Meier and Leschen Families
Heinrich Meier (1814-98) and Helene Leschen (1830-1901)
Heinrich Ludwig Meier
According to his gravestone my great great grandfather Heinrich Ludwig Meier was born 27 January 1814 in Goldtau, Hanover, Germany. However Goldtau may be a mis-spelling as I have been unable to locate it – perhaps he originated from the then Hanoverian town of Soltau, situated halfway between the cities of Hanover and Hamburg.
It is thought that Heinrich Meier came to Australia in about 1845.
Note: A Heinrich Meyer arrived in South Australia on the Heerjeebhoy Rustomjee Patel on 18 Sep 1845. However he came with wife and three children. His profession is listed as shoemaker. [Given that he was married at age 41 in 1855, it is possible that he had a previous marriage.] Also a Heinrich Ludwig Meyer of Port Gawler, South Australia, and a native of Hanover, was naturalised in 1852. He had been living in the colonies for seven years. His occupation was lacemaker.
On 21 August 1855 Heinrich Ludwig Meier married Helena Johanna Amalia Leschen (baptised as Helene Johanna Amalie) at the Lutheran chapel, Klemzig. The Adelaide suburb of Klemzig was the site of the initial German settlement in South Australia. Their ages were given as 41 and 25 years.
While their are no known siblings of Heinrich Ludgwig Meier who emigrated from Germany, we will examine this family through the Leschens. Helene Leschen’s father, sister and at least two brothers came to South Australia.
Helene Joanna Amalie Leschen
Helene Johanna Amalie Leschen was born 14 June 1830 in Rendsburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and baptised on 13 August the same year. I have her handwritten (in German) birth/baptism certificate (no. C21676) which lists her parents as being:
- Christian Heinrich Leschen, goldsmith, and
- Maria Magdalena Leschen (nee Porath).
Note: According to the IGI a Maria Magdalena Porath was born at Dodow (alternatively Dadow) in northern Germany on 10 February 1804. I also have a record of a birth for the same name in the same town for 19 March 1809).
Helena’s certificate was prepared on 12 May 1851 and refers to St Marien Kirch, Rendsburg, which is in the Aldstadt or Old Town. I suspect the certificate was part of her preparations for emigration to Australia, which is assumed to have occured between 1851 and 1855. No shipping records have been identified.
Her father was Christian Heinrich Leschen (1792-1867)
Born 1 March 1792 in Rensburg where he became was a goldsmith. He emigrated to Australia later than his daughter Helena – arriving in South Australia with two or three children on the ship Peter Godeffroy in 1857. One website claims that: “In order to escape being conscripted into Napoleon’s army when he became of age, Christian moved from Germany to Denmark and became a naturalised Dane, but later returned to Rendsberg Germany”. He died on 15 Mar 1867 and is buried at the Moculta Gnadenberg Zion Lutheran Cemetery in the Eden Valley (next valley to the Barrosssa). It seems likely that Christian’s wife Maria Magdalena Leschen (nee Porath) died in Germany.
The following single people are listed as travelling with the Leschen family on the Peter Godeffroy. Theodore Heinrich Nicolaus Niehuus, merchant, aged 20, and Marie Schwanert, aged 12. Niehuus established a gymnastics school with Adlolf Leschen.
The first migrants from Germany were religious refugees. The following from an article by Gordon Young gives some background:
From the late 1840s a different kind of German migration to South Australia began. The new migrants coming out to the colony came for political or socio-economic reasons rather than for the religious ones which stimulated earlier migrations. Although many originated from the Prussian states and were coming to join family or friends already settled in South Australia, others were from West Germany (e.g. Schleswig-Holstein). These people represented a much wider cross-section of German society, many of whom were not attracted to a rural way of life and who chose to settle in Adelaide. A small colony of German people developed in East Adelaide, still maintaining a German way of life and culture in the early years, but gradually becoming absorbed into the dominant British culture which surrounded them.
During WW1 Christian Leschen’s son Adolf Leschen claimed Polish ancestry and Danish links. Rendsburg was long a contested area between Germans and Danes. However the anti-German hysteria almost certainly influenced these claims. More on the Leschens is available at this Leschen family history website created by Don Collett.
There are thought to be eight children of Christian Leschen and Maria Magdalena Porath as follows:
1. Christian Leschen Jr.(ca 1820 – ?)
Note: I cannot find any evidence of this person. He is not listed on the Peter Godeffroy ship list but is cited in Don Collett’s Leschen website.
2. Therese Leschen (Schreier / Parbs) (1824? – ?).
On the 1857 Peter Godeffroy shipping list her age is recorded as 37.
Note: On 1 Oct 1857 just weeks after the Peter Godeffroy disembarked in South Australia, Therese Joanne Ernestine Schreier whose father was Christian Heinrich Leschen married Wilhelm Ludwig Hans Joachim Parbs (aged 31) at the private chapel of Dr C Muecke at Tanundra. Her age is recorded as 33. Perhaps Maria Magdalena Schreier, born 1845 and married to a Mr. Krupli in 1861 in the Barossa, could be her daughter.
