Keeping a Journal

Major adventures, like migrating to a far distant land, often inspired people to record the journey in a diary, journal or scrapbook. Years later these personal accounts are vivid reminders of times past as well as important historical records of ship travel.

19-year-old Ally Heathcote migrated from England with her family in 1874 on the iron-hulled auxiliary steamship Northumberland. Ally’s journal details many particulars about life on board during the voyage – the characters, the climate, the food, her family’s health and day-to-day routines. 

Here we have chosen extracts from certain pages and transcribed them in order to highlight some of these aspects of her journey.