Johannes ZIMMER 1828-? & Katharina HAUB 1832-?

When Johannes Zimmer III and Katharina Haub were married in the Nieder-Weisel church on Sunday 13th March 1853 no banns were read, as the bride was pregnant; their son Philipp was born in August.

Johannes was a son of the local linen-weaver, Philipp Zimmer, and his wife Anna Katharina nee Schimpf. He was born on 31st January 1828. His bride was a daughter of local citizen Johann Georg Haub VI (known as ‘The Blind One’) and Katharina Elisabetha nee Klein; she was born on 23rd August 1832. Their marriage was witnessed by the farmhand Johannes Zimmer II and the nailsmith Henrich Kissler II. Pastor Fabricius was the celebrant.

Johannes and Katharina were among a group of villagers that left Liverpool aboard “Glenmanna” on 28th October 1854. Others in the party were mainly from the Bill, Knipper and Hauser families but there was a child (apparently unaccompanied) named Margaretha Schimpf, who may have been a niece of Katharina Zimmer. There was no record of a Zimmer child.

“Glenmanna” reached Melbourne on 14th February 1855. Katharina and Johannes went to Ballarat initially but later went to Bendigo, then known as Sandhurst. On 13th May 1857, a daughter was born to Katharina in their home in Golden Square; she named the child Elizabeth. The certificate of birth, which Katharina signed in a neat hand, shows that Philipp, aged 4, was still alive. Katharina spelt her maiden name phonetically as ‘Houp’.

No later record of any member of this family has been in Australian statistics. The family stayed for only a relatively short time in Victoria compared with other temporary immigrants from the village. Katharina gave birth to a second son (who did not survive) on 8th April 1859 in the Zimmer home at the corner of Langgasse and Hauptstrasse. Four more children were born there during the next decade.

Note that Susanna Geibel, the older sister of Johannes Zimmer, arrived in Victoria early in 1857. She and her husband Jakob were on the Smythesdale diggings around the time that the Zimmers left for Germany; it is not known if they met there.

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