People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Otto Franz Sonnemann (1854–1888)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Sonnemann, Otto Franz (1854-1888) shoemaker, later engine driver killed at work

Birth: probably December 1854 in Germany the son of German parents Christian Sonnemann (1804-1885), tailor, later labourer, born in Braunschweig [Brunswick], Saxony, and his wife Augusta (1817-1876), cook and laundress, born in Hanover, who arrived with his parents and step-brother at Hobart, Tasmania, as bounty (indentured) immigrants aboard the Wilhelmsburg, departed from Hamburg on 10 May 1855 and arrived at Hobart on 26 August 1855. Marriage: 27 May 1876 in his father’s residence at Stockwell, South Australia, to Cristiana Karoline Ernestine Fichtner. They had five sons, three surviving infancy. Death: 22 November 1888 at Eudunda, SA.

  • The family moved to Stockwell, South Australia, by 1870. Otto gave his occupation as shoemaker on his marriage registration.
  • Began working at E. Davey & Sons mill, Eudunda about June 1888. The miller, Edwin Davey, described Sonnemann’s duties as “stoking, looking after the engines and pumping gear”.
  • Described as “a Rechabite and a good-natured and industrious man”.
  • Inquest found cause of death as: fracture of the skull through a fall while going down Davey & Sons well. Jury was of the opinion “he was stupefied through foul air thereby losing his hold on the ladder”.

NSW Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922, 1873 December Wakefield [seen on Ancestry file]

Additional Resources

  • inquest, Kapunda Herald (SA), 27 November 1888 p 3

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Sonnemann, Otto Franz (1854–1888)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Sonneman, Otto Franz

December, 1854


22 November, 1888 (aged 33)
Eudunda, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

workplace accident

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship