Sunday, July 10, 2011



Halvor was the oldest son of Peder and Johanne Marie Jensdatter Halvorsen.  He was born 24 October, 1854 in Sindal, Hjorring, Denmar, born between the time of two great wars with Germany, his father, Peder, an Army captain fought in both of these wars. 
He was nine years old when he watched the German soldiers break into their home at Lille Grontved, Hjorring where the family stayed during the War.  The Germans had taken all of the families food and possessions on three different occasions. 

Denmark had lost the war and would never again be safe from domination and there would always be the prospect of more wars.  Peder resigned his commission in the army and became a carpenter.   He made a promise to his family that they would not have to endure another war again.

The older children were educated in the Danish schools and it seems that they all tended geese and worked in the fields. 
Nothing else is known of the children until they become adults.  When Halvor became old enough to enter military service, it was decided it was time for him to leave Denmark and all its wars and poverty and make a new home in another land.   Both Jens and Karen Maria tell stories of how poor they were and how hungry they were. 

New Zealand was chosen after their representatives were sent to Denmark, telling of it's wonderful climate and other tales, even some to the extreme.  Gold was said to be there for the taking,  and they could own land for farming which was unobtainable here.  Sir Julius Vogel, Premier of New Zealand had promised 40 acres of land for a small fee and passage that could be repaid later.  Peder had given Halvor his passage to New Zealand so all that was required of him was to buy his land.  Halvor promised to provide a home for the family to come to but life was very harsh and it took to many years to settle here.  His father and mother promised that they would come but they never could.  They would never see each other again. 
Nothing is known of his voyage, but we hope to find his ship and his history soon.  Most voyages lasted three months plus the time it took to come from Denmark to England.  The ships were overcrowded which compounded the misery of seasickness, dysentery, cholera and other diseases.  During storms the only exit was "hatched down: to prevent water from flooding the hold.  The sanitary facilities were chamber pots and the stench was terrible.  They huddled between decks suffering in body and spirit.
Halvor was able to buy cleared land at about 8 Shillings per acre, a very good buy.  Halvor earned this money by working for larger land owners.  His farm was in Wainuiomata. 
Halvor met and married Annie Frederickson who was born in 1866
5.  They were married in 1883, he was 30 and she was 17.    They had two children, Mary,  born October 6, 1884 and James Andrew, born 1888. 
In 1885 Halvor and his family of three were visited by his brother Jens and his wife Anne Nielsen.  They had eloped from Mauriceville to live with Halvor for a short time.  It must have been quite a surprize.  It was quite a long, treacherous journey in those days.
He retired from farming, loaded his possessions on a horse and cart and came north to live near his son James and his brother, Jens in Palmerston North.  On the trip he caught a chill and entered the Palmerston North Hospital where he soon died.  Pneumonia in those days was treated by opening the windows and chilling him even more, he died, 20 September, 1920. 
Halvor and Jens had always planned to visit America, but neither one ever made it.  They did write to each other and send pictures across the ocean.   

Mary was born in Wainuiomata 6 October, 1884
Mary married Jim Burrow who was eleven years older than her.  In a letter to my father she said, "I am 51 years old, tall, thin and fair".  The picture we have of her taken when she was about 13 years old fits the description.  This picture is the only link to the families early life. 
Her husband Jim worked as a caretaker of the Waterworksfor the Wellington City Council.  They were able to have only child who died when he was 5-1/2 years old.  She said she lived a very quiet life.  She was loved by all who knew her, both by her brothers family and her Uncles family, the Petersen's.  She died in Otaki, where they lived after moving North.  After her husband died it is said she just gave up and starved herself to death.  Many wonderful things were also said of her husband, Jim who is buried there beside her in the Otaki Cemetery.   
James Andrew (Jimmie Pete) was born in Wainuiomata in 1888.  Nothing is known of his early life.  He married Ruby Cresswell, 17 March, 1922.  and had seven children.  Halvor Albert, Ken, Maren, Raiha, Gwenda, Alison and Dawn.  In a visit to Norsewood in February, 1996 we were taken to James's homestead, it was lovely spacious home built high on the hill over-looking the valley.  We were taken there by his oldest son's family, Halvor (Snow), Doris and Sandra.  Snow said his father had cut and sent to a nearby mill enough trees to have paid for the property but the mill went bankrupted and they lost everything.  He said his father was always sick, as far back as he could remember and life was hard.  He died from pneumonia in Palmerston North at a very young age, his wife, Ruby  was left with seven children, 15 years to a two year old.   He died 17 April, 1939.  

Halvor Albert (Snow) Pedersen
Sandra said, "My Father Halvor Albert, in his early childhood was brought up on a farm at a place called, Matamau.  They left there when he was about 8 or nine years old, to Palmerston North, where his Dad, James Andrew (Jimmy Pete) died when he (Halvor) was 13 or 14 years old.  So he had to leave school and earn money for the family.  My Dad is a builder by trade, and he is still working today, doing odd jobs for people with rental properties." 

"During the War, he enrolled at the young age of 17, and was in active service in Italy and Egypt.  He met my Mother, Doris Joan during his time in London, after the War she came to New Zealand as a War bride. 
In our family, there are five children, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter;
 1        Halvor Thomas (Chic), wife Annette, and daughters; Richele, Monique and Lauren, and granddaughter Britoni.  He is also a builder/carpenter by trade, he fell through the roof of his house, and is now unable to work.
2          Robin Andrew, wife Samantha and two children, Alexandra and Andrew.  He currently living in England, he has been overseas for 25 years and is coming back in September.  He feels New Zealand is a better place for his children to grow up. 
3          Jillian Ann, husband Murray, he is an other builder, have two children, Brad and Gina.  They live here in Palmerston North.
4          Warren Charles, Lives in England, Actually I have just come off the phone, as it is eight years today, when we both headed over to England.  He has married four times. 

5      Myself Sandra May, 35, single, a traveler at heart, I find it hard to settle in one place for a period of time.  I have spent 8 1/2 years travelling around Europe and England.  My next trip will have to be to America.  I love sports, playing net ball through the Winter and a game called "Touch Rugby" in the Summer, which I represented Palmerston North in the National Masters Tournament this year. 
This house where I live with my parents belonged to my Great Grandmother, on the other side of the family, it has a lot of history about it.  . 

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