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The passengers go their various ways

On 8th December 1859 the SHALIMAR was within sight of Melbourne. Since leaving Liverpool on 13th September they had last sighted land in late October, off the coast of north Africa. Wistfully, one passenger wrote in his diary “We could be in Melbourne tonight if that were our destination.” It was about this time that passengers and crew – those at least whose religions allowed them to gamble – began to place bets on when they would arrive in Auckland: would it be before or after Christmas day? Amid the excitement of arriving, packing away the books and chattels that had given some comfort during the voyage, fathers and husbands among the passengers would have been anxious perhaps about the great responsibility that they had assumed in bringing their families so far from home to start a new life. After the SHALIMAR finally anchored in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour during the night of 22nd December, the men folk made their way ashore in rowboats: some to be met by friends or family but m…

The Shalimar - and a challenging list of passengers

Before I delve much further into the Shalimar’s passenger list, let’s have a look at the ship.  The Shalimar was built in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1854 and registered at 1,402 tons. She was named after the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir and was owned by the White Star Line. When she sailed into the Waitemata Harbour a few days before Christmas 1859, she was the largest passenger ship yet seen there. On that voyage the Captain was J R Brown. He and the Chief Officer, Mr Cameron, seem to have been well liked, and whether through the doctor’s ability or thanks to the overall good health of the passengers pre-embarkation and the medicines they brought along to treat themselves, only three deaths occurred during the 101-day voyage.  After a short stay in Auckland, the ship sailed to Wellington and then on across the Pacific to Callao, in Peru. She subsequently made further voyages to Australia and New Zealand before being sold to various other owners. There were 214 passengers on that 1859…
Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor … the SHALIMAR’s passenger list didn’t mention these occupations, only farmer, labourer, carpenter, joiner, mason, clerk, hatter, miller, servant. However, by the time the 182 adult passengers had settled down and their children had grown up, occupations included a tinsmith-turned-plumber (John Clemshaw SWALES), a brickmaker (John LONGWORTH), a general store owner (James GARDEN), gold miners (James FAUGHEY, James CURTAIN, Patrick DARCEY …) and the proprietor of a transport firm (Annabella (née McCORMICK) WRIGHT). As well, George RYMER had started a coach business and Peter William MELLING and Thomas KIDD were both postmasters. Inevitably some of the would-be farmers had realised that their land wasn’t suitable for productive farming or that farming wasn’t for them. A number of passengers decided that New Zealand didn’t meet their expectations. Among those who went to Australia are Charles and Elisa CLEVELAND whose second son, Orlando, became a popular …
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SHALIMAR passengers John and Susan (née Savage) Dromgool were my maternal grandfather’s paternal grandparents. They were both born on Ireland in 1823 – John in County Louth. Susan’s birthplace is unknown but suffice to say they were married in County Louth in August 1841 and were living in Dundalk prior to departing for Liverpool where they boarded the ship. By September 1859, when the SHALIMAR sailed for Auckland, John and Susan had eight children, ranging in age from 16-year-old James to little Bridget Frances who was barely 18 months old. A ninth child, Annie, had died as an infant in 1852. Susan was four months pregnant when the family embarked – Elizabeth was the first of John and Susan’s three children born in New Zealand, in February 1860. Although family history buffs over the generations that the Dromgools have been in New Zealand have kept the story of John and Susan’s descendants well documented, we have no tangible proof of why they decided to leave Ireland. The Dromgools…

Are your ancestors on this list of passengers?

I've often wondered about my great-great-grandparents' fellow passengers on that 101-day voyage. Who were they? Where did they come from and where did they settle? Did they stay in New Zealand, go to Australia or 'Home'?
Here is a list of the passengers' names, including some possible spelling variations. If this list includes your ancestors, I would love to hear from you.

Cabin – Mr William Peter MELLING,Mr. MASEFIELD; Mr Andrew Mrs Isabella and William BONAR & Mr John BONAR (Andrew’s brother);Miss PATON; Mr. ALLOTT – his name was possibly Charles Aaron;Mr. & Mrs. HUSTON/HOUSTON; Albert GULY as his name appears on the passenger lists but was in fact GYULAI/GYULAY/GUYLAI/GUYLAY;  Steerage –  George Mary, Eliza, Mabel, George, Agnes, Augusta, Ada, Eva WYATT; Ellen EAMES; James GARDEN;William MURRAY; Samuel JOHNSTON; Hugh (see note below) James WYLIE; Teresa and/or Caroline/Catherine SWIFT (she married Hugh Wylie during the voyage); George CRAIG; Walter HUMES;J…