Friday, October 4, 2019

Proof the twins existed

Since purchasing Ernie Dawson's war medals, I have been trying to find out more about his war experiences.

A search at the National Archives last night for All Records, not just WW1 turned up a digitised 244 page document of post war information. I will discuss this in more detail in a later post. This post, however, is dedicated to a family story that has not previously been documented.

My second cousin Fay asked me earlier this year if I had heard about Bridget's (our great grandmother's) twins - her first born children. Her aunt had told her about them. This was news to me! I only had 16 children born to Bridget Mylan and her husband Harry Dawson. A thorough search of NSW BDMs failed to find the birth or death of twins. A search in Victoria also proved fruitless.

However, while going through the document last night I discovered evidence that the twins existed.

Ernie had applied for benefits under the Repatriation Act and had to give details of his family's medical history. It is difficult to see when this was filled in but it appears to be late 1958 or early 1959.

Dawson family medical details

Ernie's father Harry had died at age 57 from a heart attack. His mother Bridget died at 76 from asthma and heart.

Ernie had six living brothers, Bill, Don, Stan, Cyril (Peter), Norman and Harold who were aged from 42 to 60 and were all in good health. His four surviving sisters, Florence, Dorothea, Doris and Ruth were aged from 50 to 68 years and were in good health apart from one who was only fair!

This record states that 2 sisters had died. This was incorrect as 3 of his sisters had died by this time. Alice died in 1899 aged 9 months and Doreen was only 4 months old when she died in December 1902. Kathleen died in 1954 aged 56.

The most interesting section of course is the number of brothers who had died. There were four. Bert had died in 1957 and Rupert was killed in an accident at Callan Park in 1898 when he was 11 years old. (I have previously blogged about this accident here and here.)

Ernie also had twin brothers who died at birth. Here is the evidence that Bridget and Harry did indeed have twins. I have now added these boys into my family database.

May God bless you both.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ernest Lee Dawson - Medals back in family

It certainly pays to blog. I was very fortunate that I checked my email on my phone a few weeks ago, while I was travelling home from a weekend away (My husband was driving!) The message simply stated to have a look at a listing on Trademe New Zealand. Key words in the link included medals, antiques and collectables.

My interest was piqued!

The link showed medals which originally belonged to my great uncle Ernest Lee Dawson (1885-1968). I responded to the email as to why she sent me this message and the reply was that she had read an article of mine after seeing the medals online and conducting a little research. Thanks Kate!

I had previously bid online for a postcard written by my great grandmother and the experience was positive. So, although this was going to cost significantly more, I knew I had to bid for the items.

  1. 1914-1915 Star
  2. British War Medal
  3. Victory Medal
  4. Gallipoli Medal
  5. Gallipoli Medal Lapel Badge

1915-1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Gallipoli Medal and Lapel Badge

Obverse side of medals

Needless to say I won the auction after some harrowing final minutes!

Ernie married late in life and his wife Ivy had been previously married and I believe she had children. She died in 1986 so I'm assuming her children had the medals after this date. So what happened to the medals between 1986 and 2019?

I was told that they were auctioned by Noble's Auctions on Thursday 4th April 2019. I can see that I paid less than the winning bid at that auction, so I'm content. If anyone can shed light on where the medals have been for the past 33 years I'd love to know.

Ernest Lee Dawson, the eldest child of William Henry Dawson and Bridget Mylan was born in Cooma on 18th January 1885. The family later moved to Sydney where his father was a wardsman at Callan Park. When land opportunities arose on the north coast of NSW the family moved to Bonalbo.

Ernie spent five years in Shanghai as a military policeman at the beginning of the 20th century and I have blogged about one of his experiences here and hereHe (No. 500) enlisted for World War 1 on 25th August 1914 and became a member of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment. This regiment consisted mainly of Queenslanders and men from northern New South Wales. They landed on Gallipoli 12 May 1915 and Ernie was evacuated from Gallipoli on 5th August 1915. He spend much of the war in England and arrived back in Australia in 1920.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Happy 200th birthday William Lee Dawson

200 years ago today (16th September 1819) at 2:30 a.m., my great, great grandfather William Lee Dawson was born in County Dublin to Robert Dawson and his wife Eleanor Giles. Happy birthday William Lee.

Document detailing the births of the Dawson children.

William Lee was later baptised at St Michan's Parish in Dublin. Last year, I was fortunate to visit St Michan's Church. I just missed the tour of the church and underground crypt and the church had just been closed. After pleading my case we were let into the church and I took several photos. It was a special moment to walk through the church.

