Peter HILDEBRAND 1855-1880

When Jakob Hildebrand arrived in Melbourne aboard “Greyhound” on 26th Aug 1857 with Elizabeth Hauser (nee Ziegler), his second-wife-to-be, one of the four youngsters with them was a male infant. The name of this boy was not noted, but we know that it was Peter, born on 24 August 1855, the seventh child born to Jakob’s first wife Anna Katharina Heinz (1817-1856), who had died soon after giving birth.

Jakob settled his family in East Melbourne, where he set up a wood and coal yard in Little Lonsdale Street, on the corner of Green’s Lane. There were five children born to Peter’s stepmother, of whom three boys and a girl survived infancy. The peace of the family home was periodically broken by the drunken rages of the father, eventually to become a victim of delerium tremens.

When Peter was 14, his father left home after one such attack and was found two weeks later drowned in the River Yarra. His stepmother carried on the business for a while, but she also became a heavy drinker, expending most of the family’s income on alcohol. She died in June 1876 of liver and brain damage when her youngest child was 10.

Peter presumably helped support his stepbrothers and stepsisters, doing general labouring work. He lived in later years with his brother or brother-in-law at 125 Exploration Lane, off Little Lonsdale Street; he never married.

Peter’s life ended prematurely on 25th September 1888. A neighbour saw him come out of his residence after lunch that day and collapse in the back-yard. The autopsy showed that he had pleuro-pneumonia. His step-brother George Hildebrand stated that he was a heavy drinker and had suffered from congestion during the previous month.

View Peter's Family Chart

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top