1839 ‘Susan’ Murray family
A complete list of the Susan’s passengers in on the NSW Archives website on Reel 1307 (4/4849).
The more detailed immigration records are not on the website but are available in major libraries on NSWAO Reel 2654.
- Emigrant ship.
- 572t, Capt. Payne or Hayne.:
- Cork 17.10.1839 – Londonderry 19.10.1839 – Sydney 1.2.1839.
- 261 Government emigrants, plus Mr Mrs and Miss Ellard, and Surgeon Charles Kennedy in Cabin accommodation.
- Four children died en route – males age 9 and 3; females age 18 mths and 14 mths. Two babies born en route – one girl, one boy.
- Check also “Detailed account of conditions aboard an emigrant ship after the first few days of passage”. PRO Nth Ireland. Copy T1935. AJCP M 387-8. May be PARLAND or SUSAN.
- See 4/4780 p. 212; 4/4849 p.361
· An entry of 4 November 1838 notes the sighting ‘the island of Porto Santo’ , which is in the Madiera Is., off the coast of North Africa.
- General Report on the way in which the Emigration Ship “Susan” has been victualled and fitted out to convey Emigrants.
Married Male Immigrant
Brought out by Govt
A Native of Fermanagh
Son of James, a farmer in same place and Ellinor McGoldritch, his wife.
Calling : Farm Labourer
Age on Embarkation : 35 – 10 Nov. 1838
State of bodily health, strength and probable usefulness: Very Good
Religion : R. Catholic
Remarks : Read & Write
A native of Kesh – Fermanagh
Daughter of Philip Shannon, a Blacksmith and Mary Clarke his wife
Calling: Lived at home
Age on Embarkation – 36 about Xmas 1838
State of bodily etc. Very good
Remarks: Neither read nor write
Children; James 16 14 Sept 1838
Phillip 14 11 June 1838
Charles 6 2 July 1838
Mary 12 20 Dec 1838
Ellinor 9 18 Sept 1838
Margaret 3 27 May 1838
from L’Derry to Sydney New South Wales
I have few or no remarks to make concerning the victualling of the Emigration Ship “Susan” by Lieut Forrest R.N. Government Agent at L’pool. She has been amply supplied with every species of Provision & Water, for a ten(?) months voyage, all of which have been of good quality and in good state and condition when opened. Two Casks have been found in a bad state, one containing Lime Juice (supposed contents 37 gals) – the other was a Cask containing Molasses, arising in both from Bad I have in the under side of the Casks in the former the Contents had all leaked out in the latter 15 gallons remained.
The provisions have been issued to the Emigrants nearly according to the Scheme I received from the Agent General of Emigration. I have thought proper to victual all Boys from the Age of 10 years and upwards as male souls and the girls of the same age as Female souls. My reason for doing so was that I observed many of them had their ages inserted on the Nominal Return considerably below what they actually were.
The Fitting of the Ship has been likewise well executed both with respect to cleaning and ventilating the Berths and for the comfort of the Emigrants. I have however found it necessary to shut up the two water closets between Decks placed there for the convenience of the Females and Children from the Lead in Pipes always becoming choaked up in consequence of being bent and too small in Diameter, creating a nuisance between Decks.
I have likewise found the Pipe in the water closets on deck were too small. I ordered wooden ones to be substituted for the leaden ones and one of these to be appropriate for the use of the Females and Children.
The Hospitals have not been so well ventilated or light as I could have wishes but they arose I am informed from the manner in which the vessel has been built, which could not have been otherwise without considerable injury being done to the said Ship.
I have to observe that I am perfectly satisfied with the conduct and demeanour of the Master Officers and Crew of the Ship. All appear to have acted toward the Emigrants with every mark of kindness, in particular when nearly all the Emigrants were sea sick.
I have great pleasure in stating that the behaviour of the Emigrants during the voyage has been to my satisfaction. They have been quiet and orderly, in a few instances I have only had occasion to find fault with some individuals and who afterwards acted with great propriety.
Not having received any rules or regulations from the Agent General for Emigration, I have ordered the annexed to be read to them for their guidance.
Every care has been taken and every facility given by the Master & Officers to preserve the Health of the Emigrants by keeping the Ship clean and well ventilated & likewise personal cleanliness.
