Something I\’ll have to look into a little more.
A new online archive will allow people to trace whether their forebears were among the British and Irish settlers who moved to Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries in search of a better life.
The collection enables the public to search 8.9 million names of passengers and crew, three million of whom were free settlers, who arrived in New South Wales between 1826 and 1922. The Australian Free Settler Collection numbers more than 2.2 million British names. Also included are other travellers and crew who journeyed to Australia over almost a century.
I know that I am in fact descended from one such immigrant. I\’ll have to look up the details but she was one of five unmarried daughters of a blacksmith (there was also a son) who got an assisted passage in the early 1850s. She had a fairly rambunctious time of it and ended up married to a British engineer working on the railways in Peru. I\’m descended from the child of that marriage who was born in Callao (whether it was actually his is a little more debateable) and after his death and burial in the British graveyard up in the Andes she returned to the UK with said daughter.
The thing is though, that leaves a possibly huge tribe of Australian distant cousins, descended from those five siblings. And it\’s very difficult to search for such relatives: going back up your family tree from birth to marriage certificates is usually possible, but going back down it from great great uncle (etc) to their descendants is very tough indeed.
A project for a less busy time perhaps?