The Rockstrows were an early Manawatū family of German extraction. John Frederick Rockstrow (1835-1913) was a Doctor and Surgeon. Mrs Rockstrow (1838-1914) was born Anna Eunice Gapper, in Germany. The Gapper family emigrated to a German settlement in Nelson province in 1842 and Anna’s father was one of the few survivors of the ‘Wairau Massacre’. Anna married Dr Rockstrow when he was working among the miners on the West Coast in 1873, and then accompanied him to Manawatu in the same year. The Rockstrows had 4 daughters and 4 sons. The eldest son, John, served in the Boer War, returning much decorated. The third son, William, worked at the Wellington Post Office and also fought in the Boer War. On return he worked again at the Post Office before resigning, and remained unemployed until he died of an opiate overdose in 1909. Ellen, the youngest daughter, married Andrew Meuli of Hawera in 1919. From left standing: Rasalia elizabeth (b.1871), John Frederick (b.1868), Frances Amelia (b.1873), Augustus Isidor (b.1878). From left seated: Dr J F Rockstrow, Ellen Flora (b.1876), William Casperi (b.1881), Henrietta May (b.1869), Walter Leonard (b.1883), Anna Rockstrow
Anna (far right seated) and Henrietta (fourth from the left, seated) were two of approximately 523 Palmerston North women who signed the Suffrage petition, submitted to Parliament in 1893.