Jakob REUTER 1840-?
“Star of the East” made her third round trip from England to Australia in 1856-57. She sailed from Liverpool on 21st October 1856 with 282 passengers and arrived in Port Phillip (with an extra Riegelhuth baby) on 12th January 1857. As well as six Riegelhuths, two Zimmers, three Wilhelms and a Reuter had come from Nieder-Weisel.
The Reuter passenger was described as ‘Jacob, aged 10, son-in-law (!) of Anna Wilhelm’. The parish Family Books show that the only Jakob Reuter born in the village from 1835 to 1850 was a son of the baker Philipp Reuter (1814 – 1846) and Katharina nee Geibel (b 1813); he was their only child, born on 15th June 1840.
Philipp Reuter died in 1846, so his son could not follow his profession, which would explain why he chose to join in the emigration from the village. He was of course 15 years of age when the booking was made but it was a general custom to lower the age of teenagers so that they could travel in the family quarters at half fare. Philipp’s other two grandparents were Marx and Fett and he was not in any way related to Frau Wilhelm or to the Zimmers on whose ticket he travelled.
The Nieder-Weisel group went to Ballarat so it is probable that Jakob did likewise. The Riegelhuths later went on to Smythesdale and the Zimmers went to Castlemaine, whilst the Wilhelms stayed in the provincial capital. There is no way of telling if Jakob went with the others, as he does not appear in further Victorian records. He neither married nor died in the colony, so it must be assumed that he eventually became one of the many immigrants who returned to the village.