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Rekowski Family

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PACHOLSKI (Pol) pachoł. Meaning: boy, lad.

REKOWSKI/REJKOWSKI (Pol) rak. Meaning: crab, cancer.

ZYMON (Czech) zeman. Meaning: yeoman, squire or Szymon (Simon).


Franciszek Rekowski (b. 1833–d. 1920) was born at Stanisławie on 24 September 1833, the son of Mikolej Rekowski (b. 1798–d. 1872) and Maryanna Gędzierska (b. abt. 1797–d. 1865).  Franciszek married on 16 November 1856 at Church of the Holy Trinity in Lubiszewo-Tczewskie to Johanna (Julianna) Pacholska (b. 13 December 1833 at Swarożyn–d. 1893), the daughter of Michal Pacholski (b. 1798–d. 1840) and Agniszka Zymon (b. abt. 1797–d. 1862). The family born at Stanisławie were: Paulina Katarzyna (b. 1859–d. 1942) and Michal Jakob (b. 1862–d. 1872), at Lubiszewo-Tczewskie; Rozalia Anna (b. 1865–d. 1866), Franciszek Marcin (b. 1867–d. 1868), Jozef August (b. 1869–d. 1870) and August Franciszek (b. 1871–d. 1943). The family left the village of Stanisławie 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 Reikowski age 39, Johanna 39, Paulina 9 and August 11 months. 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 soon moved to Waihola where they had the youngest member of the family—Rose Mary (b. 1876–d. 1949).

“WASTE LANDS BOARD. Mr Charles Hilgendorf, on behalf of the undermentioned persons, applied that they should be allowed to purchase the respective areas held by them at Waihola under license from the late Provincial Government, under section 29 of the Land Act, 1872: —Franz Rekowski, sections 10 and 11, block XVI. It was explained that the applicants were Polish immigrants. It was resolved to recommend the Government to allow applicants to purchase at £3 per acre.” Bruce Herald, 9 August 1878, p 6

According to the 1882’ Return of Freeholders, Francis owned two acres to the value of £100 in Waihola and 83 acres to the value of £207 in the Milton area. It is said the sod chimney of his house at Akatore was still standing during the 1980s. Francis was engaged in farming all his life and owned a small farm at Loudens Gulley where he was reputed to have been very careful and thrifty. He was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 26 June 1912 while residing at Loudens Gully. Julia died at Milton on 31 July 1893 aged 59.

“FUNERAL NOTICE. THE Friends of Mr Francis Rekowski are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late Wife, Julia Agnes, which will leave his residence, Loudon’s Gully, for the place of interment, Fairfax Cemetery, TO-MORROW (Wednesday), August 2nd, at 1 o’clock p.m. JOHN DICKSON, Undertaker.” Bruce Herald, 1 August 1893, p 2

Francis died at Raurekau on 20 November 1920 aged 87 and is buried with his wife at the Fairfax Cemetery near Milton.


Herbert Peter, Polly (nee Rekowska) and James Francis Barra outside their home at Louden’s Gully


Paulina (Polly) Rekowski was born at Stanisławie on 04 November 1859.  She married on 14 October 1896 at St. Mary’s in Milton to Francis Joseph Barra (b. 31 October 1858 at Gniszewo–d. 1932), the son of Peter Albrecht Bara (b. 1827–d. 1904) and Eleonora Wilhelmina Maas (b. abt. 1828–d. 1909). Polly carried a vivid recollection of the journey out to New Zealand and from all accounts it is clear that she enjoyed every minute of it. During a water shortage on board the Palmerston, she was approached by the captain and offered all the water she desired in an exchange for a kiss. She laughed it off as only a 14-year-old teenager could. The family born at Waihola were: James Francis (b. 1898–d. 1979) and Herbert Peter (b. 1899–d. 1993). The family moved to Louden’s Gully where Polly died on 2 December 1942 aged 83 years.  She is buried with her husband at the Fairfax Cemetery near Milton.


