Rosalind Davies' Family History
© Rosalind Davies 2001
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Charles Zizelsberger & Anna Marie Louise Laue
my grandparents

Karl Borromaus Aloysius ZIZELSBERGER

Birth: 23 Jun 1865 Linz , Austria i

Death: 11 Oct 1946 Banksia, NSW, Australia ii

Burial: 12 Oct 1946, Ashes scattered, Woronora, NSW, Australia iii

Occupation: butcher/ salesman iv, manufacturer xiii
Religion: Catholic

Father: Josef ZIZELSBERGER (26 Oct 1824-2 Jan 1906) v,ii, iv
Mother: Franziska EIDENBERGER (25 Aug1835- 23 Jan 1874) ii, iv

Fraternal Grandfather: Mathias ZIZELSBERGER (b.4 Dec 1880 in Kronawitten) iv
Fraternal Gradnmother: Josefa POB (b. 11 Nov 1804 in Vienna) iv
Maternal; Grandfather; Leopold EIDENBERGER b. 7 Nov 1788 in Vorwald) iv
Maternal Grandmother; Franziska LEITHNER (b. 29 May 1813 in Gutenbrunn) iv

Click here for a Family Tree of 3 generations of Karl Zizelsberger's ancestors

Marriage: 5 Dec 1906 Lutheran Church, Goulburn St, Sydney, iv
and his wife;

Anna Marie Louise LAUE

Birth: 19 Mar 1881 Kalsow, Mecklenburg/Schwerin, Germany vii
Death: 2 Oct 1963 iii
Burial: Woronora Cemetery, NSW, Australia, Lutheran section iii
Occupation: domestic servant then home duties iii
Religion: Lutheran vii

Father: Frederick Wilhelm LAUE (1856- 1 Nov 1911) iii
Mother: Wilhelmine Elise Henriette MOLL (1 Feb 1861- 18 Nov 1916) viii

Fraternal Grandfather: Edward LAUE iii
Fraternal Grandmother; Fredericke SCHRODER viii
Maternal Grandfather: Christoph Joachim Christian MOLL (May 1809- 9 Jan 1865)viii
Maternal Grandmother: Maria Elizabeth RADELOFF (b. 18 Aug 1811) viii

Their only Child, my mother
Wilhelmina Francesca (Wilma Frances - b. 14 Jan 1918) iii

Charles was born in Linz, Austria, the 3rd son of Josef and Franziska Zizelsberger. His parents married in St. Josef's, Linz on 25 Jun 1859. He had six brothers and sisters. Josef Raimund b. 10 Jun 1860 & Franz Josef b. 19 Feb 1862 , Anna Maria b. 4 Jan 1867 & Franziska Josefa b. 9 Mar 1868 & John Baptiste b. 29 Jun 1869 & Johann (died 6 Jun 1870 aged 11 months from pneumonia) & Raimund Johann b. 25 Sep 1870 (died aged 4 from tuberculosis) & Johann (died 11 May 1873 aged 8 months) . v His father was a prominent sausage maker and race horse owner and was frequently mentioned in the local newspaper. The family lived at 37 Bethlehem St, Linz in 1870 & 1874 (Daily Mail newspaper)

charles left Austria via Naples, Italy v and arrived in Sydney, Australia on 14th December 1896 on the 'SS Darmstadt' as an unassisted immigrant. ix

This ship had sailed originally from Bremen in northern Germany, it weighed 3167 tons and the captain was Capt. Eichel.

It had a crew of approximately 100 Germans with a variety of jobs. e.g. 15 firemen, 13 sailmakers, 12 trimmers, 6 cooks and 14 stewards.

