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SCHUSTER, Johann and Agneta

Johann Gottfried Schuster (1813-94), a Wend from Gross Saubernitz, 15 kilometres north-east of Bautzen, arrived in Australia aboard the Pribislaw with his wife Agneta (nee Schmeiss) and at least two children, daughters Magdalene and Marie. Prior to leaving Germany, the Schusters had been members of the Wendish Pastor Johann Kilian’s United Evangelical Church at Weigersdorf.

Schuster was naturalized as a Victorian citizen on 25 March 1852. His address then was Melbourne, age 38 and occupation carpenter. By late 1852, he was goldmining on the Loddon River and was present when his former shipmate and fellow Wend Carl Graff was killed there in December 1852.

On 15 January 1853 he purchased 80 acres at Greensborough from Johann carl Zahn for 200 pounds (Section 12, Parish of Nillumbik). Zahn had subdivided and sold his land at Greensborough to Schuster and another German Carl Penzig in order to raise finance towards the establishment of the Herrnhut commune near Penshurst in late 1853.

Schuster and his wife Agneta raised six children. They farmed at Greensborough until 1885, when Schuster sold his land. He died there on 20 September 1894, aged 81 and is buried at Eltham. He was described as a market gardener. Agneta Schuster is believed to have died some time later.

Source: From Hamburg to Hobsons Bay (1999)