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Family notes - Christopher Korte

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Christopher (Christoph) KORTE and family

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Johan Heinrich Friedrich Christoph KORTE (1848-1905)

Christopher Korte was known by several names on different documents, his first names being spelt either in German or English, and the names Henry, Fredrick and Christopher being used in different orders. He was known to his descendents as Christoph or Christopher Korte, and Christopher is the first name on his will and headstone. Christopher Korte was born in 1848 in Sprakensehl, a village in the Duchy of Lüneburg and Kingdom of Hanover (subsequently Prussia and now Germany).

When Christopher was 17 he migrated to New Zealand. His passport was issued on 20 October 1865 at Isenhagen. The Rev John W C Heine (also from Sprakensehl) and Christopher's older brother Heinrich Korte provided sureties for the passage to Nelson. Christopher's brother Heinrich and family had migrated to Nelson in 1864 on the "Magna Bona", arriving on 25 March 1865. Christopher first traveled to England, and then sailed from Gravesend on the Thames Estuary for New Zealand on the "Dona Anita" in November 1865. The "Dona Anita" took 107 days to make the journey and arrived in Nelson on 19 February 1866. A brief account of the voyage is shown on a separate page. My father (George Korte) told me that Christopher migrated to avoid being drafted to Bismarck's army, Hanover joining the Prussian Empire about this time.

Christopher lived in the German settlement at Upper Moutere in Nelson until about 1880. Upper Moutere was called Sarau until 1917. He married Marie Louise Frederike Rose in 1875 at Upper Moutere. Christopher and Mary had three children while living in Upper Moutere: Dorothea in 1875, Henry in 1877, and Hanna in 1879.

The family moved to the North Island in 1879 and settled at Beaconsfield near Feilding. They traveled from Nelson to Wanganui on the 64 ton "Wallace" on 27 August 1879 according to the Wanganui Chronicle. While living at Beaconsfield three further children were born and registered at Kiwitea: Christopher in 1881, Frederick in 1883, and Martha in 1887.

Christopher successfully tendered with other settlers to establish the Kiwitea Road in 1880 and 1881. The Manawatu Herald reported successful tenders on 3 August 1880 and on 8 July 1881. In 1881 Christopher Korte and Julius Bulst obtained work from Manawatu County Council for felling and clearing bush on Kiwitea Road (18s 6d per chain) then removing the stumps (7s 6d per chain).

The Fielding Star reported on 13 October 1887 how a flood in the Kiwitea stream, the highest that had occurred since settlement of the district, affected the Korte farm.

Messrs Buchanan and Korte had their river flats cut up considerably. Mr Korte's house was in danger for some time, and preparations were made to leave in the event of the river coming much nearer. As it is, it has taken nearly all his orchard away.

According to a report in the Hawera & Normanby Star on 22 September 1886, Christopher's tender for a block of land under perpetual lease at Awatuna in South Taranaki was accepted by the Waste Lands Board. The section, 99 acres or 40 ha, was offered for lease on 3 August 1886 and was located at the intersection of the Eltham and Oeo Roads, adjacent to the southeast corner. The block of land was leased on 18 August 1886 and purchased on 10 June 1895.

The family moved to South Taranaki and in 1889 Mary died. Christopher Korte was naturalised in 1890 at Otakeho, a coastal settlement west of Hawera. When the Awatuna School opened on 10 April 1893 three of the Korte children were amongst the first 20 pupils. The bush-covered section at Awatuna was cleared of forest and a dairy farm established. A cheese factory was opened at Awatuna in 1894 (The Awatuna Co-Operative Dairy Company) and Christopher was one of the first suppliers.

In May 1895 Christopher married a widow, Friedreka Peter and in 1899 Christopher and Friedreka had a daughter, Frieda.

Christopher was concerned that the Awatuna farm was too small for his three sons. He obtained a crown lease for 960 acres of land at Matawai near Gisborne in 1902. On 16 January 1905 the lease was transferred to his three sons who had moved to Matawai to clear bush off the block they called Ruanui. Some other Awatuna settlers also purchased or leased land at Matawai - Julius Bulst, Arthur Mortleman, H Burgess, Robert Henson.

Christopher died in 1905 and was buried at Kaponga Cemetery.

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Maria Louisa Frederika ROGGENKAMP (ROSE) (1851-1889)

Marie was known as Mary Rose when she married in 1875, having taken the surname of her stepfather Hans Friedrich Franz Rose in Germany. Mary was the daughter of Katherine Dorothea Heinatz, born in Lübeck (now Germany) in 1851. In the 1857 Census of Lübeck, her name is given as Marie Roggenkamp, aged 5; in the same household as her stepfather Hans Rose, her mother Dorothea Rose and half brother Johannes Rose aged 1.

