Konrad MARX 1825-?

Konrad was born on 14th April 1825, the second child and first son of the day-worker Friedrich Marx and Anna Dorothea Rumpff. In 1854 he married Katharina Elisabetha Adami. She gave birth to a son Johannes the following year and a daughter two years later, whom they called Katharina. When the children were old enough to be fostered out, the couple migrated to Australia under a two-year authority. They left Liverpool on 27th May 1857 aboard “Sir W F Williams” bound for Melbourne via Hobart Town.

The 56 non-English passengers amongst the 318 who experienced the eventful 85 day voyage included 30 from Nieder-Weisel. Members of the Heinz, Kissler, Riegelhuth, Klein, Schimpf, Reuter, Dilges, Muller and Koch families were in the group. This was the only group to make landfall in Van Diemen’s Land. Their vessel encountered very heavy weather as she neared Australia, sending one luckless crew member to a watery grave when he was washed overboard.

The journey, especially frightening to the peasant farmers who had never even seen deep water before, ended in Hobart Town on 19th August, but twelve more uncomfortable days passed before the villagers got to Melbourne on the steamer “City of Hobart”. They made their way to Ballarat, where they met up with friends who preceded them. Katharina gave birth to a son there in 1858 but he died. Konrad then moved west to the Smythesdale diggings. In 1860, he took out a Miners Right, which enabled him both to work a claim and erect a dwelling. During the next four years Katharina had a son who died and a son and a daughter who both lived.

Towards the end of 1863 Konrad moved across to the Rocky Lead area on the other side of Ballarat, and they lived there for another four years. Two other sons were born at Bullarook, in 1864 and 1866. In November 1864, Konrad attended the marriage of his ward, Juliana Hauser, in Ballarat.

Perhaps Konrad was successful in his prospecting – in any event he took Katharina and their children, Heinrich, Katharina, Konrad and Karl Henrich, back to Nieder-Weisel in 1867. He and Katharina resumed their house on the corner of Weissgang and Reutergasse, where they lived until Konrad’s death on 22nd July 1887.

(Konrad junior married Anna Juliana Klein in 1851. She died in childbirth twelve months later).

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