SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH-L ArchivesArchiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH > 2003-08 > 1060075854
From: Anne wellman <>
Subject: [ZA-IB] Re: SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH-D Digest V03 #516
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 19:30:59 +1000
I found the article ,I'm sorry I can't tell you which book it comes from
as in 2000 my husband and I won a hoiday to the Uk and then went S , Africa,
I said I would like to trace my family history but didn't have a clue how to
do it. At Warminister we stayed at a B&b with a loverly couple and when I
mentioned I was looking for my family and my mothers side came out with the
1820 settlers , He said to go to Bathurst as his family had gone to S.A.
with them as well. Well without taking too much time to exp,ain we found
ourselves with a lovely couple in Bathurst who phoned all their friends who
decended from 1820 settlers and we were told to go to Grahamstown.
My mother had asked me to visit her cousin in Port Alfred so we went there
and while having a cuppa we overheard a lady talking about 1820 settlers and
as I was desperate I talked tp her and was told there was a Port Alfred
Genealogy place ,They were so helpful and said I could copy anything I liked
so I grabbed every article with 1820 on it, and this article is from
there.Why I have explained this, is at that time I didn't know to write down
the source of your info and now don't know whatit was in, If I get there
again I will look them up.
About The Settlers lists.
As part of his application to emigrate ,each head of party was required to
complete an official form giving the names ,ages , and occupation of all his
proposed settlers. These lists were amended as the Colonial Department was
notified of any changes that took place. The lists Formed the basis on which
the amount of deposit money was calculated, copies were sent to the navel
authorities in charge of transport arrangments, and in due course copies
were delivered to the colonial office at the CApe .
These officia;l lists , which are now preserved in the Cape Archives Depot
and the public Record Office ,London, provide the information on which all
later attempts to list the 1820 settlers have been based. However , for a
variety of reasons they cannot be simply taken at face value.
>From the time the first lists were submitted to the Colonial Dept. in
Augusty 1819 until the transports finally sailed , numerous changes took
place in the composition of the settlers parties, Some of these changes were
put down to prejudices -Radical propogander against emigration, and fear of
ferocious wild beasts and bloodthirsty savages. Most parties were not
informed of the success of their application until October or November .
Michaelmus quarter day -29 September -was a traditional time for renewing
leases and labour contracts, and many prospective emigrants, unsure whether
their party had been accepted or rejected , decided to play safe and
withdraw from the party rather than risk possible homelessness and
Ill health was frequently given as the reason for withdrawal from an
emigrant party, but the most powerful fact
or was probably fear of leaving the familiar for the unknown. Changes of
heart resulted in an almost 100percent replacement rate in some settlers
parties , and after families had gone on board their allotted transports
,the icey weather conditions which enforced weeks of delay before sailing
gave a last oppertunity for second thoughts about emigrating.
As places in the emigrant parties became vacant through withdrawal or
desertions, most of them were taken up by eager substitutes ,often former
Members of other parties whose applications had been rejected . Even after
the parties had embarked , would be emigrants hung around the docks on the
chance of becoming official or unofficial replacements for last minute
deserters or ven smuggling themselves aboard as stowaways.
It was common practice foe substitutes to travel under the name of the men
they replaced. Party leaders neglected to inform the authorities of changes
or hesitated to do so in case objections were raised. When the first
partywent on board their transport , the navy board agents turned away
anyone whose name was not on the official lists and emigrants were quick to
adopt another mans name rather than risk rejection. It was not until late
Dec.1819 that a formal direction was issued permitting substitutes to enbark
, so long as the origional number of settlers in the party was not exceeded.
Au attempt to reconcile the names of settlers that apeared in colonial
records with the names on the origional list makes it abundantly clear that
many of the people on the lists did not emigrate, and that those that did
emigrate were not listed under their names.
Even when families were know without a doubt to have been amongst the actual
emigrants, the details given in the officcial lists are often unrealiable.
Variations in spelling and ages suggest that some of the emigrants
themselves were uncerttain of their and their childrens actual ages and the
spelling of their own names- perhaps not surprising when church registers
were the only formal population records, and the level of literacy among the
labouring classes was low .A spoken name ,particularly if the spaekers
dialect was unfamiliar, could be misheard and consequently misspelt, an
illiterate settler would not be aware of the error. Badly written names
could be misread and miscopied.
In addition ,apart from inadvertent mistakes made in writing and copying ,
the terms of the emigration scheme itself invited deliberate
falsification.Ages ,Occupationm, number of children and even marital status
were deliberatly falsified by the settlers themselves or by the party heads
who compiled the returns, in order to make the application more acceptable
and to reduce the amount of deposit money that had to be paid. Children
from large families were tempoealy transferred to other parents to aviod
paying extra deposits; apprenticed lads were listed as sons of adult
settlers , single women were wives of unmarried men, and many 16 year old
who could pass for 14 was listed accordingly.Middle aged men reduced their
age in case they were considered too old to make useful settlers. Clerks,
confectioners and piano tuners were entered on the official lists as
agriculterists in order to improve their chance of selection.(Ironically ,it
was seen as an advantage in the Albany settlement a year or so later to
belong to the ornamemntal trades, as when permission to leave their
locations was granted only to men who not reasomably be expected to earn a
living on the land. As many settlers then claimed to be coach painters, and
pastry cooks as had formaly claimed to be farmers.)
For most of the settlers parties there are at least two official lists on
record, sometimes differing considerably from each other . The latest and
most reliable of these lists are the returns compiled Agents of Transports,
Officers appionted by the Navy Board to oversee the embarkment of the
settlers and to travel with them to the CApe. In some cases the Agents
Returns were brought up to, date on arrival at the CApe to include births,
deaths, on the voyage.
Unfortunatly , Agents Returns exist for some settlers parties only, Those
foe Carlisle's party on the Chapman and the parties on board the Nautilus,
the Stentor and the John,Le Belle Alliance and the Weymouth, as well as
Synnot's party on the Fanny , have not been traced. For the eleven settler
parties on the Weymouth this gap is effectively filled by the ships
Muster-roll and log whichj was preserved in the public Records office . For
the others ,the only official lists available are those that were submitted
to the Colonial Department in London (the London Lists) sometimes months
before the parties sailed , and these lists do not usually reflect last
THe accuracy of even the Agents Returns must depend , of course on the
conscientioueness of the particular officer who compiled them , and the
accuracy and verification of the heads of party and tehindividual settlers
who provided the info in the first place.
Hope this helps Andy, it is interesting and willlook if I have anything
else,I came home thinking I'd noy found much but now find I have quiet a lot
Anne in Sunny Australia today, but it has been very cold
There is more on the scheme if you would like it let me know.
|[ZA-IB] Re: SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH-D Digest V03 #516 by Anne wellman <>|