Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#NFHM2017 Blogging Challenge - Week 3 - All the Rivers Run

It's Week 3 of the #NFHM2017 Blogging Challenge. How are we all going?  I suspect we are all very busy because there is so much on at the moment.  I know I am finding it difficult to find the time to write on my blog.  Working full time, participating in my local family history society events, studying another unit in the great UTAS Family History course, organizing a 40th school reunion for next year, celebrating birthdays for various family members...there's always so much to do.  And yet, every blog post I write, I learn something new or add a bit more to the family tree.

This week our meme comes from Nancy Cato's saga All the Rivers Run.  It spanned eight decades and four generations.  Your blog post doesn't have to do that but was there a matriarch in your family that inspires you?  Or maybe you want to focus on a particular river that played a part in your ancestors' lives.  Where will your imagination run to?

We can't wait to find out.  Remember - you don't have to be an Aussie to participate.  We welcome all nationalities/citizens of the world - even Aussie politicians....that's an insider joke if you haven't been following Australian politics lately.  

Don't forget to link your particular post using the Mr Linky widget below so we can find all the stories in one place.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

French Letters #NFHM2017

There that title got your attention didn't it?  Really I will stop at nothing to get hits on this blog. ;) Just joking...

Queensland Family History Society had an Open Day yesterday as part of National Family History Month.  It was a beautiful day and despite competing with the ever popular Ekka we had plenty of visitors and lots of people signing up.  Hoorah!

I was delighted to see some of my friends from other parts of my life come and have look around and sign up - thank you Majella and Jeanette!

There were prizes and booksales and discounts...what more could you ask for?

My job was to show newbies around the facilities and perhaps help them with their research a little bit.  It's always a bit scary when you ask someone about their research...will you be able to help them?  Will you be stumped?  Luckily there are so many knowledgeable folk at QFHS that I have learned to relax a bit and, if I am stumped, I just turn around and ask the person next to me for their advice.  Societies are good like that.

I was interested that two groups of people were researching ancestry in France which I don't come across very often.  It's not an area that I'm familiar with but I always tend to recommend Family Search's Wiki when I am stumped.  I do hope you know all about it.  

And then my wise friend Sue also recommended Cyndi's List which I frequently forget - even though I have a hot link to it on my blog for goodness sake.  

The first gentleman with French ancestry wanted to research his grandfather's death in France (near Lille).  He was concerned about being able to get any information due to his lack of French language skills. I was trying to find letter templates for him on the Family Search Wiki but was having difficulty.  

I found a couple of books in our print library. You can search the QFHS catalogue online here.  Margaret Audin's Barking up that French Tree and French and French Canadian Research by J Konrad looked useful.  These books are a bit old I confess.  Audin's was published in 1980 and Konrad's in 1993.  There's Claire Bettag's French Genealogy Research which might be a bit more up to date; it was published in 2012.  It's available at Strathpine Library and Brisbane Square Library but is not for loan.

Today when I looked at Cyndi's List, it was much easier to find and this particular link took me back to Family Search (of course) so...if you're interested in writing some letters to French archives or record offices - here is all the information I think you'll need.

How's your Sunday going?  What are you doing to celebrate #NFHM2017? Do you have French ancestry?  What resources have you found helpful in your research? Have you entered the prize draw for NFHM?  Point 5 in the Terms and Conditions on this page has the critical information.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ancestral Places Geneameme #NFHM

The lovely Alona Tester from Lonetester HQ has thrown out the challenge to see how many letters of the alphabet you can assign to an ancestor's place of work or home; not necessarily where they work born but where they lived or worked.


Arncliffe, Sydney - where Kate Amelia Ellis died.
Arana Hills - where I work
Aranda - the suburb I grew up in Canberra or 
Avondale - the name of our house in Glebe, Sydney where I finished school and went to Uni.


Bannockburn, Scotland for the Forfars who cause me no end of trubble. 
Bathurst, NSW  - the birthplace of my maternal grandfather (McLoughlin). 
Barbados for my husband's family (Donovan/Proverbs). 
Bishopsgate, London, England where the Cooks lived in the 1860s. 
Bondi, Sydney for my grandmother in her later years and where both sets of my grandparents were married.(McLoughlin) and Conner 
Bourke, NSW - where John McLoughlin and Margaret Taylor were married.
Bowenfells, NSW - where John McLoughlin was born.
Bradninch, Devon, England where the Daws come from. 
Brixton (Carretts) and 
Bustard Head, Queensland where Harriet Conner worked as a teacher. 


