Katharina HILDEBRAND 1843-1927

Katharina was the first child born into the marriage of her parents Konrad Hildebrand of Nieder-Weisel and Susanna nee Reuhl from Holzheim, a small village 6 km north of Butzbach. When the marriage took place on 27th June 1841 Konrad accepted parenthood of a child, Konrad, born to Susanna eight months previously. After Katharina’s birth on 20th October 1843 a period of eleven years passed until a sister, Anna Margaretha, arrived in July 1854 when the mother was 42 years of age. It may be that Konrad had gone elsewhere to look for work during this period as many villagers were doing.

Three years later Konrad took the two older children to the colony of Victoria. They left the village on 15th October 1857 to embark in Liverpool on 16th November on the vessel “Queen of the East”. The children’s ages were kept down by five years so they could travel half-fare and in the family quarters. The fourth name on their berthing ticket was ‘Eliza Hauser‘ – she was from Nieder-Weisel but it is not clear why she was with this group.

They reached Melbourne on 24th February 1858 and went to Ballarat with their companions, who included members of the Muller, Bill and Maas families. The Mullers later went to the Rocky Lead district and then on to Daylesford; perhaps Katharina did the same, as she was married in Daylesford in 1864. The ceremony took place in the Presbyterian Church there on 24th May. The groom was Matthew Glenton, a Yorkshireman who had been born in Knaresborough. Being just underage, Katharina needed permission to marry. As this was given by her legal guardian, her father had presumably already returned to his wife and daughter in Nieder-Weisel. The two witnesses were Elisabetha Haub of Nieder-Weisel and her husband, John Body of Cornwall, who were resident in nearby Hepburn Springs.

Matthew was a postal officer stationed in Daylesford, where the couple made their home. Their first child, Emma Alice, was born in 1865 but did not survive. Six others were born in their Daylesford home: Frank Earl Hildebrand 1866; Annie Emma 1868; Arthur Charles 1870; Edith Margarita 1873; Percy John 1876 and Florence May 1878. Matthew was then posted to Rochester, where two more children were born: Blanch Evelyn in 1880 and Norman Richard 1883. After Matthew was moved to Heathcote Katharina, then in her 45th year, gave birth to a tenth child, Stanley Aubrey, in 1888. Matthew then took the position of Stationmaster at Sale where Katharina’s brother Konrad, a Cobb & Co driver, had lived for many years.

Katharina lost her husband in 1908, but she lived on for twenty more years, to see six of her children married and many of her grandchildren born. Photographs show her as a handsome woman and suggest great strength of character. She died in Malvern in November 1927 in her 85th year, the same age her father was when he died in Nieder-Weisel in 1895. In turn, she passed the gift of longevity to some of her children – Blanche lived to the age of 91 and Florence May died in her 97th year.

Katharina and Matthew are buried together in the Boroondara Cemetery at Kew.

View Katharina's Family Chart

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