The young women who came to the Australian colonies during the Famine years of 1848 to 1850 were from workhouses in all 32 counties throughout Ireland. All were destitute and many had lost their parents and families, so were 'orphans' in the modern sense of the word. Others were simply unable to support themselves within the family. The term ‘orphan’, meaning loss of at least one parent, did apply to the vast majority of the 4114 who took up the offer under Earl Grey’s Famine Orphan Scheme.
The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee is gathering stories about all the women, following on from the work of Dr Trevor McClaughlin. Some of the stories are attached as pdfs to the individual girls and are mainly complied by descendants - some have not been authenticated by The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee but have been compiled from research conducted by descendants.
NOTE THAT NOT ALL 4114 WOMEN FROM THE 20 SHIPS ARE IN THE DATABASE - 2 South Australian ships are still being researched