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Johann Seigmund Martin (Isaac) JACOBSEN


Johann Seigmund Martin, or Isaac Jacobsen as he was better known, was the eldest of Hans and Anna's sons, and the first to endeavour as far as New Zealand.

Born in Hamburg on the 5th of August 1823, Isaac apparently was the recipient of an "excellent" education, and by the time he turned 20, he had explored a large part of the world. Arriving in New Zealand in 1842 on board the St Pauli (a German ship from Hamburg), Isaac decided to settle in Nelson, and set up as a Carpenter.

He married Clara Josephine FRANKS on 6 June 1843, and became a Roman Catholic not long after. They had eight children, and brought them up in the Catholic faith.

Isaac and his family lived in Nelson, then moved to Christchurch. He is well known for being the contractor who built the first Nelson Boys' College, and numerous other buildings in Nelson and Christchurch. In fact, he was credited with being the person to design a much-needed drainage system for Christchurch.

He also holds claim to being the man who pioneered the "eight hour day" in New Zealand, and a photograph of him was sent to be hung alongside other pioneers in this area, in the offices of a labour organisation in Melbourne.

Also interested in rocks and rock-collecting, Isaac claimed a discovery of diamonds in Canterbury and a gold mine near Takaka. Two of his descendants also became well known "rock people" with one discovering marble in the Motueka Hills, and another finding uranium in the Buller.

Isaac died on 7 July 1906, and is buried in the Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson.

Isaac's Obituary
View Hans and Anna JACOBSEN's Descendants
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