AMY CHRISTENSEN'S BIRTH & LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND
The Maori man stood beside my great grandmother's grave at the Taratahi Cemetery in Wairarapa, and whispered: "You are going to arise" and become a great nation. And he laid the pale flower on the grave there. I wept at the words. It reminded me of the prophecy of Israel to the 12 sons, concerning what would befall them in the latter days. (Genesis 49) In the prophecy I understood that the oneness of the people of God, transcends time. In that seed that falls into the ground and dies, there is resurrection life. Recently I gazed at a yellowed photograph of my great-uncle holding my great-grandmother's bible. It's been nearly 130 years since my grandparents left their comfortable family home on the coast of Denmark, and boarded the iron ship called Lammershagen to "up root and pull down and to built and plant" the slopes of "Beulah Land."
The memory is as vivid today as it was then. I was 10 at the time, and I'd come home from a day at school. Looking for something, I'd stepped from the living room into the dimly lit hallway of my mother's apartment on Queen Anne Hill. Putting my hand on the cool glass handle of the mahogany door of the linen closet, I softly opened it and peered in. I remember still that fragrance as the door swung open because the closet smelled of Marmee's Devonshire Violet cologne. A shimmering sparkle seemed to catch my eye. Arresting my attention, it puzzled me. So I gazed the more intently at what lay before me upon the paper lined closet shelf. For lying there amid the parchment folds of neatly stacked piles of documents and letters something shined there in the light from the hallway. I stretched forth my hand to pick it up and examine it more closely. It was a roll of antique ivory coloured embroidered lace with beadwork and irridescent glass bead fringe. and it was exquisitely beautiful. Some lovely woman of long ago must have worn it, I thought.
Beside the gossamer roll of beaded fabric, lay a black enameled gold band, inscribed with the surname "Cuffe." Who was this? I wondered, as I didn't recognize the name. Also on the shelf beside these items, were some old papers belonging to my grandmother "Amy." When she came home, I eagerly asked her about the treasures I'd found, and she told me the story that I am about to tell you.
As a child growing up in the Seattle in the 1950's, my life was being shaped not merely by my external environment, but by home and heritage.
KUPE'S DISCOVERY OF AOTEAROA & THE GREAT FLEET
The Polynesian people have populated the cluster of islands which include Hawaii or Hawaiki, the Easter Islands, and what is now called New Zealand, from ancient times. "Polynesian" is a word derived from the Greek, meaning "many islands," and it is applied by scientists to the peoples living on all the islands of the Pacific within imaginary triangle whose sides join Hawaii in the north, New Zealand in the south, and Easter Island in the east.
Legend states that in the 10th century, a great Polynesian chief named Kupe lived on an island called Raiatea. He and a companion set out in their canoes, Waka Matahourua and Tawiri-iangi, using the stars, sun, the direction of sea birds in flight, cloud formations and the color of the water to aid in navigation. According to legend, the Polynesian navigator Kupe was led to Aotearoa by the giant octopus Te Wheke-o-Muturangi. Intent on killing the octopus that was robbing his tribe of fish, Kupe, along with his family and some warriors, set out in a large canoe to hunt it down. The octopus swam south for weeks and eventually took shelter near Cook Strait, where Kupe found it. Voyaging deep into the southern ocean, Kupe came upon a mist-shrouded land of high mountains, consisting of two large islands (now called North Island and South Island), and in the strait between the islands (now called Cook Strait) where he is said to have caught up with the squid king and killed it. When the body of land rising out of the sea was first seen, a long white cloud floated above it. Kupe's wife, Hine-te-aparangi, called out "He ao he ao! He aotea! He aotearoa" ("A cloud, a cloud! A white cloud! A long white cloud!), and so the land was named Aotearoa - 'Land of the long white cloud'. After circumnavigating the North and South Islands of Aotearoa, Kupe and his crew returned to Hawaiki with treasures such as preserved moa flesh and pounamu (greenstone).
He returned to Hawaiiki, (Tahiti) and passed on his knowledge of the sea-route to other native navigators. They returned, as Maori legend states, with a "Great Fleet" of 7 canoes, their double-hulled canoes coming from the Polynesian islands to the north, bringing the first settlers to Aotearoa, the land of te iwi Maori.
The primary voyaging craft of the Polynesians was the double canoe made of two hulls connected by lashed crossbeams. The two hulls gave the craft stability and the capacity to carry heavy loads of migrating families and their supplies. A central platform laid over the crossbeams provided the needed working, living, and storage space. Sails made of woven matting so the ancient catamarans could slide swiftly through the seas, and long steering paddles enabled Polynesian mariners to stay on course. A medium-size voyaging canoe 50 to 60 feet long could accomodate two dozen or so migrants, their food supplies, livestock, and planting materials. The Great Fleet canoes were: the Aotea, Arawa, Tainui, Kurahaupo, Takitimu, Horouata, Tokomaru and Mataatua.
The women aboard brought plants to sow in their new found land. New seedlings of coconuts, gourd, taro, yam, and sweet potatoes had been carefully stored aboard away from the salt sea air. The temperate New Zealand climate did not support the first two, but they found that the clams and sweet potatoes flourished well in the rich soil in the northern summer climate. Tradition then states that two thousand people journeyed in 200 canoes from the ancestral homeland of Hawaiiki, somewhere in Eastern Polynesia.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE PAKEHA
Tasman sent a small boat out to greet the local canoes. One of the Maori canoes deliberately rammed the boat and swung alongside, when three of his crew members were cut down by the Maori and killed, another mortally wounded. Seeing the cannon aboard Zeehaven being run out through the portals, the Maori canoes headed for shore, while the guns hit and killed Maori warriors in the rear canoe. Tasman then considered the Maori hostile and dangerous, and set sail northwards towards the Three Kings Islands to replenish his fresh water supplies.
Heavy seas were running in the area and he could not get ashore through the surf with the boats and casks. He decided to weigh anchor and set sail from New Zealand February, 1643. His journal and charts of the southern oceans made a note to warn all mariners to regard the natives of this land as 'hostile'. Tasman named the region for his home province of Zeeland.
In October of 1769 Cook was the first European to land on New Zealand. It's estimated that by Captain Cook's arrival to the islands in 1769, the Maori population had reach a quarter of a million. Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy made his four voyages in 1769, 1773, 1774, and 1777. In this period, he circumnavigated both islands and mapped the coastline. The Islands had been sighted by Dutch Captain Able Tasman, in 1642 some 127 years before Cook. New Zealand was named for the Dutch province of Zeelandt (meaning Sea Land).
On February 14 at Kealakekua Bay, natives took one of Cook's small boats. Normally, as thefts were quite common in Tahiti and the other islands, Cook would have taken hostages until the stolen articles were returned. He attempted to take the Chief of Hawaii, Kalaniopu'u, as his hostage, but was prevented from doing this, and he and his men had to retreat to the beach. Cook turned his back to help launch the boats, and was struck on the head by the villagers and stabbed to death as he fell on his face in the surf. His body was dragged away. Four of the Marines with Cook were also killed and two wounded in the confrontation.
The white settlers, called "pa-ke-ha" by the Maori's, were at first the whalers, sealers, missionaries, traders together with a few settlers, by the 1700's. The name "Maori" originally meant "the local people", or "the original people". Pakeha is the Maori word for "white man."
In 1838, a group from Britain called the New Zealand Company began to purchase land from the iwi to sell to settlers, whom they brought to New Zealand. As the population increased, it became necessary to clear more land to build homes for them, and the New Zealand government opened a colonization program to three Scandinavian countries.
LIFE IN DENMARK
Anders and Mette Marie Grundahl Nielsen Christensen, were both born close to the coast of East Jutland, in the picturesque town of Vejle, Denmark, which lies to the north of Kolding and northwest of Frederica. The region stretches from Vejle Fjord through Grejsdalen to Jelling, carving it's way through the river valley of Vejle Adal to Egtved. The landscape of Denmark consists mainly of low lying, fertile countryside broken by beech woods, fjords and small lakes. Vejle is well known for it's forested hills rising up to the north and south of the town and fjord. During the Middle Ages, the town was a market for traders and artisans. In the 17th and 18th centuries many of the population disappeared due to plagues and war.
Long reputed for it's lovely hilly countryside, Vejle lies in a sheltered inlet at the top of Vejle Fjord, amid tall wooded slopes, beautiful valleys and deep gorges. Waethlae or Waethelae, as Vejle is sometimes spelled, means "Ford." The town existed from the 12th century or before.
Anders Christensen, the youngest child and only son of Christian Andersen, born June 27, 1794 and died: January 12, 1864 and Kirsten Sorensen, was born December 22, 1834 in Stovby, Vejle, Denmark, and christened in Egtved, Vegle, in south Jutland Denmark. South Jutland is also known as Northern Schleswig, north of the Eider River, which separates Schleswig from Holstein. The traditional significance of the region lies in the transfer of goods between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, connecting the trade route through Russia with the trade routes along Rhine and the Atlantic coast. Anders Christensen's father Christian Anderson was born June 27, 1794 in Raarup, Vejle, Denmark and died January 12, 1864 in Egtved, Vejle. Christian Andersons's parents were Anders Jensen (born Feb 22, 1767) and Bodil Marie Mortensen (born 1765.)Anders Jensen's parents were Jens Andersen (b. 1742) and Ellen Christensen (born 1741). Jens Andersen's parents were Anders Madsen (born abt 1710 - Sindbjerg, Vejle) and Maren Erichsen who married on April 27, 1734.
Mette Marie Grundal Nielsen was the second of three children born to Niels Bertelsen, who was the son of Bertel Jensen of Ribe, Denmark and Anne Margarethe Jansen/Jensen (born Sept. 26, 1798) of Grundahl, Taps Parish, Vejle, Denmark. Mette Marie Grundahl Nielsen's grandfather was Bertel Jensen born 1797. And her great grandfather was Jens Sorensen Stephensen born 1728 and married to Anne Bertelsen on July 14, 1759 in Malt, Ribe, Denmark.
Anne Margarethe Jansen/Jensen was the daughter of Jens Christensen (born Taps-Vejle-1764) and Anne Marie Pedersen, (born 1764) the daughter of Peder Jensen (born Bjert, Vejle-Dec. 25, 1732) and Johanna Christensen (born Vejstrup, Vejle-Dec. 15, 1817) whose parents were Jens Iversen (born in Bjert, Vejle-1700) and Anna Pedersen born in Bjert, Vejle-1700). Mette Marie Grundahl Nielsen's name was actually Mette Marie Nielsen of Grundahl, with Grundahl as the farm where she lived. She was born in Taps, Vejle, Denmark, on February 27, 1835, and christened March 8, 1835.
