Johann Christian Henschke was born in Kutschlau
in the district of Züllichau, Brandenberg on December 24,
1803. He had one, at least one bother Johann Martin and, it is thought
, another Johann Georg who also immigrated
to South Australia. Little is known about his early life.
He married Appolonia Wilhelmine Sparmann sometime before
1830. Christian and Wilhelmine had four children - Johann Gottlieb (ca. 1830), Johann August
(23 Jul 1832), Johann Friedrich
Wilhelm (22 Dec 1834) and Johanna
Luise (Sep 1840). The immigration records  give his occupation as cottager and
In 1841, the Henschke Family embarked on the Skjold  departing Altona (near Hamburg) on 3 Jul
1841. Christian's bother, Martin,
and his family were also on board. The voyage was to have
tragic consequences for the Henschke family. Deaths on the
voyage included Christian's wife, two of his children - Johanne
Louise (d 29 Jun 1841, in Hamburg prior to departure) and Johann
Friedrich Wilhelm (d 30 Sep 1841, at sea) - and his niece (also
Johanne Louise). The Skjold
arrived in South Australia on 27 Oct 1841
Christian and his children settled in initially
in Lobethal . Johann Christian
Henschke is reported as a farmer in Allan's Almanac of 1844  and is described as a wheelwright in
early church documents .
In 1843, Johann Christian Henschke married
Dorothea Elisabeth Schmidt. Dorothea Elisabeth Schmidt was
born on 11 Oct 1819 in Skampe, also in the district of Züllichau,
Brandenberg, the daughter of Gottlob
Schmidt and Anna Dorothea (nee Kluge). She had arrived
in Australia aboard the Zebra in
1838 with her parents, brothers (Gottfried,
Johann Gottlob) and sisters (Anna Dorothea, Anna Elisabeth Rosina). The
couple's first two children, Johann
Carl Ferdinand (b 1 Jan 1844) and Johann Christian (b 13 Aug 1845)
were born in Lobethal.
In ca 1847 Johann Christian, Dorothea
Elisabeth and their family moved to the Krondorf area. His
brother, Martin was already
resident in the area. Their son Paul Gotthard (b 9 Aug 1847) was
baptised at Bethany, five further children Johanna Dorothea Elisabeth (27
Jun 1850), Maria Christina
(5 Aug 1852), Johann Traugott
Gotthilf (18 Aug 1854), Johann
Gottfried (b 24 May 1856) and Emma Helena (17 Aug 1858) were baptised
In 1862 Johann Christian purchased 80 acres of
land in North Rhine (later Keyneton). A house and a winery
were built on the property. The first wines were sold in 1868
marking the beginning of Henschke Wines .
On his death, this property passed to his son Paul Gotthard.
Christian died, aged 69, on 9 Dec 1873
after injuries from being kicked by a horse. The
entry in the Krondorf burial register contains the following
information: 'Johann Christian Henschke d 9 Dec 1873, age 70, buried
10 Dec 1873 (Krondorf), b 24 Dec 1803, husband of Dorothea Elisabeth
Henschke (nee Schmidt) was, by profession, wheelwright and mason,
came to SA on 26 Oct 1841. Layreader at the Krondorf Church.'
Dorothea Elisabeth died, aged 74, on 26 Oct
1898. She is buried in a separate plot in the Krondorf
 Henschke Heritage Henschke Heritage Group Inc.:
 Iwan, W. Because of Their Beliefs (translated and edited
by Schubert, D.) H. Schubert: Highgate, SA, 1995, (p 8).
 Mattner, M.; Ross, D.; Coleman, L. The Mattners in Australia
1839-1980 Mattner Family Reunion Committee: Adelaide, 1981.
 Proeve, H.F.W. A Dwelling Place at Bethany Lutheran
Publishing House: Adelaide, 1983.
 Brauer, A. Under The Southern Cross Lutheran Publishing
House: Adelaide, 1956 (facsimile edition 1985) (pp 64-66, 70).
 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. 61).
 Twining A., Twining S. South Australian Land Returns
for 1843 (first compiled by James Allen 1844) Twining's
Secretarial: Woodcroft, SA, 1992 (p 25, name given as Hemhschke).