Friday, June 6, 2014

A Surprise Find

I've been playing tourist ofr the past few weeks and taking a sabbatical from family history. Being in Liverpool this week I have been thinking of our ancestors who left this port on the River Mersey to make new lives in Australia.

Today I visited the Merseyside Maritiime Museum in Liverpool to have a look at their exhibitions which included one on emigration from Liverpool and one on the Titanic.

The Mueum at Albert Dock
I didn't spend as much time looking at the exhibitions as I had intended because I saw the sign below and I just couldn't go past. I packed Mr Geniaus off to see some of the other exhibitions and wandered into the library.

An invitation

The friendly librarian told me that the library held in its collection of books, documents, maps and images materials relating to emigration from Liverpool As it happens quite a few of our ancestors set off on their journeys to Australia from Liverpool. I couldn't remember the names of the ships our ancestors had travelled on from Liverpool and was frustrated that I didn't have my laptop in my bag.  Luckily the Museum has free wifi so I was able to access my online tree and identify the ancestors and their ships.

The Library

I stumbled across the library at 4:00pm, just 30 minutes before closing time.  In that 30 minutes with the help of the librarian I was able to find information on four of our ancestor's vessels (3 of which were of The White Star Line).

The best find was a photo of  SS Ayrshire on which Mr Geniaus' Grandmother, Harriet Parkinson, travelled to Austalia in 1910.

Photo from collection of Merseyside Maritime Museum Library
 I was thrilled with my finds but, as I have quite a few more ships to research, I am frustrated that the library is not open again until next Tuesday after I have left Liverpool.

I may just have to return to this city and institution on a future journey.


Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

Judy Webster said...

How exciting for you! The Mitchell Library (Sydney) and John Oxley Library (Brisbane) had photos of all the ships on which my ancestors arrived in NSW and Queensland. Some of the photos are also in Trove.

GeniAus said...

You are fortunate Judy. I can't find images fro quite a few of my ancestors' ships.

Wendy said...

Yeah, you know you're a family historian/genealogist when a vacation turns into another research mission. Congratulations on your find.

Julie Goucher said...

What a shame Jill, but even just with that small find I expect your brain is whirling with the data that you could check out. I am sure you will be back with a long list to research!

Dana Leeds said...

What a wonderful find! You'll just have to go back, right? Or maybe they have a local genealogist you could pay to do the lookups?


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