Note: I have forgotten how I obtained this document, however, it appears to be extracted from a publication re the Koch Family (particularly Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Koch) by Lorna M Koch. It may have come some time ago from Margaret's (my wife) brother-in-law, Norman Clarence Koch (1929-2008). Apart from the Koch Family information, it contains considerable details of the Lutheran emigrants and their voyages to South Australia, particularly those arriving on the sailing ship Catharina, plus other relevant information. ------- [AM (Tony) Finnis, August 2016]
Rackau to Australia
(Present day spelling - Rakow)
The Koch family was amongst the third group of people who left their home in Germany in 1838 to start a new life of religious freedom in South Australia. The exact circumstances of our family ancestors in Germany is unknown but it is presumed that, like most of the other emigrants where the whole family left their homeland, that they had to sell all of their property and most of their possessions to help pay for their passage to Australia. There was also very limited space allocated to each family on the ship to carry personal possessions and so only the most essential items could be retained for the long journey to Australia.
Most of the initial emigrants came from the German Provinces of Silesia, Brandenburg and Posen. Rackau, the home town of the Koch family was located in the Province of Brandenburg.
The first emigrants experienced extreme frustration to obtain passports from the Prussian Government which delayed their departure for two years. The circumstances of that delay have been thoroughly documented in many publications. However, after this issue was resolved in 1838, one condition under which passports were issued to future intending emigrants was that they were to be accompanied on their voyage by a minister of their faith.
This third group was unable to meet this demand as their pastor was in prison. They therefore claimed to be under Pastor Kavel’s care and organised to make their way to Hamburg as quickly as possible following the granting of passports to the first two groups who had been waiting for two years at Hamburg.
The first group of 250 persons left Hamburg for South Australia on the Prince George on 8 July 1838 together with a supply ship Bengalee which also carried a small number of passengers. Pastor Kavel joined the Prince George in England. The second group of almost 200 emigrants left Hamburg on the Zebra on 21 August 1838. All of these emigrants received assisted passage from George Fife Angas as a result of successful negotiations made by Pastor Kavel in England. This passage money was required to be repaid to Angas in due course after the emigrants had settled in the new Colony.
Before embarking on the ship to take them to Australia, most of these families had to make their way to Hamburg overland to Tschicherzig, a small village on the River Oder, and then by river barges for the long and slow inland river journey to the sea port of Hamburg. They initially travelled on the Oder to Frankfurt, then through the Friedrich Wilhelin Canal into the Spree River. Delays were caused by the many locks which had to be traversed and, at times, the river level was too low for the barges to progress unaided and passengers had to assist to pull the barges through these difficult areas into deeper water. Their river journey passed through Berlin, Potsdam and Wittenberge in Prussia and then on the Elbe River through Hannover and Mecklenburg to Hamburg.
When this third group arrived in Hamburg in mid-1838, they found out, to their dismay that they too were stranded in that city and their departure for Australia was delayed for about eight weeks. Although they had received passports to leave their homeland and had bid farewell to their families and friends in their home towns, they appeared to have made their way to Hamburg on a misunderstanding about the shipping details but felt that they could
not return to their former homes or villages during this destabilising interim period. Many of them were provided with shelter in a large barn at Barmbeck near Hamburg through the generosity of one of the local residents while others found temporary accommodation at Hamburg. When they left their homes for the last time, they were unaware that a ship had not been chartered and that no passage money had been arranged to cover the cost of the long voyage to Australia.
They immediately contacted George Fife Angas for assistance in a similar manner to the assistance provided to the boats which had departed from Hamburg a few weeks earlier. Angas was financially embarrassed by this new request for loan funds and advised that he could not support this group. Being a generous practising Christian, he felt in his heart that he should try and assist these intending emigrants in some way his requests for financial
assistance from the Government and private individuals failed whereupon he decided to personally organise six-months credit to purchase the necessary provisions for the sea voyage of this desperate group. A contract for repayment of the passage money was prepared and agreed to by the emigrants. However, some individuals were dissatisfied with the negotiations and consideration was given to abandon the group contract. This very unhappy development was relayed to Angas who immediately responded in forthright terms that he would withdraw from the contract if unity within the group could not be maintained. They met urgently and felt that they were offered two dramatic options, either the passage contract had to be reaffirmed on behalf of the entire emigrating group or they would have to fend for themselves, which many could not immediately afford.
The majority of the group, headed by their elders Rothe, Boerke, Welke, Kappler and Jaeschke, decided to exclude the few troublemakers to enable others to emigrate and for the group to be seen as a united party seeking religious freedom in the new colony. This development was relayed to Angas who then agreed to provide financial assistance to this group for which they were very grateful for the remainder of their lives. The terms of repayment was that. all money loaned, plus interest, had to be repaid to Angas in eight years ie, in 1847. Those who were excluded did eventually emigrate from Germany to USA with financial assistance from Mr Angas.
The sailing ship Catharina was then chartered and made its way to Hamburg to load provisions for the long journey, the approximately 125 passengers
and the minimal provisions which they were permitted to bring with them. The Catharina or Catherine as it has been sometimes referred to, was a wooden sailing ship of 350 tons with Peter Schacht as Captain. Unfortunately there was no record kept of provisions taken aboard, details about the ship or an official passenger list of those boarding at Hamburg. It is believed that this ship made only one journey to Australia. A detailed passenger list has been compiled in South Australia from a wide range of public and private sources and it is still not known if the passenger list is complete. In a number of lists, there is no reference at all to the Koch family being on board and the later lists which do include our family ancestors, do not include Friedrich Koch’s daughter Johanna Louise who was 9 years old at the time.
As an indication of the provisions to be loaded for that 21,000 km journey the following provisions were taken on board the Zebra (for a similar number of passengers) to provide sustenance for up to six months at sea as recorded in the Munchenberg family history publication Munchenberg 1782-1971.
‘26,674 gallons of water, 24,000 lbs of bread, 27 barrels of pork, 27 barrels of beef, 16 tons of herrings, 38 tons of flour, 60 tons of peas, 7 bags of coffee, 5 barrels of sugar, 50 cheeses, 29 bags of rice, 7 hogsheads of vinegar, 3 barrels of beans, 2 barrels of plums, 2 barrels of pearl barley, 17 quarters of butter, 10 bags of salt - also tea, wine, brandy etc.‘
Conditions on board the Catharina were very cramped and basic. As an example, a family of five had a cabin area of about four square metres in which to live and sleep, generally below the water line. The rooms had no furniture only boxes, and beds were either made from chaff bags or leather beds. Access to their personal luggage packed in their trunks was only permitted once per month.
The emigrants had little knowledge of sea travel as none had previously travelled on the open sea. The long journey to South Australia in such a small
ship would have taken much courage and faith and shortly after their departure from Hamburg, most passengers became seasick.
The actual date of departure is uncertain but many sources believe that the Catharina left Hamburg on Friday, 21 September 1838. The ship entered the North Sea at Cuxhaven and endured many hazards on the subsequent long voyage. At Cuxhaven, three of the Elders - Johann George Jaeschke, Christian Rothe and Christian Kappler delivered a farewell address thanking their friends and supporters at Hamburg, and providing details of their reasons for emigrating. An English translation of the complete address has been published in Kavel's People by David Schubert.
The Catharina sailed to Australia via the English Channel, Canary islands, Cape Verde Islands, St Helena. and then rounded the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, without calling at any ports, and arrived in Port Adelaide on Friday, 25 January 1839 after a 126-day voyage. Four of the passengers died at sea. During the voyage, the children received school lessons in small groups led by teachers Auricht, Krummnow and Welke, and regular worship services were led by the Elders.
The South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, of 2 February 1839, reported on the arrival of the Catharina with 125 passengers and the following goods: 125 water casks, 1,000 staves, 10 packages chairs, 27 boxes wearing apparel, 2 cases glassware, 20 boxes window glass, 1 case looking glasses, 1 cash shoes and boots, 2 bales bagging, 1 box brushes, etc, 1 case stockings. 1 case vermicelli, 2 cases macaroni, 1 case succory, 1 cask hams, 11 cases, 5 boxes, 13 packages, 2 casks, 8 bales, 1 bag merchandise, 48 cases, 26 crates, 30 casks, 1 barrel, 1 hogshead, 3 tubs, 6 boxes. 1 chest, 1 iron chest, 15 bundles, 6 bags, 2 bales, 88 packages of sundries.
