Cornish and Devon migrants, where did they go?
Cornish family history and Devon family history research will probably have long arms reaching out across the world, to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada, as miners and their families migrated in pursuit of work.
Background to the mass migration from Devon and Cornwall.
- 250,000 Cornish people emigrated between 1815 and 1914
- End of the Napoleonic war, led to high unemployment as soldiers return
- Potato famine in 1840’s in the south west and high price of corn cause famine
- Cornish and Devon copper and tin reserves largely depleted by 1860 – 1870
- Discovery and development of new reserves around the world of copper, gold, tin, lead, diamond, leading to ‘rushes’
- Skilled labour force needed in these emerging new markets
- The rise of the Methodist church in south west England urged ‘self improvement’ and encouraged emigration
- How did people know discoveries of metal ores had been found around the world?
- How did they afford the passage?
- When they arrived in their new country, how did they find their way to the mineral fields?
- The emigration generated it’s own trade in the south west, as people diversified to supply the growing needs of those emigrating, including, shipping and coaching agents, provisioners, mine managers and dock workers.
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