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Marcin Gdaniec (b. 1807–d. 1863) was born at Rosciszewko, the son of Kazimierz Gdaniec (b. 1759–d. 1810) and Anna Meyrowska. Marcin married on 24 October 1830 at St Jan Nepomuncen in Godziszewo to Apolonia Rogaczewska (b. 1805–d. 1842). The family born at Rościszewko were Maryanna Augusta (b. 1831–1832), Anna Paulina (b. 1833), Marcin Franciszek (b. 1835), Jozef (b. 1838–d. 1845), Jozefina Agata (b. 1840–d. 1841) and Jan (b. 1842–d. 1842). Apolonia died on 15 June 1842 at Rosciszewko aged 37. Marcin then remarried on 3 September 1842 at St. Michał the Archangel in Skarszewy to Maryanna Bławat (b. 1817–d. 1897) of Bolesławowo, the daughter of Jozef Bławat and Maria Wilmer. The family born at Rościszewko were Julianna (b. 1843–d. 1852), Rozalia (b. 1845–d. 1916), August (b. 1847–d. 1847), Tomasz (b. 1848–d. 1933), Anna Teresia (b. 1850–d. 1873), Maryanna (b. 1852–d. 1943), Julianna (b. 1854–d. 1913), Bernhard (b. 1856–d. 1859) and Wilhelmina (b. 1860–d. 1940). Marcin Gdaniec died at Rościszewko on 30 November 1863 aged 56. Almost a decade later his wife. Maryanna and family left Bojary for Hamburg where they set aboard the Palmerston, 29 July 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers near Dunedin on 6 December 1872.
Listed aboard was—Maria Gdanitz age 54, Maria 21, Julianna 18 & Whilhelmina 15. They settled in Cumberland Street in Dunedin and for a time in the district of Pine Hill, overlooking the city. Marianna died on 2 January 1897 aged 79 at her residence at 3 Frederick Street and is buried at the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin.
Maria Gdaniec married on 27 May 1873 at St. Joseph’s in Dunedin to widower, Julius Stanislaus Byszewski (b. 1840 at Wędkowy –d. 1919) . The family born at Dunedin were Francis (b. 1874–d. 1882), Minnie (b. 1875–d. 1882), Martha (b. 1877–d. 1882), Albert Joseph (b. 1879–d. 1934) and Julius Francis (b. 1884–d. 1918). During the night of 22 February 1882 there was a tragic fire in their two-storey home in Smith Street. The fire claimed the lives of the three eldest and also that of their 12 year old nephew, Thomas Kreft. Marianna survived the ordeal and died a widow in Dunedin on 1 October 1943 aged 91 at the Little Sisters of the Poor and is buried at the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin.
Julia Gdaniec married on 25 June 1873 at St. Joseph’s in Dunedin to Karl Herman Trangott Pistor (b. 1851 at Elmshorn). The family were Carl Phillippe Heinrich (b. 1874–d. 1945) and Minnie (b. 1875–d. 1963). Julianna died at Gisborne on 3 March 1913 aged 59 and is buried at the Makaraka Cemetery.
Wilhelmina Gdaniec married on 2 April 1887 at Mary of the Angels in Wellington to Frederick Meyer (b. 1861 at Limerick–d. 1941), the son of Frederick Meyer and Catherine Cummins. The family were Theodore Martin (b. 1888–d. 1967), Veronia Magdalene (b. 1892–d. 1962), Roland Albert (b. 1895–d. 1969), Adrian Noel (b. 1897–d. 1980) and Zita Rosalie (b. 1905–d. 1983). Wilhelmina died at Christchurch on 17 June 1940 aged 80 and is buried at the Bromley Cemetery.
Thomas Gdaniec married on 15 September 1872 at St. Barbara in Kokoszkowy to Julianna Guzińska (b. 1849 at Wałdówko –d. 1915), the daughter of Thomas Guziński (b. 1803) and Maryanna Madrzejewska (b. 1806). The family born at Bojary were Joseph (b. 1873–d. 1873). Here they left for Hamburg where they set aboard the Reichstag on 10 May 1874, arriving at Port Nicholson in Wellington on 6 August 1874.
Listed aboard was—Thomas Gedanitz age 27 and Juliana 25. They settled at Pine Hill in Dunedin where Thomas was employed as a farm labourer. The family born at Dunedin were Bernard (b. 1874–d. 1947), Frank David (b. 1876–d. 1918), Martha (b. 1878–d. 1935), Thomas Carl (b. 1880–d. 1970) and Martin Paul (b. 1883–d. 1948). Around 1883 the family left Dunedin and settled at Hampden where Thomas purchased a small farm and became a dairy farmer. He established a large orchard as an added income. The family born at Hampden were Mary Ellen (b. 1885–d. 1918) and Agnes Anna (b. 1890–d. 1952). Thomas and Julianna were naturalised as New Zealand citizens on 23 November 1892. In May of 1894, Hampden saw the opening of the new Catholic church, Our Lady Star of the Sea which Thomas aided in its building and fitting. In 1901, Interested in public affairs, Thomas Gdanietz was elected onto the Hampden Borough Council as a member of the Works Committee. Julianna died on 14 November 1914 aged 66 and Thomas died on 6 September 1933 aged 85. Both are buried at the Hampden Cemetery.
Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, page 22.
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.
Gdanitz Kevin, Kaiapoi, supplied photos, documents & compiled family information.
McDougall Olive J. R., supplied photos & family information.
Godziszewo & Skarszewy Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.
New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Naturalisations, Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Compiled by Paul Klemick (2021)