Thomas Crawford's Diary, 1825

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This is the diary of Thomas Crawford, a young man emigrating to Australia from Scotland in 1825. The long journey by sea took five months. Thomas's diary is held by Glasgow City Archives at The Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

Thomas Crawford was born in 1802 in Greenock, Scotland; he was 23 years old when this diary was written. His older brother, Robert, had emigrated to Australia in 1821, and served as Principal Clerk to the Colonial Secretary’s Office.

Thomas remained in Australia, settling in the Congewai Valley, New South Wales. He married Mary Wiseman in 1832, and they had nine children. Thomas died at his farm, ‘Brown Muir’, in 1875, aged 73.

Many of Thomas’s descendants still live in Australia, and we’re grateful for his great-great-granddaughter Jean May Crawford for getting in touch with more information about the family. There are still a great many letters and photographs surviving, particularly letters sent between Thomas and Robert; in 1995, Richard Robert Crawford transcribed these and published Young and Free – Letters of Robert and Thomas Crawford 1821-1830. Another book, Brown Muir and beyond: Stories of Thomas Crawford and his descendants, by Jean May Hegarty, was published in 2012.

We’re grateful to Thomas’s great-great-granddaughter, Jean May Hegarty, for sharing this picture of Thomas, taken in Australia many years after his journey: