Saturday, November 5, 2011

Letters to and about George and Elizabeth Broomfield, who Emigrated from Darnick, Scotland to Australia in 1839

The Darnick Village site has an interesting article about George and Elizabeth Broomfield who emigrated from Darnick (in the parish of Melrose, Roxburghshire),
Scotland on the 'Formosa' which left Liverpool on 18th January 1839 and arrived in Sydney, Australia in May 1839 (see ship arrivals ) with their children, Margaret, Thomas and Robert. Another son, Alexander, due to an epidemic of whooping cough did not survive the voyage and there were two daughters, Mary and Alice who died in Scotland.

Their passage on the 'Formosa' (535 tons) under the command of Captain Alexander Adam was assisted under the Bounty Scheme, there were 250 passengers (see shipping intelligence) and the ship's cargo. Thanks to Trove Australia for these newspaper images.

The Broomfields were the first settlers of 'Bow Hill', Dingo Creek, Manning River, Australia, but they evidently lived in other locations, too, including Green Hills by Maitland; Upper Patterson; Paterson, Hunters River; Mudgee, Bungy Bungy.
It would be nice if these locations were pinpointed - perhaps a reader in Australia can do this ?

Also on board the 'Formosa', were Robert and Hellen Wallace, of Melrose, accompanied by their three children, William, Ferguson and Nancy.
The article is accompanied by more than 25 letters written to or about the Broomfields. The spelling in some of these letters leaves a lot to be desired but is understandable, and contains interesting details, for example,

Earlstown 12th November 1838
I the undersigned hearby sertify that George Brumfield (Broomfield) was engaged by me as shipard (shepherd) on the farm of West Morristown Parish of Legerwood Shier (Shire) of Berwick Scottland for the last two years that I passed at that farm from Whitsunday 1823 to Whitsunday 1825 and managed my stock of sheap (sheep) which extended to upwards of seven hundred young and old at sertan (certain) seasons of the year – which he managed with great cair (care)and atenchion (attention) with the assistance of a boy for a few days in the throng of the lambing season he contended (continued) on the farm when I left with my sucksesor (successor) as shipard (shepherd) for years and left that Parish with a good moral carater (character) and in full comanion (communion) with the established Church he has bean (been) resident in the Parish of Melros(e) Roxburgh Shier (Shire) since and hes caried (carried) on the business of dealing a little in cattle and sheap (sheep) and ocationly (occasionally) trying the *flecher business and was sumtimes employed by Gentelmen in the neighbourhood for sorting ther (their) stock and from the practice hes hed (had) from his youth of manigin (managing) and sorting stock – I consider him a first reat (rate) hand to send to a new colenay. (colony) for aney (any) Gentelmen with a large stock who engage a man unexperienced to tak(e) charge of it may run a great risk of losing mor(e) in wan (one) year then culd (could) pay duble (double) and treple (treble) his wages
I have no hesitation in saying that the main motive of his leving (leaving) his native hom(e) is by the great encurigment (encouragement) now held forth and the reasonable charge now mead (made) for transporting emigrat (emigrants) to such a distant colony and by persyvering (persevering) in honesty and diligent in business that he will be enabled by the greace (grace) of God assisting him that he will acquier (acquire) a mor(e) ample livelihood than he hes (has) hitherto dun (done) for himself and yung (young) family and that he may do justly love mercy and walk humbly with his God is the arnest (earnest) wish of his old master
George Scott

*Probably flesher, a Scottish word for butcher.

Read more of the Broomfield letters.

Interestingly, the Formosa doesn't appear on Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, and, of course, the Broomfield's departure date is too early for the Scottish Emigration Database because that deals with ships that left from 1890 to 1960.

(My thanks to Charlie Denoon, a Society member, who I saw at the Maxton kirk coffee morning and told me about these letters and gave me permission to use content from the article).


GeniAus said...

Google maps will find some of these places that are all in New South Wales for you. (Don't know about Bungy Bungy - might be the name of a property.)

The Geoscience Australia (government) Place Name Search is another good resource

The Manning and Hunter Rivers are to the north of Sydney. Maitland and Paterson are in the Hunter (winegrowing) Region while Mudgee (another winegrowing area) is north-west of Sydney

Peter Munro said...

Thanks for your suggestion. I did look on Google but couldn't find Bow Hill. There are several Dingo Creeks, and I'm not clear whether Manning River is a place or only a river. Greenhills appears to be a locality of Maitland.

Jane said...

Hi Peter
This article from the local newspaper in Wingham might be relevant for you
Manning River is just the river (not a place) which goes through Taree and Wingham. There is a Bow Hill Road just to the west of Wingham.

I was interested in your blog as I had some relatives who arrived in Sydney from England on the Formosa on 20 May 1839. They had a child who was born on the voyage who was called Alexander Campbell Lee. I guess he was named after the Ship's Captain and surgeon respectively. This baby also died at three weeks shortly after they arrived - no doubt due to the same epidemic.

Peter Munro said...

Thank you.
That article about the Manning Valley Historical Society's museum is indeed, interesting. It reveals more about the Wallace and Broomfield family trees, saying that Ethel Broomfield was the daughter of Nancy Wallace and Robert Broomfield, and ties Nancy to Robert and Hellen Wallace, of Melrose.

Jane said...

Peter You're welcome!
Just another thought about the Manning River and associated place with that name... the area around Taree and Wingham is often referred to as the Manning Valley.

Peter Munro said...

I've just re-read the Wingham Chronicle article. It says 'Nancy married Robert Bloomfield in 1859', is that a mistake for Broomfield, or was 'Ethel Broomfield' really 'Ethel Bloomfield' ? Perhaps a Wingham reader can enlighten us.

If Nancy did marry Robert Broomfield, was he related to George and Elizabeth Broomfield, and how ?

Jane said...

Hi Peter - perhaps you could contact them yourself via the comments at the bottom of the article? (I was nearly going to - but thought it might be more appropriate for you to?) You never know who might contact you. best regards

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