- BENNIER John h: 1809 France d: 27.10.1881 Reynella SA arr: 1843 fr NZ occ: Farmer res::Morphett Vale, Reynella
m: Germany Anna Dorothea b: 1816 Germany d: 29.6.1895 Reynella SA
ch: John (1835-1920), Joseph BENIER (1837-1867), Ann BAILEY (1839-), Dorothy DELLEO (1841-1860), Chas ANNEAR (1843-1919), Henry (1845-), Mary PIEL (1847-19?), Alfred Augt (1849-19?), Wm (1851-1926), Mgt Jane
GORDON (1853-19?), Jas (1855-1895), Eliza TALBOT (1857-1919)
The family surname has also been quoted as being BANNEAR on the South Australian BDM Indexes.
The following information is from the files of Marc Bennier.
The original spelling is uncertain. - John spelt it Bennier. Although born in Germany, near Bonn?, he was of French extraction. It is interesting to note that John's surname was recorded as BENER - a clerical error perhaps?On his marriage certificate in Germany it was written Banneier. On the Skoild ship's passenger manifest it was recorded as Bannier. Upon arriving in Australia it was written as Bennier and Benier. On his death certificate, spelt Bennear. Research has revealed many spelling variations including BENER, BENNER, BENNEAR, BENEIR, BENEIR and the more commonly used BENNIER and BANNEAR. BERNIER is a French version of the English (of Norman origin) parent name BERNER, comprised of the German elements bern=bear + hari=army. BENIER, BESNIER are other French versions. BANNIER was the name given to the soldier who carried the army's colours or banner. At age eighteen he would have probably been drafted into the German army for the term of three years. On his marriage certificate his occupation was given as Knecht (servant) to Kritzow. Then on his emigration to New Zealand he was recorded as Taglohner (agricultural day labourer) Johann Joachim Carl Benier age 34, agricultural labourer, his wife Dorothea Hanna Maria nee Specht, age 27, and their children Johann Frederick Joachim age 8, Joachim Christian Martin age 6, Anna Maria Christiana age 4, Dorothea Margaret Sophia age 2, and Carl Joachim Anton age 9 months of Kritzow in Mecklenburg - Schwerin, near Wismar, Germany. Emigration Plans The destiny of our ancestors was determined by emigration plans drawn up in 1839 by the New Zealand Company in England. This Company was intent on establishing a Colony in New Zealand. Colonel Edward Gibbon Wakefield was commissioned to sail to New Zealand and purchased a large tract of country from the Maoris in the Cook Strait area. Payment to the Maoris was in the form of goods. The first English emigrants sailed from England in 1841 in three chartered sailing vessels "The Oriental", "Aurora" and the "Adelaide". On arriving. Colonel Wakefield failed in his attempt to arrange a settlement site with Captain Hobson. The Colonel then took matters in his own hands and selected a site at Tasman Bay, within his 1839 land purchase from the Maoris. The New Zealand Company planned a settlement of 201,000 acres, consisting of 1,000 allotments, each comprising 150 acres of rural land, 50 acres of suburban land plus one town acre. When the site was surveyed it was found to only contain 60,000 acres, far less than the original plans drawn up in England. At this time only 300 allotments had been sold and these were to persons who did not intend to emigrate themselves. The cost of each allotment was £300 ($600). In an endeavour to increase sales the Company offered a refund of £75 ($150) Four months later only another 71 allotments had been sold. In desperation the Company sought to attract emigrants from Europe and appointed agents at Bremen and Hamburg in Germany. Word of the colonization plans soon spread to Mecklenburg. At Bothmer, a wealthy German Nobleman, Graf Kuno zu Rantzau Breitenburg, simply known as Count Rantzau, made plans to establish a German Colony in New Zealand under this scheme. The Count was to buy several thousand acres at 15/- an acre, he also paid the fare £17-10 and would employ these poor German farmers to work the land until they paid back the fare, and when they had saved money he would sell them land at £3 an acre. The first party of about 120 came on the "St. Pauli" and on arrival found that the British officials had decided that the Count could only have a smaller allotment of land. In April 1844 the "Skiold" was loading at Hamburg and a few days before departure the Count received word of the reduced land allocation. However, he allowed the ship to sail on the 21 April 1844 with 66 adults and 69 children (Johann, wife and children on board) hoping that the officials would change their mind. The Count did not intend to emigrate himself, but appointed three agents to administer his affairs and care for the emigrants after they arrived in New Zealand. The agents were Johann Benoit, an agent from Hamburg and the brothers Carl and Fedor Kelling who managed the Count's affairs at Bothmer. When it was discovered that the purchase of 50 allotments was not possible the Count arranged for the purchase of six that were transacted in the name