At the request of my daughter Olive, I will attempt to write the life story of my father, the late Johannes Anderson, retired farmer of Carterton, who died there on the 7th July 1920. He was born in Skane, in the south of Sweden, on the 23rd of August 1838. I understand that his parents were comparitively well off when they were married, but for some reason were later in reduced circumstances.
Father started work at an early age. The education children got in those days was very meagre. They had finally to go before the minister (of the church) to read their lessons, and if they passed them they could go out to work. My father was engaged in all sorts of farmwork, and it would appear he was a very good workman, but one who would not stand any imposition on the part of his employers. Many are the tales he has told me when a boy of his skirmishes with some of those for whom he worked. I might say here that the wages in those days were very small indeed. They were paid partly in cash, and partly in produce such as wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes. You could take your wheat to the mill and get it ground for your use, or you could sell it or any grain to the miller, and you could either use or sell your potatoes to the brewery.
I do not know anything of my mother‘s people except that her name was Mathilda Gabriell, born on 25 July 1840, and they were married in 1864. Fathers father’s name was Anders Olson, and there was another son, Karl, who emigrated to the U.S.A. and a daughter who was married and had some children before father left Sweden. I think my parents were married in the parish of Oasia, and they lived for a time at Arlrom (that could be Allerum), near Halsinborg. He also worked at Kristvanlum and Holgerstorp, probably the names of large farms (there is a suggestion that Holgerstorp was in Malmolas Lan near Svalov) where his employers name was Crunt Placton. They lived in a stone house which father had built by the sea.
|The good ship 'Humboldt'.|
One morning very early he was on deck when there was terrific shouting by the crew, and on enquiry he found that only by a miracle they had avoided a rock. Had they struck it I would not now be sitting here to write anyones history. They arrived in Wellington on 6 February 1875, after a 5 month voyage. Can one imagine what the mothers had to put up with looking after the children! As far as I can gather my father was very helpful, and I am sure he would have been.
|The Rimutaka Hill road in 1875.|
The Rimutaka railway was being put through at that time, and some of the men went to work there leaving their families in Featherston. Whilst the community cooking was going on Father was appointed to procure provisions from the store. You must now realise that none of these people could speak or understand a word of English. Many are the tales I have heard of their difficulties and perplexities. My Dad though, had a tremendous confidence in himself, and was also resourceful, so he managed to get what he wanted in the long run.
My father took a job at road repairing, and worked under a man named Saunders. All instructions had to be given by pantomime, and it must have been amusing for the Englishman when it was not too trying. Dad did not stay at this job for long, but took one with a Mr Youlle, who had come over the hill by bullock wagon with his family a few years before. He had bought a fair area of land in South Featherston, most of which was covered in flax which was of no value in those far off days, and it had to be grubbed and burnt. The land had to be drained, and then sown in grass. My father rented a cottage on the farm, with the right to keep a cow, and he kept a pig, and these helped the family to live. A boy was born to them there but did not survive. Next to make his advent was yours truly, on 19 February 1876. Mrs Polson, a fellow passenger, was the nurse. After I was married and had two children we went to visit her in Greytown and she was very pleased.
|Wairarapa Lake, 1875.
|Bush farmer's first home, a thatched slab hut.|
I must explain here that he took contracts, and so no doubt made more than the general wage then obtaining. He also did work for a man named Donald, and there was a certain amount of competition between Youlle and Donald for his services. When Charles was a year old, or a little more, another confinement took place, the child died, and alas my mother followed. The only thing I can remember of her is seeing a white face in a black craped coffin the day she was buried. They would have had to carry her coffin two miles through the bush before they got to the road, and it was then put in a trip and conveyed to the cemetery. My sister, Charles and I went over to Mrs Petersen‘s after viewing the body, and whilst the funeral was going on. Imagine a man who has just started carving a home for himself out of the bush, losing his wife, and being left with six children ranging in age from about thirteen to a one year old! A temporary scatter of the family ensued, my sister went to a friend and shipmate in Featherston, Jack and Gustaf went to a family in Greytown, Charles to a shipmate in Carterton, and Bill and I stayed on the farm. I put in most of my time at Mrs Petersen‘s, who had a son my own age. This arrangement continued for some time, till it was known that Charles was not too well looked after, so he, Gustaf and Jack, came home. It was probably at this time that there was a succession of housekeepers tried, which would tide the family over till the children were older.
