Martin KRAUSGRILL 1815-?

Martin Krausgrill was born in Nieder-Weisel on 14th June 1815. He was a son of Johann Martin Krausgrill (1780-1846) and Anna Elisabetha nee Jung (1789-1821), who married in 1812. The Krausgrills had farmed in Nieder-Weisel, and served in administrative positions in the village, for centuries. Martin’s only brother died young, leaving a sister, Anna Juliana, as the only other sibling.

Martin married in 1842. His wife was Katharina Hauser, born 1814 to Johann Georg Hauser III and Anna Elisabetha nee Bodenroeder. The couple produced five consecutive sons, one of whom was stillborn, before their only daughter arrived in 1855. Martin, struggling to support his six dependents on a farmhand’s limited wage, decided there was really no future in the village for his sons. With two like-minded men, Philipp Knipper and Philipp Adami, he left the village soon after the birth of Juliana.

The trio sailed on 20th October 1856 from Liverpool on board “Merrie England” and reached Melbourne on 16th January 1857. A much larger group of migrants from Nieder-Weisel was a few days behind them. Amongst them were Jakob Winter and Juliana Belloff.

Martin went prospecting with many of the others on the goldfields around Smythes Creek. On 3rd July 1859 he and Ambrosius Winter witnessed the marriage of Juliana and Konrad Dern. Martin’s sister Anna Juliana had been the sponsor at Juliana’s baptism in 1841.

In 1864 Martin was one of the prospectors who signed a petition requesting that Sebastopol, a settlement near Ballarat, be allowed to remain as a Ward of the Shire of Buninyong. Christoph Krausgrill was also a signatory. Presumably they were both resident in the Sebastopol district at that time.

Martin’s two oldest sons, Johannes and Konrad, came to Victoria, no doubt at the instigation of their father. Konrad arrived in 1861, Johannes perhaps earlier. They presumably joined Martin in Sebastopol. Early in 1866, Martin received the news of his wife’s death on 27th May 1865. He left Melbourne on 8th October 1868 on board “Great Britain” in company with Konrad Muller, who had worked in Ballarat as a dyer. The boys did not go with their father; they returned in 1872. In the meantime, Martin had married again, in December 1870; his home was near the south end of Hauptstrasse.

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