On leaving Londonderry the weather for some time was very stormy which reduced many to a very weak state, in particular John Dempsey, a boy of 10 years of age of a weakly constitution and bad habit of body. While in that debilitated state he was attacked with inflammation on the left side of the neck terminating in a large abscess which proved fatal.
Two cases of a Typhoid Type occurred in one Family shortly after leaving Port, brought on board by one of the Family being in a convalescent state at the time of Embarking, they were immediately separated from the others and kept by themselves until they were perfectly well. Other three cases proved fatal, one was Bridget Collins a child 18 months of age of a Rickety Habit of body, who had suffered much from the Teething Fever and died of a Palmonec Affection & supervening(?
Another Case was Mary Anne Ireland aged 14 months of a Scrofullar Constitution and was in a weak state when received on board. She died of a diseased State of the Bowels.
The other Case was Ja’s Hutcheson a boy three years of age who was affected with the disease hooping cough when he entered on board, which was not discovered until the ship had been some time at Sea. As we approached the Equator, the Symptoms nearly disappeared, but on reaching the Southern Latitude, when the weather became colder, the symptoms returned again which likewise proved fatal.
Several others embarked on board with the Disease which was concealed for a time. The disease ……….. almost any medicine with the exception of Mary Dempsey 15 years of Age who has had rather a Severe attack of the disease. She is now the only one affected and may be pronounced convalescent. When the Disease was first observed care was taken to have the affected kept by themselves which was attended with some difficulty from the remarks of the Parents, “that the Children could not have the Disease at a better or more convenient time”.
As we entered the Tropics and the weather became warm, Bowel complaints and Fever were very common among the Emigrants arising in all probability from the change of Climate and Diet. The diseases in almost every instance have been very mild and yielded to the usual treatment. I have
…. the Emigrants to be out of Bed at Six or Seven O’Clock – Men and Boys on deck to wash themselves, Women and Children below to do the Same.
The Water and Provisions for the Day served out – Beds rolled up & Stored away on Deck, to be aired if the Day was favorable, if otherwise to be put …
Meals to be at the regular hours – Eight, Twelve and Four. After Breakfast between decks to be scrubbed and washed or dry holystoned, according to the State of the weather, well fumigated once or twice a week with Vinegar or Chloride of Lime. Ventilated by windsails down each Hatchway and the Scuttles open. In warm weather all the meals to be taken on Deck under the Awning when the Day is fine.
To promote Cleanliness, two days in each week have been allowed for washing clothes; one day for the Emigrants on the harboard side, the other for them on the Starboard side, with a quantity of Fresh Water for each days when the weather would permit so as not to interfere with the Duty of the Ship. Every assistance has been given by the Crew in hanging up the Clothes to dry.
The young Men have been divided into two Watches at their own request and when the weather became cold they have only kept day watch.
I have likewise had the Heads of Family put into watches for the night between decks for the purpose of keeping order below and to attend to the Lamps placed in each Hatchway under the Superintendance of one of the Corporals, which has been attended with a very good effect in preventing any irregularity that may have taken place.
To promote a religious disposition among the Emigrants, Divine Service every Sunday has been performed, weather permitting, in the afternoon a Sermon has been delivered by Mr. Watson Passenger and every Evening Prayers by Christians of different denominations.
Sixty children have been taught under the Superintendance of Mr. Watson when the weather would permit, and who has made himself useful as a religious instructor.
The cases now on the Sick List are all in a Convalescent State, from the care that has been taken in cleaning, ventilating and enforcing cleanliness among the Emigrants. The Ship in my opinion may be said to have been healthy. Some have not altogether recovered from a … voyage and a few are suffering from a Nostalgic affection, with these excepting all the others have very much improved in their personal appearance.
Two births have taken place during the voyage – Mrs. Kiddle of a daughter and Mrs. Hutchison of a son.
Chas Kennedy Surgeon Superintendant
Sydney 2nd February 1839.
- Rules and Regulations to be observed by the Emigrants on board the Ship “Susan” from L’Derry to Sydney N.S.W.
