Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustav Launer was born in Langenbielau, Reichenbach, Silesia, Prussia on October 19, 1820. Carl died from heart and kidney failure in South Australia on August 14, 1894. Carl was buried on August 15, 1894 at Strait Gate Lutheran Church in Lights Pass, South Australia.

He married twice. Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustav Launer married Johanne Dorothea Luhr. Johanne Dorothea Luhr was born on June 14, 1818 in Langenbielau, Reichenbach, Silesia, Prussia. Johanne died in Stockwell, South Australia on December 14, 1893. Johanne was buried on December 16, 1893 at Strait Gate Lutheran Church in Lights Pass, South Australia. Johanne Dorothea Luhr resided in Lights Pass, Angaston, South Australia. Johanne Dorothea Luhr immigrated on August 3, 1848. Johanne was the spouse of an unknown person when an unknown person immigrated to California, North America in 1872. His oldest son Wilhelm had already moved to California and wrote to his father and mother urging them to follow him.

In Noris Ioannou's book Barossa Journeys into a valley of tradition, he wrote:

Californian society had just emerged from a gold rush with a mixed population of Chinese, Europeans, Negroes and North American Indians, as well as eastern-American entrepreneurs and fortune hunters: there was much lawlessness, gambling and drinking. It was in this setting, the antithesis of that of the ordered agrarian Barossa Valley Lutheran community, that Launer's family found itself. They managed to avoid much of the social unrest by living in the nearby township ....

Given Launer's Old Lutheran temperament and upbringing, he must have abhorred this society.

Folk tradition tells us that he was particularly alarmed by the guns that many carried about for pistol duels which were a common means of settling disputes, often in public. Over one hundred years later, his descendants would quote him as having said (on his return): 'If you didn't like any one, you shot him ... you had to carry a gun wherever you went.' It was for this reason that he eventually quit California and, for the third time in their lives, Launer and his wife once more became emigrants, returning to South Australia, while his two sons, Wilhelm and Traugott remained behind.

Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustav Launer married Anna Maria Buzinski at the home of the bride in Moculta, South Australia on May 24, 1894. Pastor G. I. Reichner officiated and the reading was Psalm 23 verse 1 "The Lord is my Shepherd". The hymn was no. 1919. Witnesses were P. A. Noack and I. August Lindner.

On the same day, Carl made a will in which he appointed as executors Gottfired Klemm of Grinberg, farmer, and Paul Joseph Noack of St. Kitts, farmer. All his cash was left to his new wife and she was given a life interest in his real and personal property, and after her demise, the estate was to be divided between his children, Gottlieb Launer, Pauline Klemm and Ernstine Winneke. Carl Launer died on 13th August, 1894 and his will was proved in the Supreme Court of South Australia on the 14th day of September, 1894. His Estate was sworn not to exceed in value 250 pounds.

Anna Maria Buzinski was born in 1837 in Bombst. Anna was the daughter of Mathias Buzinski. Anna Maria Buzinski resided in Moculta, South Australia.

Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustav Launer immigrated on August 3, 1848. Prior to coming to Australia, Carl Launer lived in the Reichenbach province of Schlesien, Prussia. Reichenbach is now in Poland and is called Dzierzoniow.

In 1872 Carl, his wife and son Traugott left South Australia for California, North America.) His oldest son Wilhelm had already moved to California and wrote to his father and mother urging them to follow him.

Much of the following text on Carl Launer has been extracted from the book The Barossa - A Vision Realised.

Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustave Launer was a "Tischlermerster", a cabinetmaker and a master carpenter. His worked displayed distinctive Prussian furniture traditions. Carl Launer fluctuated between village and farm as either full-time cabinetmaker or as farmer-craftsman. His workshop was first located in the farming community of Lights Pass (from late 1848 to 1866) and there he recreated cupboards, wardrobes, chests of drawers, tables and chairs in an almost "pure" Biedermeier style (essentially a middle-class neoclassical fashion). His work was considered to be "undoubtedly the most distinctive and among the finest crafted in the Barossa Valley". The pieces have strong classical proportions (chairs had "klismos" or sabre-legs), the wardrobes had fielded panels and were always surmounted by stepped, classical pediments, sometimes with the addition of his carved, stylised tulip. Typically, a claret-red woodstain and light shellac varnishing finished the pine surfaces.

