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Rockstrow family

Rockstrow family

The Rockstrows were an early Manawatū family of German extraction. Johann Friedrich Rockstroh (1834-1913) was a Prussian born in Erfurt, Germany. As a young man he migrated to New Zealand, where he practiced medicine in the goldfields of Otago and the West Coast. He subsequently anglicised his name to John Frederick Rockstrow. Mrs Rockstrow (c.1839-1914) 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 incident’. Anna married Dr Rockstrow when he was working among miners on the West Coast and accompanied him to Manawatū in 1873.

The Rockstrows had four daughters and four sons. The eldest son, John Fredrick (1868-1954), served in the South African War, returning much decorated. The third son, William Caspari (1881-1909), worked at the Wellington Post Office and also fought in the South African 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 Flora (1876-1946), the youngest daughter, married Andrew Meuli of Hawera in 1919. Anna and daughter Henrietta Mary (1869-1942), were two of approximately 523 Palmerston North women who signed the Suffrage petition, submitted to Parliament in 1893.

From left standing: Rosalia Elizabeth (1871-1942), John Frederick, Frances Amelia (1873-1950), Augustus Isador (1878-1917). From left seated: Dr J. F. Rockstrow, Ellen Flora, William Casperi, Henrietta Mary, Walter Leonard (1883-1961), and Anna Rockstrow.

Palmerston North