Prussian Settlement in Australia Team

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Surnames/tags: Australia Migration Prussia
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Top Level Pages in this Project: Prussia Team Page | Tips For Researching Prussian and German Settlers in Australia | Prussian and German Settlement in Queensland | Prussian and German Settlement in South Australia | Prussian Immigrant Ships to Australia |

Prussian Settlement in Australia
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The Prussian Settlement in Australia Project is a Sub-Project of the Germany Project, and Australia Project, focusing on those ancestors from Prussia that immigrated to Australia

The Team Leader is Steve Thomas.

German Australians (German: Deutsch-Australier) are Australians with German Heritage. Australians with German heritage constitute one of the largest non-British ethnic groups in Australia. Germans have been in Australia since European settlement commenced in 1788. At least 73 convicts transported to Australia were German. However it was in 1838 that large numbers of German immigrants from Prussia began to migrate to Australia, with the first German settlement being Klemzig, which is now a suburb of Adelaide. Prussian/German immigrants were also prominent in settling Queensland.

The time period of focus for this team is roughly 1836-1914.



Team members; please add your name to the list here:

  • Steve Thomas Team Leader. Descendant of families from Silesia : Heinrich of Seiffersdorf, Pfeiffer, Naeschke, Semmler, Qualmann, Schaefer and Haensel.
  • Veronica Williams Descendant of families from Tucheim - Noll, Wohling, Wedding, Teltau, Zimmerman and Heinrich.
  • Melanie Paul Queensland families.
  • Geoffrey Raebel South Australia - ships
  • Scott Davis South Australia ships
  • Peter Sinclair grandmother was a Wilksch, a family that emigrated from the district Meseritz, Province Posen, Prussia and arrived in South Australia in Jan 1839.
  • Malcolm McGrice Particularly interested in Prussian immigrants to South Australia and Victoria. Am direct descendant of Prussian immigrants to South Australia as early as 1838. Families include Kuchel, Menzel, Block, Muhlnickel. Have managed to trace families back to Brandenberg, Nekla Hauland etc and research the ships on which they arrived in South Australia. Research of connected families up to the present has resulted in a family tree exceeding 20,000 individuals. Many Prussian families moved from South Australia to settle in western Victoria and south eastern NSW. Have access to large number of family histories of these immigrants, shipping records, BDM's etc and quite willing to assist others in their researching
  • David Lowe Interested in Prussian aristocracy. 3g-grandparents fled Prussia (in 1850 to England, then 1854 to Australia) after the Baroness went against the family plans and married an army captain!
  • John Haberecht
  • Peter Kane My wife is descended from the Shafferius clan who immigrated to Queensland from Prussia. As far as we know every Schafferius in Australia is descended from a single family (2 brothers and a sister). I'm entering a 2001 family history book "The Schafferius Story" into wikitree, and updating and adding new profiles as I go. I've also created a categories for the book and started a name study for Schafferius:
  • Robert Kopp
  • Susan Stopford A descendent of vine dressers from Prussia & the Rheingau region who immigrated to the Colony of New South Wales between 1849 and 1855. Surnames of interest: Schoeneck / Schöneck / Schipp / Mohr. Ships: Beulah (arr. 1849). Reiherstieg (arr. 1852). Cateaux Wattel (arr. 1855)
  • Fran Pedler
  • Jenny Johnston
  • Cara Kajewski

  • What a great team!

How To Join

  • Join the Australia Project by replying to this G2G post
  • Request to be on the trusted list of this page.
  • Post a comment on the bottom right hand side of this page and tell us why and how you can help us reach our goals
  • Joining the Germany project is optional but recommended
  • Welcome!


  • Create profiles for all the Prussian and German people who travelled to Australia in the colonial period, even if via other countries, and who settled in Australia
  • Free space pages with shipping lists for all ships that arrived with Prussian/German settlers in Australia
  • Categorise and join the people profiles to the main WikiTree
  • Find out who and what the forty-eighters were : see Do we want a Space Page on this?
  • Identify stickers relevant to the project. Are any new stickers needed?
  • Pool our knowledge and experience and assist each other.

To Do List

Completed tasks are added to the Tasks Completed list below.

