Maria KRAUSGRILL 1836-1865

Maria was the eldest child of Konrad Krausgrill III and Anna Margaretha nee Wilhelmi; she was born on 6th June 1836. Her brother Philipp died in his first year, but twins Jakob and Elizabetha, who were born when Maria was seven, survived, as did Anna Margaretha the youngest child. As she grew up, Maria became a mother’s helpmate with the young ones.

Conditions in the village were bad as Maria moved into her teens and her father arranged for her to immigrate to Victoria with one of the first groups to depart Nieder-Weisel as the mass migration got under way. She sailed from Hamburg on “Undine” on 12th September 1854; she was only 18 and she was the only female in the group. Christoph Krausgrill, a very distant cousin from nearby Butzbach, acted as her chaperone.

Arriving in Melbourne on 15th January 1855, the group of excited but apprehensive villagers went to meet up with earlier arrivals in Ballarat. From here, they spread through the central goldfields, some north to Daylesford and Castlemaine, some west to Ararat and Stawell. Maria went with the latter group and, at Pleasant Creek near Stawell, she met her future husband, Philipp Presser. He was an immigrant from Oldenberg in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. Maria timed her wedding to fit in with the arrival of her parents, who brought the other children out in 1858. They reached Pleasant Creek in March and the marriage took place on 30th April, according to the rites of the Church of England.

Philipp continued to prospect in the area. Maria gave birth to their first child at Crowlands near Avoca in April 1859; she named her Eliza, but the child died just before her first birthday. A son, Philipp, was born at Mia Mia Flats near Heathcote in 1861. Maria produced a second son, Charles, at Talbot in 1863. Maria’s sister Elisabetha married chandler Karl Schieblich in 1862 and they settled in Talbot. The other members of their family went back to Nieder-Weisel. Maria then began to suffer heart attacks, which ended her life on 7th June 1865, a day after her 28th birthday. She was buried the next day in the Landsborough cemetery.

No further record of her husband and children has been found; perhaps Philipp took his sons back to his hometown.

View Maria's Family Chart

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