Anna Elisabetha HAUSER 1841-1927

Two of the vulnerable teenagers sent away from an increasingly unstable village in the middle 185Os were the daughters of Jakob Hauser II and Susanna nee Maas. Descended from a family of oil-millers, Jakob, like his father Peter Hauser I before him, earned a living by carrying goods between Nieder-Weisel and towns as far distant as Frankfurt, and was often away from his home. The younger of the two girls – each named Anna Elisabetha – was born on 4th November 1841. She was sent to England as soon as she reached her teens; she was confirmed at 14 in the coastal town of Hull. It is probable that the elder sister was also there.

Eventually the two girls and their brothers Peter and Bernhard emigrated to Australia. Peter was on “Glenmanna” when the vessel left Liverpool on 27th October 1854 for Melbourne. It is likely that one of the sisters – probably the younger – was with him but this cannot be proven. There is no record of the journeys of the other siblings. However it is certain that Peter and Bernhard worked for a time in Ballarat before moving on to Smythesdale, and her elder sister, also Anna Elisabetha, lived in the same town after her marriage in 1859. The younger girl would have had no problem in finding suitable employment in this labor-starved mining district.

In the mid-186Os Anna Elisabetha was in Carngham, about 25 km west of Ballarat; she was working as a domestic servant. There she fell in love with a miner from Hanover, Heinrich Ulrich; he was seven years her senior. The marriage was celebrated by Rev Gotlob Worner on Saturday 13th June 1867 in the Lutheran Church at Smythesdale – just as the news of their father’s death in far-away Nieder-Weisel reached the siblings. The bride was supported by Katharina Dern and signed her full name in a neat hand.

The Ulrichs settled in Carngham where a son was born the next year; Bernhard Hauser sponsored his nephew just before returning to Germany. Two years later a daughter was born – Liza Henrietta. Heinrich then became a working shareholder in the Consol Quartz Mining Co at Smythesdale and had to move his family there. A second daughter arrived in 1873; she was called Emma Susanna – the second name being for her widowed grandmother. There was a long gap until the birth of Mary Carol in 188O, and by this time the family was back in Ballarat, where Anna Elisabetha’s sister, married to Konrad Riegelhuth, was living. Heinrich Ulrich had taken out naturalisation papers in 1877, having decided to remain permanently in the colony, and his wife set about raising their children as Australians.

Peter Hauser had died and Bernhard had gone on to North America, but the two sisters had each other for companionship and support in the years ahead; this was especially important after Konrad died. In 1894 Anna Elisabetha’s son married and another generation was started. Bernhard took his growing family of girls to live in Melbourne and Heinrich and Anna Elisabetha also retired to the city. Her two older daughters married the brothers Lewin in 1898 and 19OO, and each of these couples lived in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. It was here that Heinrich Ulrich died in 19O4, leaving a widow, four children and seven grandchildren. His widow was then 62 years of age but faced nearly a quarter of a century of widowhood before her life ended, also in Collingwood, in 1927 at the age of 86. Her sister had died five years earlier.

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