Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Trove Tuesday – Tall Tales but True!

Here’s one for the family historians of the future:
Mr Jax (husband) was late home from work last night.
When he arrived he had the most ‘fantastical’ excuse
... if I didn’t know better
... if similar ‘adventures’ hadn’t happened before...

So, here is the story:
Mr Jax was driving along a road with a narrow median strip. On the median strip was a man with fuzzy red hair, with a uni-cycle and wearing a red top hat with two green birds sitting on top!

Yes, I know, pretty unbelievable so far...

He says he slowed down, wary of someone standing on a narrow median strip in the middle of the highway.
Then, all of a sudden one of the birds flew off the man’s hat and as he went to chase it, he ran straight onto the road into the traffic. 
He fell on the bonnet of Mr Jax’s car, jumped up and ran off with the uni-cycle in one hand and trying to catch the bird with the other.
Mr Jax asked if he was alright and he insisted he was as he ran off after the bird.

Worried about injuries, Mr Jax rang the police who assured him it was the uni-cyclist’s fault and that there wasn’t anything else for them to do if there was no damage to anything / anyone. 

I’m just surprised they didn’t want to breathalyse him!!

So, being the night before Tuesday, I thought I should check Trove to see whether this was a one-off, or if perhaps there are others out there doing amazing things with uni-cycles or parrots!

I found a story from the Australian Women's Weekly from 23 July 1980 about a chimp who does all sorts of amazing things including riding a unicycle. You can read about it here.

I found a tall tale (a tale so tall it makes the CML building look like a beach bungalow) about a green parrot in the Perth Daily News of 1947 - seems this was enough to make the man think about signing the pledge:

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sepia Saturday – Inscriptions

Just scraping in with my Sepia Saturday this week.

A quick post because my parents have just arrived with a huge box of photos and other memorabilia. 
My Flip pal and notebook are working overtime!

This week’s Sepia Saturday theme is old books.

Two of my great grandmothers received school awards in the same month, June 1884. 
Not so unusual you might think.

What is unusual is that Mum has both the books that they were presented with and here are photos of the inscription pages.

30 June 1884: to Sarah Stonehouse for attention and improvement in music, Valley View (school). Sarah was born in May 1873 so was 11 years old.

June 1884: Fifth class, First prize awarded to Constance Terry for Reading , Writing and Dictation, also second Arithmetic – Park School Fitzroy Street, St Kilda. Constance was born in Jun 1871 so was 13 years old.

We have two other books given to Sarah:
1890 – Miss Stonehouse, a small token of approvals of her kind and willing services in playing the organ at St John’s Laang, from the minister (The Christian’s own Calendar). Sarah was 17 years old. 
Mum tells me that she played the organ at church a lot, and the piano at home. I have the same piano now, and it still plays beautifully (when someone skilled plays it!).

1900 – Sara Henrietta Stonehouse on her wedding day (from W McBride, Mortlake), a Bible.

Time to get back to my Flip Pal and Nanna's photo album... 


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Trove Tuesday - You can't hide from me Dad!

On a day when the newspapers were full of excitement and preparations for the Queen’s impending visit, my Dad was probably full of excitement waiting to be notified of a scholarship.

He was awarded a three year scholarship to Longerenong Agricultural College near Horsham in Victoria. 
This ended up having a huge impact on our lives as not only did he study there, but when I was nine, he took a job as a lecturer at the same college and we moved there.

Just goes to show, you can find anything on Trove – no more secrets!

Mum didn’t even know about this scholarship – Dad said he just never thought to mention it.
Yet, here it is, in a little article on p19 of 44.

I've also included a photo (or two) of Dad as a student and in the College basketball team - he's number 11. 
Much later, number 8 in the same team ended up being my high school chemistry teacher.

 And, did you ever wonder where our Dad’s got all their Dad jokes from?
Here’s a sample from the same newspaper:

Monday, 22 July 2013

Matrilineal Monday – Nanna’s birthday

grandmother, Mavis Fanshawe Garrett nee Long
I wrote a bit about Nanna, Mavis Fanshawe GARRETT nee LONG (1906-1982) this time last year.