Denmark, where Anders and Mette Marie Christensen were born is situated in Northern Europe between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The country is bound on the north by the Skagerrak, a portion of the North Sea; on the east by the Kattegat (an extension of the Skagerrak) and a strait linking the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea; on the south by the Baltic Sea; and on the west by the North Sea.
The word Denmark appears as early as the Viking age, carved on the great Jelling Stone from the 900s, but there's a huge difference between what Denmark comprised then and what it comprises today.
Mette Marie Grundahl Bertelsen Nielsen was born in Vejle, Denmark, on the east coast of the Jutland Penninsula. Her family resided for many years in Taps, Brorup, Bjert, Vjestrup, Gesten, Vonsild, Vegstrup, Malt and Stovby, Vejle. The oldest form of the name "Vejle" means "a ford," due to its location at an important crossroads at a ford over Vejle River. In Taps, Vejle, where Mette Marie Christensen was born and raised, the family home was a large timber framed family home made of brick, with green shutters, and gabled roof. The house belonged to the Grundahl family for many generations. The surrounding fields belonging to the property were hedged with high privet hedges. Mette Marie's father was a caretaker of forests, and near where the family lived was a large sprawling estate called Fosletgor. The population of Vejle at the time Mette was born was approximately 3000 inhabitants, and there were some large farms. Mette was a responsible, industrious woman who learned the trade of dressmaker, and often sewed for the wealthy family named the Deitrichs, who were the owners of Fovsletgor/Fostletgor. Wages for working on a farm or estate in those days were: One pair of wooden work shoes, 1 pair of wooden shoes trimmed with leather, for good, one woolen dress, 2 lined chemises, 2 pair woolen stockings, This was the pay for one years employment. Each spent a certain amount of time each evening spinning, carding, and weaving the wool and flax into yardage, for the clothing needed on the farms, and her clothing was made from this material and yarn. Payment in cash was unheard of.
THE RED PAINTED BRIDAL BOX
Early one morning before Mette Marie Christensen was even a teenager, her father carried a red painted wooden trunk through the door of his barn, and down the lane to his country home, where his wife Anne was preparing a meal. "Anne," he called out cheerfully! Come and help me please!" Anne hurriedly opened the door, as her husband swept past her like King Frederick himself at his coronation. Niels Bertelsen had been working hard on this project, and now it was complete. A kind and generous man, he loved nothing more than the giving phase. As he sat the trunk down gently on a table in the center of the room, he called his wife: "Anne! It is finished!" Call Mette Marie!"
Anne called to her daughter, as she readied the table for a celebration. Reaching for the coffee pot she poured steaming black coffee into three cups, and put out a plate filled with cookies. Sitting a cup of fragrant coffee on the table in front of her husband Niels, she laughed, remembering her own dowry chest from years past. Niels reached out and took a chair from the row of wooden wall pegs and seated himself. "Mette Marie, he said: I have made this gift especially for you." Mette's eyes shone with pride at her father's labor, as she approached the large tressel table where her father sat at the head his eyes beaming a smile of parental affection at her. She stared in wonder at the prized dowry chest. It was indeed beautiful! Niels sipped his coffee savoring this event in his daughter's life. Then giving his wife a wink, he said: Your mother will explain to you more fully that this chest was made for you to begin to collect things for the day of your marriage. It is to store them in. You and your mother will make them together. He pushed his chair away from the table, giving his wife a wink. "Your mother will explain to you, that this was made for you to begin to collect things for your marriage, and to store them in. You and she will make them together!"
Mette's mother explained to her that this lovely trunk was her "Hope Chest." It was the custom for a young woman to begin to collect items to fill the chest which would be needed to establish her home, after she was married. Painted chests of this sort were often bound with an ornate iron scrollwork, and painted on with the date given, and floral motifs in rosemauling. A young girl began weaving fabric, while they were very young. Danish women learned both practical and fancy handwork before they left Denmark. Women typically did cut-work, crochet, tatting, hardanger embroidery, lace-making, counted cross-stitch and knitting, and they used all these needlecrafts to embellish their home-sewn clothing and linens and to decorate their walls. All the young women in the village of Taps were excited when they reached the age when their families gave them a dowry chest of this sort, for it signaled that they were approaching marriagable age.
Three types of hand woven fabric would go into the marriage or dowry chest:
In Jutland, people took great pride in their traditions. The painted chest was placed against one wall of the parlour, for women guests to the home to look into the chest and admire it's contents. The weaving of various fabrics for garments, and household necessities, was a very important part of every woman's skills, and carding, spinning, and weaving were taught them from a very young age. A dowry increased ones assets, and therefore her chances of marriage! It was so important that even servant lasses were expected to have a trousseau.
ANDERS CHRISTENSEN MEETS THE LOVELY METTE MARIE BERTELSEN GRUNDAHL NIELSEN
As Mette Marie grew older, she applied for and obtained employment in a dressmaker's shop in the town of Taps, Vejle. Each day she would mend and sew garments for the customers that came into the tiny shop.
It had been a busy season on the Christensen farm in Egtved. As Christian Andersen sat down with his wife Kirsten over the evening meal, they bowed their heads, thanking God for His bountiful blessings. Christian gave thanks praying: "I Jesu navn gr vi til bords..." After the meal, he spoke with his wife Kirsten, of the need to have additional linen shirts made by the sewing shop in the village, to pay workers, on their farm. Although Kirsten carded, spun, and wove fabric for the family clothing and that of the workers, the busy season had placed a greater demand upon her skills. Anders, the couple's son was making a trip into the village to sell milk and cheeses, and he could place an order for the linen shirts at the same time. So it was agreed that this was what they would do!
One day in October, the 27 year old Anders Christensen made his way down the winding cobbled street, lined on each side with an array of quaint but charming shops, selling everything from leather boots to cheeses. He'd sold his cart filled with dairy products to a store in town and the cash was in his his pocket.
Pausing momentarily to gaze into the window of this shop, opening a door to that, when suddenly he spotted a sign on a sweet shop a couple of doors down, and quickened his pace. Entering the little shop, he walked to the counter to look over the abundant array of sweets. Selecting several pieces of taffy and mentally calculating the cost of the candy, he took some coins from his pocket, paid for his purchase and left the shop.
Anders father was a blacksmith, and his son had inherited his father's powerful physique. His light sunstreaked auburn hair and blue eyes complemented his clean-shaven, youthful sun-bronzed face. As did the other men in the village, he wore tan leather knee breeches, with knitted white stockings held just below the knee with a garter ribbon. The white linen shirt his mother made for him, tucked into breeches, and over his linen shirt he wore a jersey vest. The front of his green woolen jacket, was edged with a row of stag-horn buttons, and on his feet were a pair of leather shoes with pewter buckles.
Anders stopped before the window of another tiny shop on the downtown street of Taps. Cupping his hand over his eyes, he peered through the shuttered window, resting his hand against the white washed, plastered outer wall of the building. Seated at a wooden tressel table, were a group of workers busily working at the days tasks of mending and sewing. His eyes quickly surveyed the room with it's floor to ceiling tiled stove. Anders pushed on the metal door latch and went in to enquire about having the linen shirts made.
The shop's bell jingled merrily, as Anders turned the handle of the heavy wooden door and entered the sewing shop. "Hello Anders!" chimed the shop owner, as Anders stepped in. He was an old friend of Christensen family, and Anders was well known in the village. "I'd like to have some linen shirts made for our workers," said Anders. "Very good, said the shop owner, motioning for him to be seated for a moment, so he could write up the order.
At the end of the work table, on the far wall, a number of workers were busy at their work. Among them sat a quiet young woman binding the buttonhole of a customers waistcoat. Her raven tresses were braided with a red ribbon, and pinned across the top of her head. When she looked up, he noticed the deep blue of her eyes. She was wearing a blouse, pinned at the neck with a hand painted broach. Over the blouse which had sleeves which came to the wrist, was was a dark wool knit shawl, which crossed over the bodice of the blouse. Her handwoven skirt, was floor length, and on her feet were wooden clogs.
The workers in the shop were a hard working lot and very nice. The dark haired girl in particular, seemed to stand out in the group. Anders said to himself: "I am going to marry that girl!"
Stating that he'd like to know the cost of having half a dozen linen shirts made, Anders asked the price of these and when they would be ready. The shop owner pointed him to several bolts of shirting fabric on shelves, describing to him in detail the benefits of each, the various shirt styles and button types, such as stag horn, or pewter, as Anders chatted with her about his family, the Christensen farm, and news concerning the neighboring relatives and friends.
Anders held the bag of candy toward the shops owner, and he accepted his gift graciously. "The shirts will be ready in three weeks Anders," he said, carefully calculating the cost, writing out his order and handing him a copy of the transaction, and added the copy of his order to the metal stack of orders atop the metal spindle. Anders thanked him graciously, and said: "Goodbye Mr Larsen! I'll be back! Nice to meet all of you!" And he waved goodbye and out the door he went.
ANDERS & METTE MARIE MARRY IN DENMARK
Anders and Mette became friends, and as their friendship grew they observed one another's deep abiding faith in God and stedfast strength of character. Mette noted that Anders was a man of prayer. He liked the way she read the bible as her "daily bread," and kept her leather bound bible within easy reach on the shelf above her work table. They had many things in common and soon their friendship grew into love.
Anders asked Mette's father for her hand in marriage, and he consented, stating his desire to pay for the wedding. Mette Marie and Anders were married in November 7, 1862, at Parish Odis, in Vejle, Denmark. One Danish wedding custom was the building of an arch of pine branches called a "Gate of Honor" in front of the bride's home. During the ceremony, the Mette Marie carried a small Psalmody bound in black leather, with her name and that of her groom engraved upon the cover in gold. The Psalmody was a gift from her sweetheart Anders, and Mette Marie requested it instead of a ring. She was 27 years old and he was 28. The young couple were Danish Lutherns. The family for hundreds of years had inhabited the towns and villages of Vejle, at Raarup, Langskov, Horsens Skanderborg, Frederickshaam Randbol, Orum Sindbjerg, and Gesten, Brorup and Malt Ribe. With ancestral names such as Mortensen, Thomasen, Jensen, Thomasen, Andersen, Madsen, Erichsen, Pedersen, Lauritzen, Rasmussen, Stephensen, Hansen and of course Christensen.
In those pleasant years following Anders and Mette Marie's marriage, three generations of the family lived in Mette's parents farmhouse in Taps.
The family owned one horse, 2 sheep, (supplying wool for spinning) and three milk cows. Anders helped his father-in-law in the field, plowing, planting and with the family livestock. Mette Marie worked indoors cooking, cleaning, spinning, carding, and weaving, or outdoors milking the cows, churning butter, making cheese, and feeding the chickens, while her mother looked after her small son Niels. After Mette Marie's father's passed away, her mother resided with Anders and Mette's family until she passed away, according to the terms of her husband's will.