Mary migrated from Lübeck to New Zealand with her mother, stepfather and half brother (Johannes Joachim Heinrich Rose) in 1869 on the ship "Halcione". The family sailed to Wellington on the "Halcione", then by the steamer "Ahuriri" to Nelson. When they arrived in New Zealand, Hans Friedrich Franz Rose had family already living at Upper Moutere.

As mentioned above, Mary married Christopher Korte and had six children. She had a miscarriage in 1889, and died a month later aged 38 years on 4 October 1889. Mary was buried at Manaia, South Taranaki.

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Caroline Friederike Wilhelmina VETTE (1859-1936)

Caroline Friederike Wilhelmina Vette was born in 1859 in Hesse (now in Germany), the daughter of Friedrich Vette and Caroline Meier.

Frederika was first married to a Mr Peter in Germany and had three children who all died before she migrated to New Zealand. On 2 May1895 Friederike Peter married Christopher Korte in Normanby. Friederike and Christopher Korte settled at Awatuna in South Taranaki. In 1899 Christopher and Friedreka had a daughter, Frieda.

Friedreka died on 11 September 1936 at Awatuna and was buried with Christopher at Kaponga.

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Children of Christopher and Mary

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Dorothea Magdelena Catherina KORTE (1875-1942)

Dorothea Magdelena Catherina Korte, known as Dora, was the eldest daughter of Christopher and Mary Korte, born in 1875 at Upper Moutere. Dora attended Beaconsfield School in the Manawatu, and in 1887 completed Standard 3. She married Otto Heinrich Julius Schulz in 1896 at Awatuna in Taranaki. The surname Schultz was used after the marriage.

Otto was born in what is now known as Letowo, Poland, previously part of Prussia, the eldest child of Wilhelmine Schulz. When he was 18 Otto emigrated with his mother Wilhelmine and his 3 half sisters to Queensland, Australia. This allowed him to avoid military service which was unpopular. He worked in the sugar cane fields in North Queensland between 1883 and 1887. In 1887 Otto emigrated to New Zealand.

Otto settled in Hurleyville, south Taranaki, and owned two farms there. Otto and Dora lived at Hurleyville where they farmed and raised ten children. Otto was a director of the Hurleyville Dairy Factory for many years and had an on-going association with Hurleyville School, being appointed as a school commissioner for the Hurleyville District in 1907.

Otto and Dora retired to Eltham. Otto died in 1933 and Dora in 1942. Otto was buried alongside his mother Wilhelmina in the family plot in Eltham Cemetery, and Dora was also buried here.

In his will Otto bequeathed one farm to his son Frederick and the second to his son Albert. The Commissioner of Stamp Duties made a claim for stamp duties on the land transfer and this was contested by the brothers. When the case was heard by Mr Justice Balir in 1934 he found in favour of the brothers. The case then went to the Court of Appeal, which found in favour of the Commissioner of Stamp Duties. The brothers lost the case because they had to take out mortgages, which resulted in the transations being considered as sales. Albert was required to pay £5291 and Frederick £3914.

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Heinrich Friederich Johann KORTE (1877-1935)

Heinrich Friederich Johann Korte, known as Henry, was the eldest son of Christopher and Mary Korte, born in 1877 at Upper Moutere. Henry attended Beaconsfield School in the Manawatu, and in 1887 completed Standard 3. He never married.

Henry and his brothers, Fred and Christopher, settled in Matawai, near Gisborne, on a 965 acre bush block leased by their father in 1902. They started clearing the land, constructed a small single roomed building to live in, and started farming. The lease was transferred to Henry and his brothers Chris and Fred in 1905. Henry was active in organising local social events while living at Matawai, being secretary of the Matawai Sports Club. The club held an annual sports day. Henry, who played the accordean, and other Matawai men provided dance music at local dances.

Details of the Matawai farm, called Ruanui, can be seen on a separate page.

Henry returned to Taranaki to run his deceased father's dairy farm at Awatuna, but also continued to visit Matawai regularly and remain involved in local affairs. Henry transferred his interest in the Matawai lease to his brothers Fred and Chris on 15 November 1913.

Henry died in 1935 at the Lenishham Private Hospital, Wellington of cancer in the stomach, and was buried at Kaponga, Taranaki.

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Photo of Hanna Korte

Johanna Maria Margaretta Gertrude KORTE (1879-1962)

Johanna Maria Margaretta Gertrude Korte, known as Hanna, was the second daughter of Christopher and Mary Korte, born in 1879 at Upper Moutere. Hanna attended Beaconsfield School in the Manawatu, and in 1887 completed Standard 2. After her mother died, Hanna returned from Taranaki to Upper Moutere and lived with her uncle Heinrich Korte and family.