The more I do genealogy, the more I realise how lucky I am. Many branches of Mum’s family didn’t move around much, and were hoarders.

This has meant that Mum now has a large collection of old family photos, letters, certificates, books… and of course Mum has inherited the hoarding trait! 
And, I know my husband would say that’s something she’s passed on to me.

Nanna loved ‘family’, so to celebrate her birthday this year, I will post 6 generations, from her grandmother down to her great granddaughters (who she never met but would have loved like she loved us).

great great grandmother
Elizabeth Stonehouse nee McVey (1828-1915)
great grandmother
Sarah Henrietta Long nee Stonehouse (1873-1953)

Top Row L to R: Mum, Nanna, Niece 2
2nd Row L to R:  Mum,  Niece 1,  Me 
3rd Row L to R: Me,  Nanna,  Niece 3

Friday, 19 July 2013

Sepia Saturday – Dress ups

mum and her sister at the bottom of the garden

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a “ fine figure of a woman is either ‘Boadecea or Mother England’ or possibly Britannia…”

I thought I’d follow the ‘dress up / fancy dress’ theme.

And, the more I looked, the more I found...
... our family is full of clowns!

I think this is one post where I’ll stop writing and let the photos do the talking - four generations of photos!
mum off to work at the fire station
me in my Sunday best

Mum off to kindergarten
Pa reliving his Polynesian cruise

three amigos: two brothers and a cousin

brother  in a country festival

friends come to visit joining in
niece, a cheeky chick

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thankful Thursday – I’m in the top 50!

I don’t think this is an official blogging prompt but it sounded good to me!

I’ve only been blogging a little over a year, so I was surprised and flattered to find myself on Inside History’s 2013 list of Top 50 Genealogy blogs.

I enjoy Inside History on my iPad – a great way to read it! You can carry all the issues with you, there’s extra info and direct links to websites, and it has the added bonus of being cheaper.

I started my blog as a travel blog for my long-awaited trip to Europe, squeezing in a few family history ‘hot spots’ throughout the journey: Maastricht, Fromelles, West Cornwall.
I chose the name so it could be ‘my tracks’ of travel and ‘my ancestor’s tracks’ for genealogy.
So, returning home in the habit of writing regularly and spurred on my fellow blogger Geniaus, my blog changed into a geneablog.

To those out there thinking about blogging, just do it.
Start with even just a photo and caption, or a paragraph or two. The rewards are endless. 
I had heard stories of other bloggers finding long-lost cousins, or new cousins, or new information but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly, or that I would find so many relatives who would share so much.

The theme of this issue of Inside History is Eureka moments in family history and blogging has certainly led to quite a few of those for me.

You can find the Top 50 list here.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Trove Tuesday – Finding Alfred: another Fromelles relative

I’ve written a number of times about Allan BENNETT (1885-1916), my great grandfather’s cousin who was killed and one of the identified at Fromelles from World War I. You can read more about him here.
My husband and I visited Fromelles and Allan’s grave last year.

What I didn’t know until recently was that another of my great grandfather’s cousins was also killed there – Alfred Arthur COLLIER (1874-1916).

I’ve been working with a team of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society volunteers to research and write a book ‘identifying’ all the names on Ku-ring-gai WWI memorials and writing biographies on the killed and decorated soldiers.
This has really honed my skills in researching soldiers and reading service records.
Collier AA in the left hand column
Every now and then, between researching local soldiers, I’ve been looking at some of my own and that’s how I ‘found’ Alfred.
One of ‘my’ soldiers was Clarence Timbrell Collier and I wondered whether he was related. 

My great great grandmother was Ann/Anna FRANCIS nee COLLIER (1841-1924), and I know that at least four of her siblings and five of her first cousins also came to Australia in the mid-1800s.
I couldn’t find a link to Clarence despite him coming from an area in NSW where one of Anna’s sisters had moved to.
I couldn’t resist having a quick look at some of the other Colliers and as soon as I saw the front page of Alfred’s file, I knew he was related.

