The Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks, on Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia. The monument was inspired by the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenagers. They arrived under a special emigration scheme designed to resettle destitute girls from the workhouses of Ireland during the Great Famine. The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee (GIFCC) have broadened their activities to commemorate all who left their homes seeking a new life in the colonies and States of Australia but these workhouse orphan girls, and the historical links back to Ireland, remain the focus of this project and only young women from the workhouses under Earl Grey's Orphans scheme appear in the database.
This website introduces you to the monument itself, to this particular emigration scheme which operated between 1848 & 1850, to the women themselves and the ships on which they travelled. It is designed to be an motivating and rewarding experience for anyone interested in Irish history and genealogy or the broader issues related to famine, displacement and immigration no matter where in the Irish 'diaspora' you may reside. The website was initially set up by Dr Trevor McClaughlin and we are grateful for him allowing us to use the information contained in his two volumes of Barefoot & Pregnant? Irish Famine orphans in Australia, Genealogical Society of Victoria, Melbourne, 1991 and 2001 and for the work he and Jennifer Bainbridge did on the first version of this website. This website is updated frequently and we acknowlege funding assistance from the Irish Government's Emigrant Support Programme in 2011 and 2013
CLICK HERE to download a Form to puchase the recently released CD of the song 'Orphan Girl' by Irish songwriter, Brendan Graham. It has three songs with very moving introductions by Brendan about his reasons for writing 'Orphan Girl, 'The Whitest Flower' and his famous 'You Raise Me Up'. The best value bit of history and song ever!
CLICK ON THIS LINK to take a the historical walk with the Orphan girls from the ship in Sydney Harbour to the Immigration Barrack at Hyde Park
VIEW LATEST STORY UPDATE - RUTH STEPHENS FROM WICKLOW - SEARCH FOR HER IN THE DATABASE AND VIEW PDF