Looking for my heritage.......
I am the great grandson of Joseph Thomas Pavelka, who came to new Zealand in the end of the 19th century, with his parents (I don't know their first names) but I do know that his father was a butcher. They settled at a small farming town called town Ashurst, in the North Island of New Zealand. Joseph met and married an English lady called Elizabeth May Wilson. They had a daughter called Iris who is my Grandmother on my Fathers side. Unfortunately, Iris never knew her Father as Joseph disappeared before she was born.
As I understand, Joseph was blamed for arson, but did not commit the crime, and was put in jail. It was a big story at the time, and many petitioned for his release, as they believed he was innocent. At that period of time foreigners tended to get blamed for things in an English dominated society, as New Zealand is a British Colony and part of the British Commonwealth. To cut a long story short, Joseph escaped from prison, and according to my family ran away to Canada and was never heard from again. I would like to meet people with the surname Pavelka, and even learn about Polish culture and language as it is part of who I am. Because my great Grandfather ran away to Canada, my family never got a chance to learn about these things.
Iris was an only child, and married a New Zealander called Robert Leslie McGaffin. Robert was a Kernal in the New Zealand Army and was also a airplane pilot. They had 6 children, Anne, Terry, Margot, Carol, Robert Jnr, and Jessica. Terry, (who is my father) married a lady who is from Scottish/Austrian heritage, called Jill Wooley, who was born and grew up in Fiji,as her father worked there in a shipping company called 'Williams and Gostling'. Terry and Jill got married in Fiji, and then moved to New Zealand, and had 3 chlidren, Linda, Andrew (me), and Alan.
I will be more than happy to correspond with anyone with the name Pavelka, and can be contacted at [email protected] bye for now, Andy.