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

Friday, August 31, 2018

Jas McCook Royal Hotel, Wallangarra - Postcard

I grew up in the small border town of Wallangarra and members of my family lived there from the very early days of settlement. Recently I was alerted to a postcard on eBay of James McCook's Royal Hotel. When I saw the postcard I knew I had to have it.

Jas McCook, Royal Hotel, Wallangarra, c. 1914-1915?

Reverse of postcard

Starting with the reverse of the postcard I wanted to identify the 3 people mentioned. Polly was easy. She was my great-grandmother Mary Moore (McColm) (1885-1939). Mary is readily identified with the McCooks and the Royal Hotel. My grandfather, her second son, was born there in January 1909 and Mary's husband Knox was the nephew of Rosetta McCook, wife of the proprietor. The Moores lived and worked at the hotel.

A search on electoral rolls has identified Elizabeth and Christopher Noye living in Warwick with their daughter Alice Elizabeth. Alice was born in 1889, so she, rather than her mother, was probably Polly's friend. ( Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.)

The postcard is a treasure trove! Details that I can make out on a high resolution scan include:
  • 6 men, 6 women and 5 children
  • Jas. McCook. Royal Hotel sign
  • Licensed Billiards sign
  • BAR sign
  • bedrooms on the second storey which open onto the verandah
  • gauze doors on the bedroom windows
  • a chaise lounge and 3 single chairs on the verandah on the second storey
  • a long ladder on the ground
  • a hitching post outside the hotel
  • a teacup on the rail

Who are the people?

I am positive that the boy on the left in front of the bar sign is my grandfather James Moore. I have another confirmed image of him when he was smaller and the likeness is remarkable. The boy on the right is likely to be his older brother Matthew. The woman who looks most like my great grandmother Mary (Polly) is standing on the verandah behind the hitching rail with another child sitting on the rail. This child is probably her fourth child, Knox born in 1913. There is no man resembling her husband Knox. I assume the man in the centre is Jas McCook, but presumptions can be dangerous. 

I wonder who the others are?

Date of the image?

An earlier image of the Royal Hotel can be found on Trove.

Royal Hotel Wallangarra, c. 1909 
If you look at the postcard image you can see a single storey section sandwiched between the front and back two storey sections. I wonder if extensions were built in front and behind the building above?

My grandfather looks as though he is about 5 or 6 so I believe the photo on the postcard may have been taken in about 1914 or 1915. Was this when the hotel was extended?

Unfortunately, the Royal Hotel was destroyed by fire on Friday 13th June 1952 so I never got to see where my grandfather grew up. (The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933-1955, Saturday 14 June 1952, p. 3.)

A wonderful find which I will treasure!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trove Tuesday - Isabella Taylor

I have been researching my family for over 40 years but thanks to Trove I have a new branch to add to my family.

I searched for Knox Moore (my g grandfather and a ggg uncle had the same name) in Trove as I have done many times before. I was rewarded with a funeral notice for Isabella Taylor, his sister. This was big news to me.

The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), 19 Aug 1911, p. 6.

I purchased her death certificate and yes, she was the daughter of John Moore and Margaret Glen, the sister of John and Knox Moore. Which leaves me to wonder, how many more Moores are there?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bridging the Past and Future - Congress 2018

Congress 2018

Finally I have time to sit and reflect on a fantastic four days last week. I am very pleased with my decision to take two days LSL and attend Bridging the Past, the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry. I was always going to wait until I retired to do something like this.

My takeaways and homework include:

  • Avoid being sucked into the never-ending hole - only when you start writing do you see the gaps in your research
  • Don't forget about the Government Gazettes and Journals on Trove
  • If we don't tell the stories of those who came before, the history will be lost in just three generations
  • Don't forget to revisit the Historical Land Records Viewer
  • Phase my DNA to work out maternal and paternal lines
  • Check our Scotland's Places in more detail
  • Download Phillamore's Atlas from
  • Learn more about clandestine marriages
  • Check out Dusty Docs
  • Add more of my family images to Flickr and add to Trove group
  • Revisit Griffith's Valuations
  • Fix up this blog - it looks very ordinary! (Must have been going through a minimalist phase when I last updated its look.)
  • Look at the Glasgow Poor Law Records
  • Check out mapping on Google Earth Pro
I hope there is another congress in three years time. I'll be there!