John MAX + Francesca Marta ISKIRKA - Manawatu :: Genealogy
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John MAX + Francesca Marta ISKIRKA - Manawatu

Journal by ngairedith

This posting is still in early research. If you have any further info (additions-corrections) your help would be welcome. Please leave comments below

born in New Zealand to John & Clara (Klara) Iskirka

Her father, Jan (Jan/Johann/John) Ignatz ISKIRKA/Iskierka, arrived in Wellington on 18 March 1876 on the Terpischore and was listed as single, a labourer from Denmark (but not true, his name is German. Possibilities are Prussian occupied Poland or the High Tatras (Vysok? Tatry, Tatry Wysokie).

Her mother, Clara MALGRAFF, was born in (possibly) Prussian Stargard and arrived in Wellington on 23 March 1876 with her father Johann, mother Johanna & sister Auguste on the Gutenberg (there was also a brother, Anton Johann Iskirka, not yet found where he was born. Clara's English was very good and she was used as a Court Interpreter on many occasions

* In April 1877 the Wanganui Post Office had an unclaimed letter for Johann Iskirka. I believe he was in the Foxton, Manawatu area by then
* In 1884-85 he was a ratepayer in Palmerston North of Section No.245, allotment

John Iskirka married Clara Malgraff in Foxton, Nov 1876
- he was about 27 - she was about 15/16

- they had 9 children
... 1
1879 - 1900 Mary Iskirka
- married Sydney Sykes in 1900
- their known children:
1900 - 1979 Joseph George Alexander Sykes
1906 - Jessie Mary Sykes
1910 - Ivy Myrtle Sykes

... 2
1881 - 1962 Annie Iskirka
- Annie had a base born daughter, Annie Violet Iskirka, on 5 July 1900, the father was not named BUT, 3 months later Clara Iskirka takes JOHN MAX to court for maintenance of an illegitimate child! (see timeline notes below) was the child John's?. Nothing further found on this child (adopted?)
- married George Arthur Carnell in 1901
- they had 5 known daughters:
1902 - Margaret Ann Carnell
1904 - Veta Rose Carnell (married Arthur George Waller)
1906 - Myrtle Annie Carnell (married William James Rowley)
1909 - Charlotte Phoebe Carnell (married James Patrick Ryan)
1911 - 1992 Kathleen Elizabeth Carnell

... 3
1883 - 1909 Joseph John 'Joe' Iskirka
- accidently killed whilst bushfelling at Kakatihi aged 29
- (KAKAHI TOWNSHIP as it was in 1909)
Wanganui Herald, 12 August 1909
... The local police received information this afternoon that a man named Joe Iskirka, while bushfelling on O"Neill Bros. land near Kakatahi, on the Raetihi-Parapara raod, thirty miles inland from Wanganui, met with a serious accident. A tree fell on him, smashing one of his legs, and otherwise injuring him, rendering him unconscious. One of his mates brought word to the telephone exchange at Kakatahi, and Wanganui was communicate with. The ambulance wagon has been sent out to bring the unfortunate man into town. The accident occurred at 11 o'clock, and at two o'clock Iskirka had not reached Kakatahi, whither he was being carried on a stretcher by his mates
Wanganui Herald, 14 August 1909
... ISKIRKA - On the 12th inst., accidentally killed at Kakatihi, Joseph, eldest son of John Iskirka, Palmerston North; aged 29 years. R.I.P. (Manawatu papers please copy)
The funeral will leave his sister's residence, No, 5 Church Place, to-morrow (Sunday), at 2.30p.m. for the Wanganui Catholic Cemetery

