Skip to content

Ten pound Poms

Ten-pound poms: the ‘invisible migrants’ who made Australia their home

An ancestor did this. Rather before it cost £10 tho’. 1850s perhaps, 1860s. Back then there was a scheme where families with lots of unmarried daughters were offered free passage. So, four daughters and one son (I think) and off they went.

She had a time of it. One marriage, a divorce (which back then was a thing, tho’ less so in Oz than Britain), at least one child born, as the birth certificate says in handwritten notes “11 month after husband’s death”, at least one more if not two marriages. Emigration when she married another Brit, a mining engineer, who took her off to Peru. He died up there in the Andes (Cerro de Pasco, a cousin has been up there and seen his grave in the Anglican cemetery) and she gave birth to g grandma in Callao. Possibly but not certainly the child of that mining engineer – rumour has it there was a mestizo midnight creeper around.

I assume that there’s an entire set of Oz cousins floating around. She certainly had a time of it.

But that’s the reason for not emigrating off to Oz. The family’s tried that, didn’t like it.

3 thoughts on “Ten pound Poms”

  1. I had some SiffEffrikan colleagues whose families were Dutch speakers ( Cloggies and Belgies ) who went out to SA on similar deals after the War. Their experiences were in many ways alike as they were seen as being only one step up from the kaffirs.

    As with everything in life, one grabs what one can. Low skilled poor families had to drudge along in Oz just as much as in the UK, but it was a bit sunnier. You make your own milk and honey.

  2. One of my grandfathers was an ANZAC which dates him before the ten pound pommery.

    I have distant Aussie cousins from the other side of the family too. When we actually lived in Oz we didn’t meet any of these cousins because we didn’t know how to find them. The internet corrected that.

    (I once looked up the Oz citizenship rules wondering whether the grandson of an Anzac was entitled to citizenship. Nope. As I’d expected, the Aussie gush about the Anzacs was just lip service; it’s allowed no effect on reality.)

  3. I suppose that the 19th century version of a “10 Pound Pom” was somebody who stole 10 pounds and got transported for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *