Friday, 9 October 2015

52 Ancestors #41 - Joseph Emanuel Antoney - a 1st cousin twice removed

This post is for Week 41 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week - colourful.

Colourful, what does that mean? Does it mean they wore colourful clothes? Or, does it mean they were 'colourful characters'? I think I'll sort through my family file for the characters.  After sorting through and considering this one and that one I have decided on a 1st cousin twice removed - Joseph Emanuel Antoney AKA Manny the Murderer.

Manny was born in Walkerston near Mackay, Queensland on the 2nd April 1900 to Manuel Silva (Emanuel) Antoney and his wife Annie Marie McLaughlin, he was the only child of that marriage. He married Kathleen Judith (Kitty) Coren in Sydney in 1940 and by the time of the murder he was divorced though I have been unable to find the divorce papers at this time.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

52 Ancestors Week #40 - birthdays in October

The theme for the first week in October is: what ancestor has a birthday in October? So I thought ... I'll just go to my Legacy program and generate a report about birthday's in October. Simple I thought, there won't be many. I already  knew my son, Sean Patrick, was born on the 15th October 1971 in Seymour, Victoria and my favourite maternal grandmother, Dorothy May, was born on the 4th October 1898 in North Eton via Mackay, Queensland. How wrong I was. The report is six A4 pages, ranging from fourteen individuals born in October with no date to lists for each day of the month in October. It must have been the time of year for my ancestors to have children. I will have to think about this a little more.

So, 16 on the 1st, 9 on the 2nd, 8 on the 3rd,11 on the 4th including my grandmother Dorothy May, 10 on the 5th, 6 on the 6th, 9 on the 7th, 11 on the 8th, 13 on the 9th, 12 on the 10th, 6 on the 11th, 7 on the 12th, 7 on the 13th, 11 on the 14th, 12 on the 15th including my son Sean, 9 on the 16th, 11 on the 17th, 11 on the 18th, 7 on the 19th, 13 on the 20th, 13 on the 21st, 15 on the 22nd,  16 on the 23rd, 6 on the 24th, 14 on the 25th, 11 on the 26th, 13 on the 27th, 5 on the 28th, 9 on the 29th, 12 on the 30th and 14 on the 31st - so fairly evenly spread over the month with a grand total of 349 ancestors born in October. 

They are spread over several countries - Australia, in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the ACT, Tasmania and Western Australia; New Zealand the North and South Islands; England, Middlesex, Northumberland, Somerset, Surrey, Hampshire, Lancashire; Northern Ireland in Londonderry and Armagh; Republic of Ireland in Dublin; Scotland in Argyll; Barbados; Trinidad and Tobago; United States, California, Iowa, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Happy Birthday to all 349 ancestors born in the month of October.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

After the conference ...

For those not in Brisbane or in Queensland the In Time and Place conference - Family, Local and Social History - took place over the weekend.  Alex Daw has written a brilliant summing up of the conference on her blog Family Tree Frog  so I don't have to - thanks Alex. It was great to catch up in person with some of my blogging genie friends - putting a face to a name - sharing stories - gossiping of course and just catching up with people. It makes all the hard work being part of the organising committee worth while when it all come together.

Another challenge that I have undertaken is a One-Name Study on my Proverbs family. This is all thanks to Helen Smith and her encouragement so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to chat with Helen about what to include and what not to include. Do I include the children of a Proverbs mother married to a Walcott? Do I follow them further etc? The takeaway message from Helen was it is up to me to decide and that future researchers would possibly appreciate my research. So with that clarity - it's up to me - off I go on the Proverbs name. I haven't even thought of the possible variations yet - that's further along. 

I wonder if I will ever be able to prove or disprove the family myth that the two brothers, Thomas and Johannis were escaping Cromwell and opened their bible on the ship at Proverbs and decided that they would go by that name. Imagine if they opened the bible at Deutoromeny or Ecclesiastes? Wish me luck!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

I'm back ... sort of

I'm back in the land of blogs - well sort of - I have been busy recovering and becoming involved in the Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) again. GSQ had decided to move from our current premises when our lease expires on November 30 so as you can imagine I have been busy with that planning.

