Duldig Family History



Johann Duldig, his wife Anna and son Friedrich arrived at Port Adelaide on 23.1.1856 aboard the “Helene”. A brick to commemorate this important event has been laid in the settlement Courtyard at the Migration Museum, Kintore Avenue, Adelaide.

The Ship “Helene” left Hamburg, Germany on October 1855. Details of the ship, its passenger list and cargo can be found in Appendix 1. The family originated from Tauer in Prussia, so how did they travel to Hamburg? This is not known but it is presumed that they used an extensive network of rivers and canals to get there. See Appendix 2 for maps of Prussia and South Australia.

Both Johann and Anna were of Wendish descent. See Appendix 3 for a brief history of the Wends. Church records from Tauer show that both families were cottagers which means that they made their living from the land but that the holding was not large enough to justify owning a horse. If a landholder owned a horse he was called a farmer. Records from the Church also provided a brief family tree which gives details of Johann and Anna’s wedding and of the birth of Friedrich. See Appendix 4. It is interesting to note that some people have two family names, one Wendish and one German. Apparently church records like these are rare in Germany as many have been destroyed during the frequent wars that have been fought there.

So what happened to the Duldig family when they landed at Port Misery? An obituary prepared after Johann’s death in 1912 indicates that they made their way to Peter’s Hill within a few weeks of arrival. See Appendix 5 . Other sources say the founders of the St Peter’s Church arrived in the district early in 1856, coming from Hoffnungsthal settlement, near Lyndoch. Those on record as foundation members included Johann Duldig. The congregation was formed on July 1st, 1856. Wilhelm Duldig was the first child of Johann and Anna to be born in Australia. He was born on November 30th 1856. See Appendix 4 for a brief list of descendants.

In the meantime what was Friedrich doing? The best record to be found is his obituary taken from the “Burra Record”. He died on June 7th 1942. See Appendix 4.

As can be seen in his obituary he and Louise had fourteen children. See Appendix 5 for a brief list of descendants. Louise Schuppan’s family were also Wends from Tauer, and Louise arrived in Melbourne with her Father, Mother and four older brothers and sisters when she was one year old. One of Friedrich’s younger brothers, Gustav, married Caroline Schuppan, Louise’s younger sister. In 1892 they moved with their four children to World’s End where Friedrich had established his farm. During their stay of eight years at World’s End, Gustav helped to operate the Duldig Creamery where he lived. Gustav also farmed and operated a post office and store from the creamery. Before returning to Peter’s Hill Gustav and Caroline had four more children. It can be seen from Appendix 4 that between 1876 and 1902 a total of eighteen Duldig children were born at World’s End. This would have to be a World’s End record.

When Friedrich finally retired from farming in July 1922, after forty-six years, he and Louise moved to Lawrence Street, Eudunda. He left his farm in the safe hands of his son Friedrich who operated it for another nineteen years. One of his daughters, Vi, has left behind a record of what life was all about on the farm. See Appendix 6. Only one year after retiring to Eudunda Louise died aged sixty six years. Friedrich’s son Louis moved in with his young family to look after him. He remained almost as active in retirement as he was at World’s End.

One of his achievements not mentioned in his obituary was his help in establishing the Eudunda Bowling Club. He and two of his sons, Alfred and Louis, were foundations members of the committee set up in 1925 to plan the proposed club, which was officially opened on December 10th 1927.

Another point of interest is that six of Friedrich’s children took up residence in Eudunda. Apart from the two sons mentioned, four of his daughters married farmers from the area. They were Anna Emily (married Carl Rudolf Pfitzner) Mary Elsie (married Wilhelm Emil Pfitzner) Bertha Ottilie (married Julius Herman Schwarz) and Anna Selma (married Edward Johannes Hansen).

It is difficult to put into perspective the impact on the social and economic well-being of this state that Johann’s and Anna’s decision to emigrate has made. Included in Appendix 4 is a table compiled in 1996 showing that friedrich and louise had four hundred and sixty descendants at that time. It would be interesting to compile the statistics for the whole family and work out an economic impact statement.

In Eudunda there is a Heritage Gallery at 19 Bruce Street. It is well worth a visit as it highlights the history of pioneers of the District. There are display panels for over twenty-five families including Duldig’s with cross reference to Schwarz, Pfitzner and Hansen. These panels in conjunction with family history books and local district histories help to give an insight into the story of Johann, Anna and Friedrich.

Max Duldig