Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Thomas Rankins Story Continues: Emily's Long, Long Voyage

My great great great Uncle Thomas Rankins was born about 1830 in Maine. As we've seen in the two previous posts (Where Thomas Went, and Thomas and Friends), he sailed from San Francisco to New South Wales, Australia in 1852.

Three years later (1855) when he was 25, he married 19-year old Emily Stanbury. Her parents, Mary Murray and William Stanbury, together with Emily and her younger brother, George, had emigrated from England to Victoria, Australia in 1849.

By the time Emily and Thomas got married, they each had traveled thousands and thousands of miles across the world to begin their new lives in Australia. We've seen previously that Thomas' ship took two months to sail from San Francisco, but Emily's voyage was much, much longer. 

The Stanbury family had made their trip on the ship, Osprey, which traveled for 117 days at sea--without touching land once! They left Plymouth, England on November 24, 1848 and arrived at Geelong, Port Phillip, Victoria on March 22, 1849. 

Here is a report from Emigration: Papers Relative to Emigration to the Australian Colonies (In Continuation of House of Commons' Paper No. 593, July 1849).(1)

Now we come to the sad part. During that long sea voyage to a better future, eleven passengers died: 2 adult women and 9 children aged 14 and under. On a more positive note, there were 6 babies born during those interminable 117 days. 

This chart gives us an idea of the makeup of the passenger population--how many shepherds were on board, as well as laborers, servants, mechanics, and tradespeople. Emily's father, William, was a butcher, so he was no doubt making some helpful business contacts along the way. 

The report for the voyage ends with these cheery remarks which were no doubt written by someone well used to living a life forever at sea. 


1. All Osprey reports are from Emigration: Papers Relative to Emigration to the Australian Colonies (In Continuation of House of Commons' Paper No. 593, July 1849). You can read more about emigrant ship reports online at google books (link below). 

I have to say there are some amusing bits, such as this comment by an immigration agent for another ship: "With the exception of 19 boys from the Ragged Schools of London, the immigrants by this vessel appear to be of a very respectable description and likely to be a valuable acquisition to the colony." (page 85)

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if labor is any easier on the open sea - I'm referring to labor, not labour - as in having babies, not work-type labor. I hope so for those six ladies' sakes!!


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