Katharina DERN 1820-?

This Dern family was from Lang-Gons, a very small village about 6 km northwest of Nieder-Weisel. Katharina, born 26th February 1820 to farm-hand Johannes Dern and his wife Maria nee Bergk, moved to the larger village in search of employment; it was there that she met Konrad Haub, eldest son of Ambrosius and Anna Margaretha Haub. Katharina and Konrad were married during a prayer hour on 6th September 1846 in the Nieder-Weisel parish church after the banns had been read there and in Lang-Gons on the three previous Sundays.

There were only two children born to this union – Katharina on 25th June 1847 and a son who died. Late in 1855, Katharina was widowed and she decided to take her daughter to Australia to try to give her a better start in life. This action seems to have been predetermined, as the two left Nieder-Weisel less than three months after Konrad died. A group of the villagers was booked to sail on “Mindoro” from Liverpool in April; Katharina and her 8 year-old daughter joined them. They left the Mersey on 22nd April and reached Melbourne on 14th July 1856.

There were a number of Dern immigrants in Ballarat at the time, including a Konrad Dern who is known to have been from Lang-Gons, and no doubt related to Katharina, and this is where she went with her daughter. Katharina would have had no difficulty in finding domestic employment in the busy mining centre. Later, she lived with a German immigrant named Jost Jung, who was from Hausen – a village to the west of Nieder-Weisel. She had a child on 5th August 1859, whom she named Anna Maria Jung, and a son, Christoph Jung, on 23rd August 1862. On the first birth certificate the mother’s name is shown as Dern and on the second as Haub. Jost was married, with three children – presumably living in Hausen. His wife died on 31st December 1863 and he married Katharina in Christ Church of England in Ballarat on 24th March 1864; this legitimised the two Jung children.

In November 1863, her daughter Katharina married; she was not quite 16 years old. There is no further record of Katharina senior in the Victorian records. She was by now 43 years of age and would be unlikely to have had any more children. The Victorian records of her marriage and of the births of her children were transcribed into the Nieder-Weisel Family Books in 1872. It can be inferred from this that Katharina returned to the village in that year. Whether Jost Jung was with her and, if so, whether they settled in Hausen or in Nieder-Weisel is not known.

Her daughter Katharina did remain in Victoria, married Henrich Haintz, and raised a family of ten children at Mount Prospect.

View Katharina's Family Chart

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