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New Australia: The Australian Colony in Paraguay

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Photo by Kate Granville-Jones

 

One winter morning at the end of the 19th century, 220 Australian socialists sailed out of Sydney harbour on the Royal Tar, bound for the deep green heart of South America.

They were going to Paraguay, to start a ‘New Australia’. It was to be a utopia of equality, fairness for workers, and communal living – and from there, they would change the world. One of the most ambitious schemes in Australian history, it failed miserably; but descendents of those pioneers still live there, and preserve fragments of their Australian past. I went to Paraguay to find them.

Sunday siesta in Asunción. Heat and humidity smother the city as I wander down the silent, empty streets of the capital. Purple bougainvillaea flowers tumble over walls, and ripening mangoes drip from trees lining the foot path. I climb to the third floor of the Senate building and gaze out over a marshy slum to the Río Paraguay, trying to imagine what those Australian pilgrims thought as they steamed slowly up the river all those years ago.

Their story starts with a financial crash in Argentina (no, not that one, this one happened 111 years earlier) which triggered an economic depression in Australia. In February 1891, Queensland shearers, faced with pay cuts to their already meagre wages, walked off the job by the thousands.

Photo by Kate Granville-Jones

The shearers, joined by other bush workers, resisted for months, living in huge camps scattered across the Queensland outback – but the standoff was broken when the government sent up redcoat troops and arrested the strike leaders.

Disillusioned and unemployed, many bush workers saw the strike’s failure as the end of their hopes for an egalitarian, workers’ Australia. When English journalist, the idealistic firebrand William Lane proposed starting anew in South America, over 2,000 prospective colonists signed up immediately.

The New Australia Association originally looked for land in Argentina, but the government was uncooperative. Paraguay, on the other hand, was eager to offer the Australian colonists 185,000 acres of fertile land. Having lost 90% of its male population only 20 years before in the devastating War of the Triple Alliance (when it held out against the combined forces of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay for five years) the country was desperate for manpower to work the land and re-populate the diminished nation.

By 1893, the scheme was in motion. The first colonists sailed across the Pacific, round Cape Horn, and up the Argentine coast to Montevideo. From there, they took a steamer up the Río Paraná, and into the Río Paraguay, arriving in Asunción on 22nd September 1893. After travelling by train to Villarica, it was bullocks and wagons, river crossings and mosquitoes until, after total journey of six weeks, they finally arrived at the Promised Land.

The first group, almost entirely men, was meant to set everything up for the thousands who would follow, and create the world’s first great communist city. But it only took two months for the first cracks to appear.

Paradise Mislaid

Photo by Kate Granville-Jones
Comic artist Robin Wood, great grandson of Australian colonists

William Lane’s autocratic leadership soon led to dissent. The pledges to teetotalism and the ‘colour line’ he had required of the new settlers had seemed logical back in Australia – but here, surrounded by the temptations of beautiful Guaraní women (in a country where roughly 80% of the population were female) and caña, the local sugar-cane rum, they proved highly contentious.

As one of the colony’s descendents, famous comic-book writer Robin Wood, put it to me: “Lane had two rules: 1) No booze. A group of Irish, Scots and Australians? Come on! And 2) No hanky-panky with the natives. For a socialist, he was very racist, and very stupid.”

Riven with tension and disagreement, the colony soon split into two. The original New Australia abandoned communal ownership, dividing up into private family plots, while Lane established a new colony, Cosme. Even more isolated than Nueva Australia, Cosme struggled on until 1909 – but Lane himself left in 1899 after it became obvious his grand plan was doomed to failure.

For a few years, new colonists continued to trickle in to both communities from Australia and the UK, but the majority of settlers left, heading back to Australia or to farm work on Patagonian estancias.

But around eight families did remain – and to this day 2,000 descendents of those adventurous dreamers still call Paraguay home.

Australo-Paraguayans

If the colonists left Australia to avoid tyranny and inequality, it’s somewhat ironic that they ended up in Paraguay. Until 1989, the country suffered an unbroken series of dictators since its independence from Spain in 1811, culminating in the brutal reign of Alfredo Stroessner. Now, Paraguay has been democratic for nearly two decades, but it is still plagued by corruption and poverty. The drug trade thrives, and every Asunción street corner sports a Kalashnikov-toting policeman.

