.+64 3 477 5552 info@polesdownsouth.org.nz
Select Page

Smoliński Family


     Click flag to open the families map locations
in another tab

click on name or picture to go to Smolinski Family Tree

 Click ship to open the families ship page
In another tab

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.

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

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 parents, sister & 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.

Standing; William, Johann Snr., & Frank. Sitting; Rose, Francisca (nne Malinowska), Baby Frank, & James. Ca1902. Kindly provided by Patricia Clark.

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.



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. Ca 1910 Kindly provided by Patricia Clark


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 in her eighties, 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.

Original Smolenski Grave

Original grave of John & Francesca Smolenski, Catholic Plot 45, Allanton Cemetery Kindly proviided by Patricia Clark

John Smolenski, Catholic Plot 40, Allanton Cemetery


Allanton Cemetery – Francesca Smolenski (1850-1913) – Find A Grave Memorial

Allanton Cemetery – John Smolenski (1840-1922) – Find A Grave Memorial

Allanton Cemetery – John Smolenski (1874-1905) – Dunedin City Council

Catholic Baptism & Marriage Records, St. Joseph’s, Catholic Archives, Dunedin

Clark Patricia, Fairfield, supplied family photos and information

New Zealand Naturalisations

Pobόg-Jaworowski J. W., History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, Warsaw, 1990, page 25, 26 & 171

Polish BDM – Pelplin Archives

Port Chalmers Cemetery – Frank Smolenski (1878-1940) – Dunedin City Council

Todd Mona, Dunedin, supplied family information

Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand, Dunedin

John & Francesca Smolenski, Catholic Block Plot 45, Allanton Cemetery


Frank & Margaret Smolenski, Block DB. Plot 8, Port Chalmers Cemetery

Whenua Land Information New Zealand, Dunedin







Compiled by Paul Klemick (2021)