- All orders given by the Captn or his Officers for the Comfort of the Passengers on the Safety of the Ship to be strictly attended to particularly in going below or removing to another place when ordered – and the Officers superintending the Cleaning of the Lower Deck to be punctually obey
- Any person or persons using profane language, found quarrelsome, or acting in a disorderly manner contrary to good discipline to have their conduct reported to the Governor on the vessels arrival at Sydney.
- The Sabbath day to be respected according to Law, and at 10 o’clock am. all the Children will be inspected, after which Divine Service will be performed, when the Weather will permit.
- Every Morning at 7 o’clock when the weather will permit, the Men and Boys above the age of 7 years to get up, tie up their bed tightly and hand them on Deck to be stowed away, after which they will wash themselves and remain on Deck.
- The Women as soon as the Men and Boys have gone up on Deck to get up make up their Beds & hand them to the Men at the Hatchways to be stowed away.
- One Man from each Mess will attend at the Coppers to receive the Breakfast, Dinner, & Supper for the Mess, and the same person to receive from the Ships Steward the days provision for the Mess & also the daily allowance of Water from the Officers who issue it.
- A Corporal and two Captns of Messes will constantly attend weekly by rotation to see the provisions issued to the Deputies from each Mess and also that the Meat is washed and put into Soak the day before Cooking.
- The Meals to be served regularly at 8, 12 & 4 o’clock. One hour will be allowed for each meal. The provisions viz Oatmeal Bread to be served out before breakfast – Lime Juice to be throughout the day.
- After breakfast when the weather will permit, all the boards of the Lower Berths to be removed by the Men belonging to them, the upper and lower berths will then be swept clean and the Deck well dried under the Berths under the direction of one of the Officers of the Ship assisted by the Ships Corporals. The boards being replaced the women & children to get into their proper berths, or remain on Deck till the ‘tween decks is cleaned and dried.
- Every week 4 men and 4 boys will be nominated to clean and sweep the Decks after Meals – one hour to be allowed after breakfast and ½ an hour after other Meals.
- No passenger will be allowed to wring swabs or draw Buckets of water, as a tub will be fitted on deck from the Pump at the Rear(?)
- At Sunset the beds will be taken below by the Men and Boys and placed in the Berths, the Women will then make them and put the Children to Bed. The remainder will then assemble and Prayers will be read after which all lights to be put out except one at each Hatchway & silence established for the night.
- Cleanliness must be always observed and to effect this there will be two days in every week allowed for washing clothing according to the state of the weather, the Men and Boys clothes to be washed one week and the Women and Childrens the next. No washing of clothes will be allowed below nor must any wet or damp linen belonging to the Children be found in the Berths, all such must be sent instantly on Deck, dried and then taken below to remain if necessary till permission be given to wash.
- No Men or Boys to be permitted to use the Larboard Deck Water Closet, the Women are therefore expected to maintain that place in a state of dryness and cleanliness, and no nuisance allowed in the buckets(?) between decks.
- On Wednesday & Saturday afternoon, the Men will be shorn and the Boys and Children have their Heads Combed and their hair cut short.
- No smoking to be permitted below at any time; ½ an hour after meals being allowed for smoking on decks, & no sitting or laying on the tables on any account.
- Every Mess to be accountable for the Tins it has received and any person found with any article belonging to another in his or her possession to be reported to the Surgeon and punished as he may think proper.
- All complaints on any Subject whatever to be quietly made known to me on Deck, & they shall be redressed if in my power.
- The Master at Arms and Ships Corporals to See the above Regulations carried into effect and to report any person or persons acting Contrary to the Same.
Bernard M Cowley – Master at Arms
Chas Murray )
Henry Carey )
Ed Hutcheson )
John Campbell ) Ships Corporals
Robt Watson )
Robt Howard )
Robt Kiddle )
Jas McCoy )
“Susan” at Sea
10th November 1838
Chas. Kennedy Surgeon Superintendant
National Library – “Susan” – Surgeon’s Log – Reel PRO3214
On the ship leaving Londonderry the weather was very stormy for twelve days, during that time the emigrants in general suffered very much from seasickness. In particular, the nursing mothers who became so weak and debilitated in consequence, that they had little or no milk for nourishment of their children, that I found it necessary to substitute preserved milk, sago, arrowroot, gruel for their support, and nourishing ……………the mothers, notwithstanding several of both did not recover until nearly the termination of the voyage.
