Migration Database

Our Channel Islands Immigration Database project has records gleaned from Interest Group members' submissions over some years, together with extractions from books, and shipping records of those Channel Islanders who came to Australia and New Zealand mostly in the 19th Century. We also actively encouraged the submission of cameos (potted histories) and source lists about the migrant families. In future these will be included as links from the database.

Our thanks go to ALL contributers and in particular to Shona Sinclair for her work on this project over several years. Remember to check for updates now and then. The project continues to grow.

Migration to Australia & New Zealand

Channel Islanders appeared early in the European migration to both Australia and New Zealand and today almost every recognizable CI surname can be found in these Dominions. In Australia a few immigrants from CI appear prior to 1800 - these mostly as ship's crewmen .. There are few recorded CI convicts - one was Marie Le Gendre of St Helier who was transported to Australia in 1846 for murdering a policeman.

The first recorded Channel Island immigrants to New Zealand arrived in 1841 and 1842 generally as assisted immigrants. Among them were Francis Aubin (Pirongia) and John Gilfillan (Wanganui). By the 1850s, the numbers increased to both countries and a couple of ships were notable for their contribution - The "Lightning" (1854) with 57 Islanders and the "Evening Star" to Adelaide (1854) with 194 passengers. However, very few immigrants sailed directly from the Islands, most coming via Port of London or South Coast ports. By the 1870s, assisted immigration was in full swing - to NZ it peaked in 1874 as a result of newspaper advertising throughout the UK. [see sidebar]

Migration Stories

The Channel Islands Immigrants Database has been slowly growing for some 20 years and it relies on contributions of information for it's growth. It is intended to be a basic source list. It is hoped that contributors will enhance the information given by producing cameos where possible, of each individual or family describing; family origins, passage, occupations, and subsequently what happened to them. Some entries are as a result of full family histories being researched and written.

Page last updated 25 Feb 2018