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J Gerlach Naturalization

Naturalization of Johanne Beate GERLACH nee LESKE, Certificate No 24034, 24th January 1917, 16/30823. Reproduced with permission of The Australian Archives.

 Commonwealth of Australia



1. I   Johanne Beate Gerlach
of   Horsham in Victoria   Widow
hereby apply for a Certificate of Naturalization under the Naturalization Act 1903.

2. I am by birth a   German subject 

3. I arrived in Australia from  Posen in Germany
    on the first        day of   January     in the year  1850
per the   I forgot the name of the boat and have no record thereof
    and disembarked at the port of   Adelaide.

4. Since my arrival in Australia I have resided at Lobethal in South Australia from
    1850 to 1884 and at Horsham in Victoria from 1884 to the date hereof.

5. I have resided in Australia continuously for a period

of sixty six  years immediately preceding the date of this Application.

6. I forward herewith a Statutory Declaration, setting forth the particulars required
    by Section 6, Sub-section (1), paragraph (a) of the said Act.

7. I am a widow.

8. I have   five  children    four boys who reside at Horsham and one girl who is married
    and resides at Beulah.

9. I am not a naturalized subject or citizen of any other country.

10. I forward also a certificate signed by Thomas Young of Horsham in Victoria a Justice
     of the Peace
   to the effect that I am known by   him and am a person of good repute.

Johanne Beate Gerlach

Dated at   Horsham  the 1st December 1916



I, Johanne Beate Gerlach of Horsham   in Victoria, Widow   do solemnly and sincerely declare that -

1. My name is  Johanne Beate Gerlach.

2. My age is 75 years, and I was born on the twenty seventh day of June in the year 1841,
    at      Posen         in the   Province of Posen    in the Country of    Germany.

3. My occupation is that of   Widow.

4. My place of residence is  Wilson Street Horsham
    in the State of Victoria.
    in the Commonwealth of Australia.

5. I have been resident in Australia for   66 years.

6. I intend to settle in the Commonwealth.

I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of an Act of the Parliament of Victoria rendering persons making false declarations punishable for wilful and corrupt perjury.

Made and declared before me
at   Horsham
this  first
day of December                                                       Johanne Beate Gerlach
1916                                                                           --------------------------------

Edward Harrison JP
Police Magistrate.



 I   Thomas Young
Justice of the Peace   residing at
Horsham    in the State of        Victoria       in the Commonwealth
of Australia do certify that     Johanne Beate Gerlach     an applicant for a Certificate of Naturalization under the Naturalization Act 1903, is known to me and is a person of good repute.

Signed Thomas Young.



Some of the letters sent between Weldon, Power & Bennett (Johanne Beate GERLACH's solicitors in Horsham) and The Department of External Affairs in Melbourne.

Dept. of External Affairs to Solicitors, December 6th 1916.

"I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, forwarding an application for naturalization by Johanne Beate Gerlach, and to request that you will inform me whether this lady's late husband was naturalized? If so, when and where? Also state what his nationality was."


Solicitors to Department, letter dated 8th of December 1916.

Replying to your letter of yesterday's date. Mrs Gerlach cannot say definitely whether her late husband Johannes Emanuel Gerlach was naturalised. In his time he was a school master of a Lutheran School at Lobethal in South Australia and Mrs Gerlach understood he was naturalized. However from searches at home, since the war started, no trace of naturalization can be discovered. Likewise, searches at the proper Offices in Adelaide proved negative. The late Mr Gerlach was born in the town of Bomst in Posen in Germany and his birth must have taken place during 1841 because he told Mrs Gerlach he was 9 years of age when he reached Adelaide, 1st January 1850 - the same day that Mrs Gerlach did. He died about the year 1890. We would mention that this old lady is physically infirm and is always in a state of anxiety as to the requirements of the Police (who, by the way, so she informs us, have treated her most considerately) and we think that the grant of a Certificate of Naturalization to her would be a proper measure of relief at her advanced age.

Yours Obediently,
Weldon Power & Bennett.


Letter to solicitors from Department of External Affairs.

11 December 1916

I have the honour to request you to kindly furnish as early as possible a Police report as to the history and character of Johanne Beate Gerlach, Wilson Street Horsham, Vic. an applicant for naturalization. I shall be glad if the report will touch upon the applicant's association with other Germans and give the reason why she did not become naturalized earlier. It should also state whether in the opinion of the officer making the enquiry, the applicant is a fit and proper person to be naturalized.

Application herewith which please return with report.

I have the honour to be Sir, Your obedient Servant."



Horsham   Station           Wimmera Police District
December 21st 1916

REPORT OF M H Wilson, Const 5477
Relative to Johanne Beate Gerlach an applicant for a certificate of Naturalization.

"I have to report that Johanne Beate Gerlach is a widow 75 years of age living in Wilson Street Horsham. She has resided in Horsham since the year 1884 and as far as I can learn she has been a law abiding citizen during her residence here.

She is the mother of five children, four sons and one daughter. Three of the sons are personally known to me, they are married with young families and bear a good character here.

One of the sons was a councillor for the Borough of Horsham for some years and during his holding that position he was Mayor of Horsham and a Justice of the peace, which position he filled creditably.

This applicant seldom leaves her home and her associates are very few. The only persons she would meet would be visitors to her.

From enquires made I learned that this woman was young when she came to Australia . She did not become naturalized earlier because she regards herself as an Australian and did not realize the value of being Naturalized until she was placed on parole. It never, she states entered her mind to do so until war broke out.

In my opinion this applicant is a fit and proper person to be naturalized."

M H Wilson
Const. 5477
Horsham 21 / 12 / 1916



I   Johanne Beate Gerlach  do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George V.

His heirs and successors according to law. So Help Me God!
                                                       Signature Johanne Beate Gerlach



I   Edward Harrison
Police Magistrate in and for the State of Victoria
do hereby certify that on the first day of December 1916

  Johanne Beate Gerlach

of    Horsham    in the State of   Victoria, Widow

an applicant for a Certificate of Naturalization appeared before me and took the Oath of Allegiance in the above form

Signature Edward Harrison
Police Magistrate.


Commonwealth of Australia


By virtue of the Naturalization Act 1903, I  The Governor- General in and over the Commonwealth of Australia, with the advice of The Federal Executive Council, grant to     Johanne Beate Gerlach   an alien, being a native of   Posen  in Germany and of the age of seventy five years this Certificate of Naturalization whereby the said
Johanne Beate Gerlach      becomes entitled to all POLITICAL and other RIGHTS, POWERS and PRIVILEGES and becomes subject to all OBLIGATIONS to which a NATURAL BORN BRITISH SUBJECT is entitled or subject in the Commonwealth.

Provided that where by any provision of the Constitution or of any Act or State Constitution or Act a distinction is made between the RIGHTS, POWERS. or PRIVILEGES of NATURAL BORN BRITISH SUBJECTS and those of persons naturalized in the Commonwealth or in a State, the RIGHTS, POWERS, and PRIVILEGES conferred by the granting of this Certificate shall for the purposes of that provision be only those (if any) to which persons so naturalized are therein expressed to be entitled.

GIVEN under my hand and the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Australia at Melbourne    the twenty fourth day     of    January      One thousand nine hundred and seventeen.