When I travel overseas, I look for connections to Australia. Often I find them in unexpected places. On a recent visit to Glasgow, I saw this exhibit in the Riverside Museum.
In the 19th century, Australian authorities asked for 1500 female convicts to be sent from Glasgow to North South Wales to increase the population of women there. The convicts could bring their young children with them. And with that, the story ended in Scotland.
When I returned to Australia, I discovered that Scottish women made up a very small percentage of the convicts transported; most came from England and Wales, and especially Ireland. The women arrived on transports ships like the Mellish, pictured above. Many would end up in the Parramatta Female Factory, which was modeled on the workhouses of England.
Travel not only broadens my mind but also increases the number of connections I can make between pockets of forgotten history around the world.