THE AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR YEARS
Christian IX succeeded Frederik VII to the throne on November 15, 1863. Christian was immediately plunged into a crisis over the possession and status of Schleswig and Holstein, two provinces to Denmark's south when, under pressure, he signed the November Constitution, a treaty that made Schleswig part of Denmark. This resulted in a brief war between Denmark and a Prussian/Austrian alliance in 1864. This Second war of Schleswig's outcome was unfavorable to Denmark and led to the incorporation of Schleswig into Prussia in 1865. Holstein was likewise incorporated into Prussia in 1865, following further battle between Austria and Prussia. The Danes always regarded Schleswig as Danish, and Holstein had at an early period become completely Germanized.
The territory of Schleswig Holstein is flanked on the west by the North Sea, and on the east by the Baltic Sea, occupying the southern part of the Jutland Peninsula, extending from the Elbe River northward to the Danish border. In 1815 the Duchy of Holstein became a member of the Deutscher Bund, (German Confederation) while the neighboring duchy of Schleswig did not. King Christian of Denmark attempted to establish closer ties between Schleswig and Denmark. When war broke out over Schleswig Holstein in 1849, troops from Prussia and Hanover moved into the area. The war ended with Prussian's withdrawal and Schleswig Holstein became Danish. There existed however, a strong sense of nationalism which prevailed among the German population of Schleswig-Holstein.
In 1846, when King Christian VII announced that succession to the throne by females would apply not only to Denmark, but to Schleswig also, there was violent opposition, from those who feared complete unification of Denamrk and these annexed regions. In 1863, King Frederick VII of Denmark died without a successor to the throne. He'd ruled Denmark and the mixed German territories of Sleswig Holstein, which for 400 years had been under Danish control.
When the new King of Denmark, Christian of Glucksburg, began his reign in 1863, the officials of the government of Holstein, whose population was mainly German, refused to show allegiance toward him. The new Danish king's right to the throne was also being contested by the Duke of Augustenburg, who'd lost his claim to Schleswig and Holstein under the Treaty of London of 1852. In 1863, Denmark annexed Schleswig and gave Holstein their independance, breaking the Treaty of London, and strengthening the Duke of Augustenburg's claim to the 2 duchies.
By skillful maneuvers, German Chancellor Bismark convinced Emporer Joseph Franz of Austria and his Secretary of Foreign Affairs, J.B. Reichenburg to separate from the Deutscher Bund and to join Prussia in it's war against Denmark. In 1864, German Chancellor Bismarck attacked Denmark. Prussia and its ally Austria defeated Denmark and took over the Schleswig and Holstein region. Under the Treaty of Vienna, Denmark was forced to concede, and almost a fourth of Denmark was lost when Sleswig-Holstein fell to Germany.
Following this, there was compulsary military service, required by Germany, but Danes did not wish to don a Prussian uniform, nor to fight for a cause which they didn't believe in.
A revolution broke out in in 1868, in Holstein and Schleswig, to the south of Denmark. Although these provinces weren't part of Denmark, they were ruled by the Danish monarchy. A revolutionary government of Schleswig-Holstein was set up. This government wanted to throw off Danish control and join the German Confederation, of which Holstein was already a member. Danish troops defeated the rebels in 1850. In 1863, a new Constitution was formed by which Schleswig was made part of Denmark.
Having married in 1862, Mette Marie stayed at the family farm in Taps with her parents, as Anders joined the Danish army that year, and went off to war. Their son, Niels had been born soon after the war started. Anders served in the war between Denmark and Prussia from 1862-1864. A daughter, Kristina, was born during the war, at Vester Nebel, Vejle, Denmark, on December 15, 1865. Then followed Mette Marie, Christian (Johnny), and Annie who was born in Orup, Sleswig-Holstein, when the Danish territory was under the German flag.
MIRACLES DURING THE AUSTRO PRUSSIAN WAR YEARS
There are numerous interesting and inspiring stories told about Amy Laughlin's family, for their lives were chacterized by a series of miracles. Amy Laughlin had a favorite Old Testament bible passage, which was Psalm 91. The New Testament understanding of the phrase "The Secret Place of the Most High" is found in the words "In Christ." She would ask her grandchildren to read this to her when she got older. She believed it too, and lived to be 96.
The family knew that we had angels watching over us, because grandmother made sure we had occasion to read this in God's word in Psalm 91. We were preserved, and we were borne up or through difficulties, by these unseen messengers of God. This is what we see in the bible. Hebrews 11 tells us that people of faith, are cared about even though they pass through deep waters, and fiery trials. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Amy Laughlin's father Anders fought in the Danish-German War. One very cold winter night during those war years, Anders and two army friends dug a hold in a snow bank, trying to find some protection from the bitter wind. He went to sleep, between the two men. When he awoke the next morning, the companions had frozen in the night but their body heat preserved him alive. Of Anders entire Danish military company, he was one of three who survived the war.
THE PRUSSIAN DEFEAT OF DENMARK
Under the harsh terms of a peace treaty Denmark lost the duchies Schleswig and Holstein, but instead of gaining independance, both duchies were soon incorporated into Prussia and later into the German Empire. During the following decades the area saw economic hardships and a systematic germanization by the new German rulers resultet in organized harassment and severe restrictions to the 150,000 Danes who suddenly came under Prussian rule.
Growing wealth compensates for the territorial loss This considerable territorial loss, nearly 1/3 of the territory° had reduced Denmark to one of the smallest countries in Europe.
Prayerfully, as Anders and Mette Marie sought the Lord, for His will in the lives of their family, the answer came. The New Zealand government had opened their doors to those Danish citizens wishing to emigrate to New Zealand, and one of the stipends was assisted passage. The family home was sold when Annie was 18 monthes old, and preparations were made to take the family to New Zealand. Anders and Mette Marie, made the decision to leave Denmark, for a number of reasons. In Anders Christensen's case, his reason for moving out of the country was not because he could not own his own farm in Denmark. They got married, helped their parents as they grew old, and inherited the parents home and property. When Anders and Mette married, they moved in with Mette's parents, caring for her mother after her father died, till she passed away. They were in sole possession of the family home prior to emigration.
In the early 1800's, there was a population increase in Denmark and there were not enough jobs, and unemployment increased. Wages were low when there was available employment. New Zealand, made a request for Scandinavian settlers to colonize their land. Many Danes did not feel safe, and they disliked living under Prussian authority, following the defeat of Denmark by Prussia, in 1864, and this was incentive enough for relocating. Bishop Ditlev Gothard Monrad, the former Premier of Denmark, who was in power during the war with Prussia and Austria, in Denmark at the time of Denmark's defeat, was not popular at the time of the nation's defeat. He decided to immigrate with his own family, to the New Zealand frontier, arriving in 1866.
THE INVITATION FROM THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT FOR COLONIZATION
New Zealand is about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long (north-south) and about 280 miles (450 km) across at its widest point. The country is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Colorado and a little larger than the United Kingdom. New Zealand was the largest country in Polynesia when it was annexed by the British in 1840.
By 1830, the population of on "the Land of the Long White Cloud" had swelled to 125,000 Maori, and 2000 European and British settlers. In New Zealand there were those whose men whose unscrupulous dealings concerning land sales had victimized both the Maori and the emigrants. To protect the people of the land from land sharks of this sort, it was decided that a treaty should be instituted.
When the British government recognised the sovereignty of the Maori people, as represented in the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand of October 1835, Captain William Hobson was appointed as lieutenant governor (ratified on July 30, 1839) and British consul to New Zealand On February 6, 1840. William Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands on the January 29, 1840, with orders to establish a British colony with him as Lieutenant-Governor. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed, on behalf of the Crown, her Majesty Queen Victoria of England, by Captain William Hobson, several English settlers and 45 Maori chiefs. Hone Heke, the first Maori chief to sign, stated that he was in agreement because they needed protection from the foreign power. Under the terms of the treaty, the Maori would retain possession of the land, and fishing rights. They would accept colonial government and the sovereignty of the Queen, and have full rights as British subjects. The treaty granted the Queen the right to purchase Maori land. Land was purchased from the Maori's for tobacco, nails, tools and cash, and New Zealand became a British Colony.
The New Zealand government considered British and Canadian citizens for their colonization program. But they decided that they would open the program to Norway and Sweden, since their population had forests and experience with clearing timber. When enough applicants did not come forth from these, they opened the prospect also to Denmark. The New Zealand government had been impressed with the Danish men who came to their country with Bishop Monrad, when he and his family immigrated to New Zealand. They were hardworking.
In the year 1869, Dr. I Featherstone and Francis Dillon Bell were commissioned by the New Zealand government to visit Norway, Sweden and Denmark to negotiate for suitable immigrants from these countries. J.D. Ormond, Superintendent for Hawke's Bay at that time, suggested that the Seventy Mile Bush would be suitable for a settlement. The "Pukaha"ā was the Maori name for the area. The Mount Bruce forest was once part of a much greater forest, stretching from Masterton to Norsewood, called the Seventy-Mile Bush (and often as the 40 Mile Bush). The maori name for this forest was Te Tapere Nui o Whatonga. This forested region was a huge green mantle with many species of trees including towering rimu, totara, northern rata as well as many ferns, shrubs, climbers and herbs.
As a new colony, there was an immediate and growing demand for laborers at Hawke's bay at this time. Osmond recommended that the government establish 2-3 Scandinavian settlements on 1500 acres. The settlers who cleared 70 miles of bush for farming in the mid-1800s, called the land "Tararua," and it stretches as far south as Eketahuna.
The New Zealand government also requested that Bishop Monrad to return to Denmark, to encourage other Danish people to leave Denmark, and to move to New Zealand. He did this in 1869, and assisted Danish immigration began in 1870, with the government recruiting settlers by offering them the opportunity to buy land for 1 pound an acre.
Assisted Danish migration to New Zealand began in 1870 with the departure on 3 December of the ship England. The almost 80 Scandinavians (Danes and Swedes) aboard this ship were bound for settlement at Palmerston North, where on 10 April 1871, they joined the first Norwegian emigrants who reached the township the previous month. They were followed in 1872 by a second contingent on board the England, and another on the ship the Halcione, which brought Danish emigrants. They settled at Mauriceville, in Southern Wairarapa at the lowest point of the Seventy-Mile-Bush.
A few weeks later, on 15 September, the Ballarat arrived at Napier with 79 Danes bound for the Norsewood-Dannevirke area. Seven hours later, the better-known H√Évding arrived at Napier for the first time carrying 354 Norwegians bound for the same destinations. Other ships that brought Danes for the district included the Queen of the North (1874), Inverene (1874), Fritz Reuter (1875) and the Friederberg (1875). Meanwhile Norwegians and Swedes also flowed into the district on these and other ships.
