Additional information about the Lührs family
originating in Loxstedt.

The Journey of Carsten Lührs
Carsten Lührs (1807-1886)
Carsten Lührs (1807-1886)

Carsten Luhrs was born in Loxstedt, Germany on September 4th 1807.  As a young man he travelled to England, possibly  in the company of a man named George Müller. He worked in London for a time before sailing to Australia on the brigantine Agenoria which called first at Hobart, Tasmania with a load of timber, arriving at Port Adelaide on December 29th 1839.  The photo above of Carsten Lührs was taken about 1870.

Carsten Luhrs is mentioned in the 1841 South Australian census as being  a  "single male occupant" of his home.  He and    George Muller at first leased and later purchased land at what is now the Adelaide suburb of Payneham and were extremely successful farmers.  Both purchased other parcels of land and became quite wealthy.

In 1849, Carsten married Metta Caroline Louise Gehlken, the second daughter of Claus and Caroline Gehlken  from Gnarrenburg, Germany.  The family had arrived in South Australia in 1846 on the ship George Washington from Bremen.  Metta was only nineteen when she married Carsten who was then forty-one.  The couple had twelve children, seven  daughters and  five sons. One daughter, Anna Margreta, died soon after birth.  A son, George died at the age of three  from diphtheria. The other ten children all grew to adulthood and married, but only two of the sons, Frederick and Carl  Henry (Harry) had children of their own.

The Lührs Homestead at Payneham -- 1870.
The Lührs Homestead in Payneham about 1870.

The Loxstedt Lührs Descendants in Australia

During the 1880s  and early 1890s Carsten's sons John, Frederick, Carl Henry and Wilhelm all took up land in the "Wimmera" district of Victoria.  This area was and still is today, a grain growing area.  All were successful in this enterprise  and each of the brothers subsequently purchased land in other parts of Victoria.

John went to Benalla in northern Victoria, Frederick to Cavendish near Hamilton in the western district, and William to Inverleigh near Geelong. Descendants of Frederick Luhrs still farm  land at Cavendish.  In 1911, Carl Henry (Harry) purchased a property at Dowling near Ballarat for 11 pounds per acre.   There the family grew wheat and oats, ran sheep and kept several dairy cows.

Harry Luhrs was partially deaf from childhood and, as this disability grew worse with age, the quality of  his  relationships  with other people deteriorated. He adored his first child, Lucy Winifred (Winnie) and was deeply  affected by her death, from  pneumonia, at the age of  4.  His three sons, Clarence Ronald (Ron), Clifford Malcolm (Cliff) and Bruce Harry, all described him as a difficult man with a bad temper. His female relatives remembered him more fondly saying that he was well educated and had good manners.

During  the First World War  (1914 to 1918) anti-German feeling was rife in Australia with many German nationals (and even some who were naturalised)  being  interned. German  place-names, such as Kaiser Stuhl in South Australia, were changed, and anything German was very unpopular. The family suffered some of this prejudice, with the children being  taunted at school.  As a result, they tended to want to forget their German origins.

Harry was known for his love of horses and motor cars, being one of the first people in the district to own a car.   He was also especially  fond of his pet dog.  In 1933, Harry Luhrs suffered a stroke while mustering sheep and was paralysed down one side of his body. He remained in this condition for two months before dying at  the age of 67.
After the death of Harry Luhrs, his three sons -- Ron, Cliff, and Bruce --  continued to farm and acquired more land. Gradually the families moved off the land, although they continued to farm part of the Dowling property until the 1980s.  The old  family  homestead in Dowling was sold to a neighboring farmer in the 1950s and  fell  into  disrepair at the hands  of a succession of  tenants.  In the early 1970s the property was again sold and by now, because of the encroachment of  the suburbs of Ballarat, the land was acquired by a developer who subdivided it into 10 acre blocks with 20 acres accompanying the homestead.  In June 1976,  Bruce's daughter -- your hostess on this website -- bought back the homestead with its small parcel of land .
Photo of Bruce Harry Luhrs (1905-1976)
Bruce Harry Luhrs (1905-1976)

Today, the restored homestead, still with 20 acres of land, is the only portion of the1200 acres previously owned by the Luhrs family still in the hands of a family member. The district is no longer known as Dowling, rather it is called Mitchell Park.

I hope you enjoyed this web page on my Luhrs ancestors in Australia.  Thanks for visiting our website.

Marj Luhrs


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