Irish Workhouse Orphan Emigration to Australia 1848-1850
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Media: BOOK - paperback, 56 pages
Author: P. McIntyre & R. Reid
Other: b&w & colour photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Unlock the Past
One of the now best-known stories of Irish emigration to Australia is that of the Irish 'orphan girls'. Sent between 1848 and 1850 from union workhouses all over Ireland at the height of the 'Great Famine', their plight has captured the imagination of family historian. To have an Irish orphan in the lineage has become as absorbing as finding a convict once was.
How can an individual orphan's story be unravelled? Only by careful research using what, until recent times, were volumes of Irish workhouse Boards of Guardians minutes, and other related material, literally mouldering away in the cupboards and outhouses of Irish county institutions. Now mostly saved in proper repositories, the information in them about the scheme - the so-called Earl Grey orphan scheme - that brought girls to Adelaide, Port Phillip and Sydney can be linked with British Colonial Office records, Australian immigrant shipping lists, and other arrival material in state archives.
Such research reveals fascinating glimpses of the circumstances and the journey that took and Irish orphan from the poverty of an Irish workhouse to the possibilities of a better life in the colonies.
This publication describes the most important of those records and the sort of individual and contextual information that can be extracted from them.
The Irish ''orphan girls' 1848-1850
The Great Famine, Australian assisted emigration and the orphan girls 1848-1850
Orphan selection and the journey to Australia 1848-1850
- healthy, ragged, dirty: in the workhouse
- weeded them all myself: selected for Australia
- the comfortable appearance of these young women: preparation and the journey to Plymouth
- a fine run of ninety-five days: the voyage to Australia
- Port of Arrival 1848-1850
- Irish orphan immigrant ships 1848-1850
- sent away as fast as they could be disposed of: early days in the colonies
- Registers and indexes of applications for orphans 1848-1851, State Archives NSW
- 'Ship Return', Mitchell Library, State Library NSW
- 'Registers of Assisted Immigration from the United Kingdom, 1839-1871, Public Record Office of Victoria
- one of the greatest books ever conferred on the colony: Irish orphans - colonial lives
Remembering the Famine orphans
Some suggested websites
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