THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Nikolaus was the fourth of eight children and the first of four sons born to Katharina Studt, wife of Christoph Volk of Nieder-Weisel. The Volks and the Studts were recent new-comers to the village; the Studts were from nearby Hausen but the origin of the Volks is not known. When Nikolaus was born on 12th April 1827 one older sister was dead, and a second died a few years later. All the boys lived and all would eventually migrate to Australia.
Nikolaus married at the early age of 22; his wife was Maria Maurer, possibly from Hoch-Weisel. Only twenty months after their marriage on 13th January 1850 Nikolaus was a widower; his wife died at the age of just 25. Nikolaus remarried two years later; this second marriage, held on Tuesday 25th October 1853, was to Anna Margaretha Zimmer, whose family came from the hamlet of Espa. A daughter was born on 21st June 1855 and named for Anna Maria, an older sister of Nikolaus.
In 1854, Jakob Volk, the third brother, left with 22 other Nieder-Weiselerns for the goldfields of Victoria. Perhaps as a result of his experiences, Nikolaus and another brother, Henrich (Johann Georg), followed later. They sailed from Liverpool aboard "Zoboah" on 27th June 1856 and reached Melbourne in September. The fourth member of the Volk family to emigrate was Johannes.
Nikolaus spent about ten years on the goldfields, going from Ballarat to the Smythesdale region and then on to Creswick and the Rocky Lead fields. He kept in touch during this period with many of his friends who were prospecting in the same areas.
There is a record that Nikolaus served as a juror at an inquest into the accidental death of Johann Koch, a miner from Pohl-Gons (a few km to the north of Nieder-Weisel), which occurred on 23rd October 1865. Jakob Bill was also on this panel. Soon after this, Nikolaus decided to return to Nieder-Weisel; he was in his home in Gamaschengasse when the 1866 directory was compiled.