This week’s Trove Tuesday post comes from the Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (1851-1856). The year was 1855 and the colony was in the grips of recession. Unemployment was high as immigrants arrived daily and luck ran out on the diggings. The cost of living was also rising.
If your ancestor was lucky enough to have work during 1855, the following list of wages gives us some idea of the wages they were receiving. Tradesmen attracted the highest wages and of course there was gender disparity, with a shepherd able to earn £45 per annum while the highest paid female occupation, a cook, only paid £30 per annum.
It is not surprising Pam Jennings was able to write three volumes of her book, Wild and Wondrous Women of Geelong if this week’s Trove Tuesday article from the Boxing Day, 1848 edition of the Geelong Advertiser is anything to go by. Not only that, my own wild and wondrous ggg grandmother Ellen Barry and her sister Mary were living in Geelong at the time and I have found references to both of them in Volume 3 (1870-1879). Despite Ellen’s vices, I doubt she would have been the type to take a ride in Geelong’s “nuisance” cab.
Soon we will be able to read more from the Geelong Advertiser on Trove, with issues from 1857 to 1918 due to be added in the 2013/14 financial year. This is exciting news for anyone with family in Geelong, including myself, but also Western District researchers. You can read more about it on the Geelong and District blog.