  • On the Prussian Immigrant Ships to South Australia page, create Free Space Pages for ships listed. See Zebra Passenger List 1838 as an example. (Maybe start with those that already are a category on WikiTree?) Add complete passenger list if available. Include crew, ship's surgeon, births and deaths on board etc if avaiable. Put a link to the Space page on the ship's category page, example: Category: Zebra, Arrived 2 Jan 1839.
  • Research and add ships to Prussian Immigrant Ships to Queensland Can you contribute a couple?
  • Create further State-specific pages - NSW, Victoria, Western Australia. (Some of my relatives sailed into Melbourne first, then on to Adelaide. Maybe we can have some sort of indicator for those who travelled internally. Ideas how this can be done?)
  • Find images for the Prussian and German Settlement in Queensland page.
  • Create a Free Space Page especially for the migrants who first went to New Zealand on the Skjold or Skiold 1844 and had to be brought to Van Dieman's Land (European name for the island now called Tasmania) and then South Australia after near starvation and lack of work. See The Skjold Immigrants Example: Elisabeth Qualmann. Many of these families are identified in "Germans who settled in Australia or Overseas".
  • All the passengers on this WikiTree page: Zebra Passenger List 1838 need to be added to Category: Zebra, Arrived 2 Jan 1839 Has Anonymous Dienelt done any other pages like this that would be relevant to this Project? Would they like to join? (I'm not sure that the proposal to add all profiles from Zebra Passenger List 1838 to another Category is a good idea. Looks like unnecessary duplication to me. I recommend this proposal be set 'On hold' for more discussion. S.T.)
  • (removed due to confusion - see next item)
  • Three waves of immigration: Old Lutherans; 48ers; and fleeing militarism, respectively. Should they be covered on one page all together? Or a seperate page for each, so they are less than 800 words and aesthetically pleasing? - K.H. I now agree that the 48ers were a significant, identifiable group. A separate page looks like a good idea - S.T. (I've removed the comments I made previously)
  • Research the Wends/Wendish and build a free-space page. (Suggested by A.T.) ( The Pioneer Heritage Trail Brochure describe who the Wends are, where they settled in SA and, importantly, the family names. - S.T)(The Wendish Heritage Society site identifies migration ships (many to Victoria) and settlements in Victoria and SA.-S.T.)
  • Add these families to WIkitree - Individuals or families that boarded a ship or scheduled emigration to Australia from Niedersachsen National Land Archives (NLA).

Tasks Completed

  • Profile Captain of the Zebra 1839, after whom Hahndorf, Sth Aust. is named. Capt Dirk Hahn Done - A.T.
  • Created South Australia specific page. Done - A.T.
  • Linked to Wikipedia list of place names changed by the Nomenclature Act. See under "Place Names" on the Tips for Researching page. Done - A.T.
  • Created Ships - SA page - Done - K.H.
  • Created a Queensland specific page Done Haese-11 09:21, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Created Top Level Ships to Australia Page as in planned structure - A.T.
  • Created Ships to Queensland Page - A.T.
  • I created this space for Heinrich today. No category for it so I have requested one. (TH)
  • Populating WikiTree with German migrants to Queensland M.P.
  • Created a page with surname spelling variations and also codes to use for writing German text on your English keyboard. Linked from the "Tips" page - S.T.
  • Created a page of German words for occupations with English translations, linked from the "Tips" page - K.H.


Wikitree Of Importance

Pastor Kavel
Pastor Kavel - 12 April 1835: Pastor Ludwig Christian Kavel first met with George Fife Angas in London to initiate arrangements for the emigration of German Lutherans to settle in Klemzig the first Lutheran settlement & elsewhere to South Australia. Pastor Kavel was determined to help his loyal parishioners emigrate from Brandenburg, Posen and Silesia to escape religious persecution by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia. From
Agnes Kroll

Did you know we have our own illegitimate Prussian Princess, who came to Australia and was living in Sydney? Agnes (Kroll) Dettmann's ancestry can be traced back to the Kings of Prussia, see her tree here. A fabulous book, Agnes: The Secret Princess by Belinda Dettmann and Jane Stevens (published January 2015) tells the story of her lineage and it includes DNA analysis. I have a copy and plan to try to ensure we reference it throughout Wikitree, particularly the DNA side. Agnes is also related to Geoffrey Robertson and some of you may remember the references to this mystery in the episode of Who Do You Think You Are that aired in 2008 (Veronica Williams 22:36, 7 April 2019 (UTC))


WikiTree Categories of interest:



Memories: 1
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
Hi guys,

Just checking in to see what you are all working on? If you have any questions or suggestions?

