Johann FETT 1823-?

When “Donald Mackay” departed from Melbourne on 8th November 1858 bound for Liverpool, her passengers list showed a ‘Geo Fett 35’, travelling with Jacob Reis and P Hildebrand. It is known that the last-named was Philipp Hildebrand of Nieder-Weisel.

If, as seems likely, Geo Fett was another migrant returning to the village, he could only have been the second “spurious” son, born on 6th March 1823, to Anna Margaretha, a daughter of Christoph Fett and Katharina Krausgrill. Her first illegitimate son, Konrad 1821-1824, was said to be the child of an Austrian soldier serving in the Wetterau. Johann Georg Fett was said to be the child of shoe-maker Philipp Schimpf, born 18O6. Anna Margaretha Fett and Philipp Schimpf were married six years later, in March 1833, but the boy was not legitimised by their marriage contract – when he was confirmed on Whitmonday 1847, he was described as Johann Georg Fett, step-son of Philipp Schimpf, and eldest son (born illegitimately) of his wife Anna Margaretha nee Fett.

No record of the arrival of Johann Georg Fett has been found in Victorian shipping records, nor is it known if he actually returned to Nieder-Weisel, or perhaps settled in England or North America

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