Maternal Line – The Lorkin Family

This one is still a work-in-progress. But, I just want to acknowledge and thank our US cousin Terilyn Myers who put me onto this path to start chasing!  Awesome collaboration.

Coming to Australia following the Irish potato famine.

Herein is a wonderful opportunity to get a birds-eye view, of why our Irish ancestors were beating a path to Australia when this is the sort of news they were reading back home in Ireland where opportunities for the common-people were quite limited.  It is quite likely that John Lorkin (Larkin) and Mary Donovan were seeing or at least hearing of these reports.

FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT EMIGRATION from The Lurgan, Portadown and Banbridge Advertiser.  Lurgan, County Armagh.  7 February 1850.

We are indebted to Mr. Samuel Sidney for the following very useful information.
North America.—the emigration during the year 1840 amounted to 219,298.  Of these, 182,283 proceeded to the United States, and only 31,065 to the British Colonies.  The Irish formed 129,576 of this emigration, of whom 59,675 proceeded direct from Ireland.

It has been ascertained, that the amount paid in the United States for passage, or remitted through houses at Liverpool and in Ireland for intending emigrants, not including the house of Baring Brothers, Liverpool, was, during the year 1848, upwards of four hundred thousand pounds.  The emigration into New York in 1848 was—Irish, 88,061; English, 23,662; Scotch, 6415.

Canada—the total emigration into Canada during the year 1848 was 27,939.  Of these 7,355 proceeded to the United States, and 56 to New Brunswick.  The great falling off  of the emigration into Canada is attributed to the provisions of the Colonial Act of last year, and to the uncertainty, even more than the amount, of the taxes imposed thereby.

Australia and the Cape of Good Hope.–Between the 7th November 1847, and the 17th May in the following year, there have been despatched one hundred and fifteen ships, filled with free or assisted emigrants, amounting to 28,158 souls.

From the ragged schools one hundred and fifty scholars have been despatched at an expense of Ten Pounds a head, the surplus expense being defrayed by private subscriptions.  From workhouses seventy-one have been sent out on payment by the respective Unions of four pounds each, in addition to the usual deposit.

By official report, two hundred and nineteen female Irish orphans were sent by the ship Earl Grey to Sydney. Of these girls, thirty-seven had been despatched to Moreton Bay, and twelve to Maitland and one hundred and ten had obtained places in Sydney.  Since January, 1848, there have been despatched to South Australia, eight thousand three hundred and thirty-two emigrants.  Since 1846, when the population was twenty-two thousand three hundred and ninety souls, thirteen thousand have been despatched at the expense of the land funds, besides voluntary emigration.–The mortality on this large number was under two per cent, and of this three-fourths were children.

Two hundred and thirty Irish orphan girls, all upwards of fourteen years of age, and eight children, arrived at Port Adelaide in October 1848, after a voyage of ninety-one days, without one death.  At the end of fourteen days from the date of arrival, not one orphan fit for service was unemployed; seventy applicants could not be supplied, and two hundred more girls would readily have met with situations.

The cost of a steerage passage to New Zealand is £18.  It is understood that free passages have been superseded by assisted passages; that is to say, each emigrant is required to contribute from one-third to one-half his passage money.

In Natal, the Government offers land at four shillings an acre, or twenty acres and a passage for £10.
For respectable domestic servants, dairymaids, and girls accustomed to farm work, the demand in Australia is almost unlimited.  Labourers, Mechanics, Shepherds, Hutkeepers, Stock-men, Bullock drivers, Small Settlers, Small Squatters, Workingmen and Gentlemen, are all in want of wives! But, ladies thinking of Australia, or the Western States of America, and the bounteous crop of husbands there, must understand that the salt of a happy colonial life lies in the mystics of the pie or pudding, the roast and the boiled; in the whole art of washing and ironing, in the secret of training a raw country girl into a light handy servant, of pulling down insolence and encouraging good humour.


Bibliographical Reference:  The Lurgan, Portadown and Banbridge Advertiser and Agricultural Gazette, printed and published 7 February 1850 by Richard J. Evans, of Lurgan, County of Armagh. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, and posted to the IrelandOldNews web site, by permission of the British Library.

3 thoughts on “Maternal Line – The Lorkin Family

  1. I found a newspaper article you might find interesting. Kings county chronicle (Ireland not NY) Called the inquest. Date October 17, 1849 Murder of Sir Cage, I have not purchased it yet, but Kilcolgan and Ferbane match as well as Michael Larkin. Could be related? Terrilyn Myers. Terri Sent from my iPhone.

    I found this here. But it doesn’t reference John, did you find something different Terri? I wonder was John still living in the area at the time? Must have been the talk of the village. Thanks for the heads-up Terri.

    (From a Correspondent of the Mayo Constitution.)
    Sunday, October 14, 1849 – This morning as this unfortunate gentleman was riding to prayers on one of the tenants’ horses, he was shot dead on the road coming out of Creggan townland, a little above the bridge which divides Ferbane townland and Curraghdown. He fell dead off his horse, and was completely riddled from under his ear down to the lowest rib, on the left side. There were two shots fired at him both at the same instant. It is supposed three men were engaged in the dreadful affair; they were behind the ditch on Ferbace or Corr side, a place well selected for such a villainous deed. There was a countryman chatting him along at the time, and he fell completely over on the man, who being on his right side, received no injury. It is an awful sight. I was out and saw the poor fellow lying on the road just as he fell. His neckerchief was blown into bits, and some of it got in Royston’s field on the opposite side. As yet (4 o’clock p.m.) no clue to the murderer.- The police are all out. The fellows fled in the direction of Corr or Ballinahown. Escape of Mr. Cage was impossible, as he could not have been more than five yards from the muzzles of their deadly weapons; and the villains were so completely concealed behind the hedge escape was impossible. We are all excitement here.

  2. i believe that this was John and Michael’s father, Michael. i am not sue how Parrick is related as of yet, but it is too coincedental to not be related. I believe I found a newspaper article the Michael Sr went to court over the incident. I do not remember if he did any jail time or not. Had a difficult time getting info. However I spoke with a lady in Ferbane willing to look up some information. I have not yet had the chance to do it yet. Expensive.

    • Oh Terri that would be awesome! I followed up the newspaper articles in Ferbane (yes paying for them is a pain in the butt, because here in Aust and in NZ I can look up any local newspapers for free! Anyhoo, based on your tip-off I scouted local Irish papers and I agree with you. I’m starting to wonder now did John and Michael (our ancestors) get out of Ferbane because of the local political climate at the time? I’d love to hear what you are able to scare up 🙂 Warm regards from your Aussie cousin.

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