Maria HAUSER 1847-?

Maria, born 3Oth June 1847, was the second child and only daughter of the farmhand Peter Hauser V; three sons made up the smaller-than-usual family. Peter’s wife was Elisabetha nee Hauser, daughter of Christoph Hauser II. The smallness of the family resulted from Peter’s decision to join the flood of villagers migrating to the Victorian goldfields in 1854, leaving four children aged 1 to 9 in the care of his wife. The men he was with left Liverpool aboard “Glenmanna” on 26th October; his second cousin, Peter Hauser VI, was among the 3O or more Nieder-Weiselerns.

Like the other emigrants, Peter had permission to be away from the village for only two years; five years after leaving he was still somewhere on the Victorian gold-fields.

Maria made her first communion on Whitmonday 1861 and later that year requested permission to go to Victoria to join her father. At about this time, Peter made application for naturalisation papers; these were approved but, before they were issued, the papers were cancelled. In most cases this was because the petitioner had decided to re-emigrate to another country or return to his homeland.

The district court at Butzbach authorised Maria’s journey to Victoria on 17th February 1862. She was still only 14 and it seems unlikely that she would have made the trip unaccompanied; unfortunately, there is no record of this journey. Her father did return to Nieder-Weisel; he worked in the village as a farmhand until his death on 8th October 1876. Maria may have gone back with him – she married Konrad Hildebrand XI in Nieder-Wiesel. The reason for Maria’s journey out to Victoria is a matter for conjecture; perhaps she came out to try to persuade her father to return to his wife, and/or she brought some money for his return fare. Alternatively, as a young girl now at risk in the turbulent conditions of the times, her mother may have sent her to the relative safety of Victoria.

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