There is no sign of any of that, however, when I meet Roger Cadogan under the avocado trees at his small farm on the outskirts of Asunción. Chooks and guinea fowl mutter to themselves as we lunch on locro and sweet papaya, and Roger tells me about the grandparents he never met. Rose Summerfield and Jack Cadogan arrived at New Australia in 1899, with their newborn son León. Rose had been well-known in the socialist and women’s suffrage movements in Sydney.

“I know that my grandmother Rose was a personality. She was a feminist in another time, when you women didn’t have any rights at all,” he tells me. “And my grandfather – well, he was an adventurer.” Did Roger inherit any of that? He winks. “Definitely.”

Roger’s father León went on to become a renowned ethnologist. Highly regarded for his publications on the culture and language of the Mbya-Guaraní tribe, he fought for indigenous rights right up until his death.

Photo by Kate Granville-Jones

Despite his Australian appearance, Roger prefers to speak in Guaraní. His Spanish is slow and deliberate, and he only remembers a few phrases of the English his father spoke. “He always used to say: ‘Every dark cloud…has… a silver lining.’”

Florence Wood-White has no problems with English – but she sounds American, not Australian. Her father Bill Wood, however, who left Australia when he was just a few months old, spoke with the slang and accent of 19th century Australia. Red-haired Florence, who lived at Colonia Cosme until she was seven, grew up eating Aussie ‘tucker’ (food) such as damper and porridge, and remembers her grandmother Lillian taking a daily ‘smoko’.

We sit in Florence’s Asunción parlour, melting in the 38 degree heat. After a week drinking only the ubiquitous Paraguayan speciality tereré (tasty ice-cold mate – which no Paraguayan will leave home without), it’s a pleasant surprise when Florence serves me tea – a real, English-slash-Australian cuppa!

But in spite of these traces of the land of her ancestors, Florence is Paraguayan. Her father Bill fought for Australia and the British Empire at Gallipoli, but he rejected offers of repatriation there after the war, and chose to return to South America.

“His roots were Paraguayan,” says Florence. “And mine too – I think Australia is lovely, but Paraguay is my home.”

Distrito Nueva Londres

I take the bus from Asunción to the site of New Australia, the district now inexplicably renamed Nueva Londres (New London.) The red dirt roads and livestock-dotted paddocks seem more reminiscent of rural Australia than the British capital, but the palm-dotted landscape glows a fresh, fertile green – a far cry from our wide brown land.

Submerged fence-posts peek out of flooded fields – thanks to torrential downpours the night before – as I whizz along the road to Nueva Londres on the back of a moto-taxi. As we near the village, I look around for signs of the Australians who arrived there, exhausted but hopeful, 115 years before.

There aren’t many. The school at a village down the road, which has somehow retained the name ‘Nueva Australia’. A hall named after Ricardo Smith, son of an English immigrant to the colony. His son, ancient now, bright blue eyes peering out of his wrinkled face, still lives there – but he doesn’t really know anything about his ancestors, he says.

And just as we leave, a tiny blonde girl tumbles out of a doorway. With fair hair and blue eyes she reminds me of myself as a child – but the woman who emerges to cuddle her has the dark colouring of most Paraguayans. A throwback to a distant Australian past? Maybe. But we don’t stop to ask.

The Fading Past

Photo by Kate Granville-Jones
Hilda Stanley, grandaughter of English immigrants, in Nueva Londres

Rodrigo Wood invites me to lunch with his family, and sings me ‘Auld Lang Syne’. His father Norman was the last of the older generation who were born at Colonia Cosme, and since he died at the age of 92 in 1993, the Australian past is dissolving into half-remembered, second-hand tales.

Yet oddly, as the vestiges of Australian-ness wane, and the descendents of the Woods and Smiths and Cadogans become increasingly Paraguayan, Australian interest in the story has grown. Five Aussie writers have visited Florence in the past year alone, and Rodrigo’s children watch a growing pile of ABC documentaries like they were home videos.

What do we find so fascinating about this tale? Was it so strange a thing to do? Paraguay is littered with bizarre colonies – German Mennonites, North American Moonies – yet for an Australian, this distant tribe of compatriots in Paraguay is unique.

