Monday, February 11, 2013

Travel to Durban

The Australasian, from the State Library of Queensland, John Oxley Library.
How and when Emily travelled to Durban is not certain.  However, by consulting the Public Records Office Victoria Outwards Passenger Index, using the search terms Griffith*, E*, and narrowed from 1900-1903, there is only one vessel travelling to Africa.

A Miss E Griffiths, aged 23, was listed aboard the Australasian which left for London, Capetown and Natal, via Albany, in May 1903.

Emily Griffith was actually 29 when she married, so it is not clear that it was her, but she may have reduced her age preparatory to her marriage.  Or the age may have been mis-transcribed from the shipping record.  I'll try and examine the film at PROV in the next few weeks.

I may now have to revise my idea that because Banns were called, the wedding had not been performed in a hurry.  The 2nd of June in 1903 was a Tuesday.  Presumably the Banns were called on the three preceding Sundays - 17, 24 and 31 May.  If the ship left Melbourne on 6 May, it would have been very hard pressed to have arrived in South Africa inside a fortnight, which suggests, if this is the right voyage, that the Banns were called before Emily actually arrived in Durban.  If anyone can clarify just how long it would have taken a steamship to travel from Melbourne to Natal, I would be very interested to hear.

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