Emigrated from Saicourt, Canton Bern, Switzerland to Ma Ma Creek, Queensland, Australia in 1874

Ulysse Paroz was born on 15th August 1831, the eldest son of Frederic Isaac Paroz and Suzanne Lardon.

Aged 24, he married Fleurine Monnier in Tavannes – Fleurine was 21.

Fleurine’s family were from St Imier – records for the family appear to be held in Tramelan. Her father was Francois Celestin Monnier and her mother was Marianne Elise Vuilleumier.

Their first son Fleury Ulysse Paroz was born in 1856, followed by Fleurine Elise in 1858, Jules Armand 1859, Mathilde Amanda 1860, Marie Cesarine 1863, Sabine Stephanie 1864, Humbert Roland 1866, Leontine Alice 1868, Achille Rodolphe 1870 and Martin Felix in 1872.

The last son, Martin Felix died in Switzerland when just a few months old in October 1872

It was a year since Ulysse’s sister Elise Paroz and her family had emigrated to Australia. Elise had married Frederick Juillerat and they had arrived in Queensland in 1872.

Ulysse was working in a watch factory in Switzerland according to letters written by his children later in life.

It is interesting to speculate why the family may have decided to emigrate to Australia. In 1874 a prolonged economic depression began in Switzerland. Partially as a result of industrial changes the agricultural sector was plunged into crisis.

Within the villages in the valleys, various families were heading to the USA and other ports. Life in Switzerland was becoming more expensive – the agricultural sector was plunged into crisis. The cost of food absorbed a large portion of the weekly wage.

There were advertisements from the new colonies desperate to attract emigrants – Canada, Australia where each colony had a different incentive scheme to attract emigrants – Natal, South America: they promised better wages and the opportunity to obtain land at a reasonable cost.

The Swiss communities were also offering some financial incentives to their citizens to immigrate. Thus they would have fewer mouths to feed in the forthcoming recession. Typically the incentive might be 400 Swiss francs, or 6 months wages for a working man. Many from the Jura and Neuchatel areas left Switzerland in the 19th century.

It had been only in 1845 that the last famine in Switzerland caused by the terrible potato blights that struck all of Europe – this generated a severe economic crisis.

For Ulysse, his entire life might have seemed to be dominated by economic depressions – mostly caused by events well beyond his control.

The glowing advertisements for the new colonies that seemed full of opportunity might have seemed a ready-made answer.He had 9 children growing up, many of working age – so what was he to do?

There was a concerted drive from Queensland to attract more emigrants. No doubt, letters from Elise may have encouraged them to join them in a new land.

Wages in Queensland were good for young men – and the colony was crying our for new settlers and families to develop the agricultural lands which had been opened up with the passing of the Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1868 and the Homestead Act of 1872.

Ulysse took advantage of the land order system of emigration and applied for a land order which he would redeem on arrival in Queensland.

They left Switzerland on 20 May 1874 according to the records kept in Saicourt, and travelled to London to join the Zoroaster, boarding the ship on the 29th May 1874.

On 3rd June, 1874, the sailing ship, ZOROASTER, sailed from London. On board was Ulysse Paroz (aged 43), his wife Fleurine (aged 39) and their 9 children - Fleury the eldest son was 19 and Achille the youngest son was just 4 years old.

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Family trees of Milli K