Hi all my GenealogyWise friends
Does anyone know about Penal Transportation from UK to USA in the 1840s/1850s? This is proving an insoluble mystery to me. My G-grandmother was born in Hanover, Connecticut in 1846 and apparently she and her mother and siblings went to Australia to a penal colony in New South Wales some time in 1850s. It is understood her father, Joseph Holliday, was in the penal colony. How could it be possible for someone who was living in Connecticut to then end up in Australia?
Any clues or ideas, please?
Best wishes from County Offaly, Ireland
I think you are right to be mystified by this story. Since the United States had been a sovereign nation for some 70 years before the incident you describe, there does not appear to be a legal reason for such a move. Transportation was a common form of punishment in England because the English had places in other parts of the world that they wanted populated and settled. The US might have deported an alien (non-citizen), but they would not have sent the person to a particular place such as a penal colony. As far as I know there was no such place owned by the US at that time.
Was the mother a US citizen? Where was the father? Have you done research in US records to find out when the immigrants in the family arrived in the US and where they lived, etc? If there was some sort of legal infraction, there will likely be a court record. If the parents were not citizens, and they committed a crime that made them undesirable as US residents, they might have been deported, and dependent children, citizens or not, might have been forced to go with them. At that point they may have chosen to go to Australia because they knew someone who was already there. There was no sense in going back to Ireland, right?
I'm intrigued by this story. If you provide me with the names, and anything else you know, I will spend some time looking into it. If you are interested in having me do this, please post the information here or send it to me at email@example.com.
Thanks so much, Nora, for your very speedy response to my 'problem'. I will send you the details to your e-mail address. Kindest regards from Ireland.
Good move Nora and yes Lorraine it would be better if you did post update on this so that others can track it as well, then somewhere along the line someone, somewhere could possibly have an answer that is very beneficial to your plee.
In the mean time I too will put a few feelers out to see what I can find as I get enjoyment out of hard challenges.
Regards from Aust