Background to Greek migration

The earliest records held by State Records relating to Greek people arriving in NSW are the convict indents for seven sailors from Hydra convicted at Malta in 1828 for piracy and transported for various terms. The sailors arrived in Sydney on 27 August 1829 on the Norfolk (2) (see Reel 398 or fiche 6720).

In 1837 they all received Absolute Pardons (see NSW Government Gazette, 21 December 1836) and the Imperial Government agreed to cover the cost of their passage back to England so they might return to Greece. Two of them — Androni Tu Malonis and Ghicas Bulgaris — remained in the colony while the other five men returned to Greece. Androni Tu Malonis and Ghicas Bulgaris were among the first Greeks to be naturalised.

The correspondence relating to their pardons and the arrangements for the passage of the five men to England are in the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence, 1837 [4/2354.1].

The Despatch from the Secretary of State to Governor Bourke concerning the pardons is in Despatches received from the Secretary of State, 1836 [4/1301 No 174].

Other types of records where there may be references to Greek immigrants include records relating to the oyster-culture and trawling industries in NSW (see Archives Investigator under Agency No. 1847, Fisheries Branch). The record series Files relating to licences for theatres and public halls includes files relating to the Greek Orthodox Church Hall (St Raphels School), Liverpool and Greek Orthodox Church Community Hall, Bankstown. For more information consult Archives Investigator.

Early Greek convicts

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