Prussian Settlement in Australia Team

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Surnames/tags: Australia Migration Prussia
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Top Level Pages in this Project: 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 1838-1914.



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.
  • Kylie Haese Descendent of many Prussian/German Immigrants from Stettin, Pommerania; Silesia; Hesse and Bremen who emmigrated to SA, mainly the Barossa Valley region. Surnames are Haese, Hueppauff, Janke, Frost, Mattfield (Matfeld), Creydt, Luhrmann.
  • 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
  • Emma Arthurs
  • Michael Schindler
  • Kassie Morrison
  • 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
  • James Hoffmann

  • 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: Zebra 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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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
Re 48ers. Christian Hahn migrated aboard Princess Louise in 1849. The SA archives include an interesting note " Princess Louise... arrived in Adelaide on 7th August with a large number of skilled urban professional immigrants, so-called 48-ers".
posted by Steve Thomas