Camperdown where the Stores lived in the 1860s.
Canada where one of the Forfar brothers lived. 
Campbell - the first suburb we lived in when we moved to Canberra
Canberra (did I mention I grew up there?)
Carnarvonshire. Wales - where my ancestor Margaret Jones the convict came from.
Chapel Hill - where we live now.
Cork, Ireland where my Flannagans are from


Deptford, England - where Edward Connor and Rebecca Foyne married.
Dubbo, NSW - where many of the Carretts lived. 
Dulwich Hill - where Daisy Carrett (nee Taylor) died.


Earlwood, Sydney - where the Parkes and Nobbs settled and eventually the Conners. Eastbourne, Sussex, England - where the Hollingham and Forfar families lived.
Enmore - where Daisy Taylor and George Henry Carrett III were married.


Five Dock, Sydney - where the McLoughlins lived after Orange.


Garden Island, Sydney - where my paternal great-grandfather worked - Edwin Conner. Gilston - where my husband's ancestors lived - Hinde and Duncan. Gundaroo - the Case family in the 1860s.
Gundaroo, NSW  - where Margaret Taylor was born.


Halesowen, Worcester - where my ancestor John Parkes came from.
Hobart, Tasmania - where the Forfars lived for a while. 
Hong Kong - where my great-grandfather Edwin Conner was stationed for the 1911 census in the Navy on board the Waterwitch.
Hurstville, Sydney - where I was christened and where the Ellises lived.


Inverary, Argyllshire - where the Sinclairs and Birrells come from.


Jamaica - where my ancestor James Cook was stationed on the Magicienne in 1894


Katoomba, NSW - where we spent many happy family holidays in my childhood and where my mother was evacuated during WWII. My 2nd great-grandmother Isabella Ellis also had a property there as per her probate.


Lidcombe in Sydney - where my grandfather Tom McLoughlin worked during WWII at the De Havilland factory testing engines.


Malta - where my 2nd great-grandfather served in the Navy and where my great-uncle was born - Edward G Conner.
Manchester, England - where my ancestor Margaret Southern came from.


Newtown, Sydney - where Sarah Stores was born and lived and where my maternal grandmother was born, Helen Kate (Kit) Forfar.


Olney, Buckinghamshire - where my husband's ancestors the Lords and the Hindes come from.
Orange, NSW - where my grandfather went to school and where some of his siblings were born (McLoughlin)


Parsley Bay in Sydney - where my grandmother grew up (Carrett). 
Portsea and Portsmouth, Hampshire, England  - where my Conner ancestors lived for many years.


Queensland, Australia.  My home and those of my great-aunts - Harriet and Clara Conner.


Randwick Destitute Asylum - where the Forfar children lived after their mother died.
Readville, Queensland - where Harriet Conner taught.  


Southport, Queensland - where the Daws lived.  
Surry Hills - where Sarah Stores and George Henry Carrett II were married.  
Swineshead, Lincolnshire - where my ancestor George Ellis was born.


Taemas, NSW - the property on which Samuel and Margaret Taylor lived
Taringa - where we bought our first home.
Tingalpa in Brisbane - where Thomas and Mary Bray Daw are buried with their children and where Edward Daw had his dairy farm.
Toowong - where I used to work at the ABC

Flinders Road Undercliffe where Ethel Conner nee Carrett was born 1904
"The house where I was born 1904 Flinders Rd Undercliffe" Ethel Conner (nee Carrett)


Undercliffe in Sydney - where the Carretts and Conners lived.


Vaucluse in Sydney - where my great-aunt and uncle the Morrisons lived and where I went to school when I was 4 years old.


Walloon, Queensland - where my husband's ancestors the Grieves lived.
Williamstown - where the Conners first lived in Melbourne when they came to Australia. 


Xiānggǎng - see H for Hong Kong.  


Yass, NSW - the closest town to where Margaret and Samuel Taylor lived.
Yorkshire - where Harriet and Clara Conner taught and where Clara was married to William Smith.


barp - fail.

Monday, August 7, 2017

#NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 2 - Careful He Might Hear You

Sumner Locke Elliott wrote a haunting tale about PS and his aunts, custody battles and secrets called Careful He Might Hear You.  

It's Week 2 of the National Family History Month blogging challenge and we challenge you to write about an aspect of your family history that caused your ancestors to whisper.

The film adaptation of the book was shot in the more salubrious Sydney suburbs of Darling Point and Neutral Bay than last week's meme set in Surry Hills.  

Perhaps there a story about childhood you want to tell (from memory PS was only about 8 years old) or the Depression (the era in which the story is set).

