The Life of Balthasar Dreis


Balthasar was born 2 Feb 1814 Lorchhausen, Nassau [now in the Rheingau-Taunus district of Hessen] [birthdate from Lorchhausen marriage record - quoted in Sykes letter]. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

first marriage to?
second marriage to Anna Maria Herrmann (died 21 Aug 1846)
third marriage on 15 Mar 1847 to Barbara APPEL (30, rel: Catholic). She was born 31 Oct 1822 (illeg.) at Lorch, Nassau, the child of Anna Maria Appel (who was dead when the Helene arrived, Barbara did not know her father's name) [by 1847 Anna Maria Appel had married Niklaus Pohl of Lorchhausen, but he was apparently not Barbara's father]. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

In Australia, Balthasar was introduced by George Townshend, Trevallyn, Paterson
Fellow employees included Johann and Sebastian Geiger, Johann Lees, Johann Schmitt and Anton Schuber on Helene. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Helene arrived Port Jackson 18 March 1853,
as inspected by Immigration Board 22 March 1853:
Dreis: Balthasar, vinedresser, native of Lorchhausen, Nassau
parents Anton & Gertrudis, both dead.
Roman Catholic, can read and write, no relatives in colony.
Health good, no complaints.
Paid 6.10.0 each for the children (was B. paid, or was this was the bounty paid to the immigration agent?).
Barbara, wife, 30, of Lorch, Nassau.
Parents Anna Maria Appel, dead. Does not know her father's name.
Roman Catholic
Nicolas 5,
Catherine 3.
Infant born and died on the passage.

Also on board;
Stolz: William Henry, 38
Eva Joanna, 38 wife.
See Reel 4/4932 (State Archives of New South Wales?)

Balthasar appears to have soon gone to the Hunter Valley where he drowned in 1861 trying to swim the Hunter River. His family was left destitute and his wife soon remarried.

Balthasar Dreis died 1861 at Stamford, 4378; records show parentage as "unknown". (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Barbara Druse remarried 1862 to Thomas Kinnewell 2232 (Maitland) (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Nicholas Dreise & Balthasar Dreise, residents in the Orara River/Braunstone area of the Clarence River for 1867/68, listed in book History of the German Community in the Clarence River District of NSW by Geoffrey Burkhardt and Nola Mackey published 1999. Despite the fact that Balthasar had been dead for more than six years at this date, it is possible he was meant: the source could be land documents that had not yet been changed. Otherwise it is difficult to see who could have been meant.

Nicholas his son married Bridget O'Dea in Coomera, Queensland. He too tragically drowned in the Tweed River after being run down by a cane punt. I have newspaper reports of both drownings. (Tony Dreise)

Nicholas' son George was active in the timber business in South Grafton. (Tony Dreise)

The run of drownings in the family continued with John Dreis (Treis), who was born in Australia and drowned aged 8 in 1867! So far that's Balthasar, Nicholas and John. Another descendant also drowned: my Uncle Charles (Balthasar's G-G-grandson). (Susan Dippel)

Of interest as well, on the death certificate of Barbara (Dreis) Kenniwell (Balthasar's widow), she is listed as having 3 male and 3 female children living and 4 males deceased, which I take to mean that the baby who was born and died on the voyage out on the Helene was a boy. Barbara had later married Thomas Kinniwell. (Susan Dippel)

Additional information

His 1856 address: Paterson /parish West Maitland /Co Northumberland child's bapt. sponsors: Frederick & Juliana Leer [Lehr]. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

His 1858 address: Gresford, Paterson /parish West Maitland /Co.Northumb. child's bapt. sponsors: John Pemre, Catherine Pemre. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Listed in Wolf-Heino Struck's Die Auswanderung aus dem Herzogtum Nassau (1806-1866) (Emigration from the Duchy of Nassau), 1966. Date of his emigration advertisement in the local newspaper was 22 Sep 1852. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

See Queensland Family Historian vol. 7 no. 5, Oct 1986 p. 82 for details ~ emigrants from Lorch and Lorchhausen from civil records (information from Henning Schroder):
Balthasar Dreis b. 2 Feb 1814 in Lorchhausen, son of Anton Dreis and Gertrudis (Pohl) Dreis, m. 15 Mar 1847 in Lorchhausen to Barbara Appel (b. 31 Oct 1822 Lorch, daughter of the unmarried Maria Appel from Trechtingshausen). Emigrated to Australia 12 Oct 1852. (Info supplied by Jenny Paterson)

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