Thursday, March 17, 2016

I want for nothing

On the 17th March, St Patrick's Day, each year I think of my Irish ancestors who made the perilous trip to Australia. Seven years ago I wrote about my ancestor Patrick Curry/Corry.

I have edited and am reposting that article today.

I wonder what our ancestors thought as they left their homes in England, Ireland and Scotland to sail to this distant and strange land. A dozen of my ancestors were convicts transported to Australia for petty crimes, some were young Irish lads and lasses, bounty (assisted) immigrants, who left home during the time of The Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840’s. A couple were free settlers, people who travelled to Australia of their own free will in the hope of a better life.Recently I spoke to a distant cousin, a 75 year old Scottish lady, who emigrated with her family in 1953. When they left Scotland food rationing was still in place; on arrival in Australia they could not believe the quality and quantity of food they were served at their first family lunch, she thought she was in heaven. She said that her parents never regretted leaving Scotland as they wanted a "better life" for their children and she felt that this goal had been achieved.

My 3rd great grandfather, Patrick (Paddy) Curry from Limerick in Ireland , arrived as a convict on the Hooghley in 1825. He was assigned to work at Camden Park a property of the pioneering Macarthur family. On 8th June 1848 The Sydney Morning Herald published an interview from 1846 from Caroline Chisholm with Patrick on the advantages of emigration. Patrick felt that he was most fortunate to be in New South Wales.

1848 'Advertising', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 June, p. 3. , viewed 17 Mar 2016,

I and Paddy's descendants can now access this interview via Trove but when I first went in search of it after following a reference in Alan Atkinson's book, Camden: Farm and village life in early New South Wales, it took me ages to locate the interview on microfilm. The copy I retrieved from the film was very hard to read whereas the image from Trove is quite clear in comparison.


Betty said...
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Betty said...

How wonderful to have this interesting and detailed account of your ancestor's life with the Macarthur family. Patrick must have been a conscientious worker. Mutual respect, I imagine.
The earliest of my Irish ancestors to arrive in Australia was Julia O'Callahan in 1854, from Co. Cork to Melbourne.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too Jill!

crgalvin said...

What a great article and indeed what a treasure we have in Trove. Happy St Patrick's Day!


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