Why London?

Discussion in 'County Kerry' started by spison, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. spison

    spison Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to understand my Walsh (and Mahony and Rourke) families who were connected by various marriages. They left Kerry, Ireland, and came to the Isle of Dogs, London from at least between 1851 and 1858. I'm almost absolutely certain that they left due to the famine. From London many then came on to Australia but some remained in London with only their children coming to NSW. It is suspected that at least one left from one of the major western ports of England but this cannot be verified. Because so many left Ireland and because they seemed to be quickly and comfortably established in NSW, I am reasoning confident that they were fairly well off in Ireland but have no proof of the family's circumstances.

    Why might they have chosen London and not, say, Liverpool, Bristol or Newport?

    Any suggestions will be gratefully absorbed. I will also eventually post another thread to attempt to locate the family members I know to have been in London but cannot find.

    Thanks
    Jane
     
  2. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman. Rest in Peace.

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    Well, there could be many reasons Jane, but, for example, I have a London forebear who sailed for Tasmania with his wife and child and his wife's half-sister. They went on an assisted passage scheme run by the "Family Colonization Loan Society" which meant they only had to pay part of the fare and the rest was made up by the Society.

    I have a suspicion that many people think that people emigrated to Australia because they were criminals, but in this case he was just an ordinary hard-working man who decided to set sail for a better life. They sailed from London on 14th June 1854 and arrived in Sydney on 22nd September.

    As far as I'm aware London was easily the busiest port in the country (and therefore the world), for most of the 19th Century and so London would have been a natural place to find a ship sailing for Australia.

    There's a lot more on London as a port here>
    https://pla.
    co.uk/Port-Trade/History-of-the-Port-of-London-pre-1908#18
     
  3. spison

    spison Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Flook.

    I hadn't thought of London to access potential immigration schemes. The reason I ask is because I have finally checked departure ports for the ships I know of and even though the family was living in Millwall, the ships left from Southampton and Portsmouth. Would these ships have travelled to London for another pick-up or would passengers have had to get to the ports to board? If they went by sea would passengers sail from London to Portsmouth or Southampton or would they have travelled by road?

    Jane
     
  4. Peregrine

    Peregrine Well-Known Member

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    I have seen a few ships that called into London as well as one of the other ports.
     
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  5. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Perhaps they hoped to pick up some quick labour to enhance their chances of travel fare?
    Just found a 17 yr old Mary Rourke-servant- in Millwall, house on banks. listed as b. London. tracking aback through pages now looking for 'spratley'. :reading:
     
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  6. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman. Rest in Peace.

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    I can't imagine that a ship would double back on itself to go to London after setting sail from a south coast port but it may be possible to track a ship from the "Ship News" in The [London] Times to see if it called in at Southampton or Portsmouth on it's way out. If you have a ship's name and a general date I can try and look it up for you.

    They may have travelled from London by railway. There was a direct line from London to Southampton by 1840 and Portsmouth could be reached by rail, via Brighton, by 1847.
     
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  7. spison

    spison Well-Known Member

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    Mary was my great-great-grandmother. She appears to have been recorded on the 1861 census as being born in Poplar but she was born in Tralee, Kerry. I doubt that I have the wrong girl. Her parents and some kind of cousin were in West Ferry Road at Pottery Cottages. Her future mother-in-law, Catherine Bray, was also at 1 Pottery Cottages. Her future husband, her cousin, Thomas Walsh, sponsored her arrival into NSW in 1864. She was 90 when she died. Nice address 'house on bank'! Really useful!
    Jane
     
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  8. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    :D
     
  9. spison

    spison Well-Known Member

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    Me neither!
    Not one of the ships left from London. The family had to get to these various localities from Millwall.
    According to the summaries on the indents:
    1. The Daphne (carrying Thomas Walsh) left Southampton on 23 October 1858
    2. The Hotspur (carrying siblings John and Mary Walsh) left Portsmouth on 3 December 1860
    3. The Sirocco (carrying cousins Mary and Mary Rourke) left Plymouth on 18 June 1864
    4. The Annie Wilson (carrying Catherine and Dennis Bray - the cad) left Liverpool in January 1862

    If you can add to anything Flook that would be excellent but not essential.
    Thanks
    Jane
     
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  10. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    I saw those when I was looking for Spratley Row. At least the enumerator put a number in front of each one.:)
     
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  11. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I read a story here!
     
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  12. spison

    spison Well-Known Member

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