Nowhere else has Australian-ness been exported en masse (discounting, perhaps, Shepherd’s Bush in London.) ‘New Australia’, however brief and doomed, was the only colony we ever had.

We are used to thinking of ourselves as the colony, as the destination – and maybe it’s a touch of first-world self-satisfaction that makes us wonder at the idea that anyone would willingly leave a country apparently so full of promise for a revolution-ridden South American backwater like Paraguay.

But there’s something magical about this tiny country, apparently devoid of your standard tourist destinations. After just one week there, it had worked its inexplicable spell on me, and I didn’t want to leave.

And perhaps it’s telling that only a handful of the Paraguayan-born colony descendents have chosen to move to Australia. For the rest, Paraguay is where the heart is.

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45 Responses to “New Australia: The Australian Colony in Paraguay”

  1. john freesmith says:

    Great- today I met a man called Charles Pickering(66).His grandfather wasa merchant saeman from London UK his paternal grandmother was Christine Chapman whose parents (names unkown) came from Australia as part of the new Utopia. Charles said his father also Charles, who died in 1983 aged66, and born in Assimption Paraguay, said that they were related to one of the founders of the Australian Labour Party who was assocaied with the ‘tree of knowledge’ at Barcaldine, Queensland. I would be interested to know more about the Chapmans. Charles came to Australia with his parenst and sister , all of whom have passed on and he knows of no relatives in Australia.

    Cheers

    john Freesmith

  2. alison moore says:

    In 1899 a relative of mine. James Craig Kennedy travelled to Paraquay to join the remnants of the orignal New Australia and eventually became their leader. He was an associate of Keir Hardie and Prince Kropotkin and fled from England to escape possible arrest for his involvement with the new Independent Labour Party. His youngest son still lives in the colony (born in 1915) and there are now hundreds of his descendants living in Paraquay, Australia and elsewhere.

  3. kate granville-jones says:

    Hi Alison and John – if you’re interested, there’s a really detailed book by Anne Whitehead called ‘Paradise Mislaid: The Australian Tribe of Paraguay which tells the story, and I’m pretty sure the people you both mentioned a described – it’s a fascinating read anyway!

  4. Erlis says:

    Hello people , I want to contact with BaTTe or BATE family from Australia or England , to speak about the inmigrants that came to Paraguay . ( I let you my mssgr erlisgon@hotmail.com )
    Thanks
    Hernan Gonzalez ( Son of Lucia Bate granddaugther of Autralian BAte that came to Paraguay )

  5. Geoff Saunders says:

    I was in Paraguay in 1988. I’d heard of this story but hadn’t really thought to chase it up. A great pity. I would have loved to meet the Wood brothers. I recently heard an ABC radio series featuring interviews with them, and their accents amaze me. They sound just like my great uncles who were of the same generation but born and raised in Australia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifeandtimes/stories/2009/2616280.htm
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifeandtimes/stories/2009/2622656.htm
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifeandtimes/stories/2009/2629139.htm

  6. im going to Paraguay in November. interested in the new utopia. if anybody has anyinformation please send to stuartb@utilize.com.au tvm

  7. Pam White says:

    Hi!
    Just found this site; I have always wanted to know more about my Great grandfather and Great Grandmother their name was spelt either Blunden or Blundon,
    I believe he was the baker for the colony. My granmother was 1 of 13 children who born and who travelled to Paraguay
    to help start a colony.
    A child named william was buried at sea on the way back to Australia.
    I have always known of the history, as my grand mother Alice was one of the children and her mother was Eliza it was a family story that I would have liked to know more of, so if any descendents are around Melbourne please contact me as I would love to hear more.
    email: info@beachpark.com.au

  8. Jeff Rosenstrauss says:

    We represent the owners of a row of terraces owned by the Somerfields (Rose and her husband whose name i cannot remember).
    It was in one of these houses in Waverley (Sydney) that the meetings of the Australian Socialist Party met and planned their immigration to Paraguay in the late 1800′s.
    We only became aware of the history of the house 2 weeks ago, when we spoke to the grandson of the Somerfields – Leo Cadogan who now resides in Sydney. Leo seemed to have a wealth of knowledge on the history of the meetings and organisation to get the original settlement up and running. Interesting

