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Smoliński Family


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Smoliński, Jan, Farm Labourer, (1844-1922) Stanisławie, the son of Anna Smolińska, m. (17 Oct 1869) Church of the Holy Trinity, Lubiszewo-Tzcewskie, Franciszka (Fanny) Malinowska (1850-1913) Kolincz, the daughter of Tomasz Malinowski & Katarzyna Rekowska. Family—Małźewko; Jakob (1870-1870) & Maryanna Rozalia (1871-1879), Rukosin; Jan (1874-1905), Jozef (1876-1878) & Małźewko; Franciszek (1878-1940). The family organized to go to America with Franciszka’s sister, but their daughter Maria fell sick and died 14 Jul 1879. The family sailed for Clyde, Scotland, and it was said to have been a rather nerve racking sailing. It is believed Franciszka had fallen ill, either at Clyde or on board ship is unclear. The family set aboard the “Marlborough” 23 Oct 1879, arriving at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, 7 Jan 1880.

It was documented that one of the fellow passengers nursed a German woman through her illness. The family travelled south to Waihola where Johann’s mother & brothers were residing. It is believed the family resided in a tent close to the lake where they had—Martha (1881-1951). In November of 1883, the family settled in Greytown where Johann worked as a farm labourer and had the rest of the family—August (1883-1967), Minnie (1885-1887), Rosie (1888-1972), James (1890-1969), Annie (1892-1898), & William (1895-1980). Johann purchased section 20 of block six on 14 Oct 1887 where he built a wooden cottage. He was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 14 Nov 1893. Johan involved in public affairs was elected onto the Greytown School Committee in June of 1895 and onto the Greytown District Board in 1896. He was said to be a pinnicle of the community who befriended anyone always with a helping hand and a favourite with the youth. Fanny died at Dunedin 18 Mar 1913 aged 62 and Johann died at Dunedin 3 Oct 1922 aged 78. Both are buried at the Allanton Cemetery. A family reunion was held at Allanton in memory of Antoni Velenski, Martha Smolenski, Arthur Palmer and deceased relatives and friends, on Sunday 27 Oct 1991. The celebration was held at the Sacred Heart Church and followed by a picnic in which 150 family members reunited.

Johann Jr. Smoliński m. (19 Jul 1899) Church of the Sacred Heart, Allanton, Annie Maria Black in a double wedding ceremony. Family—Dunedin; John Joseph & Nellie. Johann, a labourer, died at Allanton 30 Dec 1905 aged 31 and is buried at the Allanton Cemetery.

Franz Smoliński worked as a labourer for Kirkland’s at Allanton. He m. (13 Feb 1901) St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin, Margaret Brennan. Family—East Taieri; Francis Joseph, Dunedin; William, Mary & John Augustine. Frank died 4 Mar 1940 aged 61 at Sawyers Bay and is buried at the Port Chalmers Cemetery.

Patricia Clark with “Mikey”

During the Second World War, Henry Frank Michalski, a US Marine, happened to call into Dunedin, where he went hunting for extended family. You see his grandmother, Johanna Zitterman, nee Malinowska (youngest sister to Franciszka Smolenski) & husband, Frank Zitterman had migrated to America. The family sailed from Bremen aboard the “Kronprinz Friderich Wilhelm” and arrived at Baltimore, Maryland, USA 16 Apr 1881 and settled at Marble Township, Lincoln, Minnesota, USA. Also On board were Johanna’s parents, Thomas & Katarzyna Malinowski aged in their 60’s & 70’s.  Henry had berthed at Lyttleton and boarded a train for Dunedin.  While on the train he happened to talk to a gentleman who was also going to Dunedin and told the man who he was looking for.  The address being 524 Cumberland Street, not far from the Dunedin Railway Station, the man said he could take him right to their door.  While in Dunedin, Henry met up with Martha Velenski including Patricia Todd, a great granddaughter of Franciszka Smolenska (nee Malinowska) who happened to be also born on Henry’s birthday 10 July.  Henry gave Patricia a small teddy bear which she called Mikey and still has it in her possession today.  Now well in her seventies, she has never forgotten Henry (nicknamed “Mikey”) & his visit. Sadly Henry lost his life in 1944.  Henry was the son of Frank & Anna Michalski (nee Zitterman) where the family had an Orangery at San Bernadino, California, USA.  The oldest sister to Franciszka, Anna Rosalia Malinowska married Johann Borowski.  The family of Borowski/Brooks migrated to America at various times  from about 1891 and settled in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Johan Snr, Johan Jnr, Francisca (nee Malinowska), Frank & Martha Smolenski Ca. 1882 Waihola. Kindly provided by Patricia Clark.

Smolenski Family 1902. Kindly provided by Patricia Clark.


B. Eric Velenski, John Smolenski (arms folded), Frank Velenski, M. Bill Smolenski, Franciska (nee Malinowska), Tom Velenski (on knee), Nellie Smolenski, Min Velenski, Johann Snr., Stan Smolenski (on knee), Frank Smolenski, F. Twins Jack & Mary Smolenski



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.