August Meeting 2015

Chapter Annual General Meeting

Christine Thompson presenting the Berrima 1841 Project

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Guest Speaker ~ Ms Chris Thompson
Topic ~ The Berrima 1841 Project

historic_berrimaChris has taken on a fascinating & demanding research project seeking to unravel the story of Berrima in 1841 ten years after it was settled when the colony was just 53 years old.

This study explores the Berrima community in March 1841, the date of the Census. All but five of the 36 Heads of Household listed in the 1841 census for Berrima Township have been traced with some degree of certainty but as the Census document is only a compilation less is known about other members of each household. What is recorded in the census was the starting point for Chris to hunt for the stories of these European pioneers of the Highlands.

It was a time of great change in the Colony. Sir George Gipps was the incumbent Governor. In April the first photograph was taken in Australia by Augustin Lucas a visiting naval captain. In May gas lighting was used for the first time in Sydney. In July the convict assignment system was abolished in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land and was replaced by the probation gang system. In October Caroline Chisholm established the Female Immigrants Home to help unemployed new arrivals to Australia.