Elisabetha LEMP 1841-1875

Elisabetha was of a Nieder-Weisel family that completely vanished from the troubled village during the emigrations of the mid-1850s. Born on 16th December 1841, Elisabetha was the youngest of the six children who would survive childhood. A sister and a brother had already died, and the last boy to be born would also die in childhood.

The two eldest sons are thought to have migrated to North America. The elder sisters, Maria Elisabetha and Susanna, were sent to Australia in an organised group of villagers in 1856. Elisabetha was the last to leave; with her other brother Johann Konrad, she left the village in the spring of 1857 and travelled across Western Europe to England on the first stage of her exciting journey to Victoria. With several other young people from Nieder-Weisel they booked their passages on the sailing ship “Annie Wilson”, which left Liverpool after a prayer service on Sunday, 31st July on its long voyage to Melbourne. Elisabetha and her seven young companions had 100 days at sea to contemplate their future in their new homeland.

Sighting the sail of “Carrier Dove” on 28th October brought the passengers on “Annie Wilson” back in contact with the outside world and a week later they were among the crowds thronging the wharves at Williamstown. Among Elisabetha’s companions was Anna Margaretha Hauser, whose sister, Anna Elisabetha Zimmer, was in Ballarat. Anna Margaretha went with the Zimmers to Castlemaine and then to Yandoit where they all settled. It seems likely that Elisabetha stayed with this group, as she was also in this relatively small township, which had not attracted many Nieder-Weiselerns, by about 1861.

Margaretha Hauser, the youngest sister of Anna Margaretha Zimmer, was employed as a cook in 1860 in one of the many hotels in Yandoit when she was married to George Fleischer of Butzbach. George had a half-brother, Johannes Schuldt *, who was also working in Yandoit – he was a son of Christina Emmel and her first husband, Friedrich Wilhelm Schuldt. He and Elisabetha met after she came to work in Yandoit as a maidservant. They fell in love and exchanged vows in a Lutheran service in the German Church at Yandoit on 23rd Octopber 1862. George Fleischer was the first witness; the other was Peter Hauser, who had married the bride’s sister, Maria Elisabetha.

Elisabetha and Johannes settled in Yandoit. Johannes was a blacksmith and probably worked with his half-brother in the smithy that George operated on the Camp Road. In 1863 Elisabetha gave birth to her first child, Peter, followed by Emil Wilhelm Conrad in 1865. The couple then moved to Mount Prospect goldfield between Daylesford and Creswick, where a third son, Conrad, arrived in 1867. Finally, they moved into Ballarat, where Elisabetha had two daughters – Catherine Margaret in 1869 and Elizabeth Susanna in 1871. Living in Ballarat brought Elisabetha into closer contact with her two sisters, but this happy reunion was of short duration, as Elisabetha died on 20th February 1879, when she was only 34 years of age.

* Johannes Schuldt was born 20th March 1836 to Friedrich Wilhelm Schuldt of Butzbach and Anna Christina nee Emmel.

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