Philipp MAAS 1819-1865

Philipp was the third of the five children born to Christoph Maas V and Susanna nee Haub, the widow of Christoph Wilhelm III. Philipp’s parents were married on 24th May 1815. Their eldest daughter, Susanna, was born in 1816. Their first son, Christoph, died just before Philipp was born on 14th November 1819. Their next daughter also died in infancy and a third daughter, Anna Elisabetha, completed their family. There were also three daughters and a son from Susanna’s first marriage, born 1806 to 1812, whom Christoph had to support on his limited income. In 1826, soon after Philipp was enrolled in the village school, Susanna senior died; fortunately Christoph had two sisters who were still unmarried and they were able to help him with the younger children.

In adulthood, Philipp had little choice but to earn a living, as his father had, working on the land as a casual labourer for one of the large landholders. He was 30 before he was allowed to marry Margaretha Riegelhuth. There were no children to this marriage and, in 1857, Philipp felt free to join in the last organised group of villagers seeking their fortunes on the goldfields of Victoria. Anna Elisabetha, his younger sister, was married to their second cousin Johannes Maas V and the brothers-in-law sailed from Liverpool on “Queen of the East” on 16th November.

On board were Konrad Krausgrill with his wife, Anna Margaretha nee Wilhelm, Philipp’s half-sister. They were taking their younger children out to Victoria to attend the marriage of their daughter Maria. Johann Georg, brother of Anna Margaretha, had died in 1850 and his widow, Anna Margaretha nee Bill, had taken her younger children to Victoria in 1857, so Philipp and Johannes had many relatives in the colony.

“Queen of the East” reached Melbourne on 24th February 1858 and the immigrants went to the Golden Triangle. No record has been found of Philipp’s movements around the diggings during the next few years until he was admitted, as a miner, to Ballarat Hospital early in 1865 for treatment of a malfunctioning liver. This was not successful; he died in hospital on 10th April from cirrhosis, which was often the result of heavy drinking.

Philipp Maas was buried in the Ballarat cemetery on 12th April 1865. The news of his death was taken back to his wife in Nieder-Weisel, probably by Johannes, who returned to his wife and children at about this time.

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