of his agents. Later another allotment became available when an intending purchaser failed to make payment on the due date. Early in 1844 it became obvious that the New Zealand Company would not be able to fulfil its obligations in supplying land and work for the proposed expedition. The administration of the Company was being investigated as they undertook their colonisation plans without the necessary charter from the British Government. However as the shipping agents De-Chapeaurouge & Company, had already chartered a ship the Skiold and selected the emigrants it was too late to cancel the expedition. De-Chapeaurouge finally persuaded the New Zealand Company to arrange for the Count's seven allotments to be drawn by ballot. This was the Company's usual practice of allocating the allotments. The New Zealand Company and De-Chapeaurouge accepted no responsibility for the welfare of the immigrants on their arrival in New Zealand. Even with this uncertainty the immigrants chose the unknown in lieu of the depressed living conditions as peasants in Mecklenburg. The Sunday prior to the departure of the Skiold a special service was held in the Klutz Lutheran Church for the immigrants who were about to depart for New Zealand. When the Church pipe organ underwent repairs in the 1980s a piece of board was found on which was written in pencil. Today we are holding a special service for the immigrants who are about to depart for New Zealand. After the service the party of immigrants proceeded to Hamburg where Count Rantzau had arranged for the head of each family to sign a contract with his agents staling that they were to sail under a bond to their benefactor. The document drawn up in High German legal terms lost some of its importance as of the 25 surviving documents the signatures of 14 were made by means of a cross to designate their acceptance. These documents are now held in the Belt Collection at the Nelson Provincial Museum in New Zealand. The immigrants who were chosen to embark on the Skiold came from 17 villages in Mecklenburg. Most of these were in close proximity to Bothmer and the port of Wismar. Departure for New Zealand The Skiold (shield) a 460-ton barque, built in Sonderburg, Denmark 1839 for C. Pederson of Sonderburg, Denmark specifically for the emigrant trade. It took two trips of German emigrants. One most unfortunate journey in 1841 to Australia when one fifth of the passengers died of dysentery enroute, and one journey to Nelson, New Zealand in 1844 In 1849 the ship was wrecked on the English coast on a voyage from Singapore to Cuxhaven, Germany. The Danish barque, Skiold, of 460 tons, departed from Hamburg on 21 April 1844, with a total of 141 passengers, six in the cabins and 135 in the steerage. Captain Hans Christian Claussen, master. Doctor Franz Bernhard Baum, surgeon superintendent. The majority of the passengers were under 16 years of age. It is difficult to imagine the scene at Altona as the Skiold was preparing for its departure. Anchored in midstream of the River Elbe, rowboats were engaged in ferrying passengers, luggage and provisions to the barque. Unlike many other immigration parties that lacked sufficient provisions during the long sea voyage. Count Rantzau provided sufficient during the voyage and for twelve months after the party arrived at Nelson. As the Skiold left its mooring there were many shouted farewells and tears shed from relations and friends assembled on the waterfront. For many the long sea voyage was an ordeal. Seasickness affected most as the continual roll of the vessel seldom ceased day or night. The trip lasted 133 days during which time two young children had perished, Johann Gebert, and unknown, and two babies had been born possibly Dorothea Lankow? and Adolph Gebert. It is worth noting that to sail from Europe to Australia and New Zealand it was apparently the practice to first cross the Atlantic, and the common reprovisioning port was Bahia, South America, in today's Brazil. From there ships sailed on a long reach south-east to the Cape of Good Hope, then further south again, even into the beginnings of ice floes before looping northwards to the intended port. When the Skiold arrived at Nelson it was reported that during the voyage there were two deaths and two births. After the departure from Hamburg little Johann Gebert's health had rapidly deteriorated. He eventually died and his parents Adolph and Maria pleaded with Captain Claussen not to bury the boy at sea. The Captain was a kind man and as the Skiold was becalmed he arranged for Johann to be buried on a small, uninhabited island. The Skiold arrived at Nelson on 1 September 1844, a little over four months after her departure from Hamburg. There was the stop over at Bahia, South America for seven days during the voyage to lay on food, water and affect repairs before undertaking the final leg of the voyage. The arrival of the Skiold coincided with the news that the New Zealand Company had suspended all of its colonisation