Anna Margaretha HAUSER 1836-1905

The second child of Peter Hauser III and Susanna Haub of Nieder-Weisel, Anna Margaretha was born on 12th September 1936. She had four sisters and three brothers, but three of them died when they were only 4 years old. The children were given a basic education that gave them literacy. Their father, being a linen-weaver, didn’t farm but the older ones were expected to help on their neighbour’s farms during busy periods. The girls also helped to look after the toddlers.

Anna Elisabetha, the eldest daughter, migrated in 1856. In May of the following year Anna Margaretha requested permission to do likewise. Authority to go to Victoria for two years to earn a living was issued on 8th July 1857, and with others from Nieder-Weisel she went to England. On July 31st the clipper ship “Annie Wilson” left Liverpool on her second trip to Melbourne. On the passenger list were Margt. Hoiser 20 and Catherine Hoiser 18, with Elizth. Lemp 20 and Philip Riegelhuth 22. On 10th September “Annie Wilson” was passed by “Carrier Dove” and greetings were exchanged. “Carrier Dove” got to Port Phillip five days before “Annie Wilson” arrived on 7th November.

Anna Margaretha went with the others to the Golden Triangle to join her sister and brother-in-law John Zimmer. They joined in the 1859 rush to the very rich find at Fryer’s Creek, south of Castlemaine. Amongst the thirty thousand hopeful diggers there was another Nieder-Weisel immigrant, Philipp Maas. He and Anna Margaretha fell in love and were married in a makeshift chapel in the Lutheran schoolhouse in Sandhurst on 17th September 1859.

The next year the Zimmer and Maas families moved to Yandoit, a town a few km north of Daylesford. The youngest Hauser sister Margaretha and her husband Georg Fleischer were already living there, so for a time the sisters and their families were together. In the next seven years Anna Margaretha and Philipp had four children: Heinrich in 1861, George in 1863, Conrad in 1865 and Anna Catherina in 1867. They grew up with the Zimmer and Fleischer cousins.

The happiness of this little community was shattered during the night of 11th May 1868 when Philipp was killed in a mine collapse. Left with four youngsters to bring up, it is not surprising that Anna Margaretha soon remarried. Her second husband was Johannes Uhl, who emigrated from the village of Steinfurt, to the east of Nieder-Weisel. He was from a family of saddlers, but had spent a while on the goldfields and then invested his capital in a store in Yandoit. His fair dealing had earned him the title of “Honest John”. They married in the Presbyterian Church in Castlemaine on 29th November 1869 with Anna Elisabetha Zimmer as matron-of-honour, and returned to settle in Anna Margaretha’s home. In time there were four children: Josephine in 1871, Margaretha in 1873, Louisa in 1876 and Alice in 1882.

Anna Margaretha lived out her life in Yandoit, raising the eight children with strict discipline in their small but scrupulously-clean cottage. All of her children married and her grandchildren were to remember, during Sunday visits to Grandma Uhl, the close inspection of their clothes and hands before they were permitted to sit down to the six-course banquet she always prepared.

Anna Margaretha died on 5th April 1905 in her 69th year; she lies, with her second husband, who survived her by eleven years, in a well marked grave in Franklinford-Yandoit Cemetery, which to this day is attended and cared for by some of her many descendants.

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