Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sepia Saturday: 31 August 2013

Our theme prompt for Sepia Saturday 192 features a wonderful 1947 portrait of the jazz musician Stan Kenton by the noted photographer William P Gottlieb. The photograph forms part of the Flickr Commons collection of the Library of Congress - indeed if you are a lover of classic jazz photographs there is an entire Flickr stream dedicated to Gottlieb's work. That is Kenton in the middle of this trio, dressed in typical 1940s style with his striped trousers held high with the obligatory suspenders (or as we call them here in Europe, braces). So there is your first possible direction of travel, but you may also choose to go with neckties, jazz, men sat down or  ... anything you want to. 

From Tom McLoughlin's collection
Tom McLoughlin was my maternal grandfather.

I think this is him in these photos.  

From Tom McLoughlin's collection

From Tom McLoughlin's collection
From Tom McLoughlin's collection

If it's not, it's probably one of his brothers - there were six of them as per this photo....

Top to Bottom and Left to Right as per my mother's handwriting on back of photo:
Vincent, Francis (Frank), Patrick (Pat)
Joseph (Joe), Thomas (Tom) and John (Jack)

Mateship is pretty important in Australian culture....and it seems my Grandfather had a few mates.  Unfortunately I don't know the stories behind these photos but it looks as though they enjoyed good times.

The traditional greeting among Australian blokes is "Maaaate" reciprocated by an equally long "Maaaate" and then a deep silence full of inarticulate deep thought peppered with dry observations on the Herculanean efforts of footballers/cricketers or if desperate, the weather.

Here's another photo aptly titled by my grandfather as Annual Smoko - Christmas drinks I'm guessing.  I don't know if these are work colleagues or just friends.  No idea where it is taken but I'm guessing an RSL somewhere in the western suburbs of Sydney...probably near Summer Hill.

That's my grandfather on the right with the glasses.

I have blogged about my grandfather a few times.  He loved chess and reading...oh and the ponies.  Many of my books are from him over the years.  He was a big Readers Digest fan and loved doing the Word Power in the back of their little magazines.  He bought me many encyclopedia sets and left yet another set of encyclopedias to us....with some money cleverly hidden under M.  He liked clever jokes.  I remember he particularly liked the movie The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  He thought that was very clever.

Mateship forges strong bonds between Australian men (and dare I say women) - asking for loyalty that often goes above and beyond the call of duty, as exemplified in the award-winning short film Mate embedded below from Queensland filmmaker Evan Clarry.  I don't know what my grandfather would have thought of this.  And I don't know what you will think of it either.

Warning: Do not watch this film if you object to strong language or are in the slightest bit squeamish.  

It is not for the faint of heart.  

But I still find it very funny and Damien Garvey's performance is fabulously under-stated.  
The french sub-titles (???) add a certain "Je ne sais quois"!

For more Sepia Saturday fun head here....

Friday, August 30, 2013

Blogger's Geneameme

Lovely Jill of Geniaus dreamt up a geneameme for all of us Geneabloggers - particularly because it is National Family History Month here in Australia.

She asks a few questions and here are my answers:

What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s?
Family Tree Frog 

Baiting the Hooks by MattieB on Flickr

Do you have a wonderful "Cousin Bait" blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. 
I wish I could say "Yes" but not through my blog so far.  At least not to my knowledge.  One cousin found a letter from my mother left at the sexton's office at Rookwood Cemetery in connection with her parent's grave.  That cousin bait worked well.  I think other cousins have found me through Ancestry and other websites, now defunct I think, like First Families and Rootsweb.

Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging?
I was a bit hesitant about blogging at first.  I have another blog .  Since I began this blog it has fallen somewhat into disuse.  It was a bit all over the place with no real focus, whereas I feel more comfortable with this one.  Lots of people inspired me to start blogging - my crazy friend  (who has nothing to do with family history) and Pauline were probably the greatest inspiration

How did you decide on your blog/s title/s?
Believe it or not I spent hours deciding my title.  I wanted something with Family Tree in it and I wanted something that symbolized my approach to family history as well as a bit of a link to where the blog comes from.  I do jump around a bit in my research and the tree frog is a bit of a traveler which I thought represented my ancestors too. See my first post for more info

Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they?
No I don't I must confess.  I spend so long composing and researching my posts, it's best done from a desktop.
Megaphone by Igor Klisov

How do you let others know when you have published a new post?
I share it on Google+ and if there is a relevant Facebook page, I'll post about it there too.  If I am feeling extra proud I might tweet it too.  If it connects with a Geneabloggers meme it gets caught up in the feed too.

How long have you been blogging?
Since 2008 - wow - five years!

What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog? 
I like to see some kind of ancestor chart or list of surnames.  I particularly like a search window. I love to be able to "follow" people easily by pressing a follow button.

