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Pędowski Family

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HALBA/ALBA is a very old Polish name, which originated some 800 years ago. Meaning: helmet.

PȨDOWSKI (Pol) pędzić. Meaning: to drive, speed, hurry.

SZWOCHA (Pol) szwoch. Meaning: uncle, relative.

WALIŃSKI (Pol) from name element Wal– as from Walenty. Meaning: strong, healthy.


Jozef Pędowski, (b. 1804–d. 1853) was born at Bączek in February 1804, the son of Jakob Pędowski (b. abt. 1762–d. 1807) and Rozalia Konca (b. abt. 1763–d. 1816).  Jozef married on 21 November 1830 at St. Malgorzata at Miłobądz to Anna Halba (b. December 1805 at Rukosin–d. 1855), the daughter of Jan Halba (b. abt. 1777–d. 1840) and Katarzyna Behling (b. 1781–d. 1850.  The family born at Łukocin were: Franciszka (b. 1832), Barbara Anna (b. 1834), Jan (b.1837–d. 1838), Anna (b.1838–d. 1840), Johanna Ludowika (b. 1841), Rozalia Agniszka (b. 1843–d. 1844) and Jozef Walenty (b. 1846–d. 1926). Youngest son, Jozef, was born at Łukocin on 05 April 1846. He was a stable hand who worked on a large German farm where his principal duty was to look after the horses with great care. It is said that some of Joe’s sisters married Germans, who gave him a very hard time. One day a German foreman accused Joe of giving too much oats to the horses and hit him with a whip without warning. Joe responded with a blow which rendered the foreman unconscious. He believed he had killed him, and knew that if caught, he would be sentenced to death or many years in prison for assaulting a German. So, he fled.


He left the village of Stanislawie for Hamburg.  Quite by chance he came upon Jan and Brigitta Halba and young Joe Annis.  Jan did not hesitate and said “travel with us and we’ll look after you Joe until we reach Hanover.” Joe had taken off so fast and in such a hurry he only had what he stood up in but was assured all would be arranged for him.  When he met his village folk at the wharf, he had to tell them what he had done. They had heard merely of a manager found stumbling around with a very sore head and, a convenient loss of memory. They assured him not to worry as he had no clothing, bedding or money. They all laughed in a way poor people do in times of strife.  “don’t worry about a thing” as they had a whip around and handed a very much humbled Joe a cloth bag and, in it were clothing, a blanket and other night attire, also some food.  There was however no money which they assured him he would not require until he made money of his own. This was typical of the poor looking after their own and, in time Joe paid everyone back. Years later, Joe discovered that the foreman had not been killed, but heard that the German police had been searching for him. He set sail aboard the Palmerston on 29 July 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers near Dunedin on 6 December 1872.

Listed aboard was: Joseph Pedowski age 26. He was sent south to Scroggs Creek on contract work with Brogden and Sons to lay the southern railway through the Taieri. After the railway works, Joseph worked as a farm labourer.  He married on 29 January 1875 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Riccarton to Maryanna Walińska (b. 12 October 1859 at Małżewko–d. 1934), the daughter of Jozef Waliński (b. 1831–d. 1872) and Franciszka Szwocha (b. 1829–d.1925). Joseph bought sections three and four of Block 17 in Allanton on 28 November 1878. Here he built a two-bedroom wooden cottage on a a large section, together costing him £12-10s. Later on, they added another bedroom.


Mary Pedofsky and child at their cottage in Allanton


According to the 1882’ Return of Freeholders, Joseph owned land to the value of £90 in the settlement of Allanton. The family born at Allanton were: John (b. 1876–d. 1941), Annie (b. 1878–d. 1898), Martha (b. 1880–d. 1949), Joseph (b. 1881–d. 1952), Mary (b. 1884–d. 1964), Matilda (b. 1886–d. 1967), Frank (b. 1888–d. 1972), Antoni (b. 1891–d. 1952), Alexander (b. 1893–d. 1971), George (b. 1895–d. 1975), Emily Sophia (b. 1897–d. 1970), James William (b. 1900–d. 1981) and Veronica (b. 1903–d. 1939). Proud of their parents, they were described as real Christians full of love.


Mary (nee Walinska), James, Veronica and Joseph Pedofsky


“CASUALTIES. A young woman named Annie Pedofsky, who was in the service of Mr Alexander Hastie, a farmer, near Allanton, dropped dead in the yard at her employer’s place at 4 o’clock on Thursday afternoon. Her body was examined by a doctor two hours’ afterwards. Death is supposed to have been due to heart disease. The deceased was only 20 years of age.” Otago Witness, 19 May 1898, p 18

“ACCIDENTS AND FATALITIES. At the inquest held by Coroner Carew at Allanton on Saturday, on the body of Annie Pedofsky, who had dropped dead two days previously, the evidence Bhowed that the deceased’s mother had been told two years ago that the girl had a weak heart. A verdict was returned of “Sudden death from failure of the heart.” Evening Star, 16 May 1898, p 2


Pedofsky Cottage at Allanton


Unable to speak English for a long time they were exploited at work and were robbed by shopkeepers. As a result, they seldom had any money. With a large family, the children were sent out to work at an early age. They all worked at different farms from dawn till 8 p.m. Joseph corrected his children if they ever said something badly in Polish. As a result, their knowledge of Polish was quite good and in return Joseph and Mary learned English from their children. Joseph was for several years the Mayor of Allanton and while working as a labourer was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 26 August 1899.  Joseph and Mary saved all their life in order to have a respectable funeral and before they died, they handed over to the children fifty gold sovereigns each for that purpose. Joseph died on 4 August 1926 aged 80 and Mary died on 7 February 1934 aged 74. They are buried together at the Allanton Cemetery.


Greg, a great grandson of Joseph Pedofsky, recalls walking from Outram to Allanton as a ten year old boy to have a roast with his uncle Jack who lived in the Pedofsky cottage on his own.  The family were saddened to see the cottage eventually change hands from the Pedofsky family.  However, the current owners are descendants of Anna Junge, nee Walinski, a sister to Mary Pedofsky.


Back Row; Tily, Alex, George, Mac, John, Joe, Frank, Vera, Murray. Front Row; Jim, Tot, Joseph Snr., Marianna (nee Walinska) and Tony Pedofsky




Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 23, 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, 44 & 170.

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.

Frank Mrs., supplied photos & family information.

Lubiszewo Tczewskie & Miłobądz Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

Mussen Joan, Nelson, supplied photos & family information (1998).

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


Joseph and Mary Pedofsky, Catholic Block Plot 26 at Allanton Cemetery

New Zealand Government Property Tax Department, from the rates assessment rolls, Return of Freeholders of New Zealand 1882, published 1884.

Ryan Ossie J, supplied photos & family information.


Allanton Cemetery – Joseph Pedofski (1846-1926) – Dunedin City Council

Allanton Cemetery – Mary Pedofski (1859-1934) – Dunedin City Council



Compiled by Paul Klemick (2023).



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