They are all connected with ...
or at least a Cornish surname!
Perhaps 2 - 3% of Australia's population have significant Cornish
ancestry according to Dr. Charles Price an eminent demographer
from the Australian National University in Canberra. Many of these people
are the most prominent in sport, business, politics and religion.
Cornwall is a small Celtic nation, now part of the United Kingdom, which for hundreds of years has retained its own unique identity, including its own language. Its population today is about 470,000 (similar to Tasmania). In the boom times of the 18th and 19th Centuries Cornwall supplied an industrialising world with vital minerals such as copper and tin, and sent tens of thousands of its sons and daughters to the far corners of the world with their expert mining and engineering skills.
The descendants of these people probably number nearly 2 million
in places such as North America, Australia, New Zealand, and many others.
Cornish innovation was renowned and men like Richard Trevithick
(inventor of the steam locomotive) reflected their kinfolk's energy.
The saying that 'at the bottom of every hole you'll find a Cornishman'
was not far wrong! Men and women their value to Australia
has been enormous.
The first Cornishman is likely to have been Lt. Hicks who is alleged to have stepped ashore ahead of Capt Cook. After that the Cornish became significant in the colony of NSW, from the 'first farmer' James Ruse from Launceston in Cornwall, to Governors King and Bligh ( of Mutiny on the Bounty fame ). In the 1820's Cornish farmers settled lands around Byng west of Bathurst, and in Tasmania.
Copper miners went in the 1840's to Glen Osmond near Adelaide and Kapunda (see Map Kernow statue today!)
Cornish miners saved South Australia with their efforts at The Burra in the 1850's and Moonta (Little Cornwall), Kadina and Wallaroo in the 1860's. The Tom brothers from the Cornish Settlement (Byng) discovered gold at Ophir in 1851. They also flocked to the Goldfields of Victoria ! Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine and other old mining towns are heavily Cornish in background. Cornish from Byng and the Cadia mine spread out to Orange, Molong, and Carcoar in the Central West of NSW.
Many Cornish settled in other areas across Australia (Adelong, The Maclean valley , Hunter valley, inner Sydney, Chiltern, Bega, Molong and Carcoar) and many SA miners moved on to Broken Hill, then also spreading to Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Cobar, Emmaville / Torrington, Mt Isa and Charters Towers,
The Cornish founded the Cornish Assovciation of SA in 1890 but the
Cornish have also continued to come during the post WW 2 period
and formed Associations in WA in 1974 and NSW in 1975!
New Associations have also been formed by people of Cornish descent
and birth in a wide range of places ie. Bendigo, the A.C.T., Queensland, Ballarat, and Geelong!
They are spread all over Australia and there are many Cornish Associations, which meet regularly for Social, Family History, Dance, History, Music, Heritage, Language, and cultural pursuits. They can provide for your needs in many ways!
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