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Chiłkowski/Cherkowski Family

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CHIŁKOWSKI/CHERKOWSKI (Pol) chylić sięMeaning: to bend, bow, decline.

KLAAS (Dut) or KLAS (Ger) Niklaus, Klaus.

SCHWERDTFEGER (Ger) swaere Meaning: grieved or sad or schwer Meaning; father-in-law.

STOLC (Ger) stolz Meaning: proud.


Albrecht Cherkowski (Chiłkowski) (b. 1810–d. 1875) was born at Bączek on 20 April 1810, the son of Jozef Cherkowski (b. 1751–d. 1826) and Maryanna Klass (b. 1762–d. 1831).  Albrecht married on 5 May 1833 at the church of St. Jan Nepomuncen in Godziszewo to Katarzyna Stolc (b. 05 February 1814 Rymanowiec–d. 1881), the daughter of Andrzej Stolc (b. 1784–d. 1850) and Eleanora Schwerdfeger (b. 1789–d. 1829). The family born at Damaszka were: Jozefina (b. 1834–d. 1914), at Turze Wielkie; Maryanna (b. 1836–d. 1838), Katarzyna (b. 1840–d. 1874), Weronika (b. 1842–d. 1902), at Damaszka; Barbara (b. 1845–d. 1854), at Turze; Rozalia (b. 1848–d. 1911), at Małe Turze; Jan Jakob (b. 1851–d. 1914), Jozef (b. 1854–d. 1874) and Franciszka Apollonia (b. 1857–d. 1886).  In 1874, Franciszka Apollonia left the village of Małe Turze with her sister Weronika and husband Franciszek Anis and their young family for Hamburg where they set sail aboard the Reichstag on 10 May 1874. They arrived at Port Nicholson in Wellington on 6 August 1874. The family had been nominated by family and friends in Waihola to settle there in New Zealand.


Listed aboard was: Francisca Chilkowski age 17.  Also on board was her cousin, Anna Grenz age 9, from the village of Turze Wielkie. They were sent to Soames Island for isolation before being sent to Dunedin where they were sent to the western compartment of the Caversham Immigration Barracks.  From here they travelled south to the township of Waihola in the South Island where friends and family had settled a couple of years prior. She was soon followed by her godparents, Johann and Apollonia Klass who went to the newly established settlement of Greytown (Allanton). In the next year, her sister Rozalia and husband Jan Marcin Kreft left Stanisławie for Hamburg and set aboard the Lammershagen for New Zealand where they were sent to Jackson’s Bay.


Annie (Infant on knee), Fanny (nee Cherkowska), Frank and Felix Klimeck at Waihola Ca. 1886, courtesy of Martin Klemick, Nightcaps


Franciszka Apolonia (Fanny) Cherkowska (b. 1857–d. 1886), a domestic servant, was born at Małe Turze on 09 August 1857.  She married on 22 April 1882 at the House of Franz Annis in Waihola to Frank Klimeck (b. 1855–d. 1919), the son of Maciej Klimek (b. 1819–d. 1899) and Anna Smolińska (b. 1820–d. 1882). The family born at Waihola were: Felix (b. 1884–d. 1961) and Annie (b. 1885–d. 1968). Fanny was godmother to; Martha Wisneski 1875, John Annis 1876, Mary Bungard 1876, Joseph Hoffman 1876, Joseph Tikey 1877, August Annis 1879 and Rosalia Kreft 1879. In 1886, Fanny was attended by Dr. P. Stewart for serious apoplexy which she endured for four days. She died at Waihola on 2 October 1886 aged 29 years and is buried at the Waihola Cemetery behind the Annis family plot. Shortly after their mother’s death, Felix and Annie were sent to live with their uncle and aunt, Frank and Mathilda Tikey at Riccarton (East Taieri).


Back row; Joseph, Martha, Martin & Janet Tikey. Front row; Annie Klimeck, Thomas Eric Tikey & Felix Klimeck. Ca. 1895, courtesy of Martin Klemick, Nightcaps (Name Klimeck was changed to Klemick when Felix married in 1908).


Fanny’s brother, Jan Jakob Cherkowski, immigrated to America with his wife Barbara Rozanowska and their young family aboard the Belgenland. They departed from Antwerp, Belgium, arriving at Philadelphia, Pensylvania on 14 August 1891 and settled in Milwaukee, Winsconsin.  In 1892, her eldest sister, Jozefina, also migrated to Milwaukee. She travelled with her youngest daughter, Jozefina, after the death of her husband Jozef Wolke.


Headstone of Frances Klimeck, Catholic Block 7, Plot 10 at Waihola Cemetery


Pobόg-Jaworowski J. W., History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 42 & 43.

Research Sources

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

Catholic Diocese of Dunedin, St Mary’s Church, Milton; Baptism Register.

Godziszewo & Kokoszkowy Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

Waihola Burial Records, Clutha District Council, Balclutha.


Waihola Cemetery – Franciszka Apolonia “Fanny” Klimeck (1857-1886) – Find a Grave Memorial


Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)



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