  9. HOLA SOY DE NUEVA LONDRES-PARAGUAY,ESPERO ME ESCRIBAN ¡PLESSE!

  10. Andrew says:

    I would like to meet to people who are ancestors of the New Australia colony. I’m also interested in meeting LEO CADOGAN.
    When you read this message ; if you can send me a message. I would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    Andrew

  11. Virginia HILLS says:

    Hi
    What a great little article – very concise. Much like the rest of the people making comments, I am doing family research. I have recently been able to confirm that a family of ancestors made their way from Charters Towers to Colonia Nueva Australia in Jan 1894 ( as part of the Second Batch).

    William Henry and Margaret THOMAS along with 10 children packed up what they could and made their way, I guess, believing they would be much better off. Not long after they arrived in the colony another daughter was born. Within a few years William Henry had passed away. I believe the family stayed on in Nueva Australia, that is they did not defect to Cosme.

    Of the Eleven children most stayed on and made a life and had a family in Argentina, a couple returned to Australia. I believe that one of the granddaughters married a SOMMERVILLE in Sydney and I wonder if there is any connection?

    I would be very interested in hearing from anyone else trying to piece together the mysteries of their ancestors in Paraguay.

    Send me a msg on veez1310@hotmail.com

    cheers

    Virginia

  12. John says:

    Great article. I was in Nueva Londres in 1996 and had lunch with a family that had an Australian father and Paraguayan mother. Lilton and Katherine Smith were the adult childrens’ names. Nueva Londres was at one time called Hugo Strossner- after the dictators son. Check out the monument to the Chaco War in Nueva Londres- you will see Smiths and Kennedys.
    JOHN

  13. Lynn Rushton-Wilson says:

    My great Grandfather was in Cosme in 1902/03 and we have a reference given to him which states that he was employed to build iron bridges and other works. We would love to know if there is any information about George Bowman Wilson anywhere. He returned to Melbourne Australia after his time in Paraguay. Lynn

  14. Stewart Allen says:

    I have a Cash book dated March 31 1894 titled Diary of Voyage from Adelaide South Australia to New Australia. I believe it was written by George Birks. This is an original book with entries of the South Australian members cash purchases, secretary wages, literature funds, export case numbers and contents. This has been in my family for over 100 years. I discovered it at my Mothers place. She has dementia and is unable to remember who and where she got it from. Oh well great part of Australian history. I intend to take it to our mueseum soon.
    Stewart

  15. Virginia HILLS says:

    Hi Stewart,

    I would love to know if there is any reference in your book to the THOMAS family as they were on the voyage in 1894.

    I am trying to collect as much information as possible on this family – as it has taken me many years to find out where they went after they left Charters Towers.

    Could you please let me know which museum you have given it to so that I may contact them in relation to getting more information.

    By the way, the Uni of Sydney has a great collection of items based on Cosme – they may be interested in your book.

    cheers

    Virginia

  16. Ray Solava says:

    Hello guys!,

    Nice to hear someone of you had been in Paraguay. I am planning to travel to Paraguay soon from the Philippines, I am a Paraguayan living here in Asia for more than 18 years without the benefit of visiting my beloved Paraguay. Anyway, hope to see you all there again for a party and for a toss.

    Regards to all,

    Ray Solava (For Reinaldo Avalos)

  17. Danae says:

    Hola a todos! No soy ni paraguaya ni australiana pero me gustaria ir a conocer Nueva Londres. Escribanme a s0371220@access.uzh.ch

    Muchos saludos,

    Danae

    Hi to everybody! I’m neither Paraguayan nor Australian but I would like to meet people from Nueva Londres anyway. Write me on s0371220@access.uzh.ch.

    Best regards,

    Danae

  18. Jose says:

    Lot of memories…missing my Paraguay a lot…i know is a poor country but ill never find a place like Caaguazu…
    saludos!

  19. Teresa says:

    My great-great uncle, Joseph Henry Conlan left Australia and joined Lane. He stayed there until 1899 (about 6 years) and then moved to Liverpool where he married and his descendants still live there. I found about about Joseph’s interesting history while doing my family tree. One day I would like to meet the ‘pommy’ Conlans. Teresa, Darwin, NT Australia.

