THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
On 20th May 1857, Katharina applied for a permit to leave Nieder-Weisel so that she could emigrate to Australia for two years to earn a living. On that same day, Anna Margaretha Hauser, not of the same family, made a similar application. The two young women, 18 and 20 years of age, left Liverpool on 30th July that year aboard "Annie Wilson" with four other unmarried emigrants from the village, bound for Melbourne.
Katharina, born on 26th Mar 1839, was the eldest of the four surviving children of Konrad Hauser XI, a carter in Nieder-Weisel, and Maria Katharina nee Krausgrill; the only boy was the youngest. It was becoming the norm for parents to send their teen-age daughters away from the village and most went to the Victorian goldfield towns.
"Annie Wilson" reached Port Phillip on Saturday 7th Novmber 1857 and the Nieder-Weiselerns joined friends in Ballarat. Anna Margaretha moved on to the rush at Fryers Creek, south of Castlemaine, where some of her Zimmer in-laws were living; later they all went to Yandoit, north of Daylesford. It is quite likely that Katharina stayed with this group; she was certainly in Yandoit by about 1861. Here, she met her future husband, Ernest Eberhard, a German emigrant from the town of Marburg to the north of Nieder-Weisel. Ernest had arrived in Melbourne in 1855 on "Undine" with a group of immigrants that included Georg Fleischer, now married to Margaretha Hauser, a sister of Anna Margaretha Hauser and living in Yandoit.
Although he had tried prospecting, Ernest planned to return to his trade of tin smithing and he took out naturalisation papers much earlier than other migrants; these were granted on 17th February 1862, just before he and Katharina were married in the small German Church in Yandoit. The couple spent a few years on the Happy Valley goldfields, where two of their children were born: Frederick William in 1865 and Conrad Henry in 1867. Unfortunately, the first-born lived only a few months.
Ernest had a brother, Theodore, who had established an aerated waters factory in Clunes and Ernest joined him in this venture in 1868, where his skills in shaping tin vessels and pipes were invaluable. Katharina was pleased to find herself with a permanent home in which to raise her increasing family. A second daughter, Susan Catherine, was born in 1869, then Elizabeth Margaret in 1871. Two years later, her other son died at the age of only seven. Caroline arrived in 1875 and to the delight of the parents a son, Philip Peter William, followed in 1877.
Victorian BDM records indicate that Philip and his three sisters grew to adulthood, but there is no record of the marriage of any of the four, so no further descendants have been identified.
Ernest died in 1911 in Ballarat at the age of 75. Katharina lived for another 14 years; she died in 1925 at the age of 85.