Emmigrant Families



Find here details of the ancestor families who emigrated to South Australia. Those hardy and resourceful settlers who came to South Australia to became farmers, shopkeepers, miners, saddlers, blacksmiths, railway workers, masons, carpenters and gardeners for that early colony. In this chapter those families are researched through the sailing vesssels that brought them to these shores. The voyages, most averaging several months in passage from Great Britain and Europe were hazzards in themselves, with deaths and births on the way. In one emigrants case a ship deserter for the Victorian gold fields and in another as one young Irish girl among a ship load coming for work as domestic servants and farm hands. Some came as farm labourers, having passage paid through the sale of land by the South Australian Company. Others came as miners from Cornwall to the mines at Burra Burra and Moonta.

Click on the Ship names to move to that ship and family record.

Catherine Farrelly and her brother arrived on the Bucephalus on 13 October 1855 from County Cavan, Ireland. (departure Liverpool)
Robert Collins and his wife Catherine arrived on the Lady Ann on 1 October 1859 from County Cavan, Ireland. (departure Plymouth)
James Allengame and family arrived on the Bussorah Merchant on 10 November 1848 from Dorsetshire. (departure London)
Henry and James Baldwin and wives arrived on the William Stewart on 14 July 1853 from Leighterton in Gloucestershire.
Michael Sweeney and family arrived on the British Enterprise on 4th April 1877 from Manchester in Lancashire.
John Baldwin and family arrived on the Henry Moore on 13 September 1857 from Leighterton in Gloucestershire.
James Shackleford arrived on the Telegraph on 23 January 1855 from Reading in Berkshire.
George Davis and family arrived on the Hydaspes on 27 November 1851 from Kent.
Hugh Datson and family arrived on the Aboukir on 14 September 1847 from Cornwall.
Stephen Brown and family arrived on the Princess Royal on 16 March 1847 from Redruth, Cornwall.
Daniel Sweeney and family arrived on the Northern Light on 9th April 1855 from Manchester in Lancashire.
John Reed and family arrived on the John Banks on 29 May 1855 from St Blazey in Cornwall. (departure Plymouth)


Extract from the Adelaide Observer - 11 Sep 1847
"This fine (3 masted) barque of 816 tons, Scott Commander from London and Plymouth (left 1st June 1847) arrived on Saturday last (4th September) after a passage of 95 days, with F. J. Beck Esq and lady, Mrs Scott and Dr. Hill, in cabins, and 302 emigrants (of all ages) in the steerage. The adult male emigrants include 30 Cornish miners, 3 shoemakers, 3 tailors, 3 blacksmiths, 2 masons, 4 carpenters and 1 tin miner, the rest are chiefly agricultural labourers. We presume the reason why no Devonshire miners have ventured to cast their lot amongst us is that when the ABOUKIR sailed, day-work men in the mines of Devonshire were getting 3-4 per week, and there did not appear sufficient inducement in the temptations to emigration." The ship Aboukir had been built less than 1 year before the voyage. Later on another voyage in Victorian waters, on the 31st October 1869 off Geelong the crew of the Aboukir assisted in an attempt to extinguish a fire on board the ship "Lightning".
Family Arriving on this Ship.
Hugh Datson his wife Jane, their sons James and Hugh and daughter Mary Ann.

British Enterprise
Sailing ship British Enterprise. Reproduced from the John Oxley Library collection by courtesy of The State Library of Queensland. Negative number 128773.

British Enterprise.

The ship British Enterprise was built at Stockholm in 1876, being a three masted iron barque of 1694 tons with dimentions of 246 feet by 40.1 ft. wide by 23.9 ft. draft. British Enterprise was a very fast ship on the England to Australia run and in the last few years of her service she had the reputation for taking a life on almost every voyage. In 1906 the ship was purchased from British Shipowners Ltd by Shaw Saville and Company and renamed the Annesley. During her last voyage her master was washed overboard and drowned, during the same voyage, in December 1910, the ship was wrecked on Tuskar South Rock off the Irish coast when fortuneatly all lives were saved.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
The Certificate of Arrival for the British Enterprise gives the date of embarkation of emigrants from Plymouth, England as the 12th January 1877 and the date of arrival at Port Adelaide, South Australia as 4th April 1877, a voyage of 82 days. Among the passengers were listed, Emily Sweeney aged 12 years, (Emily was actually younger but the family listed her as 12 years so that the family could qualify for assisted passage of no fare to South Australia), Michael Sweeney aged 31 years, Hannah Sweeney aged 30 years, Mary aged 10 years, Lydia, aged 7 years, John aged 5 years and Amelia aged 1 year. Michael's occupation was given as Sawyer, an occupation he continued in Gawler, while Emily was listed as Domestic Servant. The family were required to pay 4 for Michael, 3 for Hannah and 10 shillings for each of the children for their passage. There were 440 emigrants on the voyage with 64 each of married men and women, 130 single men, 75 single women, 39 boys, 50 girls and 18 children under 1 year.


