Did they go for gold?

This guide was last updated in 2010

If an ancestor is missing from a census it is possible (although not the only option by far) that they departed in search for gold.

Major gold rushes include: California (1848-1853), Victoria in Australia (1851-early 1860s), Central Otago in New Zealand (1860s), Transvaal in South Africa (1886), Western Australia (1893-1896), Klondike in Yukon Territory, Canada (1896-1898).

If your ancestor was a miner, then gold rush participation is more likely. This is especially true of copper and tin miners from Cornwall and Welsh miners. Sometimes whole communities migrated and established themselves in particular areas, so if you know that several people went in search of gold from a missing ancestors’ town, then they could have been part of the exodus.

Gold rush ancestors
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