THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Born on 17th December 1818, Peter was known in adult life as Peter Hauser VI, to distinguish him from contemporaries who had the same name - a recurring problem in the village where the family names were limited in number and the religious authority (the Order of St John) had for centuries permitted only a small selection of Christian names to be used.
Peter's family had been oil millers for generations but changing conditions had forced his father into earning a living as a carter, and Peter helped out as he grew up. Peter's parents, Peter Hauser II and Katharina nee Haffer, had three other sons and two daughters; unusually for the times, all survived.
In 1846, Peter married Katharina Knipper, daughter of Johann Georg Knipper (dec) and Anna Elisabetha nee Maas. The couple had three children over the next seven years - Georg born 1847, Peter Karl 1850 and Konrad in 1853. By this time many of the villagers were planning to emigrate in the hope of improving their deteriorating living conditions. Several of Katharina's relatives had joined a group planning to leave in mid-1854; she and Peter did likewise. They took only Georg with them, leaving the little ones with their grandparents.
Thirty hopeful villagers left Liverpool on 28th October 1854 on the first voyage of the sailing ship "Glenmanna" to Melbourne, which they reached on 14th February 1855. Most of the group went to Ballarat initially, then moved out to other diggings. Peter must have had some success prospecting as by 1857 he had established a wood cartage business back in Ballarat. Here, on the 33rd anniversary of her own birthday, Katharina gave birth to a daughter who - of course - they named Catherine. Unhappily, their little girl did not live beyond her second year.
Peter decided to stay in Victoria, and he arranged for Peter Karl to come out from Nieder-Weisel but, before he arrived in Ballarat, his brother George, by then working as a carter in his father's timber cartage business, was killed in an accident in the timber mill. Presumably this changed Peter's plans to remain in Victoria; after arranging for a head stone to mark the last resting place of George and Catherine, he returned to Nieder-Weisel with Peter Karl and Katharina and went farming.