Thursday, November 21, 2013

Voyage to Australia: The ship 'Rodney'

My husband's ancestors, William and Ann Alford (with their infant son William), and William's brother, James, journeyed from their homes in Devon to South Australia in 1855 on the ship called 'Rodney'.

Australian newspapers regularly reported news of ships departing England but as the news was gleaned from newspapers on ships that had recently arrived it was often months out of date and inaccurate. Relatives and friends waited anxiously in Australia for news of ship travel times and events - there would have been letters sent beforehand as the intending emigrants made travel preparations.

Cornwall Chronicle (Devonport, Tasmania), 24 Jan 1855
The Rodney left Plymouth 21 November 1854 and arrived Adelaide 20 February 1855. It carried 321 passengers. William Frazer (or Fraser) was the Master, John Brownfield the Surgeon-Superintendent and Mrs Morgan the Matron. According to a report in the Government Gazette 'the ship arrived in very good order-harmony and contentment prevailed on board.'

An Adelaide newspaper listed the passengers (our William and Ann are first on the list). It doesn't mention that there were six births during the voyage and seven deaths (all infants) but the numbers were published elsewhere in the paper the same day, and the names were published in the Government Gazette.

South Australian Register, 21 Feb 1855
South Australian Register, 21 Feb 1855


The South Australian Government Gazette
Name
Age
Date of Death
Cause of Death
Where buried
Williams, Norris ?
1
December 7th 1854
Convulsions
at sea
Parry, Henry ?
1
December 19th 1854
Exhaustion
at sea
Park, Matilda
(Parkin)

inf
January 8th 1855
Diarrhoea
at sea
Ellery, George
1
January 12th 1855
Diarrhoea
at sea
Newton, Elizabeth
inf
January 19th 1855
Diarrhoea
at sea
Ellery, William
2
February 12th 1855
Measles
at sea
Trevithick, Mary A.
1
February 12th 1855
Diarrhoea
at sea


Name of Mother

Date of Birth
Sex of Infant

Watkins, Mary

December 24th, 1854
female

Harris, Celia

December 30, 1954
female

French, Ann

January 15th 1855
male

Comley, Sarah Ann

January 17th 1855
male

Walker, Elizabeth

February 15th 1855
female

Fleming, Johanna

February 17th 1855
female

The South Australian Register, 21 Feb 1855
The Rodney was at Port Adelaide for about four weeks and during that time one of the crew, Daniel Small, was charged by the ship's master, William Frazer, and fined for being drunk and disorderly.
South Australian Register, 28 Feb 1855
The ship sailed 20 March 1855 for Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and was carrying mail for England.
South Australian Register, 19 March 1855
The Alfords lived near the present-day Victor Harbor in South Australia for a year or two and then moved to, initially, Brighton in Victoria. William and Ann are buried at Warragul, Victoria and James is buried at Ballan, Victoria.

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Lorraine