Renfrewshire Emigration to Australia 1853-57

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preaburn
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Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2021 3:04 am

Renfrewshire Emigration to Australia 1853-57

Post by preaburn » Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:12 pm

My 2nd great grandfather Robert Ryburn (b 4 Feb 1827 in Paisley) travelled to Australia from Paisley in early-mid 1854 in search of gold in Victoria, Australia. He left his wife Mary (nee Mclauchlan) born in 1831 in Kilbarchan and two surviving children. The family lived in Paisley. Mary and the two children travelled on the 'Almora' to join Robert in Melbourne late December 1857.
It's been a long and frustrating search to find how and when Robert got to Australia. I've searched every available online database, employed professional genealogists, and contacted local history groups in Renfrewshire and Victoria. Nothing. No records anywhere.
In my searching, I have found information suggesting that two emigration societies were active in Renfrewshire during that period:
1. Paisley New Zealand and Australia Emigration Society
2. Scottish Australian Emigration Society
Are there any online records of either or both available?
If detailed records of either or both exist, where might they be housed? If available, and given I am living in Australia, is there someone locally who might be able to help search these emigration records on a professional basis.
Any help greatly appreciated.

Currie
Posts: 3891
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Renfrewshire Emigration to Australia 1853-57

Post by Currie » Sat Dec 25, 2021 12:21 pm

Hello, and Welcome to TalkingScot. Sorry about the delay but I think everyone’s pre-occupied in these difficult times.

You’ll find information about some of these emigration societies in British Library Newspapers and also in U.K. (a.k.a. House of Commons) Parliamentary Papers. You can access these from home via the National Library of Australia and perhaps also via your State Library. The Paisley Herald is online there from 1853 to 1870. https://eds.p.ebscohost.com/eds/search/ ... 0b%40redis

It is possible that Paisley Central Library has some information. However they seem to have been moving location and I don’t know what their current situation is. The reference section may have separated. https://libcat.renfrewshire.gov.uk/igua ... 9f3aeb1b78

I can’t see anything obvious in the N.R.A.S. search. https://catalogue.nrscotland.gov.uk/nra ... earch.aspx

Parliamentary Papers has information about the Scottish Australian Emigration Society contained in letters from the Secretary of the society, John Crawford. Mr Crawford lived at 24 Abbey Street, Paisley. His office seems to have been at 75 Jamaica Street, Glasgow, and later at No 65. The society was established in February 1853 and the first body of emigrants left for N.S.W., from Birkenhead, on the “Anna” and the “Nepaul” in November, 1854. The second body were to leave in Spring, 1855. Better to check this yourself as there may be more detail buried there.

In 1862 John Crawford was secretary of the Paisley Emigration Association at 17 Gilmour Street Paisley. In 1863 secretary of the Colonial Emigration Fund for Paisley and Neighbourhood. Over the years he seems to have been involved with a number of emigration societies set up for emigration to various parts of the world. It’s quite possible he retained the records of all these societies after they folded and they were never archived.

Maybe you could do some genealogical research on that fellow to see where he and his descendants ended up.

In the Glasgow Directories, 1854 to 1857 he is at the Scottish, Australian and American Emigration Office, 65 Jamaica St., home 24 Abbey St. https://archive.org/details/postofficea ... ew=theater
In 1857-58 he’s a “law agent, colonial land and emigration office” at 65 Jamaica.

The only professional Scottish researcher I know of is Chris Paton. You can Google him. He has a blog called Scottish Genes.

All the best,
Alan

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