THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
The Studt family originated in Hausen, a smallish village several kilometres west of Nieder-Weisel. The family trade was tailoring but by the turn of the century most of the breadwinners were working in the fields or in cottage industries like linen weaving. Jakob's father, Johann Adam Studt relied on such employment to support his wife Margaretha (nee Bill) and the four of their six children who survived the perils of infancy. Jakob, born on 22nd March 1835, was the middle of three brothers; the youngest member of the family was a sister.
The eldest brother Ambrosius was one of the first to depart for the goldfields of Victoria. He was in Ballarat by Christmas 1854, and the reports he sent back encouraged Jakob to follow his example. With his wife Elisabetha (Emmerich), whose birth- place is unknown, he left Liverpool on "Sunshine" on 5th November 1856 with a party from his village; they reached Melbourne on 29th January 1857.
Jakob stayed only a short time in Ballarat before moving west to Ararat. Elisabetha gave birth to a son there early in 1858 and gave him his father's name. Ambrosius had gone back to Nieder-Weisel to marry his fiancee Anna Maria Schimpf and to bring her to Victoria; they reached Ballarat after Jakob and Elisabetha had left. After a year or so Jakob moved back to the diggings at Beaufort, where his wife gave birth in 1872 to a daughter, Catherine. By then, his brother had moved to the goldfields around Smythesdale; he later returned to Germany. However, there were other people from his village living nearby, including Christina & Anna Margaretha Bill and their husbands, and Anna Margaretha and Katharina Reuter and their husbands.
There is no later record of Jakob and his wife in the Victorian statistics. However, Catherine junior produced a daughter, Ethel Kate Studt, in Bendigo in 1886, and the following year she married Henry Luth, a son of Heinrich Luth of Denmark, and Rosa O'Neill. Catherine had a son, Henry Nicholas Luth at Tungamah (south of Yarrawonga) in August 1888; the mother died a few months later. Some of these statistics were noted in the Nieder-Weisel church books in 1890; it is possible that Jakob returned with his wife and son after Catherine died.