... 4
1884 - 1969 FRANCIZKA/Francesca 'Frances' MARTA ISKIRKA
- born 14 Dec 1884 - described as third daughter
- had a son, William Max on 15 Aug 1901 - John Max listed as father
- (only a birth certificate would verify date as 1901 or 1902)
- married Johan 'JOHN' MAX (1879-1963) on 26 Dec 1901
- John was born 4 May 1880 son of Anton MAX & Catarina/Katie KOTSCHINSKE. Anton was from Malin, Germany (which, since 1945, is in South-western Poland - thanks to J for that name & reference)
Frances & John divorced (decree absolute in Aug 1912 see below)
FRANCESCA next married John Thomas CASSIDY (1861-1930) 4 Nov 1912
Auckland Star, 16 August 1913
... John Max & his cousin Joseph Francis Rosanowski
JOHN MAX served in WW1 as:
* Private 12/2783, 6th Reinforcement, Auckland Infantry Battalion
* Enlistment address was Towai, Whangarei
* John stated: he was born in Palmerston North 24 May 1882, his occupation was Farmer, his address was Towhai, Whangarei and that he was employed by F. W. Fagan, Victoria Arcade, Auckland. (Francis William Feltrim Fagan was (then) the Managing Director of the (huge, 35,000 acres) Parenga Gumfields Ltd)
* John was 5' 9", medium complexion, grey eyes, brown hair
* Commenced service 17 April 1915 aged 32yrs & 11 months (they went by his statement), embarking from Wellington 14 Aug 1915
* Next of kin was his father Antony Max of Featherston St., Palmerston North.
* John joined his unit at Dardanelles on 29 Sep 1915 for the Gallipoli Campaign and was in Alexandria 27 Dec 1915
* John met Alice Ellen Moore (1891-1970) in England. Alice lived at 11 Cookson St., Blackpool. They married 17 November 1917 in Kirkham, Lancashire.
* John was discharged 23 Nov 1919 (as Sergeant) after serving 4 years & 74 days
* Alice was then living at 1 Wilton Terrace, Shipton, Bellinger
* He disembarked in Auckland 26 Oct 1919 from the ss Remuera
* His intended address was c/o W. H. Rumble, Rangaroa, Taumarunui
- (William Henry Rumble married John's sister, Marie Max)
John & Alice had 9 children
* in March 1924 they were at Kakahi, Manunui (20km from Taumarunui)
* John Max died 11 June 1963 in Tokanui Hospital. His wife (as next of kin) was living at 13 Queens Ave., Frankton, Hamilton.
Alice Ellen Max died 6 July 1970 aged 79. They are buried at Hamilton Park Cemetery
* see also Max marriages

... 5
1887 - 1924 Frank Iskirka
* in 1900 was in Standard IV at Terrace End School
* in 1901 was in Standard V at Terrace End School
Auckland Star, 2 May 1910
... Frank Iskirka, a young man, pleaded guilty to charges of having been drunk and of using obscene language. it was submitted that defendant, who suffered internally, had taken a bad turn. He drunk some spirits in quest of relief, and unfortunately took too much. His Worship said that was no excuse for the use of such abominable language. Convicted and fined ?5, or 14 days

... 6
1888 - Rose Mary Iskirka
* in 1900 was in Standard III at Terrace End School
* in 1901 was in Standard IV at Terrace End School
- married George BLACK in 1904
- their name children:
1906 - Clara Rose Black
1908 - 2003 Minnie Alice Black
- born in Ngaruawahia, Waikato, married ? Rye
1913 - 1913 Elsie Mary Black
Rose & George were living 68 Arthur St., Onehunga, Auckland by 1925

... 7
1890 - 1963 Peter 'Thomas' Iskirka
* in 1900 was in Standard II at Terrace End School
* in 1901 was in Standard III at Terrace End School
* in 1903 was in Standard IV at Convent School, Manawatu
Poverty Bay Herald, 20 July 1915 JOINING THE COLORS
... Applications for enrolment are still being received at the Gisborne Defence office in satisfactory numbers, and medical examinations are held periodically. At present there are 282 men on the list who have been passed as medically fit. The following addition men have passed the medical test:-
& ISKIRKA, Thomas, bushman, Gisborne
- Rifleman 26/271, member of the 'Trents', New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 4th Battalion, C Company, embarked from Wellington 5 Feb 1916 with the 9th, wounded in the head, admitted to hospital Oct 1916, from Somme. Arrived home in April 1917 on the Maheno

... 8
? - ? Jennie Iskirka
- nothing found on Jennie/Jeanie. Her name was found at a wedding as sister of...
It may even have been a name for Jane (next), (which would mean another child to find to make 9). There is a James Iskirka mentioned below but this may have been another name for John??

