Missionary Clamor W Schürmann (1815-1893)

Clamor W Schürmann - Person Profile

Clamor W Schurmann was a missionary of the Dresden Mission Society in South Australia between 1838 and 1852 and a Pastor of the Lutheran Church in Australia until 1893.


Full Name:
Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann
Other Names: CW, CWS, Pastor Schü/u/uermann (anglisized: Shurman)
Date of Birth: 7 June 1815 Place of Birth: Schledehausen, near Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Kingdom of Hanover
Date of Death 3 March 1893 Place of Death: Bethany, South Australia
Parents Johann Adam Schuermann, farm worker (1774-1816)
Maria Elisabeth Schuermann, nee Ebcker (1780-1826)
Siblings six boys:
1. Johann Friedrich SCHURMANN+ (*1805, +1845, USA)
2. Johann Heinrich SCHURMANN (1807-1813)
3. Johann Adam SCHURMANN(SHURMAN)+ (*1809, +1852 Benares (Calcutta), India)
4. Johann Christoph SCHURMANN (1811-1811)
5. Johann Heinrich Christoph SCHURMANN (1813-?, successful business man in Cincinnati, Kentucky, USA)
6. Clamor Wilhelm SCHURMANN (1815-1893)

After the father's death, mother Maria Elisabeth remarried and had three more children. She passed away 1826 after giving birth to twins (?).1 ]

Collated by Trevor Nagorcka and others.2 ] 

Married on 11.02.1847 at Encounter Bay [Victor Harbour], SA
Married to Wilhelmina Charlotte Maschmedt (Minna)

1. Rudolph Heinrich
Born: March 19, 1848 at Encounter Bay, South Australia
Married: Sophie Sudholz
Died: 1942?
2. Luise
Born: November 4, 1849 at Port Lincoln, South Australia
Died: May 11,1853 at Hoffnungsthal, South Australia – 3 years, 6 months, 7 days
Buried May 14, 1853 at Klemzig, Adelaide
3. Ernst Edward
Born: January 20, 1851 at Port Lincoln
Died: May 25, 1860, at Hochkirch from diphtheria – 11 years 4 months 3 days
Buried: South Hamilton Lutheran Cemetery
4. Carl
Born: April 8, 1853 at Hoffnungsthal
Married: 1885 to Therese Nichterlein
Died: November 9, 1941 at Natimuk, aged 88 years
5. Gotthardt
Born: November 1, 1854 at Hochkirch
Married: Anna Catherine Sudholz
6. Bernhardt
Born: April 8, 1856 at Hochkirch
Married: Auguste Schultz at Hochkirch on April 24, 1879
Died: December 14, 1922
Buried: South Hamilton Lutheran Cemetery
7. Bertha
Born: April 25, 1857 at Hochkirch
Married: September 14, 1876 at Hochkirch to
George Wilhelm Sudholz, farmer, aged 24, Gillies Plains, S. A.
Died: January 1883 at Adelaide during childbirth
8. Johannes
Born: July 17, 1858 at Hochkirch
Died: September 19,1858 at Hochkirch – 2 months, 2 days
Buried: South Hamilton Lutheran Cemetery
9. Marie
Born: November 16, 1859 at Hochkirch
Died: January 19, 1860 at Hochkirch – 2 months, 3 days
Buried: South Hamilton Lutheran Cemetery

Data collated by Betty Huf, Tarrington, Victoria3 ]

Burial Lutheran Cemetery, South Hamilton, Vcitoria, Australia.

Primary Sources:

  • Two versions of an autobiography (1836 and 1838) [CWS-A 1836] and a few archival documents
  • His diary for the period as missionary in South Australia, 1838-1852 [CWS-D]
  • Publications, in particular two dictionaries on the Aboriginal languages of the Kaurna people on the Adelaide Plains and the Barngarla people on Eyre Peninsula, and an ethnographic description of the Barngarla people
  • Letters and reports sent to the Dresden Mission Society and to the various partners in the early Australian Lutheran Church, held by the Archives of the LCA in Adelaide and the Leipzig Mission archive at the Francke Foundations in Halle, Germany
  • Correspondence with the Colonial Secretary’s Office in Adelaide, SA State Archives
  • 60 sermon drafts as handwritten notes on A6 (Post card size) paper (approx. 400 pages), held by ALCA

For more details see under Bibliography.

Global Time Line

The life of CWS can be structured into three major periods:

  • 1815 to 1838: Childhood and youth in Germany and his journey to South Australia
  • 1838 to 1853: Lutheran Missionary in South Australia
  • 1853 to 1893: Lutheran Pastor in Western Victoria


(based on [CWS-A 1836], if not indicated otherwise)

  • Pious Christian parents in a Lutheran church context in the neighbourhood to Protestant Lutheran Osnabrück
  • Primary School Education until 1829, in the responsibility mainly of his mother (“her touchingly steadfast faith left a deep impression upon me [crossed out: and my brother] and had a decisive influence on my future life” [CWS-A 1838]), then by his stepfather
  • Confirmation in the Lutheran Church in 1829
  • As a son in farmer’s family, CWS was literate
  • Jänicke Missionary Training Institute 1832 to 1836; studied “Latin, English, Greek and Hebrew languages, and as well Geography, world history and [crossed out: very little] church history, and in addition further public speaking as a pastor” [CWS-A 1838]. “[B]esides the antique languages Hebrew, Greek and Latin he also studied English and Chinese."4 ]  Evidence of his Hebrew and Chinese studies are two language note books in the possession of ALCA.
  • Missionary studies at the newly established Dresden Mission school 1 September 1836 to beginning of 1838.
  • Together with his fellow missionary G Teichelmann, CWS copies and studies the previously published language works by Lancelot Threlkeld on the Awabakal language spoken around Lake Macquarie and Newcastle in New South Wales
  • Acquires command of the languages spoken by the Aboriginal people on the Adelaide Plains (Kaurna) and Ramindjeri (Encounter Bay), and in the late 1840s of Barngarla (Parnkalla) spoken on parts of Eyre Peninsula.
  1. Jan Schürmann pc 19.07.2012 [ ▲ ]
  2. Nagorcka, Trevor. 2003. 223. [ ▲ ]
  3. Huf, Betty. 1998. 546. [ ▲ ]
  4. Certificate by The Preacher Dr Rückert, Berlin, August 27, 183[6], MS attachment to minutes of Theological Exams and Ordination at the Ducal Consistory in Altenburg, 1 and 2 February 1838.  ThStA 50 9/238 / 1a.  Transcript:  Antje Fasshauer, Translation: GR [ ▲ ]

For reference:

Gerhard Rüdiger. Missionary Clamor W Schürmann (1815-1893) :: Clamor W Schürmann - Person Profile , in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 10.11.2014. Last updated: 14.01.2019.)
Direct URL: <www.grweb.org/cpo-pirltawardli/en/detail.php?rubric=people_colonial_SchurmannCW&nr=256>. Viewed 04.07.2020.