The ship Bucephalus was a vessel of 1,245 (nm) tons owned by the British East India Company which contracted to the South Australian Company to provided passage for emigrants to South Australia. The ship departed England on the 7th July 1855 with 428 emigrants, 122 women, 214 men, 41 boys and 51 girls under the age of 14 years, overseen by Surgeon Superintendent J. Baird. On the 13th October 1855 after a voyage of 98 days and the deaths of 4 girls the ship arrived at Port Adelaide.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
James Farrelly with his sister Catherine Farrelly. Catherine came to the colony at the age of 19 years as a servant, apparently with many other Irish girls at that time. Her stay was only short, returning to Ireland, married Robert Collins on 21 May 1859 and promptly re-emigrated to South Australia on the"Lady Ann", arriving on the 2nd October 1859.

Bussorah Merchant
Sailing ship Bussorah Merchant. The original watercolour painting of which is held by The State Library of Victoria in the La Trobe Picture Collection.

Bussorah Merchant.

The wooden sailing ship Bussorah Merchant arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia under the command of Captain Edwards on the 10 November 1848 after leaving London then sailing to Plymouth for more immigrants for Australia. The arrival was reported in the Register newspaper of the 11th November 1848.
The Bussorah Merchant was a three masted, ship rigged vessel of 531/659 (om/nm) tons, built in 1818 at Howrah, Calcutta, India with dimentions of 117 feet by 31 feet 11 inches with 5 feet 9 inches between the decks. The ship was built entirely from teak for Duncan Dunbar of London, England. The ship had undergone repairs on several occasions over the years, the hull was felted and doubled in 1833, with the topsides and decks being repaired in 1846. The ship was later reported to have had the hull sheathed with yellow metal, fastened with iron bolts in about 1849-1852.
The port of registry and survey for the ship was recorded as being the Port of London.
On the England - Australia run the vessel was formerly used as a convict transport, in the years 1828-1831, and it was in this capacity that it gained the dubious honour of being the first known to use North Head, Sydney, as a quarantine site in August 1828, when with smallpox raging through the ship, the Bussorah Merchant landed her passengers and crew on a small beach at North Head on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour. The ship carried the first group of government-assisted emigrants to Sydney in 1833. Later the ship was used to convey government assisted emigrants on the emigrant run to South Australia, by which time the vessel was older than most ships employed for that purpose. The ship was still sailing in 1853 after 35 years of service, by then under the command of Captain P.D. Blylth.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
James Allengame, his wife Anne (nee Short), their son Joseph Stephen, and daughter Jane.

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Henry Moore.

The ship "Henry Moore" arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on the 13 September 1857 under the command of Captain Stewart after departing from Plymouth on the 14th June 1857 with less than a full compliment of immigrants as nine defaulted the sailing. The arrival was reported in the Register on the 14th September 1857.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
John Baldwin and his wife Elizabeth (nee Hayward), their sons William, Samson, Jeremiah and daughter Emma. The two other daughters, Sarah and Alice did not emigrate although Alice was going to sail with the family but defaulted at the time of sailing. The family was sponsored in their emigration by the payment of small contributions by purchasers of land in South Australia for their passage to the Colony. The contribution to the passage by the South Australian land purchasers for John who was aged 49 years, 5, for Elizabeth aged 54 years, nothing but the Land Commissioners paid 11 shillings, for William 16 years and Samson 14 years 1 each and by the Land Commissioners 1 for each, for Alice who defaulted 10 shililngs and the same by the commissioners, for Jeremiah 11 years and Emma 6 years the Land Commissioners paid 10 shilings each.

Sailing Notice of Hydaspes Sailing Ship
Notice of Sailing for "Hydaspes" dated 12th December 1851 from the South Australian newspaper, "The Register".


The sailing ship "Hydaspes" arrived at Port Adelaide on the 27th November 1851, a voyage of 93 days after leaving Plymouth, England on the 25th August 1851.
The Hydaspes, a British bark was built at New Brunswick, North America in 1846 of 504 / 595 (om/nm) tons, 126.6 x 29.5 x 19.6 ft, length x beam x depth of hold 19 ft 6 inches. Lloyd's Register of Shipping for 1846/47-1864/65 indicate the owners were Younghusband and Company, with the Port of Registry being Liverpool and Port of survey being London. On the voyage from Plymouth to Port Adelaide the Captain was Arthur Hole. The ship is recorded as visiting Port Adelaide previously on 23rd August 1849 and then on 14th October 1850 before the voyage ending on 27th November 1851. An entry in Lloyd's Register for 1864/65 is posted "wrecked".
Family Arriving on this Ship.
George Davis, his wife Caroline and daughters Caroline and Sarah Charlotte.

John Banks.