Also, this coming weekend the In Time & Place Conference is being held jointly with History Queensland and Queensland Family History Society. I have been on the planning committee for months now and will be mightily relieved on Sunday afternoon when everything is finished.

Then there is the GSQ Annual General Meeting on Saturday 10 October - as the Secretary I have a lot of work to complete for the meeting.

Then we move - I dread the packing and then of course the unpacking. I wake up in a cold sweat at night with visions of lost items, broken equipment, worn out volunteers - the list goes on.

SO, after the conference, the AGM and the move I should be able to totally relax over the Christmas-New Year period.

Ahh, I forgot to add that while on library duty at GSQ last Thursday I twisted on a chair and dislocated my hip - so much fun with paramedics and pain medication and off to the Wesley emergency Centre - a "twilight anaesthetic" of the wonderful ketamine and midazolam - and the hip was put back in. As my medical people say - you are so fortunate that anything possible will happen to you - my surgeon is furious as this particular prosthesis is supposedly not able to be dislocated - well it has happened twice since surgery - of course I am not too happy either. 

Will let you know about the conference.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Back home

After a 28 day stay in the hospital, I am pleased to be back home. Oh the joy of my comfortable bed and nobody waking me at 5 am. Unfortunately, there is no one to bring me an early morning cup of tea but being home is a reward in itself. I plan to play catch up with my blog of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks in the next few weeks.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

52 Ancestors #23 - Patricia Dorothea McCann - a favourite wedding photo

This post is for Week 23 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week  -  wedding.

June weddings, so popular in the northern hemisphere as the weather could be expected to be better. Perhaps not so popular in Australia as winter commences however the beautiful weather we are currently enjoying in Brisbane would be ideal though I don't know about strapless bridal gowns!
Patricia Dorothea & Joan Douglas McCann 1946

I have a favourite wedding photo on my mother and her sister Joan on Mum's wedding day the 14th October 1946. They are seated in front of a mirror at Denmora my great-grandparent's home at Bowen Hills. To me, the picture shows two happy sisters enjoying the day. All the preparation over and the excitement of the day to come. This photograph was taken after the wedding ceremony and before the reception which was also held at Denmora.

I remember looking into that very mirror many times as it was just outside Granny McCann's bedroom. A favourite photo of two wonderful women both now reunited in heaven.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

52 Ancestors #22 - Emanuel Vero & Joseph Antoney - a great and a 2nd great grandfather

This post is for Week 22 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week  -  commencement.

Thinking about commencement meaning 'a new beginning' two of my family came to mind. My maternal 2nd great grandfather Joseph Antoney and my paternal great grandfather, Emanuel Vero. What a coincidence, two people from the Azores Islands, Portugal from two sides of the family.

I wonder what made them come to Australia, they could have chosen any country after all couldn't they? Emanuel is a mystery to me as I have not been able to correctly identify him from shipping lists. He married Dorothy Oswald on 20th June 1874 in Newcastle, New South Wales and went on to have nine children.

Joseph was a sailor and left the Fiery Star in Brisbane, Queensland on 20 November 1864. He married Elizabeth Hannah Young on 30 July 1867 and settled in Bowen and later the Mackay district. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, Joseph was declared an Alien in 1920 and applied for and was granted Naturalisation. I say fortunately because Joseph listed all the places he had been as a sailor which has allowed me to build up a picture of his life before Australia. I wonder why Joseph chose to leave the ship in Brisbane when he had been all around the world, I guess he saw opportunity.

Thinking of these two men, they both had 'new beginnings' and new lives in Australia. Emanuel found work at the docks in Newcastle as a coal trimmer and life was hard as I have mentioned in previous posts. Joseph had a more fortunate life in that he selected property and farmed the land. A strange occupation for a seaman perhaps? Maybe he came from farming stock in the Azores, I will never know. I also wonder how they managed with the language, no English classes then for migrants! 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

52 Ancestors #21 - three family members on Gallipoli

This post is for Week 21 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week  -  Military. As this is the 100th Anniversary of Anzac, I thought I would write about some of my ancestors who fought on Gallipoli. 

Firstly there is Henry Surman Connor - known as Harry - Harry was wounded just after midnight on the 2nd May 1915 at Courtney's Post, in the Dardanelles (Gallipoli). Harry was evacuated and died at Heliopolis, Egypt on the 7th May 1915.