We can't wait to see what posts it inspires. Don't forget to link your story below using the Linky widget so we can find all the posts at a glance. And remember, we love stories from all over the world.  You don't have to be an Aussie to participate.  We just want you to blog.

Poor Man's Preacher - Thomas Gainford

I have been agonizing over how to write about Week 1's prompt for National Family History Month.  At first, I was going to write about the McLoughlin family in Orange. Whilst not in Surry Hills, they were Irish Catholics.  But the pickings were slim in terms of stories...so I turned to other sources.  I am sure stories do exist- I just couldn't find them or make them stick, so to speak.

Going through my family records I noticed that a couple of my ancestors were married in Surry Hills so I decided to pursue that angle instead.

Introducing George Henry Carrett and Sarah Stores.  These two are effectively my paternal grandmother's paternal grandparents - got that?  Or my great-great-grandparents on my father's side of the family.  

So - who were George Henry Carrett and Sarah Stores?

Well, according to their marriage certificate, George was a bachelor.  He was 21 years old and born in England and his occupation was bricklayer.  His parents were George Henry Carrett (cause we like to keep things simple) - also a bricklayer and Mary Ann Pasby.

Sarah was a spinster from Newtown.  She was a servant and aged 21.  Her parents were Edward Stores, a Labourer and her mother was Mary Ann Nobbs.  

George and Sarah were married by Thomas Gainford according to the rites of the Congregational Church and their marriage was witnessed by George Preston and Mary Stores (I'm assuming that Mary Stores was Sarah's Mother).

So, why did they get married at 145 Foveaux Street in Surry Hills?  Their usual place of residence is shown on the certificate as Sydney (most unhelpful).  I know that Sarah Stores was born in Newtown.  Her father died at his daughter's residence at Riverview Road Marrickville in 1905 according to this In Memoriam notice in Trove.

But let's get back to Surry Hills.  Who lived at 145 Foveaux Street?

The Sands Directory for 1879 shows that Rev.George Preston lived there.  Remember he was one of the witnesses? Maybe Sarah was a servant in his household.  Maybe we will never be able to confirm that but it's a thought.

When I searched for "George Preston" on Trove I found lots of articles.  There was this one in 1876

1876 'Advertising', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 14 December, p. 1. , viewed 06 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13386095
and, very importantly

1878 'The Government Gazette.', The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), 7 December, p. 912. , viewed 06 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162697853

So I guess you could say that George Preston was learning how to officiate at marriages under the tutelage of Thomas Gainford.  And Thomas Gainford himself was an interesting chap.  Keep in mind that I am trying to work out why my ancestors would have married this way or chosen this minister to marry them. Let's go back a bit again.  

Sarah's paternal grandparents were Edward (called Ted) Stores and Sarah Parkes and her maternal grandparents were John Hobbs and Mary Boswell.  These people were not insignificant players in the region of Earlwood or Undercliff where my father grew up.  

If you read some local histories for Earlwood (Parkestown to Earlwood by Ron Hunt and/or Earlwood's Past by Brian Madden and Lesley Muir) the picture begins to pull focus.  

Sarah Stores' grandmother, Sarah Parkes, was the second daughter born to Margaret Southern and John Parkes - both ex-convicts.  John Parkes was from Worcesterhire's Black Country - named after ts iron-ore.  He was a nailer by trade and worked at the Government Dockyards for many years before moving on to the land.  

One of twelve children Sarah and her husband Ted Stores lived at Parkes Camp (now Earlwood) - a "timber-gatherer's Camp..destined to become the vanguard of three generations of sawyers."  according to Ron Hunt.  Her brothers William, Isaac and Thomas were boxing champions; Bill earning the title of Australian middleweight champion in 1845 before travelling to England to fight Nat Langham the middleweight champion there.  

Here is a map of John's Estate. 

Madden and Muir's history advises us that the 1870s were the beginning of a building boom for Sydney and that the Parkes and Nobbs families made their money from supplying sandstone from the Canterbury Quarry in River Street.  George Henry Carrett III, my grandmother's father and his father before him, were bricklayers and made their living from building many houses in the inner-western suburbs. So the Stores and the Carretts really were a match made in heaven, all things considered.

You can see my great-great-grandfather's home in 1886 at 7 Fairfowl Street Marrickville as it was in 2014 when Google took their photo.  It looks very dilapidated doesn't it? I don't know if it's improved since then.  According to the Sands Directory he called it Brixton Villa, after his birthplace Brixton in England, no doubt.