There were only about 150 passengers; fifteen in saloon and the rest steerage. The steerage passengers were all grouped under the one heading 'labourers and domestics.' Mr. C. Zizelsberger was listed amongst these. ix

The 'Darmstadt' was built by Fairfield & Co, Glasgow in 1890 for Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd). She was a 5012 gross ton vessel, length 415 feet x beam 48 feet, one funnel, two masts, steel construction, single screw and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 49 1st class passengers,38 2nd class passengers and 1,904 3rd class passengers. She was launched on 27th September 1890 and sailed from Bremen on her maiden voyage to Montevideo and Buenos Aires on 10th March 1891. She commenced her first voyage from Bremen to New York on 8th March 1892. On 11th October 1892 she left Bremen on her first voyage to the Far East via the Suez Canal and on 10th April 1895 she commenced sailing Bremen- Suez- Australia. On 27th April 1905 she commenced her last voyage to the Far East after making six round voyages on this service and on 4th November 1905 resumed the Bremen- South America service. On 21st March 1906 she left Bremen on her last run to Australia after 16 round voyages and on 24th May 1907, she started her last run Bremen- Baltimore and on 28th February her last voyage Bremen- New York after making a total round voyages on the North Atlantic service. She left Bremen for South America on her last trip on 12th November 1910 and in 1911 was sold to a Turkish company and renamed "Kara Deniz". In 1914, on the outbreak of the Great War, she was seized at Bombay and laid up. In 1923 she was scrapped. x

After he arrived in Australia, Charles lived in various places in Queensland for seven years before moving back to Sydney. He then lived in Pier Street, Sydney, and Rose Street Annandale. He met his future wife Anna at the Concordia Club in Goulburn Street, Sydney. iii


Although Charles had been brought up a Catholic, he married Anna Marie Louise Laue from Kalsow, Germany in the Lutheran Church in Goulburn Street, Sydney in 1906. He was 26 years older than Anna and their only child, Wilma did not arrive until 11 years after their marriage. iv

Charles became a naturalised Australian on 30th May 1913. He was vouched for firstly by Hans Ebner, the governing director of H. Ebner Ltd. of Pyrmont but this was disallowed by the External Affairs Dept, even though Mr Ebner was also vouched for as being ' a person of good business standing and repute' by a Justice of the Peace and company director. A week later, Charles was again vouched for by W.J. McNeill J.P. of Rockdale; this was accepted.

Charles wrote a very correct letter to the Dept. of External Affairs saying that he was not happy to sign Form D, which asked for an oath of allegiance, but was happy to sign Form E, which was an affirmation of allegiance to King George V. (With an oath, you have to swear to God.) i

In 1923, Charles was working for H. Ebner, Gut String Manufacturer and Casing Packer at O'Riordan Street, Alexandria. ( a Sydney suburb) Later he worked as a sales representative for Harry Lesnie, smallgoods manufacturers of Alexandria. He went to Europe on their behalf once but also went overseas on family visits on several occasions. xi

During World War 1, they had to take down the sign name of their house 'Linz' and suffered a few jibes from Australians about their background, thus the further name change from Charles Zizelsberger to Charles Berger. Anna's sister, Victoria Laue also changed hers to Lane. iii


Charles was interned in Holdsworthy Enemy Alien Camp near Liverpool, Sydney. The camp was overcrowded and they were living in tents . Many signed a petition to say that they were Naturalised and British citizens and deserved better treatment. Wives & children were allowed to visit. xiv


Taken in 1927 in Austria; from left: Agnes Bartak & her sister Mrs. Maria Zizelsberger, grandfather holding his nephew, Bruno Zizelsberger; the other children are Maria & Josef's daughters, (Lore left & Ilse right), Josef Zizelsberger (son of grandfather's sister , Franciska) , another sister, Anna Hellmeyer and her daughter Louise.

Grandfather is listed on a Passenger List from London to Sydney in 1927.He gave his address as Wheelers Hotel, Bishopsgate, London and described himself as a manufacturer aged 62 .

My mother Wilma, can remember her father often visiting a place called Markneukirchen. This town is on the border between Germany and Czechoslovakia, half way between Dresden and Nurnberg. The old province of Saxony. Maybe one of his sisters lived there. He also brought back tapestries from Gibraltar and postcards from Ceylon.


In 1930, the family moved from 11 Wolli Creek Road, Banksia to number 26, the house costing the grand sum of £1100. xii

It was here that Charles died of a heart attack on 11th October in 1946. His ashes were scattered at Woronora Cemetery. iii He lived to see his first granddaughter, Janette born in July 1943.




Anna Marie Louisa LAUE and her twin sister Emma were born in Kalsow, Germany in 1881. Pastor Martens christened them in the family church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Neuberg (about 5km-north east on the road to Rostock). Anna and Emma were listed in the church register under the surname Moll and the word illegitmate appears after each name. Standing as godparents for Anna were Maria Moll, farmer's wife (this could be Wilhelmine's mother) and Anna Moll, a dressmaker (Most likely Wilhelmine's spinster sister. ) vii

Wilhelmine and the twins went to live with German friends in Liverpool, England and in 1883 Wilhelmine married Frederick Laue. iv Two more children were born to them before they decided to emigrate to Australia. viii Anna was six when they arrived in Sydney on board G.M.S. Necker. ix For further background, click here for my chapter on Anna's parents.The family lived at Alexandria for a while before moving to Rockdale. The twins attended Rockdale Public School which was on the rocky hill near Bay Street and in their spare time helped to wash the towels from their father's hairdressing shop. They also took it in turns to mind the baby whilst the other mended the socks. iii

Anna had to go into ' service' at a house in Frederick Street, Rockdale when she was 14 years old. She lived in and received 2/6d at the start which went up to 5/-. She had only a half-day off and so she did not get much opportunity to meet gentlemen. The family attended The Concordia Club (German) in Elizabeth Street, Sydney and it was here that she met Charles Zizelsberger. iii

They were married in the Lutheran Church in Goulburn Street, Sydney in 1906. iv Charles was 16 years older than Anna and they lived at 11 Wolli Creek Road, (also known as Kimpton Street) Banksia. Their only child, Wilma did not arrive for another eleven years. (I was told that when Anna was in service she had attempted to open a stiff window and strained her insides.) This house was sold for £395. xii

In March 1929, Anna and Charles bought a house at 26 Wolli Creek Road, Banksia for £1100 and renamed it 'Linz". xiii In 1929 Anna's sister Charlotte died from TB and Anna took in her nine-year-old son, Bern, receiving 10/- per week from the estate for his keep. Walter Lippiatt (brother-in-law) was the executor of Charlotte's will and Anna had to walk to his home in Wazier Street, Arncliffe every second Tuesday to collect the money. Her twin sister Emma moved to Nambour in Queensland with her husband but their son Harry could not go with them because of work commitments, so he too, went to live with Anna and Charles for ten years. Harry was said to be a lovely boy, with a warm personality and Anna loved him. Bern had contracted TB in the spine, caught from his parents and had had to spend several years in hospital. Because of this he was very spoilt and there was often friction between Bern and Charles. As Anna was his official guardian, he only obeyed her. iii

Anna continued to live in the house at Banksia for many years after her husband's death in 1946. Later she took in a Mrs. Puckeridge as a boarder but she became nasty to Anna who couldn't evict her. She suffered a nervous breakdown at the age of 73 and then moved in with her daughter Wilma and family at Bexley. iii The house at Banksia was sold in 1957 for £3000 to Mrs Puckeridge and Anna used the money to buy a half share in her daughter's house at Bexley. Strangely Anna allowed Mrs Puckeridge to pay a deposit of £400 and the rest was paid as a mortgage of 6% at £26 per month to Wilfred and Wilma. This was done so that Anna would not have too many assets and could still claim the Old Age Pension. Anna never really recovered from the nastiness of Mrs Puckeridge. xiii She died in hospital at the age of 82 from a stroke. iii

Charles Zizelsberger's Letters 1923-1927

The following letters were sent to me by Ilse Zizelsberger who lives in Salzburg, Austria. She is grandfather's great niece. I made contact with her when she responded to my letter asking - "are you my cousin?" I had written seven letters to the seven Zizelsbergers listed in the Austrian telephone book. Ilse was very pleased to have made contact with her Australian cousins as she had wondered all these years what had become of us.

Ilse remembered grandfather from when he visited her family in 1923. She was a little girl but remembers him as a dashing figure full of exotic stories of far-flung places. She had kept the letters that grandfather had written to her father all these years. A Swiss friend of Ray's from school has helped with the translations.

