Johann Georg FETT (1839-?) & Katharina FETT (1845-?)

On 14th November 1861, Katharina, 17 year old daughter of Konrad Fett (born 4th February 18O2), received authorisation to migrate to Australia in the company of her brother, “who had already worked on the goldfields there”. Katharina, born on 17th June 1845, was the only girl in the family of four children produced by Konrad Fett’s wife, Katharina Hauser (born 24th March 1809). Her three brothers were Jakob born 1834, Johann Georg born 1839, and Johann Jakob born 1848. Their father, who earlier had been a postal employee in Dorheim, was by now a casual day-worker in the village. He must have tried to find better employment in England, as he died in Leicester in 1853 when Katharina was only 8 years of age.

In 1861 the youngest brother Johann Jakob was too young to have been a prospector, whilst the eldest was married in Nieder-Weisel early in 1862, so it must have been Johann Georg who accompanied her. There is no record of an earlier trip to Victoria by Johann Georg, nor of this second trip with his sister. Neither of the two married in the colony, nor did they die there. Unless they moved on to another state, or emigrated to New Zealand, it is likely that they returned to Nieder-Weisel.

In the 1866 Nieder-Weisel directory, Katharina is shown as the occupant of a house on the east side of High Street, midway between Weissgang and Die Klaus. Her nickname “Die Oeser Kathrein” suggests a connection with the hamlet of Oes – her baptism sponsor was the wife of Jakob Hauser of Oes; her father’s father had been mayor of the hamlet. One of Katharina’s brothers, Konrad born 1812, and Elisabetha Margaretha Ziegler, the widow of their younger brother Jakob (born 1817), had emigrated to Victoria in the 185Os.

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