... 9
? - ? Jane Iskirka (described as youngest daughter)
- married Joseph White 8 April 1912, St Patrick's Palmerston North
- 6th of 9 children of William George WHITE & Elizabeth Ann COYLE
Manawatu Standard, 12 April 1912
... WHITE - ISKIRKA - On Easter Monday, April 8th, 1912, Joseph, fourth son of William White, Berkshire, England, and late of Napier, to Jane, youngest daughter of John Iskirka
- they had 3 children:
* 1913 - 1923 Violet May White
* 1916 - 1995 Joseph Thomas White
* 1925 - Eileen Mary White (in Sydney)

On 8 October 1900
... CLARA ISKIRKA took JOHN MAX to court claiming ?4 14s, under the Destitute Persons Act, for the maintenance of an illegitimate child ?? (was she doing this for Francesca?? who would have been 15.10yrs at court date OR was Annie's illegitimate daughter Annie, born 3 months prior, John's? - see #2 Annie, above).
Francesca & John had a son, William, in Aug 1901, 4 months prior to their marriage
- also read comments on John here

On 5 February 1901
... JOHN MAX was arrested at Mokau for failing to provide for the support of his illegitimate child, He appeared in the Palmerston (North) court and allowed bail ?10 surety by himself (which is about $1700 today) until the following Monday. On the Monday he (or someone) paid the amount in arrears and he was discharged from custody

On 26 December 1901
... MAX - ISKIRKA - On the 26th December, 1901, at St Patrick's Church, Palmerston North, by the Rev. Father Tymons, John Max, third son of Anthony Max, of Palmerston North, to Frances Martha, third daughter of John Iskirka, of Palmerston North. [New Plymouth and Melbourne papers please copy]

Manawatu Standard, 2 January 1902
... MARRIAGE - An interesting and pretty marriage was celebrated at St Patrick's Church on Boxing Day, when Mr John Max was united to Miss Frances Martha Iskirka. The bride, who was becomingly attired and looked charming, was given away by Mr Joseph Iskirka (her brother). The bridesmaids were Misses Rosie and Jennie Iskirka and Misses Sheerin, all of whom presented a very refreshing and pleasing picture. Mr A. Rosanowski was best man and the Rev, Father Tymons performed the ceremony. The happy couple left for New Plymouth yesterday amidst wishes of future happiness and prosperity from a large circle of friends. They intend to settle at Mokau

Manawatu Standard, 5 December 1904
... DRUNKENNESS - John Iskirka, charged with drunkenness, was fined 5s, cab fare 2s, in default the usual alternative

*March 1906 Francesca leaves John Max and goes home to mum
- (she sues him for desertion)
*April 1906 her father, John Iskirka leaves home
- (he is sued for desertion & drunkenness)

Manawatu Times, 29 April 1907
... At Thursday's meeting of the Wellington land Board the following transfers were approved Lot 4 of section 4, block 14, Ohinewairua (north of Taihape), John Max to Miss A. A. Harvey

Manawatu Standard, 18 May 1909 PALMERSTON NORTH COURT
... Judgement by default with costs was given in the following cases:-
Hanna HANSEN (Mr Meatyard) v. John Iskirka & Clara Iskirka, ?7 14s, cost 11s, solicitor's fee 15s 6d

Wanganui Chronicle, 14 August 1909
... ISKIRKA - On the 12th inst., accidentally killed at Kakatihi, Joseph, eldest son of John Iskirka, Palmerston North; aged 29 years. R.I.P. Manawatu papers please copy.

