Albert Frederick Starke

Supposedly my great-great-grandfather, Albert Frederick (/Friedrich/Friedrick/etc) Starke was born 9 Feb 1858 in Tucheim, Saxony, Prussia. Tucheim is a village and a former municipality in the Jerichower Land district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Since 1 July 2009, it is part of the town Genthin.

I know very little about Albert’s birth and upbringing. I do however know that he came out to Australia when he was but 18 years old. He traveled alone, though he met his future-wife-to-be on the very same ship that brought him to this fair country.

First Name Albert
Last Name Starke
Town Tuchheim
Departure State Sachsen
City Hamburg
Standing Schneider
Age 18
Gender Male
Destination Pt. Adelaide
Destination Country Australia
State South Australia
Ship name Esther
Year 1876
© Queensland Family History Society Inc via FindMyPast

Albert was listed as a “Schneider” which translates to a tailor. While, so far as I know, Albert pursued other means of making money other than tailoring, his granddaughter would later become a tailoress without even knowing that Albert had been of a very similar profession! She was quite pleased to hear about this little discovery.

If not for having found his obituary, there are many things I never would’ve known about Albert. He clearly loved to travel, and explored a good part of Australia in his youth, while also taking up the habit of ‘kangarooing’, which I presume in those times meant hunting kangaroos.

One thing I’d ask Albert, if given the chance, would be why he came to Australia by himself? Later, I believe, some brothers of his also came out to Australia, though I don’t have clear sources about that. Was Frederick Wilhelm Starke his brother? What about Karl August Starke? They lived in the same area, but I’ve not found anything certain that locks them into the same family.

If other trees are to be believed, Albert’s father, Freidrich/Frederick Starke, was born in Oldenburg, Germany, and ended up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1888!  I wonder.

One of my Mum’s cousins (Albert’s great-grandsons) was supposed to be researching the Starke family. Years ago he wrote to several relatives requesting information, which he intended to use for writing a book on the Starkes. He was also supposed to go to Germany to explore the roots of the family. Alas, I have lost contact with this man, and all details I once had for him are no longer in use, and, with him being a bit of a recluse, I have found him impossible to track down.

My favourite part of Albert’s tale is that he ended up marrying Caroline Pauline Scholz who came out on the Esther with him. I do not know for sure if they knew each other on the boat, or whether it was by coincidence that they met up later. I would love to know. I’m very glad they found each other in any case.


Albert’s Naturalisation from The National Archives of Australia


Albert in his later years. Image courtesy of dannikay81 from Ancestry.


Albert with his wife Caroline Scholz and their troupe of nine children.


AlbertStarkeObit2 Albert’s extensive obituary from the Port Lincoln Times on the 15th of March 1935.