3. Helene Joanna Amalie Leschen (Meier) (1830-1901
Married in Klemzig, Adelaide to Heinrich Ludwig Meier (1814-1898) in 1855 their first child was born in the same year at Mt Brown Station in the Flinders Ranges. They moved to Bundaleer Springs later in the 1850s and seemed to be there for some time. The Bundaleer Springs station was subdivided in about 1870. The South Australian directories list Heinrich L. Meier, as a gardener of 9 Wehl Street North, Mt. Gambier, between 1882 and 1889. Heinrich and Helena may also have lived at Naracoorte, north of Mt. Gambier. In 1890 Heinrich Meier was listed as a sheep farmer of Naracoorte on his son’s marriage certificate. He is listed as a gardener of 9 Vernon Street, Norwood, Adelaide in 1891 & 1895, and finally Hy. Meier, as a packer of Vernon Street in 1895.
Heinrich and Helena’s grave, at Mt Gambier, is inscribed with “Our Parents”. Their children are likely to be: Charlotte Meier (c.1855-1920); May Theresa Frederika Meier (c.1859-?); Louis Henry Meier (c.1863-1934) and Adolph Theodore Herman Meier (c.1864-1942).
In 1878 their daughter Charlotte was married at Mt. Gambier. It seems to me that the family moved frequently between Norwood in Adelaide and the Mt Gambier area.
A letter from my great-uncle Harry Meier, reproduced below, indicates that Heinrich was blinded by an accidental gunshot blast. He died aged 85 at Mt. Gambier on the 12th November 1898. His occupation was listed as labourer. Helena Meier (Leschen) died at Mt. Gambier on 25th January 1901.
3.1 Charlotte Meier (Aston/Carter) (1855-1920)
Charlotte Meier was born at Mount Brown, South Australia. Mount Brown was a property in the Flinders Ranges. Aged 23, she married William Aston at Christ Church Mount Gambier on 13 November 1878. William’s father was John Aston. Charlotte had three children:
3.1.1 John (Jack) William Ashton 1878-?).
He used the surname Ashton rather than Aston. Jack was a battery hand at Kalgoorlie, and aged 36 went to war in August 1914. He rose to sergeant leaving West Australia with the first contingent (11th Battalion) and foughts at Gallipoli. Later in France, he was in most of the engagements in which the Australians took part. He was wounded in both legs and in the spine. After the war he was reunited with colleagues at Hannan’s Central Battery Kalgoorlie.
3.1.2 William (Will) Henry Aston (1881-1929?)
He may have married Cecelia M Casserly in the Coolgardie district in 1920. She died aged 39 in 1926. She had a daughter, Joy. He may have died at Northam in 1929.
3.1.3 F. Aston (18-?).
Little is known of him. He was in Queensland in 1920 when his mother died.
Charlotte married a second time to Joshua George Carter (1868-1935) on 27 July 1893 at Port Augusta West. He was the son of William George and Elizabeth Carter. Charlotte and Joshua moved to Western Australia about 1895. They farmed at Green Patch north of Esperance before taking up a holding of 548 acres at nearby Myrup. She died at Esperance, 2 December 1920 “aged 63 years”. Joshua Carter returned to South Australia and married again, to Gwen Smith, in 1922. He died at Moonta in 1935.
3.2 May Theresa Frederika Meier (Cossons) (c.1859-?)
May Theresa Frederika Meier, daughter of Henry Ludwig Meier, and aged 22, married Joe Cossons (1853-1904) at the residence of Mr. Meier at Mount Gambier on 26 December 1881. Joseph Cossons was born in Gloucestershire, England on 5 August 1852 to William Cossons and Sarah Ann Tilley. Joe’s parents settled at Melrose in South Australia. Joe was a boundary rider in the Hundred of Caroline in 1880. Here is an interesting article about a narrow escape for Joe in 1886. Joe Cossons died in 1904 at Mt Gambier aged 51. Joe had a brother H.H (Harry) Cossons who was a Mt Gambier magistrate (an obituary) and a sister, Sarah Elizabeth.May was also referred to as Mary. She had five children:
3.2.1 Herbert (aka Hubert) William Cossons (1882-?)
He was born at Mt Gambier.
3.2.2 Louis Henry Cossons (1886-1918)
Born Hundred Caroline SA (Mt Gambier area) in 1886. He died in 1918 in Adelaide
3.2.3 Charlotte Ann Helene Cossons (1889-1965)
Born at Mt Gambier in 1889. She married Charles Wilton in 1907. References exist to family members Richard, and Charles. She died at Ascot, Victoria in 1965.
3.2.4 Harold (Paddy) Cossons (1892-1979)
Born at Beachport South Australia, he married Olive Pearl Watson in 1921. They lived at Kadina and had five children. Olive died in Adelaide aged 40 in 1943 and is buried at Kadina.
188.8.131.52 Laurel Jean Cossons (Croxton) (1921?-2002)
Born probably in 1921, Laurel married Allan Croxton at Kadina in 1939. She died in 2002.
184.108.40.206 Doreen May Cossons (Tucker/Lynch) (1922-1997)
Born in 1922, she married Harold Lionel Tucker (1915-1987) in 1940. He was wounded in world war 2. During the war she lived in Adelaide. They divorced in 1947. She later married Kevin Lynch in Adelaide in 1950 and died in 1997.
220.127.116.11 Sydney Louis Cossons (1923-1950)
Born 23 Aug 1923 at Kadina he went to WW2. He was engaged to Minette Monica von der Borch of Burbank, South Australia (born 1922) in 1946, but perhaps they did not marry. He died aged 26 at the Repatriation Hospital.
18.104.22.168 Ronald Clem Cossons (1927- ?)
Born in 1927 he married Violet Colliver at Kadina in 1949. This is also a 1950 referenace to wife Connie.
22.214.171.124 Valda Mary Cossons (Adams) (1929-1990)
Valda was born at Kadina. She married James S. (Jim) Adams of Solomontown at Kadina in 1948 and died at Port Pirie aged 60 in 1990.
