What happened to that finger?

Years ago I asked my father how his grandfather Knox Moore had lost a finger. Of course, he was astounded that I knew his grandfather was missing a digit and asked how I knew. The photos below show exactly how I made the discovery. It's there in his wedding photo in 1907 but by 1913 he was missing part of the first finger on his left hand.

Knox Moore and his wife Mary (Polly) McColm - 1907

Knox and Mary Moore with their children Matthew, Rosetta, Knox (baby) and James (in front) - 1913

My father then said that Knox had lost his finger on a circular saw. Many years later someone asked him how he had done it and as he told them how it happened he did it again. Part of another finger was gone.

For years I thought no more of the story. A couple of months ago I was randomly searching the digitised newspapers on Trove. Here was the story verifying that Knox Moore had had 2 accidents involving a circular saw.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 - 1993), Friday 18 November 1927, page 11.

It is important to remember that even if your family lived a reasonable distance from capital cities, their stories were often published in major newspapers. Don't always assume that these papers will not be a source of information for you. Wallangarra is almost 300 km from Brisbane but features regularly in The Brisbane Courier.

Now of course, I'd love to find a photo of Knox taken after 1927!


  1. An inmate? Sounds dodgy to me!

  2. No, publican and orchardist. Funny you should say that because one of my other gg grandfathers worked as a wardsman (not inmate) at Callan Park for many years.

  3. Hi Sharon. It looks great. I think after losing one digit to a circular saw I would ahve avoided them forever!


  4. Yes, city newspapers do indeed have lots of news about families in remote areas. The Brisbane paper has quite a few articles about my Cunnamulla families. Thanks to Trove, I found a photograph of my aunt at the time of her engagement, and even her son did not have that photo.


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