THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Philipp was one of a number of descendants of the beer brewer Kaspar Hildebrand who migrated to the Victorian goldfields during the mid-1850s. Born on 6th July 1830, he was the eldest child of Philipp Hildebrand IV, also a brewer, and Anna Margaretha Maas, whose father made the wagons on which butts of ale were delivered from the brewery. The other five children born into the family were also boys but the two youngest died in infancy.
The continuing deterioration in conditions in the village cost Philipp IV his livelihood soon after the birth of his first son and he had to join the queues of young men hoping to be selected for the seasonal work available on the farm complexes. In 1856, the family's position worsened when Philipp died. Philipp's brother Christoph was in Victoria and he decided to follow, while Johann Georg, the second son, planned to immigrate to North America.
Philipp married his fiancee, Anna Juliana Winter, on 15th March 1857 and the couple said their goodbyes and left the village two days later. Anna Juliana was a daughter of the tailor Johann Georg Winter; her brother Konrad was already on the goldfields and the other surviving brother, Jakob, went with Christoph Hildebrand. The young couple got to the English port of Liverpool in time to claim their berths on the "Euroclydon", now being called "Greyhound" by her new owners in the hope, perhaps, that she would be able to make the 20,000 km voyage in less time than her rivals. She weighed anchor on 14th May. The only other Nieder-Weisel passengers on board were the widower Jakob 'Iltebrant' and his children, going out to make a new start in a new country; he was not related to Philipp.
"Greyhound" failed to live up to her new name and it was more than 14 weeks before Philipp and Anna Juliana disembarked at Melbourne. They went to Ballarat for news of their relatives, and for advice on settling in to this strange new existence.
Anna Juliana was four months pregnant on arrival; Philipp found work in Ballarat while they awaited the birth of their daughter, Katharina. This took place four days into the new year of 1858 and her parents took her to be baptised by Pastor Niquet in the Lutheran Church at Ballarat on 17th January, her sponsor being Katharina, wife of Johann Jakob Lenz (who was probably nee Mohr, of Gambach).
Philipp and Anna Juliana then went to Smythesdale to join many other Nieder-Weiselerns on the goldfields there. A son was born there on 29th May 1861 and baptised, also by Pastor Niquet, with Jakob K Winter, a brother of Anna Juliana, as sponsor.
Finally, the family went to the Rocky Lead field, near Creswick; here Philipp worked as a deep lead miner with Jakob Steinhauser and his friends from Butzbach. A letter written by Jakob mentions that Philipp left the syndicate and returned home late in December 1864. This is in accordance with the fact that the baptism records of the children are entered in the Nieder-Weisel parish records under the date June 1865. Katharina nee Schmidt, mother of Anna Juliana, did not see her grandchildren as she died in December 1863.