The Humboldt

The Ball on Shipboard (James Tissot, circa 1874) ACCORDING to one Internet source the Humboldt, the ship Friedrich Ferdinand HOHENHAUS and family used to leave Prussia, was the second of two such vessels that sailed to Australia during the second half of the 19th century. The three masted, square rigged, Glasgow-built Humboldt ventured to numerous exotic ports, including Rangoon and Buenos Aires, during more than 30 years of ocean passage.

Friedrich (aged 45) and his family, boarded the ship (mastered by H. Meyer, 1869-1870) in Hamburg, Germany on 16 July, 1870 and arrived in Brisbane, Australia on 8 November 1870. Little is known about the passage, although there is some chance that further research might reveal diary entries or letters that document this particular voyage.

Because the Hamburg passenger lists were assembled in order of arrival of each passenger, Friedrich and his family appear to have been the very last to board the Humboldt in Hamburg.

The original Hamburg passenger list is almost identical to the Port of Brisbane arrival documentation, except for one significant anomaly. According to arrival documents, Friedrich was accompanied by his children: Albert August (aged 17), Paul Hugo (aged 14), Auguste M (aged 13), Clara Hedwig (aged 5) and Maximilian (aged 2), and an adult female aged 40.

While the identity of the 40-year-old woman, whose name appears as Auguste or possibly Ange.M., travelling with Friedrich remains unclear, it's likely to be Caroline ARNDT (1844 -1886), his second wife. However, the Hamburg list records Friedrich's travelling companion as a 30-year-old woman named Maria. His wife Caroline ARNDT would have been about 26 years-old at the time. I have few clues why the identity of this woman is a source of such inconsistency.

Of the ship's 306 listed passengers, five children died en-route from Hamburg. Ship's surgeon was Dr L.A Schaffenburg. Any additional information welcome.