Then there was Harold George McKerihanHarold died of wounds received at Lone Pine Gallipoli, on 16th August 1915 at Alexandria, Egypt, just two months after leaving Australia. His baby daughter Una was just 11 months old and would never know her father.

Finally, Major Gilbert Samuel Colin Latona Birkbeck for the 2nd Light Horse Regiment survived Gallipoli and went on to the Egypt and Palestine where he received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and was Mentioned In Dispatches (MID).

As I continue my research this year I may find other family members that fought on Gallipoli or indeed in WWI. The stories of these brave men were astonishing and we must remember them.
A view of Anzac Cove possibly taken about mid-summer 1915. [AWM A03632]

Happy birthday

Today would have been my mother's 91st birthday. The first birthday without her but she remains forever in my heart. 

I am fortunate indeed that with my grandmother I now have two genie angels watching over my family history meanderings.

Happy 91st birthday Mum.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A small world

Yesterday at the Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) we had the pleasure of hosting a visit from the Caloundra Family History Society. Such an interesting group of people. They came down by coach, and I hope enjoyed the day. 

In the afternoon I was helping one of the members with a research question, trying to find a birth notice for one of her relatives. We tried a few things without success when she happened to mention the name O'Loughlin from Mackay. Well my ears pricked up as my ex-husband is an O'Loughlin from Mackay and we soon realised that her great-aunt, Ada Eily Isobel Baker, was my ex-husband's grandmother. Small world indeed. 

I love the connections that you find in family history don't you? It suddenly makes a bond, and you realise that there is only a small degree of separation between us all.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

52 Ancestors #20 - black sheep

This post is for Week 20 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week  -  black sheep.

I have several ancestors in my family who could be considered troublemakers or ne'er-do wells, the problem is deciding who would be the one to write about today.

It could be William Nelson McCann, AKA William McCann Neilson, he is fascinating, but I need to sort through the pile of newspaper clippings I have on William to write coherently. Perhaps it could be Joseph Emanual Antoney, known as 'Manny the murderer' in the family, but have I sorted through the inquest papers and comments from family members? No of course I haven't.

What this post has brought to my attention is the need to organise my plethora of newspaper clippings on family members. Just as well I am using Evernote!

So this is all I am saying about the black sheep in my family for now, stay tuned for further posts when I have organised my filing.
The black sheep of the family
© Copyright 
Nigel Mykura and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

52 Ancetors #19 - Emanuel Vero - a great-grandfather

This post is for Week 19 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week  -  there's a way.

I have often wondered about my paternal great-grandfather Emanuel Vero. I know little about him, he died in 1905 in Newcastle, New South Wales after all. Emanuel arrived in Australia from Portugal, the Azores Islands, before 1874 when he married Dorothy Oswald in Newcastle, New South Wales. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find an accurate shipping record for Emanuel, perhaps he swam!

Emanuel & Dorothy had nine children, five boys and four girls all born in the suburbs of Newcastle. Emanuel worked at the coal-loading port as a coal trimmer, and that is where he met his future son-in-law Arthur Connor. 

Life was hard in the suburb of Carrington for families and in 1894 Emanuel applied for bankruptcy as noted in the Maitland Weekly Mercury of 7 Jul 1894, he was aged 58 at the time. Emanuel and his family were obviously respected by the local community as in April 1902 the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate reported that a meeting was held to make final arrangement for the Vero Family Benefit with the Mayor Alderman Light occupying the chair.

This was obviously successful as the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate reported on Wednesday 23 April 1902.

Emanuel and Dorothy lost a son, William Joseph, in March 1902, he was 20 years of age.

I wonder what exactly were the hard times that befell the Vero family in the later part of the 19th century, first causing Emanuel to apply for bankruptcy and then for the community to hold a benefit concert. I hope that the proceeds from the concert and the obvious kindness of the local community helped the family.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Favourite photos of my Mum

Today is Mother's Day, the first without my mother. I was feeling quite sad until I read Randy Seaver's blog post about Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. You might think that's a bit strange but Randy inspired me to think of happy moments I had spent with my Mum. His suggestion of looking through old photos drew me to the albums and boxes of photos and I thought I would share a couple of them.
Boxing Day Picnic c1951

We always went on a Boxing Day picnic when I was young, at a creek that is now submerged under a dam. My grandfather boiled the billy, cooked steak, we had watermelon of course and he cooled the drinks in the creek. Happy memories.

