Carl Friedrich Christian KELLING
- Born: 21 Jun 1818, Klutz, Nordwestmecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
- Christened: 24 Jun 1818, Klutz, Nordwestmecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
- Marriage: Anna BUSCHL on 1 Apr 1850 in Ranzau, Nelson, New Zealand
- Died: 28 Dec 1898, Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand at age 80
The second group of German settlers to Nelson was organised by De Chapeaurouge and Company. Most of the capital was supplied by Graf Kuno zu Rantzau-Breitenburg of Bothmer in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, [Count Kuno Rantzau-Breitenburgor] more briefly, Count Rantzau, a wealthy German nobleman, who originally had grand visions of planting a large German colony at Nelson. He hoped to combine a good investment for himself and improve the situation for some depressed peasants of Mecklenburg. The count sent out three agents to manage his estate and to care for the settlers. The trio was Johann Benoit, a Hamburg merchant, and the Kelling brothers, Carl and Fedor, farmers from Klutz. Before the Skiold left Hamburg in April 1844 the NZ Company had collapsed and the migrants were faced with an uncertain future. Fortunately for them Count Rantzau not only paid the passages of eighteen of the twenty-eight families, but also went guarantor for the venture. He had ensured that the passengers on this second voyage to New Zealand were given 'kind and fair treatment' unlike those of the earlier "St. Pauli" voyage.
On 16 April 1844, a few days before their departure, the heads of each family had to sign a contract at Hamburg with the count, so that the men sailed in bond to their benefactors. The agreements were drawn up in High German in intricate legal language, the full impact of which must have been lost on the illiterate signatories; the document also carried a rough English translation. Which committed the Germans not only to work for the absentee Count but also to repay him the cost of their fares. Each contract stated the commitments of the count's agents, and then those of the assisted labourer. As Rantzau had promised to send the emigrant to Nelson, the Kellings and Benoit, on his behalf, undertook to give the man and his family good treatment and daily work at the wages current in the colony, less any deductions for food and clothing, so long as they behaved themselves. After the man had paid back the family's fares for the voyage at the rate of £17 10s. per adult, the agents promised to sell him on request ten to twenty acres of rural land at £2 5s. per acre. The man in return undertook to migrate to New Zealand, and to acknowledge the cost of the voyage as a debt binding upon himself and his heirs. Finally he declared: "I promise to fulfil this contract like a true and diligent worker, and I hereby renounce all later objections or excuses." It can be seen that there was nothing in the nature of charity here.
The Skiold [Skjold] was a three mast Danish ship [barque] of 460 tons, built 1839, owned by C. Petersen, Sundeborg, under the command of Captain Hans Christian Claussen. Brought the second migration of German settlers to the Nelson region of New Zealand. The ship sailed with a qualified surgeon aboard, Doctor Franz B. Braum and also a Doctor F. Qualmann. There were 141 passengers on board and a crew of about 20. There were six cabin passengers and 135 in steerage. In the steerage were sixty-six adults, including twenty-four married couples, and sixty-nine children. Most of the emigrants were agricultural labouring families from Mecklenburg. Nineteen men were listed as tagelohner or day labourers, while there were thirteen artisans, including three sawyers, three joiners, two smiths, a shoemaker, a mason, a bricklayer, a cooper, and a wheelwright. With the exception of Rausch from Bavaria and Herbst from Schleswig-Holstain, they came from seventeen villages in Mecklenburg. Among the villages, which supplied more than one family, were Klutz, Krassow, Reppenhagen, Brookhusen, Brockhagen, Hasewinkel and Tarnewitz.
Benoit from Hamburg, Braun from Kitzingen, Kelling, Kiel and Heinius from Klutz, Balk from Barnekow, Bannier [Bennier] from Kilrow [Kritzow], Braasch and Westphal from Hasenwinkel, Bruning from Glashagen, Busch, Dube and Parbs from Reppenhagen, Fanselow from Farnwilz, Gebert, Schroder and Wendleborn from Crassow [Krassow], Gerhardt from Holfersdorf, Hammerich from Dassow, Herbst from Pierstorf, Langbein from Brockhausen, Lange from Wellxin, Lankow from Clanenhorst, Meyer from Lunkow, Paap from Warnow, Rausch from Oberweisenthal, Schrap from Rankendorff, Schwass and Siggelkow from Brockhagen, Tietjen from Wismar.
The Skiold set sail after the New Zealand Company had suspended operations and in the directors' (but not the migrants') sure knowledge that certain hardship awaited them. So from Hamburg in the Kingdom of Hanover [now part of modern Germany] on the 21st April 1844 with a journey of 120 days, including a seven-day stopover in Bahia, South America, to effect repairs, they sailed into Nelson harbour, New Zealand on 1 September 1844, the day after all labourers on public works at Nelson had been summarily dismissed. There were two deaths, both children, and two births on the voyage. The Skiold was later wrecked on the coast of England in 1849 on a return voyage from Singapore to Cuxhaven.
Colonel Wakefield was more favourably impressed by the appearance of the Skiold men, who, he said, "evinced a decided superiority" over their predecessors. Most of the families settled on sections at Waimea East. Here a considerable German village grew up and for many years after their arrival most of the settlers worked for the Kellings on their allotment of 150 acres, Benoit had returned to Europe in 1845. In respect for the help received from Count Rantzau, Fedor Kelling called his homestead "Ranzau" and the whole district of Waimea East was for many years known as Ranzau until it was given the present name of Hope. Today Ranzau Road is the only reminder of the old name.
The problems before the Kellings were not easily solved. They had brought out 135 individuals, nearly forty being labouring men for whom they were bound to find employment. With only 150 acres they could not employ all the families. They therefore accepted responsibility for as many families as possible, about 75 persons all told, which strained their resources to the utmost. A few found private employment, but the remainder went to Adelaide, South Australia. There was in fact quite an exodus of Germans from Nelson to Hobart, Tasmania in 1844 and to Adelaide in 1844-45, most of them were destitute St Pauli settlers. Some families who went to South Australia returned to Nelson some years later, after conditions had improved. The German communities at Nelson and Adelaide never completely lost touch with each other.
With thanks to Marc Bennier
1866 Justice's of the Peace
1868 Justice's of the Peace
From the New Zealand Gazette
Kelling John Fedor Auguste Waimea East, Nelson
Kelling Charles Frederick Christian Nelson
Occupation: Emigration Agent, Farmer
Carl married Anna BUSCHL, daughter of Michael BUSCHL and Maria, on 1 Apr 1850 in Ranzau, Nelson, New Zealand. (Anna BUSCHL was born about 1831 in Bavaria, Germany and died in 1931 in Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand.)