Elisabetha HILDEBRAND 1848-? & Anna Katharina HILDEBRAND 1852-?

Born on 16th July 1844 to Anna Katharina nee Heinz, wife of the tailor Jakob Hildebrand VI, Elisabetha was the third girl in the family and the first to survive the hazards of infancy. The two children, a girl and a boy, born after Elisabetha also died and it was not till 29th April 1852 that a third baby girl, Anna Katharina, became a permanent playmate for her; Peter, born in 1855, also survived. What relief Jakob felt when these two proved to be hale was short-lived; he was widowed on 25th May 1856 when Peter was only nine months old.

Jakob needed both a housekeeper and a nursemaid; these functions were filled by Elisabetha Hauser nee Ziegler, the 30-year-old widow of postillion Jakob Hauser. With her came a daughter Anna Margaretha, who was then 8 years old, and a more acceptable companion to the 12 year-old Elisabetha than her sister and brother. A relationship quickly developed between her father and his servant and he decided to take his family to Australia with her as companion and mother to the younger children. When the booking was made on “Greyhound”, Elisabetha was described as Jakob’s wife. Her brother George and his wife joined their group.

The family left Nieder-Weisel early in 1857; they sailed out of Liverpool on 14th May. Elisabetha junior was often called upon to help with the youngsters as her stepmother became pregnant soon after they left the village. They reached Melbourne on 26th August 1857 and Jakob found accommodation for the family in Sandridge – now known as Port Melbourne. On 7th October, Jakob married Elisabetha in the Lutheran Church in East Melbourne – where his daughter was to be confirmed the following Easter. Elisabetha gave birth to a girl, Caroline, in December and a son, George, in 1860. Elisabetha junior could see an unpaid nursemaid’s role facing her and decided to strike out on her own. Her father took his family to Melbourne, and Elisabetha found her way to the goldfields, where she quickly found employment as a domestic servant in Castlemaine. There she met Richard Davis, a ginger beer maker. Born in Calais in 1841, he was the son of the brewer John Davis. Elisabetha was a minor but had consent in writing from her father to marry. The ceremony took place in the parish Church of England and Ireland, with Rev A Crawford officiating, on 25th February 1862.

The couple remained in Castlemaine until about 1875/76, where a family of five girls and a boy were produced: Mary Ann (1863), Richard (1866), Elizabeth (1868), Annie Katharina (1870), Catherine Jane (1872) and Harply (1874).

Elisabetha’s and Anna Katharina’s father Jakob drowned in the Yarra River in 1870.

Around 1875/76 the Davis family moved to South Australia to the Adelaide suburb of Norwood, where six more children were born. Richard died there in 1904 aged 63; Elizabetha’s date and place of birth are not yet known.

Anna Katharina emigrated to New Zealand; she and her stepsister Anna Margaretha Hauser left on 5th November 1866 on the “Otago” for Hokitika on the west coast of the South Island. She married Charles Notman in Port Chalmers, Otago, in 1874, and they had eight children. Anna Katharina died of intestinal cancer at Mornington (a suburb of Dunedin) on 23 April 1901, and was buried at Northern Cemetery in Dunedin.

View Elisabetha's & Anna Katharina's Family Chart

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