Stained glass, St Michan's Dublin
St Michan's Dublin
There were two baptismal fonts, one of which appeared much older than the other. This was probably the baptismal font used when William Lee was baptised.

Baptismal font

Baptismal font

I have previously blogged about William Lee here:

1. Australia Day Challenge
2. Family Treasures - Cylinder
3. Family Homes - No 2 - Franklin, Tasmania
4. Australia Day 2012 - Wealth for Toil - Dr William Lee Dawson
5. 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records - Week 8 Diaries
6. Trove Tuesday - The Man who Hanged his Wife
7. 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks - Week 1

Friday, April 26, 2019

James Agnew's Burial Place

Recently, I was in Canberra for a meeting and a conference so I took the opportunity to visit Cooma in an attempt to locate the burial place of my ggg grandparents James and Ellen Agnew.
James died on 14th July 1864 at Countegany and his death certificate states he was buried at Cooma.  Ellen died on 13th May 1891 and was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery Cooma. Unlike his brother Henry who died in 1884 and has a headstone at Mittagang Cemetery, there is no headstone for James or Ellen there.
The only real clue I had came from Monumental Inscriptions Monaro. 1. Christ Church is an Anglican Church just out of Cooma on Church Road and was an early burial place for the Cooma district.

Christ Church Maneroo 1845  

Christ Church

Although Anglican, early Catholic burials took place there. Thanks to transcribers in 1977 I had two clues. Graves 106 and 107 were for a Patrick Agnew and James Agnew. The remainder of the headstones were indecipherable at that time. I knew that one of James' grandsons was a  Patrick Agnew who had died on 6th March 1865. Perhaps he was buried next to his grandfather.
The first issue was that graves 106 and 107 were supposedly in the Protestant section. 108 was a lone Jewish burial and Roman Catholic burials were from 109. The Agnews, of course, were Catholic and I couldn’t imagine that they were buried in the Protestant section.
It would have made it easier if the headstones had markers which corresponded to the numbers in the book. I had great difficulty trying to work out any pattern to the numbering system. I found the Protestant section but couldn’t find any headstones where I thought 106 and 107 should be. I began to wonder if perhaps 106 and 107 were actually in the Catholic section so I began searching in the far section. 
Knowing that the headstones were indecipherable in the 1970s, I began looking for ones that had fallen. Bingo! I found a small slab which appears to have been at the bottom of a grave. 1865 was clearly visible. Had I found Patrick’s grave? What looks like S.D. is confusing as I don't know what that would mean.

S.D. 1865 

Possible location of Agnew graves

View back to the Church
The remains of another headstone was nearby so I think I might have found the resting place for both James Agnew and his grandson Patrick. 
The obituary of James' son John, who died in 1910 states that he was laid to rest in the Old Catholic Cemetery up Cooma Creek alongside his father and mother. 2. 
So perhaps there are at least four Agnews buried here.

1. The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc, 1999Monumental Inscriptions MonaroGenie PublishingFyshwick ACT.
2. Undated newspaper clipping.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Family Treasures - Piano Accordion

This morning I was listening to the radio and a woman was being interviewed about and was playing a button accordion. It made me think of the accordion in my cupboard.

Accordion belonging to either Knox or John Moore, Wallangarra

Internet research leads me to believe that it is a Vienna model Hohner diatonic accordion made in Germany. The melody is played on the row of buttons on the right. There are two buttons on the left for bass and chord accompaniment. Only one of the three draw stops at the top remains.

One day when I was probably about 10, my uncle Matthew Moore (1907-1981) gave me the accordion which had belonged to someone in the family. Now of course I can't remember who owned it. It was either his father Knox Moore or his grandfather John. Did it come with the family when they emigrated from Ireland or did they have it when they lived and worked in the sugar mills in Greenock, Scotland? Perhaps it was purchased after they came to live in Australia.

I may have known the answers to these questions when I was ten years old but have now forgotten.
The fact that the story has been forgotten highlights the message from a lecture I attended last year in Sydney by Judy Russell titled "Just Three Generations". Her message -  If we don’t tell the stories of those who came before, and our lives, the history will be lost in just 3 generations.

Now the only story that remains is that the accordion belonged to either my great grandfather Knox Moore or my great great grandfather John Moore. I don't know the answer to the many questions I have. Did he enjoy playing? Did he play at local dances or solely for the pleasure of his family? Were his children taught to play?

Don't forget to write down your family stories.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Stoneykirk Cemetery - John Milroy and Jane McCarlie

My 5g grandparents John Milroy and his wife Jane McCarlie are buried in Stoneykirk, Wigtownshire, Scotland. I had seen a photograph of their headstone but I just had to see it myself.