3.2.5 Gertrude Mary Cossons (1897-?)
Born at Solomontown Port Pirie.
Notes: A Mary Therese Cossons married a Frederick Smith in Adelaide in 1921.
3.3 Louis Henry Meier (c.1863-1934)
My great grandfather Lou Meier was born at Bundaleer Springs sometime between 1863 and 1866. Bundaleer Springs is situated about six kilometers SSW of Jamestown on the Road to Spalding. There is no township but a school existed there from 1895-1946. The springs area was part of Bundaleer, a large sheep station which was latter subdivided after agitation for closer settlement.Lou left South Australia for Victoria in about 1883.
At the time of his marriage in 1890 his current address was given as Middle Creek near Buangor. However his usual address was given as Natimuk. Natimuk was then a predominantly German settlement in the Wimmera near the South Australian border.
Louis Henry Meier married Alice Maud Mary Grange (1866-1954) [see Grange file] at Ararat on 21 January 1890 under Church of England rites. He is then listed then as a coach builder. At the birth of his daughter in Adelaide in 1892 he is listed as a storeman. It appears that after their marriage they moved back to Adelaide (Norwood) and then to Mt.Gambier. One suspects this may have been related to looking after his ageing parents.
In 1908 the family was living at Buangor, near Ararat in Victoria, and Lou Meier is listed as a farmer. From at least 1912-1919 they were living at Challicum, a large property near Buangor, where Lou was on the electoral roll as a wheelwright.
By 1924 they had moved to Melbourne. He was listed as a farmer of Boisdale Street, Surrey Hills. By 1931 they had moved to Gembrook Road, Packenham.
Lou Meier died at Battersby’s Store, Pakenham on the 5 January 1934. He was then a retired carpenter. Alice Meier (nee Grange) remained at Gembrook Rd, Packenham and died there on 29 September 1954 aged 88. Picture of Alice in early 1950s. Her grand-daughter, Heather Pollock, remembers Grandma Meier as being a big women who was very religious. She could be heard saying her prays nightly. Lou and Alice are both buried in Melbourne’s Burwood cemetery.
Their children were
3.3.1 Helena Ellen May Meier (1891-1892)
Born 4 April 1891 at Norwood, she died there aged 17 months on 28 Sep 1892,
3.3.2 Maud Charlotte Meier (McPherson) (1892-1950)
My grandmother Maud Charlotte Meier has born at 2? (twenty something) Vernon Street, Norwood, Adelaide on 7 September 1892. She married James McPherson at Ballarat in 1912 [see McPherson file]. A photo of Maud Meier in 1912. It was apparently a big wedding, with Maud being the only daughter, amongst the four surviving children of Lou and Alice.
Maud and James lived at various places in Victoria – Swan Hill, Lilydale and Buangor, before moving to West Wyalong in the northern Riverina in the early 1920s. However, Maud separated from her husband in the mid-1930s and settled at Pakenham where her brothers lived. According to her eldest daughter, my late Auntie Adeline, her brothers ‘adored her’ and called her Bridget. She lived at Pakenham until her death in 1950. A picture of her in the 1940s. She is buried at Pakenham close two of her children, Norman and Jean. Their is also a plaque commemorating daughter Adeline on Maud’s grave.
3.3.3 Neille Meier (1894-1894)
Nellie, died aged 5 days at Mt Gambier 15 Sep 1894
3.3.4 Henry Richard Louis (Harry) Meier (1897-1973)
Sometimes he is listed as Louis Richard Henry Meier
Born 5 June 1897 at Mt. Gambier, he worked at Challicum station near Buangor for some time. He first married Ruby Clarice Matthews in 1917 (Reg 6298). A daughter Evelyn Lorraine Meier was born at Ballarat in 1918 (Reg 16451). Ruby was living at 715 Skipton St Ballarat in 1919, while Harry was a labourer at Buangor. Ruby ran off with another man after the Great War and they divorced in 1924. It was a great scandal at the time apparently. See the linked newspaper article from 1924.
Harry soon after married Muriel Ina Peart and they lived at Surrey Hills, Melbourne for many years, he worked in the valve room at the Gas and Fuel in Melbourne. Their address was 9 Glendale St, Surrey Hills from at least 1931 to 1936. Harry served in World War II. They moved to Pakenham after he retired, and lived next to the Wyatt’s farm on Gembrook Road. Harry and Muriel’s children were Bonny, Bill, Sidney, Dicky and Elise. They also adopted a daughter Christine, who was born about 1950.
Harry died in 23 July 1973 aged 75 (Reg 17744). I believe Muriel died in 1961 aged 63 (Reg 6409).
Of their children:
126.96.36.199 Bonny Elizabeth Meier (1926-1926)
Born Carlton 1926 (Reg 724) and died the same year. She is buried with Harry and Muriel at Burwood Cemetery.
188.8.131.52 Richard Henry (Dicky) Meier (1928-2008)
Born 1 Sep 1928 at Burwood. Dicky joined the army and married Mary Betty Jarvis in 1948 at Liverpool, Sydney. They lived at Boronia where he was a milk carter. They had two boys – Craig Stewart Meier and Garry Richard Meier. I believe he died at Frankston, Victoria on 15 April 2008.
184.108.40.206 Bill Myers (1926?-2015)
Bill was a farrier (blacksmith) and was an expert horseman ary 2015. I assume The William Carl Myers who died in January 2015 at Nhill was he.
