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Bertha Victoria Ollendorff (b. 08 Jun 1864, d. 1908)Bertha Victoria Ollendorff (daughter of Hermann G. Ollendorff and Maria Elise Mathilde Strauch)670 was born 08 Jun 1864 in Exeter, Devon, England671, and died 1908671.She married Johann Peter Wilhelm Geuter.
Notes for Bertha Victoria Ollendorff:
The Story of Bertha Victoria Ollendorff as related by Hillier and Tim Clement.
The Geuters were originally VON HAROLDSBUGER with estates near Frankfurt on Maine, but one of their forefathers was a 'vergeuder' = spendthrift, hence his name was altered in disgrace to Geuter. We have been unable to find the name von Haroldsburger anywhere so far.
JOHANN PETER WILHELM GEUTER
was a businessman in Darmstadt and later Frankfurt. He married Bertha Victoria Ollendorff and was a very strict father to Fried and Tilly.
BERTHA VICTORIA OLLENDORFF--born 8.7.1864.d. c.1908.
Victoria was born at 78 Sidwell Street, Exeter, her father was Hermann Ollendorff, a professor of languages noted for his book on German Grammar, her mother Mathilda Strauch. She had a brother Fred.
She presents something of a mystery. Before her marriage to Johann Geuter she lived and worked in England then Darmstadt and called herself Victoria Parrot. We have obtained her birth certificate so she was definitely born Ollendorff. She attended some sort of school for young ladies and the report says she was born in Brighton, the daughter of Professor Parrot of Edinburgh. We also have letters regarding a claim by her uncle Gustave Strauch to the 'Parrot silver and sword'** which were willed to him and of which she had possession, also querying why she called herself Parrot. In another latter addressed to Johann Geuter in 1889 it was said that Mr. M. Ollendorff and son were in good health and living in Spa in Belgium and both were unmarried! It could be that Victoria's maternal grandmother was called Parrot, but so far we have been unable to trace any further back.
Victoria's uncle GUSTAVE STRAUCH:-lived at Huntly, Victoria, Australia.
Konrad-an army sergeant
Alfred-married with a daughter
Johsie-married to George Hamilton
According to Fried his mother was always sad, never smiling, she does not appear to have had a happy marriage. She was a pianist and gave recitals. She died as a result of falling off a chair, she developed meningitis in about 1908 at the age of about 44.
Children:-CARL FRIEDRICH WILHELM GEUTER
MATILDE WILHELMINE GEUTER
Notes researched and written by Hillier Clement nee Walters.
CARL FRIEDRICH WILHELM GEUTER
b. 27.6.1892-d. 14.2.1961
Fried was born at Darmstadt in Germany. His childhood seems to have been clouded by the sadness of his mother whom he hardly ever saw smile or laugh. He remembered his own first stepswhen an Uncle Fred, who came from a long way off came to stat, he held out his hand and said "walk to me" and Fried did. He also remembered the exact moment when he recognized himself as "I". When he was very young they lived for a while in Remshied then he spent some of his time in England with his mother and his sister. They stayed in London with Lady Lambert at Cromwell Road and took walks in Hyde Park. Lady Lambert and his mother gave musical recitals and he remembered his mother in a pink gown with black lace over it and how he fell in love with her! He loved London and their life there.
He does not appear to have been a very good scholar and the remarks on his school reports say things like, "adequate", "could do better", especially in maths and French. He was wrongly accused at school of shooting a boy with an air rifle or something and blinding him in one eye. He could never prove his innocence and this made a deep impression on him. His father would hit his hand with a ruler if he made mistakes when playing the violin.
He became an interpreter during the first World War in prison camps which he found very depressing. Many of the prisoners were Russians from the wilds of Russia who were completely uncivilized. Here he found he had the ability to hypnotize people and could will the prisoners to do things for him but realizing it was an evil power gave it up. Fried was posted to Meschede in Westphalia where he met a nurse, MARIA FUCHS . They were married on the 11th.9.1917. They were two love birds envied by all. They later moved to Stuttgart and had to live in a cellar; there was enormous unemployment and poverty after the war. Fried became a clerk, and, at the age of thirty one had a massive heart-attack. He had to be on his back for three months, nursed by Maria who by this time had three children. At about this time he met Rudolph Steiner, who wanted him to go into Bio-Dynamic Agriculture with Count Keyserlink, but this was not in his line and after talks with Ita Wegman he went in for curative education. At first at the Sonnenhof in Arlesheim, Switzerland, then Holmsdale, a small home in Kent with about eight children. The lady who ran it cared more for her poultry than the children and it did not last very long. He then met up with Michael Wilson, and with the help of Michaels parents, they bought a house in Selly Oak in Birmingham, called Sunfield, next door to the Wilson's house which was named Elmfield.
Here Frieds' talents lay and he and Maria became Mummy and Daddy to everyone and with great love and an infectious enthusiasm, they built up Sunfield Childrens Home which became the mother of many other such homes throughout the world.
In 1936 Isabel Newitt came to Sunfield and eventually became Matron. When it became apparent that Isabel and Fried were having an affair, Maria said that either Isabel should leave or she would. Fried told Isabel that she should be the one to leave so she packed her bags and Fried took her to the station. When she got on the train he could not let her go so he jumped onto the train too. The next few years were traumatic for all concerned and Maria left and Fried returned for a while but things were never the same so he left also.
Fried and Isabel went for a while to Switzerland and were approached by a group of Jewish parents of mentally handicapped children who asked if they would start a home for them. Fried said that he could not; he could see no way that he could run a home on the lines of Sunfield where the Christian Festivals are so central to the life of the community, with children of the Jewish faith. The parents did not give up and Fried eventually took up the challenge. He told them he would run a home if they would organize their own festivals. So, Ravenswood was begun in Berkshire in 1953, and it flourished..
