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.