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Jakob Friedrich JUNG
1836-1884

Jakob's grandfather was from Hausen, a village to the west of Nieder-Weisel. His son Ambrosius went to Nieder-Weisel looking for work as a joiner. He married Anna Margaretha Hildebrand in 1824, three years after their son Christoph was born, and two years after his baby sister died. In wedlock, the couple had five more sons; Jakob (Friedrich) born 30th May 1836, was the last of their children.

Ambrosius could not find sufficient employment in his over-crowded trade to provide for his family. Several months after Jakob was born, he immigrated to England and set up in business as a trader. In 1846, they returned to the village; Christoph was married there and later migrated to North America with his wife and his brother Johann Georg. In 1850, Jakob completed his elementary schooling and made his first communion; a badly paid job as a casual farm labourer was all he could look forward to.

In 1854 his brother Johann Georg arrived in Victoria from California and went prospecting at Ballarat. His example prompted Jakob to leave Nieder-Weisel to try his luck on the Victorian goldfields also. The record of his journey has yet to be found. It is known that a second brother, Georg, was aboard "Crimea" when it got to Melbourne in May 1857; it may be that Jakob also arrived at about this time, perhaps travelling incognito as he was liable to be conscripted. Katharina, wife of Georg, got to Melbourne about a year later.

Georg and Katharina settled in Bendigo, and Jakob also went prospecting there. He was married there in 1860, his wife being Ellen Holland. The couple seemed destined not to have a family but thirteen years after their marriage Ellen gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately the baby boy, named Frederick Ambrose for his father and grandfather, was sickly and did not survive. The girl, bearing the name Victoria Helen Holland Young, became the focus of her parents' lives as they had no other children.

In 1878, the brothers were saddened to learn that Johann Georg had died in a vain attempt to rescue his work-mates in a mine collapse in Smythesdale, west of Ballarat. Georg and Katharina had a large family, the youngest of whom was exactly the same age as Victoria.

Just as his daughter was approaching adolescence, Jakob died prematurely, only 47 years of age. He was buried in the Bendigo cemetery in August 1884 and Ellen was left to bring up the girl alone. In 1899 Victoria married Robert William Charles Wake of Bendigo; a son, Robert William Bird Wake, born in Essendon in 1900, is the only known grandchild of Jakob Friedrich Jung of Nieder-Weisel.
 

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