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The return movement of emigrants, 1600–2000
Editor: Marjory Harper

Emigration studies have been a major historiographical concern for many years. This book addresses the significant but neglected issue of return migration to Britain and Europe since 1600. It offers some of the first studies of the phenomenon of returns. While emigration studies have become prominent in both scholarly and popular circles in recent years, return migration has remained comparatively under-researched. Despite evidence that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries between a quarter and a third of all emigrants from many parts of Britain and Europe ultimately returned to their countries of origin. Emigrant homecomings analyses the motives, experiences and impact of these returning migrants in a wide range of locations over four hundred years, as well as examining the mechanisms and technologies which enabled their return. The book aims to open the debate by addressing some of the major issues in four thematic sections. After an overview of the process of return migration, it addresses the motives of those who returned from a wide variety of locations over a period ranging from the seventeenth century to the present day. The book looks at mechanisms of return, and considers the crucial question of the impact on the homeland of those who returned.

Aspects of Irish return migration, 1600–1845
Patrick Fitzgerald

By 1914, when the popular song ‘Come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff’ was written and composed by Percy French, return migration had long been a significant theme within the Irish diaspora. French, born in Cloonyquin, County Roscommon, in 1854, had served, during the early 1880s, as Inspector of Loans to Tenants with the County Cavan Board of Works before turning his attention on a fulltime basis to the world of song, poetry and painting. Travelling around the Cavan countryside, he not only met many of the

in Emigrant homecomings
Abstract only
Marjory Harper

to build, not least in a continental European context, where the phenomenon has attracted some attention. 2 Return migration has been incorporated into quantitative investigations, which chart the ebb and flow of movement on an intercontinental scale, and sometimes into studies whose main focus has been on the outward movement from specific countries. Dudley Baines in particular has demonstrated the statistical impact of returners in the nineteenth century, when between a quarter and a third of all emigrants from Europe

in Emigrant homecomings
Abstract only
The evolution of a tradition
Mark Wyman

emigrated between the 1870s and the First World War returned, likely the highest percentage of all nationalities.’ Another historian of British emigration writes that in 1889 the return rate was one in three. 4 The Finnish scholar Keijo Virtanen has done some of the most careful work in taking apart return migration – finding, for example, that within Finland’s 20 per cent return rate, the urban return movement was tiny, often around 8 per cent; while in one rural district almost 58 per cent of the emigrating farmers came back

in Emigrant homecomings
The impact of return migration on an Aberdeenshire parish
Alexia Grosjean

As Mark Wyman has demonstrated, the subject of return migration is a vital component in the story of human mobility, but one which has begun to attract the serious attention of scholars only in recent years. The focus of these studies has included topics as varied as emigrant return to Finland between 1860 and 1930, the return of Jews to Austria after the Second World War and the homeward migration of the Surinamese labour force from The Netherlands. 1 Other studies include return migration to Finland from Sweden

in Emigrant homecomings
Scots in early modern Europe
Siobhan Talbott

exponentially. The resulting studies consider a broad range of issues, including the roles played by Scots in foreign countries and the importance of the links that they maintained (or did not maintain) with their homeland. Even more recently, ‘return migration’ has received close scrutiny, as the experiences of migrants who settled permanently are compared with those who moved abroad temporarily and later returned home.3 Initially, scholarship on the Scots abroad concentrated on Protestant, northern European destinations,4 but the Scottish presence in the Catholic sphere

in British and Irish diasporas
Homesickness, longing and the return of British post-war immigrants from Australia
Alistair Thomson

polarized explanations for return offered by contemporary critics in both Britain and Australia, and shows how a life history approach can offer a more complex and nuanced set of explanations of return migration. In particular, the chapter focuses on the nature, meaning and significance of ‘homesickness’ in the migrant experience. The argument is informed by analysis of three sets of life history sources. Most important is an archive at the University of Sussex. Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board has

in Emigrant homecomings
Marjory Harper

This part of the book comprises two chapters which offer long-term overviews of the process of return migration, from a European and Irish perspective respectively. Mark Wyman’s analysis is concerned with the best-known and most extensively documented place which return migrants left, the United States, and highlights the range of reasons for return, the characteristics of those who came back and the effect of their overseas sojourning on their homeland. Patrick Fitzgerald focuses on Ireland, one of the locations

in Emigrant homecomings
Intercontinental mobility and migrant expectations in the nineteenth century
Eric Richards

often keen to buy assets, especially land. The breakthrough in attracting private emigrants was the expansion of pastoralism in the 1830s (many of whose practitioners were Scots) and most explosively in the Gold Rushes of the 1850s. Almost half the private emigrants of the entire nineteenth century arrived in the single decade of the 1850s. The composition and proportions of these inflows are significant for the question of return migration. About 1.6 million people arrived in Australia, almost but not quite

in Emigrant homecomings
The Irish in Australia
Patricia M. O’Connor

flows in terms of origin,2 skills3 and visa entry category.4 This, coupled with reduced flows from Ireland, mortality among pre- and early post-war Irish immigrants and return migration reduced the Ireland-born share of Australia’s multicultural society to current low levels. Groups like the Irish enjoy greater privilege than their fellow culturally and linguistically diverse immigrant contemporaries because ‘Anglo-ness [in Australia] remains the most valued of all cultural capitals in the field of Whiteness’ (Hage, 1998: 191). Australia’s former ‘White Australia

in Migrations