Philipp ADAMI 1828-1916

Philipp, born 30th September 1828, was the third of five sons born to Christoph Adami and Katharina Elisabetha nee Bill, but the first to survive. He grew up with three sisters and two younger brothers in the modest home that was all his father was able to sustain on his uncertain wages as a farm hand. Philipp was 16 when his father died. He completed the required term of service in the army and went back to his job as a seasonal farm worker. He was 27 years of age before he could get permission to marry his lover, Katharina nee Maas, and then only due to the fact that she was almost to full term with their child. The ceremony took place on Sunday 25th November 1855 without banns having been read; the baby was born on Christmas Day and baptised Elisabetha five days later.

Philipp could see no useful future in the village and decided to join those going to Victoria in an attempt to improve their fortunes. He left with a small group in September 1856, not knowing that a second child was just on the way. They travelled on “Merrie England”, sailing from Liverpool on 20th October and reaching Melbourne on 16th January 1857. His sister Elisabetha followed sixteen days behind on “Sunshine”, with 40 other Nieder-Weiselerns.

Philipp was on the central goldfields when he received news of the birth of his daughter Christina, on 4th June 1857; six months later came the further news that the little girl had died on 18th January 1858. The birth may have affected his wife’s health – on 30th March 1860 she also died. This news could not have reached Philipp before mid-year and, by Christmas time, he was married again. His second wife was a widow, Katharina nee Jung of Hausen; she had lost her husband, Kaspar Koch from Nieder-Weisel, less than a year after their marriage, and five months before the birth of her first child. Philipp and Katharina lived for a while in Ballarat where, in October 1860, their daughter Catherine was born.

Philipp then went mining on the Creswick diggings before moving back to Bullarook, a few km out of Ballarat. A second daughter, Klara Heinz, was born in 1864 and a third, Anna Catharina, in 1866; she lived only eight months and was buried in the Old Cemetery at Ballarat. The fifth child, born in 1868, was also a girl, to whom they gave the name Mary and it was not until 1873, when she was 42 years of age, that Katharina succeeded in giving her husband a son to whom he could pass on the name Philipp Adami.

Philipp and Katharina eventually settled at Rocky Lead. Katharina’s son, Jost Koch, grew up as part of the Adami family; she lived long enough to see him marry and start his own family in 1887 before she died in 1888. Philipp lived to see the Adami children marry, beginning with Catherine in 1889; many of his grand-children were born in the Rocky Lead area and gave him a renewed interest in life as he moved through his eighties.

Philipp took out naturalisation papers in January 1897, describing himself as a labourer. He lived for another nineteen years as a British citizen; he died in Daylesford, where his daughter Mary lived with her family, in 1916 in his 88th year.

View Philipp's Family Chart

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