In 1900 Hanna married Christopher Carl Dietrich Drogemuller. Hanna and Christopher had eight children. They lived at Upper Moutere where Christopher farmed. Hanna died in 1962 and is buried in Upper Moutere with Christopher who died in 1956.

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Photo of Chris

Christopher William Ernest KORTE (1881-1944)

Christopher William Ernest Korte, second son of Christopher and Mary Korte, was born in 1881 at Kiwitea in the Manawatu after the family moved to the North Island. Chris left Taranaki to farm at Matawai with his brothers in 1903. Chris was a champion axe man, for example competing in the December 1909 NZ Championship Chop, 12 inch standing block, at Eltham.

Christopher and his brothers, Henry and Fred, settled in Matawai, near Gisborne, on a 965 acre bush block leased by their father in 1902. They started clearing the land, constructed a small single roomed building to live in, and started farming. The lease was transferred to the three brothers in 1905, and to Christopher and Fred in 1913. Christopher and Fred developed the Matawai farm and built a house each.

Details of the Matawai farm, called Ruanui, can be seen on a separate page.

Christopher married Selma Bulst, the daughter of a neighboring Matawai family, in 1915. The Bulst family had taken up the farm next to the Korte brothers at Matawai in 1902, both families having lived in Kiwitea and south Taranaki. Selma and Christopher had three children.

In July 1918 Christopher's appeal to the Military Service Board was heard requesting he be be excused from military service so he could continue to run the Korte Brother's farm. Fred was managing his mother-in-law's (Charlotte Redpath) farm during the war and Chris was running the Matawai farm by himself. The appeal was dismissed and Christopher was given leave until October 1918, but the war ended in November 1918.

Christopher died in Matawai in 1944. The farm that Fred and Christopher had farmed at Matawai was taken up by George Korte, Christopher's nephew, in 1947. Selma died in 1961 at Marton.

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Frederick William KORTE (1883-1964)

Frederick William Korte, known as Fred, the youngest son of Christopher and Mary Korte, was born in 1883 at Kiwitea in the Manawatu. Fred attended Awatuna School in Taranaki.

Fred and his brothers, Henry and Christopher, settled in Matawai, near Gisborne, on a 965 acre bush block leased by their father in 1902. They started clearing the land, constructed a small single roomed building to live in, and started farming. The lease was transferred to the three brothers in 1905, and to Christopher and Fred in 1913. Christopher and Fred developed the Matawai farm and built a house each.

Details of the Matawai farm, called Ruanui, can be seen on a separate page.

In 1913 Fred married Elizabeth Redpath from Rakauroa, a short ride through the bush (approximately 10 km). There was a large fire in Matawai on the day that Fred and Elizabeth married (see Matawai bush fire). Elizabeth was the first school teacher at Matawai School and also taught at Rakauroa School. Elizabeth and Fred had four children.

After the Second World War the Matawai farm was purchased by George Korte, Fred's eldest son, and Fred and Elizabeth moved to Gisborne. Elizabeth died in 1961 and Fred in 1964. Both are buried in Gisborne.

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Photo of Martha Korte

Martha Louie Margareta KORTE (1887-1970)

Martha Louie Margareta Korte was the third daughter of Christopher and Mary Korte, born in 1887 at Kiwitea in the Manawatu. Her mother died when she was an infant, soon after moving to Taranaki. Martha grew up at Awatuna in South Taranaki. Martha married Joshua Mellor Gatenby in 1908. The couple had nine children.

Joshua and Martha initially farmed at Te Kiri, about 5 km west of Awatuna. About 1919 they moved to Mangatoki, about 15 km east of Awatuna. They had a dairy farm on the Eltham Road at Mangatoki. Joshua died in 1927 and Martha in 1970. Both Joshua and Martha are buried at Eltham.

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Children of Christopher and Friedreka

Freida Korte

Freiderke Henriette Johanna KORTE (1899-1981)

Freiderke Henriette Johanna Korte, known as Freida, was born in 1899, the only child of Christopher and his second wife Friederike. Frieda grew up at Awatuna and married Walter Hans Carl Max Brandt in 1927. Freida and Walter had 3 sons and 3 daughters.

Walter took over the Korte farm at Awatuna and farmed it until the couple retired to Opunake about 1965. When they retired, the farm was take over by Walter's youngest son Roger. Freida died in 1981 and Walter in 1989. Both are buried in Opunake.

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