We are delighted this week to promote an important database of Kerry emigrants to New Zealand between 1860 and 1875. I have always been intrigued by the number of Kerry people who emigrated there in the first half of the twentieth century, a great number of them from the Ballymacelligott area. Why New Zealand? Who could they possibly have known there? How could they get work there? Well here is the answer. A comprehensive list of families, their ages (approx as always) and occupations, dates of departure should provide some help in knocking back the ‘brick wall’ that we all come across.
We must thank Sean Brosnan for this significant record of 19th-century immigrants from County Kerry who took advantage of assisted passages provided by the Canterbury Province in the first instance, and then subsequently by the colonial government.
In his blog, Sean tells us
‘ The passenger lists generally contain names, ages, occupations, county of origin, the part of the ship the immigrant was housed (family quarters, or single men’s and single women’s quarters respectively). In some cases there are additional notations for “nominated” passengers on who already in Canterbury had put their name forward for assisted passage. I also indicate in my “Group” column where passengers were grouped together, usually with other family members but also groups of friends. These bits of information can be useful in making connections between people that have long been forgotten by their descendants. It also happens reconstitute family groups when the teenage members were moved from the daily quarters to the single men or single women’s areas as was standard practice on immigrant ships. I hope the details are accurate but no guarantees. Incorrect data, such as the spelling of names, is as per the lists. Thus my great-great grandparents and their family are listed as “Brosman” rather than Brosnahan’.
The PDFs will appear on screen with quite fine print but should still be legible if you blow them up a bit. Almost all of the ships docked in Lyttelton but the Echunga also called at Timaru.