More happy memories, we spent so much time at the beach, my grandparents had a house near the beach at Surfers' Paradise.

I love this one of Mum as well, it's at the front of "Havering" the house at Surfers' Paradise - I think she looks relaxed and happy.

This last photo is Mum ready to go out for the day, taken at my grandparents house in Windsor, c1951, I used this photo on the front of the funeral order of service.

My mother was an beautiful, elegant, reserved woman. A true woman of her era. She always instinctively knew the right way to do everything, and always had everything in its rightful place.

Happy Mothers'Day Mum

Patricia Dorothea 28 May 1924 - 17 March 2015

Friday, 8 May 2015

52 Ancestors #18 - Jonas Thomas - a 4th great-grandfather

This post is for Week 18 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 18 - Where There's a Will.

Aren't wills an amazing insight into someone's life? It is an opportunity to glimpse a fragment of their lives. Sometimes it is a clue to other family members that you weren't aware existed. Sometimes it allows you see how different family members were perceived by the testator. For example, in the will of Jonas Thomas, my 4th great-grandfather, he mentioned his son James Thomas owing him money, so he reduced the amount left to him, another insight into the Thomas family.
Jonas Thomas Will, Somerset, 1825

My 9th great-grandfather, Johannis Proverbs' Will revealed a daughter Mary Budd. Mary had obviously married a man named Budd as Johannis left her 3 acres of land. I could then trace her in the English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800  records. Without the will of Johannis, I would not have known of Mary's existence.

Reflection on A to Z Challenge 2015

Well, I survived the April A to Z Challenge for 2015 and found I enjoyed thinking about my different ancestors. My original theme was going to be first names from my family file, and I seemed to be successful with that most of he time but managed to veer off course as well.

Having lost my mother early in March, I found that the discipline of the challenge allowed me to focus on the richness of my family heritage and not dwell on the sadness. I remembered the happy times, the funny quirks that an aunt had, the eccentric great-uncle and much more.

So, thanks to Arlee Bird and the Challenge Team - can't wait for next year.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Z is for catching some Z's (#AtoZChallenge)

Z is for catching some Z's (#AtoZChallenge)

Catching some Z's - to get some sleep. In comic strips, Zs are used to show that someone is sleeping or snoring (

It has been great fun participating in the Challenge for 2015, especially reading other posts. We are all creative people and seeing how everyone interpreted the alphabet was amazing.

So, after an exciting month of the A to Z Challenge I think it's time to relax with a cup of tea and catch some Z's.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

52 ANcestors #17 - all my ancestors who came to Australia

This post is for Week 17 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 17 - Prosper.

I have chosen all my ancestors who came to Australia for this post. From the earliest, Peter McCann, who arrived in January 1800 to the latest, Catherine Eunice McLaren, who arrived in 1890, they were all coming to an unknown land. Some like Peter McCann and other convicts had no choice to come to Australia. Others, like Granny McCann, came to Australia from New Zealand with two of her sisters for an adventure and stayed. 

Image: SS Great Britain leaving Prince’s Pier, Liverpool, for Australia, 1852. ANMM Collection
Regardless of how my ancestors came to Australia, they found a new land and endless opportunities for those who were willing and able to work. The McCann side of my family went on to develop the cement industry in Victoria, farmed and developed various successful business ventures. The Connor side, from County Derry, farmed and learnt trades and experienced different occupations. The Thomas side also farmed and ventured into business in Queensland. And so on ...

What this tells me is that a number of my ancestors, except for the convicts, of course, made the decision to risk all and start a new life on the other side of the world. How it must have seemed alien to them, the weather, the vegetation and the animals. Imagine when they first saw a kangaroo, or a large snake, or the strange birds, they must have wondered where they were. Of course, many of the younger members of the family would have relished the experience but I think of the mothers who had to adapt to a strange new world.

Thank you to all of my ancestors who journeyed to Australia, we have certainly prospered because of you.

