Johan Wohlers

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Johan (or Johann) Friedrich Heinrich Wohlers (1811–1885) was a Lutheran missionary from Germany who lived for 41 years on Ruapuke Island, a small island in New Zealand's far south.[1]

Wohlers was born in the North German hamlet of Mahlensdorf, near Bremen, to Johann Gerd Wohlers and his wife Margarethe (née Ahlers). He went to a mission school, and was then sent by the North German Mission Society to New Zealand, where the New Zealand Company was establishing new settlements.

He left Germany on an emigrant ship the St Pauli in 1842, going first to Nelson where there were a number of German settlers. He went south on the ship Deborah in 1844, and was invited by the Kāi Tahu chief Tūhawaiki to make his headquarters on Ruapuke Island.

He married Eliza Hanham in Wellington in 1849, and they had one daughter, Gretchen.[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Thomson, Jane (editor) (1998). Southern People: a dictionary of Otago Southland biography. Dunedin: Longacre Press. p. 556. ISBN 1877135119.