* PAUL JOHN DE RUNGS FAMILY HOME PAGE*

Updated December 15, 2001


I AM SEARCHING FOR ANCESTORS FROM MY GREAT GRANDFATHER GIOVANNI DERUNGS WHO WAS BORN IN THE CANTON OF GRISONS (GRAUBUNDEN,)SWITZERLAND IN 1828. HE WENT TO THE GOLDFIELDS OF AUSTRALIA AND WORKED AT BENDIGO AND COOLGARDIE. HE MARRIED JESSE BRASH AND THEY HAD ONE CHILD LEONARD. SHORTLY AFTER JESSE DIED AND GIOVANNI WENT TO NEW ZEALAND AND LANDED AT GREYMOUTH APPROXIMATELY 1870. SHORTLY AFTER ARRIVING IN NEW ZEALAND,HE ANGLICISED HIS NAME TO JOHN CHRISTIAN DERUNGS. HE OWNED A HOTEL AT WESTPORT SITUATED IN KENNEDY STREET. THERE WAS A DISASTROUS FLOOD IN THE TOWN ABOUT 1872 AND ALL THE BUILDINGS IN KENNEDY STREET WERE WASHED AWAY. HE MARRIED MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER MARGARET STEPHENSON WHO WAS HIS BARMAID. SHE WAS 17 YEARS OLD AND HE WAS ABOUT 40 YEARS. THEY HAD 8 CHILREN, THREE BOYS AND FIVE GIRLS. JOHN,ANTONIO LATER CALLED WILLIAM OR WILL,EARNEST, ROSE, MARY, JANE, MAUD, ETHEL.
GIOVANNI EVENTUALLY MOVED TO WANGANUI IN THE NORTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND AND OWNED A HOTEL AND BREWERY THERE. HE BECAME A CATHOLIC AND INSISTED THAT ALL OF HIS GRANDCHILDREN BE BOUGHT UP IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH. HE SUGGESTED TO HIS WIFE THAT THEY BE REMARRIED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. SHE WAS HORRIFIED AND REFUSED TO DO SO AFTER HAVING RAISED SO MANY CHILDREN. GIOVANNI EVENTUALLY BECAME ESTRANGED FROM HIS FAMILY AND WENT TO RESIDE IN WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND WHERE HE USED TO DO ODD JOBS FOR THE CATHOLIC PRIESTS AT THE CHURCH WHERE HE WORSHIPPED. IN 1910 HE DIED FROM CANCER OF THE STERNUM AND WAS GIVEN A PAUPER'S FUNERAL AT THE KARORI CEMETERY. A FEW DAYS AFTER HE DIED, HIS DAUGHTER MARY WHO WAS STILL CLOSE TO HIM, CALLED ON THE CATHOLIC BISHOP OF WELLINGTON AND DEMANDED THAT HE BE GIVEN A PROPER CATHOLIC FUNERAL. THE BISHOP AGREED TO THIS PROPOSAL, AFTER ALL GIOVANNI HAD LEFT HIS CONSIDERABLE ESTATE TO THE CHURCH.

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Paul John De Rungs

(09) 834-9529
drlequell77@hotmail.com


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