Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sentimental Sunday





This photo is really me clutching at straws.

My family tree software program - Family Tree Maker - has this neat thing where I can see what anniversaries family history wise are coming up or have just been.

Friday was my grand-aunt's 120th birthday.

I had quite a few grand aunts on both sides of the family but I really only knew one - my paternal grandmother's sister Rene.

But this grand aunt - still on my paternal side - was one of my grandfather's sisters - Constance Nellie Morrison (nee Conner).

I don't know much about my father's aunts and we don't seem to have any photos of them - that I can find at any rate.  

The photo here is of their mother - Mrs Eleanor Conner with Mrs MacDougal (don't know who she was) and my grandparents, Ethel and Edwin Conner and John Morrison - Constance's son.  
I don't have any certificates for Constance or her sister Lillian.  The information I have has been gleaned from websites like Ancestry, Trove or the Ryerson Index.  

Constance was the eldest of the three children.  If I wanted to order her birth certificate I would just have to quote 2b 444 for Quarter 3 in 1893 from the GRO.  I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know how I've got the date as 26 July.  Maybe someone in the family knew her birthday.  

Anyway, in the 1901 Census, Constance is living at 32 Connaught Road Portsmouth with her mother, Eleanor Conner aged 26.  Constance is 7.  Her younger sister Lilian is 3 and her baby brother Edwin Arthur is 9 months old.  Edwin Senior is not listed as being there.  There is a boarder hower, an Irishman called Gerald McCombie - a liuetenant in the Royal Navy.

In the 1911 Census, Constance is listed as single, a music teacher aged 17 and is still living at home with her mother, her younger sister and brother who are both still at school.  Now there are two boarders - a William Lowes, aged 25 - an engine fitter from Newcastle and Thomas Miller - aged 27 - also an engine fitter from Shouth Shields.  They are living at 140 Chichester Road North End.

A couple of weeks ago I found Edwin Senior on the 1911 Census in China with the Royal Navy!

In 1912 the family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia.

They appear on the electoral roll as living at 26 Forster Street Williamstown.

Williamstown Chronicle Saturday 12 September 1914

Poor Eleanor, it seems ,got taken for a ride, as it were, by an enterprising scoundrel from Queensland who was purportedly looking for accommodation.  We learn from this article that her daughter had had appendicitis -  hence her empathy for the man who claimed to have recently suffered from the same complaint.  Which daughter I wonder?  We also learn that they had a dog.  She lost three sovereigns - I think that is equivalent to 3 pounds - which in those days was probably worth quite a bit.   

The following year, we read on 26 August in the Werribee Shire Banner that Miss Constance Conner (piano) and others including her sister Lilian and a certain Mr C.H. Morrison (mandoline) were to contribute to a programme for a "welcome home" to Sergeant Newland to be held at Laverton.  An article a couple of months before tells us that Sergeant Newland is "the eldest son of Mr W Newland of Laverton and the second son to receive injuries at the Dardenelles.  The wounded soldier is considered to be the most enthusiastic volunteer who has left these shores, his enthusiasm knew no bounds He was one of the first to volunteer on the outbreak of hostilities and left with the second contingent.  and he is the right man to make light of his wounds."  The paper was also pleased to report the installation of electric light at the Werribee Mechanics Institute which helped dancers trip "the light fantastic" that night.

What does a mandolin look like?

Like this!

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander 10 January 1929 - copyright expired


Constance and Claude Henry Morrison - the mandoline player - were married in Victoria in 1918.  Claude lived in Williamstown North at 20 Rennie Street and was a dental mechanic.  I am guessing that Elizabeth and George Alfred who were living there too, were his parents.  And yes, when I check the birth records - this is the case.  Claude was born in Williamstown in 1892.  George, Claude's father,  was a striker.  I think that means Blacksmith's Assistant or harpoon man on a whaler according to this website here.  By the following year, Claude is a dentist and they are living at Lockhart Street, Caulfield.

The Conners and the Morrisons eventually move to Sydney.

The Morrisons live at Vaucluse for many years.

I think they had three children: Joyce, Jackie and John.  At least that is what my father can remember.  

I think Constance's sister may have married twice.  I thought she married a Clarrie Williams but I have also found her marrying a Thomas Frederick Webb.  in 1947 in the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

At some stage the Morrisons and the Webbs moved to the Blue Mountains, like Edwin Junior and his family.  I'm thinking that it was probably in the mid 1960s as they are on the electoral roll at Vaucluse up until 1963.

Edwin Junior, Constance and Lilian's younger brother and my grandfather,  died 30 May 1960 at Springwood aged 59.

According to the Ryerson Index, Claude, Constance's husband departed this mortal coil 16 August 1972 at Valley Heights, aged 80.  

Then Thomas, Lilian's husband, died 17 October 1974.

Lilian died 15 June 1983 at Springwood aged 86 and then finally Constance on 10 August 1987 at the grand old age of 94.  

Constance is described as "late of Wahroonga, formerly of Springwood and Vaucluse so she must have moved sometime after 1980 as she was still on the electoral roll in Springwood then.

So - no photos of the two sisters - just their mother and a son.  But a picture of sorts has been constructed using electoral rolls, newspapers and other indexes.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Home and Away - Sepia Saturday 187: 27 July 2013

What is precious, tattered, torn and handed down? To so many of us Sepians, the answer is photographs - family photographs passed on from generation to generation are the currency of Sepia Saturday. But occasionally other things are handed down - and in so many cases it is the family bible that becomes the linchpin of family history. So for Sepia Saturday 187 (post your posts on or around Saturday 27 July 2013) we focus our attention on family bibles. But in the best traditions of Sepia Saturday themes, you can interpret the theme in any way you want : books, lettering, printing, hand-me-downs  ... 
they all fall within our theme this week.

Mybush, 30 Valley Road, Springwood 1954





















Welcome to this week's Sepia Saturday post.  I'm taking books as the theme rather than bibles.  We have beautiful family bibles but they are not very old.  I have already blogged about them here.

I have so much that is precious, tattered, torn and handed down.

I have spent the afternoon scanning baptismal cards, funeral cards, ration cards, enrolment forms, receipts...you name it - we've got it.

But it is important to be a bit focused, yes?

And so for my inspiration - and because I've wanted to scan and show you this photo for a while - I thought I would use the title of that famous Australian TV show - Home and Away.  Cue cheesy theme music.

The first photo in this post is of the living area at Mybush (according to the electoral roll) or Natoma, where my grandmother and her husband lived - my father's parents.  You can see knick-knacks on the shelf - a model aeroplane, china dogs, boxes, vases and down the bottom, lots of books.   I never knew my paternal grandfather -  which is a great shame because he sounded like a lot of fun - just like my lovely father.  Unfortunately, Edwin Arthur James Conner died just before my parents married.  Thirteen days to be exact.  


My grandmother, Ethel, went on many overseas trips in her retirement - a bittersweet experience for her I'm sure as she was not able to share the experiences with her husband.


So, in terms of books I have one of her diaries from her overseas trip in 1964.  I think it was her first trip overseas.

By then she had left Mybush and lived in her new home The Nook at Burradoo, as can be seen from the title page.


To be completely honest with you, most of the diary is pretty boring but I did find the pre-printed material in the front rather amusing...for example...



Can you just imagine if you were asked any of these questions whilst on your travels?????

I'm thinking only the Mayor of Crazy Town might ask an Australian tourist these kinds of questions but perhaps I have led a narrow existence.

Here's a photo of me with my Gran in Edinburgh when she came to see us.  I'm pretty sure this is in 107 Trinity Road Edinburgh.  Our temporary home away from home.

Ethel and Alex Edinburgh 1964


The other travel diary I have in my proud possession is the one my father kept of our overseas trip when I was very young.


It's got everything in it - postcards, programs, menus, luggage labels, photos, illustrations.  Fantastic stuff.

Here's the front page decorated by my father...




Here's everyone who came to see us off and wish us well.

Circular Quay, Sydney - 12 September 1962


I'm sure that's my maternal grandfather Tom McLoughlin smack bang in the middle of the 2nd row with his hat on.

My godfather, godmother and "aunt" are in a trio not far behind.  My godmother having a very prominent white handbag and "Auntie" Jean wearing one of those odd hats one wore in the 1960s.

Here's the passenger list.




Here's the invitation to the Cocktail Party.....



And here's my mother meeting Commodore Edgecombe....I remember her telling me that she was so worried about not having enough of the right kind of dresses to wear.  Right up til the night before we left, she was feverishly sewing outfits.



This is what it cost to dine at the Silver Grill.....


30 cents for lunch - not bad.  

What fun!  A pity I was so young and don't really remember it.
Have you got a travel diary floating around somewhere?

Cruise on over to Sepia Saturday and see what other books are on offer.....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sepia Saturday 186: 20 July 2013



The theme for this week's Sepia Saturday is according to Alan: 
 ‘Boadecea or Mother England’ or possibly Britannia. You can choose; or go with armour, helmets, shields, fancy dress, pantomime, theatricals, warlike women or big sticks". 

Ooh plenty to choose from here.  I've been a bit stumped in previous weeks.

From an early age I have thoroughly enjoyed dressing up.


You might even to get to win a prize - as I did - on board the Oriana  coming home from England at the age of I think 3.

Any excuse for a dress up party and the one I remember most fondly was my Witches Party.  I think we were all aged about ten at the time.  Here we are in all our glory.  My parents used to go to such trouble over my birthday parties - decorations, forfeits, the whole shebang.  Unfortunately this photo is damaged but you get the idea.



Dress ups continued on in many guises particularly during my illustrious (not) career on stage.



Here I am kneeling in the part of Amy in Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas - a school production in partnership with Cranbrook.  Here is my line to Lord Fancourt, who I think is Charley's Aunt:

 "And he's so grateful; he says he owes everything to you and never could repay you, and oh, he is such a good, frank upright man - it was noble of you!"

Yes, yes, I know - gripping stuff.