operations. The following day the news arrived of the dismissal of all the labourers from public works at Nelson. It took almost two days for the Skiold passengers to roll the barrels containing their luggage through the swamps of Richmond. The Kelling brothers were faced with many problems. There was no rural land available for the corresponding numbers drawn by ballot in England. Of the seven suburban allotments half were found too stony and unsuitable for cultivation. When the land was drained approximately 150 acres proved suitable for settlement. On this about half of the emigrants were accommodated. The families who became established on this area were the families of BaIck, Schwass, Lankow, Bruning, Fanselow, Schroeder, Sigglekow, Lange and Wendelbom. The settlement was named Ranzau (the t omitted) after the Count. After many years the name was changed to Hope. The Kellings also called their farm Ranzau. During the first years the settlement experienced difficulties but after 1846 conditions gradually improved. When The New Zealand Company's plans fell into disarray, and as no more land was available there were more labourers than could be gainfully employed so the Count's agents offered to pay the fare to Hobart Town for some of the emigrants from the 'Skiold' and some from the previous emigrant ship 'St. Pauli' to Hobart, Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) The families on board the 'Sisters' were the families Bannier (Bennier), Braasch, Dube, Heinius, Gerhardt, Hellmann, Jaensch, Korber, Langbein, Qualmann, Schrap, Spanhake, Stade, Subritzky, Westphal. They departed Nelson on the brigantine 'SISTERS' 20th November 1844 arriving at Hobart 7th December 1844. . Some of these were mentioned in a newspaper report (South Australian Register), who were destitute and found no work available. However a collection was taken up for them to buy clothing and to send them to Port Adelaide, where it was believed their future prospects to be better. 'The Portland Guardian' newspaper of 11th January 1845 reported the brig 'Palmyra' put in at Portland, Victoria on the 8th. of January with ninety five passengers. Fourteen days out at sea due to contrary wind; with only one day's water and two day's food aboard. After restocking, it left on the 10th. January arriving Adelaide, South Australia on the 17th. January. Captain Thomas Griffiths was the master of the 'Palmyra' for this final trip. Newspaper article from Adelaide Register, 28 January 1845 THE GERMAN EMIGRANTS. BELOW is an account of the various sums of money subscribed in Hobart Town towards defraying the expenses of the late batch of German Emigrants from Van Diemen's Land to this Province. It is highly gratifying to have to put on record such an instance of disinterested liberality, but the necessity for such appeals on behalf of persons deluded from their homes to New Zealand, will not, we trust, be of frequent occurrence:- John Mezger in account with the distressed German Emigrants. Dr. 1844 Dec. 20-To amount collected by Mr. Mezger......………………….. £36 12 0 -ditto by Mr. D Moses …………………………………. 7 0 0 -ditto by Mr. Johnson, Port Office ……………..…..... 15 17 2 -ditto by Mr. Kramer ………………………………….. 11 0 0 -ditto by Mr. Mc-Dowell and Miss. Remy .………….... 18 3 0 -ditto by Mr. Meyers …………………………………. 15 17 2 -received from the Bank of Van Diemen's Land…………2 0 0 -ditto from Mr. Myer…………………………………... 0 10 0 -ditto from T Nicholson……………………………..….. 012 0 -ditto from Ts. Anstey, Esq.........……………………..… 5 0 0 -ditto from the senior Chaplain and Wardens of St. David's Church……………………………………....3 0 0 £121 6 8 Cr. 1844 Dec.20. By amount of passage-money per Palmyra, to Adelaide ............... £50 0 0 -cash paid for clothing and necessaries……………..…..£11 17 0 -paid St Mary's Hospital………………………………… £1 10 0 -Draft on Bank of Australasia, Adelaide,……………….. £56 1 6d. - exchange, &c………………………………………..£1 18s. 2d. £57 19 8 £121 0 8 The following is the copy of a letter of thanks written by the only German who understood the English language, first in German and then translated by the author into English. We give the translation in the pure unsophisticated idiom of the writer unwilling to detract anything from the genuine, but perhaps simple hearted ebullition of his gratitude. To the inhabitants of the city of Hobart Town. All the undersigned Germans that arrived on Dec. 7th in the 'Sisters' was received in an unexpected way from several noblemen and inhabitants of the city of Hobart Town and are ready to embark by the will of the foresaid and do the best for ourselves for Port Adelaide in the ship 'Palmyra'. Not being able to return any obligings to the known and unknown gentlemen and inhabitants of this town for all that trouble and for the many expenses we have put them in or for the great kindness thy have done to us, we allow us to return our most humble and most obedient thanks. All of you gentlemen know in what distress we arrived in but we hope we did not leave a bad behaviour