Boards of Guardians were empowered under an Act of Parliament 1849/1850 to apply part of the Rates and to borrow money ‘for the purpose of defraying or assisting to defray the expenses of the migration of poor persons’. Power was given by The (British) Treasury to borrow from public funds and authorise the Commissioners of Public Works to grant aid the Boards of Guardians, the sums granted were not to exceed £5 per person. See list of Emigrant Travel Costs here
While we have these statistical figures from each Board of Guardians of the five Unions in the County of Kerry, we do not have any names of any of the people who were granted assistance to emigrate, or their emigrant destination. We can see from the figures below that Cahirciveen Workhouse had the greatest number of people assisted – 1097 persons in these two years. (Dingle has only eight people in this period, but this is because it was a new Union, having been formerly attached to Tralee).
Even these figures should be a help in answering that question that I advise every descendant to ask themselves – ‘who paid the fare?’. So for example, if you have descendants who immigrated in 1883 or 1884, and you have no idea of how they came to afford the fare, perhaps this may be the answer. There were usually only three ways you could get the fare together – get a remittance from a relative who had already emigrated, State aided or Landlord aided emigration or in the case of an entire family, a sale of their livestock, farm equipment and anything that readily brought in cash, even the end of a precious lease if they were lucky to have one.
Very interesting Kay, thanks as always for sharing this information….
My grandfather, Timothy Moriarty, from Ballybunion, came to America in 1889. Would this state aided emigration policy have been in effect as late as 1889?
Hi Kay, I am trying to trace my grandmother, Bridget O’Connor, who was born in Listowel in 1876. Her parents were Daniel O’Connor and Kate or Catherine O’Callaghan. My grandmother emigrated to Australia early 1890’s I believe, perhaps with a couple of sisters, but I can’t trace anything. I even visited Ireland and the church in Listowel but records around that time were apparently burnt in a fire. Would you have any idea please where I might look to find any information on Daniel O’Connor and Kate or Catherine O’Callaghan?
Rozanne, there is something wrong with the basic information here. I have looked but cannot find any record of a Bridget O’Connor born or baptised in Listowel between 1870-1885 with parents Daniel O’Connor and Catherine O’Callaghan. (It doesn’t matter whether you use the ‘O’ in the names or not). Neither can I find a marriage of the parents. Last but least, I am from Listowel myself, I have a good knowledge of the Church records and I never heard of a fire destroying any! You need to check your base records again I would imagine.
I am trying to find information on my Great-Grandfather Michael Howard (b 1859). I know he married Ellen Sullivan in 1882 and immigrated to Australia in 1883 with Michael’s brothers, Edward and Thomas. Their mother, we have been told was Mary McCrohan.
I am unable to locate where Michael was born or his family with his mother name. there is a family story he may have been from Cork, but have struck a dead end there too. Any ideas where to look. I live in Queensland Australia.
Someone pointed me to a passenger name lists on Ancestry.com from 3 ships of the Canadian Beaver Line (The Lake Nepigon, Lake Manitoba, Lake Champlain) which took on passengers, totalling about 600, in Kenmare Bay (from Blackwater Pier) in May/June 1883 and sailed to Quebec. This was an assisted emigration scheme organised by the Kenmare Board of Guardians and JCR Colomb of Dromquinna Manor
Mike, thank you for this. I will look into it and see what I can find on it –
I found this comment very interesting and I have been researching it and other similar assisted emigration records as a result.
This is taking me some time as I am finishing a book for publication at the end of the month but I will get back to it.
Hi Kay, I’ve just found your website. I’m trying to research my great grand uncle who was evicted about 1880 with his wife and two children from Ballard, Emlaghmore P.O. in the parish of Prior. They went to Connecticut USA.
My great grand father Michael (O’) Shea, born 1833 and died 1884, ran the Post Office. It was his brother and family who was evicted.
My late Uncle Con in Ballard P.O. recalled that two people came to visit about 1955 from Connecticut, Charlie Shea and his sister Catherine J Shea. They wanted to see where their grandfather had lived. Charles Timothy died in 1958 aged about 57 years. His obituary was in The Willimantic Daily, Sept 30, 1958.
Catherine his sister wrote to my uncle for years and I have a copy of some of her letters.
Their parents were John Shea born in Connecticut of Irish parents and Catherine Shea. She was born in Ireland. Her maiden name may also be Shea. I think it is her parents who were evicted. How can I find out who was evicted? Possibly Florence Shea or Timothy? Can you help please. Thank you very much.
Sheila, I am sorry that I cannot be of assistance here. I have not come across this eviction as I have not researched this area of Kerry.As you can imagine there were numerous evictions in Kerry. The Shea’s would appear to have been sub-tenants of the Marquis of Lansdowne at Emlaghmore East at the time of Griffiths Valuation (1852). Your best bet to get more information after this time, would be a search of the Kerry newspapers of the time where hopefully it would be mentioned. All the Kerry newspapers of the 19th century are on http://www.Irishnewsarchives.com. It is possible to take a short term subscription to this site.