Search for destitute South Australian women who, between 1855 and 1860, received relief because their husbands were absent. Discover biographical details about these women and get an insight into their family life.
Each record includes a transcript. The amount of information listed varies, but the South Australia destitute women 1855-1860 records usually include the following information about your ancestor:
Number of children or dependents
Name of emigrant ship
Remarks by the Destitute Poor Department
Title of its listing in the Government Gazette
Page number in the Government Gazette
This is an index of extracts from the South Australia Government Gazettes between 1855 and 1860 that name women receiving relief due to the absence of their husbands provided by Graham Jaunay. Given that women, and especially poor women, are often difficult to track down on your family tree, this record set is particularly invaluable. Note that the spellings of family names are not consistent across the records. When there are variations of the family name, the first one listed is the version that appears in that particular record. Text within squared brackets is either a correction or additional information.
South Australia was planned to be a utopia colony free of social and economic problems. However, as early as 1843, the government intervened and started to legislate in order to deal with the issue of poverty in the colony. Nine years later, the Destitution Board was established and it provided both indoor and outdoor relief to the poor and destitute. The South Australian Government Gazette published reports of the Destitute Board’s expenditures and in some cases the names of those who received relief.
You can search Findmypast’s South Australian Government Gazette to cross reference what you find in this index. Keep in mind that the page number relate the number of images in the document and not the exact publication page number. For example, the title ‘Women receiving relief on the 30th June  whose husbands had deserted them or were confined in Gaol’ can be found in the South Australian Government Gazette in 1860 on page number 762.
In 1856, after a large increase in the destitution cases, especially cases where the father of a family left to go to the goldfield, the Destitute Board published this statement:
‘The heartlessness, in most instances, of fathers of families, who being at the [gold] diggings, and, in all probability, having quite enough for themselves, and insufficient means to bring them back, neither return, write, nor send the means of support to their families; secondly, the high price of provisions during the time, has caused many to make application to the Board, who otherwise would have been able to struggle on, and successfully for themselves…’