220.127.116.11 Sid Meier (born about 1932)
Sid was a steward on Australian National Line ships and in 2013 lived near Melbourne at Hopper’s Crossing.
18.104.22.168 Elsie Elizabeth Meier (Taylor) (1936-1976)
Elsie married Freddy Taylor. Freddy worked with his cousin Norman McPherson in quarries. They lived at Moores Road Nar Nar Goon North where they had a farm. They had a son Peter and adopted daughters Joanne and Carol. Elsie died 21 January 1976 aged 39. Peter lives in Pakenham. Later Freddy Taylor married Beryl Dixon.
3.3.5 Albert John (Dick) Meier (1900-1974)
Born on 5 June 1900, in Naracoorte, South Australia, Dick, like Harry worked at Challicum. He married Ivy Louisa Kleinert from Surrey Hills in 1922 (Vic cert 12961).
Ivy Kleinert was also of part-German background. She was born in 1898 to John William Kleinert (?-1949) and Emily Florence Radford. They lived at 34 Union Street Surrey Hills. John Kleinert was a wheelwright. Ivy’s siblings included:
Ernest Henry John Kleinert (b.1893)
He was a grocer at Kalista. Report of an accident when he was 15.
Henrietta Rose (known as Rose) Kleinert (b.1896)
She married a Mr. Collins
Martin William Kleinert (b.1903)
He was a builder at Nicollsdale Rd, Surrey Hills
Ernest Ambrose Kleinert (b.1907) from Mitcham who was accused and acquitted in a sensational murder case in 1928 was not a brother to Ivy, but probably a cousin. More on Kleinert genealogy here.
According to censuses Dick and Ivy lived at: 257 Union St Surrey Hills in 1924; in 1931 they were listed twice, at “Kingswood” Broughton Rd Surrey Hills & Boundary Rd (Camberwell?); in 1936 they were at 14 Verdun St, Surrey Hills.
Dick was for a time a policeman, but apparently was dismissed when the Victorian force went on strike. Children included Gwen(neth) Meier who married a Mr. Rossiter, and John Meier, a baker, who married but had no children. Dick was ‘later a bachelor’ and died while fishing at Eildon Weir – aged 74 on 4 March 1974 (Reg 6301). Ivy died in 1952 (Reg 18624).
3.3.6 Roy Frederick Meier (1912-1969)
Roy was born at Ararat 21 March 1912. A photo of Lou Meier probably with Roy as a baby. Thought to be originally a cabinet maker, Roy also had a farm along the Gembrook Road at Pakenham. He was a dairy farmer when he enlisted in the army in 1941. He married Margaret Boyer in 1947. Roy died aged 56 in 1969 (Reg 6021). His son “Young” Roy (Roy Louis George Meier) was killed aged 21 in a car accident 27 February 1971. They are both buried at Pakenham Cemetery. Daughter Jane Meier (Griffiths) lives in Pakenham. Sarah Meier is the other daughter.
3.4 Adolph Theodore Herman Meier (c.1864-1942).
Born “around 1860s” at Bundaleer Springs, South Australia, he called himself Jack or John rather than Adolph. He married Alice Edgecombe (1877-1941) at Norwood Salvation Army Barracks on 14 Sep 1893, when he was aged 29. [It is interesting that the newspaper report of the marriage includes “eldest son of the late Henry Meier of Mt. Gambier” – when he was the younger son and his father was still alive.]
In the early 1900s, before the birth of son John Keith, the family went mining to Ravensthorpe in Western Australia. In the 1903 & 1906 electoral rolls he is a miner and they lived at “Hawkesnest”, which I think was close to Ravensthorpe. There are claimed to be two geological features in the area thought to be named after Adolph Meier – Mt. Meier near Southern Cross and Meier’s Find. Meier’s Find was a goldfield located about 2 miles south of Mount Palmer, southeast of Southern Cross. Mining was active from 1935-1944.
At the time of his marriage he was a bootmaker. He was also a drover in the outback of northern and central Australia and later had a grocery shop. Harry Meier’s letter gives other, only partially substantiated information about Adolph Meier. Adolph and Alice Meier lived in 19 Verdun Street North Kensington Park, only a few streets from the Norwood Street where his parents lived. He was a Sergeant-Major in the Salvation Army. At the time of her death in 1941 Alice lived at 159 Magill Road, Maylands. Adolf Meier died 12 February 1942 in Adelaide. His death notice.
Their children included:
3.4.1 Jessie Meier (Brooks)(1895-1951)
Jessie Meier married Harrold Brooks (1882-1967) in Adelaide in 1916 and later lived at 19 Verdun Street. Jessie died in Adelaide 21 December 1951 when living at 5 Queen Street Norwood. Harrold died in Adelaide “aged 86”. Jessie and Harrold’s children were:
22.214.171.124 William Harold Dudley Brooks (1916-1971)
Called Dud or Doug, he was born on 17 Sep 1916 at Kent Town. He married Elsie May Brine in Adelaide in 1934. He enlisted in the AIF in WWII. He died in Norwood in 1971. I think Elsie may died in 1995. They had a child, Brian
126.96.36.199 Linda Merle (known as Merle) Brooks
Merle married someone called Wal and lived in Western Australia. Their children were Allison and Graham.
188.8.131.52 Carmen Brooks.
Her husband was Cliffe and their children Melville and Christopher
3.4.2 Milward Merle (known as Merle) Meier (Redden) (1896-1968)
She was in Melbourne by 1917 in 1919 was a nurse living at 30 Erin Street Richmond. She married Charles Alfred Redden and I think they lived in Adelaide. She died in the Norwood area in 1968.