Personally Ive been working on the 1848 and 1849 Pauline lists and slowly adding profiles for people. If the ship list page hasn't been created yet I make sure to add the category to the profile to make it easier in the future.

Post responses here...posting on these pages is how we communicate with each other. Request to be on the pages trusted lists to be notified of new comments. :)

Kind regards Kylie

posted 9 Aug 2019 by Kylie Haese   [thank Kylie]
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I have added passenger information to a page for the immigrant ship Heloise that arrived at Port Adelaide in 1847.

The German immigrants were warmly welcomed in the small, young colony. The newspaper 'The South Australian Register' wrote: "The Heloise from Bremen (12th October), with 204 German emigrants of a very superior class ........."

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
I've added a new Page to collect information about the passengers on the barque 'Herder' which carried migrants from Bremen to South Australia in 1851. Space:Herder,_Immigrant_Voyage_to_South_Australia_1851.

Under Captain J.F. von Hagen she carried a crew of 20 men and 258 passengers from the Harz Mountains region of Saxony, principally the Upper Harz mining towns of Clausthal, Zellerfeld, Lautenthal and Wildemann.

Most of the miners worked initially in the copper mine at Burra in South Australia. Then many moved on to other mining regions around Australia: South Australia (Moonta/Wallaroo/Birdwood), New South Wales (Broken Hill/Adelong), Victoria (Bendigo/Ballarat) and Western Australia (Boulder/Kalgoorlie).

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
For interest: Emigration from the Harz Mountains in the mid-Nineteenth Century.

In 1848, the Ministry of Finance of Königreich Hannover decided that in order to improve the economic situation of the region emigration should be encouraged and supported financially. This is interesting to me because families were split and headed in different directions to USA, Australia or Brasil. This is a good starting place to find distant cousins around the world.

This has been a specialty project for Michael Schindler-204. He has created many hundreds (thousands?) of profiles for the emigrants leaving the Harz region. More general information about the migration to Australia is in .

Between 1849 and 1855, 1100 emigrants arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 14 ships. (George Washington, arrived Mar 1849; Auguste and Meline Apr 1849; Ceres Apr 1850; Leontine Aug 1850; Herder Sep 1851; Dockenhuden Feb 1852; Alfred Oct 1852; Dockenhuden May 1853; Steinwärder Nov 1853; Cesar Godeffroy Jan 1854; Iserbook Mar 1854; Wandram Aug 1854; Johann Cesar Jan 1855).

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
Looking for anything on a Wilhelm aka William Schauer, born Prussia about 1824/1825, arrived in Australia in 1859 aboard the "Solon" (according to his naturalisation documents), died in 1878, NSW not long after the birth of his youngest child (1877). His occupation is given as "cooper".

I have his naturalisation papers, his death and burial, and the births of four children (in New South Wales). The death record states his parents were Godfrey and Catherine. His son was named Gotfrid/Gotfrit, but went by Godfrey, so the spelling for the father is unlikely to be "Godfrey". Just as unlikely, but always possible, is the spelling "Catherine" for his mother.

Wilhelm's wife was Katharena Hahn, but her name may be spelt any number of ways, as her death is registered as Catherine, and the newspaper notice also uses Catherine. There may, or may not, have been children before the ones born in New South Wales.

I also have some city directory entries that place him on Liverpool Road, Ashfield district. Right now I don't even know if "Solon" is the correct name, or the correct spelling, but it's what is on the naturalisation docs. I have not, yet, found it in NSW, but have only just begun to look for the arrival. It is highly likely that Wilhelm and Katharena were married before emigrating, but that's just supposition on my part at this time.

posted by Melanie Paul
So I am guessing the ship arrived in NSW? Have you searched Trove? I found this...maybe helpful
posted by Kylie Haese
I searched Trove, yes. I guess it arrived in NSW, but wasn't sure as I could not find that ship name in that year.
posted by Melanie Paul
From a little more research it seems the Solon arrived in Moreton Bay in 1859 here is a link

But this link says that after leaving Moreton Bay it shipwrecked, and then moved on to Sydney?

