Konrad ADAMI 1808-1864

Elisabetha Hildebrand, a daughter of the tapestry weaver Johann Konrad Hildebrand, married the butcher Johann Friedrich Adami in 1785 when she was 22 years of age. During the next twenty years, they produced a family of twelve children – three Jakobs, two Julianas, an Elisabetha, a Christoph, a Friedrich and four Konrads. The fourth Konrad, who was the 12th child in the family, was born on 29th August 1808 when his mother was in her 46th year.

With five older brothers, there would have been a very slim chance, if any, of Konrad being able to learn his father’s trade and, like many young men in the village, he offered himself to the lessees of the large agricultural enterprises as a daily-paid farm hand. He accumulated enough capital to be given permission to marry when he was 28. His bride was Anna Margaretha Hildebrand, daughter of the farm hand Johann Jakob Hildebrand II and his wife Maria Katharina nee Wilhelmi; they exchanged vows in the parish church on Sunday 13th December 1835 during the afternoon church service.

The marriage of Konrad and Anna Margaretha was an unfruitful one, and perhaps this influenced Konrad to join twenty-two other men from the village who went to Victoria in 1854 when he was approaching 50 years of age. They made their uncomfortable way on the barque “Luise” out of Hamburg, reaching Melbourne on 23rd February 1855 after 136 days on the angry seas. The party, which included several other villagers of Konrad’s age group, joined about fifty others who had arrived in Ballarat during the previous month or two. From here they spread out to the diggings in the so-called Golden Triangle of Victoria.

The task of Konrad and the other family men seems to have been to test the wind, as it were; in the next four years nearly 300 others would leave the village, most of them never to return. His wife’s brother Konrad Hildebrand was one who brought his children out to get them started on a new life in a new world, and then returned. Konrad Adami also returned; he died in Nieder-Weisel on 1st April 1864.

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