Georg SEIP 1830-?

The Bass Strait steamer “City of Hobart” brought 56 non-English emigrants to Melbourne on 31st August 1857. They had trans-shipped in Hobart Town from “Sir W F Williams” after a rough and dangerous journey from Liverpool. About half of these 56 passengers were from Nieder-Weisel; these included a large Kissler group with members of the Hildebrand, Klein, Marx, Koch, Riegelhuth, and Schimpf families.

One other member of the group was George Seip, 25. There were only two immigrants named Seip who came out to Victoria – Georg and a first cousin, Johann Georg, who arrived on 24th November 1854. Each was a grandson of Johannes Seip. Georg’s father was the nightwatchman and swineherd for the council (a job to which his son did not aspire). He was the first of seven sons to be born to Margaretha Hildebrand, nee Zichel, a native of Echzell, east of the town. Five girls made up the large family, although five of the children died in childhood.

Georg was confirmed in 1844 and worked as a plough hand until he was conscripted for military service in 1850. Employment opportunities were scarce when he was discharged and he decided to join the other migrants who were going out to the Victorian goldfields in increasing numbers. His party sailed out of Liverpool on 27th May 1857 and endured by far the most boisterous voyage experienced by any migrants from Nieder-Weisel. After negotiating a succession of severe cyclonic storms, they reached Tasmania on 19th August. They spent several days in Hobart Town, still confined to their ship, before continuing on to Port Phillip on the steamer “City of Hobart”.

Georg left no trace of his movements in the period that he was in Victoria. He did not marry while he was in the colony. There is no record of his death in any part of Australia. His cousin, Johann Georg Seip, returned to Nieder-Weisel in 1860 and it may be that Georg went with him, although there is no record of either of the cousins in the directories of the mid-1860s.

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