In addition, the Catharina also brought 22 pure Saxon sheep of the finest breed comprising 8 rams and 14 ewes.
Considering the size of the ship, this is an extraordinary number of passengers, volume of provisions and cargo for that time period, and it could be well imagined that this was a very challenging voyage of faith for our ancestors. The Koch family arrived safely in South Australian .waters, but their departure from the ship at Port Misery, near Port Adelaide. and early settlement in South Australia, was also a very humbling experience.
The ship anchored in deep water and the passengers had to then make their way to land over the side of the ship into small boats and finally walk through the muddy swamps to dry land. The sailors carried some of the women and children to shore and their belongings were floated ashore. On land, they had to contend with sandhills, heat and flies. The group were able to shelter from the heat in a large tent and huts made from tree branches until a suitable village settlement at Glen Osmond could be organised. They were met at the shore by Pastor Kavel and many members of the first group and he conducted a thanksgiving service for them. Until that time. they did not know if the earlier emigrants had arrived safely in South Australia or not.
The first Colonial Treasurer, Osmond Gilles, made land available at Glen Osmond which passengers from the Catharina rented. At first, these immigrants had little to eat and lived in very primitive and humble shelters. However, others were aware of their plight, and English colonists provided them with food and other necessities for which these people later repaid as their means enabled this to occur. These settlers initially attended church services conducted by Pastor Kavel at Klemzig which was about 15 km from Glen Osmond. The first Lutheran Synod was held under the shelter of gum trees at Glen Osmond on 23-24 May 1839.
It was at this Synod that the Constitution of the new Church in Australia was prepared and accepted. On the second day of Synod, many of that group, including Friedrich and Wilhelm Koch, signed the Oath of Allegiance to Queen Victoria in front of Government House as a first step to becoming naturalised citizens.
Rakow (Rackau) revisited
In September 1998, to experience the 21-day Homeland Tour to Germany and Poland, was a very special privilege. It was to actually visit the village of Rakow, now in Poland, from where my husband, Keith Koch‘s, great-grandparents migrated to Australia in 1838.
Alter long hours of travel and wait at airports we were met at Frankfurt, Germany, by our tour leader, David Zweck, of North Adelaide Travel, who had a sturdy sixteen-seater bus for the ten of us who were given this unique adventure of discovery. We were given the pleasure of a boat trip on the River Rhine and a few days of viewing the charming medieval towns on a section of the Romantic Route as well as Lutheran towns and museums, which were very impressive, before our trek into Poland. With maps and a Polish guide, who met us at the border to assist, each Village became a reality. We would first locate the church, then our guide would call on nearby houses to find the key and be given the permission to enter the building and wander around the cemetery, if there was one. After discovering several villages and places for the other travellers, imagine my excitement to see a sign to Rakow. We were still some distance from it.
We travelled through gently undulating, ploughed, farm country broken-up by the occasional belt of dense forest. No stock were in view nor were there any fences to be seen. The straight road we were on led to the village we could see in the distance. Their sign was rather shabby. Someone had painted a red ’K’ in front of Rakow, perhaps to make it look more Polish.
Our maps were in German and Polish. The photo of the sign is a little distorted because it was dubbed off a video camera shot. The large lake in the centre of the village was a surprise. The church was on the hill overlooking it, with a substantial manor house nearby smaller well-built farm dwellings nestled among trees in the rest of the village. Our Polish guide located the lady with the church key, who joined us, and we were able to see the interior. Unfortunately it was being renovated. The three altars were covered with plastic sheeting. Our key lady kindly gave us snaps she had of the altars, when we took her back to her house, which was a surprisingly modern structure. She was delighted with the souvenirs I gave her and hugs were exchanged even though we could not converse.
The cemetery beside the church had been destroyed by the Russians in 1945, as were all the records, which was disappointing. The grave area had been left bare and their cemetery had been located elsewhere. A huge acorn tree was impressive at the rear of the church. Also we noticed a 16th century date on a large memorial plaque in German on the outside wall which could indicate when the church was built.
