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Jankowski Family

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JANKOWSKI derives from the Polish name Jan. Meaning: the lord graced.

NEUMANN (Ger). Meaning: a newcomer, a “new man”, e.g. new guy in town, convert to Christianity – Polish nowak.

WIŚNIEWSKI (Pol) wiśnia. Meaning: Cherry-tree or from the word wiśniakcherry wine.


Franciszek Jankowski, a small farmer, (b. 1827–d. 1886) was born at Kokoszkowy on 03 May 1827, the son of Ignacy Jankowski (b. 1796) and Anna Felchner (b. 1794–d. 1847). Franciszek married on 18 November 1856 at St. Jan Nepomuncen in Godziszewo to Matilda Ellendt (b. 28 January 1833 at Jelen–d. 1871), the daughter of Jozef Ellendt (b. 1792–d. 1842) and Anna Neumann (b. 1800–d. 1857). The family born at Smoląg were: Angelika (b. 1857–d. 1859), at Zblewo; Juliusz (b. 1860–d. 1887), Franciszek Jan (b. 1862–d. 1862) and Maryanna (b. 1863), at Siwiałka; Franciszka (b. 1866–d. 1872) and Apollonia (b. 1869–d. 1870). Matilda died on 10 May 1871 at Siwiałka. Franciszek then remarried on 14 January 1872 at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Nowa Cerkiew to Rozalia Wiśniewska (b. 04 May 1845 at Pólko–d. 1914), the daughter of Jakob Wiśniewski (b. 1815–d. 1851) and Anna Jankowska (b. 1817). The family left Siwiałka for Hamburg where they set sail aboard the Palmerston on 29 July 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers near Dunedin on 6 December 1872.


Listed aboard were: Franz Jankowski age 43, Rosalia 25, Julius 9, Maria 8 and Francisca 7. The family was sent south to Scroggs Creek on contract work with Brogden and Sons to lay the southern railway through the Taieri. Frank soon acquired a considerable amount of crown grant land at Waihola on 11 October 1878 where he could lay out his property. The family born at Waihola were: Rosella Julianna (b. 1877–d. 1915) and Frank (b. 1879–d. 1930).

“SALE OF CROWN LANDS. A sale of Crown lands took place at the Waste Lands Office, Dunedin, on the 11th, when a number of small sections were disposed of to the total value of L 673. The particulars of the sale are as follows…Franz Jankowski. Section 0, block XIII, £8; section 17, block XIV, £9 10s; section 18, block XIV, £11 6s…” Otago Witness, 14 September 1878, p 18

AUGUST ORLASKI V. FRANK JANKOWSKI. Claim, £5 5s, balance due on building contract. Mr. Reid for plaintiff, Mr. Taylor for defendant. Plaintiff deposed that in December last he was employed by defendant to build a house, nothing being said as to the rate of wages. He completed the contract, which took 34½ days, and he charged 12s per day. The defendant had paid him £23 13s, leaving a balance of £5 5s still due. The defendant stated that he engaged the plaintiff to do the work at 9s per day, and that the payment of £23 13s was given as payment in full. This evidence having been corroborated by a disinterested witness, Mr. Reid intimated to the Court, that he could not ask for a verdict in favour of his client. His Worship expressed himself that the evidence was conclusive in favour of defendant, and gave judgment accordingly, with 10s 6d professional costs.” Bruce Herald, 25 July 1879, p 3

A fire occurred at Waihola yesterday morning by which the cottage of a Pole, named Franz Yankowski, was destroyed. This is the second time this unfortunate foreigner has been burned out, for in June, 1877, his cottage at the Glen was destroyed, upon which occasion he was insured for £250. He then removed to Waihola, where fire has again followed him; but he has the consolation of having his two-roomed cottage and its contents insured for £150.” Otago Daily Times, 12 Jun 1880

“MILTON R.M. COURT. Tuesday, 13th July. (Before E. H. Carew, Esq., R.M.) C. HILGENDORF V. FRANTZ JAKKOWSKY. This was an action to recover value of an overdue unpaid promissory note, with interest added for five months. No appearance of defendant. The plaintiff appeared, but the affidavit of service of summons was not satisfactory. His Worship would, however, in consideration of plaintiff having to come all the way from Waihola, take his evidence, and record judgment when the flaw in the summons affidavit had been cured. The plaintiff proved his case, and was directed to attend next Court day, either by himself or attorney, when the Court would proceed to judgment. The amount as now made out was £30 28 9d, and the costs would be 33s. Application. Mr Jankowsky made application to the Court for a direction against the New Zealand Insurance Company, to cause them to hand over £150 he said the Company owed him, but his Worship said he could not interfere in the matter. All the other cases were struck out, there being “no appearance.” Bruce Herald, 16 July 1880, p 5

“MILTON. Tuesday, 20th July, 1880. (Before E. H. Carew, Esq., R.M.) HINGENDOKF V. JANKOWSKY. This case was adjourned from last week, for proof of service of summons. The service was now proved, and judgment entered for plaintiff, £30 2s 9d, and 33s costs.” Bruce Herald, 23 July 1880, p 3

“NEW ADVERTISEMENTS. NOTICE. SALE BY AUCTION. HARRIS V. JANKOUSKI. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the following Goods and Chattels, the property of the above-named Defendant, will be sold by Public Auction on Thursday, the 26th day of August, 1880, at the hour of ten o’clock |in the forenoon, at the Store of Mr Charles Hilgendorf, Waihola, by virtue of Distress Warrant in the above Case, issued out of the Resident Magistrate’s Court, Dunedin, unless the said Warrant be sooner satisfied — About 1000 feet of Assorted Timber Seed Potatoes, &c, &c. PETER FARRELL, Bailiff. R. M.’s Court, Milton, 19th August, 1880.” Bruce Herald, 20 August 1880, p 2

After a run of bad luck, the family migrated to Melbourne, Australia during the early 1880s.  The family born at Melbourne were: Theresa Veronica (b. 1884–d. 1965) and Ellen Jane (b. 1886–d. 1886). Franz died in West Hotham, Melbourne in 1886 aged 59.  The Police Gazette of Victoria in May of 1898 states a Rose Jankowska, a weaver of 186 Roden Street at West Melbourne, reported stolen jewelry from her residence. Rosalia died on 23 September 1933 and is buried at the Footscray General Cemetery, Melbourne.


Juliusz Jankowski was born at Zblewo on 17 February 1860.  He died in West Melbourne in 1887 aged 26.


Maria Jankowska was born at Zblewo in May of 1863.  She married in 1881 in Dunedin to Louis Coleman Lawrence (b. 1857–d. 1904). The family were: Francis (b. 1882), Edith Marie (b. 1884–d. 1969), Dora Isabel (b. 1886) and Louis Edward (b. 1889–d. 1952). The family migrated to Yarrawonga in Victoria, Australia during the mid-1880s.


Franciszka Jankowska, who was six years old at the time, may have died on the journey out.



Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, p 22.

Research Sources

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

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara O Te Kawanatanga; Land Records.

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

Bobowo, Godziszewo, Kokoszkowy, Nowa Cerkiew, Piaseczno & Zblewo Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

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


Footscray General Cemetery – Rosella Jankowska (1845-1933) – Find A Grave Memorial

Papers Past (natlib.govt.nz)


Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)



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