Peter WILHELM 1837-? & Katharina WILHELM 1847-?

On 14th December 1861, Katharina Wilhelm received assent from the district court at Butzbach to her formal request to be allowed to go to Melbourne in order to join her brother Peter there.

Katharina was born on Saturday 1Oth July 1847 to the wife of beer brewer and cooper Johann Georg Wilhelm (born 18th September 1807), Katharina nee Hildebrand (born 19th July 1810) – daughter of the brewer Kaspar Hildebrand. Katharina Wilhelm was the only girl in a family of eight. The affluence of the family began to decline when the father died in 1855 at the age of 48. Johann George, the eldest child, emigrated to Brazil and the next brother, Peter, apparently joined in the mass emigration to Victoria – although the record of his journey has not been found. His aunt, Anna Elisabetha, whose husband Nikolaus Hildebrand was the victim of a cholera epidemic in England, took five of her children to Victoria in December 1855 and Peter, facing military conscription, may have gone at about the same time, using an alias.

There is no record of Katharina’s journey either; this may be because the search of passenger lists has not been extended past 186O in great detail. Peter is known to have died in California and it is not unreasonable to postulate that Katharina migrated to North America with him. Certainly, she did not marry or die in Victoria.

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