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Title Alfred Elder Shipboard Diary on the Orient Line Ship 'SS St Osyth', England to Australia
Author Elder, Alfred (1848-1912)
Date 11 May-28 Jun 1875
Document Type Personal Account
Reference HT 20441
Library / Archive Museums Victoria
Collection Name Diaries / Journals / Letters
Description Shipboard diary written by Alfred Elder on board the SS St Osyth, during his third class journey migrating to Melbourne from Scotland via England in 1875. Alfred Elder records the condition on board a steam ship, including the taking on of cargo, food and drink, the weather, a coal fire on the ship and the constant dust caused by shifting coal to the boilers. He also wrote of his first impressions of Melbourne and that the long, narrow nature of the Yarra River reminds him of "the Firth of Forth" at "home".
Series Description His shipboard journal reads as a memorandum or testament, with its final passages addressed directly to his brother and sister, who remained in Britain.
Biographical Note / History Alfred was born in Burntisland, Fifeshire in Scotland on 19 October 1848. His family lived in various locations in the south east of Scotland, with children born in Fife and in Edinburgh. The 1871 census shows Alfred and his sister Cassandra living in Edinburgh with their mother, with Alfred working as a grocer's porter. After the death of his mother in 1873, Alfred sailed for Australia from Gravesend in England on board the SS St Osyth in 1875, arriving on 27 June 1875. Alfred writes in his diary that immediately after his arrival, he lived with an aunt on Franklin Street, North Melbourne. He soon found employment, most likely as a gentleman's servant as is listed on his marriage certificate for the following year. On 19 October 1876, Alfred married Ann Jane Rooney, herself an immigrant from Tyrone, Ireland, working as a domestic servant, The Elders were married in Camberwell and lived in St. Kilda where Alfred was living at that time. They had seven children, three died before their parents. The family remained in St. Kilda with Alfred probably remaining in domestic service while Anne worked as a dressmaker. Alfred Elder died on 21 December 1912 in Coburg, Melbourne; Ann died in 1929, having moved to Geelong.
Theme(s) Journey Conditions; Arrivals: Ports and Early Experiences
Country (from) Great Britain
Country (to) Australia
Places Gravesend, Plymouth, England; Madeira Island; St. Vincent
Nationality Scottish; Irish
Ships SS St Osyth
People Elder, Alfred
Keywords shipping, Orient Line, food, passenger, emigration, cargo, bad weather, animals, religion, surgeon, trade, postal service, alcohol, coal, health and sickness
Additional Information Please note: Some of the metadata for this document has been taken from the Museum Victoria catalogue.
Catalogue Link Museums Victoria Catalogue
Language English
Copyright Museums Victoria