Philipp KOCH 1842-1912

Philipp was the only son born to the plough-hand Johann Georg Koch and Katharina nee Krausgrill. The first daughter arrived just six months after their marriage on 17th January 1830; five more years went by before a second daughter was born and it was not until 20th July 1842 that Katharina was able to give her husband a son and heir. This completed their unusually small family.

Philipp’s forebears had never held tenure to more than a very small landholding from which to wring a modest livelihood, and the loss of even this in the upheaval of the Coalition War left the family in a position of penury to the extent that great-grandfather Gerhard Koch had literally starved to death in his miserable living quarters.

Although his sister Anna Margaretha had emigrated in 1856, Philipp was judged to be too young to go with her group. He undertook an apprenticeship in tailoring, to equip himself for earning a living away from the land. However employment conditions deteriorated further and, facing the prospect of military service, he left the village and made his way to England. On 23rd January 1863 he sailed from Liverpool on board the small and crowded sailing ship “Arabian”; a boring journey of over 16 weeks lay ahead of him.

Philipp arrived in Port Philip on 17th May and went to the Ballarat goldfields. By 1868 he was in the Daylesford region where many deep lead mines were working. In April of the next year he met Juliana Muller, recently arrived from Nieder-Weisel to be with the rest of her family. Although Juliana was ten years younger, it was a case of love at first sight; the two were married on 30th October after a brief romance. The ceremony was held in the tiny Congregational Church in Daylesford. The bride’s father gave her away and a sister, Christina, was the matron of honour.

Philipp had brought out some heavy duty stitching equipment that was capable of making protective clothing suitable for underground working, but he did not work at his trade. Albino Paganetti, his brother-in-law, was a big shareholder in the Long Tunnel Mine (so-called because of the 1,800 metre adit driven under the hill which covered the line of lode) and Philipp supported his growing family by working in this mine.

Juliana produced nine children in the five-roomed timber house they occupied in Smiths Creek on the outskirts of Daylesford. Five were boys and four were girls and all were successfully raised to a robust adulthood. Seven of these children married and Philipp and Juliana had the satisfaction of a subsequent generation of children brightening the homestead, as they grew old together.

Philipp had been able to keep in contact with his sister Anna Margaretha during the early years, as she and her husband Martin Reinheimer lived with their family in the Castlemaine area, 30 km away; however they moved away to Horsham in 1870, where Anna Margaretha died in 1900.

Philipp was granted letters of naturalisation in 1897 and lived the last 15 years of his life as a citizen of his adopted country. He died in 1912, in his 70th year, and was buried at Daylesford.

View Philipp's Family Chart

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