Obeyed Call from Beyond the Grave (1933, September 10). Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954), p. 22. Retrieved August 6, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198661710

But back to Thomas Gainford.  How did he fit in?  Well I haven't found any direct links but having read his biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and a lengthy obituary in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate, he seemed to share many of the Parkes/Stores and Nobbs interests and life experience.  Born in Workington, Cumberland in 1823, by the age of 19 he was a champion wrestler for Cumberland - a couple of years before Bill Sparkes (the Parkes family has many monikers from Parkes to Perks to Sparks) was fighting Nat Langham.  

Thomas Gainford then went on to study shipbuilding and became a master mariner.  His experiences at sea, witnessing the uncertainty of life, motivated him to convert to Christianity and he became variously known as the "praying sailor" and the Black Preacher because of his physical appearance and his fortitude in all weather.  

In 1853 he migrated to Australia and co-owned a sawmill on the banks of Duck Creek on the Parramatta River.  It was so successful that another branch was formed on the Richmond River.  He sojourned to the Victorian goldfields and then to Newcastle before he returned to Sydney in 1867 and then became minister of the Mariners Church in 1870.  

So whilst it seems strange that a bricklayer and a servant would be married by a preacher in the Mariner's Church, I feel certain that their paths would have crossed somehow given their shared interests and Gainford's concern for those who felt isolated through their occupation or the trials and tribulations of life. 

I am now a bit wiser about one of the witnesses on George and Sarah's marriage certificate and have a greater understanding of the times from having researched Thomas Gainford and the area in which they lived. I did not realise until now how deeply embedded the roots of the Carrett family were in the area of Earlwood/Undercliffe.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

#NFHM Blogging Challenge Week 1 - Poor Man's Orange

It's week 1 of the National Family History Month Blogging Challenge.  

Take what you will from the title of Ruth Park's novel Poor Man's Orange published in 1949. 

The novel was set in Surry Hills, Sydney about a Catholic Irish Family.  

Perhaps there were Irish Catholics in your family. 

Perhaps your ancestors lived in Surry Hills or Sydney.  

Have you got a tale of making do? Or a tale of working class ancestors?

The book caused quite a stir when it came out as you can see from the Letters to the Sydney Morning Herald in July 1949 - nearly 70 years ago.

Courtesy of the National Library of Australia, Trove
READERS' OPINIONS OF NOVEL (1949, July 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved July 22, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18121842
Join in our challenge.  We welcome bloggers from near and far.  August is National Family History Month in Australia but you don't have to be Australian to join in.  However, we would prefer your post to be about Family History ! And don't worry if the meme/theme doesn't grab you.  Please blog about anything you want.  The idea is to....JUST BLOG!  

Friday, July 7, 2017

2017 NFHM Blogging Challenge

August is not so very far away and that means....


Who's up for a blogging challenge??  Some of us thought a literary theme might be the go given that a few of our more well known authors were born 100  years ago e.g. Ruth Park (okay she was born in NZ but we adopted her as our own), Sumner Locke Elliott, Nancy Cato and Frank Hardy.  

So this is the plan:

Week 1 - Poor Man's Orange - take what you will from this title of Ruth Park's novel published in 1949.  Poor Man's Orange was set in Surry Hills Sydney about a Catholic Irish Family.  Perhaps there were Irish Catholics in your family.  Perhaps your ancestors lived in Surry Hills or Sydney.  Have you got a tale of making do?  Take the theme as laterally as you like or ignore it altogether.  We just want to see you blogging.

Week 3 - All the Rivers Run - Nancy Cato's saga spanned eight decades and four generations.  Your blog post doesn't have to do that but was there a matriarch in your family that inspires you?  Or maybe you want to focus on a particular river that played a part in your ancestors' lives.  Where will your imagination run to?

Week 4 - Power without Glory - Frank Hardy's novel covers a wide range of notorious characters from criminals to Archbishops and politicians, wrestlers to gamblers and everyone else in between.  One of the themes is conscription during WW1 but you can interpret the title as broadly as you like.  Were your ancestors powerful in some way? Legitimately or  not.  Did they have a stoush with the authorities or strong political beliefs? Lets hear their story.

Let's blog every Saturday if we can.  See you then.

And thanks to Canva for the great meme picture.  It reminded me of a neighbour popping their head over the fence for a chat with a kid hanging off them. And thanks to AFFHO and the lovely Shauna Hicks for organising National Family History Month so we can all have so much family history fun. 

PS You don't have to be an Aussie to participate.  We welcome one and all in this great big genealogy family.