The ship "John Banks" a sailing vessel of only 572 (nm) tons, sailed on the 21st February 1855 from Plymouth and berthed at Port Adelaide South Australia on the 29th May 1855 after a voyage of 3 months and 8 days. The Surgeon Superintendent as Mr R.T. M'Cowan who had under his care, 89 Men, 127 women, 28 boys and 45 girls under the age of 14 years making a total of 289 persons of which one boy died.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
John Reed aged 34 years, his wife Mary Maria aged 32 and their children, Joel aged 10, Patience Nettle aged 8, Mary Ann. aged 6, William John Nettle aged 3 and Sophia aged 1 year. The family were assisted in the fares for the voyage by remittance from proceeds of land sold in the colony of South Australia to John Hallett. John and his wife Maria were among only 7 families afforded assisted passage on the voyage. The Embarkation orders to join the voyage were signed by Mr S Walcott, secretary to the Colonial Land and Emmigration Commissioners of Westminster. The charges for the John and his wife were 1 each while 10 shillings was paid for each of the children's fare.

Lady Ann.

The ship "Lady Ann" also known as the "Lady Anne" arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on the 1 October 1859 under the command of Captain A. Sinclair after leaving London on the 17 June 1859 via Plymouth on the 8th July 1859. The arrival at Port Adelaide was reported on the 3rd October 1859 in the Register newspaper.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
Robert Collins and his wife Catherine (nee Farrelly). Catherine had previously been to South Australia.

Northern Light.

The ship Northern Light, built in Quebec in 1853 was a three masted Schooner of 1,283 (nm) tons, owned by Lemon and Company and registered in Liverpool, Engand. On the 14th December 1863, during a gale in Port Phillip, the Northern Light was washed ashore on Swan Island, but survived to be refloated on the 19th February 1864. On the voyage bringing our immigrants it departed from Liverpool, England under the command of Captain H.W. Plan on the 7th December 1854 there were 435 immigrants, 104 adult males, 217 females, 48 male children and 66 female children all under the age of 14 years, overseen by the Surgeon Superintendent J.T.S. Jolley. The ship arrived at Port Adelaide after a voyage of 119 days with 432 immigrants on the 9th April 1855 as three of the girls had died.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
Daniel Sweeney and his wife Emma (nee Grimshaw)

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Princess Royal.

The Princess Royal is reported as being a Barque of 426/338 (om) tons in one report, while in another, of the "South Australian Register" as being 540 tons. One thing is certain it was not a large ship. During a voyage bound from Hong Kong in 1849, Captain Sinclair reported that on the 24th February 1849 when inward bound from Hong Kong with a cargo of silk, tea, sugar and wine the ship was wrecked on the Lonsdale Reef in Port Phillip Heads. The captain stated that the light on the inner head near Queenscliff had led him into danger, and he was using an old chart of the Heads. He said the sea threw her across the reef and on the third surge she bumped so hard she broke in two, scattering her cargo over a wide area. Fortuneately all the crew were saved. The "South Australian Register" newspaper of the 17th March 1847 reported,
"Princess Royal" immigrant ship, an iron barque of 540 (om) tons arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on the 16 March 1847 after a fine passage of 4 months, having taken her departure from Plymouth to embark more immigrants, on the 15th November last (1846) after leaving London, England on the 5 November 1846, under the command of Captain Charles Louis Von Zuilecom, touching at St Jago, Azores and sailing again on the 7th December 1846. On the voyage there were 7 births and only 3 deaths. The Princes Royal brings only a very small mail and the dates are not so late by 10 days as those by Hobart town. The newcomers are chiefly from the mining districts of Devon and Cornwall. The names and the adults of each sex, the married couples will be found in the list of arrivals.
The passenger list includes, Stephen Brown, wife and 3 children. Cargo, 105 tons coal, 15,000 fine bricks, 30 bags merchandise, 116 packets tea, A.L.Elder, 4 bales of merchandise, etc.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
Stephen Brown his wife Jane (nee Mitchell), their daughters Caroline and Elizabeth Jane and their son Stephen.


The Telegraph was a vessel of 1,118 (nm) tons and in 1858 was reported in a steamer accident on return to Sydney, New South Wales.
"The ship "Telegraph" under command of Captain J. Irvine, leaving Southampton on 28 October 1854 and then after picking up more emigrants in Plymouth departed on the 3rd November 1854, arriving at Port Adelaide on the 23rd January 1855. The Surgeon Superintendent overseeing the emigrants on the voyage was Henry Scott, who was responsible for 421 emigrants, 114 women, 182 men, 66 boys under the age of 14 years and 59 girls which number reduced to 417 by the end of the 88 day voyage through the deaths of one woman, 2 boys and one girl.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
James George Shackleford from Reading, Berkshire.

William Stewart.

The ship William Stewart, 576 tons, arrived at Port Adelaide under command of Captain Riches on the 14 July 1853 after sailing from Southampton on 17 Aril 1853. The arrival was reported in the Register newspaper on the 15 July 1853.
Family Arriving on this Ship.
Henry Baldwin aged 25 years a carpenter,and his wife Charlotte (nee Hooper) aged 26 years, James Baldwin aged 23 years an agricultural labourer and his wife Margaret (nee Vizard) aged 25 years.

Old and New Measurements.
The measurement of the tonnage of ships was changed in 1863 to a new system. Those ships built prior to 1863 previously measured in survey were recorded with the old measure (om) prior to 1863 and in any subsequent survey from 1863 on were recorded under the new measure (nm). Ships built in or after 1863 were measured under the new measurement system and therefore only have the new measure recorded.