An ancient wooden fire-house nearby was interesting, we were told that bells were held in the tower. Do hope other Koch relatives will visit this village in future and pick up more facts. Our time was limited and I thought of questions later I wish I had asked via our interpreter.
Many of the country roads were boneshakers and one couldn’t help noticing the struggle of recovery still going on in Poland. We were shown the spot on the River Oder from where our forebears left to travel to Hamburg, from where they sailed to Australia. What a testing time for them as they made that trip across the ocean firmly trusting in God's protection. In Germany, on occasions, we enjoyed great fellowship with the locals and their coffee and cake, where, of course, we practiced our chatting in German.
I praise our loving Lord for His blessing and protection on this venture, and thank my generous husband Keith, and the warm and caring support of all our group. Rich memories were made.
----- Lorna M Koch.
Passengers on the Catharina
As is the case for the Zebra, there is no official list for the Catharina. The following is based on Brauer’s early list, Wittwer’s recent revision in the Gallasch family history, the lists of emigrants in Iwan, and other miscellaneous information. There is more uncertainty in the case of the Catharina than for the previous ships — partly because the actual emigration was delayed for some time at Hamburg during which time some families withdrew while others joined, and partly because Iwan’s information on the people who left Posen is sketchy.
AURICHT: Christian Auricht, 32, blacksmith. Wife - Maria Elisabeth (nee Loechel}, 30. Children - Johann Christian, 6 (later Lutheran pastor), Johann Gottfried, 4, from Turowo. Christian's sisters - Christiane Rosina, 21, maid to the Rothe family, and Anna Elisabeth, 19, from Klastawe. Mrs Wuttke and Mrs Wilkseh, below, were also sisters. Christian’s wife was a sister to Mrs Kappler, below. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Langmeil.
BENSCH: Samuel Ludwig Bensch, 38. Wife - Christiane, 35, from Turowo. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Hope Valley.
BOERKE: Karl Ferdinand Boerke, 34, potter. Wife - Anna Maria (nee Wuttke), 35, from Bentsehen. Wife was a sister of CA Wuttke, the wife of Gallasch, and probably the wife of C. Hamdorf, all listed below. Probably settled at Glen Osmond. Later Grunthal.
?FLIEGERT: Johann Gottlieb Fliegert, 35. Wife - Rosine Dorothea (nee Jaeschke). Daughter - Johanne Juliane, 3, from Scharkewald—Hauland. Wife was a daughter of JG Jaeschke, below. Settled at Hahndorf, later Barossa.*
GALLASCH: Johann Joseph Gallasch, 34, weaver. Wife - Johanne Veronika (nee Wuttke), 39. Children - Anna Julianne, 7, Johann Eduard, 4, possibly Anna Caroline, 5, from Bentschen. See also Boerke, above. Probably settled at Glen Osmond. Later Hahndorf, then Grunthal.
GRAETZ: Johann Georg Graetz, 44, mason. Wife - died on voyage. Children - Julie, 14, Carl Friedrich Eduard, 13, Rudolph Ferdinand, 10, Carl August, 3, from Bentschen. Settled at Klemzig. Later Langmeil.
HAHN: Johann Christian Hahn, 32, gardener. Wife - Maria Elisabeth (nee Schiers), 29, from Brausendorf. Hahn was a cousin to the Aurichts. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Hope Valley, later Siegersdorf.
HAMDORF: Christian Wilhehn Hamdorf, 21, wheelwright. Wife - Maria Therese (nee Wuttke), 21. Daughter - Johanne Luise Maria (2 months), from Tirschiiegel. Christian was a brother of Gotthilf, below. See also Boerke, above. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Lobethal.
HAMDORF: Johann Gotthilf Hamdorf, 34, wheelwright. Wife - Christiane Wilhelmine (nee Ronert), 31. Children - Karoline Emilie, 4, Ernst Wilhelm, I. Gotthilf was a brother of Christian, above, from Tirschtiegel. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Langmeil. (Data supplied by family)
HEINRICH: Johann Gottlob Heinrich, 38, cottager, thread-gatherer. Wife - Anna Rosina (nee Pfeiffer), 36. Children - Johanne Juliane, 9, Friedrich Wilhelm, 5, Gustav Adolph, 4, Julius Gotthilf, born on board ship near Cape of Good Hope, from Seiffersdorf. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Barossa.