In 1960 Fried's health declined and on 14th. February 1961 he died peacefully from heart failure. His ashes are buried at the Sonnenhof at Arleheim beneath a cherry tree.
Peter Wilhelm Joshua Herbert
MATHILDE WILHELMINE GEUTER (TILLY)
Tilly was born at Darmstadt in Germany. She was, according to Fried, a sullen child, she went to a convent school in Belgium for eight years and did not go home all that time. Her mother died when she was still a girl and her father seems to have been something of a tyrant. Although Tilly received several proposals of marriage he would not let her get married and insisted that she remain at home to look after him, which she dutifully did until his death in the 1930's.
She spent some time at Sunfield and became a children's governess in Africa. Later she became a housekeeper in a hotel in South Africa where she worked until she was about eightyalthough she should have retired at about sixty she fibbed about her age! Her last few years were spent at Broome Farm with Hilla and David, where she became quite a local character, in her red clothes feeding the ducks by the pond. She was full of fun to the end with her funny English spiced with Afrikaans words and her German was apparently no better. "Hello dearly, do you remember the olderly days?" She was a very warm and fastidious person. Her father had told her, "With a good haircut and well polished shoes you can go anywhere," and she always took care to follow his advice.
**The scrap-book contains a copy of a letter from the Belgian police in Spa, relating to the above.
Further, here is a translation by Hillier Clement of a letter written by Victoria's uncle, Gustave Strauch, in Australia.
Huntly, 26th. April. 1895
Since I received your last letter dated 26th.March 1886, a few years have gone by, which you partly wrote from Frankfurth and Darmstadt, I have been without information from you. You told in this letter in question, thast you left your job in England and got settled again in Darmstadt with Mrs. Steinmetz. At the same time you mentioned, that you would like to take a job in a family, where you can keep yourself more busy in the household. As you have not mentioned any particular address, I did not know where to address my reply letter to. In the same year I received your engagement card. I cannot understand, that you got engaged and married under a false name, and which legal right you got to carry the surname Parrot I cannot understand as well. As I would like to knowhow you are getting on and where you have settled, I asked Mr. Ed. de Bary in a letter dated 14th. Sept. 1891 and as well with my letter dated 4th.Dec. 1893, I asked him for your
address. But he did not take any notice at all of my enquiiries. Then I wrote a letter to my nephew Anton Mohr and received a letter after a few months from his widow with the news that he had died. To my regret I can never receive a satisfactory answer from Frankfurtin this matter, I also do not know if Katherine Kroft is still alive. For that reason, I sent a letter to Mr. WitBrake, the German Consul in Melbourne, to be able to get a replywith his assistance from the German authorities in Frankfurt. At this time I received, after two years, a letter from Mr. Ed. de Bary and you notice in the following lines, how careless he was in replying to his correspondence.
On the 8th.Feb. 1890 he sent a letter to me containing a cheque for the amount of L.25,- referring to the Bank of New South Wales in Sydney. The letter has omly been addressed to Huntly, Australia.The letter went to South Wales and Queensland and I received the letter eventually in Sep. 1891, therefore, 19 months afterdespatch. The strange thing was, that I received a letter from him dated 16th.April 1891 in which he has not mentioned the earlier letter, so therefore this was completely unknown to me. Since we have a direct connection with mail steam-boat between Bremen and Melbourne, I asked Mr. Bary several times tosend me the deposited silver goods. At last I receivedhis answer to my request, that he is unable to do so, as you are claiming these goods. He advised me to sue you in court, he would receive the decision of the court and would be able to despatch the goods in question to me.
That you are claiming all the silver goods has made me think, as there is more property and it shows from your side a big grade of ungratefulness.
As you might know, the whole fortune has been signed over to me in the last Will and you have been completely left out of the inheritance. I would like to know, what would have happened to you, ifI would leave you completely to a father. **
As a gratitude, that you have robbed myself and my family, as that is the way it is cared for the future of the children and mysister, I am now forced to get the possession of my belongings to court procedures. Therefore I will send in the coming week, a letter to Mr. jur. D. Gerter with my signature, to take the necessary stepsin this, which is for me, such an important case.
Mr. D. de Bary advised me to write these lines to you, even though it is very unaccepable for me. Altogether, I hope, as the state of your health never has been excellent, that you are still in reasonable health, and that you are married and happy now.
I would also like to know how Fritz is and how he is getting on and if he had received a decent upbringing from jis father.
For myself and for my family, I can say,that we are well. Alfred my youngest son is married since two years and has got one girl, so therefore I am a grandfather. Gustave the oldest one is working since 5 years in a butchers shop in Long Gully near Bendigo. Konrad the second oldest, is a Sergeant in the Army with the Artillery and is stationed normally in Queenscliff at the entrance to Melbourne Harbour.
**I could not understand this sentence.
My oldest daughter Johsie is married to Aa Mr. George Hamilton since 17th. October. Isabella the second daughter is approximately two miles from Huntly and is coming every second Sunday. She comes home for the weekend. The two youngest Christine and Bertha are still at home.
As Mr.D. de Bary is only mentioning that you are with a Mr. Wilhel;m Geuter in Darmstadt and that you are married and as he does not mention a road or a street, I can only address this letter with the name of the town "Darmstadt" and hope that you will receive these lines safely.
If you feel like sending me a reply to these lines of mine, please address the envelope:--
With kindest regards to you and your husband, I will be
Children of Bertha Victoria Ollendorff and Johann Peter Wilhelm Geuter are:
- +Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Geuter, b. 27 Jun 1892, Darmstadt, Germany.671, d. 14 Feb 1961671.
- Matilde Wilhelmine Geuter, b. 28 Jun 1893, Darmstadt, Germany.671, d. date unknown.