From the change of diet, the confinement to bed from seasickness, constipation became a prevailing complaint among them, and it was with some difficulty that my medicine could be retained upon the stomach for the purpose of removing the constipated state of the bowels, which were in many instances very obstinate.
The two cases of Typhus Fever which occurred in the early part of the voyage, was brought on board by one of the family being in a convalescent state at the time they embarked, which had been concealed from the selecting officer at the time the family was examined.
The first case was attended with dangerous symptoms for some time, the other case, of a milder character; in both instances the disease terminated favourably.
The cases of Synochus (Note: a continued or unintermitting fever – FCM) arose in my opinion, from exposing themselves to the sun’s rays while within the Tropics. The disease attached to those of a weakly constitution. The treatment consisted ………and cold applications to the head and low diet.
Several cases of Synochus appeared while within the Tropics. I am inclined to believe from the same cause as the others. Those attacked were generally of a full habit ? of body and had been exposing themselves to the sun. The symptoms were of an inflammatory nature with considerable detumation (?) (swelling?) to the head.
The remedies used were vivisector purgations (?), Sudafed (?) , cold applications to the head, with low diet – which had the desired effecting subduing the febrile excitement (?) leaving them in a debilitated state, ……were administered until they eventually recovered.
Diarrhea,with some dysentoria symptoms, was not an uncommon complaint among the Emigrants arising in all probability from the hot weather, change of diet, combined with checked perspiration when the body was heated.
The cases of Diarrhea in all instances yielded to purgatives, sudarifics, and astringents; …..Sago and arrowroot diet – The cases accompanied with dysentery symptoms readily gave way to small doses of calomel and …. ….. …. ….and occasional doses of Castor Oil.
Pulmonic affection(?) occurred in a few instances among those who neglected to put on warm clothing when the weather became cool, although ordered to do so. The remedies used consisted of free depletion, purgatives, sudorifics, blisters (?), and expectorants (?). Under these remedies they have all recovered.
Hooping cough was brought into the ship by several of the Emigrants having the disease in their families when they embarked, was likewise concealed from the selecting officer and not discovered until the ship was at sea. Many of the children were attacked with the disease in rather a mild form in many instances, not requiring the …. of medicine. One case, a child 18 months, proved fatal in which there had been a diseased state of the bowels previous to being seized with the complaint – the treatment I adopted in cases I thought necessary were repeated emetics, purgatives, expectorants, and continued according to the urgency of the symptoms.
A case of Tabes Misenterica (?) (Consumption – FCM) proved fatal in a child 8 months old, who was labouring under the disease when received on board, without any prospect of recovering from the disease.
Another case proved fatal – a child twelve months old and who had suffered much from Rachitis (Rickets – FCM) and Dentition (?) for some time was attacked with a Pulmonic affection which terminated his existence.
A boy 7 years of age had suffered severely from seasickness and had become very much debilitated in consequence and being of a scrofulous constitution, was attacked while in that reduced state with inflammation extending from the left ear down the neck to the left clavicle which terminated in suppuration (?) The …. of ….became so much exhausted from the former illness that he had not strength to withstand the copious discharge of p……….., which followed the opening of the abscess. He died in consequence of the latter con….
Although they were not …….. under the most favourable circumstances from the diseases which so soon made their appearances after sailing from port, but by separating the affected from the others and keeping them from having any communication with the healthy and by fumigation, ventilation and cleanliness, the diseases were prevented from spreading to any extent.
Chas (?) Kennedy
[NOTE: Details re prescribed medicines omitted.]
Case No. 6 Ellen Murray aged 9 years
Fever – Synochus
November 18, 1838
- Was seized last night with cold shiverings followed with violent pain in her forehead, general pains and weakness, heat of skin, thirst, tongue parched, and w…bowels confined and loss of appetite. Had exposed herself to the sunrays yesterday. Hair to be cut short and cold lotion to be applied to the forehead.………….gruel for drink. Skin moist during the day. At present hot and dry. Headache continues, complains of weakness and syncope in attempting to get into the erect posture, pulse frequent and small …. regular.
November 19, 1838.