This is really very interesting. I hope the shipping lists are not some of the few completely lost! That would be a terrible shame. The fact that we can find information on the ship travelling here from Bremen in 1859 along with the naturalisation record will have to be enough to prove the fact. To find more info on the person, I would search Bremen records to start with. Seen as that is where the ship embarked from. Hope that helps you Melanie. Good luck :-)

posted by Kylie Haese
But look at this.... this could be a promising lead for you?!
posted by Kylie Haese
I received this response to this question from one of the Germany project members:

Background and history of the Solon In 1858, the SOLON was sold to H. Bischoff & Co, Bremen for 22,750 Reichstaler, but was almost immediately sold to Oldenburg, and sent on a round-the-world voyage. On 15 December 1858, Heinrich Jürgen Rohde, from Bremen, master, she sailed from Bremerhaven for Capetown, from where she sailed in March 1859, bound for Australia. After calling at Moreton Bay, she set sail for Sydney, but was stranded on Moreton Island; she was gotten off safely, and arrived at Sydney on 11 July 1859. Taking on a load of coal, she proceeded to the Philippines, where on 24 November she was loading sugar at the rate of £1 17s. 6d. per ton for the return trip to Sydney. At Sydney she took on a cargo of coal, hay, and ships stores and sailed for Goolong, where the cargo was to be delivered to the Oldenburg ship ARNIM, but on 28 April 1860, she ran aground on Crookhaven Head, near Shoalhaven; one ships's boy was drowned.

Source: Peter-Michael Pawlik, Von der Weser in die Welt; Die Geschichte der Segelschiffe von Weser und Lesum und ihrer Bauwerften 1770 bis 1893, Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, Bd. 33 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1993), p. 392, no. 93.

Also found this from a wordpress Stubbs Family History

Two ships arrived in Moreton Bay direct from Bremen in 1858/1859i for which there are no surviving departure listsii: the Solon (May 1859) and the Diana (May 1858).iii

To compound the difficulties this presents for researchers, the immigrants aboard these vessels weren’t government-assisted. Consequently, the Immigration Board of New South Wales was not involved in processing the men, women and children who arrived on these ships, and therefore, there are no relevant ‘Board’s Lists’iv, which can be a valuable resource for family historians.

Even though a ‘passenger list’ for the Diana hasn’t survived in Bremen, the Bremer Musterungslisten der Schiffe (Bremen ships’ muster lists)v record that a crew of thirteen, including the young son of the captain, Hermann HÜSING, was signed on to the Diana 18 November 1857 in preparation for a voyage to Moreton Bay. These seamen are listed by name, accompanied by birth year and place, residence and crew ranking, rate of pay,

As the NSW scheme for assisting men from the Continent who possessed skills not obtainable from Britain eg. vine dressers, wine coopers, etc., had ceased by the end of 1856, the immigrants aboard the two vessels mentioned above were either self-funded, on private work contracts arranged by the agents who imported them, or were advertised for hire by these agents on arrival.

posted by Kylie Haese
Migration of 'Old Lutherans' to Australia in 1838.

I noted 11 days ago that I was comparing a German list of emigrants with Australian records and Wikitree profiles. The German list was compiled by the historian, Pastor Wilhelm Iwan, in 1943. The German original is now presented with an English translation in the web-page

In the 20 years between 1836 and 1856 about 2/3 of the 'Old Lutherans' migrated to North America and most of the rest to Australia. In the year 1838 almost all left for Australia and mainly from the kreis (local district) of Züllichau-Schwiebus in the Prussian province of Brandenburg (in the new March, East of the Oder River). I've tagged the Wikitree profiles and found a something interesting. It's been added by the German Project Team and useful to show where people have migrated :

Regards, Steve

p.s. Late edit. I'm not sure how the mapping site works. If it does not show any migration paths, look at the CIB box in , then press the link "WikiTree+ Maps" in the line "Map of Profiles:"

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
An update on the 'Old Lutherans'.

About 50% of the migrants to USA left from the province of Pommern (Pomerania). The emigrants to USA and Australia left different regions. Very few emigrants to Australia left Pommern or Sachsen (Saxony). On the other hand all the emigrants from the province of Posen went to Australia.

The majority of Old Lutheran migrants to Australia left from a small region centred around the village of Klemzig. 80% left from 2 adjoining Kreis, A Kreis is a local government districts similar to a County in Ireland.

430 Wikitree profiles exist for emigrants from the Kreis of Züllichau-Schwiebus in the Province of Brandenburg, 106 from the Kreis of Grünberg in the Province of Schelsien (Silesia) and 76 from Meseritz in the Province of Posen.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
For general notice.

It seems that Graeme Moad has finally changed his storage system - as he has warned for some time.

For example: In the old system the page: now seems to be inactive and replaced in the new system with the page:$web/Lehmann_Henschke/ps30/ps30_358.html

The file name is the same but the root folders have changed. In my brief check of the new system I haven't found any differences, it seems to have the same information and links. It just exists in a different storage system.

This will be of concern to anyone who has linked to a Graeme Moad web-page in their references or sources. The old hyperlinks will not work. Anyone like me will have a lot of work to do to update their references.

Regards, Steve.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
For general information.

I have been examining the migration of the religious dissenters from Prussia to Australia in the middle of the 19th Century. The attached free-space page is a comparison between a list of emigrees compiled in 1943 in Germany and Australian shipping records.

Part of my aim is to connect the records with existing Wikitree profiles.

I have not finished this project yet. When I finish, I will attach the final product somewhere inside these Wikitree pages.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments,

Regards, Steve.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
Hey Steve. Great effort mate. I’ve been undertaking my own personal quest in this area and having read your page, I can fully understand the enormous volume of work it must have taken to compile to get your page to what it is. This is the kind of stuff that will count in future generations
posted by Ken Hudson
Thanks Ken.

I'm spending a bit of time compiling information.

However, I'm only building from the greater works done before me.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
The attached link identifies German families who first migrated to NZ on 'St Pauli' and 'Skjold' in 1843/1844, then moved on to South Australia.
posted by Steve Thomas
Hi guys,

Just checking in to see how you all are. If you have any questions, or stories, about anything you find interesting to share. Something I have found interesting is that Prussians/Germans in Queensland is a more substantial topic than I first thought. The German history in that state is quite interesting. I have been reading up on the topic.

Hope to see your comments soon.

Kind regards, Kylie

posted by Kylie Haese
I personally view Prussia as Prussia for an ancestor if they considered themselves Prussian. So if a naturalization for example lists Prussia then they were Prussian. Or if Prussia is mentioned anywhere in newspapers in Australia in relation to the person. Or the ship records etc.

I'm pretty sure most Germans to Australia in the mid 1800s would have considered themselves Prussian.

But if you want to get technical you can search by year the place name of then or now and see whether it was considered Prussian when they were born and or when they left there.

Thats my two cents worth lol


posted by Kylie Haese
Good question David. I doubt that Pawe? would have described himself as Prussian. He named Mount Kosciuszko, to honour the Polish hero Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko.

The words 'Nation' and 'State' are not synonyms. A nation can be described as a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture. Poland existed as a nation without a state in 1797, however I support the statement that Pawe?'s nationality was Polish.

In this Wikitree page I interpret 'Prussian' quite broadly in the sense of language and culture, rather than the state boundaries which have moved quite a lot in the last 300 years.

posted by Steve Thomas
A question for the group...

How broadly do we interpret "Prussian". For example, Pawe? Strzelecki is typically described as Polish, but was born in what was at the time part of Prussia and served briefly in the Prussian army. Should he be included in those of importance on this page?

posted by David Lowe
Post-1136 was my great great grandfather who came to Australia on the 'Louise' when he was 10yrs old. (Prussian) Also Johannes Janz-41 g.g.g.grandfather and Clara Iffland-24 g.g.parents.(German) Is there anything you would like me to do with these profiles?
I'm pleased to see someone join the team who is familiar with western Victoria. I suspect that a few of the people I'm interested in moved from SA to that region around 1850.
posted by Steve Thomas
This page looks fantastic. Great work Kylie and team! You've been busy!
posted by Gillian Thomas
Awesome job Steve. Interesting indeed!
posted by Kylie Haese