Alfred Arthur Collier was born in Beechworth, Victoria in 1874, the fourth son of Jenkin COLLIER (1838-1915) and Sarah BAINBRIDGE (1837-1923).
Jenkin was the brother of my great grandmother Anna, and Allan Bennett’s mother Fanny COLLIER (1846-1939) was a sister.
Arthur enlisted on 14 Jul 1915 at the age of 41. He was an unmarried draper, possibly working in Tatura, Victoria but gave his enlistment address as his mother’s address in Elsternwick.

It must have been hard for his mother to let him go – he was pretty old for a soldier and his father had only died a few months before.
Sarah had lost another son in 1908, Frederick James COLLIER (1871-1908).

Arthur was killed just a few days after his first year of service, and less than a month after setting foot on French soil.

Arthur’s service record is relatively short, just notes on his enlistment, his embarkation to Suez, then on to Marseilles, then reported missing ‘upgraded’ to KIA followed by a note on his burial.

Many other Fromelles files are huge, with pleading letters from next of kin as to their status, or gruesome accounts of their death. Not even Alfred’s Red Cross file sheds any light on how he died.
I guess in the carnage that was that night 19/20 July 1916 when 5,533 soldiers fell, it was hard to know for sure what happened to any of them.
Fromelles was the first major battle of the 31st Battalion, coming only three days after entering the trenches. This battalion suffered 572 casualties, over half its strength.

His mother, now in her mid 80s, picked up his Victory medal and memorial plaque on 9 Jun 1923 and little more than a month later, she died.

I wonder if Allan Bennett, in the 32nd Battalion knew he had a cousin Alfred Collier in the 31st Battalion at the same battle. It would be nice to think they had met somehow.

Alfred Arthur Collier remains one of the unidentified soldiers of Fromelles.
The 97th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles is this Friday / Saturday.
One account of the battle, "A Glorious Failure" can be found in The Argus of Saturday 10 April 1920.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Gren's birthday

I love this photo, she looks so happy!
Officially my blogiversary today!
Originally I started my blog as a travel blog to get me in the habit of writing regularly and to share a long-awaited trip overseas.

My first real geneablog post was about my grandmother, on the anniversary of her birthday.
Well, it's her birthday again already!

Mary Kathleen Waverney GRENFELL nee Francis was born on 14 July 1910 and died on 7 September 1998. A life well lived.

Here are some memories - in photo form.
This was pretty hard as Gren avoided the camera, and often went to great lengths to do so.
We usually only got photos when we snuck up on her.

the more formal wedding photo
proud parents - it's a boy!

celebrating with us at my little brother's 1st birthday
in her late 50s and a grandmother 4 times over by now

in her early 70s on our back porch in Horsham
in her late 70s at Dad's 50th
pretty fit for her age, still working full time

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Trove Tuesday – The Schomberg

Inspired by Merron’s TroveTuesday today about the wreck of the SS Casino off Port Fairy and my parents attending the commemoration she mentions in her blog, here are some bits and pieces from Trove about a shipwreck my ancestors were involved in – the Schomberg on 26 Dec 1855.

My 3x great grandmother Mary Elizabeth LEWIS nee BLACKMORE (c1812 – 1898) was on the Schomberg with seven of her children, including my 2x great grandmother Louisa LEWIS aged 9. They were coming out to join their husband and father Robert LEWIS (1808 – 1871) who had arrived in Melbourne a couple of years earlier.

The story passed down was that when the shipwreck happened and they all had to get off the ship, they weren’t allowed to take anything with them. So my 3x great grandmother told all her children to put on ALL their clothes. I remember when I first saw this photo (from mum’s collection), I thought that it looked like she still had all her clothes on!

There are so many articles in Trove about the Schomberg wreck because it was a high profile ship attempting a record-breaking voyage and followed by a high profile court case.
Here are a few ‘different’ finds from Trove related to the wreck.
Ship's bell from the Schomberg. According to the Trove entry, the bell is
now located in the Warrnambool Museum in Victoria.
Indicates the bell was later
used as a church bell
I wonder if my 3x great grandmother went to this function.
At least she should have had clothes to wear!
An interesting slant on marketing
Passenger list of 'other than first class' passengers
Did you have an ancestor on it too?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sepia Saturday – Henry Condell was here!

