Hobart town current
August 2007
Edition 28
Jerrems Family Newsletter
Migration, Music and Robert Cane
  Dear Donald,
We finish Ray's epic series with Part 3 of the trip from Gainsborough to Hobart town (current panorama pictured above) in the 1850's.

Someday we will try to find what prompted the Jerrems migration from Australia to the US in the late 1800's.

Please note the three references in this edition to Robert Cane Jerrems, born 1848. We like to tie-in our stories.

Our mid-1800's Migration Story
Ray Jerrems, Family Historian   From Gainsborough to Melbourne Part 3 of 3 Hobart Town in Tasmania circa 1830
Thomas after his arrival in Melbourne

When Thomas and his son of the same name (age 14) Melbourne in March 1854, no doubt grateful for having survived the voyage, they wasted little time. In April 1854 Thomas went to Hobart Town in Tasmania (circa 1830 to left), possibly to look at the prospects there. It is therefore likely that he looked at the major Victorian towns also.

In the 1856 Electoral Roll Thomas was listed as a merchant with premises in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. This was in the centre of the business district, so he must have been doing well. Perhaps the premises had living quarters above it, like the shop in Silver Street, Gainsborough, and the 2 Thomases lived there.

No doubt Thomas often turned his mind to the question of when to send for the family.

When to send for the family? A major factor in his judgement of when to bring the family out would have been the ages of the 8 children still in England, ranging in 1853 from fourteen years down to one year. Most of these children would have to go to school and then find training for a vocation. He needed to find a suitable place for this, lacking in Melbourne (and Australia in general) for some years after he first arrived there. Also, the children had to be old enough to safely survive the rigours of the voyage.

By the mid 1850s the gold digging bubble had burst in Victoria for most diggers. Only one digger in four had made more money than they would have from normal wages. Another significant factor was that the alluvial gold in the stream beds and soft sands and soils had been exhausted.

The days of fossicking by nomadic fossickers with a simple pan and pick and shovel were gone. Instead equipment was required to crush the gold-bearing quartz (usually obtained from mines) involving capital outlay and a regular workforce. So many of the diggers in Victoria went elsewhere to strikes in places like NSW or Queensland or overseas, settled in cities or returned home.

Interestingly, of the 300,000 people who migrated to Melbourne only 45,000 (i.e. 15%) are known to have returned home. Perhaps many were deterred by the prospect of the rigours of the trip home via Cape Horn, which was just as dangerous as the trip to Australia.

Melbourne gradually returned to normal, its population boosted by former diggers wishing to settle permanently in Australia. Commerce thrived, and railway construction and other Government projects got under way.

Preparations for the Family's Voyage

Meanwhile Elizabeth had been preparing her family for the big adventure. Possibly being a little unsure about the survival rate of people travelling to Melbourne and the spiritual fibre of the Melbournian citizens she took the precaution of having her children baptised in Gainsborough. On August 8th 1858 Robert Cane (aged 10) and Charles (aged 11) were baptised in the Holy Trinity Church. Their address is shown on the Church's baptism register as Bridge Street.

As an aside, it would seem that Thomas Sr. and Elizabeth were not regular churchgoers, otherwise the children would have been christened soon after birth.

By early 1859 Thomas decided the time was ripe to send for his family.

The family sets Sail

On September 2, 1859 Thomas's wife Elizabeth and the children, including Elizabeth Sofia and her husband John Wells, boarded the square rigged sailing ship "Lincolnshire" (appropriately named because they lived in that county) in London, arriving in Melbourne 3 months later on December 1st. The ship was a three-masted square rigger and was quite large by the standards of the day, being 1025 tons. It was almost new so it would have been "purpose built" for the trip, which it subsequently carried out for well over 20 years.

London was a lot longer distance from Gainsborough than Liverpool, but it may have had the attraction that accommodation for the family while they waited for the ship to arrive was better.