  20. Janet says:

    My great grandfather John Rich, a journalist, was one of the new Australian settlers in Paraguay and my grandfather Eric Rich was born there. Apparently the family saved the family silver, against the communal property rules which enabled them to leave Paraguay, and they eventually settled in New Zealand. I would love to connect with other descendants of the New Australia settlement, and with anyone who has any more info about my ancestors. eg in Steweart’s mother’s cash book

    janetbogle@hotmail.com

  21. Jodie Wood says:

    What an interesting read, makes me want to visit. My great grandmother’s brother was Walter William Head aka Walter Alan Woods, who was one of the founders of the Australian Labour Party. (I wonder if it’s who John Freesmith mentioned above?). Walter Woods was unable to go on that first boat as his young son was missing, presumed dead in the Gippsland bush, so he sent his eldest son alone on the Royal Tar – he was 10. I wonder if the Woods you met on your trip are descendants of Walter Woods? Would love to hear from anyone related – my email is jo_4z123@yahoo.com.au

  22. Colin Moore says:

    My grandparents were involved in this exodus from Australia. My grandfather kept a diary of their voyage. He was William Slater Howard who sailed from Adelaide to Paraquay January 1st 1894 aboard the Royal Tar accompanied by his wife Ellen, their small child Stanley and another 190 like minded companions. They arrived at Montevideo on the 21st February and the ship was kept off shore as the Captain could not provide the authorities with a clean bill of health. Two days later they were allowed ashore leaving 7 ‘cowards’ to return to Australia on the Royal Tar.
    Then on the the 27th they boarded a steamer which was to take them nearly a 1000 miles up the Parana river stopping at places such as Rosario and La Paz where they met the Chairman William Lane. Then onto Asuncion where they off loaded their luggage and boarded a very slow train for 80 miles. (The actual train they travelled on is still working (2010) and can be seen on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fbt9QiLWWc )
    They completed the last few miles using bullock carts, about 20 or 30 of them, arriving on the 1st March. They then became aware of considerable dissension amongst those who had been there for a few months. It was causing a rift in the colony and in May 1894, Lane and 58 others left New Australia to found Cosme, a new colony 72 kilometres farther south. What then took place is well chronicled in a book published by Angus & Robertson and written by Gavin Souter – A peculiar people (The Australians in Paraguay). Their third child Flo was born February 13th 1896 we presume at Roma Luguam. Unfortunately he stopped writing his diary on their arrival at the settlement.

    It was early in 1896 they made what must have been a difficult decision to return home to the Teign Valley., in Devon,England. William Howard’s stomach trouble due to lead poisoning he had ingested at Broken Hill, had not improved and he was advised by a doctor to return to his native land and lead a life in the open air. The sum of money which they had put in the commune had been absorbed for the ‘ common good’ and they had scarcely enough to pay their fares home. After about ten days travelling down the River Parana they came to Buenos Aires. William purchased tickets on one boat for his wife and two children (Flo had just been born) and he signed on another the S.S.Edendale to work his passage home. It was April 1896.

    Ellen and her two children arrived home in Tilbury,England on the 6 June 1896 and travelled to Exeter by train. A few days later William arrived. They then settled and within a short while he had acquired a disused mill and set up a milling and haulage business. They had further children.

    Anyone wanting copies of his voyage diary entries can contact me on colmoore@blueyonder.co.uk

  23. Graeme White says:

    G’day Ladies & Gents

    I’m from Rockhampton Qld, and I’m looking a bloke by the name of Charles Frederick White, or Fred White, one of the original men to set-up camp.

    He boarded the ship in Adelaide, this is funny because Charles was a Station Manager in Central Qld, after taking the cattle to the Adelaide sales, he boards the Royal Tar.

    In the Shipping records I can find three “Whites”

    * Harry White 1893 Paraguay Australian Colony Arrival
    * Fred White ” ” ” ” ”
    * John White 1893 paraguay Australian Colony Arrival.

