The history for the descendants and family of:
Amalie Bogisch (nee Jindra)
First Generation Australians
Gerhard 16 Jul 1880 - 7 Jan 1923
Alfred Herman - 23 Nov 1922 - 23 Nov 1922
Valerie Gertrude - 6 Sep 1884 - 1 Jan 1917
Ancestors of Amalie Jindra - Some Royal Blood !!!
Henriette Bogisch (nee Geymuller) - No details
Was born in Sagan Schlesian in Germany on 22nd Jan 1845.
At first he followed in the foot steps of his father Friedrich who was a master weaver.
It was not long before he left the trade to study theology, and was ordained deacon at Herrnhut 3rd June 1877.
He married Sr Amalie Jindra at Neusalz Prussia (on the Oder , another Moravian settlement founded 1744).
The missionary zeal was not just confined to him. Rev Paul had two brothers:
Adolf the eldest had two children, Bertha a deaconess who remained in Germany , and Rev Theodore who like his uncle migrated from Germany , but instead to Texas USA.
Paul's second eldest brother Julius remained in Germany ; he married and moved to Forst where he established a family textile industry.
War split Germany and decimated the industry, but contact with the Australian descendants has been maintained through this lineage.
Sr Amalie Bogisch, as well as a wife, was also in her own right a missionary sister (like a nun) of the Moravian Church . She was born in Chvaletice , Bohemia on 31 st Oct 1852. (Bohemia now ceases to exist as a country; the location in modern terms is in The Czech Republic close to the Austrian border). Her mother Johanna roz. Nesporova was the daughter of provincial royal Bohemian family. Johanna eloped the palace and married the tutor Josef Jindra – hence Amalies' second name Jindrova. Two of Amalies' sisters also emigrated to Australia , their families settled in NSW.
By 6 th Aug 1877 Paul and Amalie Bogisch had arrived in Melbourne , and on 14 th Aug arrived in Ebenezer.
Rev Bogisch took over the school from Miss Gregory, and assisted the manager Rev Kramer. Drought and rabbit plague was a problem and it was at this time that he attempted to bring a little diversion by forming a brass band. The population of aboriginal people was increasing, and further so in 1881 due to remnants of tribal groups appearing from other areas – mostly the old, the blind and the sickly, who were used to camps and not dwellings. Wild dog sheep attacks became very prevalent.
In 1885 the railway from Dimboola was extended to the South Australian border, and also the erection of a dog proof fence at the mission station.
Earlier in 1883 Sr. Bogisch had a period of illness from which she recovered.
On the 14 th Sept 1888 however, she aged 36, and like many aboriginal people at Ebenezer, died of consumption (tuberculosis). She was laid to rest in a grave behind the church. By this time she had given birth to 4 children, Frieda (my grandmother) born 1878, Gerhard 1880, Alfred 1882, and Valerie 1884. A vow had previously been made to send the children back to Germany for a formal education; the first 3 were there at the time of their mothers death. Valerie was never sent, but instead attended Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne .
Rev Kramer followed Sr. Bogisch to the grave only 3 years later in 1891. This left Rev Bogisch alone and in charge, for the rest of his years. The school was now under the control of the Department of Public Instruction.
Rev Bogisch remarried in 1890 to a (French) Moravian Missionary Sister, Henriette Geymuller (hence the inscription on his grave “beloved husband of H Bogisch.”)
An extract of a description of Ebenezer dated 28 th Oct 1896 by Paul Bogisch sourced from “Periodical Accounts”- a British provincial quarterly journal, describes the onset of an impending drought in that same year.
He states “the Wimmera River has ceased to flow, and is dry in long reaches. Only here and there are a few holes full of water left. The Mission Station is located at a favourable part of the river, so that we are never short, the banks of the river being high.
We water our garden by means of a windmill, which pumps up the water in pipes. These supply three wooden tanks in the garden. From these tanks the water is distributed in pipes all over the garden, which pipes again supply standpipes with taps.” He writes of consistant hot weather and scorched ground, and deliberates the prospect of a harvest this summer.
He describes the cottages and their inhabitants at the station. He also explains the methods of preparing and cropping the land as well as describing the wonders of a stump jump plough. He then outlines the process of thrashing and cleaning the wheat, and putting it in sacks, all done in the field.