The travelling time of 3 months indicates that the ship travelled via the gruelling Great Circle Route. The family appears to have travelled "cabin class", which was much more expensive than steerage (about 40 pounds for the adults and presumably half fare for the children) but far less uncomfortable. Even so, the oppressive heat in the Tropics and the heavy seas and bitter cold in the "Freezing Fifties", and the lack of fresh food, would have meant that cabin class would have had a trying time also.

Another concern would have been that the 5 boys, aged from 7 to 14, would have been quite a handful for their mother, particularly in the Freezing Fifties when they could have been confined to their cabins for up to a month. Even when they could come out onto the deck the recreational space would have been made very limited by lifeboats, animals, deck cargo etc.

No doubt Thomas waited in trepidation for their arrival in Melbourne, with the ongoing problems of diseases on the ships and the recent loss of the "Admella" fresh in his mind.

If it had been intended that Elizabeth Sofia (the eldest daughter) and her husband would help on the voyage this backfired. Elizabeth had a baby in Richmond on April 14 1860, so she was expecting the baby on the whole of the voyage, not the ideal place. Elizabeth Sophia and her husband returned to England within a year.

The family in Melbourne

Upon arrival in Melbourne the family settled in Richmond, a short distance south of the city. But that is another story which I will relate to you in a later Journal. But I will give you a hint. Sadly, Thomas (Senior) died in 1866 at the age of only 51, leaving Elizabeth (who lived another 35 years) to fend for herself and for the younger children once again.
Letters to the Editor
Ray Jerrems, Intenet Sleuth   Modern Jerrems Musicians Cicada
Our European-based super sleuth Ari Jerrems recently came across two Jerrems singers by accident on YouTube. He says that if you open the link
http://es.youtube.com/watch? v=PH5c3b11VYQ you'll see
Nick Jerrems from Simi Valley, California dribbling a basketball and singing, we think.

And also...

Cicada (Pictured): General Info
Member Since 8/9/2004
Band Members Nick Jerrems -Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Jake Richard -Lead Guitar
Blake Jassenoff -Bass Guitar

MySpace URL: http://www.myspace.com/cicadaca

You can listen to the songs on the website. Ari also found a band from Byron Bay (on the far north coast of New South Wales) that play reggae and the lead singer and song composer is Simon Jerrems, formerly from Melbourne.

About Cicada

Cicada started in May of 2004 as just another garage band... and for the three years they've been together, they have been writing music, recording, and playing venues up and down CA. The current line up of members consists of Nick Jerrems, Jake Richard, Blake Jassenoff, and Moondog. Their cd, 'Deciphering Hieroglyphics' was released in December of 2005. The band is currently working on new material, recording, and is also playing a few shows as well. The members of Cicada all live in Thousand Oaks. Cicada is always looking for a chance to play a show, so if anyone needs a band to play a show... give a shout and message us.

So who are Nick and Simon, and how are they related?

Simon (born in 1973) is the great great grandson of Robert Cane Jerrems, referred to in the previous article, and Nick (born in 1989) is the great great great grandson of William George Jerrems, who migrated to Australia with Robert. So Simon and Nick are (roughly speaking) fourth cousins.
We will have to do some followup on the Jerrems name on YouTube and MySpace; it seems there is another generation that we have not reached.

Subscription Department
Ray Jerrems   New Subscriber
Ian Jerrems is our newest subscriber (#44).

Coincidentally, Ian is also related to Robert Cane Jerrems, being one of Robert Cane's great grandsons. Both Ian and Simon originally lived in Melbourne

Born in 1944, Ian is single and has 2 married sisters, Shirley (b1932) and Barbara (b1939), of whom I know very little. He should be able to fill in some gaps for me.
PC Illness
Donald Jerrems, Publisher   In the Computer Hospital
Ray's PC is on the mend. We wish it a speedy recovery. Let's hope he didn't lose all his research files.

Ray might have to get a new Vista-enabled PC, which will probably take him some time to get used to.


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