Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Trove Tuesday – An unexpected look into the childhood of my great grandmother

I found this obituary of my 2x great aunt Jane Elizabeth McCONNELL nee STONEHOUSE (1853 – 1939). She was the elder sister of my great grandmother Sarah Henrietta LONG nee STONEHOUSE (1873 – 1953).

My great grandmother had three older sisters, only one of them dying before the age of 80. Another sister, Mary Janet McCONNELL nee STONEHOUSE (1857 – 1949) married Hugh McCONNELL (1855 – 1947), the brother of Jane’s husband James McCONNELL (c1852 – after 1939)

Obituaries in country newspapers are a wonderful source of family information.

This one talks about the first Crown land sales at Warrnambool in 1847 and how the land in the area where the Stonehouse children were born was covered by dense and virgin bush. My great great grandparents, William STONEHOUSE (1826 – 1904) and Elizabeth STONEHOUSE nee McVEY (1828 – 1915) settled at Cudgee, an area in the initial processes of settlement. This must have been a difficult place to raise 11 children, all but one of them reaching adulthood.

Something that was interesting about my great great aunt was: The native children provided her with playmates, and this early association with the blacks created an understanding of their outlook and a sympathy with their existence, which was one of the marked characteristics of her life, some of her childhood friendships being retained up till the time of her death.
My great grandmother was born almost 20 years after her elder sister but this still gives me some idea of the life she was born into, and as she remained close to her sisters, I assume she enjoyed the same playmates.

Sarah Henrietta LONG nee STONEHOUSE in the 1930s

1 comment:

  1. What a great obituary. They are such a great source of information and give us a glimpse of the people and lives of the past. These days you dont see so many which is sad.