Johann Georg REUTER 1820-1872

The eight passengers who booked on “Victoria” for the voyage to Melbourne which began in Hamburg in 1854 and who gave Nieder-Weisel as their place of origin, included Johann Georg Reuter, adult, single. In such cases, ‘single’ meant that the person was not travelling with a spouse. An adult was older than 14 years of age.

There were only two adults in the village at this time with this name:

  • Johann Georg Reuter born 6th October 1807 to Konrad Reuter and Maria Elisabetha nee Marx, and
  • Johann Georg Reuter born 17th September 1820 to Johann Adam Reuter and Katharina nee Koch.

Johann Georg born 1807 was the eldest in a family of two boys and two girls. Their mother died soon after the birth of her second daughter and Konrad married again in 1821. His wife, 19 year old Anna Margaretha Zimmer, had a son in 1822.

This Johann Georg was married on 13th February 1834 to Eva, a daughter of Johann Peter Moekel and Juliana Damon, residents of nearby Hoch-Weisel. The first child to their marriage was Philipp, born in 1835; four others followed, in 1839, 1842, 1845 and 1849. On 2nd December 1862, Philipp was married in the parish church. It may be that he was the ‘Philipp Peter’ who travelled to Tasmania on the “Sir W F Williams” in 1857 and then came on to Victoria.

The second Johann Georg was the eldest in a family of six boys and three girls; two were still-born, three died as babies, one in childhood, and one at the age of 20. The father died in 1844 and the mother did not remarry. The only daughter who survived, Anna Juliana born 1822, was married on 8th February 1846 to Georg Schmid – they arrived in Melbourne aboard “Red Jacket” in August 1856. With them was Katharina Reuter, daughter of Johann Georg’s brother Johann Adam Reuter, travelling as Catherine Schmidt.

This Johann Georg Reuter married Anna Margaretha Hildebrand in Nieder-Weisel on 17th October 1847 – she was a daughter of the builder, Balthasar. She had three children in the period from 1848 to 1853 and, after a long gap of six years, two more in 1859 and 1861. This could be explained by Johann Georg’s absence from 1854 till 1858 on the Victorian goldfields.

These facts point fairly conclusively towards Johann Georg born 1820 as being the migrant on the “Victoria”. There is no other record of him in the colony, and this is consistent with his having gone back home after 3-4 years on the goldfields. Anna Juliana Schmid had a daughter in Nieder-Weisel in March 1861, so perhaps Johann Georg returned with that family in, say, 1858.

The Johann Georg Reuter who was born in 1820 died in Nieder-Weisel on 4th December 1872 in his home in the Domgasse. He was known as ‘Pfeiferche’, his father having served as a piper in the land militia.

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