Audience chairs by A Svensson

What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience?
If I could convert everyone to family history of course, I would.  In the real world however I am hoping that other family historians might be interested in how I did my research and share in the joy of my findings.  The kids aren't interested really, but one day they might be and this is a bit of a legacy for them. Ultimately it's a research base if I ever get off my bottom and write that book.

Which of your posts are you particularly proud of?
This one on my great-great-aunt Harriet with whom I am slightly obsessed....

How do you keep up with your blog reading?
Blogger has a great feed which you can read when you log in to look at your blogs.  I'm not really into RSS I must confess.  I was into Google Reader a little bit but then that seems to have vanished into dust and I haven't got into the swing of anything else.

What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s?
Blogger and Word Press

What new features would you like to see in your blogging software?
Um.....I don't know...

Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers?
Not quite sure why but this one (675 page views) and this one (351 page views)

I understand the latter being popular because a retail company promoted my blog post on their blog I think.

Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog?
I do contribute to a shared blog but it's about the Booker prize 

Transformative Blogging by Ryan Bretag

How do you compose your blog posts?
I know there are people out there who schedule blog posts and compose them in Word but I confess to doing it on the run.  It takes a long time and is probably ham-fisted and rather clumsy but it's the way I've always done it.  On reflection and looking at the flow-chart above I realise now that I usually blog in response to other's prompts or memes, think long and hard, research, write and then comment.  Yes, it is a cycle.

Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs.
LPlate Librarian
Luvvie's Musings

Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers?

Which resources have helped you with your blogging?

In alphabetical order:

Archives Outside,
Brisbane City Archives
British History Online
Family Search Research Wiki 
 Find a Grave, 
Find My Past
Index to Qld BDM 
Inside History
Judy Webster
Library of Congress
Moreton Bay Region Libraries Family HIstory and Genealogy Links
the National Archives, 
Pharos Tutors
Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland 1840-1940
Picture Gold Coast
Picture Queensland,
Queensland State Archives
Ryerson Index,  
Scotland's People 
Sepia Saturday, 

Other bloggers too numerous to mention but special mention should be made of the following: 
Julie at Angler's Rest and the fabulous Inside History blog which captures all their Facebook chats on a Thursday night.

Lots of books too numerous to mention but I should mention Digital Imaging Essentials by Geoffrey Rasmussen - I purchased the e-version and also The Big Genealogy Blog Book by Amy Coffin 

My FlipPal! available from Gould Books 

What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger?
Just do it.  The more you do it the better you get.  

and of course...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sepia Saturday 191: 24 August 2013

 © Rob Steven via Flickr

This week I am going to stray from my norm and give you photos found on Picture Queensland rather than from my own family albums.  Rob Steven has given us such a fantastic photo that I feel nothing in my family albums is equal to the task...and besides...I do like a good hat...or bonnet.

 Nothing is known about the prompt image, so I could look for siblings, wives, penetrating gazes, shawls, gloves, beards, hands on shoulders or any group of three.

So off we go, a hunting for bonnets and penetrating gazes

Mary Ann Low 1877 - State Library of Queensland
Out of copyright

This is Mary Ann Low.  According to State Library of Queensland  she is "photographed wearing a bonnet decorated with feathers and lace ties. She has a cameo brooch on the neck of her dress."

Here's another photo of her with her daughter many years later. 
NB. Hand on shoulder....ooh...and shawl...

Mother and daughter Mary Ann Low and May Scott in 1927
State Library of Queensland
Out of Copyright

I don't know much about Mary Ann Low but I did find an article in the Brisbane Courier on Trove from 19 June 1929.  It said 

"The late Mrs. Mary Ann Low, whose
death took place at her residence at
Nanango on June 3, was 86 years of
age. The deceased was bom in
Staithes. in Yorkshire, England, and
arrived in Brisbane in 1877. She lived
for 27 years in the Bundaberg district,
when she moved to Nanango, where
she had since resided for 22 years.
Her husband predeceased her some
years ago. She leaves one daughter
(Mrs. J. W. Scott,  Nanango), ten
grand-children, and 13 great grand-

I did find another beautiful bonnet....

State Library of Queensland.
Portrait of Mrs. Gertrude Steindl (nee Brennan), wife of Lee Steindl, and baby. Mrs. Steindl is wearing an embroidered blouse and a hat swathed in fabric. Baby is wearing a dress and bonnet. Photograph taken by Olesen and Strong of Maryborough.
copyright expired
Isn't it a beauty?  

Who is or rather was Gertrude Steindl with such impeccable taste in hats?

Here she is with her sisters.....NB another hand on shoulder...

