Merrilees Immigration to Australia

When immigration to Australia is mentioned, most people conjure up images of convicts transported in overcrowded sailing ships from England to the penal colonies of 'New Holland' - as Australia was known in the 1700s. However our Merrilees ancestors emigrated from Scotland in completely different circumstances nearly 100 years later under various schemes that where made available to encourage emigration to the fledgling colonies in Australia.

A 'Notice to the Public' published in Port Phillip in 1856 advised persons wishing to bring their relatives and friends from the United Kingdom to Victoria, that they could secure passages for them in vessels chartered by Her Majesty's Government on the following conditions:

"The persons to be brought into the colony must be in good health, free from all bodily or mental defects; of good moral character, sober, industrious, and in the habit of working for wages at the occupation specified in the application forms.
Children under the age of fifteen years must be accompanied by some competant person who will take charge of them during the voyage."

Merrilees immigration to Australia commenced about this time and the following lists have been compiled by the Australian branch of the MFA from various sources including passenger lists from the numerous ships that brought people from the British Isles in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Merrilees Immigration (and passenger lists) to Victoria, Australia

Oct 1849: Andrew and Elizabeth (née Aitken) Merrylees with their children James (20), William (18), Alexander (13) and Annie (6) arrived on the Mahomet Shah. Andrew was born Paisley in 1803 to James Merrylees (weaver) and Agnes Kerr. (MFA Tree #7)
Aug 1852: Ronald Merrilies (15) arrived on the Lady Head. Born Aberdeen 1837 to William Mirrielees and Jane Ronald. (MFA Tree #33)
Oct 1852: George Merrilies (23) arrived on the Hibernia.
Feb 1853: William (36), Ann (35) and Samuel (1) Muirless arrived on the Marion Moore.
Jul 1854: William (17) and Eliza (11) Merrelles arrived on the Themis. Born Aberdeen 1836 and 1842 (respectively) to William Mirrielees and Jane Ronald. (MFA Tree #33)
1854: John Stewart Merrillees arrived at about this time. He was born in Paisley in 1827 to John Merrylees (bleacher) and Flora McMillan. (MFA Tree #7 honorary member)
May 1857: Miss Merrilles (18) arrived on the Pomona. This is probably Jane Mirrielees, born Aberdeen 1839 to William Mirrielees and Jane Ronald. (MFA Tree #33)
Mar 1860: George Merryless (21) arrived on the Beejapore. This is probably George Paxton Merrylees, born 1838 at Lerwick to William Merrylees and Mary Mouat. (MFA Tree #4)
May 1863: Mr. Mirrielies (adult) arrived on the Red Jacket. Departed 9-4-1863 from Otago, New Zealand, arrived 9.5.1863 Hobson's Bay. (probably MFA Tree #33)
Jan 1876: William Merryless (26) arrived on the Somersetshire. This may have been William E. Merrylees who became a bank manager in Tasmania. He was born in New York to William Merrylees (son of William Merrylees and Mary Mouat) and Mary Wheelock Ayres. (MFA Tree #4)
Mar 1888: Mr. Merrielees (36) arrived on the Waihora from New Zealand. (probably MFA Tree #33)
Oct 1888: Mr. Mirilees (32) and Mrs. Mirilees (27) arrived on the Britannia from Britain.
Mar 1889: Mr. Merrilees (41) and Mrs Merrilees (44) arrived on the Wairarapa from New Zealand.
Jun 1889: Dr. J. S. Merrilees (40) arrived on the Austral from Britain. (Tree #7 honorary member)
Jan 1891: Mr. W. Merrylee (50) arrived on the Oroya from Britain.
Oct 1898: Mr. Merrilees (30) arrived on the Oceana from Britain.
Mar 1900: Mr. B. Merrillees (35) arrived on the Victoria from Britain.
Mar 1900: Mr. J. Merrylees (38) arrived on the Omrah. This may have been Dr. John Stewart Merrillees Jnr, born Australia 1862. He and at least two others of his brothers were sent to Edinburgh University to study medicine. (MFA Tree #7 honorary member)
Dec 1903: Miss E. Merrylees (23) arrived on the Orizaba.
Feb 1904: Mr. C. Merrilees (19) arrived on the Victoria from New Zealand. This is Creighton Raoul Merrillees, born 1884 Melbourne, Australia. (Tree #7 honorary member)
Sep 1904: Dr. J. H. Merrillees (50) and Mrs. Merrillees (46) arrived on the Oroya from Britain.
Jul 1905: Mrs Merrillees (26) arrived on the Wakool from Britain.
Nov 1907: Revd. (33) and Mrs (29) Merilees arrived on the Himalaya from Britain.
Jan 1908: Mrs. D. Merrillees (59) arrived on the Wilcannia from Britain.
Oct 1909: Dr. Merrillees (47) arrived on the Macedonia from Britain. This may have been Dr. John Stewart Merrillees Jnr., born 1862 Daylesford, Victoria. (Tree #7 honorary member)
Jul 1912: Mr. Merrilees (30) and Mrs A. Merrilees (27) arrived on the Makarini from Britain. This is probably Robert Merrilees and his brother Alexander Wilkie Merrilees, both born Hamilton, Scotland to James Merrilees and Jane Wilkie. (Tree #23)
Sep 1912: Andrew Taylor Merrylees (30) arrived on the Narrung. Andrew was born 1882 in Glasgow to John Merrylees and Marion Taylor. (MFA Tree #7)
Feb 1913: Mrs Isabella Merrilees née McCormick (29), and children Jim (James) Merrilees (9), Sandy (Alexander) Merrilees (7), and Isa (Isabella) Merrilees (5), arrived on the Hawkes Bay from Britain. This is the family of Robert Merrilees born 1881 Hamilton, Scotland. (Tree #23)
Aug 1913: Andrew's family, Mrs Jeanie (née Horn) Merrylees (33) and their children John (5), Jean (4) and James (2) arrived on the Norseman. (MFA Tree #7)
Nov 1913: Martha Merelie (36) with George (14) and Jessie (12) Merelie arrived on the Moravian from Britain.
Nov 1915: Mrs Merrillees (63) and Miss Merrillees (14) arrived on the Mooltan from Britain. This could have been Mrs Elizabeth Merrillees (née Edwards) who should have been 73, and her granddaughter Bertram Flora Mary Merrillees, born 1901 in Victoria. (Tree #7 honorary members)

Merrilees Immigration to Queensland, Australia

Jun 1875: Merrilles (Captain) arrived Queensland on the Naval Brigade.
Dec 1875: Mary Merrylees (22) and Catherine Merrylees (20) arrived Queensland on the Toowoomba. Mary and Catherine were daughters of John Merrylees (soldier) and Ruth Lovett, and were born respectively in 1953 (Athlone, Ireland) and 1856 (Woolwich, Kent). Catherine married John Truscott in 1876. (Tree #19)
Feb 1878: Archibald Merrielees (19), arrived Queensland on the Stirlingshire.

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