22 October 2012

Berndt Christensen Skade – My Paternal Great-Grandfather


Berndt's grandfather was baptised in St Catharine in Ribe and was the first to move from this place. In 1986 living in Denmark were 90 persons with the name Skade, and of them about 25 are family. Descendants of Berndt's Uncle Christen use the Schade spelling. Sch-spelling was introduced before and after 1800 when many clergymen were educated with a German university. In the church registration of birth and baptism for Berndt & his siblings their name is spelled Skade. In Sydney Australia lives a branch spelled Shade. Jacob cancelled the 'c' because they were pursued during WWI when they were taken for Germans.
The area south of Ribe is named Slesvig, and since about 1400 it has been a border-area between Germany & Denmark. After a war in 1864 it was incorporated in Germany until 1920 when the northern part was given back to Denmark. As Berndt was born in Brøns he became a German in 1864. I am told that he hated being German. In Australia some have letters from Hans (1883) and Gine (1885-1889) sent to Hans, and she always asks for letter from Berndt, who apparently never wrote to them, and did not know his address. So it looks like after Berndt went to the war in 1864 he never had contact with Denmark. Hans & Gine had two other sons who also emigrated to Australia plus three more in Denmark. (Extract from a letter sent to me from Denmark).











Brøns is a small town in the coutryside with lovely wide streets and very neat well kept houses. The above photo was taken about 1900 with the arrow pointing to where Berndt grew up and the Brøns Kirke which they attended weekly. Below is what it looks like today, not much has changed except for the line of trees having grown and a few more houses added. I’m not sure if Berndt’s home is still there, I think not.











schade-family-home-Brons-sm is-this-the-house-in-brons


<<< This is the home In Brøns that Berndt lived in when he was growing up. I’m not sure if it is the same one in the b&w photo above where his father lived out his last years.

>>> This might be the same house today but it’s hard to say, it doesn’t look quite the same to me although it’s more or less in about the same place.



The Second Schleswig War was the second military conflict as a result of the Schleswig-Holstein Question. It began on 1 February 1864, when Prussian forces crossed the border into Schleswig. Denmark fought Prussia and Austria. Like the First Schleswig War (1848–51), it was fought for control of the duchies because of succession disputes concerning the duchies of Holstein and Lauenburg when the Danish king died without an heir acceptable to the German Confederation. Decisive controversy arose due to the passing of the November Constitution, which integrated the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom in violation of the London Protocol.
Reasons for the war were the ethnic controversy in Schleswig and the co-existence of conflicting political systems within the Danish unitary state. The war ended on 30 October 1864, when the Treaty of Vienna caused Denmark's cession of the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg to Prussia and Austria. It was the last victorious conflict of the Austrian Empire/Austria-Hungary in its history.

Berndt was called up to the 21st Infantry Battalion and he took the oath to King & Land on the16 May 1863 in Flensburg. He took part in the war and was captured by the Germans, but he managed to escape and fled to Australia via England.



Berndt arrived in Australia from Liverpool aboard the clipper ship ‘True Briton’ in Dec 1865.

Photo taken in 1910 >>>





















Thirty two years later he applied for and received his Naturalization Papers.


In the meantime he had settled in the Forest Creek area of Victoria in 1867 working as a miner where gold had been discovered in 1851. By 1861 the alluvial gold deposits had almost been exhausted and according to a census taken at the time the population had shrunk to 3353 residents. Shaft mining of the gold-quartz reefs was conducted with some success by a select few companies throughout the 1860s.

schade-boots-part1 schade-boots-part2

Berndt Christensen Skade married Jane Boots on the 16 Apr 1870 in the Christ Church in Castlemaine with the consent of Jane’s step-father Charles Boots as she was only 20. Josiah Hollis, the curate, obviously didn’t know how to spell Berndt’s name or place of birth, probably to his ears quite foreign so he just anglicized them. Translation:– Ben part of Lleswick = Brøns part of Schleswig.

Over the next twenty-two years they had a total of twelve children, their second son being my grandfather Charles Berndt. 



Christian Hansen 1871-1872   
Charles Berndt 1872-1948 
Christina Evelyn 1874-1948
Hans Mathieson 1876-1907
Lavinia Jane 1878-1974
Jane (or Ann) Elizabeth 1882-?
Louisa Grace 1885-?
Otto Hansen 1885-1885
Adelaide May 1886-1963
Ethel Rose 1887-1978
Amelia Frances 1890-1974
Henry Christensen 1893-1965

Opposite is an article about the old Golden Hope Hotel in Chewton formerly known as Forest Creek or was it? There seems to be some controversy about the renaming of Forest Hill to Chewton. You will find an excellent article about it in the monthly newsletter issued by the Chewton Domain Society online. There are back issues on the ‘Chewton Chat’ website dating back to Sep 2002.

Two of Berndt’s six brothers also migrated to Australia, Hans Andersen in 1863 on board the vessel ‘Lord Raglan’ & Otto Hansen about the same time. >>>>>


Berndt & Jane lived out the rest of their lives in Chewton, on 7 Jul 1916 Berndt passed away and was buried in the Chewton Cemetery. Jane followed him on the 28 May 1934 & was interred in the same grave.


