Trove Tuesday: Orient Liner Ophir

Trove doesn't just allow us to find newspaper articles, although it is easy to get wrapped up in just looking through those results without a thought to what other items you might find.

I have been writing up some narrative around research that I have done, so that instead of just a nice collection of names and dates, there is a story as well.

So, today I used Trove to look for a picture of one of my immigrant ships, the Ophir.

And I found more than I had hoped for!

First I found out that the Ophir was later refurbished and used to convey their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) on their 1901 tour of the British Empire. Their tour included Malta, Ceylon, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Newfoundland. And that meant there were LOTS of photos.

But I wanted a picture from before that, as Elizabeth Wardley (nee Rufford) had travelled in 1895 with her three daughters Alice, Clara and Mavis, and her younger brother Henry Alfred Rufford. Arriving just over 120 years ago on 9 March 1895. Her husband Charles Wardley was already settled in Carrington, near Newcastle. He paid deposits for their passage on 11 October 1894, enclosing a recommendation from Mr J.L. Fegan MP, his local Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.

Amazingly, Trove came up trumps. I found a picture held by the National Maritime Museum, from the Ophir's first voyage to Sydney, originally clipped out of the Illustrated Sydney News.

Maker - Illustrated Sydney News 1892, THE NEW ORIENT LINER "OPHIR",

So, what did I do next? I headed back to Trove to see if I could find the original newspaper the image was clipped from.

And there it was. Online. Just waiting to be discovered.

With a brilliant description of the ship!

1892 'THE NEW ORIENT LINER OPHIR.', Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 - 1894), 13 February, p. 6, viewed 24 March, 2015,

Next, I thought I would see if I could find any notices relating to the precise voyage that my family came on.

1895 'ARRIVAL OF THE R.M.S. OPHIR.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 11 March, p. 6, viewed 24 March, 2015,

And this article names all those travelling in style - my family were in the "other classes".

1895 'THE R.M.S. OPHIR AT ALBANY.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 4 March, p. 5, viewed 24 March, 2015,

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