Peter Karl HAUSER 1850-1909

A number of Nieder-Weiselerns emigrated to Victoria and later went back to their homeland but Peter Karl Hauser is remembered for the fact that he made the return trip twice – once as a child and then as an adult with his own children.

Peter Karl, born 21st November 1850, was the second child and son of the farmer Peter Hauser VI and his wife Katharina nee Knipper. When he was only three years old, his parents joined with a large group of villagers who had decided to try their luck on the Victorian goldfields. They took with them their eldest son Georg, but Peter Karl and his six months old brother Konrad were left with their grand-parents.

Like many of the emigrants, Peter Hauser decided not to go back to Nieder-Weisel and he sent for Peter Karl to come out and join the family in Ballarat. Chaperoned by Katharina Plough nee Wetzel, six youngsters sailed from Liverpool aboard “Shalimar” on 22nd August 1862 on the long trip to Melbourne. The excitement with which he looked forward to this new experience would have been dampened had Peter Karl known that his brother Georg had died in an accident several weeks before “Shalimar” sailed.

Disembarking at Melbourne on 15th November, Peter Karl and his cousin Johannes Heinz went to the gold-fields to join their parents who, after eight years, must have been virtual strangers. Reaching his fourteenth year, Peter Karl was confirmed, as Nieder-Weisel custom demanded; the ceremony was held in the Lutheran Church in Ballarat on 15th May 1864. His parents later decided to return home and Peter Karl once again found himself in the more familiar surroundings of the village, where he joined his father on the land.

On 16th September 1877 Peter Karl married Margaretha Maas, the 24 year old daughter of farm-hand Johannes Maas VI and Anna Elisabetha nee Haub. On 1st May of the following year, Margaretha produced a son, who was named Johannes. A daughter, Elisabetha, was born on 2nd March 1880 and a second girl, Anna, on 21st August 1883. No further children were born as Margaretha’s health failed. It was arranged that Peter Karl and the girls would go out to Victoria where a cousin, Christoph Heinz and his childless wife Augusta, were prepared to foster the girls.

Margaretha died on 4th July 1887, probably just after Peter Karl and her daughters were going aboard the steamer “Habsburg”. This took them from Bremen via Adelaide to Melbourne, arriving 29th September 1887. The girls went to live at Rosebank Villa, the palatial home of the Heinz couple at Buninyong, while their father settled in Ballarat, about 15 km to the north. Peter Karl found employment with his cousin Johannes Heinz, who was the proprietor of the very successful enterprise, Heinz Bros. Butchers.

Peter Karl planned to spend the rest of his days in Victoria. With this in mind he took out naturalisation papers, taking the Oath of Allegiance on 17th April 1887 before Justice of the Peace, Johannes Heinz, who was also his sponsor. These Letters were duly granted a few weeks later but something happened to change his mind. Leaving his daughters behind, he went back to Nieder-Weisel for the second time. He worked at casual jobs as a daily-paid farm hand until his death on 16th April 19O9 in his home at 188 Staatsstrasse.

Peter Karl’s daughter, Anna, married a member of the Heinz staff; many descendants live in Victoria. Little is known about the life of her sister, Elisabetha.

View Peter Karl's Family Chart

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