Down Under - Australasia
emigration to Australasia should be seen as part of a
movement which has its roots in the early modern period.
The tradition of emigration from Scotland is long
established - in the seventeenth century the Scots were
settling throughout northwest Europe. especially in the
Netherlands, Poland and Ulster, while emigration to
contemporary colonial America was small scale and only
became significant after the middle of the eighteenth
century. The reasons for such emigration were complex but
included religious and political persecution, economic and
social opportunities, plus military service abroad when
there was little else available at home. Both the
trans-Atlantic emigration and that to the Antipodes had
one general feature that, with some exception, movement
from the Highlands of Scotland tended to be in family
groups, whereas that from the Lowlands was of individuals.
1788 and 1868 about 150,000 convicts were shipped to
Australia, however, because of the different legal systems
in Scotland and the rest of the British Isles, relatively
few Scots arrived as felons - probably the most prominent
Scots shipped in chains were the Scottish Martyrs of
1794-1795. There were no Orrs in the First, Second and
Third Fleets, but four Orrs were sentenced to deportation
from Ireland. They were:
a tailor, b ca 1794, sentenced in Co Tyrone 1814 to 7
years. Arrived aboard the "Canada"
sentenced to Life. Arrived on board the "Friendship"
Orr, b ca 1748, tried at Carlow 1792, deported for 7
years. Arrived aboard the "Boddington".
Orr, was sentenced to life in Antrim. He arrived aboard
the "Friendship" (1800) and was the only one noted
as having been a "rebel " . After an adventurous time in
the East Indies he actually returned to Ulster. His story
is told in " Remember All the Orrs " by R H Foy.
Some of the
earliest colonial administrators of Australia were Scots
such as Captain Richard Hunter, Lachlan MacQuarie and Sir
Thomas Brisbane. By the 1830s Australia was receiving a
steady flow of migrants from Scotland which was
increasingly being encouraged by groups such as the
Highlands and Islands Emigration Society. The discovery of
gold generated an increase of settlement in Australia in
the 1850`s by late century Australia and New Zealand
rivalled the United States and Canada as destinations for
population in New Zealand
settlement of New Zealand by the British post dates that
of Australia by a generation or two and really commences
in the 1850s. The majority of early settlers went under
the auspices of the New Zealand Company but by the 1840 a
a significant proportion of organized settlement was
church based, such as that at Otago by members of the Free
Church of Scotland (or the followers of Reverend Norman
McLeod who arrived via Nova Scotia.) By the close of the
nineteenth century about a quarter of the population of
New Zealand were Scots or of Scottish origin.
New Zealand White Pages (1998) shows there are 521
listings for Orr which after making allowance for
`couples` results in an estimated 411 family groups
representing an estimated population including children,
Population in Australia 1998
calculated figures that follow are made from count and
analysis of the Australia White Pages Directory (1998
version). Because spouses/partners are frequently listed
together and separately eg A B Orr & C D Orr, the `couple
is treated as a single family unit. The family count is
therefore a count of listed entries as amended.
population per state has been calculated as family groups
x 4.7 ( 2 adults + 2.7 children) being the factor
previously used and validated as reasonable with the USA
and the known large families which the Orrs tended to have
until very recent times.
calculated Orr population @ 1998