I have a handwritten letter from my great aunt Edna Westphal McPherson, sister of my grandfather, Herman Peter Westphal (b. 2 Apr 1899) there were two other siblings, Walter and Otto. All were born in or around Davenport, Iowa.
I have a photostat of Herman Peter's birth certificate and it list his name as Herman Peter Westphalen. His parents are listed as Amanda Hemming (b. 8 Apr 1879) and Marx Westphalen (b. 14 Oct 1866). I find Marx's name listed as Marcus, Max and Mark in other records.
Anyway, this letter I have says, "Dad had 13 brothers and sisters but don't know any of their names. Two brothers went to Australia before Dad came over here and that was where he was going when he got on the wrong boat and came to America. He must of come to New York. He had intended to go to Atlantic, IA but stopped at Davenport and stayed there."
I have another letter, written by Otto Westphal that says, " I left home at age 20 and nevere gave family trees a thought. I did find a little book in which I wrote some birth dates so we are lucky there. My father's name was Marcus Westphalen, but for some reason he changed it to Max Westphal and he was born Oct 14, 1866 in Schleswig-Holstein a Duchy just north of Hamburg Germany. I do not know the name of the town."
I have a photostat of Max Westphal's Petition for Naturalization, which lists his birth place as Brockdorf (sp?)-Holstein, Germany and he emigrated to the USA from Hamburg Germany on or about the 4th day of March 1894 and arrived in New York on the vessel Ratia (or Patia).
Another note I have is in German, but must be the birth register of Marcus Westphalen. aus dem Tauf (birth?)-Register der ev.-luth Kirchengemeinde Brokdorf Jahrgang: 1866 Seite (Page?):-- Nr.31
The handwritten copy is then hard to read, but it seems to say his birth (baptism?) was registered 21 Oct 1866 and his parents were Peter Westphalen and Katharina ??. I believe it lists her age as 32 yrs.
The next register I have is of Peter Westphalen's birth or baptism about 9 Feb 1825. Nr. 9 Lists his parents as Glaus (Klaus) Westphalen and Margareta ??.
This is all I have so far on the Westphal connection to Australia. Would love to hear from others who know more.