ADVICE TO INTENDING COLONISTS OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC
Prospective immigrants with a knowledge of New Zealand was limited. So the average settler in the 1870's learned little before their arrival. Aboard the ship they heard stories of the wild animals and snakes. The New Zealand Company believed that large profits could be made from New Zealand flax, kauri timber, whaling, sealing and the colonisation of New Zealand. The company unsuccessfully petitioned the British Government for a 31-year term of exclusive trade as well as command over a military force. Nevertheless, the company sent out two ships the next year, the Lambton and the Isabella, under the command of Captain James Herd, to look at trade prospects and potential settlements. The ships docked at present-day Wellington Harbour in September or October 1826, and Herd named it Lambton Harbour. Herd later explored the area, and identified a suitable point for a European settlement at the south-west end of the harbour. The ships then sailed north to look at trading prospects and supposedly purchased one million acres of land from Maori. In a booklet published by the New Zealand Land Company, for those wishing to immigrate to New Zealand, the following serious advice was offered:
a) Those Who Should Venture To Immigrate
These should be strong and of good constitution and be prepared to ROUGH IT, work hard and can live and thrive on those things that are cheap to buy. Men of speculative tendencies, good business habits, and sufficient money to get them started in some business. Tradesmen of all types, the hard workingclass,for wages are better than in the old country, and food is cheap.
b) Those Who Should Never Venture Out
Well to do ladies and gentlemen from highclass families--this class of person is utterly useless in the colony and will suffer great hardships. People on low incomes from England who's money will not go far in the colony, for 30/-a week would be no better than 1 pound a week at home. Food is cheaper but everything else is dearer. Others who's characters are not suited for colonial life, are those who are sympathetic, imaginative, poetic and refined in their tastes. These will be the ones who will pine away for home and the companionship of their life in the old country.
THE SEA VOYAGE TO THE NEW LAND & CONTINENT
Following Anders and Mette Marie's decision to accept the invitation by the New Zealand government to become colonists, Anders booked passage for his family aboard the sailing vessel "The Lammershagen." The Lammershagen was an iron 3-mast sailing ship built in Scotland in 1869 for Hamburg ship owner Robert M. Sloman Jr. It was 55.7784 metres long. It was wrecked on 19 November 1882 of the Welsh Coast near Swansea without loss of life. While the ship was being pounded to pieces by the waves,an artist painted the scene with people carrying away goods that had been washed up on the beach. A coloured photograph of the painting is in the photo collection at the John Oxley Library.
In 1875 the following was written as a description of the Lammershagen.
"The deck houses by means of which access was gained to the tween decks were particularly good and similar constructions have been before recommended by us for use in British vessels carrying Immigrants to this Colony - The ladders and fittings generally were much more substantial than in English vessels. - the Married people were located under the stern and also in the tween decks they having the use of the after and main hatches the compartment was roomy and well ventilated. We considered it rather dark however but as our inspection took place during an exceedingly heavy rain squall it was explained to us that the compartment was darker than it usually was as the doors of the deck houses were shut and other means of lighting were covered over - The single girls were berthed under the stern, their compartment was an exceedingly comfortable one and they had an excellent bathroom - the single mens compartment was under the fore hatch and was clean roomy and well ventilated.
The means of ventilation throughout this vessel were particularly good in fact we may say better than in any vessel we have yet inspected. The male hospital on deck and the female hospital under the poop were well ventilated and convenient as also was the dispensary which was under the poop - the Galley and condenser was good.
In the year of 1875 prior to setting sail, Anders and Mette Marie had 5 children and were awaiting the birth of yet another child, at the time in which they embarked upon their voyage to New Zealand, aboard the German sailing vessel "The Lammershagen." The Lammershagen was a 3 mast, square rigged vessel, built in 1869, by Stephen & Sons in Glasgow, Scotland. Conditions aboard ships of this era were often dark, cramped, poorly ventilated and rat infested. Only wealthy travelers booked private or family cabins aboard ship. The majority of accomodations, were in steerage, where emigrant family groups were left to find a place for themselves amid ropes, barrells, bales, and sails. When the weather was good, travellers could go up on deck, but the rest of the time, they were required to remain below deck. Because there were no toilet facilities on board, infectious diseases and other health problems such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, measles and dysentery, were a common occurance.
Travelers with accomodations in steerage were advised to bring 2 complete sets of outer clothing, plus 2 pair of shoes, a dozen sets of underwear including stockings. Luggage could not exceed 20 cubic feet, and must be divided into 3 smaller luggages no larger than 2 1/2 ft or 3 ft X 20 inches wide X 18 inches in height. The clothing and necessities must be packed into 2 canvas bags, as heavy boxes were placed in the cargo hold, with access only once every 3-4 weeks. The families were responsible to provide their own blankets, sheets, towels, soap, eating utinsels, pewter plates and mugs. For privacy for themselves they hung curtains between themselves and others traveling aboard. Meals were served at long wooden tables. Provisions carried aboard for meals consisted of such food items as herring, salted fish, suet, salted beef, or salt pork, mutton, lentils, rice, preserved carrots, barley, peas for pea-soup, raisins, butter, coffee, oatmeal, water, and other staple food items.
THE CHRISTENSEN FAMILY TRAVELING TO NEW ZEALAND WITH THEIR 4 CHILDREN BORN IN VEJLE, DENMARK.
As a child and new immigrant to New Zealand, she must have recently celebrated her nineth birthday in Denmark shortly before the family left for New Zealand, where she would be a tremendous help in the pioneering of the new land. On that last Juleaften (Christmas Eve) in Denmark, the month of their son's birthday, they would have enjoyed the traditional meal consisting of rice pudding with an almond in it, roast goose, red cabbage, glazed potatoes, with rich buttery pastries, and a tree decorated with nuts and cakes, and lit with candles.
The Lammershagen was enroute for three monthes, with numerous storms which came up when they were at sea. Mette Marie was ill, the entire trip. Ten days away from New Zealand, as the ship was passing near Tasmania, the infant they were expecting, a son, was born prematurely aboard ship, weighing 3 lbs or less. He had to be carried around on a pillow. George Dietrich's date of birth was July 1, 1875, with the place of birth is listed as "Tasmania," giving rise to the theory that the ship must have come around the tip of Africa enroute to New Zealand.
Anders and Mette Marie had worked for a childess married couple by the last name of Deitrich, that owned an estate in Taps, called Foslegor. When the Dietrich's learned of the expected baby, the husband requested that the child be named after him, since he had no children of his own. Anders and Mette Marie thought this was a splendid idea, since they had enjoyed an long-term relationship with these people, and thought highly of them.
There was a typhoid fever outbreak on board, and the Christen's saw at least one passenger's child buried at sea. But nevertheless, by the providence of God, the family arrived safely at their destination, which was Wellington, in July 1875.
A Surgeon Superintendent (usually a fully qualified doctor) was appointed to attend the emigrants and other passengers on each voyage. While the Captain was responsible for his ship and its crew, the Surgeon held governance over the conduct, morals, behaviour, nutrition and health of hundreds of souls. To aid him in this awsome responsibility the Surgeon appointed a Matron to govern the single women and two or three Constables to keep order, distribute food and other supplies and to ensure that all on board were equally provided for. At the end of the voyage, on the consideration that all duties had been performed adequately, gratuitues were apportioned out. It ws here too that the greater responsibilities of the Surgeon were recognised. While the Captain, First Officer, Constables and Matron each received some compensation for service, the Surgeon was often given a fixed amount (determined at the time he was hired) plus an added bonus for each and every healthy immigrant landed safely.
Travelers were informed that upon the ship's arrival in port at Wellington, the New Zealand authorities would board the ship, together with a Medical Officer who would be notified by the ships captain of any passengers who died on board during the voyage. The officer would take note of infants born on board, and cases of typhoid fever, and other infectious diseases, ordering a quarantine of the ship, till further notice. Only when the quarantine was lifted, would passengers be allowed to disembark.
ARRIVING IN THREE MILE BUSH IN THE YEAR OF 1875
The Three Mile Bush, was established in 1857 to house the workers who built the road from Greytown (to the South) to Masterton (to the North). Later renamed "Carterton," the town was named after Charles Rooking Carter, a generous benefactor and ambassador to the town. Carter was involved in various projects such as assisting in the establishment of the first public school and building Black Bridge over the Waiohine River. He also gave money to build a home for men who had come to the end of their working lives and had nowhere to live.
In 1875 the procedure for immigrant ships was as follows. Upon arrival the ship would signal and the Immigration Officer would be placed at notice. The Immigration Officer together with the Health Officer would go down to the vessel and if necessary tow the vessel up to anchorage. The Immigration and Health officers would proceed aboard in the ship's life boat. The officers would be greeted with cheers and as the tow rope was run out, satisfaction beamed on every face, and salutations such as "Thank goodness we shall soon be ashore." Those who died envoyage were frequently children of a tender young age and this was reported. A farewell lecture was given passengers telling them to dischange their duties faithfully toward God and manand if this were done, they would be both happy and successful in the land of their adoption.
Each Sunday throughout the voyage, a religious service would be conducted, the service read two to three times in each compartment. There would be a great portion of agricultural laborers and miners, a moderate share of carpenters, fitters, machinists, single women, most of whom were domestics and well adapted for life in the colony. The immigrants would unite in testifying to the kindness of the ships captain and the surgeon superintendant, returning grateful thanks and best wishes and trusting that God would reward him for his zeal in promoting their happiness both morally and physically during the voyage.
In 1875 the ships records state concerning the voyage of the vessel SS Lammershagen, that the Christensen family arrived in Wellington, New Zealand after stopping off at the intermediate port of Tongatabu. The name given to this place by explorer Abel Tasman was Amsterdam Island. He came here as the first European to visit the island on 21 January 1643. Tongatapu is the main island of Tonga. Carterton is a small town in the Wellington region of New Zealand, it lies in a farming area of the Wairarapa in New Zealand's North Island. Carterton has traditionally been a stopping off place.
Originally known as Three Mile Bush, the town now known as Carterton was founded in 1857 to house men working on the road between Greytown and Masterton. Carterton, known as Three Mile Bush, is located in the very center of the Wairarapa Valley. The Three Mile Bush District stretches from the Tararua Range. The Wairarapa River separates Three Mile Bush, (Now Carterton) from the Masterton District. In the south, the Waiohene River forms part of the boundary with South Wairarapa. The district has craggy mountains, tumbling rivers with dramatic gorges rollinghills, lush forests, coastal plain and a long sweeping coastline.
The immigrant ship carrying the Christensen family landed at Wellington, on May 14, 1875, which was the Christensen toddler, Annie Marie Margarethe's second birthday. The 2 year old was so ill with Typhoid Fever that she had to be carried in arms from the ship. By God's providence, the infant born envoyage had also survived. The family was taken to a government owned housing project, where they lived in 2 rooms, while working to earn money to purchase their own land. It was a humble dwelling, without closets, or shelves. Cooking was done outdoors.
Wellington was the first official settlement set up by The New Zealand Company for recently arrived immigrants. Most of those first settlers who arrived were timber workers, bullock drivers, shopkeepers, rope makers and artisans. This posed a problem as Wellington was an agricultural settlement but there were few people with the skills to farm the land. It was clear that neither the occupational or social composition of this early settlement was varied and as a result this assisted in giving Wellington a shaky beginning as a developing settlement.
The following is an example of the type of advertisement colonists such as Anders and Mette Marie Christensen may have read, prior to purchasing land of their own. The New Zealander published the following land allottments for immigrants on January 8, 1859.
"Each capitalist immigrant is entitled to 40 acres of land for each over 18 year old member of his family and for each servant or laborer he may take out. Children between five years and 18 years count as a half and receive 20 acres each. Extra land can be purchased, in addition to the above, at 10/-an acre. The above is conditional upon residents residing within the province of Auckland for four out of five years after their arrival in New Zealand.
The immigrant families would build a slab hut, called a "whare," and camp was set up, using a "camp oven" consisting of a large 3 legged pot for cooking. Daily there was fire wood to collect, and clothing to wash for the large family. These conditions lasted till land was cleared and they could build their home, on their own land, but with no roads, logs had to be hauled from tremendous distances, and clearing land, which was densely forested or swampy, was extremely dangerous work. Bringing supplies in was equally difficult.
LIVING OFF THE LAND IN THE EARLY YEARS
Maori and later Captain Cook originated the traditional wild food of New Zealand when they released pigs into New Zealand. Settlers later brought deer, goats, trout, salmon, rabbits, hares and game birds. Maori also ate the roots of ferns, which they pulverised with wooden pounders. Other food included various berries and puha (a spinach-like vegetable). New Zealand spinich was made famous by Captain Cook's when he discovered it on the coasts of New Zealand. It was cooked and eaten against scurvy. The well-known plant explorer Joseph Banks considered it a good salad green and took seeds to Kew Gardens in London. By the 1880's New Zealand spinach was promoted in seed catalogues and it spread to Europe and the North America. 'Ulu or breadfruit was also eaten. This new plant must be moved with great care to the hole into which it is to be planted. If pulled out of the earth and the roots freed from soil it will die. Breadfruit trees thrive in dark or red soil, never in sand or cinders.
The banana plant (mai'a) a local fruit tree grows from underground root stalks (mole) to heights of 20 feet or more in some varieties. Each plant bears one stalk of fruit.
The meat from the coconut is also eaten and the coconut used for various purposes.
Maori also chewed gum resin from the giant kauri tree. Woven flax baskets and bags were used to carry food, which was often stored in a pataka, a storehouse raised on stilts.
The Maori had an ingenious way of cooking food, still in use today! The hangi, or umu, is an earth oven built in a large pit. Special stones are placed over a fire of wooden sticks. A layer of green flax is laid above the stones, and then layers of meat and vegetables are placed between more layers of flax. A mat covers the oven. Water is then placed on the hot stones, which steams the food. Slow cooking makes the food extremely tender, while the wood and the flax infuse the food with a beautiful delicate and smoky flavour.
Settlers learned a great deal about eating off the land. Puha (Watercress) grew on the edge of fresh water rivers and creeks around New Zealand and was eaten raw or cooked. The taste was slightly like that of mustard. The following is a recipe for Watercress Soup.
1 tablespoon butter 3 leeks (white part only), chopped 1 1/2 pound zucchini, peeled and diced 4 cups chicken stock 1 bunch of watercress, tough stems removed 1/3 cup heavy cream (it says optional, but I don't see why you couldn't substitute milk for a lower fat version) salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the leeks and cook until softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the zucchini, increase the heat to moderately hight and saute for 2 minutes without browning. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moverate and simmer until the zucchini is just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the watercress and simmer for 1 minutes longer.
Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup, in batches, until smooth. Add the cream, if desired and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Korengo is seaweed which is either used in its raw state or dried and used to season various dishes. Shellfish such as Koura were also utilized as food. These fresh water crayfish which are approximately the size a prawn. In addition to many traditional foods that Scandinavian settlers might recognize, they were also able to incorporate into their diets the foods eaten by the Maori who were expert hunters and fishermen. In the late 1800s temperatures in the area were more extreme. The sweltering heat of summer was intense while in winter the rivers were known to have chunks of ice floating down them, or they would freeze over. As mostly coastal dwellers, fishing was vitally important to them. It also played a part in their mythology - the god, Maui, was believed to have 'fished up' the North Island. Maori wove fishing nets from harakeke (flax), and carved fishhooks from bone and stone. Maori considered whales as kaitiaki (guardians), and used their flesh for food and their hard, strong bones for weapons. A Maori tradition that remains today is to throw back the first fish caught. This is a way of thanking Tangaroa, god of the sea, for his bounty.
Maori hunted native birds, including moa, the world's largest bird, with a range of ingenious traps and snares. The moa is an extinct New Zealand bird. There were about ten species of moa. The smallest was about the size of a turkey, while the largest, Dinornis maximus, was up to three metres in height. The giant moa must have been one of the most spectacular sights in early Aotearoa.
From the time of the first Maori settlements, the moa provided a plentiful supply of food. But excessive exploitation led to the birds extinction. Recent research suggests that all moa were exterminated by Mori within about fifty years of their colonisation of New Zealand.
Many different species of bird, including kereru and tui, were eaten. However, the now-extinct huia was considered tapu (sacred) and was never eaten; though its feathers were highly prized, and worn in the heads of rangatira (chiefs). Penguins and seals were hunted and used as food by Maori, especially in the South Island. Mutton birds were popular in the far south of the country, and are still a prized food today. They were stored in large bags of bull kelp, and could be preserved for many months.
Maori ate native vegetables including the kumara (sweet potato). "This sweet potato was of tropical origin, a member of the plant family Convolvulaceae, which was the major cultivated food crop of the pre-European Ma√É∆í√Ę‚ā¨Ň°√É‚Äö√ā¬Āori. The kumara grew successfully only on sheltered north-facing gardens in the north of the North Island. Some of the varieties grown today are believed to have been introduced by 19th century whalers and sealers, but Maori tradition claims the origin of the kumara as Hawaiki, the legendary homeland. The Kumara is most certainly a Central American plant. Vegetables were planted and harvested with a variety of tools. Maori also ate the roots of ferns, which they pulverised with wooden pounders. Other food included various berries and puha (a spinach-like vegetable). They chewed gum - resin from the giant kauri tree. Weaved flax basket and bags were used to carry food, which was often stored in a pataka - a storehouse raised on stilts.
THE DANES WERE NOTED FOR THEIR STRONG WORK ETHIC
Settlers that arrived in New Zealand with some cash became more quickly established. Anders worked for others at first, eventually clearing land for a home and family farm. After the necessary trees were cut down, the flax, numerous species of ferns, and a poisonous shrub called "toot," which was poisonous for sheep and cattle, was set fire to, in clearing the land. Anders was a hard worker, who taught his family to work. A visitor to New Zealand once noted that the Scandinavians who cleared the Bush were noted for their strong work ethic. Residents lit fires so they could work all night. They would eat dinner standing up and within a quarter of an hour were back at work. Norwegians and Swedes were skilled at clearing forests, but the Danes were not, and could be seen doggedly working on with hands wrapped in blood stained bandanges.
In New Zealand although there were no convicts, most settlement from 1840 on was organised by various colonising companies. Having seen propaganda pictures circulated by the companies, the settlers arrived believing their land was already surveyed and allotted and expecting a minimum of hardship. If they were too poor to buy land, they thought there would be ample paid work.
But in the North Island things were not at all like this. It was soon discovered that most of the land the New Zealand Company claimed to have bought from The Maoris had not been bought at all, and if it had, the Maoris did not understand that they had sold it and refused to accept white occupation. Settlers and their wives had a difficult 30 years.
The settlers had been sent to New Zealand, to colonize "the Wairarapa," at the southern end of North Island. Immigration conditions required settlers to work 4 days per week on government road construction. Danish immigrants found the language barrier difficult. Wages paid for road building barely covered the costs of day to day living. When the government required settlers to repay their fares prior to purchasing their own land, many settlers became deeply discouraged, and left and returned to Denmark, or sailed to North America.
In the beginning, before public education was available, families taught their own children, lessons in spelling, math, and geography. In time, school was provided for the children of settlers, although many left school to help on the family farm, when they were 12-14. A man named Thomas Wakelin built the first school house for 40 pounds. A single teacher school was erected in 1902 which was a one room school with wood burning stove. Grades were first to eighth grade and the lessons were taught by one teacher in 10 minute increments. Children, no matter how poor, did not attend school barefoot, and it was considered inappropriate to allow ones children to go about without shoes and stockings. Girls wore long dark dresses with a white pinafore. Boys wore trousers. By age 18, young ladies were expected to dress their hair on top of their head and to wear long skirts. Children were discouraged from speaking in their native tongue in school.
THE CHRISTENSEN DAIRY FARM ON BELVEDERE ROAD
With the purchase of a family farm in Wairarapa, there were cows to herd, and cows all had to be milked by hand, and milk to hauled in their wooden cart to sell six miles away. There was butter to churn, and cheese to make and sell. Prior to the opening of the first factory, thought to be in the latter end of 1891, butter was churned on the farms and sold to the storekeepers for about three or four cents per pound, the settler apparently being supposed to take it out in goods not cash. There were no cream separators, nor refrigerators for women settlers. Work was extremely heavy and the women's hands were almost as callused as the men's. During the years that the Christensen's resided in Wairarapa, and Carterton where they owned their own dairy farm, several of their children were born there. The family farmed several years, with the children attending school in Belvedere, and the family attending the Weslayan Church.
Like many Danish women, Mette Marie had been well trained in various domestic arts. Her skills of weaving and sewing were an invaluable resource, both for employment in the new land, as well as for clothing her own family. In addition to this, she taught her daughters these basic skills, including tatting, crochet, and knitting, which were used to embellish clothing and create warm and useful garments, for her family to wear.
The Christensen daughter, Boelleta, (Aunt Lettie) Christensen, was born on December 23, 1877, after the family moved to New Zealand. She was born at Greytown, Wairarpa. An hour from Wellington on the other side of the Rimutaka Hills is the small town of Greytown.
