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Gurzyński Family

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BUCA (Pol) buczec. Meaning: to hum, drone, buzz or < buk a beech tree.

CIESZELSKI (Pol) ancient compound names such as Cieszybor, Cieszymir with the root ciesz. Meaning: comfort, joy.

GURZIŃSKI/GURZYŃSKI (Pol) gora. Meaning: mountain/hill or a name for someone who lived on a hillside or in a mountain district or gorzec to burn or gorzki meaning bitter.

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


Jozef Gurzyński, a labourer, (b. 1841–d. 1909) was born at Zajączkowo on 01 December 1841, the son of Piotr Gurzyński (b. 1812–d. 1847) and Franciszka Ciesielska (b. abt. 1815–d. 1882). Jozef married on 2 September 1866 at Church of the Holy Cross in Tczew, to Anna Katarzyna Klass (b. 01 February 1845 at Klępiny–d. 1923), the daughter of Jan Franciszek Klass (b. 1817–d. 1899) and Apollonia Buca (b. 1821–d. 1889). The family born at Sliwiny were: Franciszek Bernhard (b. 1867–d. 1946), at Mieścin; Jan Andrzej (b. 1868–d. 1880) and at Sliwiny; Franciszka Rozalie (b. 1870). The family left Mieścin for Hamburg where they set sail aboard the Palmerston on 29 July 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers near Dunedin on 6 December 1872. However it is interesting to find a later entry on one of the children’s baptism records where the priest has noted Amerika 1872.


Listed aboard were: Joseph Gurczinski age 31, Anna 27, Franz 5, Johann 4 and Francisca 2. The family was sent south to Scroggs Creek on contract work with Brogden and Sons to lay the southern railway through the Taieri. The family born at Allanton were: Bernard (b. 1873–d. 1954), Rose (b. 1875–d. 1953), Alexander August (b. 1877–d. 1963), Joseph (b. 1879–d. 1939), Peter Paul (b. 1881–d. 1973), Annie (b. 1883), Mary (b. 1885), Thomas (b. 1886), Antony (b. 1887) and James (b. 1889). According to the 1882’ Return of Freeholders, Joseph owned 80 acres at Allanton valued at £280. Joseph worked as a farmer and was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 14 November 1893. Joseph died at Allanton on 6 July 1909 aged 67.

“DEATHS. GORINSKI. —On July 6, at his residence, Allanton, Joseph Gorinski, the beloved husband of Annie Gorinski; in his sixty-fourth year. R.I.P.

FUNERAL NOTICE. The Funeral of the late JOSEPH GORINSKI will leave the Roman Catholic Church, Allanton, at 2.30 p.m., THIS DAY (FRIDAY), July 9, for the Allanton Cemetery. Friends will kindly, accept this intimation. BREMNER. & FOWLER, Undertakers, Mosgiel.” Otago Daily Times, 9 July 1909, p 4.

Anna died at Allanton on 28 September 1923 aged 78 and is buried with her husband at the Allanton Cemetery.

“DEATHS. GORINSKI. —On Friday; September 28, at her daughter’s residence (Mrs Newman), Allanton, Annie, relict of Joseph Gorinski; in her seventy-eighth year. R.I.P.

FUNERAL NOTICE The Friends of the late ANNIE GORINSKI (and Family) are respectfully invited to attend her Funeral, which will leave the Roman Catholic Church, Allanton, THIS DAY (MONDAY), October 1. at 2.30 p.m., for Allanton Cemetery. R. MUIRHEAD, Undertaker.” Otago Daily Times, 1 October 1923, p 6

Josephs’ brother, Martin Gurzyński (b. 1836–d. 1926) and family arrived in New Zealand aboard the Fritz Reuter in 1875 and settled at Norsewood in the Hawkes Bay in the North Island.

“OBITUARY. DEATH AT A HUNDRED YEARS. Information has been received from Palmerston North of the death of Mr. Martin Gorinski, who celebrated his 100th birthday on October 6 this year. He was born at Posen, Poland, and came to New Zealand 60 years ago. Although Mr. Gorinski conducted his own farm, he being by profession an engineer, was often engaged building railway lines for the Government. At one time he was a member of the Norsewood Road Board and of the School Committee. Mr. Gorinski is survived by two sons, one daughter, 34 grandchildren, 50 great-grand-children and one great-greatgrandchild.” Auckland Star, 18 November 1926, p 8


Joseph Gorinski, courtesy of Kathleen Gorinski, Mosgiel


Frank Bernard Gorinski was born at Sliwiny on 17 February 1867.  He married on 19 September 1898 at Invercargill to Eliza Ann Gibbs (b. 1880–d. 1959). His various occupations included; labourer, shepherd, surfaceman, platelayer and railway porter. Frank was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 30 January 1901.

“EGG-LAYING. NEW ZEALAND SINGLE BIRD RECORD. In connection with the Southland egg laying competition Mr D. F. McDougall’s and Mrs F. Gorinski’s single pullets were detained for the purpose of attempting to beat the New Zealand record of 317 eggs for 52 weeks, held by Mr Green, of Christchurch. Mrs Gorinski’s bird succeeded by one egg laid on the last day of the test, after having laid consistently right through. Mr McDougall’s bird was a few eggs away.” Western Star, 19 April 1921, p 3

“Among the Poultry. Mr and Mrs F. Gorinski. the noted Southland poultry breeders, arrived in Christchurch on Saturday after a fortnight’s holiday in Auckland and Rotorua. On Monday they visited the egg-laying competition at Papanui and were greatly pleased with the fine lot of birds penned. and the large quantity of green food available for them. During their trip north they received a number of orders for cockerels. Mr and Mrs Gorinski returned to Invercargill on Thursday.” Star, 28 April 1923, p 5

Frank died on 23 September 1946 aged 79 and is buried at the Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill.


Annie Gorinski (nee Klass), courtesy of Kathleen Gorinski, Mosgiel


John Andreas Gorinski was born at Mieścin on 17 November 1868 and died on 12 September 1880 at Greytown (Allanton) aged 11. John is buried at the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin.


Francisca Rosalia Gurzyńska who was two years old at the time, may have died on the journey out.


The original sod cottage of Joseph and Annie Gorinski later resided by Peter Gorinski at Allanton, courtesy of History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand


John Gorinski, Roman Catholic, Block 43 Plot 20 at Southern Cemetery in Dunedin


Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 22, 25,26, 168, 196 & 197.

Research Sources

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

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

Godziszewo, Miłobądz, Tczew & Trąbki Wielkie Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

Gorinski Kathleen, Mosgiel, provided the family portraits.

Joseph and Annie Gorinski, Catholic Block Plot 16 at Allanton Cemetery

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 New Zealand 1882, published 1884.


Allanton Cemetery – Annie Gorinski (1845-1923) – Dunedin City Council

Allanton Cemetery – Joseph Gorinski (1841-1909) – Dunedin City Council


Invercargill Eastern Cemetery – Frank Bernard Gorenski (1867-1946) – Invercargill City Council (icc.govt.nz)

Southern Cemetery – John Glorinski (1868-1880) – Dunedin City Council


Frank Bernard and Eliza Ann Gorinski, Roman Catholic Block 8 Plot 209 at Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill

Cottage of Joseph Gorinski Junior at Allanton.







Compiled by Paul Klemick (2024)



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