    So, I may have to buy these books:

    * Paradise Mislaid, by Anne Whitehead 1997
    * The Paraguayan Experiment by Michael Wilding
    * A Peculiar People by Gavin Souter

    I would like to know what happened to Charles F White?
    Did he stay, married, died in Paraguay or moved to another location. Can anyone help me out, or tell me where I should go, for the next clue?

    I would like to e-mail you guy’s for that help, if that’s OK, so my email is loopy_67@hotmail.com, just address it as paraguayan aussie’s or something quick like that.

    I’ve been looking for (Websites) Birth, Death & Marriages records in Paraguay, I’m coming up against brick-walls, the other things that I’ve been finding hard, what is the name of Cemeteries they would use?

    What is the Primary School & High School & would they have a 75/100 year Jubalee Book?

    Thank you
    Graeme White……

  24. Denise Miller says:

    My husband’s family includes sisters, Rosetta and Helen Thomas from Adelaide, South Australia. They had married brothers George Napier Birks, and Charles Napier Birks and together with their children, and grandchildren this family cluster immigrated to the New Australia Colony in Paraguay in 1894. I have just begun my research but know that George Birks died there in 1895 and that two of his sons, William Kyffin Birks and Alfred James Birks remained in South America, each eventually raising a family in the region.

    I would love to know to which Museum Stewart is intending to donate George Birks’ papers so that I can access them.
    My email is pdafmill@gmail.com and I would love to get in contact with other researchers as my chances of getting to Paraguay are VERY slight.
    Denise Miller

  25. John Foley says:

    I raised a big Australian flag at Nueva Australia in 2006. The road to Nueva Londres is one kilometre further east, and eight kilometres north of Nueva Australia.

    There were troubles among the settlers before the Royal Tar left the wharf in Sydney. While still in Sydney Harbour, a hat was taken around to collect all the money as they didn’t need it any more. The community owned the money now, and would provide for them.

    When the Royal Tar arrived in Montevideo, Uraguay, some of the settlers paid boatmen to row them ashore where they get very drunk. Clearly, even in Sydney Harbour there was dissent among the ranks.

    If anybody has specific information on the exact location of the original town, please contact me at john.foley.australia@gmail.com

  26. Michael lane says:

    I find this story of the utopia at Cosme in Paraguay extremely fascinating. It first came to my attention through my subscription of Australian Geographic in AG108. Although I am an advert reader of Australian non fiction especially the history of its settlement an expansion pre world war 1 this story has never crossed my path. Why is this not touched upon in schools? What an interesting part of our fascinating history.

  27. John Foley says:

    I gave an Australian flag to Collegia de Nueva Australia in 2007. They still hold it very proudly.

    Few Australians know of the Paraguayan experiment, and even less know that the second shipload of New Australians left from Port Adelaide.

    To avoid losing a lot of citizens to Paraguay, the colonial government of South Australia funded 11 similar colonies in the Riverland, including Lyrup, Waikerie and Kingston.

    John Foley

  28. Karen says:

    I am the great grand niece of Lillian & William Wood. Is there anyone else on this list related to them?

    cheers
    Karen Fountaine
    karenf59@tpg.com.au

  29. Lynette Parascos says:

    My Great Grandfather Charles Manning sailed on the Tar from sydney with his wife and son. My Grandfather Blaz was born in Paraguay. His mother was a nurse and they left the settlement after a time. The family line is difficult to trace in Britain because there is uncertainty as to Charles’s correct surname – thought is that he was a family black sheep. When he returned to England with his family he left his wife and family to visit his parents and on his return instead of them staying he returned to Australia with them. This has never been explained.

  30. Tony Brady says:

    Hi All,

    This story has fascinated me since I first heard about it during my Doctoral thesis research.

    William Lane was accompanied by his brother John Lane and his family to New Australia and then onto Cosme.

    John Lane features in my thesis. Anyone interested in Australian history that might like to read it I have attached a link so you can download the thesis free of charge. I hope you enjoy.

    http://eprints.qut.edu.au/60802/

  31. John Rogers says:

    My grandfather Alfred Rogers joined the settlement in Paraguay although I have no further information as to the date. I know that he grew up in London and went to Japan in 1891 until 1894 as an accountant. His whereabouts after 1894 until 1903 when married Ruth Alexander in London are a mystery. Similarly from 1904 until 1910 when he is known to be working in Argentina on the railways are also a mystery. Reference books on the “New Australia Colony” are very difficult to obtain here in the UK and therefore if any kind person could research their books and find further information on Alfred Rogers (or possibly Alfred and Ruth Rogers) I would be very grateful.

  32. Robert Wallace says:

    Hello all!

    My second surname is Thomas as I am a grandson of Mary Kidd who came from Adelaide with her parents as a young girl (16) on the second sailing of the Royal Tar. She married William (Bill) Thomas who also lived in the Nueva Australia Colony. Eventually they moved and settled in Argentina (Campana and Zárate). They had a son and daughter, Albert and Hilda Thomas, my mother, who married Richard Wallace, my father. I was born in Argentina 74 years ago, currently live in Bariloche, Argentina. My grandmother lived with me until she passed away at age 97 back in 1973 so I have heard many stories of her early life in “the Colony”.

  33. Hi Robert WALLACE

    I would love to hear from you – I have been researching the THOMAS family from Australia for many years – your Grandfather Bill THOMAS was one of 11 children – who moved with their parents to “New Australia” – all survived to adulthood, and most had families of their own.

    I would love to hear the stories your grandmother told you.

    I would be most honoured if you could send me a message to researchingnewhaven@hotmail.com

    Cheers

    Virginia

  34. Hi Everyone

    I have just put together a fb page on New Australia Colony – Paraguay

    If you would like more information. or a way to contact other New Australian Descendants then come over to
    https://www.facebook.com/NewAustraliaColonyParaguay?ref=hl

  35. Juana says:

    Hi. My name is Juana and i research for any information about my grand father Allan Mann Mac Leod, he born at Rockhampton 22/06/1889 and died at ASuncion Paraguay 20/09/1957, any information is very important.Thaks

  36. Graeme White says:

    Hi Juana

    You left a posting on the 16th May 2014, requesting information about “Allan Mann Macleod”?

    But, if drop the in Mcleod, you will find a Allan Mann Mcleod born in 1889 in Queensland, Birth Registration #C1638. website BDM QLD, then look for family history section.

    Father Allan Milne Mcleod & Mother Margaret Nolan, married in Qld 1887 #C1638.

    Look-up the website call “TROVE” newpapers.

    Hope that’s helpful.
    Graeme

  37. Graeme White says:

    G’day to Juana & everyone research family information.

    I hope this is helpful for everyone looking for information from Australian Websites, here are a few to look into:

    http://WWW.Trove
    Trove is a National NEWSPAPERS & archives website, Free to use, simply type in a name, any name, if your not successful on the first go, try spelling the name in a different way. “Less is more”.

    http://WWW.NomialRoll
    you’ll get the choice of WWI or WWII World War I or World War II, find surnames and type in your surname that your looking for, these that Men & Wemen, that enlisted or where employed by the army.

    http://WWW.BDM QLD
    People that Died, Born & Married in the State of Queensland.
    There bit of a trick, when you find the correct site, you have to put the full dates for example:
    Births Date of research 01/01/1829 to 31/12/1914, 1914 Privacy Act.
    Deaths Dates – 01/01/1829 to 31/12/1934 and.
    Marriages Dates – 01/01/1829 to 31/12/1984.

    WWW. BDM NSW
    People born, died, and married in the State of New South Wales.

    I hope these sites are handy for anyone researching family, in Australia.

    Has anyone got research sites in Paraguay, or can anyone help me, I’m looking for info on Fred White, he was one of three trouble makers in the group, and kick out.

    He married in Buenos Aires, to a Christine Hogg/Shaw, I would like t know where he ended up?

    Thank you
    Graeme

  38. Barry Harding says:

    Hello
    My great grandparents sailed from Queensland to join the colony and my granmother was born there in 1899. Their surname was Bilby and after a time they moved to Terra del Fuego to manage a sheep station (named Spring Hill)and finally returned to Australia eventually comming to Fremantle in Western Australia.
    A good book to read about this adventure is called ‘they’re a Weird Mob’

  39. Barry Harding says:

    My last post was incorrect – the great grand parents name was Rae not Bilby

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