View Full Version : COOPER to Australia in the 1880s
This is my first day on the list and this is a means to see that I am able to work it all out.
I am in Australia and I am interested in learning more about my Cooper family from Birmingham. They moved to Australia in the late 1880's. I have quite a bit of info though there are many gaps to fill.
I am interested in discovering more of the "story" about their lives. What makes a family with 8 children move to the other side of the world.
Can anybody fill me in if there was a process that needed to be worked through before immigrating. I know the boat they came out on and I think they may have been assisted passengers.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
12-10-2004, 12:53 AM
I have a copy of an article writen by Robin Haines (Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia),and Ralph Shlomowitz, called "Emigration from Europe to Colonial Destinations -Some 19th Century Australian and South African perspectives". It covers much details and has an extensive bibliographic set of notes.
To get background information on conditions etc that Australian bound imigrant ancestors went through, it is important to define in which state of Australia, they landed, as each state set their own rules, amount of deposit fee etc. These also changed depending on the decade concerened. Often to get considered one had to meet criteria such as trade or work type, this tended to be trades etc for which that state had shortages in. In very early years there was a preponderance of farmer, but later various skilled trades became more required.
To get an idea of "why?" people imigratedated,the following newspaper article publishing a letter from an immigrant to family back home in England.
In 1852, the Bedfordshire Times printed a letter writen by Thomas Odell, a saddler in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, to his family at home. He had emigrated with his brother, a carpenter, carrying enough capital to buy land, plant crops and an orchard and to build a house and workshop although the both continued to work their trades. Thomas was self employed as a "saddler, harness, and tent maker" while his brother earned seven shillings a day as a carpenter-journeyman. His letter was typical of surviving letters sent home by artisans and lower-middle-class writers during the nineteenth century;
"We have no taxes here [...] We have plenty of good land and I often feel very sorry and grieved to my very heart when I look upon this beautiful fertile country [...] when I think of the poor starving people in England while this beutifull land is laying waste"
You can imagine how a letter such as this in a local newspaper would encourage others to seek to follow suite. Much more is writen about the various schemes however with some groups, dreams of immigrants were shattered as local agents at times were greedy schemers, looking for filling their own pockets, purely and simply.
If you gave a little more info on the family eg. christian names, and ages, we can keep a lookout for them during our own searching and probing.
Thanks for the response.
John George and Selina (Ricketts) Cooper left Birmingham on 29 July 1887 bound for Australia. They were aboard the "Jumna" with their 8 children and arrived in Brisbane, Queensland on September 18th 1887.
From the information I have found it looks like John George had been a "Breech Loading Gun Action Filer" (1881 Census) before going to Australia. The children were all young. It appears that when they arrived they did begin farming ,but did not stick at it for very long.
I am searching from this end about their early years out here, but there are no relatives alive to assist.
Thanks for your interest
Try this site, they will do a couple of free lookups for you which may help.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.