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











Kay Williamson said...
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courtneycotton01@gmail.com said...
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Sharon Lisa Sear said...

Hi Dawn

Many thanks for all of your effort in compiling this information and sharing publicly. As a Schade descendent, its very much appreciated. I am planning a trip to Denmark in July 2020 and will do my best to see if I can locate these properties for you. If so, I will take a photo and send you a copy on my return to Australia.

If there is anywhere in particular that you think would be on interest or somewhere/something you would like me to get a photo of, please let me know.

I am contemplating contacting some relations in Denmark, with the view to meeting (if they wish to do so). I will keep you posted on that one as well.

Anyway, we've had contact on Ancestry in the past (if I remember correctly, I had some incorrect information in my tree), I have not been on the site for a very long time, but having recently renewed my subscription, I will try and fix these inaccuracies up as soon as I can.

Thanks again for such a great blog! Loved reading this and particularly loved seeing these photos.

Kindest regards,

Sharon Lisa Sear (Granddaughter of Dorothy Olive Schade)