Anna Margaretha HAUSER 1839-1861

Anna Margaretha was one of the many teenagers who were sent away from the restless village by their parents. Born 8th April 1839 to Johann Georg Hauser VI and Maria Elisabetha Haub, she had just turned 17 when she went aboard “Red Jacket” at Liverpool on 20th May 1856. Of the sixteen emigrants from the village in their party, nine were single females of 13 to 20 years of age; two recently-married couples acted as chaperones for their younger companions.

Like many of the young emigrants, Anna Margaretha had no close relatives in the colony so, when she stepped off the deck of “Red Jacket” in Melbourne on 11th August after a very pleasant voyage through ideal weather, she had to rely on her compatriots for guidance in finding accommodation and employment. Many of the Nieder-Weiselerns had gone from Ballarat to the western diggings at Smythes Creek and Anna Margaretha, with the Haub girls who were with her group, joined them. There was no problem getting work in the hotels or as domestic helpers because of an acute shortage of female labour.

The imbalance between the sexes was also to their advantage when they reached the age of marriage – they were able to choose from a wide selection of suitors whom they met at the dances, which were a major part of their social life. Anna Margaretha, as was often the case with the German immigrants, chose her life’s companion from the young men who had come out from her home village. Her groom was Jakob, the 24 year old son of Konrad Geibel III and Katharina nee Hauser; his father was the village locksmith and his mother a daughter of a previous mayor of the village. Many of their Nieder-Weisel friends helped to celebrate their marriage in the Lutheran Church in Smythes Creek at the Wednesday prayer service on 16th November 1859.

Anna Margaretha and Jakob settled in Smythesdale. There, they embarked on a life together, which was destined to last only fifteen brief months. Their son, Philipp, who could have brought Anna Margaretha a great deal of happiness, instead took her life. Anna Margaretha did not recover from his birth on Monday, 25th January 1861 and was buried in Smythesdale Cemetery three days later. She was only 21 years old.

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