Ilse on her 70th birthday -October 1989



20th March 1923

To the Aluminium-Industry Aktein Gessellschaft (joint-stock company)- Neuhausen

My uncle who lives in Australia has asked me to send him prices of your products including the terms and conditions of supply as he feels he could help the industry here in Austria, thanks to his connections.
I can't fulfill my uncle's wishes as the sale to overseas countries is done from there. Therefore I would like to ask you to send information and conditions for a possible agency of your company in Australia to the address below.
His address is: Charles Zizelsberger, 11 Wollicreek Road, Banksia, Sydney, Australia.
For your information, my uncle has been living in Australia for the last 26 years. He is a partner of an import-export company in Sydney and therefore has a huge amount of experience and connections to industry and trade.
Please inform me of your answer through the director here that I can write to my uncle and inform him of the outcome.

Josef Zizelsberger



Dear Uncle Charles,

Unfortunately I have to add the following to my letter from the 22nd March 1923.
As I wrote to you then I asked the company to send you a sheet with their prices. I received now the following letter from The A.J.A.G., which states that to do business with Australia doesn't seem very likely. Are you still interested? You could let me know as soon as the conditions for importing aluminium changes.
Since they didn't send you any prices I have to try to tell you what I know about the goods and their prices. The aluminium (brand name Rising Sun) is produced in the three places you had been informed before. It has a purity of about 99-99½%. It is traded either in bar form (long) or in bundles to 50 kg. I believe that for the export mainly the latter one is used. For the price, I know that the kilo sells for Swiss francs 2.20. I don't know whether any taxes or freight are included in this price.
Besides aluminium they also produce calcium carbide and I hope that you know this product. It is used for lighting; lighting in mines etc. This product is in high demand and we sell it a lot. In other factories as a byproduct (to take advantage of the electricity) they produce potassium nitrate (fertilizer).
That's all I know about the products from our company.

I personally would love to see a picture of your factory and your house. Could you please send me some slides? Do you get a chance to get some stamps from the area as I have asked you for earlier? Please send me some.
Please don't let me wait for too long with your answer.
Greetings to you and your loved ones.

Your nephew,


H. Ebner
Gut String Manufacturer- Casing Packer
Import- Export
Office and Works,
O'Riordan Street,
Alexandria, Sydney
11th June 1923

Dear Pepi,

I have received your letter with all the enclosures. Thanks a lot. I was so pleased to receive such a long letter. I intended to write a lot earlier but with putting it off for so long the time seems to have passed a lot faster. Sorry about that.

Congratulations to you and your lovely wife. I wish you both all the best, blessings and health. I am also happy to hear that you could stay with your company for such a long time which enabled you to establish your own home. I hope you can stay with this company a long time and that you'll have the possibility to advance your position or only have to change companies in order to advance yourself.

Your company is well informed about the export to Australia. Since I received your letter, the importing conditions from Austria have worsened; no one can calculate what the………. will be because of the tariffs. Under these conditions it is not advisable top import goods. I'll write to you as soon as the conditions improve.
The war hasn't affected us as much as it did you. We didn't have problems with food supplies or clothes although the prices had doubled and still are not back to normal. A lot of businesses though were hit quite hard. This improved for a little while but with the political situation in Europe the whole trade is suffering and everyone is waiting for some regulations/ improvements.
We are exporting a lot to Germany but since six months the business (trade) has nearly come to a standstill; also to other countries- England, America, Africa etc the business is slow because of the exchange and the political situation.

My wife and daughter are well; we are all healthy and don't suffer any difficulties. I hope that this letter will find you all in good health and that you are happy and content.
Best greetings from all of us. Greetings to your lovely wife and little ones and also top your parents-in-law. Please write soon again and thanks again. Sending you lots of love and kisses.

Your uncle,
Charles Zizelsberger

P.S. Little kisses from Wilma for Lore and Ilse.


11 Wollicreek Road,
12th November 1923
Dear Pepi,

Thanks for your letter with all the enclosures. I should have answered a lot earlier but with postponing it the time passed quicker than I had anticipated, which you must excuse.