Greytown owes its existence to the energy and initiative of early settlers in Wellington who were looking for small affordable portions of land to farm and to the assistance of the Governor, Sir George Grey. This was acknowledged by the settlers who named the town Greytown in his honour. The Small Farms Association was set up in 1853.
Boelleta (Aunt Lettie) married October 18, 1900 in Logan, Utah to Joseph Jeppe Larsen the son of Christian Hansen Larsen and Mary Ann Jorgensen. Joseph Larsen was born September 27, 1873. (He died: 2 April 1967, Newton, Utah) Boelleta Christensen Larsen died: July 5, 1968.
THE BIRTH OF EMMA AMELIA CHRISTENSEN
Amy, (Emma Amelia) Christensen the fair haired daughter of Anders and Mette Marie Christensen, was the Christensen's eight child. She was born on April 24, 1880 at Wairarapa, on the North Island of New Zealand's archipelago in the South Pacific. Her parents had resided in the new land for five years at this time. The Wairarapa was named "Glistening Waters" by the Maori explorer Huanui who first saw it's rivers and lake from mountains to the west. Wairarapa, pronounced "Why-ra-rap-a" occupies the south-eastern corner of North Island, at the foot of the rugged Tararua Range. It's located east of Wellington, and south of Hawkes Bay. A large volcanic plateau forms the center of North Island. Small shrubs called manuka,grow in the plateau's volcanic soil.
New Zealand is considered part of the group of islands belonging to Polynesia, and Taratahi, in the region where Amy Christensen was born is today a rural community to the east and north east of Carterton. Some record simply list Amy Christensen's place of birth as "The South Pacific." Today, Taratahi is an olive and grape growing region.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: THE NEW DREAM
Sometime around the mid 1880's, as the children grew the Christensen's thought of the prospect of emigrating to America, as a dream for a happy future for their family. In 1862 in America, the Homestead Act was passed, enabling a settler to receive 160 acres of land, simply by living on it and farming it. From the early 1800's, Danes living in America wrote to family members outside the U.S.A, described their new lives in America, and providing them with glowing reports of this land of opportunity. Anders and Mette Marie received such a letter from her sister-in-law (Uncle Chris mother) stating Mette Marie's sister had gone to America with her husband and children.
Railroads sent representatives to countries to recruit emigrants to purchase land given by the government to the railroads. Opportunity to travel by steamships, which were developed in the 1860's, also dramatically shortened the journey, from that of a conventional sailing ship, though more expensive.
A LOVING LETTER FROM MAMA METTE MARIE IN NEW ZEALAND-TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH LANGUAGE
Three and a half weeks before she died, Mette Marie Christensen wrote to her loved ones residing in America. Here's a copy of the letter written by Mette Marie Christensen from their family farm in New Zealand. It has been translated from the Danish language.
November 3, 1883
I'm writing today. I gave my promise when I left that I would write. I miss you so much you dear children. Your father and I pray each day to the Lord that he will help to sustain you. We are praying each day to the Lord that he will help to keep you from all that is bad in this world.
It was a happy day when we read your letter so we could see that you are well and satisfied over there. We are happy you have a good place to live with good people and we are always happy to hear from you, and hope they are good people. We got a letter from Nels. He sent us a portrait and it was very good. We were happy to see it. He was in good health and in the same place. We could hear in his letter that he doesn't feel as satisfied as you. The land is not good there where he is. There isn't hardly any grass. We have also had a letter from Oleson and he has been sick for some time. He may come back again because he is not with good health.
At home we are all right. We have churned 30 pounds of butter in a week and have made three cheese, and we have milk enough to feed the calves and also the swine. Little Annie is a good little girl to help me. She is going to be a good little helper with the work in the house and Christian (Johnie) is good to help also. The climate is mild and there is an early spring. There will be lots of flowers, and vegetables are coming.
We would also like to have your portrait so we can see you and at least have that. We hope with the Lord's help that we can soon come over to see you and that will be a happy day when we can be together as a family with friends, where the Lord has planned for his children to be, where they can adhere to his Gospel. God bless you dear children.
Love from all
P.S. I am sending your letter to Hansen (Or I am sending you Hansen's letter)
(Translation of a poem in Danish among the Danish papers.)
A VERSE OF MEMORY
Old Mother, most honourable woman
Thanks for all your pure love
In our heart you have established a memory
Which will continue the last of lives way.
Not at all could we ever forget the lovely words
Spoken from your lips.
And now the thanks and tears
We now are weaving our memory till you at your .
Karen Marie Bonnesen
METTE MARIE'S DEATH & ANDERS MARRIAGE TO MARY McCABE, AN IRISH WIDOW
Pioneer life was extremely hard work, with long days and extremely heavy lifting. One day, when Mette Marie was 49, she became extremely ill, with terrible stomach pain. They called the doctor, who diagnosed the illness as a hernia. In spite of treatment, she died after three days of suffering. The date was November 29, 1883. My grandmother, Amy Christensen, was just 4 years old at the time of her mothers death.
All these having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise. God having provided some better thing, that they without us, should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40)
Following Mette Marie's passing, Anders married a petite Irish widow named Mary Taft, the widow of Stephen Taft, who was born in Dublin on September 29, 1852. The couple met in New Zealand, and were married September 24, 1885 in Wairarapa, NZ, approximately two years after his first wife, Mette Marie passed away. The immigrant Irish comprised one fifth of the settlers that had taken advantage of assisted passage in those years. The following sons and daughters were born to Anders and Mary:
The varient spellings of Anders second wife, Mary McCabe are as follows: Mary McCabe, McKay Taft, Taffee) Sources say that she and Stephen Taft had 3 sons in Ireland. Some of the family members had a difficult time adjusting to the new stepmother. But in time, they came to love her. Mary had a parrot that rode around on her shoulder. She was called "Grannie," by the daughters. She was an intellectual and well read individual. Mary said of her husband Anders Christensen: That's the best man that ever lived. Mary (Taft) Christensen died: February 14, 1929 in Newton, Utah and is buried in Newton Cemetery, Newton, Utah.
The family of Anders and Mette Marie said of Christian Jensen (Johnie) or Christian Johanne Christensen, one of their sons who was born in Denmark, remained single his life-long and never learned to read nor write. His interests were more suited to physical labor. Christian's usual residence was Tekiri, New Zealand. He was of a sturdy build, and he carved out a farm at 40 mile Bush.
The Forty Mile Bush comprised a portion of the Seventy Mile Bush south of the Manawatu River. The portion of the Seventy Mile Bush south of the Manawatū River was known as the Forty Mile Bush. The Maori referred to this Seventy Mile Bush region as "Pukaha." The forest is Te Tapere Nui o Whatonga. The forest was a mantle with many species of trees including the towering rimu, totara, northern rata, as well as ferns, shrubs, climbing plants, and herbs all living under the mantle of Tane - Atua of the forest. The forest was alive with the sound of many species of birds with beautiful songs such as huia, kokako, saddleback and piopio. Falcon reigned over the skies, kakako flew from branch to branch in the tall trees. The kaka screeched and the kakapo ruled the night together with the owl. Early Polynesian settlers hunted the bird for its plumage and meat. At the beginning of the 19th century, kakapo were still widespread throughout New Zealand. From the 1840s, European settlers not only hunted the bird, they cleared and set fire to bush for farming, destroying its habitat. The call of the kiwi could be heard for miles throughout the night. Bats, moa, takahe, and wrens lived on the ground with the kiwi.
There are five identified species of kiwi (genus Apteryx). Little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) are extinct on the mainland. One thousand birds survive on Kapiti Island and one hundred (by transfer) on four smaller islands. Great spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii) are found only in the South Island (10,000 - 20,000 birds).
North Island Brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) are still widespread in the central and northern North Island.
Tokoeka (Apteryx australis) are found in the South Island, mainly Fiordland but with an isolated population of 2-300 birds at Haast, and on Stewart Island. Genetic research is continuing to determine whether or not Haast kiwi is also a distinct species.
Rowi or Okarito brown kiwi (Apteryx rowi) are found in the Okarito Forest, West Coast, South Island, with a population of 150-250 birds restricted to 10,000 hectares of podocarp-hardwood forest.
Crossing the Rimutaku Range proved a new experience for plain-dwelling Danes. At Masterton the green-starved settlers gathered water-cress for the evening meal. The intrigued Maori heard them say "Ja,ja," and dubbed them "Yaya."
After crossing the Ruanahanga River they discovered 1000 year old trees looming up from thickets of ferns, shrubs and supple-jack, a far cry from open silver birch and fir trees of Denmark. Crude huts were built at what was labeled the Scandinavian Camp. They worked very hard and prospered. In spite of the New Zealand government's requirement that they repay their passage for themselves and their families before any land could be secured, by the end of 1873, most settlers were living on their 40 acre plots. Because the cost of living was so high, they supplemented sugar and flour with the forest's bounty--eels, oney, pigs, cattle, and vild-duenor wood pigeons. During the years of assisted migration between (1871-1876) there were 3,327 arrivals. By 1878 Scandinavians comprised 1% of the New Zealand populations, the highest proportion they ever reached.
When the family emigrated to America, Christian remained in New Zealand. Johnie moved to Palmerston North, a settlement situated on the banks of the Manawatu River, nestled at the foot of the Tararua Mountain Range. At one time Palmerston North was one third Scandinavian. Named in honour of Viscount Palmerston, a former prime minister of Great Britain, it's name in Maori is "Pamutana." Palmerston North (Ma√É∆í√Ę‚ā¨Ň°√É‚Äö√ā¬Āori: Te Papa-i-oea) is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. Johnie Christensen died in this area which was settled by the Danish, on November 12, 1923, in the land he loved--New Zealand. Johnie is buried at Kapuatoma, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.
ANNIE, GEORGE (JOHNIE) & LETTIE CHRISTENSEN
Annie, the youngest of these three children, emigrated to America, and married Chris Andersen. She died in Kansas November 1, 1960. Of the Christensen children born outside of Denmark, George Detric (Dietrich) who was born in 1875 aboard SS Lammershagen during the sea voyage to New Zealand, had a good many responsibilities growing up. Especially watching out for the young sisters. On one occasion he rescued Lettie and Emma (Amy) Amelia who were stuck in a boggie place. One day Annie and George were herding cows near a gravel pit filled with water. She fell in and George fished his little sister Annie from a pond with a stick, catching hold of her skirt. George would help bring in the cows. He helped with milking, and bringing the milk in carts to the market at Three Mile Bush which was six miles away. The settlement at Three Mile Bush and was founded in 1857 to provide a base for men working on the road between Greytown and Masterton.
