Juliana MULLER 1852-1935

Juliana was the eighth child born to the marriage of Konrad Muller, nail-smith, and Margaretha Schimpf of Nieder-Weisel. There were Muller families in the village as early as 1600, but Juliana’s forebears arrived (possibly from Osingem) only thirty years before her birth. The Schimpfs had held positions of authority in the village for generations.

When Juliana was born on 13th December 1852, three sisters and two brothers greeted her arrival. Two earlier children had died in infancy. Juliana lost her mother when she was only four; her father married again in 1857. He migrated the next year with his all his family except Juliana, who stayed with her foster parents until she was 16. Her stepmother returned to the village in 1868; she died soon after. Juliana then left Nieder-Weisel and went out to Victoria to join the rest of her family. She sailed from Liverpool on 1st December 1868 aboard “Philosopher”, in company with a Katharina Jung, who was even younger that Juliana. They endured a tedious voyage of twenty-one weeks.

Juliana lived with her family in Italian Hill, Daylesford, for only about six months; on 30th October 1869 she was married. Her husband was Philipp Koch, also a recent arrival from Nieder-Weisel. The ceremony was held in Christ Church, Daylesford, with the necessary approval of her father, as she was still a minor; her older sister, Christina, witnessed the contract.

The newly-weds settled in a small timber cottage at Smith’s Creek, about 2 km from Daylesford, where five sons and four daughters were born during the next two decades: Philipp Reinhard 1870, Christina 1871, John George 1875, Margaretha 1879, William 1881, Jacob 1883, Konrad 1885, Ellen 2889, and Louis 1890.

In addition to all her responsibilities towards her growing family, Juliana augmented the family’s limited finances by raising poultry and growing vegetables. She also made soap, jams and preserves and made the children’s clothes.

Juliana was a deeply religious person and each night read a passage from her German Bible. She maintained contacts with the new Wesleyan Church in Smith’s Creek, of which her son, Louis, was a foundation member. Juliana retained her robust good health well into her later years and maintained a keen interest in the development of her grandchildren, who liked the picnic visits to Granny’s home as they grew up.

Philipp, who had supported his family by working as a miner in one of the deep lead mines near Daylesford, died in 1912. Juliana lived on in their modest home for another twenty-two years. As Philipp had done earlier, she applied for naturalisation and these Letters were granted in January 1928, seven years before she died. Her death occurred on 28th March 1935 and she was buried in the cemetery at Daylesford, her beloved Bible in her hands.

View Juliana's Family Chart

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