Father still worked in Featherston, and we use to wait for his homecoming on Saturday nights. It is strange that I can still hear the slip-rails fall as father bought the mare in at the front fence, and I can also hear the creak of the saddle leather as he approached the house. One night Charles and I waited for him, and as he was late we crawled into a sack and later were found there asleep.
|No. 3 Hauler in Messrs. W. Booth and Company's Bush.|
I was now eight and started to go to a private school in Carterton. One afternoon on my return home I found Gustaf ill, and that night he died in our midst. The doctor would not come that night, but in the morning said the cause of death was heart disease and dropsy.
I had forgotten to say that Dad had given up his work in Featherston by then, and was working near home. The cows had of course to be milked morning and night, and there was no eight hour working day for him. After tea he was at work logging up and burning to clear the ground, and I was very often with him. Just before Gustaf’s death we had a fire in our wooden chimney, and if it had not been for his being awake, we might have been burned alive. I remember the exitement quite well. Father set to work and made his own bricks, and had a man come and build a new chimney.
Father worked hard but not quite all the time, because I have a very clear recollection of him having Charles on one knee and me on the other, sitting in front of the fire and telling us stories of happenings in Sweden. I also recollect full well him bathing us at weekends in a wooden tub in the back yard. That must have been in warm weather of course.
|Five Mile Avenue, Forty Mile Bush, circa 1875, by James Bragge.|
We now milked more cows, and one winter we made over a hundred pounds of butter a week, and sent it to Wellington at one shilling and threepence a pound, which was a very good price in those days. I sometimes got very sick of patting this butter at night, but it had to be done. There were now fewer of us at home, as Bill had left home at an early age, and later Jack joined him at Pahiatua. We now found we had to stump and plow the ground to renew the grass. There was a lot of hard work to do, but Father never flinched, and I had to do my share. In the intervening years Father had got a new trap (a flash concern those days) and he also had a springcart. Our homestead was a collection of buildings, and our friends chaffed father about them. Here they are: a granary inside the front entrance to the driveway, then a big hayshed on your left, joined by a sixteen stall cowshed end on with a big hay loft, in front of which was a big cart shed. Going through a gate the house was on the right, the dairy on the left, and a milk stand in front of it, just on the edge of the creek. Straight ahead was the wash house, tool shed and stable. Behind that and some distance away were the pig sheds, and over the creek and in the back garden, was another tool house. People use to say it was quite a town. I have failed to say the old house was reorganised, and two new rooms put on the front.
My sister did not stay long at home and so we use to have house-keepers, and we had quite an experience with them, and between whiles I had to do the house keeping besides my other work. Jack got married in 1897, and as he had no home of his own, Father bought twenty-two acres of land with a house on it, and let it to him. I stayed home till this was paid for and then left home. There were some differences between Father and me, and I objected to doing both inside and outside work. I still went home on request to help with the hay-making, and also put through a job I had had in mind for years. Father was in a position to employ help and he did so.
About 1903 Father let the place to Charles, and gave him everything on the place. He had bought a small place for himself (23 acres) on Park Road, on the outskirts of Carterton, on which he built a house. This place was in a rough state, but he improved it by his own efforts, and paid labour until he had made quite a good farm of it. For years he milked a few cows, and sent the milk by a neighbour to the Parkvale cheese factory. He did his own house-keeping. He bought a horse and gig so that he could go out where and when he liked. I use to visit him regularly three or four times a year, and corresponded with him. As he could not write in English he got someone to reply to my letters. It was a lonely life for a man to live, but he seemed contented enough. Charles stayed on the farm only a short time, and then sold out to Jack. Charles then came up to me at Komako (near Pohangina) and asked me to give him a job. I was foreman for the County, and gave him a start on the understanding that he would take another job when I found him one. This he did, so that he was not with me for very long.
Soon after this I was married, and I persuaded Father to come to our wedding in Palmerston North and Jack came with him. Thereafter I visited him from time to time, and sometimes took my family. Just before our third daughter was expected Dad had an accident to his leg, and we had to go up and look after him, and were there for some months. I think myself that this accident shortened his life. He had eventually to give up milking and keep young stock.
|August & Cecelia's wedding.
After some years there I had word from a neighbour of his that he was failing, so I wrote to the other members of our family asking what they were going to do about it. Charles was the only one from whom I got an answer, and that was to the effect that he, being a bachelor, was not in a position to do anything. I had always guessed that things would so happen. We broke up our home in Otaki, and went over to Carterton, occupying one of his houses next door to where he lived.