- Sleep disturbed , headache continues, perspired some in the night,pulse frequent, skin moist,tongue foul, bowels rather confined.
November 20, 1838
- The purgative powder operated well, took sudarific last night, producing free diaphrosis (?) which has in a great measure relieved the headache and diminished the febrile (fever) symptoms tongue becoming clean, pulse less frequent.
November 21, 1838
- Sleep less disturbed, febrile action greatly reduced, skin cooler, pulse still frequent, tongue becoming clean, bowels regular. Head to be kept cool. Sago. Arrowroot.
November 22, 1838
- Feverish symptoms still abating, bowels rather confined, headache nearly gone.
November 23, 1838
- Bowels purged. Febrile action almost gone.
November 24, 1838
- Is now convalescent.
November 25. 1838
Case No. 9 Mrs Murray
November 14, 1838 At sea.
- Complains of an uneasy sensation in the region of the stomach increasing after eating anything, with headache, at times flatulence and loss of appetite and general weakness. Pulse irregular, skin cool, some thirst, bowels very irregular, tongue white. Has been unwell since she embarked, enjoyed good health previous, spirits at present very much depressed.
November 16, 1838
- Sleep disturbed from the pain and sickness of stomach. No stool. Complains of headache across the fore part of the head The pain and flatulence easing since the operation of the medicine. The headache not relieved…..some degree of nausea at times.
November 17, 1838
- The MistSalin relieves the nausea. Bowels rather confined. The powder taken has operated nicely and produced green ………Countenance sallow. Pulse …. ……natural. Headache returns at times.
November 18, 1838
- The ………………during the night……of a natural consistence appears. Stomach greatly relieved. Headache returns in the afternoon. Appetite bad.
- The quinine agrees very well. Pain of head worse in the middle of the night.Uneasy sensation about the stomach. Relieved bowelsoften. Considerable debilitation and emaciation. Medication Wine, soup, sago.
November 20, 1838
- Slept well all night. Thinks herself better this morning. Some return of headache earlier this morning. Bowels rather confined.
November 21, 1838
- Pills operated twice. No increase of headache. Feels easy about the stomach. No pain of abdomen or tension. Pulse and skin natural. Contenance improving.
November 22, 1838
- Rested well all night. Headache almost gone. Bowels open. Appetite returning. Very little thirst. Continued to take the above medicine.
.November 27, 1838
- Was then convalescent
December 5, 1838
Case No. 22 Philip Murray, age 14.
December 18, 1838
- Complains this morning of headache and pain in his chest…with difficult respiration….weakness in his limbs, pulse firm and frequent, Skin hot. Face flushed. Tongue white. Thirst. Loss of appetite. Has exposed himself at night in sleeping on deck contrary to orders. The above symptoms were preceded with cold shiverings.
- The blood taken does not exhibit the …. Coat. Head and chest a little relieved. Pulse firm and frequent. Skin hot. Bowels freely purged. Thirst.
December 19, 1838.
- Fainted whilst the blood was flowing. Feels easier head, and chest very much relieved. Cough a little troublesome. Respiration more free. Pulse softer. Skin more moist. Tongue white.
December 20, 1838
- Sleeps well. Is almost free from headaches or pectoral complaint. Pulse less frequent. Skin moist. Tongue still a bit white. Bowels not open.
December 21, 1838
- Sleeps well. Very little cough. No return of headache or pectoral complaint.Pulse soft. Skin moist. Some return of appetite.
December 22, 1838
- Complains only of weakness.
December 28, 1838
January 8, 1839
· Passenger letter Ship Susan
Letter from James Dempsey to Captain Stewart Moore
(transcription and comments by Alex Rogers)
Envelope Addressed to :
Captain Stewart Moore
Postmark 1 : Derry OC20 1838
Postmark 2 : Balleymoney OC21 1838
Stamped : Moville
Moville October the 10th, 1838
Being conscious that you would be desirous of entertaining some information consorning us how we are situated I now inform you as it is with us at prasent. The Ship mooved down from Derry the Leath1 of Culmore on Saturday evening. And the weather being unfeavorable stopped there until Thursday morning and she is now down the Leath of Movill and internds going off the first opportunity this evening. It is serious to behold in all corns of the ship the are sick and women feanting but thank God we are all in good health as yet. The first and second day we went on board there was a great deal of complaints with the emigrants of their rashions being too small and many of them wishing to go ashore and return home but I endeavoured to please any I had any influence with nowing that it was impossible for two hundred and sixty four passengers to be all righter according to there wishes at once. The news reached Captain Ramsy’s ears and he came on board at Culmore and called all the passingers on deck and gave free liberty to all that pleased to go ashore and there was one man from Newtown2 that went home and this is the reason I write lest the word would be carried home that we are ill treated and if it does believe it not. For the hole passingers put into seventeen Messis3 and there is appointed one man head over each mess and I am appointed over one and it is there business to see the meat eaquilly served out according to the number of the mess.