Auckland Star, 16 December 1910
... SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS - A ballot for a number of sections in the Auckland land district was held yesterday afternoon, and subsequently approved by the Board. The following are the details of the holdings, and the successful applicants:-
section 113, block 4, Ruapeka, O.R.B., 171 acres, John Max (Towai)

Manawatu Standard, 12 April 1912
... WEDDING BELLS - A quiet but pretty wedding took place at St Patrick's Church, Palmerston North, on Easter Monday, when Miss Jane Iskirka, youngest daughter of Mr John Iskirka, was united to Mr Joseph White, fourth son of Mr William White, of Berkshire, England, and late of Napier. The bride, who was given away by Mr G. Guliver, looked charming in a dress of cr?me radiant, the bodice being in silk overlace, wore the orthodox wreath and veil, and finished by a silk girdle. She carried a shower bouquet of white blossoms and maiden hair fern. The bridesmaids were four in number. Miss Rose White, of Napier, sister of the bridegroom, who was chief bridesmaid, was attired in a gown of pearl grey silk voile, with hat to match, and carried a bouquet of white cosmos and ivy. The other bridesmaids were the Misses Margaret and Vita Carnell, of Te Kuiti (nieces of the bride), and Miss Dorothy Spinks, Napier (niece of the bridegroom). The former wore dresses of cr?me silk, trimmed with vieux rose ribbons. Miss Margaret carried a lovely bouquet of flowers and fern, while the two small bridesmaids carried shepherd's crooks. The best man was Mr James Iskirka (Joseph or??). The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father Doherty. After the wedding a dainty breakfast was served at the residence of the bride's mother, where the health of the bride and bridegroom was honoured. The bridegroom's present to the bride was a gold necklet and cross; to each of the bridesmaids, gold brooches. The bride's present to the bridegroom was gold sleeve links. The presents were numerous, including a cheque from the father of the bride. The bride's travelling dress was a green tailor-made costume, with lare hat to match

In May 1912
... Clara Iskirka was in the Palmerston North Court charging her husband John Iskirka with desertion and drunkenness ... in the same courtroom, on the same day
their daughter Francesca Marta Max was charging her husband John Max with desertion

Manawatu Standard, 29 May 1912 SUPREME COURT
... PETITIONS IN DIVORCE - Undefended petitions in divorce were taken at the Supreme Court before His Honor, Mr Justice Chapman, to-day.
- Francesca Marta Max (Mr Innes) sued for a divorce from John Max on the ground of desertion.
Petitioner gave evidence to the effect that she was married in September 1901. She had one child. They lived for a time in Taihape, and in March 1906, she came to Palmerston North for a holiday, at the request of her husband. her married life had not been a happy one up till then, She did not return to Taihape, as her husband came to Palmerston and said he had sold the home. She had on a number of occasions asked him to make another home, but he had not done so, She had not lived with him since march 1906. She had maintained herself during that time by doing washing.
Clara Iskirka said petitioner was her daughter. She corroborated the evidence given, and stated that since her daughter left Taihape she had stayed with her. To witness's knowledge he had not given her daughter any money since. A decree nisi was granted, to be made absolute in three months
- Clara Iskirka (Mr Cooper) sued for a divorce from John Iskirka on the grounds of desertion and drunkenness.
She was married at Foxton, she stated, in November 1876 and had nine children. Her husband left her in April 1906. He frequently got drunk.
Frank Iskirka, son of petitioner, also gave evidence as to his father's continual absence from home.
Owing to the fact of the ages of the children not being forthcoming, his Honor stated he could not grant a decree as the case stood. Leave would be given to amend the petition, however, and a decree nisi would be granted when affidavits were filed setting forth the ages of the children

John Iskirka died 17 August 1932 aged 83 in Te Kuiti
- (daughter Annie lived in Te Kuiti)
- he is buried Plot 034, Block 083 Terrace End, Palmerston North
Clara Iskirka died 21 Dec 1936 aged 76 in Auckland
- (daughter Rose Mary lived in Auckland)
- she is buried Area 3 Block P Lot No 218 at Hillsborough cemetery

unmarked grave of JOHN ISKIRKA

Plot 034, Block 083 Terrace End Palmerston North

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-07-19 22:42:06

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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by j9max on 2013-07-21 07:42:08

Brilliant work! Where do you find the lists of children/birth years etc?

