My husband's family are very fortunate as his great grandfather travelled back to Germany from Armidale, NSW from May to September 1885. While visiting family he sent many letters back to Australia and kept a diary of his time overseas. I'll post his letters on the day they were written. These letters can be seen at the University of New England (UNE) Archive in Armidale, NSW, Australia. Biographical Entry
the 13 Aug 1885
My Dear Wife and Children
Last week I sent you a letter informing you that I thought I would be unable to go through America home. Now I must inform you that I could get no passage in the ship Austral which I was intended to do because it is full and that a full week before she is ready to sail and there would be no other ship leaving before the 5 September so I took passage through America to Sydney which cost me £32.5.0 and am leaving tomorrow evening from this port for Philadelphia. I hope this will find you all well the same as it leaves me and give my best respects to all who inquire.
Your loving Husband and Father
Jacob F Scheef
I hope to be with you again in two months time. I have got knives for all of you from my sister and from my brother-in-law the photographs of his family and my sister promised to send the likeness of herself and family to Australia to me I have also got various kinds of seeds amongst it the plum seeds which is fit for drying purposes and which I always wanted also corn long stone turnips onions and a few ears of good wheat.
I may write again soon from America but the letter from there will not be home before me.
J F S
I am glad that I am homeward bound.