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!
|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|
|SIMPSON, William||A Coachman, described as an Agricultural Laborer|
|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|