Anna Juliana BELLOFF 1837-1912

Anna Juliana was born at 6 am on the morning of Tuesday, 7th March 1837. She was baptised in the Evangelical Church in Nieder-Weisel the following Sunday, taking her name from the only daughter of Martin Krausgrill, Anna Juliana. Her baptismal name was Juliana, but she was confirmed Anna Juliana. The Belloffs had traditionally been shepherds, an occupation that her father Johann Wilhelm followed until he was forced to seek employment as a labourer after changes in ownership of the village pasture lands. Anna Juliana was the second of five daughters born to her mother, Anna Juliana Klein; three sons made up a family of eight children, four of whom failed to survive. Konrad born in 1836, was one who lived.

Anna Juliana left the village in 1856, as part of one of the largest groups to join in the mass exodus. With nearly forty other villagers, she sailed from Liverpool aboard “Sunshine” on 5th November. ‘Julianna Belof’ was listed as the wife of 20 year old ‘Conrad Belof’. This enabled Anna Juliana and her brother Konrad to share accommodation with three other young couples from the village in the married quarters. This deception had unfortunate consequences because, sixteen days away from their destination, Konrad died of gastro-enteritis, and was buried at sea.

Arriving at Melbourne on 29th January 1857, Anna Juliana went with the other Nieder-Weiselerns to the goldfields near Ballarat. On 13th July 1859 she married Konrad Dern in the first Lutheran Church in Ballarat. The groom was from Lang-Gons, about 5 km north of Nieder-Weisel, although his mother was from one of the Hauser families of Nieder-Weisel. Several members of the Dern family had immigrated to Victoria at about the same time as Anna Juliana.

Konrad Dern worked on the goldfields for a time and later he went into business as a carrier in Sebastopol, south of Ballarat, where the youngest of their five children were born. The only son, William, died in infancy, as did his twin sister Eliza. When the youngest child, also named Eliza, was only one year old, Konrad developed spinal gangrene. He died on 6th December 1868 in Ballarat Hospital and was buried the following day in the Ballarat Old Cemetery; he was in his 35th year.

Left with four young daughters to be supported, Anna Juliana looked for a second husband. She chose Henrich Boller, from Hesse-Darmstadt. There was only one child to this marriage, which is surprising, as Anna Juliana was still only 34 years of age when her son Jacob was born. She did however bring up another child, Henry McDougal, a son of Anna Elizabeth Dern, Anna Juliana’s daughter. Henry grew up as an integral member of the Boller family (and was the only one of Anna Juliana’s offspring to carry on the Dern name). The Boller name didn’t survive because Jacob died in 1886 in his 16th year. Of the girls, Anna Elizabeth married in Ballarat East in 1892; with her husband, Henry John Jolly, she had two daughters and two sons.

Henrich Boller died in 1895, aged 54. Anna Juliana spent the final years of her long life at 133 Victoria Street, East Ballarat. She died of cancer on 24th May 1912 in Ballarat Base Hospital and was interred in the Ballarat Cemetery.

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