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Jurczyński Family

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JURCZYŃSKI (Pol) Jerzy. Meaning: George.


Maria Jurczyńska, a servant, (b. abt. 1855–d. 1918), was born in the Danzig region of West Prussia, now known as Gdańsk. Mary, as she was known in New Zealand, was with her twin brother when they were on their way to New Zealand during the early 1870’s. Unfortunately, her brother was hijacked off the ship and forced into the German Army. It is believed Mary’s parents both died prior to their embarking, her father killed and mother during childbirth.

Mary married on 23 November 1875 at St Mary’s in Milton to Richard Hugh Todd (b. 1834 at Dundee–d. 1921). When the couple married, it is believed they lived in a tent beside the railway lines for a time. Richard possibly worked on the railways as one of Brogdens navvies been brought out from England. Later the family moved to High Street at Ravensbourne in Dunedin, where Richard worked as a labourer and Mary raised their family.  The family born at Milton were: Robert (b. 1876–d. 1928), at Dunedin: Sarah Ann (b. 1878–d. 1925), Mary (b. 1879–d. 1939), Elizabeth (b. 1880–d. 1959), Rose (b. 1882–d. 1903), John (b. 1884–d. 1955) and Frank (b. 1889–d. 1947).

CITY POLICE COURT. (Before J. Logan, Esq., and J. Griffen, Esq., J P.’s) ABUSIVE LANGUAGE. Richard and Mary Todd were charged with using, on the 27th ult, abusive language to Annie Barker, wherefore the complainant asked that they be bound over to keep the peace. After hearing the evidence the Bench ordered the defendants to enter into a bond of L5 to keep the peace for three months. Evening Star, 4 May 1880, p 2

At the Police Court yesterday six drunkards were dealt with, and Mary Woods, on a charge of habitual drunkenness, was sent to gaol for six weeks. A couple of married women, named Mary Todd and Annie Barker, who complained against each other for the use of insulting language at Ravensbourne, were each bound over to keep the peace for six months, in the sum of LlO. Otago Daily Times, 3 September 1880, p 2

ACCIDENTS AND OFFENCES. An accident occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Messrs Watson Bros.’ new hotel in High street, by which one of the workmen (Richard Todd) sustained a fracture of the collarbone and other injuries, his head and chest being severely bruised. The man was standing nearly under a bar of iron, weighing l½cwt, which was being hoisted, when the bar caught in the stonework and fell, the end of it striking his chest, knocking him over, and inflicting the injuries mentioned. He was conveyed to the Hospital, but remained delirious up to a late hour last night. Otago Daily Times, 26 January 1883, pg 1

A two-roomed cottage at Hill street, Ravensbourne, owned and occupied by Mr Richard Todd, was completely destroyed by fire last evening. Mr Todd states that at seven o’clock last evening he lit a kerosene lamp and placed it on a table close to the wall and near the window of his bedroom. He then went into the kitchen and sat down to tea with his wife and family, leaving the lamp burning in the bedroom. About half an hour afterwards Mrs Todd heard a crackling sound, and on entering the bedroom found the window blind and wall paper on fire. After vainly endeavoring to extinguish the flames, Mr Todd attempted to save his furniture, but only succeeded in moving a box and some articles of clothing. The house was totally destroyed. Mr Todd estimates the value of his cottage at L145, his furniture and effects at L4O. The building was insured for LIOO in the Liverpool atd London and Globe Office, but the furniture and effects were uninsured. Mr Todd estimates his loss at L85 above the insurance. Evening Star, 24 April 1889, p 2