I hadn't quite shed the acting bug when I got to Uni and exercised my lungs in the part of the egg-seller in Cavalleria Rusticana for the Circolo Italiano at Sydney Uni.  The production, I'll have you know, toured to Wollongong.  That's me on the far left looking down at my basket of eggs no doubt.  That one line "Il e morte!" really took it out of me I can tell you.  


As a family we liked to dress up for photos too when we lived or had holidays in Sydney.  There was a fabulous company at The Rocks that took period style photos.  Here's one of Mummy and me.  I can't remember when it was taken - I'm guessing early 80s.


This is the back of the photo.


Will these sort of photos confuse generations to come I wonder?

We've had fancy dress parties over the years.  A rather forgettable example is me of a flamingo at my 40th.  I will save us all the embarrassment of showing you that particular photo.  

But here is one of my BFF and my darling husband about to make our grand entrance at the ABC Xmas Party one year.


That's me behind that enormous bit of silver cardboard.  There were flashing lights on the tips of the stars corners (thanks to the efforts of fabulous brother-in-law Terry) which guided our erratic but cheerful path home to Taringa from Toowong in the early hours of the morning.  I'm thinking this was taken probably in the late 80s.  Of course the studios have gone now.  This was taken down in the production corridor where we made Childrens and Education and Light Entertainment shows.

So nothing as fabulous as good old Boadicea up the top of the post there but we had fun nevertheless.  

Here is a final photo in the collection.  Another mystery photo though I suspect it is the Forfar cousins again as per this blog post.  Do you think the children look similar?  There are absolutely no markings to give me any clues as to the photographic studio or where it was taken.  Sigh - another mystery.


They look like they're having fun don't they?  Have you dressed up lately?

Before you go, I'd be grateful if you could bear to read the blog post I wrote yesterday in case you know anything about PNG and can shed some light on some photos I uncovered in my grandfather's collection.  Thanks in anticipation.

For more Sepia Saturday fun go here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Travels with my grandfather...


I'm being a tad cheeky here because I don't know if my grandfather did in fact go to PNG but....

I found these photos in his album so I'm having a bit of a think and an explore and an investigation to try and discover what on earth they could be about.

I don't know when these photos were taken but I'm guessing in the 1930s.  

On the back of this photo is the word "Medang".  

The other clue in the photo is of course the name of the boat which I am reading as Macdhu.

When I look up Macdhu on Trove I find lots of references to a boat but particularly between 1930-1939 with many falling around 1933, 1937 and 1938.



Here's another photo of the boat.  On the stern it says Macdhui Sydney.

Here's another picture of Medang



And another one of Kavieng from the deck



And another


Here are some of Finchhafen...




And to finish off here are some from Samarai...


It is so frustrating not knowing who any of the people are...



All the photos have on the back of them a small circular stamp with Printed by Harringtons.


So I cannot think of any reason why he would go to PNG.  He was a Catholic.  Maybe he knew a missionary who went to PNG.  Maybe he knew someone who was in the Copra business.  What do you think?

This is what I know about my grandfather, Thomas Joseph Benedict McLoughlin.  
He was born in Bathurst 1898 and died in Ashfield Sydney in 1982.  
He married Helen Kate Forfar at St Patrick's Bondi in 1934.  
I know little else about my grandfather apart from the fact that he was profoundly deaf - an injury sustained through working in a very noisy environment. He worked for De Havilland for a while.

I found this article today on Trove which I think might be him.

Leader Orange Saturday 29 May 1915


I have written previously about him on this blog here and here

According to the 1933 Commonwealth Electoral Roll Tom was living with his family at 
11 Irene Street Five Dock.  There seem to have been 9 of them living in the house.  Tom's parents - John and Margaret.  John was a horse-driver and Margaret performed home duties.  Tom is listed as being a salesman.  For whom I wonder?  Tom's younger sister Margaret was a waitress.  His other younger sister Mary was a telephonist.  I wrote about her here.  His brother John Patrick was a photographer, his other brother Joseph was a block stripper - what on earth is that???  And other brother Vincent was a labourer.  There is another Thomas McLoughlin listed in the household as well - a labourer.  I'm not sure who that is!

By 1939 Tom and his new wife Katherine Helen (known as Kit) lived at 96 Hampden Road Drummonyne.  Tom by now was a clerk.  This was not far from Irene Street if you look at it on the map.

When he enlisted in the army in 1942 he was still a clerk.  I think his occupation in the army was Assistant Gun Ammunition Inspector.  (it's a bit difficult to read the writing on the record here).  The record referred to his having attained Intermediate and having completed the Commonwealth Public Service Clerical exam as per the newspaper article above.

Various addresses are listed and crossed out.  Kit is living at "Ingle Dell" in Warwick Street Katoomba.  My mother often spoke of being evacuated during the war.

Other addresses include:




By the 1949 Electoral Roll they are living at 5 Nowranie Street Summer Hill and Tom is described as an aero eng. ex.  I'm taking that to be an aeronautical engineer examiner or some such.  Or maybe it means ex aero engineer.  They stayed at Nowranie Street for many years. It seems this is the only building (and maybe Campbell Parade in Bondi and Hargrave Street in Paddington) that has not changed in all that time.