THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Christoph Maas was from one of the oldest established families in the village - a Maas was the senior Mayor in Nieder-Weisel during the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648.
Christoph's father, Johann Georg Maas, was married to Anna Juliana nee Schimpf; they had a daughter and two sons. Anna Juliana died in 1832 and Johann Georg was married again the following year; his second wife was Christina nee Haub. Another four children, a daughter and three sons, were born to this marriage.
Of this second family, Christoph born on 6th July 1836, his elder brother Philipp born in 1834 and his sister Anna Margaretha born in 1841, joined in the migration from the village during the second half of the 1850s. Several of their Haub cousins did likewise.
Christoph and Anna Margaretha sailed out of Liverpool on 20th November 1857 aboard "Red Jacket" - this ship was one of the largest of the vessels then on the lucrative Melbourne run. She was able to carry more than 400 passengers across 12,000 nautical miles to this destination in less than twelve weeks. Anna Margaretha and Christoph got to Port Phillip early in February 1858, several weeks before Philipp, who came out on "Crimea".
Whatever plans and aspirations Christoph may have had as he set foot on the land of his adoption were never to be realised. Living in the bustling tent city that had been set up south of the Yarra River as a halfway house for the miners heading for the diggings around Ballarat and Bendigo, Christoph became ill. The cause of this illness baffled the limited medical knowledge available. Eventually he was admitted to hospital but he died there from 'fever' on 4th July 1858.
Christoph Maas was interred in the Melbourne General Cemetery on his twenty-second birthday.