Hundreds of Giesemanns unite in Gatton for reunion
ONE of the region's largest family reunions graced UQ Gatton's dining hall at the weekend, with 215 Giesemann relatives uniting for the first time in 31 years.
The couple who started it all was Catherine and August Giesemann, who immigrated to Queensland from Germany in 1870.
In 1878, they owned two farms in the Hatton Vale/Summerholm district and moved to Laidley in 1882, rapidly acquiring in excess of 50 properties covering more than 1000 acres including hotels, farms, residential and commercial.
Many of their properties still stand today.
Organiser and great-great- granddaughter Katrina Foley said the reunion was about coming together to pay tribute to Laidley's early pioneers, while preserving the Giesemann legacy for future generations.
In the hall, 11 large tables were marked out with the names of each of August and Catherine's children.
They had 13 children, though only 11 survived.
Eldest relative and one of the four original Giesemann grandchildren Muriel Jamieson, 99, said she loved reconnecting with her family again.
"It's so nice seeing my first cousins again too, there's not many of us left,” she said.
"My grandfather August had passed when I was born and I was only two when my grandmother died. But Mother talked about them so much, especially about her mum (Catherine).
"What they did for Laidley has been inspiring.”
Between 1885 and 1913, Catherine Giesemann bought many properties in her own name including all the land in Patrick St from William St to the post office stretching to the west including the site of the Laidley Bowls Club.
August Giesemann bought the Queensland National Hotel land in 1882 and built the Bridge Hotel which he sold in 1889.
It was then destroyed by fire in 1890 and replaced by the QN.
He also owned many other properties in Laidley and farms in Forest Hill.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of August Giesemann's death, and a memorial to the family founders stands in Laidley Cemetery.