Christoph JUNG (1811-1884) & Elisabetha HILDEBRAND (1817-1891)
Christoph’s 17th century ancestors had been wagon-makers in the village, but his grandfather Jakob took up tailoring as a profession and his son Konrad became his apprentice. When Konrad completed his journeyman experience and his military service he established his own tailoring business. In 1793, Konrad married Anna Margaretha nee Bill; a son, Georg, born in 1794 was followed by four daughters, one of whom died in infancy. Anna Margaretha died in 18O7 and, as was customary in those days, Konrad soon remarried; his second wife was a daughter of the village barber Johann Georg Schafer. Christoph was the first child born to this second marriage; he arrived on 14 January 1811. A sister was born four years later but she died in her second year. The next child was a son, Konrad, followed by another boy who did not survive. A fourth son and a second daughter, Anna Elisabetha, completed the family. The father was 6O years old by then; he died nine years later. Christoph was not able to follow his father’s profession; a job as a casual farmhand was all he could look aspire to.
Christoph became romantically involved with Elisabetha, the underage daughter of the oil-miller, Kaspar Hildebrand. She was the first of four children born to Kaspar and Elisabetha nee Hauser, but only just. She was born at 11 pm on 29th January 1817 and the second child arrived four hours later – her twin brother Johann Georg had a different birthday. Their mother was a widow of 36 when she married their 19 year-old father and she had only two other children, Peter in 1819 and Maria Katharina in 1821. She had four children from her first marriage also, and all of them survived. By Nieder-Weisel standards, the family lived very comfortably on the proceeds from Kaspar’s milling operations. The children had a basic education at the church school until they reached 14, at which age they were confirmed, and went out to work.
Elisabetha gave birth to Christoph’s daughter, Elisabetha, on 21st November 1835. They were then given permission to marry, exchanging vows on the third day of Christmastide. Christoph followed the example of other villagers and took his family to England where job opportunities were more plentiful than in Germany. A second daughter, Katharina, was born in Gateshead on 19 June 1837. A son Konrad, sponsored by his father’s brother, arrived in 1839 in Durham, followed by Elisabetha in 1841. This child was sickly and the family returned to Nieder-Weisel, but the little girl died soon after the birth on 25th February 1843 of her sister, Maria Katharina. When the mother and baby were able to travel they rejoined Konrad Jung and his family and went with them to Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland; another two daughters and two sons were born in Scotland:- Christina on 28th April 1847, Elisabetha 185O, Peter 1852, and Christoph 1854.
Again the family returned to the village and again the baby died – in July 1855. Christoph then decided to join in the mass emigration. Leaving 5 year-old Elisabetha and 3 year-old Peter with relatives, Christoph and Elisabetha, their older son Konrad, Maria Katharina, and Christina travelled to England and embarked on the three-masted “Red Jacket”, a Boston-built vessel which had made the fastest trip ever to Port Phillip. She sailed on 2Oth September 1855 and carried her 244 passengers to Melbourne in 76 days.
The Jung family (written as “Young” on the passengers list) made for Ballarat with most of the other passengers. Konrad was 16 years of age and able to go to the diggings with his father while Elisabetha and Maria Katharina attended to the domestic chores and the eight year old Christina found many ways of passing the time happily. About 1O months later, Christoph’s brother Konrad, with his wife and three children, arrived in the colony and they all made their way to the northern Victorian highlands, where a number of fields had been opened up in the Beechworth area, including the hopefully-named El Dorado. The Jung families went on to Spring Creek where, in November 1859, Elisabetha gave birth to her 10th child, Heinrich. One of the Nieder-Weisel emigrants, Heinrich Reuss, stood as god-father at his christening.
Konrad decided to settle in Beechworth and the brothers parted company. Christoph and Elisabetha went back to Nieder-Weisel in 1861 or 1862, but emigrated again, this time to North America. Christoph must have been reasonably successful in his prospecting as he was able to buy a full-sized carousel (merry-go-round). It was not practicable for this to be overlanded to San Francisco from New York so the family took the more hazardous route around the Horn to the west coast. The four younger children emigrated with their parents but it is not known if Konrad and his elder sisters did likewise or stayed in Germany or England. Christoph made a living as a showman in San Francisco, with the aid of his carousel, until his death on 26th September 1884. He was survived by seven years by Elisabetha.
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