Schmidt, Richard Wilhelm Dr

Date of Birth/Death:


Richard Wilhelm Schmidt

Richard Wilhelm/William Schmidt was born 1821 in Silesia, Prussia the son of Wilhelm (William) Ludwig Schmidt and Christiane Ulrike Thomann. His father was also a medical practitioner. He married Amelia Kapitzky at the Scottish Church, Adelaide on 23 July 1850. (Victorian birth certificates of their children suggest they had married in 1848 in Berlin). They had several children, most of whom were born in Victoria:

  • Maximillian Richard William Schmidt born c1852 (not registered – possibly South Australia)
  • Bernhard Frederick Schmidth [sic] later Smith born 1853 Victoria, died South Australia 1925
  • Clara Amalia Schmidt, later McDonald, born 1855 Victoria, died 1924 Bendigo, Victoria
  • Mary Schmidt born 1857 Victoria, died 1857
  • Albert Schmidt born 1857 Victoria died 1857
  • Albert William Schmidt born 1859 Victoria, married but death date unknown
  • Bertha Schmidt born 1861 Victoria, died 1861 Victoria
  • Stillborn daughter 1862 Victoria

Dr Schmidt gained his medical qualification in Berlin in 1847. He arrived in South Australia 30 August 1849 on the Wilhelmina Maria from Hamburg as the surgeon-superintendent. That same year he bought the Willunga medical practice from Dr William Parr Hill and lived in the vacant Police House near the Old Courthouse until he built a residence on St Andrew’s Terrace. On 5 April 1850 he was registered to practise as a medical practitioner in South Australia. An 1850-51 land transaction is recorded at the General Registry Office in Adelaide presumably for his St Andrew’s Terrace property. However, Dr Schmidt’s stay in Willunga was very short because by 24 June 1851 he was at Kooringa (Burra). By November 1853 he was residing and practising in Castlemaine, Victoria. Like many early physicians, he struggled to support his large family when his practice failed financially, and in April 1865 he was declared insolvent. Three years later (April 1868) he was discharged as an insolvent.

He died suddenly on 24 October 1868 at Clunes, Victoria, and in May of the following year his wife died.



Willunga National Trust Branch, Willunga Doctors, Folder 42:9.

Willunga National Trust Branch, Willunga District Doctors 1841-1909,

1849 ‘LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.’, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900), 5 September, p. 3. ,

Sharon Burnell, Descendant of Richard Wilhelm Schmidt, private emails, and Burnell-Wood-Guy-Schmidt Family Tree

Creswick and Clunes Advertiser: Transcripts of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1859-1865. [microform], [This reference from Sharon Burnell for the Stillborn daughter 1862.]

Extracts from SA General Registry (GRO) Information

‘Richard Wilhelm Schmidt’, Australian Medical Pioneers

Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928,

Ancestry, United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers 1751-1921,

1850 ‘GOVERNMENT GAZETTE.’, Adelaide Times (SA : 1848 – 1858), 5 April, p. 3. ,

Genealogy SA,

1865 ‘NEW INSOLVENTS.’, The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), 14 January, p. 5.,

1867 ‘NEW INSOLVENTS.’, The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), 14 January, p. 4. ,

1868 ‘SUPREME COURT.’, The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), 11 April, p. 6. ,

1868 ‘NEWS AND NOTES.’, The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924), 13 April, p. 2. ,

Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria,

1868 ‘NEWS AND NOTES.’, The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924), 27 October, p. 2. ,

1868 ‘SOCIAL.’, The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924), 7 November, p. 4. ,




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