Australia Day additions to database

Citizens Bar Committee 1858-1861This update includes a mixture of items – some adding to existing ones and others new.  Because this lot includes both Assisted and Unassisted Immigrants to Geelong [actually Point Henry] it seemed appropriate to include this photo of the Geelong Citizens’ Bar Committee 1858-1861 – the group representing the citizens of Geelong to arrange the removal of the sandbar across the entrance to Corio Bay.  This sandbar stopped ships carrying immigrants from overseas from sailing into Corio Bay and the wharves of Geelong.  The end result was these ships dropping anchor east of Point Henry leaving the immigrants a long journey into Geelong.

Some members of the Bar Committee were William G McKELLAR, chairman; Frederick CHAMPION, vice-chairman; and Walter M HITCHCOCK, secretary]; Peter HUDDART; James Clark WALLACE; John MATTHEWS; George A STEPHEN; John NOBLE; and Captain F TROUTON.

We now have 1,486,217 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 30 December 2013:

  • Geelong District: Assisted Immigrants – limited PROV index – 244 entries
  • Geelong District: Unassisted Immigrants – limited PROV index – 3,611 entries
  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1931-1933 – 322 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest – 18 entries
  • Geelong District: Honour Boards – 1,404 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1868 – 1,814 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and the Geelong & District List of Books.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Geelong: Assisted Immigrants Remittances 1856-1858

I do love some of the wonderful hidden treasures amongst the records held at the Public Record Office Victoria – and those that have been transcribed or indexed by the Geelong Family History Group [GFHG].

As part of an ongoing project with the GFHG, volunteers from our region are transcribing or indexing their huge collection and adding them to our Geelong & District database.

This is one of my absolute favourites!  It is part of VPRS 22 / P0: Customs, Shipping and Immigration Records – 8 of the 27 units in this series are specifically Geelong records!  And yes, we’re planning on working on the other records in this series.

To give you an idea on how wonderful these records are, I’ll step you through the details available in our Geelong & District database and the additional information available from the Geelong Family History Group transcriptions.

A search was done in the Geelong & District database for the name CROHAN.There were 43 matching entries [10 Sep 2011] for CROHAN – the ones of particular interest are the four entries for:

  • Bridget CROHAN
  • 23 Sep 1856
  • Geelong: Assisted Immigrants Remittances 1856-1858

 

 CROHAN – search

  Clicking on VIEW for the first entry you will find these details:

  • Bridget CROHAN was the Depositor
  • Mary CURTIN was the Nominee
  • Mary CURTIN was the MOTHER of Bridget CROHAN
  • PROV reference: VPRS 22 / P0 / 15
  • GFHG Reference Number is 70
  • Link to explanation of this record group which includes links to GFHG Research Requests or the Public Record Office web site

CROHAN – results 1

  Clicking on VIEW for the second entry you will find these details:

  • Bridget CROHAN was the Depositor
  • Mary MOYLAN was the Nominee
  • Mary MOYLAN was the SISTER of Bridget CROHAN
  • PROV reference: VPRS 22 / P0 / 15
  • GFHG Reference Number is 70
  • Link to explanation of this record group which includes links to GFHG Research Requests or the Public Record Office web site

CROHAN – results 2

Viewing the third and fourth entries will provide similar information for Thomas MOYLAN and Patrick MOYLAN – probably nephews of Bridget CROHAN.

If you look at the original record at PROV or submit a Research Request for the transcription from the Geelong Family History Group, you will find these details [in addition to those above]:

  • Bridget CROHAN resided with Ed Willis Esq, Barrabool Hills, Geelong
  • Mary CURTIN was aged 50, a housekeeper and widowed
  • Mary MOYLAN was aged 30, a nurse and widowed
  • Thomas MOYLAN was aged 16, a labourer and single
  • Patrick MOYLAN was aged 9 and single
  • The Nominees [CURTIN & MOYLANs] arrived on the ship Echunga on 20 August 1857 [many ship details have been added to the GFHG transcriptions and were not all included in the original transcription]
  • The Nominees’ residence was shown as – Alex Bannalyneby [?], Ennis Mills, Co Clare, Ireland

GFHG Ref No 70 – CROHAN

CROHAN – GFHG transcription [.pdf file]

Some Nominees’ residence details include cottage / house names, and street addresses – who wouldn’t just love that information for their ancestors?  The majority of entries are from Ireland however there are also significant numbers from England and Scotland which also include detailed addresses.

