Johann Georg JUNG 1825-1878

Johann Georg Jung, born 24th January 1825, was the eldest of the three sons of Ambrosius Jung and Anna Margaretha Hildebrand who would immigrate to Victoria. Ambrosius was from Hausen; the Hildebrands had been farmers in Nieder-Weisel for many generations.

All the Jung children were born in Nieder-Weisel but by the late 1830s the family was in London where Ambrosius, who was an experienced joiner, was trying to make a living by trading. Johann Georg was confirmed in his 14th year on Palm Sunday, 24th March 1839; his younger brother Georg was confirmed there in 1842, and a third brother, Jakob, in 1846. As the younger children were confirmed in Nieder-Weisel from 1848 on, it is clear that the parents returned to the village in about 1847. Johann Georg was married in New York in 1850, so it is most unlikely that he went back with them. Christina Weller, the girl he married, was from Giessen, north of Nieder-Weisel; she was several years his senior.

The couple had two sons in America – Jakob born in Philadelphia in 1851 and Konrad early in 1853. In about July 1854 the family sailed from New York aboard the vessel “Wings of the Morning”, which Captain Lovell brought into Port Phillip on 24th October.

Christina gave birth to a third son, Peter, son after their arrival. George, as he now called himself, went prospecting in the Stawell district; George Edgar was born at Mount Ararat in 1857 and Frederick at Pleasant Creek in 1859. They went back to Ballarat for a short time and their first daughter, Christina, was born there in 1861. George finally went to the south western goldfields where a number of other migrants from Nieder-Weisel were living. Four more daughters and two sons brought their family up to a round dozen: Amelia in 1863 and Henry in 1864 in Springdallah; John 1867, Florence 1868, Bertha 1872 and Edith Alice 1876 in Happy Valley. Christina was fortunate that a State School was opened in Piggoreet in 1863 and she was able to be free of the younger children for a few hours each weekday as they reached 5-6 years of age.

In 1878 the family was looking forward to the marriage in July of the second son, Conrad, when George was killed in a mining accident. During the early morning shift at the Derwent Jacks mine on 29th April, a fall of earth in the drive trapped one of George’s shift mates. Without regard to the risk to his own life George went to his rescue but, while he was trying to dig the man free, a second fall of earth covered them and both suffocated.

Georg Jung was buried in the Lutheran section of the Smythesdale Cemetery, and his grave was marked by a headstone with an inscription in German. Christina was naturalised in 1909 when she was living at 1 Grace Street, Yarraville. She died in 1912 in Smythesdale at the age of 81.

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