THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Christoph Richter, a brick maker, was the first of that family to appear in Nieder-Weisel; his hometown was probably Fauerbach, to the south. He was a son of Franz Richter, a soldier in the Imperial army, and Margaretha Wilhelmi. It can be surmised that he served his time with the local brick maker Konrad Bill as, in December 1822, he married Anna Margaretha, Konrad's daughter. The couple had six children in the next fifteen years; the youngest to survive was Philipp, born 15th September 1834. Philipp had a sister, Anna Elisabetha, who was nine years older than he was; she married Johannes Winter.
Philipp's mother died in 1851. The following year his father sired the illegitimate child of Helene Walther of Espa, whom he married in 1853; she was younger than her stepdaughter Anna Elisabetha.
In 1854 the Winters decided to try prospecting in the colony of Victoria and Philipp arranged to go with them. The party sailed from Liverpool on the "Fulwood" on 5th October 1854. There were eight people in the party, including two teenage girls who were not part of the Winter's family. A second Winter group travelled with them, making a total of twelve people from Nieder-Weisel amongst the 445 passengers on board. The journey was slow and they were passed by "Glenmanna"; she had on board a larger group of migrants from Nieder-Weisel and had sailed from Liverpool twenty-three days after "Fulwood" but arrived at Melbourne one day ahead.
Philipp went prospecting for gold around Ballarat with his brother-in-law, but then moved across to Bendigo. He witnessed the burial of
Johann Konrad Heinz in that town in 1855. Later, he went to the Smythes Creek diggings and met up with the Winter family again. His sister had lost
three children, which decided Johannes and her to take their only remaining child back to Nieder-Weisel. It is very likely that Philipp returned with them in 1859 or 1860. He married Katharina Hauser, a daughter of Peter Hauser IV, on 15th August 1861; their first child was born in Nieder-Weisel the next year in their home on the Hauptstrasse.
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