Hohenhaus & Hohenhouse
Ron Hohenhaus

WELCOME to what is now the fourth edition of my expanding family history site. This collection of information is primarily designed to foster interest and research in the genealogy of the HOHENHAUS family in Australia and Germany.

Please take time to explore my site. You might be surprised by what you discover!

Although there are hundreds of Australian Hohenhauses, time has eradicated nearly all knowledge of our lineage and pioneering history. I hope that your input and the ongoing publication and exchange of new information will mean at least part of that lost heritage can be salvaged.

The name HOHENHAUS appears to be, comparatively, unexplored in genealogical terms and there are enough lingering mysteries in my own lineage to keep me scratching around for decades. Gradually, as internet usage becomes more commonplace, I hope to recover information that might have otherwise been lost.

While it is not difficult to identify numerous unrelated German families with the surname HOHENHAUS, many Queenslanders who share this name -- or its anglicised version of 'HOHENHOUSE' -- are likely to be related. In Germany, such a surname could have originated in several regions simultaneously. Names related to a residence or locality are common in many languages. One needs little imagination to envisage HOHENHAUS or 'high-house' as an identifier associated with residents who lived in, or near, something elevated.

Boonah Cousins?

Research reveals that two branches of the HOHENHAUS family journeyed to Queensland in the late 1800s from their homeland in West Prussia [now Poland]. Anecdotal evidence and the government-of-the-day's settlement strategies tend to support the theory that these emigrants were related -- although proof of this connection has yet to be established.

Further anecdotal evidence came to light at a reunion for members of the Hohenhaus family held at Boonah in 2000. There, I heard many recollections from older members of the Boonah HOHENHAUS family that my Great Grandfather, Albert, visited relatives in Boonah regularly -- whom he considered to be his cousins.

Similar anecdotal evidence exists on my side of the family as well. It seems logical that the tenuous connection that existed between the original members of the family would slowly become less important, perhaps even forgotten, after more than 130 years!

Shipping records document the 1870 Brisbane arrival of my Great Great Grandfather Friedrich Ferdinand HOHENHAUS (1825-1902) and family on board the Humboldt en route from Deutsch Krone, West Prussia.

Friedrich's exact movements immediately after he arrived in Queensland are unclear. He is thought to have lived at Basin Pocket, near Ipswich, for a year or two after arriving in Brisbane. Aside from the formentioned passenger list, the earliest documented Australian reference that can be linked to him is an entry in the 1874 Ipswich Municipal Rate Book [accessible through the Qld State Archives, Runcorn].

Ipswich is a small town about 30 km west of Brisbane. Friedrich appears to have been a bootmaker in Brisbane Street, Ipswich from the mid-1870s until his death in 1902. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to locate a photograph of him.

However, you might be interested in viewing (or contributing) to my collection of images of this pioneering family. Unfortunately, many photographs are missing, but with your help, perhaps we can fill in the gaps?

In 1882, the younger Wilhelm Friedrich HOHENHAUS (1857-1940) came to Australia aboard the ill-fated Quetta, recording his birthplace as Balster, Prussia,about 30 km west of Deutsch Krone (now called Bialy Zdroj?).

While the link between these two men remains uncertain, the family's knowledge of its pre-1870 history is equally vague. Despite considerable efforts researching primary sources through the resources of the LDS Church, and at archives in Germany and Poland, I have only located one original German document that offers some hint of my family's connection with Deutsch Krone. Given time and resources, further research in this area may yet provide more answers. Any information you can add would be most welcome.

Names of Australian families directly linked to the HOHENHAUSES who arrived in 1870 include: DITTBERNER, DREHER, KROLL, LOWE, MEIER, ROPER and WIGGINS. Second generation names of families linked to Albert August HOHENHAUS include: DAYBELL, GEHRKE, KIPPEN, McLEOD, NUTLEY, STANKE and THOMAS.

Best wishes

Ron Hohenhaus