Immigrant Bounty Women

Thousands of women migrated to the Australian colonies from Great Britain and Ireland during the nineteenth century.

This mass movement of single women commenced with the processes devised by the Emigration Commission of 1831-32, followed by the work of the London Emigration Committee of 1833-1836 and continued throughout the century through a number of schemes funded by the government and private organisations and individuals to encourage women to migrate.

My work focuses on the mass migration of women to the Australian colonies in the 1830s. This was a time in which decisive changes took place in the demography of the eastern colonies. Potential emigrants were attracted to the British government's schemes, but there were long-lasting tensions between the government's commitment to imperialism and the wishes of influential colonists for self-determination. The women were caught in the middle. Immigration to Australia is a process which is on-going and as contentious today as it was in colonial times.

The database below contains the names of the women on the Emigration Commission ships, Red Rover and Princess Royal, and the London Emigration Committee ships: Amelia Thompson, Boadicea, Bussorah Merchant, Canton, Charles Kerr, David Scott, Duchess of Northumberland 1835 and 1836 voyages, James Pattison, Lady Macnaghten, Layton, Sarah, Strathfieldsaye and William Metcalfe.


Read Liz Rushen's accounts of four women's stories.


Hear what it would be like to be a passenger on a female emigrant ship in the 1830s.

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Women who migrated to the Australian colonies from Great Britain and Ireland. 

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Ship details and passenger and crew lists from the 1830s.