Mayo Orphan Girls

Saturday, 5 March, 2016
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As part of a day of talks on a range of topics that highlight the diverse roles and histories of women in Connacht, Barbara Barclay will be presenting an insight into the emigration scheme that saw thousands of young girls transported to the other side of the world and also their impact on the Australia of the time and also today.

Edwards Gennys Queenstown Ireland 1856

From 1848 to 1850, at the height of the Great Famine, 4,114 girls aged between 14 and 20 years were sent from 118 Irish workhouses to Australia, as part of an orphan emigration scheme under the direction of the Colonial Secretary, Earl Grey. Barbara's talk examines the administration of the orphan emigration scheme in Co. Mayo, and traces the stories of some of the Mayo Orphan Girls who became pioneering women in colonial Australia.

Barbara Barclay was born in Australia and has lived in Ireland for the past 18 years. In 2015 Barbara graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Heritage Studies from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Mayo Campus, earning the Academic Achievement Award for her year. Barbara's main interests are in 19th century Irish and Australian history, migration, and material culture, as well as genealogy and family history.

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