Konrad HAUSER 1812-?

Among the mature-age men who arrived in Melbourne aboard the  vessel “Luise” on 23rd February 1855 was Konrad Hauser, one of 23 passengers who named Nieder-Weisel as their place of origin.

The records of the parish church in Nieder-Weisel show that only one Hauser child received the name Konrad in the period 1840-1845; he was the first-born son of Johan Jakob Hauser and Margaretha nee Haub, born 14th November 1812. His sponsor was a son of the late Johann Georg Hauser, the mayor of Oes (a hamlet 4 km west of Nieder-Weisel) who was Konrad’s paternal grandfather. The only other children in the family were an older sister and a brother, Jakob, born five years after Konrad.

In spite of his background, Konrad’s father could find work only as a seasonal farm-worker and this dismal prospect faced his sons as they approached manhood. Jakob went to nearby Butzbach in search of more satisfying employment; Konrad may have done likewise earlier as there is no record of him in Nieder-Weisel after his first communion in 1826. Jakob married in 1847 but his brother remained single. This meant there was no hindrance to Konrad’s decision to join the others who travelled to Hamburg to board “Luisa” at the beginning of October in 1854. Perhaps it was the death of his widowed father in April that year, a year after his wife died, which precipitated this move.

The group from Nieder-Weisel went to Ballarat, to try to assess the prospects for the others in the village who were thinking of emigrating. Most of the new arrivals found the novelty of life in the bustling goldmining centres very exciting; their letters (or their word of mouth reports when they returned to Nieder-Weisel, as nearly fifty percent of this group did) encouraged many others to come to Victoria in the next three years. One of these was Elisabetha Margaretha Ziegler, the widow of his brother Jacob.

Presumably Konrad was among those who did return; no further record of him in Australia has come to hand.

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