Count Dameier, a French landowner, army officer and member of the French Aristocracy escaped to Germany during the French Revolution (1789-1802). The Count's mother Countess Dameier , was among the many members of the nobility beheaded during the French Revolution. Count Dameier married Catherine Peters and their daughter Countess Caroline was born in Hanover, Germany in 1807. The family ceased using their titles in an attempt to secure their anonymity in Germany.
Caroline married Christian Hartmann, at Hanover, in 1830. Christian Hartmann was the son of Henry Hartmann who worked as an overseer in Hanover. Christian and Caroline had six children, Wilhelmina, Hermann, triplets Caroline, Henrietta and Charlotte and August, born in 1832, 1835, 1841 and 1845 respectively. Caroline was the only one of the triplets to survive until adulthood.
Christian and family lived at Othfresen in Germany where he worked at his trade as a Saddle and Harness Maker. Herman became a harness maker and August a saddler.
Christian and Caroline's eldest daughter, Wilhelmina, married Fred Holtz and they migrated to Muscatine, Iowa, USA. Fred Holtz was killed in the American civil War. Wilhelmina remarried and her youngest daughter, Elizabeth, celebrated her 100th birthday in May, 1972.
Christian and Caroline's eldest son, Herman was twice married. he and his first wife had a son, Gustav Christopher. Soon after Gustav's birth, his mother died and he was reared by his grandparents, Christian and Caroline. Hermann married his second wife Johanna Louise Sophie Kiehne at Beinum, Germany on 11th November, 1862.
Christina and Caroline migrated to the Colony of New south Wales, Australia in 1862. Accompanied by their two children, august and Caroline and their four year old grandson, Gustav, they boarded the barque, Sophia of 278 tons at hamburg and arrived in Sydney on 10th March, 1963. Christian Hartmann and family went to Gunnedah where he continued his trade.
Hermann Hartmann, his wife Louise and their daughter Hermine
travelled to Liverpool in England and left for the Colony on the
sailing ship "Marco Polo" on the 7th July, 1864.
The "Marco Polo" was a clipper and one of the
fastest vessels of her time. She had a registered tonnage of 1,625
and was 184 ft, 1 inch, a beam of 36 feet 4 inches and a depth
of 29 ft 5 in.
Hermann Hartmann decided to sail to the Colony in an English ship so that they could become familiar with the English language on the voyage. Louise quickly learnt the English language on board ship and this proved to be tremendous advantage to the family when they arrived in the Colony.
The passenger list of the "Marco Polo" states as follows'
"Mrs Hartmann was confined of a son on 15th September, 1864".
The son born on ship was Hermann Hartmann jnr. According to the ship's records, the Hartmann's had contracted to land in Sydney. However, when they arrived in Melbourne on the 6th October, 1864, they decided to stay in Melbourne instead of continuing on to Sydney. Hermann Hartmann found that it was difficult to obtain work in Melbourne and in 1866 he and his family continued their voyage on to Sydney in the Marco Polo. On arriving in Sydney they proceeded to Gunnedah where they reunited with Hermann's parents, his sister Caroline, brother August and his son Gustav.
Hermann obtained work as a shepherd on "Gurley" Station in 1866. this was a change in employment for Hermann since in Germany he was a tradesman and used to an urban life. When he arrived at the shepherd's hut on "Gurley" station, he found that the door of the hut had been left open and the stock were camping in it. He and his wife had to set to work and clean the hut out and spread fresh clean soil on the floor before it was fit for them to live in with their two young children. They considered that this was one of the worst experiences of their adventurous life.
While living in this hut Louise was visited by Thunderbold. A well dressed traveller arrived at the hut; he was very polite and nursed the baby Hermann jnr. while Louise made him a cup of tea. It was only after Thunderbolt had left that the shepherds were told to be careful because the bushranger thunderbolt was known to be in the area. Hermann and Louise's third child Richard was born at Gurley in 1867.
About this time Louise's brother Frederick Kiehne was working for Oswald Bloxsome. Frederick realised that the area was in need of a harness maker so he contacted his brother-in-law at Gurley and suggested that they should move to Dundee. On receiving this information the Hartmann family packed their belongings and came to Dundee with a hawker named Spiers in 1869. When the family arrived at Dundee they proceeded further east to locate Louise's brother, and as they were crossing the Severn river at Perkins Crossing (just below "Athlone") Louise recognised his brother's whistle. He was working his sheep dogs on "Dundee" Station about 1 km away.
Initially the family lived in a little slab and bark cottage in the Dundee village (opposite the present dundee Public Hall). Hermann and Louise's daughter Olga was born in this cottage in 1870. Hermann was in constant employment, as a harness maker, for all the nearby stations (Rangers Valley", Clarveaux", "Dundee", and "Wellington Vale"). a great deal of bartering took place at this time. Instead of taking money for the work done, Hermann often received either goods or stock. His first milking cow came from "Clarveaux" in payment for the harness making he carried out on the station.
The Kiehne's were all farmers in Germany and Louise was anxious to obtain a modest selection of their own. Hermann Hartmann selected his first block of 80 acres of land in 1870. he was officially granted this land on the 16th April, 1871. this land was situated in the 'Six Mile' area and he called it "Othfresen" after the town of that name in Germany. The remainder of Hermann and louise's children, Meta, Hedwig, august, William and Arnold were all born at "Othfresen". Christian Hartmann, his son, Hermann and Frederick Kiehne all took the Oath of allegiance in 1875.
Christian Hartmann was cared for in his old age by his son Hermann. Christian died in 1886 at the age of 83 and is buried in the Dundee cemetery. Christian's wife Caroline was cared for by her daughter Caroline (Mrs J Westerweller) of Gunnedah. Caroline died in 1888 at the age of 81 and is buried at Gunnedah. Christian's and Caroline's son, August, settled in Gunnedah and taught his son Horace the saddling Trade. Horace Hartmann was employed as a saddler and harness maker by Dibley's of Glen Innes for many years.
Louise died in January, 1923 aged 81 and her husband Hermann died a few months later at the age of 88. They are both buried in the Dundee cemetery.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any information or photographs on any of these families. You can write to me at <jvbryant at halenet dot com dot au>
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