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Source Information

Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Applications and Admissions to Orphan Schools, 1817-1833 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Applications for admission into the Orphan Schools. Series 782, microfilm copy State Records Reels 2776-2777. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales.

© the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales and is used under licence with the permission of the State Records Authority. The State of New South Wales gives no warranty regarding the data's accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose.

About New South Wales, Australia, Applications and Admissions to Orphan Schools, 1817-1833

Historical Background:
The Female Orphan School in Sydney was established in 1801 to house destitute girls aged 7 to 14. The Male Orphan School was later established in 1819. Boys aged 7 to 10 could be admitted and would remain a responsibility of the school until age 15. Boys received basic education in reading, writing, and math. At age 15 they were sent out to apprentice with a tradesman or to work as a farm labourer.

From 1826 to 1833 the administration and management of the Orphan Schools was under the direction of the Trustees of the Clergy and School Lands Corporation.

About this Collection:
This collection consists of Applications for Admission into the Male and Female Orphan Schools in Sydney. The years covered roughly follows those in which the Schools were run by the Clergy and School Lands Corporation (1825-1833). Applications were used to determine admission of children, thus requiring certain criteria be met in order to be admitted.

The applications consisted of letters or petitions written by the parent(s) or guardian(s) (often a widow or widower) asking for the child to be admitted into the school. Some petitions were written on pre-printed forms, others are entirely handwritten. The petition usually listed:

  • Name of petitioner
  • Name of child wanting admission
  • Names of parents
  • Reasons why the child should be admitted
  • Date of application or admission

This collection also contains School Admission Books, covering the years 1817-1832 for females and 1819-1833 for males. The Admission Books generally list the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Age
  • Date admitted
  • Date of quitting the school
  • Parents’ names
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Remarks

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