When I had gone from Otaki to make arrangements with him, he wanted to accompany me back there even though we would have to start packing immediately. In due time we arrived in Wellington, and I took him out to Lyall Bay. He felt done in and I felt concerned as to whether I would get him to Otaki. By the way he had never been in Wellington since he had arrived from Sweden. We all eventually got to Carterton bag and baggage, to say nothing of two truckloads of furniture, vehicles and so on. I cut out a panel of the fence between the two houses, and father lived in his own home but had meals with us. Things seemed to go well for a fortnight and then he seemed to give in. He placed his estate in my hands under power of attorney and so I took on all his responsibilities. We had to take him into our house, as he was not fit to be left by himself.
At that time I bought by auction a big house right in town, which had been a nursing home. It was very cheap and I thought it a good speculation. As Dad seemed likely to be bedridden we thought it wise to move into it. I got Mrs John Petersen (who had been our neighbour in Belvedere) to be there when I took father up, and he had all the things there that he had in his home. He had a large room, and I slept there also and looked after him. He was a good patient. He became worse and died on 7 July 1920.
He was a good father, and mindful of the welfare of his children. He was a good, honest, hardworking citizen, and he was looked up to and respected by those he came in contact with.
Completed by August Anderson. 15 February 1948.
|Hagbards galge c.1890. Asige kyrka (church) in the background.|
Residence: 1838 in Slättelynga 1 in Asige, Hallands Län. 
Residence: 1841 in Siggagård, Asige Församling, Hallands Län, Sverige. 
Residence: 1865 in Ausås No.5, Skåne, Sweden. 
Residence: 08 Dec 1865 in 'Kristinelund', Allerum Församling, Helsingborg, Skåne, Sverige. 
Residence: 1869 in 'Kristinelund', Allerum Församling, Helsingborg, Skåne, Sverige. 
Residence: Bet. 1870–1872 in Döshult no.4, Allerum Församling, Helsingborg, Skåne, Sverige. 
Occupation: Mar 1874 in Döshult no.4, Allerum Församling, Helsingborg, Skåne, Sverige; Husman. 
Immigration: 06 Feb 1875 entered Wellington, New Zealand. 
Residence: 1876 South Featherston, New Zealand. 
Residence: Abt. 1878 Belvedere, New Zealand. 
Naturalisation: 18 June 1884, in New Zealand. 
Residence: 1903 Park Road, Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand. 
Will: 28 August 1919, made at Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand. 
Burial: Clareville, New Zealand. 
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On 7 Jun 2016 at 10:44 GMT C (Sälgö) S wrote:
On 7 Jun 2016 at 10:43 GMT C (Sälgö) S wrote:
Household record Allerum AI:9 (1861-1866) Image 260 / page 254 (AID: v106945.b260.s254, NAD: SE/LLA/13003) Household record Allerum AI:10 (1866-1870) Image 287 / page 295 (AID: v106946.b287.s295, NAD: SE/LLA/13003)
Household record Döshult Nr 4 Allerum AI:10 (1866-1870) Image 265 / page 271 (AID: v106946.b265.s271, NAD: SE/LLA/13003) Allerum AI:11 (1871-1876) Image 285 / page 279 (AID: v106947a.b285.s279, NAD: SE/LLA/13003) Moving out record Australia Allerum B:4 (1862-1879) Image 88 / page 82 (AID: v106957.b88.s82, NAD: SE/LLA/13003)
On 7 Jun 2016 at 10:42 GMT C (Sälgö) S wrote:
Allerum B:4 (1862-1879) Image 31 / page 26 (AID: v106957.b31.s26, NAD: SE/LLA/13003)
Household record Wiken nr 47 Gabriella Viken AI:5 (1861-1866) Image 78 / page 75 (AID: v110011.b78.s75, NAD: SE/LLA/13451)
Moving in record Viken B:2 (1861-1887) Image 13 / page 19 (AID: v110018.b13.s19, NAD: SE/LLA/13451)
Marriage record 1865 Lysning (eng. banned) mar 5 mar 12 mar 19 Marrage 31 mars Viken EI:1 (1861-1883) Image 9 / page 7 (AID: v110027.b9.s7, NAD: SE/LLA/13451)
Christinelund 1865 from Asige - moved out 1869 9/10? http://www.bygdeband.se/plats/227960/sverige/skane-lan/helsingborg/allerum/kristinelund/