He lists the fruits growing in the garden – grapes, oranges, apricots, figs, peaches, apples, pears, and plums.
In Sept 1898 he was ailing and was obliged to go to Melbourne for treatment.
In 1903 the Rev Bogisch died at Ebenezer ; the Rev Hagenauer officiated at the funeral. The Mission closed early 1904 during which time his son Alfred acted as manager, and daughter Valerie taught Sunday school.
The surviving second wife of Paul Bogisch, Henriette, eventually remarried.
She married a Lutheran paster, Johanne Frank, who had children from a previous marriage and whose wife was deceased. Henriette had no children of her own in either marriage. They eventually moved to Queensland . It is interesting to note that after my grandmother Frieda returned to Ebenezer from Germany there were times of friction between her and her father, consequently she was sent to Ramahyuck Mission Station for periods of time where she was a help and a friend to Mrs Hagenauer.
She did however get along extremely well with her stepmother Henriette and made a point of visiting the Frank family often. A life long relationship was forged with the Franks' and their extended family – in fact my own father was named Frank out of respect.
Also the link forged between my grandmother and the Wotjobaluk people from Ebenezer, remained all her life; known often as Missy Frieda, at Ebenezer the relationship continued when she moved to Nhill, with visits from Aboriginal families then living in Dimboola (she died in 1937, before my time). An Aboriginal family name Marks often comes to my own mind - I remember as a child calling into Dimboola with my father on the way to the football, and talking football to one of that family.
The Ebenezer Mission , 1858-1903, was organized from the Mission Department of the Moravian Church at Berthelsdorf,
near church headquarters in Herrnhut, Saxony . The Department also arranged the supply of Missionaries.
Grave of Rev. Paul Bogisch
Grave of Amalie Bogisch
The two graves depicted in the picture hold the mortal remains of my great grand parents, Rev Paul and Sister Amalie Bogisch, both Moravian Missionaries from Europe . Their four children, all born at Ebenezer, married and settled in Australia . The eldest daughter Frieda married John T Whitehead my grandfather, founder of Whitehead Stores Nhill.Their service to the Wotjobaluk Aboriginals
In the years of service to the Wotjobaluk Aboriginals, the Missionaries displayed concern unmatched by any other group of Europeans, their presence ensured the survival of some descendants of the Wotjobaluk.
Phillip Pepper, grandson of the noted Nathaniel Pepper, expressed his gratitude in 1980. “Only for the Missionaries there wouldn't be so many Aborigines walking around today”.
The Missionaries were thoroughly trained for their hard life. Besides theology, they were taught all manner of practical things, house building, making clothes and shoes, as well as the use of medicines.
The site of the Mission at Ebenezer did not belong to the church, but the government. At the closing of the mission, the land used as Reserve 3607 acres reverted to the government, whilst the stone church, school and mission house, belonged to the mission.
The Moravian Church
Unitas Fratrum meaning Unity of the Brethren was founded in 1457 in Bohemia by followers of John Hus. Their emphasis was on Christian living – this resulted as a reaction to doctrinal and ecclesiastical organization.
Their history is long and fraught with struggle, growth, and repression, in earlier times. During the 17th century the bretheren were almost destroyed in Moravia , and met in the forests. In the 18 th century, descendants of old Moravian families came into Saxony as religious refugees and were given a home on the estate of Count Zinzendorf. It was here on this estate under Zinzendorf that the village and Training Centre called Herrnhut (The Lords' Watch) developed.
Today the World Moravian Church still exists, their motto is –
“ in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
The church is ecumenical in character and enjoys formal and informal fellowship with a number of churches. A bishop elected by a Provisional Synod, is a spiritual leader who ordains but has no administrative authority. Such authority is vested in the Provisional Elders' Conference, also elected by Synod.
The Moravian Church had considerable influence during the 19th century and its Missionaries were sent to many countries of the world, including such far off places as Greenland . It is worth noting that Governor Latrobe of Victoria was from a Moravian family back in England , and his brother was a bishop in the Moravian Church .
Adapted from the article:
History of Three Ebenezer Missionaries
Author: John R Whitehead
All Text and Images Reproduced with the Permission of the Whitehead Family Collection.