3.4.3 John Keith Meier (Jack) (1911-1965)
He was born at Norwood and married a woman named Audrey. They had a premature son who died within hours was born in 1948. Audrey died 15 December 1954 when living at 19 Verdun Street
4. Frederick (Fritz) Jurgen Christian Leschen (1832 or 1833 – 25 April 1906 )
He married Annie Helena Kieszling (1845 or 1846 – 5 July 1921) in 1871. He is listed in the rates book in Perth in 1897 as a wine blender. In 1898 Fritz and Annie lived at Kensington Park Adelaide. In 1906 they were at nearby Hewitt Ave in Rose Park.
His obituary reads: Mr. F. Leschen, who died at his residence Hewitt avenue, Rose Park, landed in this State in 1857, having arrived an the sailing vessel Peter Godeffroy from Hamburg, after a voyage which lasted l8 weeks. Originally he was a wine-blender, but as he could find little to do in his profession in those early days he tried his hand at farming, but was not successful, and he then spent a couple of years in Queensland. On returning to this State Mr. Leschen secured an engagement with Messrs. Milne & Co., and remained in their employ for over 40 years. The deceased, who was 73 years of age, left a widow and one daughter…..“Fritz and Annie’s children seem to be Frederick and Adelaide:
4.1 Frederick Carl Adolph Leschen (1873-1898)
Fred Leschen (Jr) married Martha Cutting (1872-1955) in Norwood in 1894. They went to Western Australia, where he died from typhoid in Perth 12 January 1898. Martha then moved back to South Australia and lived at Marryatville in Adelaide. Martha Leschen later lived at 75 George St Norwood in 1915. She died in Adelaide in 1955. They had two children
4.1.1 Allen Frederick Leschen (1894-1918)
Enlisting in 1915 Allen was killed in action in France on 17 July 1918. The following are links to his war record, which is 85 pages long; his roll of honour record, and a photo.
4.1.2 Mark Charles Albert Leschen (1897-1972)
He was born in Perth. His wife was Alvena Martha Schultz and in 1942 they lived at Angaston. He is buried at Angaston Cemetery. Alvena died in 1982. They had at least six children:
184.108.40.206 William (Bill) Allen Leschen (1917-1994)
Bill was born 2 May 1917 in Norwood. He enlisted for the RAAF in WWII. He married Mary (Mollie) Cronin on 19 May 1947 at Pinaroo. A son Anthony Allen was born 1 April 1949 at Millicent. They also had a daughter, Patricia Anne 19 December 1950.
220.127.116.11 Thelma Joyce (Joy) Leschen (Pumpa/Rasmus) (1920-2007)
Born 20 Nov 1920 at Norwood, she enlisted during WWII and was a signalman. Note: I believe she is on the left in this image – although listed as “L. Leschen”.
Joy Leschen married Fred Pumpa from Eden valley in the Barossa on 8 June 1946. They had a son in September 1949. She later married a Mr Rasmus and died in Adelaide in 2007 aged 87.
18.104.22.168 Allen Fred Leschen (1922-1973)
Born 21 Nov 1922 at Norwood, he enlisted during WWII and was a Staff-Sergeant. He is buried at Angaston.
22.214.171.124 Betty Leschen (Rosier) (1924-?)
Born 8 Oct 1924 at Norwood North, she enlisted during WWII. She married a George Alfred Rosier who died from a accident just before the birth of their child, Peter Garfield Rosier at Angaston on 15 Aug 1952.
126.96.36.199 Robert Marsh Leschen (1928- ?)
Born 24 Jan 1928. He joined the navy in 1945. He became engaged to Joyce Beryl Slostrom (1921-1979) in Aug 1949. They had a daughter, Susan Vilelmena at Gawler on 5 August 1951, and two sons, Bradley Robert at Gawler 9 November 1952, and Robin Jay in Dec 1954.
188.8.131.52 Ena Ruth Leschen (?-?)
This daughter of Mr and Mrs M Leschen of Angaston became engaged to William (Will) Reginald Argent in October 1951. A son was born 30 Dec 1952 at Angaston. Will Argent died in 1993. Ena is also deceased. Both are buried at Angaston.
4.2 Adelaide Auguste Leontine Leschen (1879-1940)
Little is known about the youngest child of Fritz and Annie Leschen. She died in September 1940 and her funeral notice lists her as “Mrs Adelaide Augusta L Leschen”, who died aged 61 when living in Cairns Street Norwood.
5. Heinrich Adolph Leschen (1837-1916)
Heinrich Adolph Leschen, known as Adolph Leschen, is probably the best known and most highly esteemed member of the Leschen family in Australia. He is regarded as ‘the father of gymnastics in South Australia’ – see his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry. Adolph arrived on the Peter Godeffroy aged 20. He did some “pioneering work in the country” initially before setting up a “Deutsche Schule” school with Mr. Niehuus (who had come with the Leschen family on the Peter Godeffroy) in Wakefield Street, Adelaide in July 1859.. He was also member of the Adelaide Leidertafel. His naturalisation papers from 1862. He married Johanna Christine Dittmar in 1862. She was born in Hamburg 17 November 1841. A photograph of Adolph Leschen; photograph with fencing students; and a photograph of Leschen family members about 1912. Also linked is a review of his career to 1899.
