Anna Margaretha MULLER 1848-1911

On 6th January 1848 Anna Margaretha was the sixth child to be born to Margaretha nee Schimpf, wife of nail-smith Johann Konrad Muller. Their second-born son had died, leaving two brothers and two sisters to greet the new baby. Three more children followed, but two did not survive so that there were six children in a family that, because of the father’s special skills, would enjoy a reasonable level of affluence.

Anna Margaretha had just begun her formal education when the family was devastated by the death from consumption of their mother. She was buried on 29th July 1856 and the eldest sister, Christina, tried to take over the housekeeping chores. Their father looked for another wife and the following year married the widow Schimpf, Elisabetha nee Broek. Soon after this the couple left Nieder-Weisel with five of the children, leaving Juliana with her grandparents. Together with Konrad’s brother Ludwig and his wife Elisabetha, they sailed from the port of Liverpool on 16th November 1857. Anna Margaretha, with her brothers and sisters, had 14 weeks to enjoy the exciting experience of ocean travel before their ship “Queen of the East” arrived in Port Phillip.

Konrad took his family to the goldfields along the Rocky Lead and worked for a time as a miner. After several years he took over a property at Italian Hill, near Daylesford. In the mid-60s his wife went back to Nieder-Weisel where she later died. Juliana came out to Victoria soon after this. Many thousands of Swiss and Italian miners had converged upon Daylesford and Anna Margaretha formed a close relationship with one of them. Albert Paganetti was from a well-known family in Locarno, on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore; he was twelve years Anna Margaretha’s senior. In January 1876, a daughter was born to the pair in Kyneton, north-east of Daylesford. She was named Margaretha Maria Paganetti. Two years later a second daughter was born in Daylesford; she was registered as Anna Elisabetha Muller. Finally a son, Giacomo Albino Muller, was born in the last few weeks of 1880.

Albino Paganetti had been successful with his mining ventures at Deep Creek, Eganstown and Italian Hill, and he bought land and established a small vineyard. He was a sharp operator and did very well making and selling wines to the miners. In 1881 he went back to Switzerland, having made arrangements for the maintenance of Anna Margaretha and their children. It is said that in Locarno he had a wife and several children, who lived with his parents, Giacomo Paganetti and Maria Borella; in any event, it was twelve years before he returned to Victoria.

Paganetti’s attorney, assuming he would not return, failed to make available to Anna Margaretha all the financial help that she was entitled to and she had difficulty providing properly for the children. She had some support from other members of the Muller family. About two years after his eventual return, Paganetti married Anna Margaretha. The marriage took place in the first week of January 1896, the bride using the name Ann Margaret Miller.

Anna Margaretha lived for another fifteen years; she saw all three children married and the arrival of several grandchildren. On 26th July 1911 she died in her Patterson Street home at the age of 63 and was buried in the Daylesford Cemetery. Her husband lived on for thirteen years into his 89th year. He was a foundation member of the Daylesford Hospital Board and is remembered for his charitable works.

View Anna Margaretha's Family Chart

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