Y is for Yesterday (#AtoZChallenge)

Y is for Yesterday (#AtoZChallenge)

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
oh, I believe in yesterday

Written by Paul McCartney in 1965, Yesterday holds the record as the most covered song in history, according to the Guinness Book of Records. As a child of the sixties, it takes me back to yesterdays - and I did love Paul McCartney in the sixties.

For a family historian, yesterday has many meanings. The obvious one of the day before today, but perhaps it means more. Perhaps it means all the yesterdays, all the days gone before. Maybe it takes us back to the times before we were born, back in the time of our great-grandparents or further still to our 4th great-grandparents. We can imagine what their lives were like back then, dream about the yesterdays - so that is Y is for Yesterday.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

X is for his or her mark (#AtoZChallenge)

X is for his or her mark (#AtoZChallenge)

Do you have early documents where an X is placed for a signature denoting his or her mark?  I have many of these, mostly by women, as reading and writing was uncommon among the 'ordinary' folk.

William Connor & Mary Cameron marriage 1853 New South Wales

The above Marriage Registration is of my great grandparents William Connor and Mary Cameron at Bartie's Farm near Hinton New South Wales in 1853. As you can see on the right-hand side Mary Cameron made her mark of an X, so signifying her agreement to the marriage.

I have often thought of Mary and her inability to read and write, she had a very hard life after William died in 1875 and it must have been incredibly difficult to understand what was going on around her at times.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here.

Monday, 27 April 2015

W is for Wilderness (#AtoZChallenge)

W is for Wilderness (#AtoZChallenge)

Perhaps W should be for William, after all, there are 209 males with that name in my family file but thinking of genealogy, it can be charting your way through a wilderness, so this post is ... W is for Wilderness.

When I first started family history back in the late 1980s, everything was on paper, records, books, plans, etc. It took time and effort to go to repositories and libraries to seek out the material. I then got distracted with family and work and didn't come back to family history until 2001. What a difference, the emergence of digital records made.

But, it raised a lot of questions, hence the wilderness analogy. Finding the gold among the millions of records online is like a trek through the wilderness to find your way home. It's a fascinating trek though, twists and turns on every path, false starts, wrong turns and misplaced records. 

I still use repositories and libraries to find records and view original documents, but the digital age has certainly helped me find my through the genealogical wilderness.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

V is for Vincent (#AtoZChallenge)

V is for Vincent (#AtoZChallenge)

V is for Vincent, Vincent Joseph (Vince) Connor, my father. Vincent was born on the 18th June 1915 in Newcastle, New South Wales, the sixth child of Arthur Connor & Dorothy Vero. His mother, Dorothy, died in 1923 of breast cancer and exhaustion when he was only eight and his eldest sister Kath, aged fourteen,  took over the responsibility of caring for the family of seven.

Vincent worked as a fitter at the steelworks and joined the Australian Army in 1940. He was drafted into the Service Corps and served in Queensland, Victoria and New Guinea. He met my mother in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens one Sunday in 1946, and they married on the 14th October 1946 at the Holy Trinity Church of England, Fortitude Valley.

Unfortunately, things did not go well for the marriage and Vincent deserted my mother early in February 1947. I did not know my father but have managed to piece together through family history a sketch of his life. He did not marry again and died in November 2001 in Glenroy, Victoria. From  his death certificate, Vincent died of bowel cancer and schizophrenia. Tracing his life it became evident the he had suffered from schizophrenia while in the army and afterwards with quite strange notations in his service record. He was in and out of Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne for a number of years and lived in a nearby hostel where he cooked for the residents and helped with the garden.

I think Vincent lived a solitary life and I wish I had had the opportunity to know him. He did not appear in any public records after his marriage in 1946 and I traced him only when the State Trustees in Victoria put a private tree on Ancestry. So you see, Ancestry can be useful.

Vincent is buried in the Yan Yean Lawn Cemetery, Victoria.
Rest in Peace Dad ...

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here

Friday, 24 April 2015

U is for Unnamed (#AtoZChallenge)

U is for Unnamed (#AtoZChallenge) 

U is for unnamed. It is sad when you  find unnamed male or female in your family line. You usually find this in the BDM registers when searching for births of a couple. Sometimes you find it in a family bible. One of my Connor families has three unnamed males between 1862 and 1870. I cannot begin to comprehend the sadness that must have accompanied these births. Other families have named children who died soon after birth.

