THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
When Anna Margaretha walked up the gang-way to the deck of the clipper ship "Sir W F Williams" she was, at 1OŻ, old enough to be thrilled at the prospect of her coming adventure. With her younger brothers Johannes and Peter she watched the tug pull their ship from the wharf into the Merseyside roads as the tide flooded on 27th May 1857.
The passage through the tropics was slow and uneventful but, as their ship arced deeply into the high latitudes along its Great Circle route, it was caught in cyclonic weather that, whilst ensuring a very fast journey, was frightening for the passengers confined below decks day after day. Only when they had moved into the lee of the continent in which they planned to make their new lives did conditions abate, allowing the family to celebrate Anna Margaretha's 11th birthday on Thursday 13th August. Six days later they were in Hobart Town, but another twelve days passed before the Kisslers and the other emigrants from Nieder-Weisel reached Port Phillip on the steamer "City of Hobart".
Johannes and Elisabetha Kissler took their children to Invermay, several km north of the mining centre of Ballarat. There was no school for Anna Margaretha to go to so she helped her mother with the young ones, and with the household chores. In about 1863, they moved to Scarsdale, where they spent several years before going back to settle in Ballarat East.
In 1874 Anna Margaretha married Philipp Maas, a migrant from Nieder-Weisel, who had been prospecting for nearly twenty years. The wedding took place in the German Lutheran Church in Ballarat, the celebrant being John Frank. The witnesses were Anna Margaretha's brother and Peter Heinz, who was also from Nieder-Weisel.
Philipp continued his prospecting, moving first to the Maryborough region. Anna Margaretha gave birth to a girl in 1875 in Timor but the baby died. They went on to Dunolly where a son, John George Philip, was born in 1877. Henry Philip arrived in Homebush in 1882. The family then went to Avoca, where Henry Albert was born in 1885 and - probably the parents' disappointment - another male, Arthur Lindsay in 1888 - in her 42nd year, Anna Margaretha must have realised this was her final opportunity of having the daughter she and Philipp wanted.
With their four sons, Anna Margaretha and Philipp made their final home in Ballarat. They lost Henry Albert at the age of eight and Henry Philipp, who never married, in 1909. The other two boys married and Anna Margaretha lived to welcome two or three of her grandchildren before her death at her home at 8 Chisholm Street on 24th July 1914. The mourners who preceded her casket to the Lutheran section of the New Cemetery included the husbands of some of her Nieder-Weisel friends. Philipp was buried with her on his death in 1917.