August Waleny Rydzewski, a labourer, (b. 1828–d. 1905) was born at Zakrzewko in February 1828, the son of Albrecht Rydzewski (b. abt. 1790–d. 1840) and Helena Bielicka (b. abt. 1794–d. 1840). August married on 1 May 1853 at St. Malgorzata in Miłobądz to Rozalia Maryanna Sliwińska (b. 10 March 1832 at Łukocin–d. 1909), the daughter of Andrzej Sliwiński (b. abt. 1783–d. 1853) and Barbara Taleńska (b. abt. 1782–d. 1857). The family born at Miłobądz were: Anna Franciszka (b. 1854–d. 1857), Jan Franciszek (b. 1857–d. 1935), Maryanna Rozalia (b. 1859–d. 1932), at Suchostrzygi; Klara Matilda (b. 1862–d. 1862), August Jozef (b. 1863–d. 1864), Franciszka Paulina (b.1865–d. 1944), Marta Elzbieta (b. 1867–d. 1868), at Małżewo; Paulina Anna (b. 1869–d. 1951). The family left the village of Małżewo 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: August Rydzewski age 43, Rosalia 40, Joh. F. 16, Maria 15, Francisca 7 and Paulina 3. The family was sent south to Scroggs Creek on contract work with Brogden and Sons to lay the southern railway through the Taieri. They soon moved to Waihola where August purchased sections one and sixteen of Block 20. As the railway headed south so did the family. Alongside Bucholz’s farm in the Waikaka Valley, August purchased part of section eleven on Block one on 28 February 1878 where his son John also built their family home. While in the valley, August worked as a farmer and labourer and later moved to Gore. Here August and Rosalia were both naturalised as New Zealand citizens on 20 November 1899. August died on 29 November 1905 aged 77 and Rosalia died on 17 October 1909 aged 77. Both are buried at the Gore Cemetery.
John Frank Rydzewski was born at Miłobądz on 23 April 1857. He married on 12 September 1880 at Mckay’s Hall in Gore to Josephina Szczepańska (b. 15 November 1861 at Trzcińsk–d. 1955), the daughter of Jakob Szczepanski (b. 1837–d. 1914) and Barbara Ciesnikowska (b. 1832–d. 1865). The family born at Hokonui were: Agnes Elizabeth (b. 1881–d. 1961), at Croydon; James August (b. 1883–d. 1947), at Waikaka Valley; Clara Barbara (b. 1885–d. 1975), Ellen Frances (b. 1887–d. 1969), John Francis (b. 1890–d. 1924), Joseph (b. 1893–d. 1907), Josephine (b. 1895–d. 1976) and Frances Victoria (b. 1901–d. 1989). John worked as a farmer at Tokanui Gorge in 1897 and was residing in Gore in 1902. John was naturalised a New Zealand citizen on 24 August 1926 while working as a labourer at Woodlands. He died at Mataura on 11 October 1935 aged 78 and is buried at the Mataura Cemetery.
Marianna (Mary) Rosalia Rydzewska was born at Miłobądz on 19 August 1859. She married on 24 November 1875 at St. Mary’s in Invercargill to Johan Valentin Schultz (b. 29 August 1846 at Dalwin–d. 1893), the son of Jakub Szulc (b. 1815–d. 1851) and Anna Zawadzka (b. abt. 1816–d. 1861) The family born at Hokonui were: Frank Joseph (b. 1877–d. 1953), John August (b. 1879), Martha Elizabeth (b. 1881–d. 1943), Joseph James (b. 1882–d. 1966), Thomas James Andrew (b. 1884–d. 1885), Adam (b. 1886–d. 1886), at Gordon (East Gore; James Paul (b. 1887–d. 1973), Alexander Andrew (b. 1890–d. 1963) and Thomas Andrew (b. 1893–d. 1972). Although Mary never fully came to grips with the English language and struggled with it throughout much of her life. She was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 24 August 1926 residing at Gore. Mrs. Mary Hoffman, daughter of Frank Schultz, recalled in 1987.
”It was marvellous what they did… they made their own bread, everything was homemade… oatmeal cakes and fruit cake.”
Doris Schultz said as a child she would go to the home of Mary (her grandmother) each day after school and do chores for her. At times she struggled to understand her grandmother but remembered her fondly and said she was always very, very kind to her. After a long battle with cancer of the liver, Mary died at Gore on 22 January 1932 aged 72 and is buried at the Gore Cemetery.
Francisca Paulina Rydzewska was born at Suchostrzygi on 09 March 1865. She married on 23 February 1887 at the church of the Blessed Sacrament in Gore to William Robertson (b. 1866–d. 1929), the son of James Kent Robertson (b. 1836–d. 1901) and Barbara Mark Stenson (b. 1841–d. 1904).The family were: Barbara (b. 1887–d. 1946), Mary Jane (b. 1890–d. 1947), William August (b. 1906–d. 1981) and James Kent (b. 1907–d. 1954). William died on 3 June 1929 and Francisca died in Dunedin on 11 June 1944 aged 79. Both are buried at the Andersons Bay Cemetery in Dunedin.
Paulina Anna Rydzewska was born at Małżewo on 26 August 1869. She married on 7 April 1896 at Gore to Thomas Reginald Johnston (b. 1872–d. 1948), the son of Thomas Johnston (b. 1839–d. 1911) and Frances Woods (b. 1843–d. 1919). The family were: Wallace Reginald (b. 1897–d. 1974), Frances Ada (b. 1898–d. 1993), Charles Godfrey (b. 1900–d. 1966), Ivy Rosalind (b. 1901–d. 1974), Thomas Henry (b. 1903–d. 1982), Violet Hilda Alice (b. 1905–d. 1983), Robert William (b. 1912–d. 1989) and Mary Margaret (b. 1914). Thomas died at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Dunedin on 15 July 1948 and Paulina died at Dunedin on 11 May 1951 aged 81. Both are buried at the Andersons Bay Cemetery in Dunedin.
Pobόg-Jaworowski, J. W, History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, ed. Warsaw; Chz “Ars Polonia.” 1990, pages 23 & 170.
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.
Hurrell Maria, Gore, supplied photos and family information.
Kłodawa, Lubiszewo Tczewskie, Miłobądz & Tczew Parish Records, Pelplin Diocese, Poland.
New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Naturalisations, Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)