JAESCHKE: Johann Georg Jaesehke, church elder. Second wife - Dorothea Elisabeth (nee Hoffmann). Children - Anna Dorothea, 25, Johann Samuel, 19, twins Maria Elisabeth and Anna Rosina, 1?, Johann Dienegott, 14, from Scharkewald-Hauland. Wife of Fliegert, above, was also a daughter of Jaeschke. Settled at Hahndorf.
KAPPLER: Christian Kappler, 38, landowner and church elder. Wife - Dorothea (nee Loechel), 39. Children - Gottfried, 14, Dorothea, 8, Gottlieb, 5, Eleonore, 2, from Kuschten. Christians wife was a sister to Mrs Auricht, above. Settled at Klemzig.
KOCH: Friedrich Koch, 45. Wife - Anna Dorothea (nee Baum), 36. Children - Wilhelm August, 15, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm, 12, Johanne Louise, 9, Johann Gottlieb, 5, from Raekau. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Rowlands Flat.
KRUMMNOW: Johann Friedrich Krummnow, teacher. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Lobethal, later Victoria.
LANGE: Johann Gottlieb (or Gottlob) Lange, 19. Settled at Hahndorf, later Lobethal and Walla Walla.
?LlNKE: Johann Gottlob Linke, carpenter, from Klastawe. Brother to Mrs Rothe, below. Settled at Hahndorf, later Gruenberg.
MATTNER: Johann Georg Mattner, 43, landowner. Second wife - Anna Rosina (nee Adam), 31. Children from first marriage - Anna Rosina, 1?, Johann Gottfried, 15, Johann Christian, 12, Johanne Luise, 7, Johanne Eleonore. 6. From second marriage - Johanne Dorothea, 6 months, from Kuschten. Probably settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Langmeil.
MUNCHENBERG: Johanne Eleonore Munchenburg (nee Busch), 56, widow. Children - Julia Hanna, 17, Carl August, 16, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm, 10, Johanne Wilhelmine, 8, from Turowo. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Barossa.
PRIEDEMANN: Samuel Priedernann, 31. From Reiehenau.
ROTHE: Christian Rothe, 30, tenant farmer and church elder. Wife Anna Elisabeth (nee Linke), 33. Children Johanne Eleonore, 5, Johann Gottlieb, 4, Johann Ernst, 1, from Klastawe. Wife was a sister of Gottlob Linke, above. Settled at Klemzig, later Langmeil.
SCHLINKE: Johann Danie] Schlinke, 31, confectioner. Wife Bertha Mathilde (nee Teusler), 17. From Hamburg (born in Schichogara, Posen). Became a baker in Grenfell Street, Adelaide. Later established a mill at Bethany.
SCHULZ: Johann Samuel Schulz, 43, tenant farmer. Wife Anna Rosina (nee Hoffmann), 39. Children Johanne Eleonore, 15, Anna Elisabeth, 10, from Reichenau. Possibly initially settled at Glen Osmond.
SCHWARZ: Johann Friedrich Sehwarz, 41, tailor. Wife Eva Rosina (nee Liebig), 37 (died on voyage). Children Hanna Dorothea, 9, Johann Gottlieb, 7, Johanne Christiane, 4, Johanne Dorothea Elisabeth, 2, from Seiffersdort. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Langmeil.
TILL: Johann Michael Till, 40. Wife Catherina Maria (nee Bartholn), 39. Children Johann Wilhelm, 10, Johanne Maria Elisabeth, 3, from Hamburg. Settled at Klemzig, later Langmeil.
TSCHENSCHER; Carl Ernst Tschenseher. Wife Dorothea Elisabeth (nee Bansen), 55. Children Carl Ernst, Anna Dorothea. Possibly settled at Glen Osmond. Then Hahndorf.
