German Settlement in Australia project proposal

+8 votes
German Settlement in Australia as a project, would it be a sub-project of the Australian project or the German roots project or both?

And would anyone be interested in joining such a project?
asked in The Tree House by Kylie Haese G2G6 (9.3k points)
edited by Kylie Haese
What exactly is required to be part of such?  I'm an English-speaking Australian of mostly English and Scottish ancestry, with some Swedish thrown in.

I don't have German roots, that I'm aware of, anyway, but have cousins who do, so I've added a profile for one but stopped where it required research in Germany.  (He was born Breslau, Silesia, Prussia.)

 I don't speak (I did learn a couple of Christmas carols phonetically some 20 years ago) or read German, although I can pick out a word or three every now and then.  (I can use an online translator!)

There are at least three towns in Tasmania with significant German migrant settlement. All had names changed when our German royal family changed their name to Windsor in WW1. In NW Tasmania people were recorded as German if they came from various Prussian bits but may have been Polish identifying (same for Russia of course).


5 Answers

+5 votes
I've previously thought it would be good to have Category: Prussian Emigrants to South Australia because they are such a significant group. A corresponding Project would be good to provide some cultural context for WikiTreers tackling Profiles for these immigrants eg naming traditions, spelling of names (some ppl might not know that the old Gothic alphabet was in use, with sometimes no exact English translation.) Early settlers used place names eg "Bethany" that we rarely use today. A map of old Germany and Prussia would be useful and an explanation that "Prussian" did not necessarily mean "German" and vice versa.

Also some tips on where to do research, eg there's a Lutheran Archive in Adelaide. Haven't been there yet but it looks a likely spot for some records to be found.
answered by Anne Tichborne G2G6 Mach 3 (33.2k points)
I don't know whether Prussian Immigration to South Australia would fit under German Roots Project. Maybe if it was German and Prussian Immigration to South Australia. I think we need a distinct South Australian sub-project because where they went and what they did would be distinct from other states. Also, German/Prussian immigrants were positively encouraged very early in the life of the Colony.
My one Prussian went to Victoria, then Queensland.
Yes, I apologise for speaking only on behalf of South Australia. I don't know anything about German/Prussian migration to other states, except I think I read that Queensland was the other major destination.  Going to Victoria around the 1840s/50s often meant going to the gold diggings.
Eh, no apology needed. :)

I think (without investigating) that the greatest number by far did go to Sth Aus.  I only know of "my" one Prussian and only that because he was the father of my Great-grand-Aunt (and prior to making his profile I had thought he was "just" German). I don't believe he went for the diggings.  He was in Government Service (Dept Public Works) and ended up with the Railway dept (pre-1900).
G'day Melanie, I also have one line of my Ancestry that came from Prussia to Swanston Street, Melbourne,  Victoria in about the 1840s and then one son went to Qld and others on to NSW. I've no records outside of Australia.

G'day back atcha!  :)

I decided to shelve doing anything further on my guy because I have so many more in my direct line I want to get added in.  (Some of those I no longer need worry about as a 4th cousin has come over from ancestry and has been busy adding them herself!)

I would love to find out more about his Prussian heritage, but (even if not for my current profiles) I wouldn't have a clue how to even start the research.  I'm fairly sure he came alone (unlike my collateral Scots), so any of the same name in Aus are either from him, distantly related, or not necessarily related at all.  (Not knowing the origin of his name doesn't help.)

Maybe this very thing is why "German Settlement in Australia" and / or "Prussian Emigrants to (place)" might be a Good Thing™ (old forum joke) for us Aussies.  :)

+4 votes
Very interested. My wife's family is the Schafferius clan who migrated to the darling downs area in Queensland. I'm currently entering information from a hardcopy self published book called the Schafferius Story.
answered by Peter Kane G2G1 (1.3k points)
+4 votes
Hi Kylie, I have German ancestors, arrived in Australia in 1854 and settled in the Belmore area near Sydney. Happy to help.

answered by Jeanne Pepper G2G6 (6.3k points)
+3 votes
Awesome! Thanks guys. I will work on it and I will keep you posted...
answered by Kylie Haese G2G6 (9.3k points)
+2 votes

Good Question! Such a sub-project would be a great thing here for the German Roots project. It would probably be linked to both Projects but as the German immigrants landed and lived in Australia, doesn't it make sense to have it be a sub-project of the Australia project?

answered by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (546k points)
That's what I thought but then the current requirements of the German roots project is for people with German Heritage. And so one would assume German settlers would fit that criteria. It's a bit confusing.

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