Women & Children on the Goldfields

By Jacob 5N


In Ballarat 1854 about approximately 4023 women were on the goldfields and 12,660 men. Most women were married, only 5 percent of the women were single. As years passed more women started to come and be with their husbands.

Many children went to the goldfields with their parents but most were born on the goldfields, there were almost 12,000 children on the Victorian diggings. Between them Bridget Kersley and Elisabeth Diedrich gave birth to 23 children on the Goldfields during the years 1856 to 1875 in such places as Beechworth and Reid's Creek, Bendigo and St Arnaud.

Children and Education

Parents moved around a lot, looking for new and richer goldfields, children would have to change schools pretty often. It usually took a while before a school was established in a new area, so often there was no schooling at all. This might sound like fun, but it made it very hard to learn to read and write, and to do arithmetic. Lots of children's educations were very bad or, but parents didn't really see the importance of it.

Roles and Responsibilities

Some women worked as shopkeepers on the goldfields.They would sell tea, coffee, drinks, chips, sauce, bread, ice cream or ice blocks, sun cream and they would sell meat.

Women usally stayed at home do their choirs or look after their children. Very few women came to the goldfields and visited their husbands or helped their husbands search for gold.

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The darker side was awful on the goldfields in 1851-1910.One fact is Children were the most likely to die with such awful, bad & harsh weather.

On the goldfields 1851-1910 more than 200 children were buried in the Pennyweight Flats Children's Cemetery in Castlemaine,Victorria. Children died from diptheria, whooping cough, measles, typhoid and dehydration from water.


Women had entertained men on the goldfields in 1851-1910. Men would throw gold nuggets to the women on the goldfields.

Women enterained men on the goldfields to be as rich as millionairs. Women could get very rich on the goldfields. In 1851-1910 they were good to the men on the goldfields. Men were happy to let women come onto the goldfields to enterain them.