięć on 20 September 1874. Walter worked as a labourer in Whatatutu in the Bay of Plenty and after the first world war moved to Mossburn then Papatotara in Southland. Walter never married and died on 22 October 1951 at Riverton aged 77 and is buried at the Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill.


Taranaki Daily News, 24 May 1913, p 1. paperspast.natlib.govt.nz


Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 61, 153, 155, 166, 191 & 194.

Research Sources

Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973, FamilySearch.

New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Naturalisations, Births, Deaths and Marriages.

New Zealand Government Property Tax Department, from the rates assessment rolls, Return of Freeholders of  NZ 1882, published 1884.

Scrivens Barbara, Auckland, supplied documents and family information (2022).


Annie Nichols (1869-1938) – Find A Grave Memorial

Augusta Bielawski (1848-1888) – Find A Grave Memorial

Carl Bielawski (1845-1925) – Find A Grave Memorial

Julius Bielawski (1870-1947) – Find A Grave Memorial

Walter Bielawski (1876-1951) – Find A Grave Memorial


Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)



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