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:No 33
November 2008

November seminars
12: South Australian Military ancestors, Park Holme Library, 10:30am
South Australian transported convicts, Kingston Park Mens Probus Club 11:00am
: Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA Centre Adelaide 10:00am

See the seminar program for more details.

SoG and British Origins
One of the better packages available to English researchers has to be that offerred by membership of the Society of Genealogists in London. Not only does membership of the society give you all the benefits expected from membership of a family history society but you also get free access to British Origins.This company provides a significant number of reliably transcribed records and the previous link outlines these.

BDM Certificates
When I recently tried to purchase a Birth Certificate from Victoria I discovered further restricted access regarding births. Within the last 2 years the embargo on access of birth certificates has been extended to 100 years (previously 80). At the same time the Great War Index CD was withdrawn from sale.
This discovery prompted me to check other states and I advise that ACT, NT, QLD, and TAS have also extended embargoes. The changes are reflected on my web page.

Understanding SA shipping records 3
In previous issues we focused on emigrants into nineteenth century South Australia receiving government assistance with their passage and also a range of groups from Germany. Another groups of settlers gained assistance from non-government sources and these are the subject of this article. The largest of these groups came from Scotland and like their counterparts elsewhere came for varying reasons and with support from differing sources.
In this issue:
November seminars
SoG and British Origins
BDM Certificates

Feature article
Understanding SA shipping records 3


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Scottish Poverty and Clearances
Phase 1: 1840–1850: Ad hoc arrangements by individual landlords designed to relieve themselves of the burden of supplementing their poor tenants with food during the effects of the potato famine. Also implemented by some landlords to remove tenants in favour of grazing sheep—the so-called clearances. Well known examples include:
   • Gordon of Cluny sponsored 1700 of his tenants to go to Canada and Australia in 1851.
   • James Matheson, the owner of Lewis—removed 3200 tenants in 1851 with 53 to Canada and Australia.

Fuaigh Mòr or Vuia Mòr is an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland cleared in 1841 for sheep and the photograph shows the ruined crofters' cottages.

Phase 2: 1851: Emigration Advances Act
This Act enabled landlords to secure financial assistance and borrow from public funds to pay the emigration cost of their removed tenants.

Phase 3: 1851–on: Emigration societies expanded
The worldwide depression following the Napoleonic Wars caused hardships for the weavers of Glasgow and Paisley and at the same time the Industrial Revolution saw a move into factories. Wages had fallen to such a level that the workers were forced to pawn their possessions to get food and shelter. Starvation was not uncommon. Groups such as the Glasgow Emigration Society, the Lesmahagow Society and several others were formed to assist those willing to emigrate to Canada. This model was developed later to relieve overpopulation in isolated regions with no industry, infertile land and to combat displaced tenants as a result of the clearances. The main society that sent people to Australia was established in late 1851 as the Skye Emigration Society and in 1852 extended its scope across Scotland and was renamed the Highland & Island Emigration Society.It was funded by subscription and public donations including £300 from HM Queen as Prince Albert was the patron. Interest free means tested loans were given to qualifying tenants to be repaid after they were resettled.

Fifteen ships took these people to Adelaide, Sydney, Portland and Geelong in June and July 1852. The vessels that brought emigrants to South Australia under the scheme were:

Departure date
Departure port
28 Oct 1851
St Anns Cape Breton
HMS Hercules
26 Dec 1852
380 inc 183 transits
7 Jun 1853
63 ex-Hercules
30 Jul 1853
25 ex-Hercules
James Fernie
18 Aug 1854
Royal Albert
15 Aug 1855
16 Jun 1855

It was intended that the Hercules passengers sail from Portree, Isle of Skye [pictured], however, they finally sailed from Campbelltown, in Argyllshire. An outbreak of small-pox and typhus required an extended stay in quarantine at Cork, after which many of the emigrants were assigned to other ships. In the case of those for SA these were the Neptune and the Olivia.

The records for the last three voyages can be found in National Archives of Scotland Series:HD4/5.

Passengers in the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society scheme 1852-1857can be located online at SCAN.

