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Johann Friederich Christolph* Schwass and Sophia Elizabeth Catherina* nee Ziems
Johann Friederich Christoph* (Christian) SCHWASS (b: 1793 in Lüssow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany -1879) mar: in 1831 to his first wife Anna Friederica Magdalena WARIG (b: 1806 in Brookhusen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. They had 8 children however she d: on 18 Dec 1841 in Brookhusen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany - her surname pronounced VARIG.)
They named their eldest son Christian Ernst* Heinrich (Ernest Henry) SCHWASS who was b: on 8 Feb 1832 in Bruckhusen, Chemnitz, Sachsen, Germany. He was ten when his father remarried on 19 Aug 1842 in Buchholtz, Annaberg, Sachsen, Germany to 2nd wife Sophia Elizabeth Catherina* Ross (born Ziems) (b: 23 Apr 1827; 1st husband Johan Ross) she d: 14 Dec 1895) She had a 3 month baby Maria Sophia Henrica Ross.
In 1841, New Zealand Company had little support from England so it undertook the encourage colonists to migrate from Germany to the Chatham Island. This was not permitted so in 1842, the first ship, the "Sankt (Saint) Pauli" was given permission to go the Nelson on condition that the passengers became British citizens on their arrival. These first colonists were mainly from North Germany and the Rhineland, were exploited by a much-hated German agent John Beit who paid them low wages and refused them access to purchase land which had been oversold causing Maori to challenge settlers’ ownership. He was finally dismissed but the first settlement failed and was abandoned 2 years later. A more prosperous and hopeful beginning was made at Appleby on the eastern coast of the Waimea Plains however that original upper (Sarau) Moutere Valley settlement remained a focal point of the social and family interests.
The Schwass family was about to leave Europe on the 2nd ship, the 400 ton Danish barque, "Skjold", when the NZ Company collapsed. Count Rantzu, a wealthy nobleman, acted as guarrantor for the venture and paid the fares of many of the passengers (there were 6 cabin passengers and 135 in steerage who already had their berths appointed and had their deposits paid on their allotments) so the ship was able to leave 21st Apr 1844 from the port of Altvra, Hamburg for Nelson under Captain C Clausen and Surgeon Superintendent: Dr Franz Bernhard Braun. The journey took 120 days and the only respite during their long and tedious trip with their 9 children under 12 for the Schwass family was a 7 day stopover at Bahia, Sth America to effect repairs. They arrived Nelson Sept. 1 1844 with 140 German immigrants.
The "Examiner", announcing her arrival, said: "It is a gratifying circumstance connected with the expedition that all the labourers will be employed by the cabin passengers, and in order to provide for the first year, the latter wisely put provisions on board for consumption after arrival." The hardships and trials of the new life saw many leave that same year for Australia.
They landed at Nelson and while waiting for their land grants of 50 acres, the passengers worked for the Kelling brothers on their 150 acre allotment - they had 100 acres under cultivation yielding good crops of grain, and had barns, stables, smithies, a great house and workers houses of thatched clay brick. The Kellings established the basis of today's land use in the Nelson district having great success with orchard plantings of various fruits and they also eperimented with the growing of hops and tobacco.
After Christolph took over their land at Appleby near the Waimea River, he built a cob house and four more children were added to the Schwass family. He prospered and was able to bring other Schwass family out to New Zealand and d: 7 Mar 1879 at Nelson aged 72Y.
Ernst, the eldest son, found employment as a bushman, possibly under the Benseman brothers - he gave his occupation as "sawyer" when he mar: 6th May 1857 Anna Sophia Maria ROSE at St. Paul's Lutheran church Upper Moutere, (the officiating minister, Pastor J.W.C. HEINE). ( the second "s" in the name SCHWASS was written in accordance with the German practice like an English "f ".) Anna was b: 3 Apr 1837 daughter of Johannes Friedrich Ludwig Christian ROSE occ; weaver; (1800-1867) and Elise Sophie Maria Tredoch (Treddow) (she d: 21 Dec 1872 - they are bur: St Paul's Lutheran Cem. Moutere, Plot 1)
Ernst and Anna had a family of thirteen, the first 6 born and christened in the Lutheron Church, Upper Moutere and from about 1870, when the family moved to Golden Bay in search of work (the period 1860-80 was a thriving period with a great demand for sawn timber for building and gold mining) and a further 6 baptisms are recorded to parents Ernst and Anna SCHWASS at St. Cuthbert's Anglican church at Collingwood. The family left Nelson abt 1877, and moved to Halcombe where sawyers and bullock team drivers were required to work on the main trunk railway line that was under construction at the time. (Ernst's marriage certificate gives his occupation as sawyer and in his obituary he is described as a bullock team driver.) Here they had another 2 children. Ernst d: on 4 Mar 1914 and his wife nearly seven years later on 14 Dec 1920 - they are bur: at Halcombe.
Ernst's wife Anna Sophia Maria did not experience an easy life. Her parents decided that because of political and civil unrest, on-going revolutions and lack of employment in Germany, they would immigrate with their 9 children on the "John Masterman", leaving from London 17 Oct 1857, they arrived at Nelson 8 Feb 1857. After Anna's marriage, she not only raised a large family of her own, she also acted as midwife annd it was recorded that she successfully delivered more than five hundred babies including a set of triplets.
Tombstone Inscription: In lasting memory of Ernst Schwass b Feb 8 1832 Died Mar 4 1914 Aged 82 years
In loving memory of Sophia Schwass b Apr 23 1837 Died Dec 14 1920 aged 83 years Peace Perfect Peace
Src: Stan Janes "Serfdom to Freedom; Schwass Family in NZ; 1844-1989"
Descendant input to up-date family pages is very welcome - more detailed information available on request.