For over 20 years, members of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists with an interest in Channel Islands family history ran a "special interest group" in New Zealand to provide mutual support for researchers.
With the increased use of the Internet, the need for a "help group" diminished and led to it's demise, I now attempt to provide that help and support through this website.
Migration to Australia & NZ
Channel Islanders appeared early in the European migration to both Australia and New Zealand and today almost every recognizable CI surname can be found in these Dominions. In Australia a few immigrants from CI appear prior to 1800 - these mostly as ship's crewmen .. There are few recorded CI convicts - one was Marie Le Gendre of St Helier who was transported to Australia in 1846 for murdering a policeman.
The first recorded Channel Island immigrants to New Zealand arrived in 1841 and 1842 generally as assisted immigrants. Among them were Francis Aubin (Pirongia) and John Gilfillan (Wanganui). By the 1850s, the numbers increased to both countries and a couple of ships were notable for their contribution - The "Lightning" (1854) with 57 Islanders and the "Evening Star" to Adelaide (1854) with 194 passengers.
However, very few immigrants sailed directly from the Islands, most coming via Port of London or South Coast ports. By the 1870s, assisted immigration was in full swing - to NZ it peaked in 1874 as a result of newspaper advertising throughout the UK. [see sidebar]
Family History research in the Channel Islands is hindered by the lack of on-line resources and unless you are prepared to travel to the Islands to undertake research, can be very slow and will rely on the goodwill of others. Civil records are impossible to consult without in-island help and parish records have been indexed locally for look-up in the Islands only.
The Channel Islands Immigrants Database has been slowly growing for some 20 years and it relies on contributions of information for it's growth. It is intended to be a basic source list. It is hoped that contributors will enhance the information given by producing cameos where possible, of each individual or family describing; family origins, passage, occupations, and subsequently what happened to them.
Some entries are as a result of full family histories being researched and written.