From State Library of Queensland.
Portrait of five sisters (nee Brennan) who all married into the Steindl family.  At top left is Gertrude Steindl, who married Lee Steindl of Maryborough in 1905. At bottom left is Nellie Steindl, and one of the other sisters is Winnie Steindl Photograph taken by Vandyck Studio of Bourbon Street, Bundaberg. Undated.
Copyright expired.
Here is Gertrude on her wedding day ...are the men wearing gloves????  I think they must be.  Their hands can't be that white...surely????

 State Library of Queensland
Lee Steindl and his wife Gert are pictured with their attendants on their wedding day. The groomsman pictured on the left is Tony Steindl from Bundaberg.
April 1905
Copyright expired.
Lee Steindl's father owned a brewery and his obituary in the Brisbane Courier 24 May 1913 read as follows:

"Being of a most liberal disposition, he freely supported various bodies in the town financially, churches of all denominations, sporting bodies, and other societies sharing in his. generosity. He was a member of the Pastoral and Agricultural Society, the Chamber of Commerce,the Maryborough Jockey Club, a life member of the H.A.O.B. Society, and patron of the Wide Bay Rowing Club, but of late years, owing to ill-health, he took no active part in their affairs."

State Library of Queensland
Louis Steindl was born in Austria and came to Australia to live. He settled in Maryborough and became the proprietor of a brewery from 1876.
Copyright expired.

Can we just see that baby girl one more time and make sure that the taste in hats does not diminish with the worry of child-rearing?

State Library of Queensland
Gert Steindl with her little daughter.  Maryborough. ca 1907
Copyright expired.

Now to some more sombre bonnets...

State Library of Queensland
Willhemina, youngest daughter of Rev. Charles Ogg, in mourning dress with and elaborate black lace bonnet, lace collar and cuffs, and a brooch.
Copyright expired.

Please note how Wilhemina spells her name.  I wasted a lot of time looking for WilheLmina...silly me.  Wilhemina was born in 1878 (according to the Qld BDM index and if I have the right family of Oggs and her mother was Agnes McKellar).  Whilst the State Library says this photo is ca 1880, I think it is more likely to have been taken later as Wilhemina looks a bit older than 2 years of age and a bit older than seventeen which is how old she was when her father died.  But I am happy to be corrected if I've got my Wilheminas mixed up or my Oggs mixed up.

State Library of Queensland
Rev. Charles Ogg ca 1880
Copyright expired

It's a beard!!

Wilhemina's father Rev. Charles Ogg died 10 April 1895 and his obituary in the Brisbane Courier read as follows:

"Mr. Ogg, who had attained the ripe'age of 77 years, had been a resident of Queensland for nearly forty years, and was the father of the Presbyterian Church in this colony. Born in Arbroutha Scotland, he after receiving a sound education at the parochial school, proceeded to the University, and studied both at Edinburgh and Glasgow, obtaining high honours in Latin and Greek at the latter college. He came out to New South Wales in 1854, and was ordained at Sydney. He arrived in Moreton Bay two years later, and shortly after formed the Ann-street charge, of which he had the spiritual oversight up to the day of his death. In the early days he travelled a good deal throughout the colony, fulfilling the duties of a minister
of the Presbyterian Church ; but of late years he seldom went far afield. Mr. Ogg leaves a widow and a family of five daughters and four sons."

Speaking of the other sons and daughters....Look!  

I have a trio for you.

Son and two daughters of Rev. Charles Ogg. Both girls are wearing skirts embellished with frills and gathers, and have lace cuffs and bows at the neck.
ca. 1879
Copyright expired. 
Bingo.  I've done it.  Penetrating gazes - check, beard, check, trio, check, gloves, check, bonnets, check, siblings, check, wives, check, hands on shoulders, check.

Not satisfied?  Head over to Sepia Saturday for more....

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sepia Saturday 189: 10 August 2013

Our theme picture for Sepia Saturday 189 comes from the Flickr Commons Collection of the National Library of Ireland and is entitled "What An Amazing Contraption". It provides us with an opportunity to search out photographs featuring all manner of strange or unidentified contraptions. And if you are fresh out of contraptions there is always cars or people sat in ridiculous positions.

Contraption, n. (sl.). Queer machine, makeshift contrivance. (perh.f. contrive, cf. conceive, -ception).

I have been fascinated with contraptions from a very early age.  This photo is taken at Hurstville I think c.1960.  I'm sitting on the bed with my father looking at one of my parent's cameras - maybe it's the Voigtlander.  

Both my parents enjoyed photography - my father often set up an amateur dark room in the laundry or the garage and I loved watching the photos magically appear in the trays of developing fluid.  My mother was a fiendish photographer and constantly making people sit "just so" whilst she arranged compositions.  Here she is with what I imagine is a Box Brownie in her younger days.

