Pre 1500


 Post 1750










The Nieder-Weisel Story


Nieder-Weisel - Winter 1844

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 those ancestors, but before long he extended it to cover all of those who came, their family histories, why they came, and where they went to.

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. Three current residents of the Nieder-Weisel area have done a wonderful job in translating most of the biographies into German - some of the German versions have already been uploaded to the website, and I will upload the remainder over the next month or so. The three are Isabell Häuser-Härtl, Dorly Häuser (Isabell's mother), and Denise Vetter (Isabell's sister) - their joint efforts will make these pages so much more accessible and interesting to our German speaking friends, and I am extremely grateful to these three ladies.

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 - see www.niederweiselmemorial.com. It is hoped to have a duplicate memorial put in place in the Ballarat area.

For those who are not familiar with the actual location of Nieder-Weisel and the other villages mentioned in these pages, I have included some 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.

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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Last modified: 4 January 2010
email: Alan Haintz