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. Friday, September 25. (Before Mr E. H. Carew, R.M.) Richard Todd v. Charles Randall.-Claim £5, damages for the trespass of a horse on the plaintiff’s land, and injury done to plaintiff’s dog.—Mr W. Macgregor appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr A. S. Adams for the defendant.— Mr Macgregor, in opening the case for the plaintiff, said on Tuesday week last the defendant’s horse wandered on to some land belonging to the plaintiff. The wife of the plaintiff was then in charge of the place, and with the assistance of her dog she drove the horse off the land, The defendant, who was in the immediate neighbourhood, took charge of the horse, and shortly afterwards went up to the plaintiff’s place in a towering passion. He had a fork over his shoulder, and the plaintiff’s wife asked him what he wanted coming on the land like that for. Defendant walked past her to where the dog was tied up, and plunged the fork into its mouth twice. The woman was very much taken back at this, and she called the defendant a cruel brute. The defendant then said if there had not been anybody about, and it had been dark, he would have done the same to her. There was no one actually present at the time, but the defendant and the plaintiff’s wife. Mr Alex. Roy, however, heard the dog give two or three yelps, and saw the defendant coming away from the plaintiff’s place afterwards. The dog was unable to eat anything for a few days, and although it was better now it was doubtful whether it would quite recover.—Evidence was given for the plaintiff by Mary Todd, Alexander Roy, and Richard Todd.— The defendant stated that on the day in question he was working in his father’s garden, and he saw Mrs Todd sending her dog after his father’s horse. Mrs Todd also threw great stones at the horse. The horse was on the road line when Mrs Todd put the dog on to it, and it had not been on her land. Defendant went up to where Mrs Todd was, and asked her why she put the dog on to the horse. She then began to swear at him, call him names, and set the dog on to him. Hs was standing outside the rails when she set the dog on to him. He struck out with the fork to defend himself. The dog then went back into Mrs Todd’s place, and she put the collar round its neck. He then started to go away, when Mrs Todd was going to throw a big stone at him, and he forbade her to do so. When he put the fork out it struck the dog somewhere about the mouth. He did not say to Mrs Todd that if there had been nobody about and if it had been dark, he would have done the same to her as he had done to the dog.—Albert Randall, who also gave evidence for the defence, stated that he heard Mrs Todd tell the dog to bite the defendant, and he saw the latter strike at the dog. He could not say whether the defendant was inside Mrs Todd’s fence or not. —Sophia Randall and Robert Randall also gave evidence.—Judgment was given for the plaintiff for £2, and costs (27s 6d). Otago Daily Times, 29 September 1891, p 6

Mary is located on the 1893 electoral roll for the Chalmers district, making her among the first woman to get the vote in the democratic world.

Deaths. TODD.—On 5th of June, at her parents’ residence, Ravensbourne, Rose, the youngest daughter of Richard and Mary Todd. Deeply regretted. R.I.P. Evening Star, 5 June 1903, p 3

FUNERAL NOTICE. THE Friends of Mr Richard Todd (and family) are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late daughter Rose, which will leave his residence, Hill street, Ravensbourne, TO-MORROW (Sunday), the 7th inst., at 1.30 p.m., for the Church of the Sacred Heart, North-east Valley, thence to the Southern Catholic Cemetery. HUGH GOURLEY, Undertaker, Clarke and Maclaggan streets. Evening Star, 6 June 1903, p 4

WEST HARBOR BOROUGH COUNCIL.  Richard Todd wrote complaining that cattle were destroying the footpath leading to his premises.—Ordered to lie on table pending result of a motion to appoint a ranger. Evening Star, 8 March 1905, p 6

Mary died on 14 August 1918 aged 63 and is buried alongside her husband and family at the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin.

TODD. On August 14. at her residence Ravensbourne, Mary, beloved wife of Richard Hugh Todd; aged 63 years. Deeply regretted. R.I.P. Requiem mass Saturday, August 17, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral at 7 a.m. Private interment.—Hugh Gourley, undertaker. Otago Daily Times, 16 August 1918, p 4

Recalled by Grandson, Francis Harry Turley; On the day of the funeral my father went to Ravesbourne to attend, but my mother was not present. She pulled down the blinds around our home and I was dressed in my Sunday suit and on my left arm she placed a black band and I wore a white shirt and a black tie. I was sent off to the Southern Cemetery (I was aged 7 years & 11 months) to wait the arrival of the funeral cortège. Cemetery was near our home.  I watched the burial service and stayed until the grave was filled in.  My first contact with a Roman Catholic Service and a gowned clergy man (Father Kaveney).

TODD.—On December 22nd, 1921, at his residence, Ravensbourne, Richard Hugh Todd, in his 81st year. R.I.P. Private interment.—Hugh Gourley, Ltd., undertaker. Evening Star, 22 December 1921, pg 6


Richard & Mary Todd (née Jurczyńska), Elizabeth, Rose & Francis Todd. Roman Catholic Block 17 Plot 7 at Southern Cemetery in Dunedin

Research Sources

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

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

Turley Graham, supplied documents & family history (2023).

Woodley Alan K, supplied documents & family information.



Southern Cemetery – Mary Todd (1855-1918) – Dunedin City Council


Compiled by Paul Klemick (2023)



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