by ngairedith on 2013-07-21 17:41:30

At the divorce court case of 29 May 1912, Clara states she had 9 children. Then it's a matter of finding these 9 children using newspaper reports at Paperspast and Birth Death & Marriages

Also, you may find help at NZ REGIONAL ARCHIVES

by j9max on 2013-07-22 07:32:57

Correction to the wedding date for John and Alice Max: 17 November 1917 according to war records.

by ngairedith on 2013-07-22 07:49:11

thanks for that
by the way, would you be interested in supplying the dates & names of their 9 children

by ngairedith on 2013-07-28 03:22:58

keeping postings linked ...

the family of John Max arrived on the Lammershagen from Hamburg, Germany, arriving into Wellington, New Zealand 11 July 1875

by Krystyna on 2013-08-19 06:36:48

Hi Ngaire! I'm Jan and Clara Iskirka's great-granddaughter.

by Krystyna on 2013-08-19 18:34:23

Here is some information on Jane Iskirka, the youngest daughter of Jan and Clara Iskirka (excuse me if this info is in the wrong place, I'm brand new to this site.)
Jane was sometimes known as Jinnie, which is possibly where the confusion about her name comes from. She married Joseph White on April 8, 1912 at St Patrick's Church in Palmerston North (it's now known as the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.) I have inherited the gold cross that Joseph gave her on her wedding day. They had three children: Violet May White,b.circa 1913,died aged 10 in 1923; Joseph Thomas White, b. 1916, died 1995; and Eileen Mary White (who later changed her first name to Lee) b. 1925. Their father Joseph White died in 1937. I am the daughter of Joseph Thomas White who married Mavoura Joy Hickey in 1943. They had two children: Tina b. 1944, and Grant, b. 1949. They divorced in 1955. Joseph Thomas White's second wife was Shirley Semple of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. They had one son, Andrew, b.1960. Grant White did not marry and is still living. Shirley Semple White died on Xmas Day 1994. Her husband, already suffering from cancer, died January 15, 1995. Andrew White married Joanne Older and they had two children, Ben and Gemma. I have some additional information about the 19th-century White family, and a little bit about the Malgraffs, Clara Iskirka's birth family.

by ngairedith on 2013-08-19 18:39:04

Thanks so much. This is great info. Would live to read more on your family

by Krystyna on 2013-08-19 18:46:07

There was definitely a James Iskirka, brother to all the other children in the Iskirka family. All I know about him however is that he was good with horses and left school at 12 to work as a stable groom.

by Krystyna on 2013-08-19 18:57:04

I am looking for an important piece of the Iskirka puzzle -- the village or town of origin of Jan Ignatz Iskirka, who emigrated from Poland to New Zealand in 1876. I have been looking for this for years without success. He never divulged it publicly during his lifetime, even in his 1890 naturalisation record. The only clue I have is the family legend that they came from the Polish "highlands" which I take to mean the High Tatras mountains. I have been told that the surname Iskirka or Iskierka (it means "Little Spark) may be German rather than Polish; someone else told me they thought the name was Slovak.

by Krystyna on 2013-08-19 19:10:53

Clara Iskirka was an interesting woman. She married very young -- only 15, although my aunt told me she "bumped up" her age to 17 for the marriage register. She and Jan Iskirka were married six months after Jan arrived in New Zealand. They were married in the small coastal town of Foxton around October 1876 by a Justice of the Peace. This choice of celebrant seems a bit odd, since they were Catholic and there was a priest who travelled regularly around outlying towns to perform marriages and baptisms. Maybe they eloped. Clara's parents Johan and Johanna Malgraff & sister Auguste seem to disappear from the scene completely after that. After Jan and Clara divorced, Jan took off to the New Zealand town of Te Kuiti and possibly bought a farm. Clara was well educated, so could support herself. I have been told that Clara spoke several languages. She is referred to in Papers Past as a court interpreter for non-English speaking immigrants. She also worked as a teacher, and as a "female searcher" for the Palmerston North police. (In the days before female police officers, older ladies were employed to "pat down" women suspects. ) I have printed out the items from Papers Past about this, so will get back to you with specific dates.

