W. G. Goetz, family

Son of Johannes Götz and Catharine Marie (Holder), Gottlob Wilhelm Paul Götz was born on 16th November 1840 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. (Source: Darragh Index to Melbourne German Sick & Relief Society Membership 1861-1995). Died 12 May 1913 at 65 Whitby Street, Brunswick, Victoria.

For more info on the wider Goetz family, visit Württemberg-Australia Scroll down to 1855 Goetz


Above: Portrait from W. G. Goetz & Sons 1975 anniversay booklet.

Gottlob arrived in Australia from Liverpool at the Port Melbourne pier on the 14th of December 1863 aboard S.S. Great Britain, age 23. Voyages from Liverpool to Port Melbourne typically took around 60 days.

S.S. Great Britain during the time of her Australian voyages.
From the book “The Return Of The Great Britain”, by Richard Goold-Adams.

S.S. Great Britain is now a floating museum piece in its original port of Bristol U.K., its hulk having being salvaged from the Falkland Islands in 1970. More information at Brunel’s SS Great Britain

The Public Records Office Victoria lists Gottlob as ‘Goltz, Gotlal’, probably because they had difficulty reading the handwriting on the original document. Click image for larger version

Composite image from PROV Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria 1852-1923 
British and Foreign ports VPRS 947/P0000, Sep – Dec 1863 p.255


It is unclear why he came to Australia, but perhaps it was to avoid military service. Had he remained in Germany, Gottlob may have been caught up in the Austro-Prussian war. In 1866 Württemberg took up arms on behalf of Austria, which resulted in defeat and occupation of the northern part of Württemberg by the Prussians.

Settling in Australia and working as an engineer under his Anglicized name of William G., it was not until he was aged 54, that he received his ‘Memorial for Letters of Naturalization’ on Aug 29th, 1895.

Gottlob married Sarah Williams of Cork, Ireland, in German Lutheran Church Melbourne, July 1, 1876.

Goetz, Sarah (Williams)

Above: Sarah Goetz (nee. Williams) at son Emil’s wedding 1905 (See full photo below).
Birth15 Nov 1853 in Cork, Ireland
Death 12 Sep 1931 at ‘
Miraflores’, 483 Royal Pde, Royal Park,Victoria

See Gottlob’s entry at Residents of Upper Beaconsfield

See Sarah Williams’ entry at Residents of Upper Beaconsfield

Together they had 11 children over the next 24 years!

  1. Ida Wilhelmine Goetz 15/03/1877 – 19/09/1946
  2. Clara Jeanette Goetz 15/07/1878 – 02/03 1879
  3. Emil Stephen Goetz 10/11/1879 – 08/09/1942
  4. William Paul Goetz 02/05/1881 – 17/08/1959
  5. Paul Goetz 10/03/1883 – 04/10/1934
  6. Albert Goetz 21/12/1884 – 27/12/1952
  7. Sarah Catherine Goetz 22/07/1886 – 17/04/1953
  8. Bertha Goetz 26/02/1888 – 15/07/1954
  9. Kathleen Olive Goetz 08/03/1891 – 15/01/1981
  10. Otto Theodore Goetz 30/07/1896 – 23/12/1971
  11. Caroline Dorothy Maude Goetz 28/12/1901 – 26/12/1923

Above: Family photo taken at the wedding of Emil Goetz and Lillian Hughes, 20 September 1905


Gottlob had various addresses around Melbourne during the operation of his engineering works, but in 1898, he commenced leasing 80 acres of Crown Land for a family home ‘Almond Grove’, at Upper Beaconsfield, Gembrook Counties Evelyn & Mornington, where he lived with wife Sarah and their younger children.

Gottlob listed himself as an engineer in the local Berwick Shire rates until 1899, from whence he describes himself as ‘farmer’! Perhaps the success of the engineering business allowed him to retire that year at the age of 59. As the business operated in Melbourne, it may be that he paid for the land to be cleared and the house built whilst he was still working.

It is only the last child Caroline who is listed on her 1901 birth certificate as being born at ‘Almond Grove, Upper Beaconsfield’ rather than the city; quite surprising considering Sarah was about 47 years old.

Emerald-Mechanics-opening-1905Above: Gottlob and wife Sarah (on floor at right) at the opening of the Emerald (Victoria) Mechanics Institute, Friday 24th March, 1905. Click image to enlarge.

Sarah Goetz was a co-signatory to an 1899 petition of Emerald region residents to the government, calling for the establishment of a school within the Emerald township; the existing school being situated 5 miles 8km away in Avon Road in today’s Avonsleigh. The petition included Sarah Goetz’s name, noting she had 4 children, Otto (4), Sarah (8), Kathleen (11), and Bertha (13). In 1909 when debate raged over the relocation this school, there was still one Goetz child on the roll, probably Caroline, the youngest, then 8 years old.

In the next couple of years Gottlob moved back to the city, probably because of the heart disease he suffered from. He died 12th May 1913 and the property was sold.

Part of the property now lies under the waters of Cardinia Reservoir, however the remains of the ‘Almond Grove’ house are still visible a short distance above the waterline, within the fenced off area of the reservoir reserve.


Above: Google Earth image of Cardinia Reservoir overlaid with a portion of a 1967 map ‘Gembrook Counties of Evelyn and Mornington’ showing the original owners including the Goetz land, now within Cardinia Reservoir reserve, south of Kilvington Drive/Wong Hee Road, Emerald.
Lot 140E, Beaconsfield Riding, Berwick Shire.
Area: 79 acres, 2 roods, 28 perches
(32.24 ha).

Above: c1903 at ‘Almond Grove’, Upper Beaconsfield / Emerald. Sarah and Gottlob Goetz with two of their children in the vegetable garden. L-R: Sarah, Gottlob, Sarah Catherine, Otto

It seems that the house may have been built some time in 1893. In an article entitled “Upper Beaconsfield” by an author named Todea Africana, the house is referred to as a “…cottage, newly built near the bottom of a big fern gully.”
The bottom of the “big fern gully” now lies beneath the waters of Cardinia Reservoir.

See the “Upper Beaconsfield” article, first column, near the bottom of the page of this TROVE newspaper link: South Bourke and Mornington Journal”, 19 April 1893, p.2


Below: Photo probably taken the same day on the porch at ‘Almond Grove’ 
L-R: Otto (7), Gottlob (61), Sarah Catherine (17), Sarah (49)Otto,-Gottlob,-Ida,-Sarah

Below: 28th Sept 2011. Ruins of Goetz home ‘Almond Grove’, Cardinia Reservoir, near the waterline off Access Road 14. Photo taken in approximately the same position to where the 1903 garden photograph was taken from.


Below: ‘Almond Grove’ Chimney ruins. Made from ‘City’ bricks. City was the oldest brickworks in Melbourne had been operating since the late 1880s from a site in Toronga where the Coles HQ stands today.



Below: Google Earth view across Cardinia Reservoir towards Emerald


For information and the story of Gottlob’s engineering business, go to the ‘Company’ menu above.