With all the talk/hype in the papers and on the news lately, it is timely to remember that many of us in Australia are descended from our own ‘boat people’ – convicts and free who were seeking a better life for themselves and their families. This week's Sepia Saturday prompt relates to this theme.
My ancestors brought their own beliefs, customs and recipes, and more with them.
Some, like my father’s Cornish ancestors, married entirely within their own communities resulting in my father being technically half-Cornish even though all his grandparents were born here.
|The FitzJames carried my 3great |
grandparents James and Nanny Grenfell
and four of their children in July 1866
It has been said that some, maybe many, convicts committed minor crimes in order to get transported because of the reports that were filtering back from early Australia to the UK. Is this much different to what is happening now?
I suppose my convict ancestors didn’t have to pay in monetary terms to get here, but they were certainly a cost to someone.
My free ancestors were ‘fleeing’ poverty, workhouses and declining industry/mining, paying for their passage and probably not having much left in their pockets when they arrived here.
My father-in-law arrived post WWII with not much more than about £20 in his pocket. He worked hard and also caught and sold rabbits to make his way and save enough to bring his wife and boys here from the Netherlands, by boat.
Here are some of the ‘boats’ that my ancestors came to Australia on.
The first three are from photos purchased by my parents from “a state library or museum” and the others are from the wonderful A D Edwardes Collection and the State Library of South Australia (via Trove).
|The Atalanta carried my 2great grandmother Emma Augusta|
Farmilo nee Hodges (later Terry) and her first husband
and child, arriving in June 1856
|The Cospatrick brought my 3great grandparents, Phillip and|
Mary Bluett/Blewett and two of their children to Melbourne
in March 1871. The Cospatrick was to burn and sink with
huge loss of life on a voyage in 1874, approx 470 died.
|The Lincolnshire carried my 11 year old 2great grandmother|
Emma Laura Rowden and her stepmother to Melbourne in
September 1864. Her father had arrived nine years earlier.