The Nieder-Weisel Story

These pages attempt to summarise the amazing research carried out by Kelvin Williams over a period of about 20 years up until his death in October 1999. Some of Kelvin’s ancestors came to Australia, as did mine, from the small German village of Nieder-Weisel in the 1850s in an attempt to better their lives. Kelvin began to research his ancestors, but before long he extended it to cover all of those who came, their family histories, why they migrated, and where they settled. Kelvin covered about 300 individuals, and he prepared a biography of every one of them – they have been loaded onto this site, and cross-referenced as much as is practical. I have estimated that these 300+ immigrants have given rise to about 200,000 Australian descendants, past and present.

Kelvin’s research first came to light during the visit to Australia of the Californian Streeter family (Dr Noble & Mrs Betty Streeter and their daughter Nancy), who came to trace Betty’s Australian Maas/Hauser relatives who migrated, firstly to Australia from Nieder-Weisel, and secondly to California.  The Streeters stayed with a number of Nieder-Weisel descendants, including Don and Jill Hauser, and that led to a meeting in Queensland with Kelvin in 1995 – as a result, more and more people became aware of the extent of Kelvin’s work.

Kelvin’s work has also been drawn upon to set out the Village’s history from its very earliest days up to the 1850s when a range of socio-economic circumstances led to the large-scale Migration.

Each of the immigrants is listed, both Alphabetically and by the Ships on which they travelled.

To commemorate this momentous exodus of people (about 15% of the village’s population), a plaque honouring those courageous people was unveiled in Nieder-Weisel on 3 October 2010, and a duplicate was put in place in Smythesdale (near Ballarat) on 20 January 2020. Details of both events are set out at Memorials.

For those who are not familiar with the actual location of Nieder-Weisel and the other villages mentioned in these pages, the Google map on this page will help together with some other  Maps – although these are centred around Butzbach (which is about 50 km north of Frankfurt am Main), most of the villages are shown.

Another page sets out a list of Contacts who are researching families mentioned on these pages, and who might be willing to share information with other interested families.

Finally, there are included some of the many Links to other sites that are relevant to this group of people and their home village.

/ Thanks to the wonders of Google Translate, all of these pages can be converted from English to German and vice versa by clicking on the Select Language toggle at the top RH corner of the pages.

In reading these pages, please keep the following points in mind:

  • The spelling of names is not always consistent, e.g. Johann often became John, Konrad often became Conrad, but in most cases the original spelling has been maintained.
  • The use of German characters such as ä, ë, ö, ü, and ß has been avoided, for the simple reason that I am not sure when they apply!
  • Maiden names have been used for married women in order to simplify the understanding of their relationships to other immigrants.
  • Kelvin constructed family charts for about one-third of the immigrants – where the charts are available, they have been incorporated into the biographies.
  • There were a number of immigrants who are not listed on these pages – this is probably because Kelvin was unable to find any details of their arrival etc, even though he knew that they were in Australia.
Nieder-Weisel today
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