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Filipowski Family


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Jan Piotr Filipowski (Philipowski), a farm labourer, (b.1835–d. 1899) was born at Kleszczewo on 11 April 1835, the son of Ignacy Filipowski (b. abt. 1808–d. 1878) and Ewa Teresia Skwierowska (b. abt. 1796–d. 1868). Jan married on 8 November 1857 at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Trąbki Wielkie to Rozalia Julianna Grabowska (b. 31 July 1834 at Elganowo–d. 1908), the daughter of Michal Grabowski (b. 1779–d. 1838) and Anna Szulc (b. 1802–d. 1875). The family born at Sobowidz were: Paulina (b. 1858–d. 1946), at Postołowo; August Franciszek (b. 1860–d. 1860), Franciszek Jan (b. 1862), Rozalia Anna (b. 1864), Maryanna (b. 1866–d. 1867), Julianna (b. 1868–d. 1868), Jozef (b. 1869–d. 1872) and Berta (b. 1873–d. 1874). The family left the village of Postołowo for Hamburg where one year old Berta took ill aboard the ship Fritz Reuter.  She died of scarlet fever just before departure on 16 December 1874 and was buried at Ritzebüttel in Hamburg on 18 December 1874. Only Pauline remained aboard the Fritz Reuter on 16 December 1874 arriving at Napier in the Hawke’s Bay on 13 March 1875.


Cottage built by August Orlowski for John and Rosa Philipowski on section 12, Block XVI at Waihola, courtesy of Paul Klemick 1998

Listed aboard was Pauline Philipowski age 16. As soon as Pauline arrived in New Zealand, John and Rosalia made their way to London where they set sail aboard the Earl of Zetland on 16 March 1875, arriving at Port Chalmers three months later on 3 June 1875.

Listed aboard were: John Philipowski age 35, Rosalia 34 and Joseph 5. While the family were at the immigration barracks at Caversham in Dunedin, Rosalia gave birth to Johanna (b. 1875) on the 4th of July. From the Caversham barracks, the family went south and settled at Waihola.  Here John was employed as a platelayer on the railway and later worked as a labourer. Here they had their youngest, John (Philips) (b. 1878). According to the 1882’ Return of Freeholders, John owned land to the value of £50 at Waihola. He was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 10 October 1893.  On 11 March 1898, John sold section sixteen of block sixteen at Nore Street in Waihola for one pound to the catholic bishop of Dunedin for the purpose of erecting a church there.  He was able to live long enough to see the opening of St. Hyacinth in April of 1899.  John died later that year on 27 December 1899 at Waihola and Rosa died on 9 September 1908. Both are buried at the Waihola Cemetery.

Pauline Philipowski was born at Sobowidz on 08 September 1858.  She married on 9 October 1880 at St. Mary’s in Milton to Joseph Orlowski, the son of Jozef Aleksander Orłowski (b. 1813–d. 1895) and Brigita Parobkowicz (b. 1814–d. 1906). The family born at Waihola were: Victoria (b. 1881–d. 1972), Rose Paulina (b. 1882–d. 1967), Edward Adolph (b. 1885–d. 1969), Ignatius Joseph (Arthur Joseph Taylor) (b. 1887–d. 1939) and Bernard (b. 1889–d. 1934). The family then migrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne during the late 1880s where they lived out their remaining years. The family born at Northcote were: Daniel O’Connell (b. 1891–d. 1943) and at Trentham; John (b. 1893–d. 1936). Pauline died in South Melbourne on 14 May 1946 aged 88 years and is buried at the Hiedleberg Cemetery in Melbourne.

Jozef Philipowski, who was five 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, pages 29, 34, 48, 196 & 197.

Research Sources

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

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

Cathie, supplied family genealogy (2005)

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

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.

Pręgowo Dołne & Trąbki Wielkie Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

Waihola Cemetery Records, Dunedin Public Library.


Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)