Mary Ottrey and August Francis Rekowski, Ca. 1896


August Francis Rekowski was born at Lubiszewo-Tczewskie on 07 August 1871.  He married on 14 October 1896 at St. Mary’s in Milton to Mary Ottrey (b. 1874 at Tokomairiro–d. 1927). the daughter of George Albert Ottrey (b. 1842–d. 1898) and Bridget Connolly (b. 1830–d. 1905).  The family born at Waihola were: Francis (b. 1897–d. 1980), at Akatore; Mary (b. 1900–d. 1959), George (b. 1902–d. 1983), Sidney James (b. 1910–d. 1941) and Stillborn (b. 1913–d. 1913). August purchased section three of block two in Akatore on 29 October 1898. August was farming or labouring in the Moneymore area and was understood to be as careful and thrifty as his father. A cheerful and jolly gentleman, he would often play his squeeze box for the grandchildren when he visited. August was elected as chairperson onto the Akatore school committee in 1907 and was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 23 February 1921.

“Messrs Annicich and Rekowski have started opening up the quarry on Mr Brown’s property, London’s Gully, under the arrangement come to between the Bruce County Council and the settlers in that district, whereby the Council undertake the quarrying and breaking of the metal, and the settlers cart and spread it.” Bruce Herald, 22 January 1914, p 2

“Keep yourselves cosy during the winter months, Sawn firewood supplied by Mr A. Rekowski, Akatore.” Bruce Herald, 29 May 1916, p 5

“MILTON NOTES. PERSONAL. Mr and Mrs A. Rekowski, who have been resident in Akatore, Glenledi, and Milton district during the past 50 years, will leave tomorrow to take up their future residence at South Dunedin.” Otago Daily Times, 17 March 1927, p 7

August died at Moneymore on 18 October 1943 aged 72 and is buried with his wife at the Andersons Bay Cemetery in Dunedin.

“Obituary.—The sudden death occurred at Moneymore, near Milton, on Monday evening, of Mr August Francis Rekowski, an old and well-known resident of the Tokomiairiro district. He came to New Zealand as a baby in 1870, and his family settled at Glenledi, where he was educated. He later worked on Wain’s Estate, Glenledi, and in 1886 married Miss Mary Ottrey, and they settled at Akatore. where deceased farmed until 1921. and then moved to Milton. He was a very enthusiastic gardener, and also took an active part in all local functions. He was predeceased by his wife in 1927 and is survived by two sons and three daughters —-Messrs Francis (Methven), George (Tokoiti), Mesdames L. M. Carruthers (Moneymore), M. McNeill (Palmerston). and Miss Marion (Dunedin).” Evening Star, 22 October 1943, p 4

“DEATHS. REKOWSKI.—On October 18, 1943, at Moneymore, August Francis Rekowski, of Milton; aged 74 years. R.l.P.—Private interment at Anderson’s Bay Cemetery on Wednesday, 20th inst., at 11 a.m.—J. R. Wilson, funeral director.” Otago Daily Times, 19 October 1943, p 1


Picture of

Francis and Julia Rekowski, Block 11 Plots 39 & 40 at Fairfax Cemetery near Milton


Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 23, 36, 43, 155, 170 & 196.

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.

Fairfax Cemetery Records, Dunedin Public Library.

Lubiszewo Tczewskie Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

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.

Francis Barra and Paulina (nee Rekowska), Block 11 Plots 155 & 156 at Fairfax Cemetery near Milton


August and Mary Rekowski, Block 85 Plot 55 at Andersons Bay Cemetery in Dunedin


Andersons Bay Cemetery – August F Rekowski (1871-1943) – Dunedin City Council

Fairfax Cemetery – Francis Rekowski (1833-1920) – Find A Grave Memorial

Fairfax Cemetery – Julia Rekowski (1833-1893)- Find A Grave Memorial

Fairfax Cemetery – Paulina Agatha Barra (1859-1942) – Find a Grave Memorial




Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)



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