Konrad KISSLER 1836-1858
Konrad was born in Nieder-Weisel on 4th March 1835 to Johann Jakob Kissler I and his wife, Susanna nee Maas. The Kisslers had been master nail-smiths in the village since Nikolaus Kissler emigrated from Steinbach in about 1740. Susanna’s family were of burgermeister rank until the upheaval of the Wars of Napoleon reduced them to a more lowly status.
Konrad’s parents were married on 24th November 1833, and Konrad was the first of the thirteen children who would be born into the family’s home on the High Street over the next twenty-one years. It was fortunate that the father was able to continue at his trade till the younger children who survived reached adulthood.
In normal circumstances Konrad would have been an apprentice in his father’s trade, making iron and copper nails for the farriers and the carpenters. However, there was little that was normal at that time in the village and in 1856 Konrad would find himself in the Port of Liverpool. With two of his sisters, Anna Margaretha 16 and Katharina 15, the 20 year old ‘Conrad Keayslear’ sailed aboard “Red Jacket” on 20th May for the Antipodes. The trade of ‘Musician’ recorded against Konrad’s name perhaps indicates that he, like other villagers, had been working in this capacity in England whilst saving the money for his fare and those of his sisters.
The voyage to Melbourne was an enjoyable one, and was completed in less than twelve weeks. The Kisslers and the other migrants from Nieder-Weisel (Haubs, Schimpfs, Hausers, Bills and Riegelhuths) went on to Ballarat to meet up with the villagers who had preceded them.
The great adventure had begun but, for Konrad, it would be of very limited duration. Just two years after leaving England, on Saturday, 8th May 1858, a few days after his 23rd birthday, Konrad Kissler, miner, died on the Victorian goldfields.
Konrad’s sisters married and settled in Victoria.
View Konrad's Family Chart