The Life of Wilhelm Dreis


Wilhelm Dreis is one of the Australia-bound emigrants listed in Wolf-Heino Struck's Die Auswanderung aus dem Herzogtum Nassau (1806-1866) (Emigration from the Duchy of Nassau), 1966. The date of his emigration advertisement in the local gazette, the source of this information, was 17 September 1852. The name is spelled Dreiß (Dreiss) in this record and no mention is made of his wife and family.

The Queensland Family Historian (vol. 7 no. 5, Oct 1986, p. 82) contains some details on the emigrants from Lorch and Lorchhausen, drawn from the civil records of the state of Nassau.

Johann Wilheln Dreis b. 15 Mar 1811 in Lorchhausen, son of the late Andreas Dreis and of Barbara (Müller) Dreis, m. l Jul 1838 in Lorchhausen Maria Katharina Nefferdorf (b.8 Jan 1809 Lipporn, daughter of the late Heinrich Adam Nefferdorf and Maria Katharina (Nefferdorf) Nefferdorf). Emigrated to Australia 11 Nov 1852. (Information compiled by Henning Schroder and kindly supplied for this website by Jenny Paterson).

His name is given as "Wilh. Dreiss" on the Hamburg embarkation list, from "Lorchhausen, Rüdesheim" (this was the administration centre for Lorchhausen) (Information kindly supplied by Jenny Paterson).

Their ship, the Triton, arrived in Port Jackson on 29 April 1853. The following comes from the records of the inspection by the New South Wales Immigration Board, conducted on 4 May 1853:

Dreis: Johann Wilhelm, 42, vinedresser, native of Lorchhausen, Nassau,
Parents: Andreas & Barbara. Mother living (on board). Father dead.
Roman Catholic, can read and write, No relations in colony.
Health good, Complaints none. Paid £30.

Wife: Maria Catharina, 54, wife, native of Lipporn, Nassau [now in Rhein-Lahn district, Rheinland-Pfalz]
Parents: Henrich Adam and Maria Catharina Nefferndorrf, both dead.
Church of England, can read and write,
No relations in colony.
Health good, Complaints none.
Wilhelm, 11, son, can read and write
Phillip, 9, son, cannot read nor write
Barbara, 6, daughter, cannot read/write
Johann, 3, son, cannot read/write

Also on board:
Pohl: Theodor, 33, married, vinedresser, native of Lorchhausen, Nassau.
Parents Andreas & Catharina Pohl, both dead.
Roman Catholic, can read and write
Elizabetha Pohl, 21, wife, native Lorch, Nassau,
Parents Jacob & Francesca Schreider, both living at Lorch.
Roman Catholic, paid £12.
From Reel 4/4936 (State Archives of New South Wales?)

He was introduced as labour to NSW by Thomas Jarroan Hawkins of Bathurst. Fellow employees of Hawkins included Andreas Dreis and Theodor Pohl, both emigrants on the Triton. (Information kindly supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Spelling variants found by Jenny Paterson for this surname in the records include: Dreiss, Dries(s), Drice, Drise, Druis, Drees, Draes, Driss, Dress, Dryes, Treis, Tries, Tress, Thrice, Troyce.

Naturalization: 12 Dec 1861 vol. 3 p. 32 no. lll (memorial no.61/5046)
name: William Dryes [Dreis]
age: 50
origin: Lorchhausen, Duchy of Nassau, Germany
ship: Trident 1854
residence: District of Patricks Plains.
(Information kindly supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Record of the death of Wilhelm's mother Barbara Dreis nee Müller:
Barbara Dreis d. 1860 reg. no. 5411 (Patricks Plain);
certificate: Barbara Dreis formerly Muller 79 yrs
d. 4 Jul 1860 at Belford;
parents: William Muller, labourer, and Catherine Muller, formerly Weiler;
informant: William Dreis, son, Belford;
registered 5 Jul 1860 Singleton;
buried: 5 Jul 1860 RC Cemetery Singleton;
undertaker: Ludwig Halter;
witnesses: John Henston, Charles Ritte
born: Nassau, Germany, 7 years in NSW;
married: Nassau, Germany, aged 27, to Dreis;
children: Andreas 51, William 49, Henry 47, Balthasar (dead), Carl (dead).
(Information kindly supplied by Jenny Paterson)

Catherine Dries d.1876 at Bedford [? Belford], aged 67; (Patricks Plain). [place and name spelling is right, but age is ... [incomplete] (Information kindly supplied by Jenny Paterson)

William Dries Snr
Living at Belford
Held 95 acres
4 horses
5 cattle
0 sheep
0 pigs
from Parliamentary Returns of Landholders 1885

Death Registration No. 03000
Date of Death: 16 Jan 1896
Place of Death: Mt Pleasant, Narrabri
Name: William DRIES
Occupation: Gardener
Sex: Male
Age: 85
Cause of Death: Exhaustion, senile decay
Duration: 3 weeks, inquest unnecessary
Medical Attendant: JF Kenyon, Coroner
Father: Not known parents
Father's Occupation:
Mother - Maiden Name:
Informant: John Stoltenberg, son in law, Mount Pleasant
When Buried: 20 Jan 1896
Where: Mount Pleasant, Narrabri
Undertaker: Andrew Brown
Minister: J Hearn
Religion: Roman Catholic
Witnesses: John Schatz, G Rougall
Where Born: Lerch, Germany
Time in Colony/State: 42 years in NSW
Place Married: Germany
Age at Marriage: Not known
Spouse: Katherine Nevendorf
Children of Marriage: William 54, Philip 52, Barbara 49, John 47 living; 2 females deceased

"Mount Pleasant" Private Cemetery, part of Narrabri Shire Lone Graves Group: responsible authority Mrs D. Stoltenberg, "Mount Pleasant" Narrabri NSW 2390; area 60 sqm; approx number of burials: 2; memorials erected to William Stoltenberg d. 26 Feb 1893 aged l8 yrs l0 mths, and William Dreis d. 20 Jan 1896, aged 84 yrs. This family burial ground features two well executed monuments in an attractive setting, with native and introduced trees. The site remains in the ownership of the same family as those buried, giving some insight into patterns of settlement in this rural area. [1987 proposal for cemetery conservation area]
(Information kindly supplied by Jenny Paterson)

A separate page contains information about Wilhelm's ancestors in the village of Lorchhausen.

Home Table of Contents
© Jean-Baptiste Piggin