The drought years of the late 1860s and 1870s forced him (and many others) to quit Lights Pass and his work as a cabinetmaker. Following a short unsuccessful period as a farmer, he left in the mid-1870s for Pastro Valley, California, North America where he resided for a brief period before returning to the Barossa Valley. He then re-established a workshop in Stockwell where he once more continued to make finely crafted furniture until a year before his death.

Carl not only made furniture, mostly in stained or painted Baltic pine (with some cedar and inlay work), but he also made coffins and acted as the town's undertaker - a standard procedure for most Barossa cabinetmakers. Carl Launer also earned a reputation as a maker of castle models. Three models, actual scale reproductions of the Watburg Castle were made, as wedding presents for each of his daughters (although Johanne Caroline died in 1884 before she was able to marry). Each model was displayed within its own glazed cabinet, complete with a landscape of trees and soldiers, and surmounted by Launer's "personal" decorative motif, a carved and painted tulip above a "schnurrbart" pediment.

Apparently, he displayed these and other examples of his handiwork on the verandah in front of his Stockwell workshop. The Wartburg castle models demonstrate the pride that Carl Launer had for his handskills which were exercised in the service of religion and love for his family. It was thought that the whereabouts of the three models was as follows: one located at the Lutheran Archives in Adelaide, Ian Voigt had another and in 1983 the third model was known to be in the possesion of Gerhard Launer Jericho of Tumby Bay, South Australia. However, the book The Barossa - A Vision Realised states that one of them is owned by the Barossa Valley Archives and Historical Trust. At one stage, a castle was owned by Helene Martha Ida (Ida) Jericho (nee Klemm), granddaughter of Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustav Launer, and she pinned the following note inside her castle: This is a model of a castle called "The Wartburg" in the Thuringian Forest where Dr. M. Luther spent 10 months in 1521. This work was made by my late grandfather Karl Launer a carpenter at Stockwell in South Australia in 1887.

The castle must have held special significance to Carl Launer and his religious beliefs, as it was here between May 4, 1521 and March 1, 1522 that Martin Luther translated the New Testament. Luther had been kidnapped for his own safety while returning from the Diet of Worms, where he had been made an outlaw. It was during his voluntary exile at the Wartburg Castle that Luther translated the New Testament from Latin into the common language of the German people. For the first time, the common everyday person could read and understand the bible.

Johann Carl Gottlieb Gustav Launer and Johanne Dorothea Luhr had the following children:

child i. Johanne Christiane Pauline Launer was born in Langenbielau, Reichenbach, Silesia, Prussia on March 14, 1844. Pauline died from natural causes at Parkside Asylum in Adelaide, South Australia at 8 p.m. on May 13, 1904.These were described as apoplexy and chronic melancholia. Pauline was buried on May 15, 1904 at West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia. Johanne Christiane Pauline Launer married Johann Gottlieb Klemm at the Evengelical Lutheran Chapel in Lights Pass, South Australia on Thursday, August 6, 1863. Gottlieb was a widower. His first wife, Johanne Luise Mattner had died in April of that year and he had six surviving children aged from eleven years down to fourteen months.

The officiating Minister was G. J. Rechner and the witnesses to the marriage were C. Fritz Emmel, saddler of Nuriootpa, Carl Launer and Christian Grocke, both farmers of Lights Pass. The reading was "And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying The Master is come, and calleth for thee." (John 11, verse 28). The fee for the marriage was 15 shillings.

Johann Gottlieb Klemm was born on January 6, 1830 in Kuschen, Silesia, Prussia. Gottlieb was the son of J. Gottfried Klemm and Eleanore Klemke. Gottlieb died in Appila, South Australia on Nov 14, 1903 at 9 a.m. Johann Gottlieb Klemm immigrated aboard the 'Gellert' to South Australia in 1847.

