Earl Grey’s Irish Famine orphans (30): what’s involved in writing orphan stories

This reblog of a 2016 post is to alert you to the next Earl Grey orphan history that will appear in tintean.org.au on 7 October. May I encourage you to subscribe to the magazine?https://tintean.org.au/about/ Doing so will inform you when the next issue, and subsequent orphan stories appear. Each history is written by an orphan descendant with the focus largely on what became of the orphan and her family in Oz.

trevo's Irish famine orphans


St Stephen's Green, Dublin: Famine sculpture detail
St Stephen’s Green, Dublin: Famine sculpture detail

I wonder why we need to assess the contribution of the orphans to Australia. Is itjust something historians do, deluded fools that we are? There havebeen a number of attempts already. The orphans were workhouse refuse/deadwood tipped out on poor unsuspecting colonists by British imperialists. Or were they’mothers to the Australian character’ whose ‘descendants enjoyed opportunities unheard of in Ireland’? There’s a great array of views about the orphans’ history on the Irish Famine memorial website that are worth pondering, athttp://www.irishfaminememorial.org/en/events/I wonder if speeches made at the Melbourne annual gathering in November are also available. Does anyone know?

I’ve even dabbled a little myself in the past, in the introduction to Barefoot and Pregnant?, volume one, in the magazine, History Ireland in 2000, and in the description of the Earl Grey scheme on the Irish Famine memorial website. See for…

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10 thoughts on “Earl Grey’s Irish Famine orphans (30): what’s involved in writing orphan stories

  1. Is there any area one can research the Thomas Arbuthnot orphans that came to Moreton Bay. I’m researching one Mary Murray who was sent to work for a Mr W Foster, Clarence River. Research in 1850 indicates that Mr Foster was running a station in the Gin Gin area. No marriage record has been found for Mary Murray to one Patrick Hayes (Exile Convict) who obtain a ticket of leave to one W. Foster in 1851. Mary Murray death certificate for August 1875 records her parents as unknown, born in Dublin and married in Gin Gin to Thomas Hayes. Regards Chris


  2. Any info on my g-g-grandmothers Margaret Fitzgerald ( parents James Fitzgerald and Catherine Donovan) arrived Port Phillip pre 1853 and lived at Kyneton. Married convict James Greenough at Saint Francis Elizabeth st 1853. Also Elizabeth Henry of Derry, (parents Will Henry and Jane Gilmore) married John Jeffery at Williamstown in1859. cheers rod


  3. Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris

    Why? Because they played a great part in the founding of our country… despite many of them being looked down at as ‘not real immigrants’ if you look back at some of the almost dismissive comments about them. I appreciate that you have always given them the credit that they deserve and told their stories as they should be, honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good evening, Do you have any information on Elizabeth Carbery and her Sister Mary Carbery who came out on the Ship Palestine in 1953 from the Mount Bellew Workhouse, my GG/Grandmother was orphaned from the Potato famine, she married James Maguire and settled in Dardanup, Western Australia. Regards, Jan Boschetto


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