They had five sons:
5.1 Heinrich (Henry) Adolph Theodor Leschen (1862-1931)
He was born 19 Dec 1862. He went to Germany aged 13 for medical education, returning to South Australia to practice. Dr Henry A. Leschen moved to Western Australia and became became a prominent Perth physician and the Principal Medical Officer of the Army Medical Corps. The Lechen Unit at the Armadale Health Service is named in his honour. An obituary, and another obituary.He married Alma Sophie Johanne Sudholz (also known as Sophia Amelia) of Gilles Plains, South Australia on 16 Sep 1890. He died when living at 3 Labouchere Rd South Perth in 22 July 1931. Alma died 29 Feb 1936, aged 72 when living at 59 Thomas St West Perth.Their children included:
5.1.1 Francis William Adolf Leschen (1891-1892)
He died 6 January 1892 at Laura, South Australia aged 5 months.
5.1.2 Arnold Rupert Leschen (1894-1981)
Born 10 Jan 1894 in Harrow Road, East Adelaide. He was an auditor and the state singles champion of Western Australia in lawn tennis. He played in the Australian Open in 1913 and enlisted in the first world war, rising to the rank of Major. He was discharged to England at war’s end where he worked for the London Fancy Box Company. Later Arnold lived in Fortis Green, London. He remained in England, living at 26 Twyford Ave, East Finchley with wife E.L. Leshen (Nellie Lawson) until returning first class to Australia on the Orcades in 1952. There is a report that Arnold returned to Australia to live with his son Duncan Leschen after Duncan’s wife died.
184.108.40.206 Charles Duncan Leschen (24 April 1921-2006?), known as Duncan, was an accountant who emigrated to Australia in 1972 with his wife Joyce and four children. I think Duncan died in Victoria Feb 2006 and Joyce 25 November 2011.
220.127.116.11 Arnold Desmond Leschen (? – ?) was a doctor in England and had three children by his first wife Maureen. An Arnold Rupert Leschen died in Victoria in 1981.
5.1.3 Hilda Alma Leschen (1896-1897)
Born 1896 in Victoria she died as an infant on 26 May 1897 and is buried in Coolgardie WA.
5.1.4 Hubert Charles Oswald Leschen (1901-1996)
Born 1901 in Jarrahdale WA. He was connected with the Perth School of Languages. He visited London in 1932 and he lived at Victoria Ave Perth in 1936. He went to Germany to study at the German School of Languages in 1936 after visiting with brother Arnold in Cornwall. In 1938 he married Winifred Mary Emmy Glatte (born 1907 Croydon, Surrey – her father was German, her mother English) in Cornwall. They had twins in 1939:
18.104.22.168 Richard Neville Leschen
22.214.171.124 Henry Frederick Leschen
The family returned in Australia on the Asturias in May 1948. Sons Richard and Henry moved to Melbourne from WA in about 1970 and in 1980 lived together in Glenroy. Richard later lived in Ararat.
Hubert was listed on the electoral roll as an accountant. He died in Perth in 1996.
5.2 Wilhelm Frederick Ernst Leschen (1864-1938)
He was born 4 August 1864 in Adelaide, and was generally known as F.W. Leschen. He married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Pilkington in Adelaide 27 Sep 1894. They lived at Booleroo Centre where he was the manager of the ES&A Bank. Lizzie died 6 May 1895. He seemed also to be an architect In 1902 he resigned from the ES&A at Tanundra. We was buried on 3 November 1938. He was living at Fullarton.
5.3 Carl Paul Johann Leschen (3 Sep 1866-17 Oct 1925)
He married Hermine Johanne Elizabeth Strempel (1869-1905), the daughter of the Reverend A. Strempel of Hahndorf and Marie Charlotte Friedericke Meyer on 16 July 1895. She was known as Elizabeth. The couple has one child in South Australia before moving to Perth in 1898 or 1899. Elizabeth has three more children before dying 24 January 1905 aged 35 in Perth leaving three young children.
Carl married again to Wilhelmina (Minnie/Minna) Johanna Nenke (1875-1967) on 7 September 1907. They lived at Carlsruhe, Fraser Street Claremont and later at The Heights Darlington. Minnie had three children to Carl. He was a most successful banker becoming Manager of State Savings Bank Perth in 1903. In World War One he was dismissed from his influential position because of his German heritage. There are numerous newspaper articles on this story, including this one. He died in 1925 after a long illness. Leschen Way at Darlington is named after him. Wilhemina Johanna Leschen died aged 92 at Perth in 1967. Carl’s children:
5.3.1 Olga Johanna Maria Leschen (1896-1973)
Born 9 April 1896. At aged 11 she wrote this letter to the newspaper. She was a kindergarten teacher. In 1922 she was the head of the kindergarten college at Geelong. In the 1950s she was appointed to head the kindergarten activities for the Department of Immigration. Olga died 30 September 1973 in South Australia.
5.3.2 Clara Elsa Leschen (1898-1899).
Born in Adelaide she died after the family moved to Perth.
5.3.3 Carl Adolph Leschen (1901-1906).
Also listed as Adolph Carl, he died in Perth 15 July 1906.
5.3.4 Wilhelm (William) Erwin Leschen (1904-1975)
Born 9 April 1904 in Swanbourne, Western Australia. William married August 1929 to Patricia Ethel McClemans (1911-1997) at Bunbury. They had a daughter Judith Elisabeth Leschen 15 May 1930 who became a nurse. Picture of Judy Leschen in 1948. Judy married Donald Collett in 1967 and had a son in 1968 in Perth. “Bill” or W.E. Leschen lived at Darlington, W.A. His wife Patricia was granted a divorce in April 1944 on grounds of desertion. She then married a Mr Starr. W.E. Leschen then seemed to have married Marion S. John in 1944 at Barragup. He died 23 Dec 1975 at Nedlands.
