Guide to the Papers of George Kershaw (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Kershaw, George
Notebook of George Kershaw (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1840 - 1855
Collection Number
20 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Memorandum book with short diary entries, lists of income expenditure and family biographical notes. The diary entries August-December 1841 describe weather conditions and daily routine on the voyage to Australia. There are lists of his earnings and places worked while a plasterer in Liverpool 1840-41 and Sydney 1841-50, and the earnings of William A. Kershaw 1841, 1845-46. At the end of the notebook are religious lecture notes, recipes and a list of distances travelled and places visited while constable at Braidwood, and an inventory of pistols, ammunition and other property given to him when sworn in as constable. Finally there are details of the birth and death of his parents, wife and children.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1962 (AJCP Reel: M435). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

The material was originally filmed at the private residence of Mr. R.N. Kershaw, CMG, Berkshire.

Existence and Location of Originals

The original notebook is now held in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2000. Collection Reference: MLMSS 624. For further information see George Kershaw at the Mitchell Library, Sydney (

The Mitchell Library also holds a picture of George Kershaw (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Braidwood, New South Wales; Columbine (ship); Emigrant voyages; Genealogy and genealogies; Australia: immigration to; Kershaw, George; Kershaw, William A.; Liverpool, England; Liverpool, New South Wales; Police; Recipes; Religion; Sydney, New South Wales ; Wages


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 265, pp98-99.

Biographical / Historical

George Kershaw was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1801. He married Selina Hirst in 1823 and they had several children. He worked as a plasterer in Yorkshire and recorded that he had a fall from the top of one of the walls of York Castle in 1834. In 1840 he and his family moved to Liverpool. They sailed to Australia on the Columbine in 1840-1841 and Kershaw immediately found work as a plasterer in Sydney. Among the many buildings that he worked on during the following years was Government House, which was completed in 1845. In 1849 Kershaw moved to Braidwood where he joined the Police Force. Selina Kershaw died in Braidwood in 1855 and there is no information about Kershaw's later life. He died in 1878.

Item Descriptions

Memorandum book kept by George Kershaw in England and New South Wales, 1840 - 1855 (File 1)

The memoranda are written in an 1836 memoranda book issued by the London stationers and publishers J. & F. Harwood. Kershaw appears to have been a compulsive recorder of his daily life. In addition to using the volume for two skeletal diaries in 1841 and 1849, he recorded his employment, rents, purchases, cash payments, lectures attended, and the births, deaths and marriages of family members. The various memoranda are not in a single chronological sequence and it would seem that Kershaw initially left many pages blank and filled them in as time passed.

Items of interest include: Yearly receipt of cash since arriving in the colony, 1842-1845; diary kept on voyage of the Columbine from Liverpool to Sydney, 1841; Gold purchased at Wanambura (?) Creek, 1851; records of travelling since joining the NSW Police (Braidwood, Goulburn, Reesdale and Jinglemoney), 1850; Diary of journey from Braidwood to Sydney, 1849; record of purchase of hay and barley, 1849-1851; Low Hill Cemetery, 1841; record of plastering work carried out in Sydney, 1843-1846; Inventory of property received when sworn in as a constable at Braidwood, 1849; rent paid since arrival in the Colony, 1844-1845; cash payments and goods purchases, 1843.