Emigration diaries and stories

Transcriptions of diaries made by two emigrants are in preparation. These documents can provide a fascinating insight into the prevailing social, religious and economic background to the emigrants’ lives and their experiences during the journey.

John Yeo of Bradworthy kept a diary during his emigration from Devon to Ontario in 1835. He travelled from Plymouth to New York on the barque Cosmopolite and completed the journey overland. See Benjamin Yeo and Mary Wade.

John Yeo’s great nephew John Yeo of Whitstone emigrated in 1894 to join his older brother William Yeo in Queensland early the following year. He also kept a diary, which details his voyage from Plymouth to Sydney on the P&O mail steamer Oruba and the second leg from Sydney to Brisbane on the smaller steamer Burwah.

A third emigrant, also called John Yeo, was born in Devon but married in Berkshire and lived there for a few years before emigrating to the United States in 1870 to follow his trade as a carpenter. John and his family travelled extensively – we can trace this odyssey through censuses and other documents, but no personal narrative has survived. See John Yeo or John E. Yeo?.

If you have a emigration diary or the story of an emigration to share with other researchers, please use the Contact Us page to tell us about it.