by Krystyna on 2013-08-19 19:24:38

Sorry about all this deluge of stuff: just one more little bit of information. I'm convinced that the Rosanowskis and the Iskirkas had a definite connection (apart from the adultery divorce case with John Max and the Rosanowski daughter!)
August Rosanowski, who was about the same age as Jan Iskirka, came from the same area of Poland (Pomerania) as Clara Malgraff Iskirka, and settled in the same New Zealand town (Palmerston North) as the Iskirka family. Jan bought a block of land probably from the owners of the sawmill he worked for as a bushman (the Richter, Nannestad & Jenssen company)but in 1901 the Palmerston North archives' rate books show that August Rosanowski took over the payments of the 5-acre block in 1901.
On July 7, 1932 the elder August Rosanowski (he had a son named after him) died aged 84 and was buried in the Terrace End cemetery, Palmerston North, where many other early settlers are interred. Jan Iskirka died a month later, aged 83, on August 17, 1932, and is buried in the same cemetery. His daughter Annie Carnell is listed as having bought his burial plot. Since Jan normally lived in Te Kuiti, and Annie is also listed as living there, I feel he must have visited Palmerston North to see his dying old friend August Rosanowski, and then later died suddenly himself. He has no headstone. As a matter of interest, Annie Carnell is listed as one of the women who signed the 1893 women's suffrage petition which helped win New Zealand women the vote that year.

by Glory_Queen123 on 2016-07-27 05:15:55

Hi, My name is Gloria Sattler, I have been reading thru this saga, mainly cos I am attempting to find family connection with my family of the name VOLZKE. They came out from Pomerania as it was April 1876, the came out on the Fritz Reuter and landed in Wellington like all other immigrants before settling in the long run in Stratford Taranaki region. My quest is to try and find a link to finding family that was left behind all those years ago. The other family name connected to me is Eichstaedt, Emillie she married Volzke in 1874, so before they immigrated. I mentioned that they came from Pomerania, their village was Stary Chwalim, but back in their time of leaving known as Alt Valm. As far as I am concerned, along with some other family members I have since gotten to talk with, we feel that our ancestors were Pomeranian which is Polish today, not German. We feel might have been governed by Germany but not Germans.
Would so appreciate hearing from any body that gets to read this, on the off chance of information being helpful to my cause. My contact details are email: [email protected]

by Jude306s on 2017-03-26 11:10:02

This is great reading I managed to get in touch with Tina a couple of years ago, my greatgrandmother was Rose Mary Black daughter of Clara Iskirka from what Tina told me they had no idea where Clara was buried. I through my mother found that she is buried at the Hillsborough Cemetary in Auckland but there is no headstone and I only have an approximate location her daughter Rose and husband George are easy to locate. Any other info on the family would be greatly appreciated as there are other great great grandchildren who are interested.

by Jude306s on 2017-03-28 03:57:32

Minnie Alice Black was first married to Leslie George Browne in Dec 1925 my mother Vera Faye Browne was borne 1/4/1926 & Desmond was born 25/12/1927 they separated when my mother was about 4 years old and were living in Hamilton at the time. The children were left with their father Min went back to her parents I presume. My mother was adopted out and Des went to the salvation home for boys. Min managed to get Des back but it would be 18 years before brother and sister were reunited. Leslie was in trouble with the police so he high tailed it to Aussie where some months later he was murdered. Google Snowy Rowles last man to be hanged in Perth WA he killed him very famous case over there. Min married next Jack Linton they had a wine bar in Hawera where my mum and dad lived at the time Jack died not long after I was born so dont remember him but I do remember going to the wine bar I think by then Min had married Norman Rye when I was about 8 they moved to Auckland. Mins sisters were Clara she married a Baily and had a daughter Monica they lived in Inglewood for a while. Flossie lived in the south Island more info on her later and Joyce married Brian King I think and lived in Auckland.

by ngairedith on 2017-03-28 08:26:51

great info, thanks Jude

by Jude306s on 2017-03-28 21:36:26

Clara was married to Harvey Baily and Flossie to Jack Dayley and Joyce to Brian King and they had a son David.

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