5.3.5 Kurt Maximillian Leschen (1910-1910)
5.3.6 Meda (Mitty) Carlotta Leschen (Clifton / Korner) (1911- ?)
Born 4 May 1911, Meda married Benjamin Luke Cecil Clifton (1902-1959) on 2 June 1934. Ben was from an old pioneering Bunbury family, and became a government architect. A son was born at Kalgoorlie to them 20 April 1935. A picture of Meda Clifton in 1935. They left Kalgoorlie in 1937 to live in Perth which he has promoted in the Public Works Department. Meda wrote a book of verse for children illustrated by her husband (who was also an amateur artist). In the book it is stated that they lived within airshot of the animals at the South Perth Zoo. The book focused largely on her children: Andrews nicknamed Bunt and Bunty; Anna Mirian – Mim or Anna Min; and Conrad.
They had four children:
126.96.36.199 Andrew Leschen Clifton (1935-2012)
He was a artist and forestry expert. He died in Melbourne in September 2012.
188.8.131.52 Anna Miriam Clifton (1936-?)
184.108.40.206 Allan Conrad Clifton (1938- ?)
220.127.116.11 Roger Luke Clifton (1946 – ?)
Meda wrote under the name “Pandora” it seems for the West Australian newspaper. Ben Clifton died in 1959 at Fremantle aged 57. Meda married Herman Christoff Roy Korner (1886-1971) after Ben’s death in April 1964 and lived at Alfred Cove, Perth. She was still alive in 1980, living at East Fremantle.
5.3.7 Pauline Irma Lydia Leschen (1915-2006)
Born Jan 1915 at Darlington WA, she left Perth for Melbourne in 1938. Pauline became was engaged to Corp. William J Tulloch in Oct 1940 but I don’t think they married. In 1947 she was unmarried and living in Melbourne. She was a “Primrose Nurse”. She died in Adelaide 7 May 2006 aged 91.
5.4 Hugo William Robert Leschen (1868-1926).
Born 14 Nov 1868 in Adelaide, Hugo married Jeanie Way Beach 18 December 1896. He died in Melbourne 23 Oct 1926. An obituary. Another obituary. He began working with his father and later became the director of the Adelaide Gymnasium and school Way College. He was a man of “boundless energy” and founded the Cadet Corps in South Australia where he rose to the rank “Major”. Article about him from 1913. Another article which details his extensive pageant and charity work. He was also involved with Esperanto.
In 1916 they lived at Warranilla, Victoria Avenue Rose Park. Note that Victoria Avenue was later renamed Fullerton Avenue. Jeanie was in Fitzroy Terrace, Fitzroy, Adelaide in 1937 and Willcox Avenue, Prospect in 1938. Jeanie Way Leschen formerly of Adelaide died 27 Sep 1944 aged 71 – mother of Herbert, Jack and Phyllis. They had the following children:
5.4.1 Herbert Hugo Leschen (1896-1967)
He was a driver in WWI, enlisting aged 19 and fighting in France. He sailed to Colombo in 1921. He also lived in Java in 1925. He later was married to Mary (Mollie) Grace Murphy at Sydney in 1928. He was perhaps in the tea industry in Ceylon. They lived in Ceylon from 1929 until at least 1937 when they went on a world trip. Mary died 16 July 1951 at 31 Avenue Road Kooyong. He later married Nell Austin of Malvern in Toorak in 1952. They lived in Kooyong. They had a son, Bill. In 1961 H.H. Leschen was chairman of the Australian Tea and Coffee Traders; Association, Melbourne. Herbert died in Melbourne in 1967.
5.4.2 Wilfred Frederick Robert Leschen (Jack) (1905- ?)
Wilfred F Leschen was also known as Jack Leschen or J. W. Leschen. He married in Adelaide April 1928 Elsa (Peggy) von Wiadrowski on New Mile End. They moved to Perth. They had a son when living at 6 Florence Road Nedlands 3 July 1931, and another son on 13 Oct 1933. He joined the timber industry in Adelaide with Rosenfeld and Co and later became general manager of Cullity Timbers of Perth. In 1951 he lived at Hill Way Nedlands. He retired from Cullity in 1965, and still lived with Elsa in 1980.
5.4.3 Phyllis Leschen (Hawkes) (1905-1976?)
Born 30 Dec 1905 at Warranilla, Rose Park Adelaide. She was an Adelaide socialite commonly pictured and reported on in the social columns of newspapers. A report of a dance for her in 1923. Picture of Phyllis from 1929. Another picture from 1931. in 1932 she visited her brother in Colombo. Another picture from 1937. Phyllis married John Leslie Hawkes in 1939. In 1951 they lived at Lynington Avenue Tusmore. John Hawkes died in 1974. I think Phyllis died in 1976.
5.5 Waldermar Kritkampk Repenning (W.K.R.) Leschen (1876-1943)
Born in 4 March 1876. A court case from June 1893. He married Harriett Adelaide Mounsey (died Victoria 1958) and they moved to Perth. He is listed in the Perth rates book in 1899 as an “athlete”. They later lived in Melbourne where he worked as an accountant for construction engineering firm Babcock and Wilcox. He used the name Waldemar Keith Richard Leschen and sometimes simply Richard Leschen. Richard Leschen died in Melbourne 5 August 1943 aged 67. His estate went to Florence Elizabeth Leschen who was his widow, so he must have married again. Florence Elizabeth Leschen died in Victoria in 1958. Waldemar and Harriett had a son, William Henry Gordon Leschen (1899-1961), born in Perth in 1899. William’s service record. He was in the Melbourne Ports area in 1924, and died in Melbourne in 1961. Note: A Keith William Leschen was born to Waldemar Leschen and Margaret Haynes in Melbourne in 1902.