VIERRATH: Christian Vierrath, 57. Wife Rosina. (nee Rieger), 53. Children Georg Friedrich, 23, Anna Elisabeth, 21, Anna Rosina, 19, Christian, 16, Maria Elisabeth, 14, Johanne Dorothea, 10, Samuel, from Reichenau. Settled at Klemzig.
WARNEST: Johann Warnest, 69. Wife Anna, 60. Children Christoph, Christian, August Ernst, 12, Wilhelmine Ernestine, 10, from Prittiseh. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig‘.
WASMANN: Candidate of theology from Hamburg. Conducted services on the voyage.
WELKE: Gottlieb Ferdinand Welke, 22, apprentice locksmith, from Turowo. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Hahndorf.
WILKSCH: Wilhelm Wilksach, 33, shoemaker. Wife Johanne Eleonore (nee Auricht), 27. Son Johann Carl August, 4, from Klastawe. Wife was sister of the
Auricht's above and also Mrs Wuttke below. Settled at Glen Osmond, then Klemzig, later Langmeil.
WUTTKE: Carl Anton Wuttke, 24, shoemaker. Wife Anna Rosina (nee Auricht), 23, from Bentsehen. See also Boerke, above. Wife was sister of the
Aurichts and also Mrs Wilksch, above. Probably settled at Glen Osmond. Then Grunthal, Barossa, Woodside.
There has been some doubt or disagreement about the inclusion of the following. Possibly also some other names included in the Zebra list should be on the Catharina list.
DRABERT: Era Rosina Drabert (nee Guichen), 35. Daughter Mario Elisabeth. 17. from Turowo. (Included by Wittwer, but not by Brauer).
FIEDLER: Julius Fiedler most likely came on the Zebra or Catharina.
FLIEGERT: Au extant travel pass for Gottlieb Fliegert indicates that the family emigrated on the Catharina.
HINZE: Franz Williehn Hinze. (included by Wittwer, but not by Brauer.)
JAESCHKE: (Wittwer lists the five children indicated, Brauer says ‘ two children’).
LINKE: (Brauer included him on the Zebra, Wittwer on the Catharina.)
PFENNIG: Samuel Pfennig, Wife, son Christian, 16, and 2 daughters, from Kosel (Silesia). (Included by Brauer, but not by Wittwer. I have seen no reference to this family in South Australian lists of early Germans.)
PFITZNER: Dorothea Pfitzner. 45. One son Gottlieb, 11 and two daughters, 19 and 10, from Nou Borui (Posen). (As for Pfennig, above.)
SCHUBERT: Wilhelm Schubert. Probably settled at Glen Osmond, later Grunthal. (Included by Wittwer, but not by Brauer.)
WARNEST: Gottfried Warnest. 65. Daughter, 24, from Prittisch. (Included by Brauer, but not by Wittwer.)
WUNDERLICH: Daniel Wunderlich and J E Ludwig Wunderlich. (included by Wittwer, but not by Brauer.)
From Kavel’s People, 2nd ed, with permission from David Schubert, and adding the name of Johanne Louise Koch. Also indicating that Frederich Koch later
settled at Rowland Flat.
From the outset, the early Lutheran immigrants were keen to own land on which they could generate a living to raise their families. When they initially arrived in South Australia in 1838 and early 1839, arrangement was made by George Fife Angas for t.hem to settle at Klemzig, three miles north of Adelaide along the River Torrens. They rented the small allotments of land from Angas on which t.hey built their first homes in the Colony from wood, clay and reeds gathered in the immediate vicinity of Klemzig. Within three months of arrival in South Australia, 30 houses had been built in that village and the inhabitants were also very enterprising in establishing gardens on their small holdings to provide food for their families and for sale in Adelaide.
It became very apparent that the settlement at Klemzig would be too small to accommodate the influx of immigrants from Germany and also to sustain the existing residents of the village. At the first official gathering (Synod) of Lutheran immigrants held under the gum trees at Glen Osmond on 23-24 May 1839, one secular issue discussed at length was the need to purchase farming land further inland which would enable all Lutheran settlers to live economically in one settlement. The allotments at Klemzig were very small, were leased and nearby land was too expensive for these colonists. A number of options were later considered and discussed between Pastor Kavel and colonial authorities.
