Almost all of my forebears and Greg’s came from England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales in the nineteenth century. My mother’s family immigrated from Germany to Australia immediately after World War II.


The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown, 1855. Oil on panel. Original in the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

For many of them it is hard to say why they came; for some the reasons are easier to understand.

Below is a summary, arranged by decade, of what I know about our family’s emigration.


The first of my forebears to migrate to Australia was my fifth great grandfather George Taylor (1758 – 1828), who arrived in Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land, in 1823. With him was his wife Mary née Low (1765 -1850), three of his sons, and one of his daughters. My fourth great grandmother, his daughter Isabella Hutcheson née Taylor (1794-1876), followed ten years later, arriving about 1833. Other family members followed.

The Taylors had lived since about 1670 on a farm of about 700 acres near Abernethy, tenants of the Earl of Mansfield. In “Cherry Stones”, Helen Hudson wrote that the Taylors realised a considerable amount of money by selling various goods, stock, farm implements, and other property, and were granted land in Tasmania. George Taylor and the first of the Taylor emigrants sailed from Leith, the port of Edinburgh.


Greg’s 3rd great grandmother Caroline Clarke was born in New South Wales about 1835. We know nothing about her parents John Clark(e) or Hannah Sline. They were probably not convicts, for convicts are well documented and I have not been able to discover anything about John and Hannah from the convict records.

My 3rd great grandfather Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy (1816 – 1880) arrived in Adelaide, South Australia on the “Dumfries” in October 1839, which sailed from London in June. Philip met his first wife Charlotte Kemmis (1816 – 1847) on board. They married in 1841.

My 3rd great grandmother Susan Augusta Mitchell (1828 – 1867) arrived in Perth, Western Australia, with her father the Reverend William Mitchell (1803 – 1870) and her step mother, William’s second wife. William’s three children by his first wife had been born in India. The family returned to England, where she died. William remarried and returned to India. There three more children were born. The family again returned to England and William left his employment with the Church Missionary Society. William later worked for the Western Australian Missionary Society, which became known as the Colonial and Continental Church Society. On 4 August 1838, the Reverend and Mrs Mitchell, four children, and a governess arrived at the Swan River colony, Western Australia, on the “Shepherd”. They had left Portsmouth at the beginning of April.

On 29 October 1839 my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819 – 1867) arrived in Melbourne on the “David Clark” from Greenock, Scotland. They had sailed on 15 June 1839. The voyage, via Rio de Janeiro, took five months. The “David Clark” had been chartered by the government to bring the first bounty immigrants from Scotland to Melbourne. Samuel Hawkins was aged 20, a storekeeper from Edinburgh. He had brothers in New South Wales but he made his own way in what was later to become the colony of Victoria.

Greenock 1838

Image of Greenock included in the Gazetteer of Scotland, 1838

In 1835 my third great grandparents Daniel Michael Paul Cudmore (1811 – 1891) and Mary Cudmore née Nihill (1811 – 1893) married on 15 January in County Limerick, not long before embarking on the “John Denniston”, which left Liverpool on 11 February. They arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 7 June, after a voyage of more than four months. Other members of the Nihill family had sailed with the newly-married couple: Mary’s mother Dymphna Nihill née Gardiner (1790-1866), two of Mary’s six sisters,
Rebecca (1817-1901) and Sarah (1826-1915), and Mary’s brother James Nihill later Niall (1823-1877). Mary’s father Daniel (1761-1846) and Mary’s other four sisters arrived in Hobart separately six months later.


We don’t know when Greg’s third great grandmother Matilda Priscilla Mogridge (1825 – 1868) arrived in Australia. In 1842 she married John Narroway Darby (born 1821) One month before her death she married a second time, to David Hughes (1822 – 1895) with whom she had lived for several decades. She had a daughter born either in New Zealand or in Tasmania in 1845, and she had another daughter born in Geelong in 1850. According to her death certificate she had been 22 years in Victoria when she died in 1868 so it seems she had arrived about 1846. She evidently lived in New Zealand for about three years before she arrived in Victoria.

My husband’s third great grandparents Thomas Edwards (1794-1871) and Mary née Gilbart (1805-1867) from St Erth in Cornwall emigrated on the “Lysander”, sailing from from Plymouth on 21 September 1848 and arriving at Port Phillip on 13 January 1849. They were accompanied by their eight children. The youngest, Francis, was an infant born in January 1848; the oldest was aged twenty-two. In 1837 Mary’s sister Sarah (1808-1854), had married Francis Tuckfield (1808-1865), a Methodist missionary to the Aborigines at Buntingdale near Geelong. The Tuckfields had been in the colony since 1838.

On 20 January 1849 Samuel Hughes (1827 – 1896), one of my 3rd great grandfathers, arrived in South Australia on the “Gunga”, which had left Liverpool on 16 September 1848. His parents Edward Hughes (1803 – 1876) and Elizabeth Hughes nee Jones (1798 – 1865) came to Australia later but I have not been able to find their immigration record. Their arrival was after 1851. Elizabeth died in Brighton, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, and is buried in Brighton cemetery. Edward returned to England and died 4 May 1876 at South Norwood near London. A death notice in the Melbourne Argus stated he was late of Sandhurst [Bendigo] Victoria.

My 3rd great grandmother Sally Plaisted (1826 – 1900) arrived in Adelaide South Australia in April 1850 on the barque “Rajah”, which departed London on 27 November 1840. Sally, twenty-three, was travelling with her parents, John Plaisted (1800 – 1858 and Ann Plaisted nee Green (1801 – 1882). Also on board were Sally’s five brothers and Ann Plaisted’s sister Abigail Green (1797 – 1880). John Plaisted’s sister Tabitha and Ann Plaisted’s brother and sister had already emigrated to Adelaide. Although I can’t be certain, it seems likely that the Plaisteds came to Australia for its better climate. John Plaisted was suffering from tuberculosis.