So to all the unnamed angels in my family file I hope you are looking down on me and smiling over my genie research.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

T is for Travel (#AtoZChallenge)

T is for Travel (#AtoZChallenge)

T could be for Tamsen, Terence, Tessa, Thelma, Theodore or Theodorus, Theresa or Teresa, Theron, Thomas, Thora, Thurza, Tiarna, Timothy, Tom, Toni, Tony, Toree, Tracey, Tressa, Trevor,  Tristan, Trixie, Troy or Trudy. But it is not, it is for TRAVEL.

Yesterday I mused about my Barbados family and this has inspired me to plan some travel. I have never ventured to the Eastern United States or the Carribean and have often thought about travelling there, especially in the Autumn (or Fall) and seeing the beautiful foliage.

Well, next year is the year to travel, definitely next year.  This year will be taken up with some health issues, getting them right with some surgery etc. Then ... next year it is on. The plan is to travel to the UK and Ireland then the Carribean and Eastern United States - then home to Brisbane.  Planning it will be such fun. Some geat opportunities for some genie travel, will have to see when some genie events are on next year ... advice welcome.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here

S is for Sarjeant (#AtoZChallenge)

S is for Sarjeant. (#AtoZChallenge)

S could be for Samuel, after all I have thirty-three of them in my family file. It obviously was a very popular name in my family. However, I am going to write about a recently discovered family line in my tree, the Sarjeant line.

As I have written before I have a fascinating family connection to Barbados through my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Sarsfield Donovan, descended from Johannis Proverbs, my ninth great-grandfather who died in Barbados in 1685. 

So while exploring the Barbados family history I came across my 4th great-great aunt, Jane or Jean Proverbs who married James Edghill. Now the Edghill name occurs here and there in the family tree, so I thought it worth investigating, as you do. Jane's son William Bracey Edghill (Bracey is another recurring family name) married Sarah Elizabeth Archer in St Phillip Barbados in 1829 and their daughter Frances Elizabeth Edghill married, wait for it, Joseph Courier Saramento Lewis Sarjeant- also known as Joseph Saramento. I had more or less ignored this line; after all, it is peripheral but being a bit bored recently I decided to explore, again, as you do.

What I found was an interesting, indeed fascinating group of people who moved between, Barbados, Trinidad, United Staes and Venezuela. It has become quite absorbing to trace their movements across the United States, many ending in California. 

I have thought about their movements and related them to my Australian families that moved to Australia from Irelan, England, Scotland, and Portugal. Just yesterday I found that a 5th cousin once removed, Richard Maxwell Sarjeant died in Adelaide, South Australia in 1990. It appears that Richard, his wife and his widowed mother Elsie Violet Maude Sarjeant moved to Australia shortly after his father died in Barbados in 1964. Another connection, albeit a distant one. A new resolve to visit Barbados ...

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

R is for Rebecca (#AtoZChallenge)

R is for Rebecca (#AtoZChallenge)

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again ...

This is the opening line to Daphne du Maurier's most famous novel Rebecca. I love all of Daphne du Maurier's stories but Rebecca is probably my favourite, I often reread it. I am obviously not alone - there were 2,829,313 copies of Rebecca sold between 1938 and 1965, and the book has never gone out of print (Wikipedia).

For those who have never had the pleasure of reading Rebecca, let me tell you a little about the book and later 1940 film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

The story is a psychological thriller/drama. A naïve young woman, whose name is never mentioned, is in Monte Carlo working as a paid companion when she meets the aristocratic widower Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter. They fall in love, and within two weeks they are married.

She is now the second "Mrs. de Winter"; Maxim takes her back to Manderley, his country house in Cornwall. The housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers is domineering and cold and is obsessed with the beauty and sophistication of the first Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca, all things that the new wife is not.

I  could have written about one of th thirteen women named Rebecca in my family file but thought Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca much more interesting. What do you think?  Do you also love the story of Rebecca? Maybe I will read Rebecca agin this weekend ....

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here.