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Sarah Report 26 Feb 2009 20:55

Can anyone help. I've been told that my great grandad (Joseph Hollins) went to a place called Pottersville in America around 1860 - 1870. I think he may have gone at a later time too. He was a potter from Burslem Stoke on trent and at one time owned his own potbank. I was under the impresion it was to help with that type of industry but I can't seem to find anything else about it. Does anyone know how I could find out if he really went? Would there be passenger lists to look at anywhere to see if he did travel there. I can't seem to find out much about his factory here in Hanley Stoke on trent. I found a large piece in a local newspaper about his death but not much about his life. Any help please!


Sam Report 27 Feb 2009 09:10

Lots of people from Stoke on Trent went to Pottersville, we really bneed your g-grandads name to be able to help further. I found this...

Fearing the unemployment consequences of the introduction of machinery into the pottery industry, the Pottery Union of the 1840's devised upon an amazing plan to purchase land in America on which to land a colony of unemployed potters. In May 1844, the Potters' Joint Stock Emigration Society was formed to oversee the lottery that would deliver the poor potters to the land of freedom and a new life away from his daily toil.

Twelve thousand acres of land in America were to be purchased and to be divided into sections of twenty acres each, five of which were to be cultivated and built on by the immigrants. Members of the union contributed at a daily rate for the chance to emigrate to Pottersville - the name of the new settlement in Wisconsin.
The emigrants were chosen by Ballot for the chance of a new life in Pottersville. The Union saw the scheme as a golden opportunity to introduce hope into the lives of the poor potter who's working life seemed about to be terminated by the introduction of the machines onto the factory floor.
When the first families set sail in a barge to Liverpool on the first stage of their journey to an uncertain future in Wisconsin, barges of cheering pottery workers followed them on their journey from Etruria, via Longport and Burslem. Some barges that followed the emigrants contained bands who played suitable music for the occasion. Two years later, as the machinery failed to produce the mass unemployment expected, enthusiasm for the project waned.

Sam x


AnnCardiff Report 27 Feb 2009 09:22

I believe you have a previous posting on this Sarah - I recall informing you that there are at least three places in the USA called Pottersville - what information was found for you on that posting?


AnnCardiff Report 27 Feb 2009 09:27

Joseph Hollins accordng to your other thread which you posted on General


Sarah Report 27 Feb 2009 21:41

I posted this onto the general link and was advised to put it on here. Where can I get passenger lists from please? Thanks for all the information about Pottersville too.