When Georgie grew older he helped with clearing the land--a job he greatly loved doing. One day when he was a teenager, he had a disagreement with his father. While Anders was plowing the land and Georgie was helping him, suddenly Anders fell flat on his face in some mud, and Georgie thinking he looked so funny, laughed at him. Anders, who was a strict disciplinarian, corrected his son for this behaviour. He believed that it was disrespectful. Georg angered by this disciplinary action, and feeling he'd been treated unfairly, George left home for good. Some say he moved in with his brother Johnie who was five years older than he was, and obtained employment clearing the 40 mile Bush. He also worked for a wealthy man named Mr. Jury, who had herds of animals and was part Maori.
GEORG DIEDRICH CHRISTENSEN & MARY MAUDE NIEL MARRY
George Christensen married a mail order bride in New Zealand, named Edna. We have no other information, on this marriage.
At age 27, George married Mary Maude Niel on December 30, 1902, at the home of her father, whose name and address are listed as "WT Niel, 179 Cuba Street, Wellington." The officiating minister was Rev. J Paterson. The marriage was witnessed by Bessie Holmes. Mary maude's father, "William Thomas "WT" Niel" was a hotel keeper and her mother was Phoebe Niel, nee Hawthorn. Mary Maud Niel was born on August 24, 1879 on Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand. She was 23 at the time of her marriage to George Christensen, and he loved her dearly. At the time of marriage she had resided in Wellington all of her life. She had a young son at the time of their marriage named Horace Niel, who was born on July 16, 1900 at Wellington, New Zealand, so would have been between 1-2 years of age when he married Mary Maude Niel. His stepfather George Christensen loved him very much. Horace Niel was 12 when his mother died on January 14, 1913 at the Wellington Hospital at age 32. The cause of death was listed as hemmoraging and heart failure. Horace was a soldier in the World War I. He married Clarice Ivy Rita Swiney who was born in Wellington in 1900. The couple had 4 children. Thelma born 1921-Wellington Maurice born 1922-Wellington Clarice born 1925-Wellington and Roydon born 1927 at Wellington.
Horace Niel's usual address was Dannevirke. The electorial role of 1905-6, lists him as a Dannevirke businessman. The roll of 1908 calls him a Dannevirke bushman.
Gangs of bushmen felled trees using axes and two-man crosscut saws. A scarf (wedge-shaped cut) was chopped in the trunk, on the side where the tree was expected to fall. The tree was then sawn through from the other side. Usually trees were cut singly, but a skilled bushman could fell several at a time. He did this by chopping scarfs in a line of trees up a hill, and then felling the highest tree, which took down the others like a row of dominoes.
Dannevirke lay within the Seventy-mile Bush on an ancient Maori trail extending from the Manawatu Plain to Hawke's Bay. The Wellington and Hawke's Bay Provincial Governments jointly purchased the Seventy Mile Bush from the Maoris, and arrangements were made with the General Government to open up the land with assisted immigrants from Scandinavia.
Horace Niel died in 1976, at Porirua, New Zealand. The name "Porirua" is of Maori origin. It is possibly a variant of "Pari-rua" ("two tides"), a reference to the two arms of the Porirua Harbour. The name was given in the 19th century to a land registration district that stretched from Kaiwharawhara (or "Kaiwarra") on the north-west shore of Wellington Harbour northwards to and around Porirua Harbour. The road climbing the hill from Kaiwharawhara towards Ngaio and Khandallah is still called "Old Porirua Road".
In the 19th century a small European settlement grew up, partly because of the need for a ferry across the harbour. At the time a small Maori settlement already existed.
George Christensen emigrated to America about 1908, where he worked for awhile on Vancouver Island off the coast of Canada as a logger. He settled in Kansas. He was a big boned Englishman with a British accent. He died in America.
Boelleta (Lettie) Christensen, was the seventh child, and the fourth of five daughters. At age 6-7 she had the responsibility for going after the cows. She would go before daylight in June, July and August which are the winter monthes of the southern hemisphere. The cows were pastured all year around. She milked 3 cows per day when she was 8 years old, and more as she got older. At school in Belvedere, boys and girls played on separate playgrounds.
The mortality rate among the children of this second marriage, seems high. Ferdinand Emile and Hugh Christensen were twin brothers born May 31, 1888. Hugh died in infancy, and is buried in the same cemetery as Metta Marie Christensen, which is Taratahi cemetery. Ferdinand drowned in the Bear River, Utah, in America on July 25, 1897. It took several days before his body was recovered. David died as an infant of less than 6 monthes old. He was deceased in December 1890, or January 1891, by the time the family left for America, and it appears was ill or dying for at least 3 monthes.
WINGS OVER THE WAIRARAPA
The name means "Glistening Waters", and is said to have been applied by an early Maori explorer, Huanui, who saw the rivers and lake from the mountains to the west. Upon arriving in Wairarapa, Anders Christensen was awed by these magnificent Kauri, which sometimes grew to be 1500 years old. One tree that some workers measured in 1850, had a girth of 23.43. These trees were so enormous that they could not even be cut in the conventional way. They were cut partially through, and another tree was used to knock them over. One day, Anders and a friend were felling trees when a large tree or tree branch fell on them, and Anders was knocked unconscious. When he awoke, the friend had been killed by the fallen tree, but he was thankful to God to have been spared.
The Otago Witness Oct. 12 1861 page 5, lists a similar case involving a child:
In the case of our great-grandparents child who'd died and been "laid out for burial," God miraculously resurrected.
KRISTINA & NIELS CHRISTENSEN EMIGRATE TO AMERICA
Kristena and Niels Christensen traveled by ship to America ahead of the rest of the family. Niels was 18, and Kristena was 16 years old at the time their mother passed away at their farm in New Zealand. The plan had been for the remaining family members to reunite in America shortly, but this plan was interrupted when her mother died. Niels and Kristina became separated in the United States. He found work elsewhere. The family says that Kristina received several letters from Niels. He came to visit her once, dressed in good clothes. At that time he was "going north for work," some say to the mines. His cousins Mads, Hans, and Chris Andersen worked in mines in Colorado. It's not known if he had any contact with them. Some say he found work at the Kimberly Mines Oregon. At any rate, he was never heard from again. When Anders emigrated to America he tried unsuccessfully to locate this son.
KRISTINA CHRISTENSEN & JOHN W. WINYATES MARRIAGE
Kristina had brown eyes and brown hair, was slender and always attractively dressed. She was a milliner and opened a small millinery shop of her own in America. She was good at making hats and did well financially, eventually moving to California where she lived near her sister Gladys. She met and married John Washington Winyates who was born about 1865 in England. He had grown children by a previous marriage. They were married on October 8, 1896 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She and her husband raised 2 children, but they were never adopted.
METTE MARIE CHRISTENSEN & OLUF WALDAMER JENSEN'S MARRIAGE
THE MAORI SIDE OF THE FAMILY
The Christensen daughter named Mary (Mette Marie) was responsible for the care of the Christensen family in New Zealand following her mother's burial, until her father remarried. Lettie was 6 when her mother died. Amy Amelia was only three. Anders & Mette Marie Christensen's daughter who was named Mette Marie after her mother, and nicknamed "Mary," met Oluf Waldamer Jensen in New Zealand. Oluf was born January 27, 1866 at Praesto, Denmark. He asked Anders for Mary's hand in marriage, and her father gave his concent, stating his wishes to pay for the wedding. She was 20 years old, and Oluf was 22, an athlete holding championship records as a runner. The couple married on May 24, 1888. Mary wore a dove coloured wool broadcloth wedding dress trimmed with cream coloured plush. Her veil was of net fastened to the top of her head with a wreath of orange blossoms, which fell to the floor in a train. A corsage of orange blossoms was pinned at the shoulder. Oluf wore a suit of pale grey wool. The couple was married in Mary's home, and then walked to the larger Jensen home for the wedding supper. Oluf worked in saw mills in Carterton, and their sons were born there. The couple had 7 sons, 2 of which died. The couple wanted a daughter. Later, at a hospital in New Zealand, Mary selected a baby daughter, born Christmas Eve 1905 at Palmerston North. She was Maori, and Oluf and Mary adopted her, naming her Lillian Maude Huddleton Jensen. Later they moved to Dannevirke, where two more sons were born. (Lillian later married Albert Gotz, (Goltz) and had a daughter Gladys. Lillian Jensen died on July 8, 1961 in Los Angeles, California, and is buried in Oakland, California.)
In 1905 they sold everything and took their family, except Len, who was in Australia, to America. Exhausted from their journey, they must have been longing to set their feet on the soil of San Francisco, where they could find a hotel, and rest. But upon their arrival they found Market Street, a mass of rubble and smoking ashes. It was just two weeks after the terrible San Francisco Earthquake and fire. There was no water to put out the fires, as what water was available had to be given to earthquake survivors. The governor gave orders to shoot looters on sight. Modern sources say the earthquake claimed as many as 3000 lives.
AMELIA (AMY) CHRISTENSEN & FAMILY EMIGRATE TO AMERICA
Following Mette Marie's passing, and burial in Taratahi, Wairarapa in 1883, Anders Christensen and the family members who had remained with him in New Zealand, eventually immigrated to America. On July 13, 1891, Anders, his second wife Mary, with the children Andy, Gladys, Ferdie, Annie, Lettie, Amy Amelia left New Zealand aboard the iron steamer ship "The Alemeda," for the United States. 3,000 gross tons, iron hulled steamship, built 1883 in Philadelphia for the Oceanic Steamship Co. and made her maiden voyage in Oct. 1883 between San Francisco and Honolulu. In 1885 the ship was used on the San Francisco to Hawaii and Sydney service and in 1890 was put on the S.F to New Zealand via Hawaii route. In 1901 with the advent of new ships, she was switched back to the San Francisco - Hawaii service. Laid up in 1907 when the U.S. Government terminated Oceanic's mail contract to the South Pacific and they were left with redundant ships, she was eventually sold to Alaska SS Co in 1910 and placed on the Seattle - Alaska route. On 28th Nov.1931 she was burnt out at Seattle Pier. (Cargoes, Matson's First Century in the Pacific by W. L. Worden)
The Alemeda, the passenger steamer of the Alaska Steamship Company was later gutted by fire at Seattle, November 28, 1931-- .
Anders and Mary Christensen's last child, a son named Joseph Ludwig, was born in America, when Anders was 57 years old. Unfortunately, Anders life in America was short-lived and he died February 5, 1893, some 18 monthes after his arrival. He was 59 years of age. My grandmother was about 13 years old, and her mother died when she was about 3 or 4 years of age, so with his passing she had lost both of her dear and loving parents. The tombstone on Anders Christen's grave is engraved with the following inscription as follows:
Rest father, rest in quiet sleep
We miss thee, yet
We do not weep
Our hearts ascend to thee
Love in memory of thy tender love.
