Petersen/ Pedersen/ Pedersien Enquiry

From: Paulette
To: Jan
Subject: : Family history

I'm in Australia and have recently found my Greatgandmother was Mathilda Petersen, her father Haus Petersen and her mother Christina Petersen, (nee Hansen. Haus was a farmer and I believe Danish,
 I've been trying to find information on this family but with no success. Mathilda was born in 1880 in Waipawa.
Could you perhaps give me some suggestions as to how I could find records of this early family, and whether Haus and Christina were born in NZ or when they immigrated.

Kind Regards

Paulette Bode're

From: Jan
To: Paulette
Subject: : Family history

Hi Paulette,

I just got back from China last night and so I'm still feeling a bit jet-lagged and not quite at my intellectual best. But to get started on your enquiry I will contact Rosheen down at our local Museum and see if she can run Mathilda's name through the computer data base down there... and whether they have any other information that might help.

I have some Danish ancestry too - and when my mother was researching my great great grandparents a few years back she found that if you can find out the complete name and perhaps the town someone in your family came from in Denmark that the Danish keep very good records so finding earlier ancestors can be a lot easier than some places.

Anyway hopefully we can find out something for you.

Once my son gets back from China (in another week) I'll ask him to put your enquiry and any info we find out on the website. Sometimes this can get other people (maybe with some shared ancestory) adding any information they have too.

Fingers crossed we find something
 : )

From: CHB Settlers Museum
To: Paulette
Subject: : Family history

Hi Paulette

I have not managed to find much info about your G/grandmother but did find:

As you have said her birth record - 7th April 1880 - mother listed as Christina Pedersen with "d" but the spelling in these old records is often unreliable.

Tabuteau & Baker Directory of 1901 has one listing for a H Petersen - farmer Blackburn [which is a farming area not far out of Waipawa]

Are you sure about the "Haus" as electoral 1893 lists Hans Peter Petersen again at Blackburn as a farmer. This was the first electoral that women were able to register for - but there is no entry for Christina.

I am assuming this is Mathilda's father as the marriage notice I have located says - "At Hastings Catholic Church by Rev Fr Galerne - James Koorey of Napier to Matilda [ no H] of Blackburn. Year is 1904 but no date given.

Sorry this is not a lot to go on. Perhaps you could try the Norsewood Museum who have a great Scandinavian record resource, or the Scandinavian Club of Manawatu. Try a google search for both of these.

Perhaps the "Koorey" surname may help in further searching - unless there is anything more you can tell me that would help me. Good luck with the research


Rosheen Parker

From: Jan
To: Paulette
Subject: : Petersen/Petersen

Hi Paulette,

You've probably received an email from Rosheen at our Museum about now. She told me that she couldn't find out very much for you  apart from birth records- but she did tell me that there was a possibility that (due to the way people sometimes wrote down names incorrectly in some records) that she had discovered that a Hans Pedersen was recorded as having farmed up Blackburn Ridge.

As it happened my family has a strong historical connection with Blackburn - Great great grandad having bought land up there - and he and his sons continued to buy up land from other early settlers to increase their landholdings.(most of that land is still owned by their descendants today)

So.... back in 1990 my grandad E.S. Bibby and my cousin Claire Bibby compiled a history of the land around Blackburn ridge and they wrote a book "Lunesdale".

Thinking Hans or Haus might have been mentioned in the book I looked up the name Pedersen and Petersen - and I found only a very brief mention of the Pedersens - only it was spelt "Pedersien"

this is what it said....
Purchase of Pedersien's
In 1918, Aunty Lil bought a small farm adjoining Lunesdale from Mr H Pedersien. This 169 acre block had been taken up and made into a picture book farm, with stumped  and ploughed hay paddocks.
A well kept orchard was enclosed by a tidy macrocarpa hedge. Within the hedge boundary was  a Scandinavian type gabled house with a door to the left leading up to a hay loft. OPutside the hedge were stables, woodshed, yard and dip. In the shed was a complete set of agricultural implements, including a horse drawn mower.
Aunty Lil bought the house, including furniture as a going concern for 19 pounds.

I don't know if this helps or not. It just seems very coincidental that Rosheen at the Museum found Mathilda's surname spelt Pedersen (instead of Petersen) of birth records - That her father's name was recorded as Hans and not Haus.
and that Hans Pedersen was a farmer at Blackburn.
I have attached a copy of a painting that my great grandmother did of the hills around Blackburn.(called 'Firths block' which is just a little up the road from the Pedersien's)

and a photo of what Blackburn looks like today.

I don't know if we've been of any help - but hope it gives you something to go ahead on.
I'll put your request on line and see if anyone else can help you - but Rosheen's idea about those other avenues of enquiry look good ones. Please keep me in touch with further discoveries and well add them to your ancestors' story.

From: Paulette
To: Jan
Subject: : Petersen enquiry

Hi Jan,
Just another inquiry concerning Petersens Farm,
Do you know if they called it anything. I have some-one else helping and they suggested that sometimes they name their farms after the towns they came from.
Anyway hope all is good with you. I'm working on another side of the family at the moment and have made a slight breakthrough.
My Aunt Cecilia Coppenrath died in Nevada in 2004 and the funeral home has refused every request I've made concerning her final resting place. As a last resort I've asked if I write a letter to the people who collected her ashes would they pass it on to them and they have agreed.
I don't understand as here in Australia funeral notices make all that information open to the public.
Anyway as long as we persist in delving into the past we will constantly come up against problems like this.
I'd like to thank you once again for all your help.
Paulette Bode're

From: Jan
To: Paulette
Subject: : Petersen enquiry

Hi Paulette,

I don't think the farm was called anything special. most of the little farms up there were just known by their owner's name ie. Firth's block etc... but I'll check with mum and the aunts and uncles as they actually were bought up on Blackburn Ridge so they know much more than me.

It can be pretty tricky finding out family history.

I've had a couple of enquiries recently where I feel I've been no help at all - but the birth's deaths and marriages notices in historic local papers have been invaluable for finding a few small pieces of info - so I think that even now its worth doing - as who knows who will be researching in the future.

As for resting places it can be tricky.
I know when my Dad died we had certain ideas about where his ashes could go - wanting to put him in the original churchyard here in Waipawa -but the local council put a stop to that stating that the churchyard is now a recreational reserve ??? I don't know how they work that out - weird eh?
And so Mum still has his ashes in a cupboard in her bedroom. I think I will have to work out where they both go after they've both died

Anyway don't get too discouraged and keep working away at it


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