However, a major obstacle in this proposed process was the legal requirement that only British subjects were permitted to purchase Crown land. These settlers had relinquished their Prussian citizenship when they left their homeland in Europe and no doubt intended to make Australia their home for the remainder of their lives. The matter of naturalization therefore became a very important and urgent issue for them.
On the second day of that first Synod, (24 May 1839) which was also Queen Victoria’s birthday, a large number of Lutherans, including Friedrich and Wilhelm Koch signed the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen in front of Government House as the first step in the process of naturalization. This Oath was taken only by adult men which then covered their whole dependent family. The inclusion of Wilhelm Koch in this list of names and also a later list of German colonists who became naturalized citizens is currently uncertain as Wilhelm, oldest son of Friedrich Koch was only 15 years old in 1839. There was no other known colonist by the name of Wilhelm Koch resident in South Australia at that time.
On 11 September 1839, the Legislative Council passed Act No.4 which enabled the naturalization of ten German immigrants, including Pastor Kavel. This Act enabled the naturalized citizens to purchase and own land in the Colony and to enjoy all of the privileges of British subjects. At that time, all Acts of Parliament were sent by sea to Britain to receive Royal assent. This Act was not specifically allowed or disallowed and as such was considered to have been approved for enactment.
Subsequently another Act was passed in the Legislative Council to naturalize many other Germans but it was rejected by the British Government. In August 1841 a further effort was made in the Colony to naturalize German colonists. Act No.6 did receive Royal assent in 1841 and all persons named on that document were considered to have been naturalized on 11 February 1840. That list of 37 names included Friedrich and Wilhelm Koch.
Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Koch
Following the arrival in South Australia of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Koch (generally known as Friedrich) with his wife Anna and their four children, their first place of settlement was at Glen Osmond, before joining the growing community at Klemzig. Life in those early years centred mainly on providing for their basic needs of food and shelter.
Vegetable plots were established, and butter and cheeses produced from their dairy cows. Improvised ovens were constructed for the baking of bread. As production i.ncreased the surplus was sold, thus providing an income with which to purchase other necessities such as clothing and shoes. In many instances, however, it is believed they had to cut themselves short in order to have produce to sell. During their time at Klemzig, Friedrich and Anna's fifth child, Johann Christian Koch, was born (7 April 1842).
While most of the families who arrived on the Catharina settled at Hahndorf, it is believed that Friedrich, Anna and family, after spending their first few years at Klemzig, moved to Rowlands Flat. Friedrich had obtained Australian citizenship on 24 August 1841 and was thus permitted to purchase Crown land. It is not known exactly when he settled at Rowlands Flat but his first recorded purchase of land was Sec. 2702 in the Hundred of Barossa, from Charles Flaxman, on 31 August 1844.
It was on this section of land that Friedrich built his original home, which was right on the bank of the North Para river and was either washed away by floodwaters or was just too small for his growing family. His second home was a more substantial dwelling comprising a dining/living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, laundry/utilities room and a cellar and this home is still in good condition having been restored some years age. The cellar has an interesting feature in that the arched ceiling is of red clay bricks laid in an ingenious herringbone pattern. The roof is constructed of red gum beams and rafters and is clad with slate, which is said to have come from England as ships ballast. An aged Bhutan cypress tree growing some forty metres to the south of the home is believed to have been planted by Friedrick, and was possibly grown for medicinal purposes.
Friedrich had brought out with him an old family Bible, printed in 1575. He was a man of devout Christian faith and conducted daily devotions in his homeland, as there was no congregation established at Rowlands Flat at that time, he was, according to early records, a member of the Hoffnungsthal congregation, even though he did not live there.
The settlement at Hoffnungsthal began in 1847, gradually grew in numbers for several years, but declined rapidly after the area was flooded in 1853. At about this time the congregation at Rowlands Flat was formed, the foundation members being FW Koch, JD Zerk, L Grocke, G Schulz, G Mattner, G Mibus and S Hoffmann. A church at Rowlands Flat was not built until 1867 and so, during the interim years, Friedrich made his home available for worship services.
The foundation stone for the original church was laid on 14 May 1867 and the building was dedicated on 25 August that same year.
