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A happy coincidence : Caroline Chisholm records found in the National Library of Ireland

Well, I spent the whole day in the Reading Room in Dublin last week going through Lord and Lady Monteagle's correspondence. It was a slow old process on microfilm.

I didn't find what I was looking for in the documents, but I did come across several pieces of correspondence between Caroline Chisolm and the Monteagles during the 1850s.

Coloured sketch of Caroline Chisholm

Above: A signed card by Caroline Chisholm holding her portrait. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

Ms Chisholm was a very famous early Australian, philanthropist and reformer who spent her life dedicated to the welfare of immigrants, particularly women. She was so highly respected that she was featured on our $5 note for over 50 years and was only very recently replaced much to my dismay. Finding those records yesterday in the Library was an absolute delight.

She has a very clear and distinctive signature which jumped right off the page. One of her documents held testimonials from Irishmen who had emigrated to Australia describing how they had done well in establishing good lives for themselves and families which was good to read.

Above: Caroline Chisholm's signature on an item of correspondence. Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

For more information about this remarkable woman and her impact on colonial Australia, see her entry in the Australian Biographical Dictionary at

Do you have any famous (or infamous) people in your family tree? I would love to hear how you found them. Let me know in the Comments Section below.

Therese Lynch

Your Family Genealogist

Pictures : State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Ireland

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