The Fischer family and Johann Holtorf were landlubbers; they had never been to sea. After leaving the sheltered waters of the Elbe on their respective migrant ships they traversed a corner of the North Sea and then entered the English Channel. The Fischers sailed on … Continue reading Seasick… the English Channel
We were nearing Cuxhaven, a signal flag was hoisted and a boat neared the ship to take off the Captain's relatives... The boat vanished quickly, as did the flat coastline and eventually also the lighthouses of Wangeroog and Neuwerk, and we were on the open … Continue reading Cuxhaven and the North Sea
Johann Holtorf, a 28 year old farmer from Bramstedt, Holstein, sailed in November 1856 from Hamburg to Sydney on the sailing ship, Steinwärder, as I have mentioned in a previous blog. Two years earlier another German family, the Fischers of Harheim in Hessen, near Frankfurt, had … Continue reading Hamburg to Sydney in the 1850s
The passenger lists for ships sailing out of Hamburg in the 1800s are available online. Johann Holtorf sailed with a ship called the Steinwärder, which sailed on 3 November 1856. The following is an excerpt from Steinwärder's passenger list. Johann's name is listed as Joh. … Continue reading Joh. Oldorf, Hamburg passenger lists, 1856
Johann Holtorf was my grandfather’s grandfather. He was born in 1828 in the village of Bimöhlen, in the Duchy of Holstein, then under the Danish monarch. Bimöhlen is still there, a quiet little village nestled among the trees and woods of northern Germany, in the … Continue reading A village childhood: young Johann Holtorf
Bramstedt in 1850 was a rural centre of some 3000 people. The town had been prominent in the region for centuries for two reasons: it was an important stopover on an old cattle route for traders driving their herds from the Jutland peninsula south to … Continue reading Bramstedt
Johann Holtorf was born in Bimöhlen, a tiny village in the Duchy of Holstein, on April 6, 1828. He left Holstein in 1856 when he was 28 years old. He was unmarried and travelled alone to Australia where he subsequently built a life for himself. … Continue reading Johann Holtorf – German or Danish?