Family History

German Connections

We are exploring our German connections and have had quite a few hits on the website from that area, we would love anyone who can help us with further information or who may be descended from Amandus Hoschke’s family that did not come out to Australia to get in touch! Please contact us via email or using the form below.

The father of Amandus was John Martin Hoschke, who was a shoemaker.  John looks rather English so it could well have been Johann or similar.

His mother was either Fredericka Thoms or Caroline (this was listed on his marriage certificate).  That her name was Fredericka Caroline Thoms is a possibility.

Also, he may have been born in Ueckermünde, not Stettin.  It is a nearby town and the current border with Poland runs between Ueckermünde and Stettin.  The area is part of the former Prussian  province of Pomerania.  The area was settled by Slavs before 1000 AD.  In 1871, Prussia became part of Germany.

The suffix ‘ke’ hints at Slavic roots.  The Slavic ‘ke’ suffix is added to indicate the son.  This is similar to English where Jackson indicates son of Jack, but it was not necessarily added to the fathers’ first name.

Another point is that sometimes Germans were known by their second name as the first could be that of a relative or saint. Hence, Amandus could have been christened August Amandus Ludwig Hoschke but chose to use Amandus as his given name.

It is recorded that Amandus and a friend deserted from a German ship, in Brisbane, in 1863.  The ship was bringing migrants to Australia.  Possible ships are ‘Beausite’, ‘Caesar Goddeffroy’, ‘Susanne Goddeffroy’ and ‘San Francisco’.  Crew lists are available for ships arriving in Sydney but not Brisbane.  Note that Amandus worked on the ships ‘Aurora’ and ‘Alexandra’ which were Australian coastal ships and this was after 1863.

The friend, who also deserted, would have been Frederick Goeths.  His wife was Margaretha.  Their daughter Margaretha, married John Gold.  The Goeths and Gold families, who lived in Queensland, kept in contact with the Hoschkes and appear to have visited each other.

Amandus received a postcard, from his brother Karl in 1898.  He had a nephew, August Frank, who visited Australia on a German naval ship, the ‘Planet’, in 1912 and sent a postcard in 1920.

After World War 2 there were letters from August Frank (wife Greta and son Helmut) and from Hans Hoschke (wife Dora and son Hanns-Ulrich), both in 1948.  They had moved west from Stettin, during the war, but only reached Schwerin and Wismar, respectively, so ended up in the Russian zone by a short distance.  Letters were sent to Davis, Ide and Hoschke families.  Food and clothing parcels were sent to East Germany as life was difficult there just after the war.

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