SCHADE Berndt C, Jane










03 October 2012

Charles Berndt Schade – My Paternal Grandfather


Charles Schade was the grandfather I never knew, it took some doing but I finally pinned him down! After I had found that he was the father of my grandmother’s three eldest children I wrote to all the people in the Auckland telephone book with the surname of Schade, explaining who I was, who I was looking for and if they were related please could they get in touch with me. I received three replies, one was from a Doctor whose family turned out to be a different one, one from a grandson of Charles and another from the wife of another grandson who was deceased. I arranged to meet up with them both, the grandson was my generation and he came to visit me one afternoon. He gave me a lot of information about the Schade family, told me about what he remembered about his grandfather and that Charles had married again in later life. Then I went to visit the wife of his brother who was able to tell me what she knew and also gave me copies of some lovely photos of Charles & his family. No one could tell me much about the family Charles had with my grandmother so it seems that grandma & her children had not kept in touch with Charles over the years. I never did find out why they never married although I do know that Charles didn’t divorce his first wife until long after he & grandma split up. So follows the story of Charles’ life as I know it, scant as it is.



Charles Berndt Schade was born in Chewton, Victoria, Australia in 1872, his parents were Berndt Christensen Schade and Jane Boots.

Then there’s a twenty-two year blank until he married Elizabeth Annie Peeler on Christmas Day 1894. They were married at her father’s residence in nearby Barkers Creek.





Gold was discovered in Barkers Creek in 1851 and over 30,000 diggers & prospectors from around the world arrived at Chewton over the next three months.

The Forest Creek diggings became the world’s richest shallow alluvial goldfield. The attraction of gold at Forest Creek led to the world's largest migration in the 19th Century.

By the 1860s the alluvial gold had been exhausted and efforts turned to underground shafts in search of gold bearing quartz reefs. Underground mining saw the immigration of Welsh and Cornish miners and some mines were very successful. The Wattle Gully mine founded in 1876 is still operating today.

By the time Charles & Elizabeth married the gold mining had wound down, the population declining to 1212 and by 1933 only 454 people were left.


Their three sons were born in quick succession over the next three years, first was Roy Wilhelm Charles Theodore in 1895, then Alfred Berndt in 1896 and finally Albert Edward Thomas in 1897. Second son Alfred Berndt died in 1898 aged 1. Sometime after 1898 Charles & Elizabeth & their two sons moved to Dunedin in New Zealand, then by 1905 they were in Christchurch where Charles was working as a Boilermaker.

On the 4 Nov 1908 Elizabeth walked out of their home, leaving Charles with their two children, never to return. As Charles says in his divorce petition ‘she wilfuly deserted me without just cause’, but I could have a good guess as to why she left! My grandmother, Olive Wilson Linklater, gave birth to a baby girl on 26 Dec 1907 in the Female Refuge for unmarried mothers in Linwood, Christchurch. That same baby girl, Marion Enid, would later say on her marriage certificate that Charles was her father.

It must have been soon after Elizabeth leaving that Olive went to live with Charles as his ‘housekeeper’, supposedly to look after his two sons. I don’t know how long they stayed in Christchurch but before 23 Oct 1910 they moved to Auckland where my father, Ronald Charles, was born in the suburb of Arch Hill (just before you reach Surrey Crescent coming from the city along Great North Rd). His brother, Raymond Stanley, was born at the same address 17 months later. At this stage Charles was still married to Elizabeth and as far as I know hadn’t tried to get a divorce.

I don’t know how long after that they were together, Charles is listed in 1914 as living at 1 Stanmore Rd, Grey Lynn but there is no sign of Olive living anywhere in that same electoral roll, at least under any surname I can think of. In 1917 Olive married George Edward Whitney in the Auckland Registry Office and before the end of the year they had a son, Gordon Robert Whitney, who was born in Hanson St, Wellington. By 1919 Olive & George were living in Christchurch although before too long they were all back living in Auckland once more.



On the 6 Sep 1930 Charles petitioned for a divorce from Elizabeth, a typical man, he gives his marriage date as 1893 instead of 1894!


Absolutely no mention of his three children or my grandmother, the first one being born while he was still with Elizabeth! I believe we all know why she walked out on him…..

<<<<< On the 1 Oct 1930 this appeared in the Auckland Weekly News. I don’t know if Elizabeth was ever found, I believe she later married Archibald Campbell. The divorce absolute was granted on the 14 Nov 1930 in the Supreme Court in Auckland (see date stamp on marriage certificate). In 1932 Charles married Ada Harling and on the 26 Feb 1932 they both departed on board the vessel “Maunganui” bound for Sydney.


On the 3rd Sep 1948 Charles passed away while living
at 16 Pompallier Tce, Ponsonby, Auckland, aged 76.

He was cremated at Waikumete Crematorium and his ashes were scattered.

I would have been nearly 8, it would have been nice to have known him I think, he looks like he’d mellowed somewhat in his old age.




The details given on his death certificate aren’t quite correct, probably given by his wife Ada who it seems didn’t know! His father was Berndt Christensen Schade not Hans Berndt and his mother was Jane Boots, no middle name. In fact Jane wasn’t a Boots at all, but that’s another story!