The story of the Klaebsch family in Australia begins in 1793 in Eastern Europe, in what was then the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1793, in Buchwaldchen, Liegnitz, Silesia, Prussia, 1. Johann Gottfried KLAEBSCH was born.

Regrettably, very little is known about the family in "The Old Country”. He married Johanne Maria Elisabeth NITSCHKEN in 1821 in Glembach, Brandenburg, Prussia. Johanne Maria Elisabeth was born on Jul 2 1803 in Peitz, Silesia, Prussia.

This region has been a part of several different countries over the centuries. Nowadays it is part of Poland. They lived near Crossen, their children being born in several small villages nearby. Liegnitz is now known as Legnica, Poland; Peitz is now in Brandenburg. Glembach and Beutnitz are now Bytnica in Krosno (formerly Crossen, Brandenburg) County, Poland.

It‘s not quite clear why Johann Gottfried and his family left their homeland. By 1853 the exodus of Old Lutherans who fled Prussia for religious regions to both America and Australia had largely come to an end. So did they come to Australia to free themselves from a difficult religious culture or were their reasons more economic? Or were they encouraged by favourable reports from others who went before? We’ll never know.

I don’t have any record of what ship they arrived on but going by the dates of when their children were married, they must have arrived sometime between 1855 and June 1856. The whole family did not arrive together, some of their children arrived on different dates.

Johann Gottfried died on June 1 1866 in Bugle Ranges, South Australia. Johanne Maria Elisabeth died on June 4 1866 in South Rhine, South Australia and is buried at Friedensberg Pioneer Cemetery, Springton, Barossa Valley, South Australia. Friedensberg means Hill of Peace.


Offspring of Johann Gottfried Klaebsch and Johanne Maria Elisabeth Nitschken (c1821-1866)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Johann Wilhelm Klaebsch (1822-1889) 6 February 1822 Neu Beutnitz, Crossen an der Oder, Brandenburg, Prussia 6 December 1889 Hartley, South Australia, Australia Johanne Friedericke Buettner (1822-1897)

Johanne Dorathea Klaebsch (1825-1907) 25 October 1825 Glembach, Crossen an der Oder, Brandenburg, Prussia 26 March 1907 Salem, South Australia, Australia Johann Christian Sawade (1822-1901)

Johanne Louise Klaebsch (1827-1896)
Johann Christian Klaebsch (1828-1908)
Johanna Marie Karolina Klaebsch (1832-1865)
Johann Gottlieb Klaebsch (1836-)
Johanna Maria Elisabeth Klaebsch (1840-)
Johanne Pauline Klaebsch (1846-1926)


Footnotes (including sources)