Of course, the first photo I thought of when this theme was proposed for Sepia Saturday was one of my maternal great-grandfather Walter William Forfar aka Dick Forfar in this newspaper article.

Thanks to my cousin Kath I think for this newspaper article.  I can't find it on Trove so she must have gone into the NSW State Library and photocopied it for me.

I have blogged about WW Forfar before here.  

I am still digging up new information about the Forfars but will post about that separately.

Here are some more photos of Dick Forfar in another contraption - his wheelchair.

These are photos of photos I'm afraid so are not very clear.  I think Dick is with two of his grand-daughters in the first photo - Joy and Shirley Wingfield - at least I think it is Joy - it's definitely Shirley at the back.  In the second photo I think it is Dick with Shirley and Joy's husband Ray Jeffery.  I think the photos were taken in Newcastle at his daughter Belle's place.  Dick died in 1949 so I think this is taken during the war years - say the early 40s.

Here is a photo of Dick's brother George next to another contraption.

The back of the photo reads "Forty winks after lunch.  Brother George having a nap at the side of a country road in England."

I don't know whose writing this is....maybe Dick Forfar's.  Dick was one of three boys - George being the eldest, followed by Ernest who went to the Rockies in Canada and then Walter William or Dick.  Anyone want to hazard a guess at the make of the car?

I love this photo.  Here's an alternative use of a running board - a napping board!  Please note the gramophone player on the left and the billy for the tea on the right.

It was Shirley napping on the running board!  And they're picnicking at Womal Reserve.  But I can't find a Womal or a Womai Reserve anywhere - perhaps the name has changed.

Here are the two girls - much younger - on another picture with their parents and their aunt - my maternal grandmother.

We love our cars don't we?  

Here's a really big contraption that I think may have taken large groups of people on tours.  I'm not sure where this one was going but I'm guessing the Blue Mountains.  My mother is the little girl in the front so I'm guessing this was taken c1940.

What would you call this contraption?  I want to call it a charibang or touring car.  Any ideas?

I scanned this tiny photo this morning and was sad to read what was written on the back of it by my paternal grandmother.

I think this is an Oldsmobile.  It belonged to my paternal grandfather - Edwin Arthur James Conner.

Here's my paternal Uncle Ted in his favourite contraption - the Tiger Moth.

Here's my mother again in front of another contraption - a buggy I think.

And with another contraption when she was a bit younger....a pram for a doll.

And here's me on my favourite contraption when I was three in Edinburgh - a tricycle.

I fear I've worn you out with contraptions.  Beg pardon.

What's your favourite contraption?

Head on over to Sepia Saturday to see more queer machines and makeshift contrivances....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Checkmate

Thomas Joseph Benedict McLoughlin
I'm reading a book at the moment - well several really, but that's another story.  The longlist for the Booker Prize was recently announced so, as usual, I cherish this fantasy that I will be able to read them all and guess the shortlist.  The book I am reading is called "The Marrying of Chani Kaufman" and is about an ultra -Orthodox Jewish marriage.  It discusses various customs including behaviour on the Sabbat or what some of us might call the Sabbath.  If you want to see the 39 activities forbidden on the Sabbat click here.

My mother came from a mixed marriage - a Protestant who married a Catholic.  She used to tell me how Sundays were a bit of a sore point in her home when she was growing up.  Apparently my grandfather steadfastly resisted doing anything on a Sunday, being brought up a strict Catholic.  So no "work" of any kind. No housework, no work in the garden - but things still had to get done somehow - food had to come magically from somewhere i.e. my grandmother.

I remember that my grandfather loved reading and chess.  I presume this is what he did on a Sunday...and in fact, any day he could.

I've been scanning photos from his album and have found quite a few of him playing chess.


I remember whenever we went shopping at DJ's Elizabeth Street, I would always keep an eye out for him in case he was playing chess in Hyde Park where all the chess players used to congregate.  

 I'm not sure when or where these photos were taken.  I'm thinking the 1950s but I'm happy to be persuaded otherwise by experts in men's fashion.  I have conducted a cursory search of Trove using the string 'NSW Chess Association" and the surnames e.g. McLoughlin, Daniels, Pye etc.  There's a little bit there but much more to come I hope in the not too distant future.

I found this article:

The Newsletter, An Australian Paper for Australian People Saturday 31 August 1901
It's a bit before my grandfather's time (he was born in 1898) but I am interested that a Mr Daniels and an A. Swinfield are mentioned.  Perhaps fathers of the R.A. Daniels and the J. Swinfield that played with  my grandfather.  My mother went to Petersham so I think it is likely that Grandad played at Petersham Public School Chess Club or that it morphed into the Western Suburbs Division of the NSW Chess Association.

What do you think?  Do you play chess?  I'm hopeless at playing chess but great at reading.  What do you allow yourself to do on a Sunday?