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2,254 articles


This website captures details of passengers and crew of the City of Adelaide and provides background and contexts of their lives - whether they were refugees from a European war; victims of the closing of the Cornish copper mines; hopeful migrants wanting to build new lives in a young country.
If you register and log in to your account, you will be able to add and edit articles too. By registering you can create a User-page and Talk-page - like Wikipedia. That can help you to contact other researchers interested in the same families and people. Being a wiki format, it is possible to collaborate with others to create a network of articles about your family and any stories that you find interesting. Please help to build the picture of the life and times of the City of Adelaide.

Featured article

The Judell Family in 1896

Leopold Jϋdell was born on 25 July 1848 in Altona, Schleswig-Holstein, the youngest son of a prominent local merchant, Wolff Jϋdell and his first wife Hannchen née Mendel.

At this time several provinces of modern Germany were being united into a German Confederation with the help of aggressive Prussian occupation, and there was armed conflict in those parts of Europe where the changes were unwelcome. In 1867 control of Altona passed from Denmark to the Kingdom of Prussia, creating the entity of Schleswig-Holstein. Such turmoil and, probably, additional strain imposed on them by increased cultural discrimination, prompted Leopold’s generation of Jϋdells to emigrate from Altona.

After renouncing his Prussian citizenship, and a few weeks before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, 21 years old Leopold made his way to London where he boarded the City of Adelaide in May 1870 to join his brothers Hermann and Moritz Wolff who had already migrated to South Australia. The ship left Shadwell Basin in the River Thames on 24th May, called at Plymouth and reached Port Adelaide on 18th August after a voyage of nearly three months. Throughout the journey Leopold kept a diary of each day’s events written in his native Germanic dialect.

Did you know

  • ... that superior tonnage and a greater spread of canvas provided clipper ships with higher speed. In 1876, an Ocean Race from the English Channel to Australia saw the City of Adelaide keep apace with a much larger clipper - the Bundaleer. They kept in sight of each other for almost the entire voyage.
  • ... that Devitt and Moore were consistently identified as the registered owners of the City of Adelaide, but technically they were only the managing agents in London.
  • ... the donor of the Sandover Medal, presented annually to the fairest and best player in the West Australian Football League, Alfred Sandover was likely conceived on board the City of Adelaide during the 1866 voyage to London.

Featured picture

Frederick Norman Scarfe, b1822
Frederick Norman Scarfe, 28, married Mary Trevenen, 17, in January 1850 and they set up home in Adelaide’s early eastern village of Norwood. In 1860, Frederick was elected as the third Mayor of the Town of Kensington and Norwood. Frederick and Mary sailed to London on the 1865 voyage on the City of Adelaide. It appears that the move was intended to be a permanent one but Mary died the following month after arriving in England. In 1866, Frederick returned to Adelaide on the City of Adelaide and within weeks had installed in a Norwood church a stained glass window that he presumably brought with him to Adelaide from London.

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