The Genealogical Society of Queensland conducts a program of events including classes, seminars, workshops and education sessions each year to provide our members and visitors with a wide variety of information on family history topics.

Our Branches and Special Interest Groups also hold meetings. Members of GSQ are welcome to attend.

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Wednesday night @ GSQ – Distressed Cotton Operatives Immigration Scheme

October 28 @ 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Distressed Cotton Operatives Immigration Scheme

The industrialised cotton mills in the north of England were dependant on cotton from the southern United States. The Civil War started in April 1861 and the North blockaded the Southern ports to prevent them earning money with cotton exports. This led to mass unemployment in the North of England. More than 2000 cotton mills closed down and thousands of operatives were thrown out of work. Near starvation was rampant. Queensland became aware of the worsening situation and the people of Queensland raised money for the cotton operatives. To help relieve the misery, the Queensland Government, through Mr. Jordan the Immigration Agent in England, offered free and assisted passages to distressed operatives. He was authorised to give free passage to 1000 statute adults In total 1700 people came out under this scheme arriving between 16 May and 20 November 1863. This was probably the first humanitarian immigration scheme for Queensland.

For members only with a gold coin contribution.

Presenter:  Helen Smith

Helen Smith has been researching her family since 1986 in England, Australia, Wales and Irealnad with forays tracking them around the world. She is a public health microbiologist who has been involved in genetic genealogy since 2009. She started the Genealogical Society of Queensland DNA SIG in 2015 and has spoken on family history and DNA nationally and internationally. Helen has run a number of courses on understanding DNA and its uses in FH. She was a speaker for the recent DNA DownUnder in Brisbane and also Sydney. She is an admin for DNA Detectives DownUnder and also Using DNA for Genealogy and FH Aus &NZ..

Currently Helen is a part-time professional with lecturing, writing, genealogical client research and helping people find biological family as well as those trying to make sense of their DNA results.

She is a member of Association of Professional Genealogists, Genealogical Speakers Guild and International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.


October 28
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Category:


Genealogical Society of QLD
25 Stackpole Street
Wishart, QLD 4122 Australia
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07 3349 6072

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