THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Konrad Bill XVI was born on 13th December 1823 to Konrad Bill V; he was the last of the nine children born to Konrad's wife Christina nee Hengst. Anna Elisabetha was born 28th December 183O to Jakob Bill III and Anna Margaretha Kissler.
Konrad was from a family of tailors but a drastic change in fortunes during the upheaval of the early 18OOs found Konrad junior and his brothers amongst the casual workers competing for seasonal farm work. Christina was a grand-daughter of the one-time shepherd in the St John Commandery; she and her sister Katharina were the last two in the village to carry the natal surname Hengst.
Konrad XVI was married on 2Oth November 1853 to Anna Elisabetha Bill, who came from a branch of the family which had baked bread for the villagers for generations but which was also now reliant on casual farm work for its subsistence. The couple's first child, Katharina, arrived a week before their first anniversary and they then reconsidered their future, deciding to spend their limited capital on fares to Victoria, in the hope of finding fortune on the gold-fields of Ballarat.
No record of their journey to Australia has been found to date. They would not have left the baby before she had been weaned in, say, late 1855. On the first day of 1857, Anna Elisabetha gave birth in Melbourne to a second girl, who was awkwardly named Eva Anna Margaretha Katharina Bill. None of these were family names, so they are probably the names of the child's sponsors - maybe travelling companions on the voyage out.
Whether their time on the diggings was profitable or not cannot be determined, but it was certainly short. On 2nd February 1861 the trio sailed out of Port Philipp aboard "Empire of the Sea" in the company of another Konrad Bill and the Lutheran pastor JJ Burkhardt. Seven months later, in Nieder-Weisel, Anna Elisabetha produced her first son; she named him Konrad.
Konrad was not recorded in the 1866 directory but his death on 3rd February 1871 is recorded in the church records in Nieder-Weisel.