Frederick William Wenzel was born in 1832 in Girbigsdorft, Prussia, near the River Oder, son of Gottfried Wenzel and Johanna Dorothea Neuman. Nothing is known of his early life or that of his parents. His sister Pauline Emily, was born in 1840.
William, as he was known, left the Sprutan area of Prussia in 1849, sailing from Hamburg aboard the"Emmy" on the 11th September. He was accompanied by his mother Dorothea and 9 year old sister. His father was listed in the passenger list as being "dead" when the ship arrived in Melbourne, Victoria in December. Family remours indicate that he died suddenly on the wharf at Hamburg and his wife and children decided to continue their planned voyage to Australia. It is not known whether he was buried at sea or in Hamburg.