Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens and Christiane Amalie Thomas
last modified 28 July 2020

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Amalie Christiane Thomas Heinrich
      Gerhard Ahrens    Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens was born in Scharmbeck, Hanover, Prussia on 1 Feb, 1818 and was baptized in St. Willehadi Church on 8 February 1818.  The son of Carsten Ahrens and Meta Anne Adelheid (nee Pape), he is known to have had three sisters and two brothers - Meta Hedwig Sophie (b 24 Jun 1806), Hedwig Catharina (b  4 Jun 1808), Hermann Friedrich (b 4 Jul 1811), Margaretha Hedewig (b 26 Dec 1813) and Carsten (b 10 Oct 1820).
   In 1836, Heinrich Gerhard travelled to England and on 23 December 1836 embarked on the South Australian for South Australia as an indentured labourer.  His exact motivation for leaving home is unknown but it is speculated that he wished to escape compulsory military service.  He arrived in Kangaroo Island on 25 Jan 1837.  
   He is said to have served as a cook with one of Colonel William Light's surveying parties.
   Heinrich Gerhard was one of the earliest settlers of Bethany.  Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens married Amalie Christiane Thomas on 5 Oct 1842 in Bethany.  The ceremony was performed by Pastor A.L.C Kavel in the Lutheran schoolroom which was used for services prior to the building of the church in 1845.  
   Christiane Amalie, born in Meseritz, Posen, Prussia on 6 April 1823, was the daughter of Johann Gottlieb and Louise Thomas.  The Thomas family also including Heinrich Gottlob ( b 1819), Johanne Rosina Emilie (b 15 Feb 1820), Pauline Gottliebe (b 1826) and Ernestine Karoline (b 8 Apr 1828) had arrived in Australia aboard the Skjold in 1841.  Another brother Ernst August (b 1814) had arrived in South Australia on the Bengalee in 1838.
   Heinrich and Amalie were to have 11 children Emilie Christiane (16 Jun 1843), Gerhardt Theodor (12 Jun 1845), Anna Adelheide (2 Feb 1848), Emma Elisabeth (22 Apr 1850), Heinrich Gerhardt (27 Mar 1852), Wilhelm Dienegott (22 Jan 1854), Friedrich Gottlieb (14 Feb 1856), Amalie Bertha (21 Sep 1857), Henry (6 May 1859, stillborn), Caroline Amalie (14 Oct 1860) and Johanne Adelheid (4 Sep 1862).  All were baptised at Bethany.
   Heinrich ("Heinroche") is mentioned in Allen's South Australiam Land Returns for 1843 [6].  At that stage he had "14 acres wheat, 3 acres barley, 1/4 acre rye, i/4 acre peas, 1/2 acre garden, 8 cattle, 7 pigs".
   Heinrich Gerhard was naturalized on 20 May 1851.
   Christiane Amalie died aged 57 on 16 Nov 1880 in South Angas Park (Vine Vale) of a stomach ailment.  Heinrich Gerhard died aged 66 on 24 Jul 1884 in South Angas Park of a heart attack. 

headstone HG
headstone CA
              Ahrens Both are buried in Bethany Pioneer cemetery.  The inscriptions on their tombstones translate as follows [1]:

Here rests in God our dear beloved father Heinrich Gerherd Ahrens.  He was born 26th January 1818 in Scharmbeck (Hanover) and died 24th July 1884.  Rest in peace.

Here rests in God our dear beloved wife and mother Amalie Christian Ahrens (nee Thomas).  She was born at Meseritz in Prussia on 15th November 1880 aged 57 years and 7 months.  Rest in peace.

Three of their children who predeceased them, Heinrich Gerhard (1818-1877), Karoline Amalie (1860-1876) and Johanne Adelheide (1862-1876), are buried in the same plot.

headstone images from: German Headstones in Bethanien, South Australia

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HGH Ancestors

Pedigree of Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens (truncated to 5 generations)


Go to Register Report for Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens

HGA Descendants

Descendants of Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens and
Christiane Amalie (nee Thomas)

References and Notes

[1] The Ahrens Family compiled by Betty Mangelsdorf: Munno Para, SA, 2003 (p 25-39)
[2] Ahrens, E.A. Barossa Historic Bulletin 1(1), 1969, pp. 1-3.
[3] Traeger, P. Chronicles of the Family Graue 1846-1983 Graue Family Reunion Committee, 1983, pp. 31-33.
[3] Proeve, H.F.W. A Dwelling Place at Bethany Lutheran Publishing House: Adelaide, 1983.
[4] Munchenburg, R.S., Proeve, H.F.W., Ross, D.A., Hausler, A., Saegenschnitter, G.B. The Barossa - A Vision Realised  Barossa Valley Archives and Historical Trust: Tanunda, 1992 p. 26 (pioneer in Bethany; married CA Voss?), 28 (Langmeil) 174 (one of first councilors in Tanunda 1853).
[5] Brauer, A. Under The Southern Cross Lutheran Publishing House: Adelaide, 1956 (facsimile edition 1985), p. 233 (mentioned as a trustee of Hermansberg mission in a memorial dated 1882).
[6] Twining A., Twining S. South Australian Land Returns for 1843 (first compiled by James Allen 1844) Twining's Secretarial: Woodcroft, SA, 1992, p. 5.

For other reference sources see individual person cards.

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The assistance of the following who provided some information for this page is gratefully acknowledged

Elsie Ahrens
Doris Phelps
Betty Mangelsdorf