For more information on this topic see Eric Richards; A history of the Highland Clearances Vol2: Emigration, Protest, Reasons, 1985 pp249–283 …also WB Clarke; Emigration from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Earl Grey’s Pauper Immigration Scheme
In 1848–1850 Earl Grey’s Pauper Immigration Scheme was introduced to address problems of labour shortages and sex imbalance in colonies while at the same time relieving the Poor Law Unions’ of the expenses related to aiding the poor in their districts. While individual young poor were sent to SA, one particular group was identifiable, Irish orphans. Orphans, usually girls, were selected from the inmates of Irish workhouses by government officials in areas worst affected by the famine of the 1840s as candidates for migration. Four ships brought these girls to Adelaide:

Arrival date
Roman Emperor
23 Oct 1848
7 Jun 1849
12 Sep 1849
24 Mar 1849

The list of passengers for the Roman Emperor has not survived but attempts have been made to compile a record. The Register newspaper listed most of the girls on the Inconsistent. Passenger lists for the Elgin and Ramilies have survived and can be seen at the usual repositories previously mentioned in this series.

Finding aids
In the first of the series on this topic it was indicated that we would expand on the following avenues of research:
   • Newspapers
   • Other published material
   • Institutional admissions registers
   • Other government records

Newspaper reports including shipping intelligence
Many passenger lists were lost and the only lists now available are those in the newspapers of the day. (GRG 56/68 formerly A1048 & 1174 & indexed newspapers). The indexes are in books listed alphabetically by surname and the given name or initial. The numbers following these names have a letter or letters preceding them.
   • AT represents the Adelaide Times
   • SA represents the South Australian
   • R represents the Register
Therefore R48/60 means the Register of 1848 and the 60th ship listed.
The key to these volumes is also in book form.

Obituaries of deceased pioneers especially in small regional and church newspapers may also supply shipping information. A number of such have been recorded and an online database is available for searching some of this material.

A complete run of the Register and Observer are held at SAGHS and the SLSA. All the other newspapers mentioned are at the SLSA only.

Other published material
The Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885 and South Australians 1836-1885 are often the only place where some passengers are linked to emigrant vessels. These books published by SAGHS in the late 1980s were compiled from a range of sources including the public and often individual family knowledge is the only surviving evidence of how some families came to SA. Both SLSA and SAGHS hold extensive collections of published family and local histories and their indexes should be checked for this information. As with all such compiled material every effort should be made to confirm the contents, but in the end they may contain the only surviving reference! The book version of Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885 is rather limited unless surnames are known but the SAGHS library has a searchable version on their computers.

Institutional admissions registers
   • Adelaide Hospital Admissions Register 1841–1961 GRG 78/49
   • Register of admissions to Destitute Lying-in Home, Flinders Street 1864–68 GRG 28/34
   • Register of prisoners - prisoners admission book - Mount Gambier Gaol 1866–1935 GRG54/184
   • Destitute Asylum Admissions Registers 1870–1924 GRG 28/5
   • Register of admissions to the Magill Home 1924–50 GRG29/54
Admissions to these institutions required the private data about the inmate including the name of the emigrant ship be entered into the register. SASR and SAGHS hold card indexes for the Adelaide Hospital but the original data is only at SASR.

Other government records
Records such as Colonial Secretary’s Office correspondence files GRG 24/4; 24/6; police and court records—in fact any government department that your ancestor may have had dealings with and as part of that process had to supply personal details may contain shipping information. The problem faced by the researcher is the lack of any detailed indexing. Such indexing projects are the very sort of activity just waiting for a team of dedicated and capable volunteers!

Mary Hodge Index
A significant number of emigrants arrived in SA and quickly moved on to eastern colonies usually by coastal vessel in the earliest days, thence by coach and later by train. Likewise other settlers arrived in the other Australian colonies and made their way to SA. Such people may be found in the Mary Hodge Index 1836-1959 which covers arrivals and departures from intercolonial and intercoastal ports for the years 1836–1859. It was compiled from newspapers and gives details of people coming to and leaving from Adelaide from intercoastal, intercolonial ports and New Zealand. Details given are surname, title, given name (but more likely initials only), the ship name and type, master, port of embarkation/ destination and newspaper details of name and date. The index can be seen at SLSA and SAGHS.

Please note that this and the previous two newsletters have covered nineteenth century shipping only. The only twentieth century records referred to are those that may include nineteenth century events.
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