|Extract from Passenger List of Shenir 1883|
This post is the attempt to structure thoughts about some recent research on my husband's side of the family ....and also to show some early efforts at scanning using my brand new FlipPal.
So...let me show you the FlipPal scanner ....
Here it is in it's bright purple carry case which for some reason looks blue in this photo.....
Here it is unveiled for the world to see....
So you can see that it is quite small and easy to carry...I don't know what it weighs...okay I'll go and weigh it...it weighs 770g with the carry case or nearly 2lbs.
Here it is open and ready for business.....see that little screen on the right?
That's where you can see your image when you scan it...
The image gets recorded on the SD card just under the screen there...
And if your computer is old and clunky like mine and doesn't take SD cards, never fear, the FlipPal comes with a USB stick that you can stick it in the side of - putting all my prepositions the wrong way around in a most ungainly fashion but I'm sure you get the gist and I'm sorry for the over-exposure in the last photo.
I love my FlipPal scanner because it means I now have a scanner that is closer to me, portable and easier to operate than the one in my husband's study which always seems to take forever to scan and then save stuff to the wrong drive and take forever for me to find and then re-size. I can take this one anywhere with me and scan stuff that people may not have copies of e.g. old photos. I will report on how friendly places are with regards to scanning stuff from microfilm screens etc. I bought mine from the lovely people at Gould and no, they are not paying me to write this blog.
Okay so back to family history. An old contact emailed me this week and put me in touch with someone who is researching the Tait family. He is descended from one line of the family and we are descended from the other and we are trying to stitch stories together. His side of the family went down to Sydney. Our mob stayed up here..so he is interested in what they did between their arrival in Queensland in January 1883 and their departure to Sydney c 1920.
This is what I have found so far...
|From the A.D. Edwardes collection at the State Library of South Australia|
|The Brisbane Courier Friday 12 January 1883|
|The Queenslander Saturday 10 March 1883|
Historical Index of the Qld Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, shows that Alexander and Catherine welcomed another son into the world - John on 30 June 1884.
|The Queensland 13 March 1886|
Meanwhile, more children are on their way - George on 25 April 1886, Mary on 5 May 1888 and Thomas Christopher on 28 April 1891. Will I obtain their birth certificates? Perhaps.
School records searchable through FindmyPast are a bit difficult to confirm as there are many Taits in Queensland.
However a search of the Orphanage and Reformatory indexes on the Queensland State Archives reveals the following:
On 17 May 1890 at the age of 10, Alexander the 2nd eldest son, standing 3 ft 11 inches and weighing 55lbs with a chest circumference of 23 & 1/2 inches with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair was tried at Ipswich and convicted of larceny. He was sentenced to three years at what is now the infamous Westbrook Reformatory School for boys. He was a Roman Catholic and his father Alex, a painter, lived at Mortimore Street in Ipswich. So very very sad. This paper is about the reform school located at Lytton but may give some idea of what life may have been like at Westbrook at the time. This promotional film made in the 1950s gives a rosy picture of life there rather at odds with recent publications.
|My first attempt at stitching on the FlipPal - Alex Tait's entry in the admission register|
Then in 1894, George his younger brother, at the age of 8 was tried at Longreach, convicted of neglect and sentenced for four years. It's a bit difficult to read the writing but it seems his father was away.
|Ploughing at Westbrook State Farm, 1896|
A month later his older brother, William Macdonald Tait at the age of 24, a saddler of Oxley married Mary Anna Cathcart (nee Grieve) a widow from Walloon aged 27. These are my husband's great-grandparents.
In 1900 William's youngest sister Mary was admitted to the Industrial School for Girls in Toowoomba aged 12 and released in 1903.
William Macdonald and Mary Anna had Sydney McDonald in 1900, Pearly Gladys in 1902 (who died a year later) and then Elsie Coralene (my husband's grandmother) in July 1906. William was listed as a picture framer in the Qld Commonealth Electoral Roll living at Hampton Street Woolloongabba. On Elsie's birth certificate he is listed as living in Baines Street Kangaroo Point.
|Hawthorne Street Woolloongabba 1900 with bubonic plague quarantine fencing|
In September of 1908 Mary Anna died of double pneumonia. At that time the family were still living at Kangaroo Point. She was buried at Ipswich Cemetery. We have yet to find the grave. I should call the Sexton tomorrow - no luck with the online indexes so far. I have checked Anglican, Pioneer, Presbyterian and General.
We know Elsie was sent to live with the Linnings who lived at Walloon. We're not sure what happened to Sydney. Elsie is listed as attending Jondaryan State School in 1918. You can find out more about Jondaryan here.
William re-married in 1909 to Elise Louise Emma Mengel. They had two daughters - Thelma Maria Margreta and then Katherine Emma in 1912.
By the 1913 Qld Commonwealth Electoral Roll William's father Alexander is still listed as a house painter but now living in Crown Street Brisbane South. William is listed as a fancy goods dealer in Logan Road Woolloongabba.
In 1914 William is listed as living in both Bourbong Street Bundaberg as an auctioneer and then in August with his wife Emma in Gympie as an auctioneer and shopkeeper in Gympie. Kathleen Emma Tait is listed as attending the One Mile State School in Gympie in 1919. The photo below was taken a few years earlier but gives a sense of the size of the school.
|One Mile State School 1912|
In 1920 Kathleen Emma's grandfather and William's father Alexander died, according to the Historical Index. So there's a death certificate for me to get.
According to the Historical index of the Qld BDM, William died in 1944. His parents are listed incorrectly as Edward Mcdonald and his mother's surname as Molloy when I understood it to be Catherine Munay. This could be an error however as the copy of the marriage certificate has been transcribed so who knows...it could even be Murray. I must order this certificate even though it probably contains some inaccuracies. It would be nice to know where he is buried.
I have found some Taits buried at Toowong cemetery but it is difficult to know if they are ours.
So this has been a long and turgid post, for which I apologise. But it is an attempt to record research and its sources on the run as it were. Have you any suggestions as to further research I could conduct?