The Irish Potato Famine occurred in Ireland in 1845-49 when the potato crop failed in successive years. |
The famine proved to be a watershed in the demographic history of Ireland.
As a direct consequence of the famine, Ireland's population of almost 8,400,000 in
1844 had fallen to 6,600,000 by 1851. The number of agricultural labourers and smallholders
in the western and southwestern counties underwent an especially drastic decline.
About 1,100,000 people died from starvation or from typhus and other famine-related diseases.
The number of Irish who emigrated during the famine may have reached 1.5 million.
Among those applying for passage to Australia from Queen's County, Ireland were three brothers, James, Joseph and Samuel
Joseph, with his wife and child, was assigned passage on the "Catherine" which left Plymouth on 8th Feb 1851.
The elder and younger brothers were passengers on the "Marion" leaving six weeks later.
After their arrival in S.A. the three brothers moved to Long Valley, just out of Strathalbyn, where Joseph built a farmhouse.
The eldest brother, James, died at Strathalbyn, age 36 yrs, on 2 Jun 1857 from 'Consumption' (T.B.).
On 08 Feb 1853, at the Wesleyan Chapel Adelaide, Samuel married fellow "Marionite" Euphemia Wilson,
they had four children, all born at Long Valley.
08Nov1855 - Francis John
11Apr1857 - Sarah (died at 20 days 02May1857)
05Jun1860 - Wemyss
04Oct1862 - Catherine (died 25 Jul 1885, aged 25yrs)
Samuel died at Wheal Ellen Mine, age 42 yrs on 24 Sept 1870 from 'Phthisis', another name for T.B.
Euphemia died, aged 65 yrs on 18 May 1886
All three Abbott brothers are buried at Strathalbyn, as are children of Samuel. James and Samuel in the
By one of those coincidences with which South Australian history is riddled, this web site administrator, Beverley Matthews, is the Gr-gr-granddaughter of Joseph Abbott, although didn't realise her Marion link until 2001.
The Matthews interest in the Marion was primarily due to Beverley's husband, Noel being a descendant of passengers James and Sarah Matthews, and their younger son George.