Los descendientes del Dresden: Bolster Family Google+

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Bolster Family

Dear Juan Pablo,

I only recently discovered that my grandfather and his parents, brothers, and sisters were part of the "Dresden Affair".They travelled from Ireland with eight children, ranging in ages from 14 to 2 years old.

Here are their names from the passenger list at the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (http://immigrantships.net/irish_arg/irish_arg1889a.html)

788 Bolster George 38 m carpenter l 16 [my great-grandfather]
789 Bolster Mary 39 m dressmaker l 16 [my great-grandmother]
790 Bolster Elizabeth 14 s misstress l 16
791 Bolster Richard 13 s l 16
792 Bolster William 11 s l 16
793 Bolster George 9 s l 16
794 Bolster Annie 7 s l 16
795 Bolster Thomas 5 s 16
796 Bolster Robert 4 s 16
797 Bolster Joseph 2 s 16 [my grandfather]

Interestingly, they came from a different social background to most of the passengers on the Dresden.

Originally, they were both from the Protestant land-owning class. They married without their families' permission and against their wishes, and as a result were "cut off" and had to adapt to working in trade to make a living and provide for their (large) family.

From what I can see, there were several other members of the Bolster family living around Buenos Aires before the Dresden arrived. Certainly they come from the same parish in County Cork in Ireland, and were members of the British/Irish Protestant community in Buenos Aires. So perhaps my ancestors had been in contact with their emigrant relations and found them more liberal and less intolerant than their own families at home? Or perhaps they simply heard the wonderful tales that were being broadcast by the agents of the 'Dresden Affair', and fell victim to the dream of a better life, like so many of their compatriots.

However, I suspect they may have gone to Napostá. I base this on one thing - as a small child, my mother's Aunt Annie told her stories about how they had trekked in wagons across a long distance through open prairies and wilderness. It must have been a long journey, as my aunt remembered how they had animals with them that were killed for food on the journey, and also that my great-grandmother made soap and candles with the fat from these animals (and suffered chemical burns on her hands from the lye used in the process - my mother's aunt told the story that my great-grandmother had been born a 'lady' so her hands were white and spotless before going to Argentina, but after the chemical burns she always wore gloves when in public). Unfortunately, my mother didn't ask more questions (she was only a child and didn't realise it might be important, and of course everybody who knew the facts is now dead).

Anyway, wherever they went in Argentina, it wasn't a success, and in 1891 they sailed on the Helvius and returned to Ireland. (Again, according to my mother's aunt) they had a child in Argentina, but he/she didn't survive. It must have been a very emotional time for them to decided to return.

I have nothing linking them to Argentina other than the passenger lists and the stories my mother heard as a child. I only discovered the whole Dresden story through your website and SILAS. I wish I could find out more, and intend to do more research to see if I can discover more about what they did while they were there, and if they did indeed form part of the ill-fated expedition to Napostá.

The irony is that I took my son to Buenos Aires only a couple of years ago, and at that time we knew nothing about our family connection via the Dresden. We shall have to return before too long!

Anyway, I thought I would get in touch, and add another story to your collection. If you ever find more records pointing to Napostá and other Irish settlement, I will read about it with great interest!


Kind regards
Hugh (Bolster) Grant


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Whitepages in Argetina says that there are only 3 Bolster living in Buenos Aires city:

- Bolster Eduardo A - Monserrat, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
- Bolster Haydee M De - Flores, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
- Bolster Yolanda B  - Flores, Ciudad de Buenos Aires