THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Konrad was the third child, and the first son, born to Johann Jakob Hildebrand and his wife Maria Katharina nee Wilhelmi; he was born on 7th August 1809. From a farming family, Konrad found himself cut off from his livelihood by the breaking-up of the estates of the Order of St John.
On 27th June 1841, Konrad married Susanna Reuhl in the Evangelical Church in Nieder-Weisel. His wife was a daughter of a field guard in the farming village of Holzheim, about 10 km north of Nieder-Weisel. On 13th October of the previous year, Susanna had given birth in Holzheim to a son, baptised Konrad Reuhl; the bridegroom accepted parentage of this child as part of the marriage contract.
A daughter, Katharina, was born to the couple on 29th October 1843. This event was followed by a long interval until the birth of Anna Margaretha in 1854 - it may be that Konrad had again left the village, as he had done before his marriage, in a search for employment in England or France.
On 15th October 1857, Konrad left the village with Konrad junior and Katharina; they sailed aboard "Queen of the East" from Liverpool in early November, following in the steps of many others from the village who joined the gold rush to Victoria. With members of the Bill, Krausgrill, Muller and Hauser families, they arrived in Melbourne on 24th February 1858.
Nothing is known of Konrad's subsequent movements in the colony. His son set up a cab hire business in Melbourne's inner suburbs; perhaps Konrad gave him help in this venture. His daughter married in Daylesford in the early 1860s - this was the area in which Konrad's nephew Johannes Zimmer lived.
Konrad was one of the many villagers who returned to Nieder-Weisel. Known colloquially as 'Kornches Konrad' he settled back with Susanna in the house in Hinterborngasse where they would celebrate fifty years of marriage in the year before Susanna died in 1892. Their daughter Anna Margaretha lived in Nieder-Weisel but, as she produced no children in her marriage, Susanna had lacked the satisfaction of holding any of her grandchildren, and had to be content with the occasional photographs of the fifteen born in Australia.
Konrad lived five months into his 86th year; his long life ended on 27th January 1895.