THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Of the eight children born to Jakob Hauser II and his wife Susanna nee Maas, three did not live to adulthood. Of the five survivors all but Jakob, the youngest, were destined to leave their hometown for the beckoning gold-fields and the cheap and plentiful farming lands of Victoria.
The eldest, Peter, born on 15th March 1833, was the first to depart, travelling with a brother of his mother and a cousin of the same name. His young sister, Anna Elisabetha, was also with the group, which was the first one to make the trip from Germany via the Netherlands to the Channel and thence to Hull and Liverpool.
On 27th October 1854, 30 Nieder-Weiselerns embarked on "Glenmanna" and, the next day, were tugged out into the open sea to begin their 20,000 km voyage to Australia. After 110 days through light weather, which at times left them almost becalmed, they reached Melbourne on 14th February 1855.
Although a shoemaker by trade, Peter joined most of the new arrivals in a search for gold, mainly around the Ballarat and Smythesdale region. More villagers arrived later that year and among them Peter was glad to welcome his brother, Bernhard, and their other sister, also Anna Elisabetha, to the colony, in addition to many friends.
Among the arrivals on "Sunshine" in 1857 was the 22 year old
Maria Elisabetha Lemp, the eldest of the three surviving daughters of Konrad Lemp and Katharina nee Jung of Nieder-Weisel (all of whom emigrated to Victoria). Peter and Maria Elisabetha met in Smythesdale, fell in love and became man and wife in March 1860. (The Victorian Index of Marriages incorrectly spells the bride's name "Lenz"). The marriage was unfruitful and was brief; Peter became ill and died prematurely in April 1864 in his 31st year. Marie Elisabetha married again in 1868; her second husband was Johann Anton Heil. Peter's sisters married and settled in Victoria; their brother Bernhard returned to the Korngasse home of his father (awkwardly known as "Olehanjerspeters Jakob"). Bernhard died in the village in 1898.