Christoph KRAUSGRILL 1838-1920

Christoph was born on 30th June 1838, the only son of Konrad Krausgrill and Anna Juliana nee Schimpf. He had two older sisters, Anna Elisabetha and Maria Elisabetha; two others were born after Christoph – Anna Elisabetha Katharina and Anna Juliana.

The Krausgrills had been a farming family but Konrad lost the right to work his holding and Christoph, like others, had to look elsewhere for a means of livelihood. He found his way to England and sailed on the vessel “Eagle Speed” from the port of Liverpool on 27th April 1857. The passengers list shows that ‘Chris Hansgril, 18, labourer’ was with a “J G Witzel” (Johann Georg Wetzel from Nieder-Weisel). On July 22nd they reached Melbourne and set off to walk to the gold fields. Knowing no English, Christoph had a sign BALLARAT printed, which he placed in his hatband, to help him get to his destination. His sister, Maria Elisabetha, arrived a year earlier and was able to help him settle in.

The next record of Christoph is a signature on a petition against the separation of Sebastopol from Buninyong Shire in 1864. Another signatory was David Barkley, publican of the Dutch Harry Hotel in Albert Street Sebastopol. At his funeral in 1865, Christoph was an official witness, so he may have been resident in the hotel at that time.

Christoph married Maria, daughter of David Barkley, on 25th December 1869 in Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Sebastopol. His grandchildren, fifty years later, could recall sitting on his knee while he sang them a song that he composed about how he had married a beautiful girl and nine months later they had twins. The twins, Emma Maria and Christoph, were born on 11th September 187O. Their second son, Henry Clausen, was born in 1873. Maria’s mother was the proprietor of “Dutch Harry” and the Krausgrills lived there at the time. Maria helped her by working in the hotel part-time.

When Christoph applied for naturalisation in 1879 he gave his occupation as (stationary) engine driver and his usual place of residence as Lower Alma. Maria’s brother, Robert Barkley, moved to this township in 1875 so it is probable that the Krausgrill family and Mrs Barkley moved there at the same time. A fourth child, Elizabeth May, was born in Lower Alma in 1866.

Later, the Krausgrills settled in Ballarat. In 1895, they were at 148 Drummond Street and in 1913 they moved to 530 Drummond Street. Christoph died at the advanced age of 82 on 7th January 1920, a colonist of 62 years. He was interred in the Old Cemetery at Ballarat in the same grave as Maria’s father but, after Maria died in 1932, his body was buried with hers.

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