There are 1,289 entries [total number of Nominees] in VPRS 22 / P0 / 15 for 550+ Depositors.  This equates to 2,578 entries in the Geelong & District database – they are “duplicated” so that you can search by both Depositor and Nominee.

These records refer to depositors dealing with the Sub Treasury in Geelong.  There are plenty of similar records out there for Melbourne, other Sub Treasuries, and of course Geelong for different years.  They won’t be handed to you on a platter like these ones!  You will need to search for them.  Make use of the PROV Guide 52: Transport – Immigration Records.  Look in the Correspondence and administrative section – these type of records are found in the Immigration Branch files.

You should also do some background reading for details on immigration remittances, regulations, procedures and rates payable.  These can be found in these Victoria Government Gazettes by searching for the word IMMIGRATION and the dates shown below:

Well, that should keep you busy on what is a very cold September day in Victoria!

Assisted Immigrants – lied about their age and/or their occupation!

How many times have we heard this or found them in our own family research?  It’s “common knowledge” that immigrants lied about their age and / or their occupation to be eligible for the various assisted immigrant schemes – that’s why it’s so good to find proof of this accepted statement!

Digging through an old box of papers in a cupboard at the Geelong Family History Group, a bundle of exciting photocopies was found.  Some are being indexed / transcribed to be added to the Geelong and District Database.  There’s a lot there and the majority relate to the Geelong region.

One two-page document stood out – unlike the others, there was no source written on these pages, however I believe I’ve identified the VPRS number and unit at the Public Record Office Victoria.  Hopefully in the next two weeks we’ll be able to confirm that and then see just what other similar documents we may find in this collection.  This two-page document was a covering letter attached to a “List of Ineligible Immigrants by the ship ‘Joshua’ arrived at Melbourne 30th January 1852″.

Although these arrivals were in Melbourne, I’ve added them to the Geelong and District Database.  And if we find the right VPRS number we’ll definitely be looking for Geelong arrivals to add to the database.  In the meantime I’ve included the entries from this document below.  And take note of the comment for the final entry!

Details of the covering letter can be seen on the Geelong and District Potpourri page.  The letter was dated 9 March 1852.  I haven’t checked each immigrant but the few I have checked were either from Ireland or Scotland.  I’m not sure of the implications of being classed as “ineligible” – these immigrants arrived, some were assigned to employment and others went to family already in the colony.

I hope you find this document as interesting as I did!

MARRIED COUPLES  
ANDREWS, Thomas & Mrs A Lighterman; since employed in a foundry – described as an Agricultural Laborer
BOWLES, James & Mary Ages given in the Nominal List 39 and 39.  They are apparently between 50 and 60, and quite unfit for work
FOURBISTER, Robert & Mrs A Builder, described as an Agricultural Laborer
GUDGEON, Nicholas & Mrs A Fisherman, described as an Agricultural Laborer
MELDRUM, James & Mrs Salesman for five years to Mr Anderson, a Merchant of Dundee, described as a Shepherd
RICKARD, John & Mrs A Gentleman’s Servant for 9 or 10 years, described as an Agricultural Laborer
ROWE, George & Mrs A Gentleman’s Servant, described as an Agricultural Laborer
ROUGET, John & Mrs A Guernsey Fisherman, described as an Agricultural Laborer
SHARMAN, Thomas & Mrs Age stated as 34 – apparently 50 and unfit for work
STANBURY, John & Mrs A Miller, who had failed in business, described as an Agricultural Laborer
SEXTON, Morris & Mrs States that the agent at Killaloo [?sp] (Dr Bourke) told him to describe himself as an Agricultural Labourer – he is really a Coachman
SINGLE MAN  
SIMPSON, William A Coachman, described as an Agricultural Laborer
SINGLE WOMEN  
BOYD, Margaret Age stated as 32 – she is apparently between 45 and 50
BOYD, Mary Age stated as 24 – she is apparently 40
REARDON, Catherine Age stated as 38 – she says she is 52.  This is a very bad case as the woman looks older than her real age
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