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SURNAMES & THEIR ORIGINS
BŁAWAT (Pol) Meaning: blue silk fabric.
GDANIEC (Pol) Meaning: resident of Gdańsk.
KREFT (Ger) kraft. Meaning: strength, power; most often originated as a first name.
TYSARCZYK/TYSARSKI (Czech) Tesar. Meaning: Carpenter.
Jozef Maciej Kreft, a small farmer, (b. 1842–d. 1916) was born at Bolesławowo on 6 March 1842, the son of Jan Kreft (b. abt. 1815) and Anna Tysarczyk (b. abt. 1818). Jozef married on 5 November 1865 at St. John Nepomuk in Godziszewo to Rozalia Gdaniec (b. 24 January 1845 at Rościszewko–d. 1916), the daughter of Marcin Gdaniec (b. 1807–d. 1863) and Maryanna Bławat (b. abt. 1817–d. 1897). The family born at Godziszewo were: Anna Teresa (b. 1866–d. 1943), at Golębiewko; Tomasz (b. 1869–d. 1882), at Bojary; Paulina (b. 1870). They left the village of Bojary for Hamburg where they set sail aboard the Palmerston on 28 July 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers near Dunedin on 6 December 1872
Listed aboard were: Joseph Kreft age 30, Rosalia 26, Anna 6, Thomas 4, and Pauline 1. Also on board were Rosalia’s mother and extended family. The family first resided in the Dunedin area, as did Rosalie’s brother, Thomas Gdanietz. They established their home high on the outskirts of the city at Pine Hill where Joseph worked as a dairy farmer in partnership with Thomas Gdanitz. The family born at Pine Hill were: Charles (b. 1873), Joseph (b. 1874–d. 1960), Bernard (b. 1876–d. 1964), Wilhelmina (b. 1878–d. 1956), John Frank (b. 1880–d. 1881), William Ernest (b. 1881–d. 1883), Frank David (b. 1883–d. 1965) and Martin Albert (b. 1885–d. 1965).
“THE COURTS TODAY. RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. (Before W. L, Simpson, Esq., R.M.) Judgment was given for plaintiffs by default in the following cases:..Thomas Gdanitz and Joseph Kreft v. John Richards and Benjamin Jeff. Claim, L6O, damages done to buildings, fencing, and wood, the property of plaintiffs, and situated at Pine Hill, by a fire on the 14th inst., alleged to have been caused by the act of the defendants. Mr Stout appeared for plaintiffs; Mr Macdonald for defendants.” Evening Star, 28 October 1881, p2
In October of 1882, Joseph Kreft and Thomas Gdanietz dissolved their working partnership and Thomas and his family move to Hampden. On 25 September 1888, Joseph purchased four properties in Allanton where they lived out their later years. Joseph worked as a labourer and was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 14 November 1893. Both Joseph and Rosalia where among the witnesses at Hanlon’s case of Hugh Sweeny of Allanton in April of 1902.
Magistrates Court Mosgiel. No: 49. 11th December 1907. Prosecutor: John Logan – Clerk, Taieri County Council. Person Charged: Joseph Kreft. Offence: Cattle wandering at Allanton. Plea: Guilty. Decision: Convicted & fined 10/-, Court costs, “prof”, witness expense 8/5, Solicitors fee 10/6.
“SCHOOL COMMITTEE ELECTIONS… ALLANTON.— Messrs John Callandar. (chairman), Alfred Pitfield. Robert Cullen. John Garrett, Joseph Bolisky, Joseph Kreft, Peter Ralston.” Otago Witness, 29 April 1908, p 53
“ALLANTON! ALLANTON! FRIDAY, 24th NOVEMBER, At 2 o’clock. – On the Premises Main road, Allanton. In the Estate of Joseph Kreft (deceased). COMFORTABLE FREEHOLD PROPERTY. GOOD 4-ROOMED COTTAGE. SPLENDID LEVEL SECTION. Fronting Main road, Allanton (near bakery). PARK, REYNOLDS (LIMITED) are instructed to sell by auction: All that Parcel of Land contained in Allotments 17, 18, 19, 20, Block XII, Dunedin and East Taieri District, containing 3 roods 30′ poles (more or less), with comfortable 4-roomed Cottage, Shacklock range, register grates, cow byre, dairy, stable, and outhouses, macrocarpa hedges, fruit garden. Also, at the same time: HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, 20 HIVES OF BEES AND AND HOFFMAN’S HIVES, Chiffonier, linoleum, hair couch, fenders, fireirons, bookcase, chairs, tapestry couch, linoleum, coal scuttle, glassware, crockeryware, pictures, clocks, kitchen table, colonial sofa, kitchen utensils, carpenters’ tools, rabbit traps, wire netting, timber, garden tools, farm tools, chaffcutter, plough, harrows, wheelbarrow, grass seed, ladders “ Otago Daily Times, 14 November 1916, p 10
Anna Teresa Kreft was born at Godziszewo on 22 November 1866. She married on 26 November 1892 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Dunedin to William Cromar (b. 1856–d. 1929) of Russia. The family were: Carl Joseph (b. 1894–d. 1894), Paulinea Rosalia Adelaide (b. 1894), Orrel William Thomas (b. 1896–d. 1988) and Cyril Francis (b. 1898–d. 1919). William died on 28 July 1929 and Anna died on 29 November 1943 aged 77. They both passed away in Dunedin and are buried at the Andersons Bay Cemetery.
“DEATHS. CROMAR. On November 29, 1943, at. 9 Vire street, Anna, beloved wife of the late William Cromar, of 11 France street, North-east Valley; aged 77 years–Requiem Mass at the Holy Name Church Cumberland street, To-morrow (Wednesday), at 7 a.m.-The Funeral will leave 9 Vire street at 3 p.m. for the Andersons Bay Cemetery. Hugh Gourley Ltd., funeral directors.” Evening Star, 30 November 1943, p 2
Thomas Kreft was born at Golębiewko on 06 January 1869. He attended Christian Brothers school at Dunedin and died on 22 February 1882 aged thirteen. Thomas was staying overnight at the home of his uncle Julius and aunt Marianna Byszewski (nee Kreft), at Smith Street, Dunedin, due to bad weather. During the night of February 22, the house caught fire and claimed the lives of Thomas and three of his Byszewski cousins. Thomas is buried alongside his cousins at the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin.
“FUNERAL NOTICE. THE Friends of Mr Bischefski and Mr Kreft are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of their Children, who were burned to death on the 21st inst. The Funeral will leave the Morgue (Old Supreme Court-house) Tomorrow (Friday), at twelve o’clock noon, for the Roman Catholic Cemetery south. WALTER G. GEDDES, Undertaker, Octagon.” Evening Star, 23 February 1882, p 2
Pauline Kreft, who was two years old at the time, may have died on the journey out.
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.
Godziszewo & Skarszewy Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.
Kreft Mr. I., Andersons Bay, Dunedin, supplied family photos (1998).
New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Naturalisations, Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)
The Polish Heritage of Otago & Southland Charitable Trust
Chairperson ..... Ewa Rozecka-Pollard
Phone ......+64 3 477 5552
Secretary ..... Anna McCreath Munro
Phone ..... +64 3 464 0053
facebook ..... Poles Down South