I glad to hear that your family is well and that you have been able to adjust to the conditions and that those have improved lately in Austria.
I've written to Mr H. Ebner and told him that you wish to change your position and that you would like to improve your job. Please write to him. His address is: H. Ebner, 60 Wienerstrasse, Wiener Neustadt.
{Margritt Byrne, Ray's Swiss friend writes: " A lot of this part of the letter I couldn't decipher properly but it seems that Charles gives Pepi some hints as to what to write including what sort of position he would like to have.}
Don't quit your present job until such time as you ……………… and you can improve yourself.
In relation to your request for £20. I'm sorry that I can't help you. {Charles seems to explain that his salary is just enough to cover his own expenses without anything to spare.}
I don't think you'll have enough time to look after a chicken farm. {I think Charles explains that a chicken farm is money-wise too much of a risk which wouldn't cover his financial needs and that he would be far better off to have just 8-10 hens with a rooster which could be a little income for his wife and which wouldn't attract huge debts.}

I keep chooks in my backyard for fresh eggs and the odd roast on a Sunday. I realised that one needs at least 500-1000chikcens that a man can make a living with it. One still needs a lot of experience and good luck to make it really profitable.
I'll put some English pounds into this letter as my contribution for your Christmas tree and hope that you all will have a happy Christmas and ………………..

My wife and daughter and I are well and we will send you a photo as soon as we have taken one and also one of our house.
Because of the political situation, business isn't too good at the moment and I hope that soon regulations will come into force that we can export more goods again.

My wife and daughter, Wilma and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and luck, health and happiness in the year 1924.

Please give my love to your parents,
Your uncle Charles.


Part of a letter from Pepi to Charles - no date

……………you couldn't take over the production of Irish precision…………. Or give me some information of suitable companies. If this is possible for you then please let me know.
I don't know much about Linz. According to a letter all is well except mother Hellmeyer {This is Charles' younger sister, Anna} who is suffering from her old ailments and is recovering slowly.

I know from Luisa Zizelsberger, who …….. with uncle Josef { This would be Charles' oldest brother and his wife} still lives in her old unit- Munich, Landwehstrasse 150- that her son Hans is studying to become an engineer and that her daughter is married to an ………. And that they have a little daughter called Hilda.

Now dear uncle, aunt and Wilma, we wish you all the very best for the New Year.
With this I finish this letter and hope for a quick answer,

Your nephew,


Wollicreek Road,
12th December 1927

Dear Pepi and wife,

I arrived well on the 6th of this month and was greeted by my wife and daughter. They are glad to have me in their midst again after nearly 12 months overseas. They were gal to hear all about you and about your friendly hospitality. Wilma was especially happy to receive those beautiful presents from her aunt. She always will wear the ring and keep it in good memory. She asked me to send sincere thanks to her dear aunt.

If I ever should come to Europe again, I hope to be able to bring my wife and daughter with me. After what I have told them from my long trip, they would love to see you all and be able to thank you personally. I would love it if this ever would be possible.
I hope you received all my cards I sent from my journey back. They show you all the different people, countries etc. I hope that you also will be able to travel one day with your family and to visit other countries.
I'm sorry I couldn't stay with you any longer. Of all the countries I liked Austria the best. I would have loved to spend a few months there, especially in the Alps, but unfortunately the business prevented me from doing so.
From what I have seen in the papers, you are having a very cold winter and I'm glad that I'm here again since we have summer and our winter is not much colder than your summer. I hope you'll get through it all right and in good health. I wish I could send you some of our sun. Please give my love to dear Louise, your parents-in-law and families and thank them again for all the happy hours and their hospitality in Linz. I asked my sister, Anna, to get your Christmas presents. They should be in your hands as I am writing this letter.

Before I finish, thanks a lot again from all of us. We wish you all a happy and successful New Year and hope to hear only good things from you. Wilma sends her love and kisses to the little ones and the aunts.

Greetings and kisses,
Your uncle,

i. Naturalisation application
ii Death certificate
iii oral information from my mother, Wilma Davies
iv Marriage certificate
v. Letters from Ilse Zizelsberger
vi. Australian Civil Registrations
vii. Church Records of Evangelical Lutheran Church , Neiberg, Mechlenburg Schwerin, Germany
viii. Birth Certificate
viii. International Genealogy Index
ix. NSW Archives- Index to Immigrants 1853-1900
x. 'North Atlantic Seaway' by N.R.P. Bonsor, Volume 2 page 556
xi. Letters printed above between Josef Zizelberger to Charles Zizelsberger
xii. Correspondence from family solicitor and estate papers
xiv National Archives Australia

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