Friday, 27 February 2015

52Ancestors #10 - Vigereux Morris Clement Birkbeck - a half great uncle

This post is for Week 10 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 10, Stormy Weather. I have decided to write about my Uncle Morrie who lived for a long time in Cairns, Nth Queensland.

Morrie was the half brother of my maternal grandmother, Dorothy May McCann nee Thomas. He was the youngest of three children born in 1915 to Gilbert Samuel Colin Letona Birkbeck and Annie Jacintha Mary Elizabeth Thomas, nee Antoney in Mackay.

Morrie & Viv Birkbeck & Family (Cairns)
Uncle Morrie married Vivienne Ham in 1939 in Gympie and together the couple had six children, four boys and two girls, all born in Queensland. I am not sure when Morrie and Viv moved to Cairns but remember them being there in the early 1960s.

The reason I am writing about the Birkbeck family is that they lived in tropical North Queensland where the weather was often stormy and tropical cyclones were no rarity. The cyclone season is between November and April. Indeed, in the 1970s there were four cyclones that battered the Cairns coast and caused flooding and wind damage. So anyone living in North Queensland was always prepared for the stormy weather. 

Bureau of Meteorology Map
See the map for Queensland from the Bureau of Meteorology displaying the number of cyclones off the coast from 1961 and 1997. It looks like a child has scribbled with a texta pen but each coloured line represents the path of a tropical cyclone.

I remember my grandmother being teased by her youngest brother and her entering into the fun - I miss those carefree days.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

52 Ancestors # 9 - Bernard Patrick (Pat) Connor - an uncle

This post is for Week 9 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 9, Close to Home  - I will write about my uncle Bernard Patrick (Pat) Connor. 

I did not know this uncle of mine but he died on my birthday 27th April 1999 in Brisbane - so he is Close to Home. Pat Connor was born on the 7th December 1919 in Carrington, a suburb of Newcastle, NSW. The youngest of eight Connor children to Arthur and Dorothy nee Vero, Pat lost his mother to breast cancer when he was only three years old and his eldest sister Mary Kathleen (Kath) took on the role of mother and housekeeper for the family.

Somehow Pat was in Adelaide, South Australia in March 1940 working as a Butcher's Improver when he enlisted in the Australian Army, he was 20 years and 3 months old. Pat was given the Service # SX2068 and joined the 2/3 Field Regiment Battery, 2nd A.I.F. and embarked from Melbourne for overseas in August 1940 and disembarked in Palestine on the 27th October of that year. He was sent on strength to the 6th Australian Division Artillery Traning Regiment and while there managed to have a couple of offences such as - conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline - in that on one occasion he was improperly dressed and on another that he had by neglect lost his military clothing and necessities - for this Pat served 27 days detention and 6 days confined to barracks. Pat then underwent weapons training and passed the course. He joined the 2/3 Field Regiment Battery, 6th Australian Division, 2nd A.I.F. and embarked on the S.S. Pennland on the 31st March 1941 for Crete.

Wordless Wednesday - Antoney grave Mackay Cemetery

Antoney graves, Mackay Cemetery, photo taken 1930

Sunday, 22 February 2015

52Ancestors #8 - Joseph Antoney - a 2nd great-grandfather revisited

This post is for Week 8 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 8, Good Deeds - I thought about this quite a bit and decided I would revisit Joseph Antoney. You can read my blog post about Joseph here.

Joseph arrived as a seaman on the Fiery Star in November 1864 and next appears in Bowen, Queensland in 1867 when he marries. He was still in Bowen in 1869 when his first child was born and in the Mackay district in 1877 when his next child was born. I have always wondered why he ended up in Bowen (Port Denison) and why he went on to Mackay.
Early Bowen - Sourced from Picture Qld, State Library of Qld

So, I thought I would do a bit more sleuthing and try and trace Joseph through land records - deeds.

Joseph first appears as Joseph Anthony in the Crown Land Sales in Queensland in 1868 purchasing 5 acres of land in the Country Land Purchase A Register in the Parish of Howard, Southern District, County of Carlisle. As this was shortly after his marriage I imagine this was where he intended to settle. Following on from this purchase, in 1874 Joseph took up a Conditional Lease of 100 acres agricultural and 162 acres of 2nd Class Pastoral land in the Bowen District. This lease of 262 acres was forfeited in 1879.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

52Ancestors # 7 - Catherine McCann - a 3rd great-great-aunt

This post is for Week 7 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 7, Love and the prompt that interested me was the one - which ancestor seemed to have a lot of love?

Well, my 3rd great-great-aunt Catherine McCann would seem to fit this bill. Catherine was the second child born in the colony of New South Wales to Peter McCann [Minerva, 1800] & his wife Mary nee Fitzgerald [Atlas 1, 1802] on 1 July 1805 at Windsor. Her birth was recorded in the St Phillip's Church of England, Sydney register and she was baptised on the 21st July 1805. Peter & Mary were both convicts from Ireland and at the time of Catherine's birth were farming in the Windsor district. Catherine lost her father, Peter McCann, on Tuesday 21st October 1806 when he drowned while crossing a log bridge on flooded Rickaby's Creek. His body was not found.

Catherine would have had a hard life as a child as all children did then. Her mother Mary married twice more in 1807 & 1813 and had four more children. Perhaps that is why Catherine decided to marry early, to have some independence and her own life.

Catherine married Robert Chedd (Chidd, Chead) [Somersetshire, 1814] on the 12th November 1819 at Castlereagh, New South Wales. The ceremony was performed by the Rev Henry Fulton. Catherine had yet to celebrate her 15th birthday and Robert was 22. Her first daughter, Ann, to Robert Chedd [Shed] was born on the 18th February 1821 and baptized into the Church of England at Castlereagh on the 6th May 1821.

The Mutch Index shows the birth to Catherine of a second daughter, Mary Cheed/Chidd or Smith on the 8th October 1823. The child is also listed in the Index separately under Smith. This birth was that of a daughter of Thomas Smith and Catherine Chidd. An official document prepared in 1821 showing births in the Castlereagh & Richmond districts lists Thomas Smith and Catherine Chidd as unmarried and the parents of Mary. Catherine Chidd is recorded later under the surname of Smith in the church records of the birth of her third child Sarah, born in March 1826.

Wordless Wednesday - St Phillip's Church Sydney

Thanks to the State Library of NSW for this watercolour of St Phillip's Church Sydney in 1809. This is where Catherine McCann's birth & baptism was registered in 1805.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Wordless Wednesday - The Pride of Barbados

The National Flower of Barbados is the Pride of Barbados (Dwarf Poinciana or Flower Fence).

Monday, 9 February 2015

52 Ancestors # 6 - Johannis Proverbs - a ninth great-grandfather

This post is for Week 6 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 6, So Far Away. This prompt suggests - which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? So, I have selected my 9th great-grandfather Johannis (John) Proverbs who lived in Barbados.

So a little bit about Barbados ...
The first English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625. They took possession of it in the name of King James I. In 1627 the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and it became an English and later British colony (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Rosetta Beale's Headstone

Rosetta Beale nee Johnson - 1845 - Botany Pioneer Memorial Park, NSW
Rosetta was originally buried in the Sandhills/Devonshire Street Cemetery which was resumed in 1901 for the construction of Sydney's Central Railway Station. You can read about Rosetta here.