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Michalski Family


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Michalski, Jan Kristian (1836-1918) Golębiewo, the son of Jan Michalski & Barbara Sztarka, m. (12 Oct 1862) St. Jakuba, Kłodawa, Johanna Agniszka Rygel (1841-1933) Kleszczewo, the daughter of Jan Rygel & Brigitta Szulc. Johanna was with child born at Kleszczewo—Jan Walenty (Rygel) (1862-1938). Family—Kleszczewo; Maryanna Julianna (1864), Kłodawa; Rozalia (1867-1954) & Franciszek (1870-1872). They left Kłodawa for Hamburg where they set aboard the “Palmerston” 29 Jul 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, 6 Dec 1872

During the journey Marta was born; (1872-1960). It is believed Franciszek died on board ship 13 Nov 1872. Listed aboard were—Johann Michalski 36, Johanna 32, Johann 10, Marianna 8, Rosalia 5 & Franz 2. They family were sent to Scroggs Creek along with other Poles, where John was employed on heavy intensive labour, clearing and preparing the area ahead for the proposed railway line through the Taieri. The family settled on the Taieri and had the remaining family—East Taieri; Annie (1875-1959), James (1877-1911) & Johanna Agnes (1880-1960), Mosgiel; Albert William (1883-1959), & Helena (Nellie) (1886-1951). The 82’ Freeholders lists Johann owning land to the value of £140 at Mosgiel Junction. Johann, a labourer, was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen 23 Oct 1900 residing at East Taieri. He received title for sections 59 & 62 in Mosgiel Junction 19 Oct 1904. Here they built a cottage at 45 Clyde Road where they lived for their remaining years. Family characteristics that have endured through the years are, blue eyes, fair complexion and a good proportion are still of the broad shouldered & stocky peasant build. They were hard workers with a quick flare of temper, which dies just as quickly and a love of dancing. Although for the pioneers there was no time to indulge in sport, the latter generations have had the stamina to do well in athletics, swimming and tennis. Johann died at Mosgiel 1 Dec 1918 aged 82. Dorrie Riddle, nee Mehalski, recalls as a young girl having to sit with her grandmother when she was dying and had not long to live. She was most indignant, and later told her mother “Grannie kept on talking to God, and never once spoke to me, all the time I was there. Didn’t even say, Hello!” Johanna died at Mosgiel 16 May 1933 aged 93. Both are buried at the Anderson’s Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.
Johann Valentin Mehalski (Rygel) died at Dunedin 15 Jul 1938 aged 76 and is buried at the Andersons Bay Cemetery.
Marianna (Mary) Julianna Mehalski, gave birth to a son, William Ashcroft at Dunedin & was re-registered as William Mehalski & a daughter, May (Mabel). In 1887 Mary was sent to Christchurch where she gave birth to Thomas, who died a few weeks later. 1886 brought Margaret, and all these children were reared as part of the Mehalski family. For some reason, Olive who was born in Dunedin in 1889, must have been adopted, as the birth entry has been sealed. Olive’s birth was also the last record that we have available of Mary Mehalski.
Rosalia (Rose) Mehalski m. (05 Jun 1895) St. Mary’s, Milton, David Dickson Stevenson (1871-1948), a factory operator at the Mosgiel Woollen Mill. Family—Rose, Eileen Margaret, William Alexander, Johanna Agnes & David Albert. David died at Seacliff 9 Oct 1948 and Rose died at Gore 22 Mar 1954 aged 87. Both are buried at the Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.



The Polish Government is offering financial assistance, by way of a ‘one-off payment’ grant, to Poles repressed or deported to Siberia or living in the Eastern regions of Poland during the period of 1936 – 1956. 

In order to qualify for this grant, one must be a Polish citizen, holding a Polish passport and, must be a retired serviceman/woman.

For further information kindly contact:

Professor Krzysztof Pawlikowski:   Mobile: 022 044 6075         Email: kryspawli@gmail.com


Marian Ceregra:   Land Line: (04) 972 4545

Email: mariopol4545@gmail.com


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Poles in New Zealand

We would like to hear from Poles or people with any Polish connection, who visited New Zealand and particularly those of you who paid a visit or lived anywhere in Otago or Southland.



“Poles Down South” jest stroną internetową organizacji polonijnej w Nowej Zelandii działającej w rejonie Otago i Southland na Wyspie Południowej. Siedzibą organizacji jest Dunedin.