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The gold digger in New Zealand:

Peder Christensen b. 16.12.1833. He was brought up by his aunt Ellen from Damgården in Borgnaes, Aeroe. She only had one son, Hans Christian Hansen, and these two cousins were good friends. Peder however, wanted to go abroad to dig for gold, and first he went to Australia, where he stayed for about 10 years. When gold was found on the South Island in New Zealand he went there.

In New Zealand Peder had more luck with the gold mining. He told a tale of striking a rich gold seam, but later he was cheated out of the bulk of it by four men on a neighbouring claim. These four men won a court battle for the claim by paying off the land surveyor.

After this experiance Peder gave up gold mining, and bought a piece of land near Kimbolton in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand, which he developed out of bush land to a sheep farm. This was hard work and required help, wherefore Peder who remained a bachelor, wrote a letter to his brother in Denmark, and asked him whether one of his sons would join him in New Zealand, and later inherit the farm.

Peder was then joined by his nephew Christen Pedersen Jensen b. 3.11.1886 d. 25.09.1958 in Otaki, New Zealand. Christen first helped Peder clearing the bush and farming but their relationship gradually got worse and worse.

Christen was married in Kimbolton on March 3, 1898 to Wilhemina Bertha John b. 27.03.1876 in Stony Creek, New Zealand d. 4.10.1958 in Otaki. Bertha´s parents came to New Zealand in 1875, and Bertha is supposed to have been the first "white" person that was born in that part of the country.

Christen and Bertha bought a farm in Te Horo near Otaki, and later when Christen inherited Peders farm it was sold. Christen was a councellor for the Te Horo Riding for many years. The story of Peder striking a rich gold seam was confirmed when it was retold by one of the four men to Christen. This happened when Christen was staying at the Jubilee Hotel in Otaki, while loking for a farm to buy in the area. The then proprietor of the Hotel, a man by the name of McBeth told the story to Christen, not realizing that his guest was the victims nephew.

Christen and Bertha had 4 children.

If you ever happen to come to Levin on the North Island in New Zealand, please pay attention to a block of building in the main street, bearing the Jensen name. One of Christen´s sons built them. Today the family members in New Zealand number more than 70 people.

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Copyright by Ib Christensen, Feb. 2000