Johann Georg LENZ 1829-1889
Johann Georg was from a Nieder-Weisel family that lost most of its members to the Victorian exodus. This was not surprising, as the father Jakob Lenz died on a working trip to London in 1833, leaving their mother, Anna Margaretha nee Haub, with five young children and a sixth yet to be born. Johann Georg, born 18th September 1829, was the youngest of four sons and a daughter living when their father died at the age of 38 and there was little for them to look forward to as they moved towards adulthood.
On 30th July 1854, Johann Georg married 18 year old Anna Elisabetha Bill; no banns were read from the pulpit as the bride was pregnant. She gave birth 3 months later to a daughter, Elisabetha, who was left in the village with foster parents when the parents migrated soon after.
The record of their journey to Victoria has never been found; they may have came out in 1857, when Johann Georg’s brothers Friedrich and Johann Konrad emigrated. By 1858 Johann Georg was on the “diggings” at Smythesdale, where many Nieder-Weiselerns had congregated. Here Anna Elisabetha gave birth to twins Philipp and Konrad on 29th March 1859. A third son, Peter, was born in 1862, but he was to be the last in the family. In July 1866 Anna Elisabetha developed appendicitis; she died from peritonitis on 31st July and the next day was buried at Ballarat; she was only aged 30.
Johann Georg was fortunate to have his sister Christina and sisters-in-law to help him with the task of raising his three young sons. When they were in their teens, he re-married. His bride was Susan McCann, who had been born in Melbourne to Irish immigrant parents. The wedding was celebrated in Daylesford on 26th July 1875. Johann Georg was now working as a timber splitter in the Bullarto forest.
There were six children to this second marriage – Margaret Jane, 1876; Ellen Susan, 1879; Christina 1879; George, 1881; Susan Agnes, 1883; Wilhelmina 1889; all born at Bullarto. Johann Georg was over 60 when Wilhelmina arrived; he died soon after on 14th April and was buried in Daylesford cemetery.