Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Poole Dorset to Newfoundland

On holiday recently in Dorset I found a surprising connection between Poole, Dorset and Newfoundland. Many families emigrated from Poole to Newfoundland in the 1700s and 1800s and it all has to do with cod.

According to the information in one of the galleries at the Poole Museum, over 20% of Newfoundlanders claim their ancestors came from Poole. This harbour town receives many visitors from Newfoundland who are researching their ancestors. They are very proud of the connection to Newfoundland, and they have named two streets as Newfoundland Drive and Labrador Drive. 

The Poole Museum, http://www.poolemuseum.co.uk/ , which houses the tourist information centre, has displays describing the area's geographical history, archaeological discoveries, as well as modern day Poole. An important artefact is the famous Iron Age Poole log boat displayed on the main floor. They also have a small gallery that explains the connection between the Newfoundland cod trade and Poole.  @PooleMuseum 

The museum has also created a website that hosts photographs and stories about the people and buildings in Poole. There is a 'People Finder' search option and they are keen to gather more material from visitors. http://www.poolehistory.org.uk/

A few of the men who became 'cod' wealthy were Samuel White, Benjamin Lester, John Slade. Amy, daughter of Benjamin Slade, married George Garland. 

The history centre provides an enquiry service, not only for genealogists, but for those searching for history of the area and fishing industry : localhistory@poole.gov.uk

The Dorset Archives Service in Dorchester has a large collection of family history material which also covers Poole. https://www.dorsetforyou.com/dorsethistorycentre 

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