Our venues

Blog

A new life overseas

17 February 2011 by Sarah

Drawing of people outside emigration office 1850

Emigration Office, Illustrated London News, 6th July 1850 (DX/287/62/5)

There has been a recent change to the regulations regarding the number of non-EU immigrants that can work in the UK.  In 1850 emigration from the UK was seen as a good way for the unemployed to seek new opportunities.  Government supported emigration required more regulation.  This image from the Illustrated London News shows the Medical Inspectors Office.  Destination countries obviously wanted healthy new arrivals and the spread of disease on a crowded emigrant ship could cause many deaths.  I hope that dog isn’t being left behind.

As emigrates were leaving, as the name suggests, there was not much interest from the authorities in recording information about them, to the frustration of family historians.  More information is found in the countries to which they were travelling.  However, the Maritime Archives & Library does hold a good collection of journals and letters that give some insight into the emigrant experience. Most voyage experience follow roughly the same pattern – excitement and sadness at leaving, smugness at their good sea legs, terrible seasickness once out of the Mersey, then settling down into a routine broken only by food and an obsession with the weather, and back to excitement once their destination is sighted.  They actually make very good reading.

(Comments are closed for this post.)

About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

Award-winning blog

corpcomms awards winner logo

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.