The short drive from Stranraer was along narrow county lanes. Unfortunately it began to rain but I was not to be deterred.

Almost at Stoneykirk

My previous research on Google maps had shown that St Stephen's Church and graveyard was tucked away behind two houses in Stoneykirk.

St Stephen's, Stoneykirk, Stranraer

Unfortunately it began to rain and became quite miserable so we were forced to abandon the search for John and Jane. If I had been able to access the image I had of the headstone it would have given me a clue to its specific location. My plan (unbeknown to my husband) was that I would return early the following morning before we caught the ferry to Belfast.

The headstone was easy to locate the following morning. It had been on my husband's side of the graveyard to search and he had misread the surname on the headstone!

John Milroy (1770 - 1847) and his wife Jane McCarlie (1770-1851)

John Milroy (1770 - 1847) and his wife Jane (Mc)Carlie (1770-1851)
John Milroy
Late tenant in FREUGH who departed this life
the 30th December 1847, aged 77 years
Whosoever they hand findeth to do, do it
with thy might for there is no work nor device nor
knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither tour guest.
JANE CARLIE his Wife who departed this life 19th June 1851
AGED 84 years
MARGARET MILROY his Daughter died 23rd August 1875
AGED 82 years
ALEXANDER MILROY his son Farmer in Galdenoch
died 11th Sept 1879 aged 86 (?) years
died 18th Mary 1891 aged 82 years
JAMES MILROY who died at Galdenoch

The Scottish Old Parish Registers state that John died on 31st December 1847 and was buried on 2nd January 1848. (1) Note the difference between offical date of death and date on the headstone.
Showing location of headstone, church is in the other direction

The back of John and Jane's headstone showing location in relation  to the church

I'll need to start saving again as I would like to explore this area of Scotland further as there is much I didn't get to uncover.

My line from John Milroy and Jane (Mc)Carlie - James Milroy and Elizabeth McGill - Jane Milroy and James Fleming, Jane Smith Fleming and Malcolm McColm - Mary McColm and Knox Moore, James Moore and Esme Merchant, Ronald Moore and Dorothy Dawson - Sharon Moore

1. MILROY, JOHN  (Church registers Old Parish Registers Records 898/ 30 167) Page 167 of 179.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sheuchan Cemetery, Stranraer - Fleming family

Last year, I travelled overseas to a wedding in Paris. Afterwards I simply had to continue with my genealogy research, but where to go?

As Ireland was going to be one of the stops and the ferry from Scotland to Northern Ireland leaves from Portpatrick, the nearby towns of Stranraer and Newton Stewart had to figure in the itinerary as my father's Scottish ancestors lived in this area.

As soon as we arrived in Stranraer, I immediately went to the local museum and purchased a copy of Memorial Transcriptions in Stranraer, 2 Sheuchan Cemetery.

The Sheuchan Cemetery is located in Leswalt High Road, Stranraer alongside the High Kirk.

High Kirk, Leswalt High Road, Stranraer

The index revealed names from my Fleming family so I was delighted to discover that my great, great, great grandmother Jane Milroy and her husband James Fleming were buried there. The visible gravestone map in the booklet showed exactly where I would find the headstone.

Fleming family headstone, Sheuchan Cemetery, Stranraer, Scotland

In loving remembrance of Jane MILROY, wife of James FLEMING who died at West Galdenoch, Stoneykirk 5th June 1872, aged 44 years. Also their children, Elizabeth, died 13th April 1856, aged 4 1/2. Ebenezer, died 16th March 1859, aged 18 months. Isabel, died 3rd Sept 1869 aged 6 months. Jane Smith, died in Queensland, 22nd Jan 1888, aged 34 years. Also James FLEMING, the above who died in Edinburgh 27th April 1901, aged 77 years, and is interred here. John IRVING (Sculptor)

I was so pleased to find mention of Jane Smith Fleming (McColm)'s death in Queensland. Jane, my great, great grandmother had died in Wallangarra, Queensland in 1888 and doesn't have a headstone there. So it was very special to see a reference to her.

This link to an image on google maps shows the location of the Fleming headstone which is one of the headstones next to the fence.

James Fleming's brother Ebenezer Fleming, MD is also buried in the same cemetery. He died on 10th Mary 1868, aged 34 years. His memorial is on the eastern side of the headstone.

Adair family, Sheuchan Cemetery, Stranraer, Scotland,
Son-in-law Ebenezer Fleming is also buried here.

James Fleming and Jane Milroy - Jane Smith Fleming and Malcolm McColm - Mary McColm and Knox Moore - James Moore and Esme Merchant - Ronald Moore - Sharon Moore