American and Canadian gold diggers in Australia

I am a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society because I have an ancestor who came from Nantucket in Massachusetts. They have an enormous number of databases available online to members, most of which are irrelevant to Australian researchers.

They have just announced one, however, that may be relevant. Australian authors Denise McMahon and Christine Wild published a CD last year called American Fever Australian Gold, American and Canadian involvement in Australia’s Gold Rush which “was compiled from official records, archives, contemporary newspapers, and diaries.  It also includes material from letters written to or from the fortune seeker, from the gold fields within Australia, or from onboard ship”. 

The Society has extracted the names from the CD and published them as a searchable database giving, where possible, name, year of birth, parents, native place, and year of emigration. For example, Henry Charlton, born 1823 to Charles Augustus and Lenah (Golden) Charlton, was a native of Queenstown, New Brunswick and emigrated in 1852. Further information, such as the sources of this information, can be found, I assume, in the CD.

Even if you are not a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society the CD may be worthwhile searching out if you suspect your ancestor came from the USA or Canada during the goldrush.


Fortune Hunters in Australia.  (Online database.  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.)  Extracted from: American Fever Australian Gold : American and Canadian Involvement in Australia’s Gold Rush. CD-ROM. Australia: H. Denise McMahon & Christine G. Wild, 2008.

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