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Piernicki Family


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Piernicki, Anton Ludwik, (1836-1914) Kłodawa, the son of Jan Piernicki (1782-1848) & Elzbieta Lange (1792-1870), married on 16 September 1860 at St. Jakuba, Kłodawa to Anna Malecka (1836-1924) Subkowy, the daughter of Michal Malecki (1805-1874) & Krystina Witting (1807-1852) of Lubiszewo Tczewskie. Family—Zła Wieś; Franciszek Anton (1861-1919), Kłodawa; Anton Lorencjusz (1863-1932), Marta Cecilia (1865-1938), Stanisławie; Jan (1868-1925), Jozef August (1871-1872) & Walenty (1873-1966). They left Stanisławie for Hamburg where they set aboard the Dallam Tower on 21 December 1874, arriving at Port Chalmers, Dunedin on 17 February 1875.


Piernicki cottage at Allanton. Taken in 1998 by Paul Klemick

Listed aboard was—Anton L. Piernicki 38, Anna 38, Franz 13, Anton 11, Marta 9, Johan 6 & Valentin 1. The family travelled south to Greytown where they had the rest of the family—Michael (1876-1965) & Peter Paul (1877-1905). On 3 May 1883, Anton purchased section 32 & 34 of Block 11 in the North Harbour & Blueskin district. The family moved to Dunedin, residing in Pine Hill, where Anton worked as a Dairy farmer. Anna was naturalised as a New Zealand Citizen on 6 March 1901 & Anton was naturalised on 26 January 1904. Anton sold part of his property to his son Frank in 1886 and died at Allanton on 2 February 1914 aged 77. Annie died in Dunedin on 12 June 1924 aged 87 and both are buried at the Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Franz Anton Piernicki married on 13 September 1886 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin to Mary Mullian (1859-1900) Galway of Ireland. Family— Dunedin; Anthony (1887), Thomas (1890), Margaret Nora (1892-1893) & John (1893-1894.  At Pine Hill Franz worked as a Dairy farmer and wood dealer.

A two-roomed wooden house and effects, belonging to Mr Frank Pernisky, were destroyed by fire on Thursday morning at Pine Hill. Mrs Pernisky states that she left the house about 10 o’clock to look after her cows, and had been away about half an hour when she heard her mother-in-law calling out “Fire!” and on hastening back found the place in flames. Mr Pernisky, who was cutting bush in the vicinity, returned to the house, but was unable to do any good. Mrs Annie Pernisky was the first to discover the fire, and states that the flames were then breaking through the side of the building near the chimney, which it is thought was faulty construction. The building was insured for £70 and the effects for £30 in the New Zealand office, but the estimated value of the property is £20 above these amounts.” 6 Jul 1889, Otago Witness.

Another fire tragically claimed the life of Margaret Nora; Margaret Perimystery, aged 17 months, died from severe burns received on May 6th. The mother was milking the cows at Pine Hill, and left the child in bed, where its nightdress caught fire.” 18 May 1893, Otago Witness.

The family later moved to the Taieri where Joseph (1895) & Michael (1897-1897) where born. Mary died at West Taieri on 25 July 1900. The Otago & Southland Directory lists Frank as a farmer at Momona in 1903. He then married on 13 January 1904 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin to Bedilia Tobin (nee O’Gorman) (1862-1934) and died at Duntroon on 20 August 1920 aged 59. His is buried at the Allanton Cemetery.

Anton Ludwig & Annie Perniski, Roman Catholic Block 29 Plot 1B, Southern Cemetery

Anton Lorenz Piernicki, a farm labourer, purchased the Pine Hill property from his brother Frank in 1890 later working as a farmer at Enfieid in 1915. He died at Oamaru on 23 May 1932 aged 68 and is buried at the Oamaru Cemetery.

Martha Cecilia Piernicka married on 10 November 1881 at Church of the Immaculate Conception, East Taieri to Johan Switala (1857-1933) Lubiszewo-Tczewskie. Family—Greytown; Joseph (1882), Francis Patrick (1884-1949), John (1886-1926), Martha (1888-1977), Antony William (1890-1956), Michael James (1893-1967), Mary Emma (1895-1970), Annie Magdalen (1898-1960), Alice Josephine (1900-1973), Edward Alexander (1903-1958), Charles Millan (1905-1979) & Eileen Veronica (1907-1929). Described as a very good looking woman, Martha was a fine religious lady. In advanced age she went to early mass and would stay in church until all masses were finished, returning for benediction and rosary at evening. Martha died in Dunedin on 30 October 1938 aged 72 and is buried at the Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

John Piernicki worked as a farmer at Enfield in 1913 and was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 11 July 1923. He died at Oamaru on 25 January 1925 aged 56 and is buried at the Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Valentine Piernicki married in 1903 to Mary Ellen McKenna. Family: Timaru, Margaret Frances (1904-1924). Valentine worked as a Police Constable in Oamaru and died at Christchurch on 19 June 1966 aged 93. He is buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery, Christchurch.

Frank & Mary Perniski, Catholic Block Plot 2, Allanton Cemetery


John Switalla & Martha C (nee Piernicka), Block 85 Plot 1, Andersons Bay Cemetery


Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 44, 48, 170 & 197.

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. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin: Marriage Register & St Mary’s Church, Milton; Baptism Register.

Kłodawa, Konczewice, Lubiszewo Tczewskie & Subkowy Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.

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


John Perniskie, Roman Catholic Block 29 Plot 48, Southern Cemetery

Valentine Perniskie

Valentine Perniskie, Block 2 Plot 195, Memorial Park Cemetery


Andersons Bay Cemetery – Martha C. Switalla (1865-1938) – Dunedin City Council

Allanton Cemetery – Frank Perniski (1861-1920) – Dunedin City Council

Memorial Park Cemetery – Valentine Perniskie (1873-1966) – (christchurchcitylibraries.com)

Oamaru Old Cemetery – Anthony Perniskie (1863-1932) – Waitaki District Council

Papers Past (natlib.govt.nz)

Southern Cemetery – Annie Perniski (1836-1924) – Dunedin City Council

Southern Cemetery – Anton Ludwig (1836-1914) – Dunedin City Council

Southern Cemetery – John Perniskie (1868-1925) – Dunedin City Council



Compiled by Paul Klemick (2021)