Jakob KRAUSGRILL 1814-1876

Jakob was born on 28th September 1814, almost twenty years after the marriage of his parents, farm hand Jakob Krausgrill and his wife Katharina nee Wilhelmi; he was the last of their twelve children. When Jakob was only eleven his father died, but of course the older boys were able to help support their younger siblings and Katharina. Jakob became an apprentice cabinet-maker as his older brother Konrad had done before him.

Jakob developed a close friendship with Christina, a daughter of Johannes Dern and Maria nee Bergk of Lang-Gons, a village 5 km north of Nieder-Weisel. In 1837, whilst Jakob was serving with the army of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, Christina gave birth to an illegitimate daughter who was baptised Anna Margaretha Christina Krausgrill in the church at Nieder-Weisel. This child died six months later and a second illegitimate daughter, Katharina, was born in the first week of January 1839.

Jakob and Christina had four other children during the next nine years but only two lived – Christina born on 11th March 1846 and Elisabetha 24th September 1848. In 1849 the 10 year-old Katharina died. The children all carried the name Krausgrill although Jakob and Christina were not married until 27th June 1841.

In 1853 Jakob and two other joiners were the first migrants from Nieder-Weisel to appear on shipping records in the independent state of Victoria. On 25th August 1853 their ship “Wilhelmsberg” reached Port Phillip after a journey of 101 days from Hamburg. Jakob and his messmates, Johann Hauser and Konrad Loh, joined the tens of thousands of “diggers” on the well-worn track to the Ballarat goldfields.

In 1855 Jakob’s niece Maria Krausgrill arrived in the colony, and three years later his brother Konrad brought the rest of his family out to attend Maria’s wedding. Her younger sister Anna Margaretha was confirmed at Easter 1860 in a Lutheran church in Ballarat. Another confirmation candidate was Christina Krausgrill, who must have been Jakob’s daughter, then 14. Konrad and family went back to Nieder-Weisel soon after this; Jakob and his daughter may have been with them. Familiarly known as Engelworts Schreiner, Jakob Krausgrill II was in his Weidgasse home in 1866; he died in Nieder-Weisel on 1st January 1876, and his wife Christina died on 14th March 1899.

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