Earl Grey’s Irish Famine Orphans (70): Tinteán

Some Good News

Just in case you haven’t heard already, the Irish-Oz online magazine http://tintean.org.au intends running a series of orphan histories over the next few months, beginning this Saturday 7 September.

Last month, August 2019, the editors approached me to help organize it. I was happy to do so for their philosophy is very much in line with my own. Open access to knowledge lies at the core of every republic of letters.

Bridget Flood per Eliza Caroline; from Waterford to Port Phillip

I am also an acquaintance/friend of one of Tinteán‘s editors whose work i happen to admire. She is a world authority on James Joyce and Joseph Furphy, and an editor of great skill and integrity who will do the contributors proud.

Mary Doherty per Eliza Caroline; Carrick-on-suir to Port Phillip

A small number of people have accepted an invitation to write a short narrative history of ‘their’ orphan ‘girl’. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It is wonderful to see the orphans stay close to you 170 years after their arrival in Australia.

Honora Shea per New Liverpool; Kilkenny to Port Phillip

The first history will appear 7 September inst. How long the series runs will depend on how it’s received, i imagine. Would you like to subscribe to the magazine? It’s free, and easy to unsubscribe. See the top right hand of this webpage https://tintean.org.au/about/ And don’t be afraid of letting us know your reaction.

How many millihelens (the word is from Sinéad Morrissey’s On Balance) would it take to launch another series, do you think?

Eliza McDermott per Tippoo Saib; Roscommon to Port Jackson

Wabi Sabi

8 thoughts on “Earl Grey’s Irish Famine Orphans (70): Tinteán

    • Thanks Perry. I’ll pass on your offer to tintean. Keep warm in Dub.
      There’s a comment recently made to my post 17 from a Matthew Ryan who has a Bathurst orphan ancestor. You probably know him already. Sent your message to Frances.


  1. Greetings again Trevor – People may be interested to go to


    and read about placage and the casketeers.

    “Plaçage was a recognized extralegal system in French and Spanish slave colonies of North America (including the Caribbean) by which ethnic European men entered into civil unions with non-Europeans of African, Native American and mixed-race descent. The term comes from the French placer meaning “to place with”. The women were not legally recognized as wives but were known as placées; their relationships were recognized among the free people of color as mariages de la main gauche or left-handed marriages. ”

    And so on. Because there’s an interesting comment on how France was trying to palm off surplus prostitutes etc on the settlers.

    “France also relocated young women orphans known as King’s Daughters (French: filles du roi) to their colonies for marriage: to both Canada and Louisiana. France recruited willing farm- and city-dwelling women, known as casket or casquette girls, because they brought all their possessions to the colonies in a small trunk or casket.”

    But apparently these white women were also not good enough? Or not numerous enough. – Do read the whole article. Hence the need to form liaisons with local women. ((This discussion ties into the recent movie, book etc on Belle, whose father took her home to the UK to be reared by his uncle. See

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido_Elizabeth_Belle ))

    Do we similarities with the Irish Orphan experience? If Britain didn’t want them, they must be unwantable? And there they were, arriving with all their possessions in their little wooden boxes . . . We have to assume that people will try an old way of doing something rather than go to the bother of thinking, or seeing people as individuals.

    Keep well ! Eat more chocolate !

    migs eder
    New Zealand


  2. I admin a face book group, which has many members who have convicts, many of which were Irish orphans. If this is successful and you would like more contributions please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s really exciting! If you do need any more posts for it, I would happily offer to do one on Mary and Catherine Moriarty, the latter of whom is my ancestor. Both came on the Thomas Arbuthnot. I’m also a historian and really enjoy biographical history. Looking forward to reading the upcoming pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

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