When I went to Tasmania a couple of years ago, I was determined to find some places where my ancestors had been.

I knew that my 4x great grandfather Henry CONDELL (1797-1871) had arrived in Hobart in 1822, had been employed on Maria Island and had a brewery in New Town Road, Hobart, before moving to Melbourne around 1839. 
I’ve written a little about his time in Melbourne before.

This is a bit of the story of the brewery.

I had phoned ahead and so spent a few productive hours with the very helpful people at the Tasmanian Family History Society.
Unfortunately the brewery had not survived, being knocked down for a shopping centre, and New Town Road had been renamed – to Elizabeth Street.
The volunteers were able to show me a book with a photo of the Dallas Arms Inn that was across directly across the road from the original Condell’s Brewery in North Hobart. But, it was now a house not an Inn, and the trees had grown – a lot.

So, armed with a photocopy of the page containing a photo of the Dallas Arms, I headed off to North Hobart.

Determined not to miss ‘the spot’, I walked the full length of Elizabeth Street – I didn’t realise how far it was!
So here I was, scanning the sides of the road for the Dallas Arms Inn building and not looking down – I almost missed it – a heritage paver with the closest to ‘Henry was here’ on it.
There is a wonderful trail of shapes and colours in the North Hobart precinct and you can read more about that here.
And I looked across the road, and there was the Dallas Arms Inn building.

I walked down the “lane that led to Condell’s brewery” and found a car park, and a street sign – one of the few indications of one of the best brewers in the land (at the time).

As I walked back to the main street, I saw a coffee shop with lots of old photos on the walls. I decided I’d earned a coffee and cake and a closer look at those photos.
Alas, no photo of the brewery but the barista noticed me looking carefully at each one and asked me what I was looking for.
He then pointed me in the direction of an old brewery building back down the street that had been built shortly after Condell’s brewery and would look similar.

So, another walk back down the street.
The building was huge and now housed a couple of antique stores so I was able to go in and walk around. The store on the bottom had old pianos, including one very similar to the one I have from my great grandmother. I got chatting to the owners and they then showed me out the back where the huge supporting beams were and the huge openings where carriages would have transported barrels of ale.

It really pays to chat to people.

I thought the Sepia Saturday prompt this week (my second post to this theme) worked in nicely with the little plaque I found.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Sepia Saturday – 6 July 1885

On this day, July 6th, 1885 Allan BENNETT was born in Clunes Victoria. He was the 8th of 11 children of Henry Goulding BENNETT (1845-1934) and my great great grandmother’s little sister, Fanny COLLIER (1846-1939).

The SepiaSaturday prompt this week is a commemorative plaque dedicated to Louis Pasteur who on July 6th 1885 successfully treated a boy with rabies vaccine.

I thought it coincidental that Allan Bennett was born on this day, and there are a number of ‘plaques’ commemorating him, his colleagues, and the Battle of Fromelles where they lost their lives on 19/20 July 1916.  
It's also coincidental that this month is the 97th anniversary of the battle.

The family had moved to Perth, Western Australia before 1900.
Allan was a 30 year old grocer in Kalgoorlie when he enlisted in 1915.

During the battle, Lance Corporal Allan Bennett was seen in German lines helping a badly wounded colleague, Corporal Robert Green back to safety when he fell. 

It wasn’t until March of the following year (1917) that Germany returned his identification discs, and not until May 1917 that Allan’s family was notified that he was Killed In Action – a long anxious wait for the family.

I’ve blogged about Fromelles a couple of times after visiting there last year. 
Here are two links for more information and more photos: one written on the anniversary, and one just after our visit.

A book, Fromelles The Final Chapters - How the buried Diggers were identified and their lives reclaimed written by Tim Lycett and Sandra Playle has just been released and will be launched at the end of this month. 
One of the plaques at the Cobbers Memorial
Plaque at the base of the Cobbers Memorial,
there is a photo of the Cobbers memorial in one of my linked posts. 
First part of the info plaque at the cemetery
Second part of the info plaque at the cemetery
At the Cobbers memorial near VC Corner
Info about the battle at VC Corner 
At VC Corner