Martha Neugeschwender (nee Brown)
The Randolph

Original information:
This is Martha Brown (1). She married Augustus Amandus Neugeschwinder on June 5, 1866, in the parish church in Rangiora. She was 17. Augustus was a farm labourer in Fernside. At one stage he was gardener at Horsley Downs. They had a large family but no further information is available

Readers' response:
Martha Neugeschwender (note different spelling) nee Brown was two years old when she arrived with her parents, Charles and Martha Ann Brown, on the Randolph.1

A family member has said the reason no further information is available on the Neugeschwenders  is that the family changed its name by Deed Poll to “Freeman’’. There are apparently many Freemans in the Rangiora district.2 

Martha died on October 25, 1920, aged 71. The couple are buried at the Church of England Cemetery, Rangiora.3


1: Chrisanthi Freeman, unpublished family history
2: Aaron Clark, unpublished family history
3: Information supplied by Rhoda Thompson


POSTED BY: Aaron Clark : October 14, 2006
Martha was born circa 1849 at Westminster, Middlesex, England. She was the daughter of Charles and Martha Brown. Two of her children were Elizabeth Agatha Neugeschwender (b.1869) and Walter Barrett Neugeschwender (b.1879)
POSTED BY: Aaron Clark : October 17, 2006
Martha Barret (Brown) and her husband Augustus Amandus Johannes Neugeschwender (1836-1904) are buried in Rangiora under the surname Neugeschwender. It was August Francis Neugeschwender and his wife Sarah Jane (nee Prouse) and their seven children who changed their surname to Freeman.
POSTED BY: Neil Morris : October 17, 2006

A family history of the Neugeschwenders (NZ) was compiled by Jack Freeman, son of James John Freeman.  Printed by C.J. Freeman of Auckland.

I note the comments of Aaron in respect of the name change and in particular that it was restricted to one branch.  Jack Freeman's (JF) notes do not reflect that but Aaron may have documentation that would be of interest to me.  JF indicates the change was by deed poll Supreme Court Christchurch on 20 May 1919.

The Marlborough Branch of the Neugeschwenders was through Augustus Francis who also appears in the Marlborough County Council history as a roadman.  The last of the named Neugeschwenders in Marlborough was my mother-inlaw Marjorie Matha who went by the name Freeman (and married a Newman), she died 22 May 1996.  They all adopted the name Freeman - I understand it was the men of the time who changed their name whereas the women would change theirs by marriage !! Certainly Marjorie's birth certificate was Neugeschwender. 

I attended the Neugeschwender family reunion in Auckland in 1968 where I obtained a copy of the family history compiled by Jack Freeman.

I am happy to correspond on the history - I have endeavoured to make a northern hemisphere contact.  I have made contact with a Vinnie Neugeschender (USA) who was very surprised to learn of a NZ branch but has no information.

POSTED BY: Sarndra Lees : October 19, 2006
I have photos of the grave of August and Martha Barrett Neugeschwender if anyone is interested.  Email me.  Also have tree information for Sarah Neugeschwender (nee PROUSE) who is mentioned above.  Not related to me but just information i have gathered along the way via another branch.
POSTED BY: Ashley Neugeschwender : December 25, 2006
I have always been curious about my last name. My father came from Germany to New York around 1967, with his mother karen. What I know about my family is limited due to the fact information refused to be disclosed. Becasue it is such a unique name, I would love to know even the smallest scrap of information.
POSTED BY: Victoria Harvey : March 23, 2016
Much like Neil, I'm one of Martha's descendants. My father is Graham Harvey, eldest son of Lola Harvey (nee Freeman), who was one Leslie Herbert's (Martha's second youngest) daughters.

Leslie's branch of the family definitely changed their names to Freeman as well. I also have the same copy of the family tree as Neil and there is notes about the name change process included.