Wildervanck..>> Australie..>> to Oamaru, New Zealand.

The journey of Derk Van Peer

Derk Van Peer (on whom this project is based) was born on the 18th day of Sep, 1851, in Wildervank, a village in the Dutch province of Groningen. It is located within the municipality of Veendam, about 3 km south of the centre of Veendam itself, in the Netherlands. (Holland). Wildervank was founded in 1647 by Adriaan Geerts as a peat colony in the Wildervankster bog. Adriaan Geerts adopted the name Wildervanck, to be known as Adriaan Geerts Wildervanck and is also related to Derk Van Peer via marriage. Margaretha "Margarieta" Wildervanck (Adriaan's Grandaughter) was married to Hillebrand Van Peer, a direct Ancestor of Derk Van Peer.


Derk left for Australia on the 4th Dec 1874, aged 23 yrs old. His Family never heard from him again. (His Netherlands residence record, was officially cancelled in accordance with the articles of L. M. Berlint, on the 27th day of Jul 1887). About 1876, he departed Australia, this time for New Zealand. Derk resided in Moeraki, a small coastal town, 40km's, south of Oamaru, where he worked as both a skilled Fisherman & Boat Builder, with Frederick Buryeson and helped pioneer the Fishing & Whaling Industry in that area. Later in life, he also raised Cattle in Moeraki, on leased land from the NZ Govt. His Beef was well sought after.


On the 27th day of Jul 1892, at Moeraki, North Otago, New Zealand, letters of naturalisation, were issued to Derk Van Peer , now legally known as Thomas Lee. Later in life, he and his wife Christina and family, moved to reside in nearby Oamaru, after changes in the Fishing Industry. The Family moved into a house in Greta St, whilst they built a Home in Tyne St, overlooking the Oamaru Harbour. Then later in life, they settled in their last property at No 2, Aln St, Oamaru (below the Hospital, see photos) where Christina passed away in 1939, aged 74 yrs and Derk in 1943, aged 92 yrs.


The family also owned commercial property in lower Tees St at No 40, namely a Fish Market, that Derk would supply daily with fresh catch and was managed by his son, Thomas Charles Lee , after his return from WW1. Thomas also resided in a house at the rear of the Tees St. premises. Thomas and his wife Alice (nee Edith Violet Rose Mattson) then moved to a House in Arun St, Oamaru.


Derk's Parents are:

Name: Johannes Edehart Sijvert Van Peer

Born: 4 Nov 1819, Königsberg, Germany

Died: 29 Jun 1898, Gasselte, Aa en Hunze, Drenthe, Netherlands


Name: Neeltje "Najja" Hindriks Panjer

Born: 27 Aug 1823, Veendam, Groningen, Netherlands

Died: 27 Dec 1876, Windeweer, Hoogezand-Sappemeer, Groningen, Netherlands


Children of Johannes & Neeltje are: