Thursday, May 27, 2010

Irish Wattle in the press

We're delighted to be reviewed in the May 2010 issue of Labour History, the journal of the Business and Labor History Group at the University of Sydney. Here's an extract from the review of The Irish Vanguard:

"Biographical details about these unfortunate travellers and their shipmates have been pieced together by Barbara Hall in this fifth in her series of books about convicts on the five ships sent from Ireland before 1800. The book is structured as a biographical dictionary with an entry for each convict. Hall counts as her major achievement ‘the collating and publishing, for the first time, of a large number of trials and/or crimes’. I would add as an equally important contribution her painstaking pursuit of what happened after they disembarked.

Barbara Hall’s study of convicts on the Queen makes a valuable contribution to understanding Australia’s earliest days of settlement by turning our attention to individual men and women who had not come of their own free will to a land they experienced as wilderness, but many of whom nevertheless took to the life of the pioneer and brought up families whose descendants are now interested in their stories. For academic historians following patterns as well as individuals, these biographical outlines offer texture and detail. The unevenness of the sources, the scarcity of information, are themselves reminders of how precarious the original venture really was – especially for those whose survival depended on navigating through both the convict system and the strangeness of an utterly foreign place."

Thanks for the terrific review!

Monday, May 24, 2010

1798 Rebellion and the Act of Union

On this day in 1798 the famous Irish rebellion against British rule had begun, which ultimately failed and lead to the transportation of hundreds of Irish patriots to Australia.

Want more? Find out more at Ask About Ireland. AskAboutIreland is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and publication of the original material from their local studies' collections.

Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Irish Wattle partners with Tourism Ireland!

We're delighted to be working with Tourism Ireland as we continue our research into the lives of the first convicts to be transported from Ireland to Australia. Stay tuned for more details!

Visit Discover Ireland to learn more about the beauty of the Emerald Isle, plan your trip there or just explore.

Want more? Follow GoToIrelandOz on Facebook and Twitter for updates on travel deals, competitions and the island of Ireland.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spotlight on: Historical Atlas of Sydney

The Atlas presents digitised versions of maps and related cartographic resources, covering mainly the City of Sydney local government area but also more widely in the County of Cumberland region. Dating from 1842, maps can be downloaded in PDF so that you can see the street names and boundaries in detail. A wonderful site well worth a look.

Photo: City of Sydney 1857 to 1870. Source: Historical Atlas of Sydney.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Touring the great west

We enjoyed a terrific trip out to Ilford, Sofala, Orange and Mudgee, west of Sydney, recently. We wanted to see where our ancestors, the Readford and Aldridge families, lived in the early 1800s. The Readfords ran The Woolpack, an old coaching inn on the outskirts of Ilford, which is still standing. It's now called Old Westwood. The current owner says it's believed to be haunted - by a long-lost relative perhaps?

Reading on Twitter about peoples' love of lone chimney stacks, I just had to include a picture of this lonely and forgotten chimney on the road to Ilford. I wonder if my ancestors ever sat around it with their friends, relaxing after a long day on the farm?