Sunday afternoon Genealogy Fun

Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Which Ancestor Moved the Furthest

Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week’s mission was:

1)  The Family History Hound listed 20 Questions about your Ancestor, and I’m going to use some of them in the next few months.  

2)  Please answer the first question – “Which ancestor moved the farthest from their home?”


3)  Write your own blog post, make a comment on this post, or post  your answer on Facebook or Google+.  Please leave a link to your answer in comments on this post.

I wrote a similar post on 11 October 2015 “Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun Ancestors who migrated a long way”.

For this post, I’ve decided to plot the distances travelled, to determine which of my immigrant ancestors moved the furthest from their home.

The first immigrant ancestor was my great grandmother Sarah Jane Sharp, who came to Australia with her parents, Henry Sharp and Jane Elizabeth Oldroyd.  Sarah and her parents were born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.  Between the 1851 and 1861 censuses, the family had moved from Wakefield to Newton Heath, Lancashire – 49.6 kms. In 1863 the family migrated to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – 16965 kms.  They then settled at Woodstock West – 141 kms.  Total 17155.6 kms

All but one of my great grandparents were immigrant ancestors.  The first of these were my 2x great grandparents Joseph Whimpey and Margaret Price.  Joseph was born at Frome, Somerset, England, and he married Margaret in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire, Wales. Distance from Frome to Bedwellty – 80.24 kms.  Margaret was born in Merthyr Cynog, Breconshire, Wales which is only 42.34 kms.  After their marriage, Joseph and Margaret then travelled to Bristol – 50.54 kms. They then set sail for Port Phillip – 17066.32 kms. The family then went to Adelaide, South Australia, for a while – 657.km.  In 1851, they were in Portland, Victoria, where they baptized their daughter Sarah – 470 km.  By 1853, they were in Castlemaine – 271.28 km.  They then settled in the Tarnagulla area – 47.49 km. Joseph moved a total distance of 18642.87 kms.

I’ve already covered the next couple, Henry and Jane.

The next couple after that were Robert Harley and Euphemia Dandie.  Robert was born in Longforgan, Perthshire, Scotland, while Euphemia was born in Ferry Port on Craig (Tayport), Fifeshire, Scotland.  They were married in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  The distance was Longforgan to Dundee is 8.89 km.  The distance from Tayport to Dundee is 5.88 km.  The family then migrated to Australia. They would probably have travelled to Liverpool to board a ship there -338.72 km.  They arrived in Melbourne in 1852 – 17018.22 km.  They lived for a while at South Melbourne, and then had a farm at Lancefield – 67.47. They then returned to South Melbourne. – Robert moved a total distance of 17500.77

Thomas Henry Russell was born in Cork, Ireland, and travelled with his family to Melbourne.  He lived the rest of his life in Victoria, so the distance he moved wouldn’t have been more than Joseph Whimpey.

Maria Louisa Doyle was born in Birmingham, and travelled with her family to Melbourne. She also remained in Victoria for the rest of her life.

James Marr was born in Dundee, and his wife Martha Richardson was born in Cupar, Fife.  They also sailed directly to Melbourne, and stayed in Victoria.

William John Reeves was born in East Stonehouse, Devon. By the time of the 1841 census, his family had moved to Shepton Mallet, Somerset, where his father was from. Distance from East Stonehouse to Shepton Mallet – 145.43 kms.  William then migrated to Australia, arriving in New South Wales in 1849.  Distance from Shepton Mallet to Sydney – 17156 kms.  By 1858 he had moved to Amherst, in Victoria where he married Mary Gill – distance from Sydney to Amherst 774.09 kms.  He remained in the Amherst area for the rest of his life.  Total distance: 18075.52.

The rest of my immigrant ancestors would have moved similar distances.  Perhaps the ancestor who moved the furthest would be Mary Gill, nee Scott.

Mary was born in Aspatria, Cumberland, England. Mary came to Australia with her children in 1852, sailing on the Shackamaxon, which sailed from Liverpool, England. To Port Adelaide. Her death certificate showed that she had lived in Adelaide for 4 years, Sydney for 6 years, and Victoria for 10 years.  She died at Cockatoo Gully (Amherst).

Aspatria to Liverpool – 151.91 km. Liverpool to Port Adelaide – 16380.29 km.  Adelaide to Sydney – 1162.48 km. Sydney to Amherst – 773.16 km. Total distance: 18467.84

The last ancestor to try is William Edward Ball.  William was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.  In 1853, William received a Masters Certificate in London.  Distance from Gothenburg to London – 1037.74 km.  The next record for him was his marriage to Ann Slawson in 1855 at Eastern Hill, Melbourne.  Distance from London to Melbourne – 16903.21.  Daughter Alice was born at Geelong – 64.37 km.  The next child was born at Alberton – 206.66 km.  The next child was born near Sale -67.15 km.  The family then settled in the Bairnsdale area. -54.57 km.  Total distance: 18333.70 km.

According to this, Joseph Whimpey moved the furthest, although there were a few ancestors who moved a similar distance.

Featured image created using a photo from Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/search/sailing-ship?photo=j1egA73qp7c  Photo by Katherine McCormack.) and Microsoft PowerPoint.

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