Earl Grey’s Irish Famine Orphans (16):Orphans’ Arrival and early days in Australia

Using the new ‘block’ editor. Yet to do the actual editing!

trevo's Irish famine orphans

Arrival and early days

“And after the commanded journey, what?…A gazing out from far away, alone”

(Seamus Heaney, Lightenings)

It looks like I’ll be trying to square the circle once more. Searching for reliable sources that describe the arrival and early days of the Famine orphans in Australia is one thing. Trying to find what the young women themselves thought of the experience, is another. Allow me to keep the training I’ve had as an academic historian. At the same time, please cut me cut some slack when it comes to ‘inventing’ the orphans’ voice. As before, my idea of their voice will appear in blue typeface.I’ll look for other sources too, poetry reading, pictures and the like, so wemay imagine the orphans other than through the eyes of officialdom.


Surgeon Strutt’s diary hasan exemplary account of theThomas Arbuthnot arriving in Sydney…

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4 thoughts on “Earl Grey’s Irish Famine Orphans (16):Orphans’ Arrival and early days in Australia

  1. Hi Trevor
    I am researching my brother in law’s family for my nieces and came across your work in conjunction to Sarah Spannell (sometimes Spunnell and variants) born 1834 in Barbados but who I have traced to arriving in Australia via the Pemberton in 1849. At this stage I am brickwalled at who her parents were. Sarah married John Mason in 1851 and died in 1921. I am hoping you may be able to make suggestions as to how I can answer the questions I have …..
    I am working my way through your site but with your previous connection to the Caribbean I thought you may be able to make some suggestions as to where I go from here. How does a Barbados born child born to a regiment man end up on this ship? I have many, many questions.


  2. Good Morning Trevor. I had been searching for the sister of my G.G mother Rose Murphy (1850’s) for over 20 years with no success. She was Catherine Murphy and they arrived here together on the Diadem.
    I searched BDM records for many years. Paid for Research at the Port Fairy History group where it was thought she had moved to, but had no luck. A simple 5 line note in Desperately Seeking, in the Herald-Sun had a reply within 5 days. She Did shift to the Port Fairy- Portland area, but did not marry until after her 9th child. She married a Thomas Talbot and there is an extended family still in the area. Regards Keith Towe. pkironwood@bigpond.com ps enjoy reading your blogs.


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