My 3rd great grandmother Jeanie Hutcheson (1824 – 1864) accompanied her widowed mother, Isabella Hutcheson nee Taylor (1794 – 1876) and youngest brother David Hutcheson from Scotland to Tasmania in about 1844. In 1846 Jeanie, her mother Isabella, and her three brothers, crossed Bass Strait to the Portland Bay District on the “Minerva”.

My 3rd great grandfather Gordon Mainwaring (1817 – 1872) arrived in Adelaide on 10 April 1840 on the “Eamont” from Calcutta. He was known in the family as ‘the remittance man’: his father sent him money to stay abroad.

My 3rd great grandmother Mary Hickey (1819 – 1890) came to Adelaide with her sister, and her brother and his wife and their small child. They sailed from Greenock via Cork on the “Birman”, arriving 27 December 1840. Mary’s brother died on the voyage and her sister-in-law and nephew returned to Ireland. I have DNA evidence that Mary’s nephew later emigrated to America.


George Edward Young (1826 – 1890), from Liverpool, had arrived in Victoria by 1853, probably in the rush for gold. In Australia he saw out his days as miner; I don’t know what his trade or profession had been in England. I don’t know anything about his parents and family.

John Way (1835 – 1911) and Sarah Daw (1837 – 1895) married only a few days before their departure on 6 March 1854. They sailed on the “Trafalgar” from Plymouth to South Australia.

James Cross (1828 – 1882) arrived in Victoria, probably for the gold rushes by 1853. He was from Liverpool. His brother Frederick Beswick Cross (1833 – 1910) arrived in Australia in 1856.

Ellen Murray (1837 – 1901) sailed from Southhampton on the “Persian” on 2 January 1854. With her was her sister Bridget (born 1830). Ellen and Bridget were from Dublin. It would seem that while on board she made a friend of passenger named Margaret Smyth (1834 – 1897) from Bailieborough, Cavan, Ireland. Ellen’s son and Margaret’s daughter, both born in Australia, married in 1886, thirty two years after the voyage of the “Persian”.

John Plowright (1831 – 1910) was a seaman from King’s Lynn, Norfolk. On his admission to Maryborough Hospital in 1873 that he stated that he had arrived in the colony on the “Speculation” from London about 1853 and that his occupation was mariner. He wasn’t listed as a deserter; perhaps he left legally. The “Speculation” had sailed from London on 19 May, arriving in Victoria 21 September.

My husband’s great grandfather John Morley (1823-1888), John’s wife Eliza née Sinden (1823-1908) and their two children, Elizabeth aged three and William aged one emigrated to Australia in 1853, arriving in Melbourne on the “Ida” on 12 July. The ship had sailed from Liverpool on March 25.

My husband’s great great grandmother Caroline Ralph (1850-1896) came to Australia at the age of four with her parents, Francis Ralph (1823-1915) and Caroline née Rodgers (1825-1893), and her brother, John Ralph (1848-1882). The family arrived in Portland, Victoria on 21 November 1854 on the “Bloomer” after a voyage of 124 days. They had left Liverpool on 20 July.

My 3rd great grandparents Philip Robert Champion Crespigny and his wife Charlotte Frances née Dana, together with two children, Ada and Philip, and a female servant arrived in Australia on the “Cambodia”, a 914 ton ship which had sailed from Plymouth on 4 December 1851. They left a seven month infant son behind with Philip’s
parents, presumably because they did not think he would survive the voyage. Philip and Charlotte probably came to Australia on the recommendation of Charlotte’s brothers, who were in charge of the colony’s native police force. Charlotte’s first husband was pursuing a legal claim against Philip which made it impossible for them to stay in England.

In 1854 my 3rd great grandmother Margaret Rankin née Gunn formerly Budge (1819 – 1863) emigrated from Wick, Caithness, to Adelaide, South Australia, sailing on the “Dirigo”. She had remarried, to Ewan Rankin (1825- ?), one month before their departure. Margaret and Ewen were accompanied by Margaret’s four surviving children, aged from three to thirteen, from her first marriage. The ship departed Liverpool on 10 July 1854 but returned because of a cholera outbreak. Sailing again on 9 August, they arrived in South Australia on 22 November.

My great great grandfather Wentworth Cavenagh (1822 – 1895) arrived in Adelaide, South Australia on 22 January 1853 on the “Queen of Sheba”. It was reported in 1892 when he left South Australia for England that

“when eighteen years of age [about 1840] he left home [Hythe, Kent, England or Wexford Ireland where his family came from and where he had gone to school] for Canada, where he was engaged for some years farming. He subsequently relinquished this occupation and started coffee planting in Ceylon. Afterwards he tried to obtain a Government appointment at Calcutta, but was unsuccessful. Attracted by a Government advertisement he came to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in 1852. Thence he went to the Bendigo diggings, and from there he came to South Australia and started farming at Peachy Belt.”


Greg’s great great grandfather William Sullivan (born 1839) was in Australia when he married in Geelong in 1862. He said he was born in London. We know nothing about his emigration.


Henry Dawson (1864 – 1929), my husband’s great great grandfather, arrived in about 1888. He travelled as a single man aged about 24; the rest of his immediate family stayed in England. I don’t know of any family he might have had in Australia nor why he emigrated.


Emigration ports: Greenock near Glasgow, Leith near Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Cork

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