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Ferdinand Pietsch and Johanna Hell

Journal by Dibbles

The search for this couple - my GGG grandparents - began with a family myth.

There was a young man and a young woman who lived in Germany. They were in love but for some reason could not marry. Their families stopped them from seeing each other and in response both left their families. Unknown to each other they both made their way to Australia and ended up in Adelaide. One night they both happened to go to the local German club where they had a joyful reunion. They married shortly after and lived happily ever after.

We have no idea if this story is true in so much as if they knew each other before coming to Australia but the fact that I had ancestors from Germany who married in Adelaide did prove to be true, so perhaps the love story is as well.

Now the facts:

Ferdinand August Pietsch (known as August) was born in 1822 in Grinberg Germany. It is not known if this spelling of the town is correct or not but it is how it is spelt on records in Australia. Nothing is known of his life in Germany at this time.

His parents were Johann Godfred Pietsh and Anna Rosina Walter. This informatino is from August's death certificate.

Another researcher found August listed on the Brandenberg Prussia Emmigration Records with his surname spelt as Paetsch. August arrived on the Leontine in Adelaide in 1848 and is listed on the passenger manifest for that ship.

August is listed on his natrualisation papers as being a carpenter, on his marriage and death certificates as being a Farmer. His father is listed as being a Cloth Manufacturer.

August was natralised as a citizen of the colony of South Australia on 30th Dec 1848. Archive reference CRS A821/1 Folio 5. On this document it gives his age as 26yrs and his home location as being Grinberg in Lilesia. It states he had been in the colony for six months, which makes his arrival around Jun / Jul 1848.

Johanna Eleanora Hell was born in Howstorf Germany in 1827. Like August the confirmed spelling of her birthplace is not known. To further complicate things her surname is spelt alternatively as Hell, Hull, Hill and Hall on various documents and references. Of original documents it is spelt Hill on her death certificate and Hell on her marriage certificate.

Sometime in 1848 / 1849 August and Johanna either met for the first time or reunited. They married on 3rd Oct 1849 at the school house in Gowoler (sp?) Town Adelaide by the rites of the Lutheran church.

August's age is given as 27 and Johanna's as 22. Their respective occupationsa re Fojner(?) and maid servant. No parental details are provided on this document. Interestingly there is a witness Thomas Hall but I do not know if he is related to Johanna. It seems unlikely as his surname appears to be clearly spelt as Hall while hers is clearly spelt as Hell.

Their first child Edward Augustus Pietsch was born in Adelaide in 1851. He later married Anna Voss in 1878 and moved to Inverell NSW where he died in 1920.(NSW BMD 20019/1920 NSW BMD 5087/1878).

The family then seem to have moved to Perth for a couple of years. Their oldest daughter Wilhelmina (Minnie) Annette was born there in 1952.

The stay in Perth did not last for long as they sailed for Victoria on the Queen of Sheaben in 1852.

On 20 Jan 1854 August and Johanna purchased property at Muckleford Victoria where they lived for the rest of their lives.

In 1855 Albert Ferdinand Pietsch was born, followed by Gustvus Albert in 1856/57, Emile Marie on 20 May 1857, twins Frederick William and Marie in 1858 and Louisa and Paulina in 1859/60. (It does not appear these two girls were twins.)

In 1860 August gained a letter of referral from Mysterg & Halfnell Merchants and James Roche (trade illegible).
The letter stated:

To His Excellency Sir Henry Barly KC Captain General and Governer in Chief of the Colony of Victoria.
The memorial of August Pietsch of Muckleford. Respectfully Sheweth that your memorialist is a native of Prussia in Germany.
That your memorialist is 38 years of age and is a farmer.
That your memorialist arrived in Adelaide by the ship Leontine in the year 1848 and in the Colony of Victoria by the ship Queen of Steaben in the year 1852 and has been resident therein since that time.
That your memorialist begs to refer Your Excellency to the annexed certificate of character and of the correctness of the statements herin and obtained from respectable persons to inhom Your after morialist has been known since his arrival in the Colony.
That you Memorialist intends to settle for life in the said Colondy wishes to obtain a vote in the election of members of Parliament and to purchase real property and that on there grounds your Memorialist desirous of availing himself, in the priveleges granted to Aliens by the Act of Council in Victoria.
That your Memorialist therefore respect fully requests that your Excellency may be pleased to grant to your Memorialist a Certificate under the provisions of the ??.
Set Confering upon your Memorialist the privileges of all material born British Subject with such exceptions as to Your Excellency may seem meet.
Find your Petitioner will ever pray.
Dated this 15th day of September 1860
August Pietsch
Muckleford

Accompanied by two recommendations.

Following this August was presented with Certificate of Naturalise on 18th September 1860. On that it confirms August as a Farmer who was native of Prussia and arrived on the Leontine.

After this they had a further four children:
Gustave Dolpha b1863
Henry Oswald (Harry) b1864
Anna Amelia (Emily) 5 Jan 1867
Thomas Louis (Lewis) b1870

Of the children Albert married Janet Colquoun m 1875. They lived in Newstead Vic and later Footscray Vic.

Anna Amelia married Richard Richards on 2 Nov 1887. She died in 1913.

Thomas Louis married Juia A Penns in 1894.


August died on 24th November 1885 from Pulpitation of the Heart and exhaustion at the age of 63 - which probably means he died from the effects of a heart attack.

Gustvus Albert, Emile Marie and Louisa are not listed on his death certificate. I know from my own research that Emile died as a young child and presume the other two did as well.

Johanna died at the age of 70 on 1st Aug 1897 from Apoplexy and Paralysis which is an old fashion way to say she had a stroke. She was ill for 5 days before she surcumed. Her parents are listed on her death certificate but I am unable to read their names on the copy I have.

The descendants of August and Johanna are now spread over most of the east coast of Australia. They had 13 children and I have record of 21 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 9 great great grandchildren (my father's generation) but no doubt there are others out there from descendants I have not yet found.

Surnames: COLQUOUN HALL HELL HILL PENNS PIETSCH RICHARDS VOSS WALTER
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by Dibbles Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2006-08-06 06:28:38

Dibbles , from Brisbane Australia, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Aug 2006. is researching the following names: PIETSCH, MUNN, HOATH and 56 other(s).

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