Welcome to our website on the lives and family of

Anders Christian Christensen and Marie Nilsdotter

From Nes, Romerike, Norway, to Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand


Special Note: Russell (the Christensen descendent) & his fiancee Jenna, both from Palmerston North, New Zealand, married in the Nes Church, Romerike, Norway, at 2:00 pm, on Saturday, 17 August 2002. This was where Anders and Marie married in 1868. A party of eight New Zealanders travelled to Norway for the wedding. The photo above shows six of the eight Kiwis (the last two arrived later the same day) - plus our hosts at left, Tom, Brit & Elin Halvorsen of nearby Årnes - at the front door of Nes Church on 15 August 2002.

All of the party made it safely home in dribs and draps. However, three days after Tanya Burr, aged 21 (centre-back in the above photo), got back to NZ - and 23 hours after reaching her Rotorua flat - she was murdered by an intruder intent on stealing her car. For some weeks thereafter this website contained photos relating to Tanya and her death (as its guestbook attests). However, it soon became more practical to shift these to another separate website. That website now also contains many of the photos from our Norwegian holiday, including from the wedding.

Anders and Marie emigrated from Norway to New Zealand, with their two-year-old daughter Marthea (better known later as  'Annie')  in 1870-1871. The first part of their journey began on 5 October 1870, with the departure of the steamer North Star, bound for London. There the party of mostly Norwegians boarded the sailing ship Celaeno, and on 14 October 1870 they set out for New Zealand. The ship duly arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, on 5 February 1871. 

The band of immigrants reached their new home on 15 February 1871, following a trip from Wellington to Foxton aboard the coastal paddle steamer Luna. After an overnight stay at Foxton, they walked - or took a canoe trip in the case of the women - inland to the mosquito-invested bush clearing that is now the city of Palmerston North.

Marie died in childbirth at Stoney Creek (now Whakarongo), Palmerston North on 13 March 1885, leaving her husband to care for seven children. As this task was very difficult given the circumstances (that is, needing to earn a living to feed them), a number of them were fostered by other families around the district. In one case, the fostering extended to the adoption of their second youngest daughter Lydia, by the Dahlstroms of Stoney Creek.  Marie is buried in what is now an unmarked plot at Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North. 

Anders died of cancer at the Ohiro Old Mens' Home, Wellington, on 16 August 1907. However, he had lived at Shannon (near Palmerston North) until his deteriorating condition meant that he required greater care that he could receive at home. He is buried in an unmarked pauper's grave at Karori Cemetery. 

A few weeks later, the couple's son Calvert, who had lived with his father, attempted suicide by shooting himself. He died from a resulting infection on 2 October 1907, and was buried at Terrace End Cemetery. His grave is unmarked, but the site is known. The cottage at Shannon is understood to have been burnt down soon after his death, thereby destroying what remained of any family papers and possessions. Its location does not appear in local rating records.

Anders' photo, shown above, was taken during a period when he attempted to earn his living as a "magnetic and electric" healer. The photographer was Charles Mariboe, a Dane who (with a few dozen other Scandinavians) arrived in Palmerston North a few weeks after the Christensens, courtesy of the ship England. This undated photo, which probably dates to the 1880s or 1890s, also shows just how proud Anders was of his violin.

The Family in Scandinavia & New Zealand:

The Dahlstrom family:

Miscellaneous Stuff:

Tanya Jeanine Burr: 12 May 1981-15 September 2002, photographed at Rome, Italy, on 1 September 2002

See also our previous (2000-2002) Guestbook

This website belongs to descendants of Anders & Marie Christensen and is © copyright 2000-2006 to Val Burr unless otherwise stated.

This website was born on 3/12/2000