The Rowland Flat Cemetery
Friedrich also recognised the need for a burial place for the Rowlands Flat community and, after acquiring the section of land numbered 2721 in March 1846, he donated a portion of this property for use as a cemetery.
This piece of land is just one acre in area measuring 3 chains and 15 links (or 63.37 metres) square. One can only speculate why he chose this section of land, but the nature of the ground makes it very suitable for a cemetery. From the map showing the position of the cemetery it will be noted that the railway line passes the south-eastern corner of this land, but as the cemetery was there long before the railway line was constructed in 1911, the line obviously had to be routed to pass the cemetery at this point. The cemetery is not a Church or Council cemetery but is a Trust Cemetery that is administered by a committee requiring a Koch descendant to be the trustee. The current trust committee consists of Colin Gramp, Ross Koch, Mervyn Lindner and Hedley Zerk. A young woman named Pauline Wilhelmine Hoffrichter was the first person to be buried in the cemetery on 12 March 1854, having died aged 16 years. The second person was Friedrich’s eldest son Wilhelm August Koch who died on 9 January 1861, aged 38 years. It is understood that August's death resulted from sun-stroke, after walking in the hills near his home on a very hot summer's day. The third person was Friedrich himself, having died on 1 December 1867. As you will see when you read his Will at the end of this chapter, Friedrich provided well for his family, particularly his wife and daughter-in-law.
Friedrich had been a farmer in his homeland Prussia, and continued his farming pursuits as he acquired more land at Rowlands Flat. However, with the trend towards the planting of vines in the area, Friedrich also diversified and established vineyards, which continue to be the livelihood of present day descendants. The Mataro grapes from which our commemorative port wine was made, were from vines planted by Friedrich and his sons some 140 years ago, and are still producing quality fruit today.
As Friedrich and Anna’s sons and daughter grew into adulthood they married and established their own homes within very close proximity to that of their parents; with the exception of Johanna Louise who settled at Siegersdorf.
The eldest son, Wilhelm August, built his home on Part Sec 2702 Lot 3, and this dwelling is still standing and is in the process of being restored by the current owners.
Johann Friedrich Wilhelm jnr, the second son, also established his home on Part Sec 2702 Lot 4 at the southern end. This building is of similar construction to that of August’s, having walls of timber plastered with pug and straw, and then finished with a white lime-wash. The roof is of corrugated iron. Friedrich jnr’s home still stands but the walls have deteriorated considerably.
Johanna Louise, the daughter: settled at Siegersdorf, which is between Dorrien and Nuriootpa. She and her husband Gottlob Liebig built their home on Sec.121 in the Hundred of Nuriootpa, which abuts the North Para river at its western boundary. Unfortunately their home no longer exists.
Johann Gottlieb, the third son (fourth child), made his home on See 2721, being only about half a kilometre from that of his father. Gottlieb’s home no longer exists, although part of the building including the cellar, is incorporated in the present day out-buildings.
Johann Christian, the youngest son, and his wife Pauline, built their home within a stone's throw of Friedrich’s on Pt Sec 2702 Lot 6. Their home was quite different from those of the other sons, being built of stone with a corrugated iron roof and in a colonial style. It still stands today but has been vastly changed and added to by the current owners, John and Lois Jenke.
In the late 1850s and early 1860s Friedrich entered into numerous land deals whereby he provided finance for others to purchase land in surrounding areas, over which he held mortgages pending repayment of the money loaned. After Friedrich's death, which resulted from a stroke, Christian's son Reinhold and his wife Esmeralda (Aunty Essy) lived in Friedrich's home. Reinhold’s son Harold, a bachelor, lived with them also.
After Christian's death, Pauline (Mutter Christian), lived on in her home until her death in 1934, after which Reinhold and Essy moved into Christian’s home and Friedrich’s home remained vacant.
Esmeralda died in 1959, and following Reinhold’s death in November 1962, the northern end of Sec.2702 (approx. 8 acres), being that portion on which the homes of Friedrich and Christian were situated, was sold to the Jenke family.
From 1989 to 1991 Friedrich's home underwent a period of restoration to become a very attractive and interesting wine sales area for Jenke Vineyards.