The Ship “Caeser”

Part of Caeser Passenger list showing Ubrihiens
Part of Caeser Passenger list showing Ubrihien family

The “Caesar” was a barque of the Hinrich Wilhelm Kohn Line with a burden of 428 tons.  She was built in 1854 in Elsfleth in the Wempe shipyards and commissioned 18 April 1854.

Many migrants departed from Hamburg, Germany to sail to Australia and they were welcomed.  German labour was in demand : vine-dressers, shepherds, hutkeepers, farm labourers, domestic servants, mechanics – single or in families.

Many were nominated free passengers, which means someone, often a family member, paid their passage to Australia.  Agents were sometimes  sent to Germany to hire workers for employers.


James Manning, who had been educated in Germany, assumed the position of Manager of Kameruka Estate near Candelo, and it was due to his encouragement that German Settlers were bought to Kameruka to commence cheesemaking under the ‘American System’, as labour was one of the scarest commodities.  IMG_0016The original Ubrihien family ancestors came from Feudenheim, a suburb of Mannheim, Baden Province, Germany.

It is believed that the first German Settlers in the district arrived in Twofold Bay (Eden) in 1855, where they were met by a guide from Kameruka. The group walked the incredible distance from Twofold Bay, along the dirt tracks which wandered through the silent bush, finally coming to rest at their new home, where they feasted upon sheep roasted over an open fire.

The following passengers are listed in the shipping list as having departed the “Caesar” at Twofold Bay. Bauer, Boller,Holghauser,Kollner,Oister, Rheinberger, Rossler, Runfeyhis,Schafer, Spindler, Uberhein and Tanner. (see extract from the passenger list  written at Eden)


Following is a rather long fascinating account of the Voyage of the Caeser by the Ships Doctor Ernst Wilhelm Middendorf, and day to day happenings on board – make sure you read it – courtesy of the Bega Museum. Click once to enlarge and once again to see it in large print.

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Why they came.  Early in 1847, after representatives from several persons including Mr. Wilhelm Kirschner, who was the Consul for the Kingdom of Prussia in the colony of NSW, conditional permission was given to import specialised foreign workers for the cultivation of vine,oil,silk and other fields, where British labourers were not available, a bounty of 36 pounds for each married couple and 18 pounds for each child over 18 years of age would be paid to the Government, but for foreign immigrants who were not specifically employed in the occupation for which permission had been given.

The year 1848 was one of uprising in Europe. For Germany it heralded loss of independence for the smaller states and the widening of the Prussian influence – this to finally bring about  a unified nation. The Catholic States of Southern Germany resisted this trend and from 1848 through the early fifties many thousands of Germans, particularly from the Rhineland Provinces left their homeland to start anew elsewhere.  Many went to America and some to Australia where their skills were welcome. In May 1852, Wilhelm Kirschner advertised in Australian newspapers that he would “procure, engage and have conveyed hither – free pf all expenses to the employer: “vine dressers from Germany”. The foregoing would appear to explain why most of the immigrants came here, nominated as vine dressers and proceeded into other employment. The German reputation for industry, skill and thrift made them  welcome.  Labour was short, but even when British labour was available, contrasts as to sobriety and application were frequently drawn in favour of the Germans.

In turn the Germans felt that the absence of prying officials, gendarmes, tax collectors and oppressive landlords was to them a testimony of the rightness of their action in leaving their homeland. There was no censorship, no lordly demeanour, the migrant was not compelled to work hard, the produce of his own garden was his. In Australia, they felt that there was peace, the plough, the sciences and the founding of new cities.  They were free in faith and opinion, as rich as their diligence, and as their worth made them.

When the “Caesar” sailed into Twofold Bay, it would have been waving a red flag as there  was a warning that there was disease on the ship.  Due to the high number of deaths on board during the voyage, the vessel was place in quarantine for a short period.

“Sydney Morning Herald” Tues 27 March 1855.


Mar 26 – ….The Caesar has had a long passage of 116 days from Hamburg to this port.  She has on board 184 German immigrants, who are all in good health.  About 11 days after leaving Hamburg the cholera broke out on board this vessel, and carried off 66 persons, the greater portion of who were children.  There were no fresh cases after crossing the Equator. Four births have occurred during the passage (one still-born).  The immigrants are principally vine dressers and farm labourers.  The Caesar put into Twofold Bay on 10th instant, landed 63 of her passengers, and sailed from this port on the 24th instant.

Ships Crew & Passenger List



On board the “Caesar” arriving in Twofold Bay were:

Johann Uberrhein b. Feudenheim, Baden, Germany b. Feudenhein 18/11/1815 (day labourer)

Friederika (Catherine) Uberrhein (nee Unglenk) b. Feudenhein 15/3/1814

Their Children were

Peter Unglenk (Uberrhein) adopted b. 27/3/1838 Heidelberg, Germany father unknown

Elizabetha Unglenk (Uberrhein) adopted b. 25/12/1849 Feudenheim, father unknown

Anna Maria (Emma) (Uberrhein) adopted b. 21/3/1852 FeudenheimOother children born to Friederika Unglenk prior to arrival in Australia were:

Philipina Unglenk b. 1843 d. 1852 Feudenheim, Germany, father unknown


Born after arrival in Australia: Henry Uberrhein b. 22/11/1856 Bega NSW d. Kogarah NSW 20/7/1911

This history of the Ubrihien family focuses on Peter Unglenk (Uberrhein) and the generations that follow.