We eat our breakfast about eight o’ clock of good tea and one day pork with pea soop for our dinner and the next day beef with flour pudding mixed with suet. There is alsow rum wine figs and reasons for those that is sick and everything appears to be carried on in a very judicious manner. There is six men appointed with the doctor for forming Laws and if any is found pilfering from the other or giving insolence the one to the other or refusing to clean their births or scrubbing (soiling?) upper or lower decks the are reported to the doctor and their names entered in the register book and when the arrive at Sidney the will be given up to the government and punished in proportion as their crime deserves. Therefore I expect good order will be carried on.
Now Sir be pleased to give my kind love to my Master Mistress Miss (or Mrs) Ann and Miss Mary and little Stewart and to all the men and let them know that there is no day that the are out of my thoughts let William Pollock know that I wish that he would take word to my people at Fishmills (Bushmills?) and tell them that we are all well. I now Sir remain your kind and affectionate servant til death. James Dempsey
Let William Polock (sic) know that I forgot my razor in the house and I wish him to go to John W Kelly as I think he must have it as he was the last I left in the house and keep it for my sake. Sir excuse the bad writing and rolling (spelling?) as the ship was heaving very hard the time I wrote it.
I have tried to keep to the original spelling and punctuation as much as possible to preserve the flavour of the letter. I have corrected capitalisation and punctuation occasionally to make it possible to read – there was no punctuation and little capitalisation in the original so sentences ran into each other very badly. It looks like James Dempsey worked for Captain Moore (a retired ship’s captain?) in more than just some labouring capacity as he knew the family.
Problems with transcription
Note 1 Could not work this word out – as far as I know the Irish use “Lough” to describe an inlet / fjord, which is certainly what James was describing – this is the closest approximation of his actual word.
Note 2 Again could not read this town / place – this is my best guess.
Note 3 I think he means “Mess” in its navy / marine sense, and has in mind a group of people who eat together in a mess.
Culmore is down-river from Derry at the entrance to Lough Foyle, and Moville is further north at the head of the Lough, the last provisioning place before the open sea. Ballydivity is presumably Captain Moore’s house in Dervock, Co. Antrim.
Extract from Sydney Gazette Saturday February 2, 1839 – Page 2
Yesterday [Feb 1 Friday] …
From Londonderry (Ireland), same day, whence she sailed the 19th October, the barque SUSAN Captain Hayne with 261 Government Emigrants. Agents A.B. Smith & Co.
Extract re weather in Sydney on arrival
… M N E Wind Weather
Thursday 31 [Jan] 71 84 76 NE Hot wind
Friday 1 [Feb] 70 73 70 SE Cloudy
Extract p.1. [2.2.1839]
…The SUSAN from Londonderry is understood to bring intelligence to the 19th, but, up till a late hour yesterday afternoon, it had not been ascertained whether the report of the Health Officer was such as to prevent the necessity of placing the vessel and passengers in quarantine. Since the above was written, Dr. Dobie has reported favourably and the vessel has in consequence been allowed to come up the Harbour.
[Note from JD: On 1 February 1839 Surgeon Supt C. Kennedy noted in his journal that there was a problem with ‘Hooping Cough’ when the Health Officer came aboard – but this was resolved]
Extract from Sydney Gazette Thursday Feb. 7, 1839 – advertisement Page 1.
For Freight or Charter
The first class SHIP
Horton Payne Commander
Burthen per Register 577 Tons
Apply to the Captain on Board;
A.B. SMITH & Co., Harrington St.