Johanne Christiane Pauline Launer immigrated on August 3, 1848. Pauline was just eighteen years of age when she married and the following year produced her first child, and then followed a further eight, three dying as infants.

Johanne Christiane Pauline Launer was admitted to on November 25, 1903. It was shortly after the death of her husband, Gottlieb Klemm. She was described as being in frail health and looked more aged than her years warranted. She had been in a weak state since that time, and had to be carried like a child. The letter from the asylum to the police station in Adelaide reporting her death also mentioned that she had been mentally ill for the past seven years. In recent weeks she had been complaining of feeling discomfort and her right hand became weaker. The day before she died, marked compresssion of the brian became manifest.

child ii. Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Carl Launer was born in Langenbielau, Reichenbach, Silesia, Prussia on February 26, 1847. Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Carl Launer married Elisabeth Sophie Loman at Strait Gate Lutheran Church in Lights Pass, South Australia October 17, 1867. Elisabeth Sophie Loman was born in 1849. Sophie was the daughter of John Loman. Occupation: Servant. Elisabeth Sophie Loman resided in Stockwell, South Australia. Sophie was the spouse of an unknown person when an unknown person immigrated to to California, North America around 1870.

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Carl Launer immigrated on August 3, 1848. Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Carl Launer resided in Port Wakefield, South Australia. Occupation: Farmer. Around 1870 Wilhelm and his family emigrated to California, North America.

child iii. Johann Gottlieb Launer was born on July 9, 1849.

child iv. Unnamed Launer was born on May 18, 1851. Stillborn. Unnamed died on May 18, 1851. Unnamed was buried in Pink Lakes Cemetery near Yorketown, South Australia.

child v. Christiane Ernstine Launer was born in South Australia on June 14, 1852. Ernstine died on June 2, 1933. Ernstine was buried in Laura, South Australia. Christiane Ernstine Launer married Wilhelm Adolph Winneke in the house of the brides father, Port Wakefield, South Australia April 23, 1868. Wilhelm Adolph Winneke was born on January 15, 1844. Wilhelm was the son of Christian Winneke. Wilhelm died on October 11, 1919. Wilhelm was buried in Laura, South Australia. Wilhelm Adolph Winneke resided in Port Wakefield, South Australia. Occupation: Farmer.

Christiane Ernstine Launer resided in Port Wakefield, South Australia.

child vi. Johanne Dorothea Launer was born in South Australia on January 17, 1854. Johanne died in South Australia on May 17, 1854. Conflicting evidence suggests that Johanne Dorothea Launer was born on May 17, 1854. Conflicting evidence states that she died on June 17, 1854.

child vii. Wilhelm Traugott Launer was born in South Australia on December 14, 1855. Traugott emigrated to California, North America in 1872. He travelled with his parents to join his brother Wilhelm. His parents later decided to return to South Australia.

child viii. Launer was born in South Australia on March 19, 1858.

child ix. Johanne Caroline Launer was born in Lights Pass, South Australia on June 3, 1859. Johanne died in South Australia June 15, 1884. Johanne was buried on June 18, 1884 at Strait Gate Lutheran Church in Lights Pass, South Australia. Johanne Caroline Launer resided in Stockwell, South Australia.Family stories state that Caroline died in a fire, however the death entry at the Strait Gate church says that she died of consumption.

child x. Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Launer was born in South Australia on May 24, 1862. Gustav died in Burra, South Australia on August 1, 1906. Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Launer married Lydia Schmidt. Lydia Schmidt was born July 23, 1870 in Peters Hill, South Australia. Lydia died in Robertstown, South Australia on February 1, 1954.

Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Launer resided in Emu Downs, South Australia. Occupation: Farmer.

 

Back

Home

Email

Next

© 1997-2003 Lauren Thomson, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
Last revised: January 2004
Go to
Lauren's genealogy home page