Transcript of a Letter from Harry Meier
Mr and Mrs Meier came from Germany about year 1845 and landed at Adelaide, later taking up land at [left blank in document]. There they carried out sheep farming.
Dingos being bad, sheep had to be yarded each night and a close watch kept over night. Grandad Meier going around the sheep yards saw some dingoes. He fired a shot from his old muzzle loading rifle which exploded and the bullet struck him above his eyes, blinding him for life. They later settled in Mount Gambier – Gran or Mother Meier nursing in Mount Gambier Hospital – Grandfather pottering around as best he could in his garden. They spent the rest of their life at Mount Gambier and both are resting in the local cemetery.
There were four children, Louis Meier, Adolph Meier, Mary and Sofia. I cannot say what became of the girls, but my Dad Louis learned his trade as a coach builder and Adolph a bootmaker.
Father (Louis) carried on his work and Adolph after learning his trade went cattle droving up North and in the Territory. Coming home after many years away he told many stories of crossing rivers infested with crocodiles and many fights with the blacks, who, at the time were hostile. After he was home awhile he moved to Western Australia. There he carried on his trade and had two sons who had camel trains out back in the West. When the first world war broke out both went to France and were killed. Finis? Adolph Meier.
My father Louis came to Victoria and married my mother Maud Grange at Ararat. Mother’s people came to Victoria in the 1840s and went to Ballarat Gold Fields. Grandma Grange’s name was O’Shea and came from County Clare, Ireland.
Grandfather Grange came from England and was educated at Cambridge. They met and married at Ballarat and for some time lived at Ballarat, leaving after the Eureka Stockade. Grandma’s two brothers took part in that fight, and after, left Victoria for California USA. After leaving Ballarat, Grandfather Grange settled on some land at Middle Creek, raising a family of seven – 5 girls and 2 boys; girls – Sofia, Elizabeth, Maud, Mary and Ada; boys – Albert and William. Albert a blacksmith and later a wheat farmer in W.A. William a police inspector at Russell Street Melbourne. Sofia went to W.A. and married, making a fortune out of water, as it was the only well for miles in the desert. Elizabeth, Mary and Ada all married and lived in Melbourne.
Maud, as I said, married my dad Louis Meier. After marrying at Ararat they went back to Mount Gambier and he worked at his trade. I and my sister Maud were born at Mount Gambier. Leaving Mount Gambier Dad moved to Naracoorte. There he bought a small farm on the Bordertown Road and carried on his trade in Naracoorte.
There my brother Albert was born. Grandma Meier arrived from Mount Gambier to nurse mother. Later Father sold out and came to Victoria buying a lot of bush land at Buangor. This land was largely timbered and bushy and he lost his money on it. (Today with the coming of bulldozers and super amd pasture seed it is in beautiful pastures, feeding sheep and cattle). Leaving there he worked on Challicum sheep and cattle station for many years as blacksmith and coach builder.
When I was 15 and Albert was 12 we share farmed for 5 years, giving it up as it did not pay. Wheat at that time was 2/6 a bushel 1913 to 1918. We then came to Melbourne buying land and house at Wattle Park about 1914.
Maud my sister married a James McPherson and went to NSW rearing a family of 6; 3 boys and 3 girls. Norman one of her sons is married and living in Pakenham, His wife’s maiden name was Gladys Cornwell. They have three girls. Norman’s sister Jean married Reg Wyatt of Pakenham and has a family of two girls – Janine and Susan; and 5 boys – Frank, Doug, Jonathan, Winston & Dallas.
Maud’s other two daughters live in NSW. Heather married Edward Pollock a wheat and sheep farmer, and Adeline married a police inspector at Bourke. Heather has two sons, the oldest is farming and the youngest Neil in Sydney. Adeline had two daughters, one is school teaching on the McKenzie River in Canada. The youngest a nurse often travelling around the world, married a German Engineer and is settled at Port Kembla NSW.
After coming to Melbourne. I joined the Metro. Gas Co, after to become the Gas & Fuel Corp, and worked for them for 46 years. I met and married Muriel Peart having a family of 4; 3 boys Louis [Bill], Richard & Sydney. Daughter Elice. Louis is a farrier at Healesville. Richard a farrier at Boronia. Sydney went to sea and is a steward for Australian National Line. Elsie married Frederick Taylor of North Nar Nar Goon and is settled on a farm in Moore Rd North Nar Nar Goon. Fred her husband is also a foreman driller for Albion Reids Quarrying Co. Elice/Fred have three children, Peter attending Packenham High, Joanne at Consolidated School Pakenham and Carrol at Kinder Nar Nar Goon.
Harry L Meier
Note: This letter, probably written in the 1970s, was prepared for Peter, the son of Elise Taylor (nee Meier). The transcript is a faithful one with the exception that mis-spellings have been corrected and some punctuation altered to improve readability. The are statements in the document that are unverified and thus the letter should not necessarily be read as an accurate historical account
Thanks: to my late Auntie Ad, Jon Wyatt, Sid Meier, Jane Griffiths, Allison White, Norah Kendall and Penny Day.