Showing posts with label Poor Law Union. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poor Law Union. Show all posts

September 4, 2013

I Learned Something New From Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?  Convict Transportation to America
Who Do You Think You Are? on  TCL  in partnership with featured Country & Western singer Trisha Yearwood last night.

For me this was a very interesting episode as I learned something quite new. Trisha was given her ancestry back to Samuel Winslett, born in England in 1744 who emigrated to Georgia around 1760.

Notice: Spoiler Alert if you have not watched this episode!

Samuel and one of his brothers (Aside: what happened to the third brother who was part of the deer taking??) were found guilty of killing deer that did not belong to them and sentenced to hanging. They were then reprieved and sent to Georgia as convicts. Samuel's sentence was 14 years and once he arrived in America, he and other convicts were sold at auctions. This blew me away! I knew of convict transportation to Australia, and I knew of indentured servants but I have never read or heard about convict transportation to America.

So I had a look around this morning and found an interesting article about this little-known period of American history.  Convict Transportation to America: Epilogue is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. History fascinates me and I plan on reading the entire series today. Then I will purchase the Kindle version of the book Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America 

Many of my readers know that I'm fascinated with immigration. My first exciting find in genealogy was one of my immigrant ancestors and that set me on a path to discover every immigrant ancestor I have. I'm fascinated with the stories - why did an ancestor immigrate? And what was behind their choice of settlement? What was their journey like? That's why my website Olive Tree Genealogy specializes in Ships Passenger Lists and immigration substitutes.

One of my secondary passions is learning about the lives of those who were impoverished and sent to almshouses, workhouses and poor houses, or removed from their homes in Great Britain and sent to the colonies. I scour little known records such as the Poor Law Union Records to find names and stories of those who were forced from their homes. Many of these "convicts" were sentenced for crimes that involved hunger or poverty and as such I find myself once again caught up in the tragedies.

Do you have a story of a convict ancestor sent to America? I'd love to hear about him or her!

August 1, 2013

Finding Ancestors on Ships Passenger Lists to Canada Before 1865

Before 1865 Ships Passenger lists on Ships Sailing to Ports in Canada did not have to be archived. It is a challenging time period to find passenger lists! But there ARE alternate records - shipping agent records, emigration agent ledger books, newspaper extracts are only a few

One such set of records are the Irish Canadian Emigration Records, 1823-1849 This database contains various records and reports of Canadian emigration agents James Allison and A.J. Buchanan. Among the various records are some emigration and orphan lists. These lists are searchable by name.

As well, Filling in the Gaps has links to 21 online databases for alternate immigration records for pre-1865 Canada. These include links to immigration officer records, steamship sailings up the St. Lawrence River, Custom House Passenger Lists, J J Cooke Shipping Agent Records, Poor Law Union Immigration from England and more. 

Many of these links are to Olive Tree Genealogy free projects. Some are to free websites not associated with Olive Tree Genealogy and a few are pay-to-view databases on other sites. 

If you  are stuck looking for your ancestors on a ships list arriving in Canada before 1865 you should take a look at Filling in the Gaps

October 27, 2011

NEW! Poor Law Union Immigrants to Canada 1836-1871 ONLINE

For the past six months Olive Tree Genealogy has been working on a new project to reconstruct names of passengers on ships sailing from England to Canada before 1865.

I'm pleased to announce that 23 ships with the names of pauper immigrants sent from England sent by the Poor Law Union to Canada between 1836 and 1853 are now online and freely searchable.

The Poor Law Union Act of 1834 was responsible for determining if impoverished individuals and their families were to be sent to the Workhouse, supported by their parishes, or given passage to a British colony such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

As well as the newly reconstructed ships passenger lists, there are hundreds of immigrant names listed by year from 1836 to 1871. The yearly lists are individuals who were offered passage on board ships sailing to Canada, but the specific ships each sailed on are not named.

There are no comprehensive ships passenger lists of immigrants arriving in Canada prior to 1865. Until that year, shipping companies were not required by the government to keep their passenger manifests. This reconstructed set of passenger lists and emigrants by year is a valuable tool for those genealogists whose ancestors left England for Canada in this time period.

Please take a few minutes to have a look at POOR LAW UNION IMMIGRANTS TO CANADA

You can also consult the other projects for ships passenger lists to Canada before 1865 at Filling in the Gaps

This new project consists of names extracted from the Poor Law Union records. More information and details on individuals can often be found by using the reference sources given on each page, and sending a request to National Archives UK. 

I have also included bits and pieces of extraneous detail that helps us understand the plight of these impoverished people. For example the ship Albion sailed to Quebec in 1836. Included in the Poor Law Union correspondence is a lengthy and interesting description of the passengers being held for 24 hours on arrival in Quebec. It seems the master of the ship did not receive his money (poll tax) from the Poor Law Union. So he demanded it from the passengers, who could not pay. This resulted in him imprisoning them on board until they were ordered released.

Hopefully you will find an ancestor or two in this new, never before published, lists!