after our going away now and promise to do so henceforth, so that none of you respective gentlemen will hear of a bad conduct of any of us. signed F Olamun and family [F.Qualmann and family] -Skiold emigrant. J Berrier and family [J.Bennier and family] -Skiold emigrant. H Heynius and family [H.Heinius and family] -Skiold emigrant H Sohreep and family [H.Schrap and family] -Skiold emigrant . J Duwe and family [J.Dube and family] Skiold emigrant T Slade and family [J.Stade and family?] -St.Pauli. emigrant I Langbein and Torstaw (daughter) [J.Langbein and daughter] -Skiold. J Brasch and Fraw [J.Braasch and wife] -Skiold emigrant . F Gisharett [F.Gerhardt] -Skiold emigrant . F R Jaensch [F.R.Jaensch] -St.Pauli emigrant C Hellmann ? Compiled by Marc Bennier (great, great grandson of Johann Bennier) John immediately took up land in the neighbourhood of Tapley's Hill a few miles south of Adelaide, then at Morphett Vale, where he lived for the rest of his life. Their first known home was their farmhouse at Morphett Vale. It was demolished to make way for the Stanvac Oil Refinery. A few trees remain and there is a reserve where kangaroos and wild life live. Their second known home was in the townsite of Reynella, and possibly built by or for them, as there appears to be no mention made of an existing dwelling in the Title Deeds. Johann Joachim Carl Benier became a naturalised citizen of South Australia 16th April 1864, being a resident of 20 years, aged 54 years and by profession a Farmer. On 27th June, 1871 John, described as "Senior Morphett Vale Farmer" obtained the Title Deeds for:- "That piece of land situated in the Hundred of Noarlunga County of Adelaide comprising the allotments 77a and 78a.......the township of Reynella......Which said piece of land contains one.......and twenty perches or thereabouts......" The document further informs that the land was originally granted to Matthew Davenport Hill on the 27th May 1839, just three years after the State was founded. Their son John and his wife Eliza stayed on the farm when John and Anna moved. The old stone cottage at Reynella still stands and was lived in by the present owners until about 1970. It is used as a storeroom for almonds, fruit etc. The masonry is in perfect order and beautifully done with tiny windows set in walls 21 inches thick. Anna remained in Reynella after John passed away in 1881. John and Anna were buried in the old Bains Road Cemetery not very far from where they farmed at Morphett Vale, South Australia. John Bennier buried 29 October 1881 Bains Cemetery Plot 278a. Anna Dorothea Bennier buried 2 July 1895 Bains Cemetery Plot 278a. Walking towards the memorial wall at the back of the cemetery. Three rows towards the road on the left hand side. The row before the one with the tree in it. About the centre of the row. Originally leased 27 oct 1882. Lease expired 1982 and was re-leased by Michelle Bennier (great granddaughter of James Bennier) until 2050. Material supplied by Michael Subritzky, drawn from archival information in the Nelson Public Library, The Alexander Turnbull Library, and the Nelson Examiner, all in New Zealand. Don Karl Auckram firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.auckram.gq.nu/Mecklenburg.htm Denise and Peter email@example.com Alan Wagener, firstname.lastname@example.org: email@example.com http://www.myrasplace.net/ships/skipas.htm Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd,. Edited by,. Burke's Royal Families of the World, London: Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1977. Hughes, Michael, Law and Politics in 18th Century Germany, The Imperial Aulic Council in the Reign of Charles V1. Woodbridge Suffolk UK: The Boydell Press, 1988. Carol Gohsman Bowen,. Editor and web master, Mecklenburg-Vorpommen WorldGenWeb Page: http://pages.prodigy.net/jhbowen/index.htm Colliers Encyclopaedia, Volume 15 page 627, New York: Macmillan Educational Corporation, 1978. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia Volume 6 pages 741-742, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc, Fifteen Edition, Auckland: 1984. Jones, Stan, From Serfdom to Freedom, The Schwass Family in New Zealand, Nelson NZ: Stan Jones, 1990. Allan, Ruth M., Nelson A History of Early Settlement, Wellington NZ: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1965. Church records from the Churches of Klutz, Dassow, Roggenstorf, Grevesmuhlen, Mummendorf, and Elmenhorst in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Birth, Death and Marriages Registrations of South Australia Joan Fry firstname.lastname@example.org. Janice Wilson email@example.com Ruins on the Para. Keith Noll Benier to Bennier. Judith Pech 'The Busch Line -from Serfdom to Freedom' , by Harold R. Busch. http://www.familysearch.org Information from Appendices to "The Road to Sarau" by Jenny Briars and Jenny Leith, both of whom live in Nelson, New Zealand. Newspaper article from Adelaide Register, 28 January 1845 "Langbein Family History 1811 to 1994"