My grandmother,Amy Amelia Christensen, who was born in the 70 Mile Bush, completed her education in America, earning her living by teaching school, as an artist in oils, housekeeping, or doing millinery with her sisters on the side, and when she was older, as a registered nurse. She obtained a good education, and was the first woman medical school student at the University of Utah. She was a creative person, with a variety of skills. She liked hat making all of her life, having helped in her sister's millinery shop.
THE COURTSHIP OF WILLIAM & AMY LAUGHLIN
Amy met and fell in love with a minister of Scotch-Irish descent named William Andrew Laughlin, the son of William Thomas Laughlin and Mariane Lane/Lain, Mariane Lane was born in Ireland in 1840, and lived in Ulster, Brechin, and Forfarshire. The surname Lain, is from the Gaelic spelling of Lachlan, (MacLachlainn) Other spellings are: L'Aine, Lain, Laine, D'Lane, Layne
Originally, the family surname was spelled "L'Aine," and we know of at least one of our family members, James Russell Cuffe, was born in France, though the city he was born in, is yet unknown. Gr-grandmother Mariane Lain was a petite Irish woman, who wore black taffeta skirts which rustled when she walked. She was born in Ireland, residing there, and at Forfarshire, Brechin, Scotland, till she immigrated to Ontario, Canada with her daughter Ellen Lain. Another of the Laughlin ancestors, from Amy Laughlin's husband's side, was James Russell Cuffe, born in France, and educated in Dublin, Ireland.
William Andrew Laughlin was born on July 22, 1872, at Uxbridge, Ontario. When William Andrew Laughlin met Amy Christensen, she was an artist who painted in oil. Several of her paintings, still exist. One canvas of a basket of strawberries, hangs on the wall of a family farm, in Utah.
MARRIAGE & LIFE IN THE NEVADA FRONTIER
On August 27, 1914, Amy and Rev. William Andrew Laughlin were married, in Storey, Nevada. He was deeply in love with her. William Laughlin pastored the historic Presbyterian church in Virginia City, Nevada. William and Amy endured many hardships, to bring the gospel message to this city with it's visiting celebrities, saloons and opium dens, newspapers, fraternal organizations, Shakespearean plays, 5 police precincts, and the first Miner's Union in the U.S. At the peak of its glory, Virginia City had nearly 30,000 inhabitants, and was a boisterous center of activity, with goings on 24 hours a day. The discovery of gold and silver, brought the Virginia and Truckee Railroads. Investments made in mining on the Comstock Lode in the 1860's, 1870's and 1880's fueled the building of San Francisco.
The old Presbyterian church still stands as a landmark, and this photo shows how it looked when my grandfather pastored there. We visited the quaint little church, which resembles something out of a western movie.
THE CHAUTAUQUA CIRCUIT
W.A. Laughlin, like many ministers of his day, was a speaker on the Chautauqua Lecture Circuit. The term "Chautauqua" is an Iroquois word, meaning "Two moccasins tied together," or "Jumping fish." Chautauquas were an open air summer school, combining aspects of the religious revival and a lecture format. Chautauqua was the product of a young minister named John H. Vincent of Camden, New Jersey. In 1872, Vincent, who at the time was editor of the Sunday School Journal, began training Sunday school teachers by bringing them together every summer for all day study. His idea for a "summer school" that would be held outdoors, grew in popularity and a home was found at a little used campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, New York. Young people were invited for study, bonfires, good meals and lodging. Named for Lake Chautauqua in western New York state, where the first meeting was held in a campground atmosphere, the Chautauquas held great appeal to Americans, especially the American family of that era, blending the rest and relaxation of summer outings, with learning. They were not limited to a bible education, but frequently became a platform for spiritual reformers, with evangelists like the former Presbyterian minister, Billy Sunday preaching on the Chautauqua Circuit.
THE MOVE TO CHATHAM, ONTARIO
By 1917, the family moved to Chatham, a township of Chatham-Kent, in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Chatham Kent is located on the shores of Lake St. Clair and lake Erie. Here is where they purchased their family home, on Baxter Street. William Laughlin's mother Mariane Lane and her daughter Ellen Lane, also moved from Ireland Chatham, living on King Street. Another of William's relatives, James Russell Cuffe,also emigrated to live near hisfamily in Ontario, Canada. Historically, the city of Chatham had it's beginnings in 1793, when Sir John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, designated the area at the forks of the Thames River to be of strategic importance, and the town of Chatham became a military outpost. During the 1800's, Chatham grew from a handful of shacks, to a major shipbuilding, industrial and agricultural center. The town is also reputated for the Quaker population of those early years, who were abolitionists that assisted southern American slaves in escaping to freedom in the north, Chatham being the northern terminus of the Underground Railroad.
THE CHILDREN OF WILLIAM & AMY LAUGHLIN
AMY CHRISTEN LAUGHLIN'S LIFE IN THE STATES
William Laughlin died when the oldest of his daughters has barely reached their teens. The date and place were November 6, 1930, in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. Following his burial, his wife, and my grandmother Amy remained at the family residence in Chatham, selling insurance to support her family. In time, she moved to the West Coast of the United States of America, where for a time, she resided with her daughter and our mother, Maude Nualla, in an apartment. The apartment was shared by our mother, our grandmother, my sister and I. She's previously also lived at Sussex St. Marie, with her son in law Harold and daughter Mariane. Amy worked hard and obtained a nursing certificate, and worked for many years in the nursing profession as a registered live in nurse. Grandma Amy was always my mentor in art, always encouraging me in as many ways as she could. Grandma Laughlin returned to Canada where she lived in a nursing home, and died in Ontario, Canada, on April 12, 1975. She is buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery, Chatham, Ontario, Canada.
Amy Christensen kept the beaded fringe from her wedding dress all of her life, and would show it from time to time to her grandchildren. For all the trials Amy Laughlin faced throughout her life, she possessed the gift of mirth and had a musical laughter, which inspired her family andall who knew and loved her. She was gentle and kind, and when she opened her mouth it was lovingly and with wisdom, and in this she set an example for the young women of the family to emulate.
WILLIAM LAUGHLIN'S WHITE ROSE
It was my mother that told me that her father William Andrew Laughlin, called my grandmother Amy his "White Rose," and gave her cards with white roses on them, which she kept bound with a ribbon in an old trunk, upstairs in the attic of the family home in Chatham. One day before my mother married and moved away from Chatham, she found Grandmother on her knees beside the trunk in the attic of their family home in Chatham, going through the letters and cards with the white roses on them.
When my mother wrote to her mother in Canada, and asked her to come and live with us, it was a very special honour when she consented to move down to Seattle, from Ontario. She arrived one day, with her silvery hair pulled back into a chignon at the back of her head, and wearing a navy blue coat. Unpacking her suitcase, she placed her things in the bureau drawer. But some of the items which she considered more valuable, she put on the shelf of the hallway linen closet with it's dark wood door and glass and brass door handle.
The mystery of the black enameled gold ring with the inscription "Cuffe," was finally solved. From the 15th century, the custom was to wear a piece of jewelry as a memorial of a loved one. In the 18th century finely scrolled mourning rings were made with white enamel used for a single person and black enamel for a married person. The name, age, dates of birth and burial dates of the deceased were inscribed around the shank of the ring.
In 1984, Tom Campbell asked me to marry him, and I wore a wedding dress with intricately embroidered lace and irridescent glass beads. Grandfather William Laughlin was a true gentleman, and Amy Christensen Laughlin was a lady. Skylark's White Rose Cottage is named in memory of "The White Rose," whom grandfather loved so much, and dedicated his poems to.
GROWING UP WITH THE WHITE ROSE IN SEATTLE
The family lived in New Zealand for more than thirty years. Several members of the family resided there for their entire lives and died there, buried on it's soil. One of the Christian family members adopted a Maori daughter, and raised her. As a child growing up in Seattle in the 1950's, I was given a brown cloth doll with a lei of flowers and a grass skirt. Having seen the photograph of the Maori cousin, there was a sense in my young heart that she belonged to my family, though these family members seemed so far away. And when my friends were taking ballet lessons, I calling my mother at the law office where she worked in Seattle to beg her for Polynesian dance lessons.
Mother had a second job working for a Polynesian import firm named M.L. Stuart, selling jewelry made of shells and bits of coral, and my sister and I wore these as we played dress up in our mother's clothes. The attorney my mother worked for, would fly to the tropics each year on my birthday, and give the leis of flowers to my mother to give to me. It seems that this age I was, was a season in which God was establishing something in my life concerning not only my Danish heritage, but my inheritance in Christ.
Many years have passed, and I understand it better now. As a child of 8 or 10, I had a best friend with whom I made a covenant, to help orphans. Since we now have an adopted child, I know now that adoption is one of the deepest and strongest bonds of covenant that there is.
The bible also records the failure of Messiah's disciple's to "remember His miracles." God's miracles give Him glory! They are a source of encouragment, and a strengthener of faith. It is important to remember the warning in scripture, to "consider God's miracles--And all His wonderous works--lest one fall into the same indifference, and hardness of heart: "For they considered not the miracles of the loaves; for their heart was hardened. The miracles were not for them- seves alone, but these included the miracle provision of others. Not only your own miracles are important in your life, but every miracle is a message of God's love and compassion for His creation.
THE GENERATIONS OF THE SKYLARK & HIS WHITE ROSE
THE PRESENT OWNERS OF SKYLARK'S WHITE ROSE COTTAGE
Skylark's "White Rose Cottage," is a 1905 Craftsman Bungalow cottage, in the historic milltown of Lowell, Washington. It once belonged to the superintendant of Everett Pulp & Paper Mill, and the home has been on the Everett Historic Register since the early 1990's. We purchased the cottage in the summer of 1989, from a woman who received special recognition from the Everett Historic Commission
for restoration, which she did, including restoring the decorative brackets under the roof line in 1989. In 2002, the house was awarded the Monte Cristo Award.
We call our cottage "The Skylark's White Rose Cottage," for the beautiful skylark that nested on our front porch, and brought us so much joy as we watched it winging it's way over the river valley and for the maternal grandmother of Alana Marielle Campbell, Amy Christensen Laughlin, whose husband William Andrew Laughlin called "The White Rose." The Craftsman Bungalow style cottage is also Tom and Alana Campbell's art studio, which we call Skylark Studio.
New Zealand today is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth Realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning monarch, since February 6, 1952. As such she is the de jure head of state, though she does hold several powers that are hers alone, while the Governor-General is sometimes referred to as the de facto head of state.
In New Zealand, the Queen's official title is: Elizabeth the Second, By the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
I am Tom Campbell, and my wife Alana and I are the present owners of Skylark's White Rose Cottage. We are duly licensed and ordained ministers. As full gospel ministers, we: