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Showing posts from July, 2011

Jacob Scheef - Letters to Home - 24 July 1885

My husband's family are very fortunate as his great grandfather travelled back to Germany from Armidale, NSW from May to September 1885. While visiting family he sent many letters back to Australia and kept a diary of his time overseas. I'll post his letters on the day they were written. These letters can be seen at the University of New England (UNE) Archive in Armidale, NSW, Australia.Biographical Entry


Beilstein  Marbach the 24 July 1885 My dear Wife and children I have received 3 letters from you since I am in Germany the last two dated the 31 May and 2 June and I received the letter of recommendation from the Lodge as well as the 4 Expresses I see that you are all doing well and get on with your work well as for giving you any instructions or advice is of no value now because we are too far apart and I see through the letters that you manage right enough. When I wrote my first letter to you from here I was only 3 days here and they were wet so I could tell you very little sin…

SNGF - My husband's great great grandparents

After blogging about my great great grandparents I though I should add those of my husbands. Thomas Brennan is presumed to have been born and died in Ireland. He married Margaret Tobin on 18th February 1846 at Leafe Hill, Muckalee, Co Kilkenny, Ireland.Margaret Tobin is presumed to have been born and died in Ireland.James Ryan, son of Daniel Ryan and Anastasia Deeves was born c 1840 at Kilcooley, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He married Catherine Cleary at Uralla, NSW, Australia. James died in Uralla 20th September 1922 at Uralla, NSW, AustraliaCatherine Cleary, daughter of John Cleary and Catherine Heffernan was born c1846 at Cashel, Co Tipperary, Ireland. She died on 3rd April at Kentucky, NSW, Australia.Alfred Kerr, son of Robert Kerr and Ellen Smail was born on18th June 1845 at West Maitland, NSW, Australia. He married Mary Ann Spatch on 3rd July 1864 at Glen Innes, NSW, Australia. Alfred Kerr died on 26th March 1918 at Glen Innes, NSW, AustraliaMary Anne Spatch, daughter of William Spatc…

SNGF - 16 Great Great Grandparents

From Randy Seaver Genea-Musings. Ah, Genea-folks, it’s Saturday Night again – are you ready for more Genealogy Fun? Your mission tonight, should you decide to accept it, is to: 1)  List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places).  [Hint - you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.] 2)  Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death. 3)  For extra credit, go make a “Heritage Pie” chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the  chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the "Heritage Pie" chart idea.] Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+. Well it is Sunday here in Australia but here are my great great grandparents. John Moore, son of John Moore and Elizabeth Glenn, was born in 1846 in Co. Antrim, Ireland. John ma…

Family Treasures - Elector's Rights

Each time I go to vote I simply go to a polling booth, give my name and address, state that I haven’t voted previously in this election and I’m given a voting paper. I don't need to give any identification.
One hundred and ten years ago, my great grandfather Michael Patrick Ryan and his father John Charles Ryan had to produce their New South Wales Elector’s Right Residential Qualification papers to vote.
The Wikipedia article The Electoral Atlas of New South Wales states that the 1893 Act had adopted a Voter’s Right document that a voter presented to be checked off the roll before a ballot paper was issued. In 1900, the compilation of annual rolls was made a function of the local police and Elector’s Rights were abolished in 1906.
Amongst our family papers are another pair of treasures, original Elector’s Rights of John Charles Ryan, carter and Michael Patrick Ryan, storeman of 23 Cambridge Street, Balmain. If enrolled they were entitled to vote at Elections of Members of the Assemb…

Armidale Family History Group - 25th Anniversary

Last week I received an invitation to the Armidale Family History Group Inc's 25th anniversary celebrations to be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 30th and 31st 2011.

Although not an original member of this group I became a member when I lived in Armidale  in 1988. Each month we used to meet at Dixson Library at the University of New England. Now the group have their own research rooms in Kentucky Street.

I remember helping to survey the cemetery at that time but had left town before the books were finally published.

On Saturday afternoon from 2 - 4 pm there will be afternoon tea at their Research Centre, Kentucky Street. The Anniversary Dinner will be held that evening at the Armidale City Bowling Club, Dumaresq Street.

On Sunday at 10 am Graham Wilson, patron of the group will host a cemetery walk.

If you wish to attend, RSVP to the Family History Centre, P.O. Box 1378, Armidale, NSW, 2350 or email afhg@northnet.com.au by Monday July 25th 2011.

Hope to see meet old friends th…

German Ancestry

For many years I had put research on my husband's twenty-five percent German ancestry into the too hard basket. His great grandfather's name Jacob Scheef wasn't on the shipping list indexes. It wasn't until I found the name of the ship on his naturalisation papers and then went directly to the shipping list that I found Jacob Scheef. He arrived on the Grasbrook on 26 September 1865 aged 20. I couldn't read the name of the town where he was born on the shipping list so I was still lost.

It wasn't until many years later I happened to be in Sydney at a SAG event and I went to the German stand and someone said with only a quick glance that it was Untertürkheim. Armed with that information, a quick search of Scheef and Untertürkheim revealed many treasures. Someone had already transcribed many Church records and I could now progress a few generations further back than my husband's great grandfather. I was soon in contact with a few people over the world.

This we…

Family Treasures - Pocket Watch

This is the first in a new series titled Family Treasures.
A couple of weekends ago, I went to my nanna's old house and scanned everything of genealogical value in the house.

I scanned this watch warranty. My great great grandfather John Charles Ryan purchased a watch from Evan Jones Jewellers in the Royal Arcade in Sydney on 24 December 1885. He paid £2-15 for the watch and it was guaranteed for a period of 3 years.

Who was Evan Jones?
Evan Jones was born in England and according to the About NSW website he was a leading silversmith, watchmaker, medalist and jeweller in Sydney from 1873 until 1917.

I was quite excited to see this guarantee. Imagine my surprise when about half an hour later my uncle produced the pocket watch. It is engraved with J.C. Ryan on the outside and is in perfect condition. A true family treasure!




I don't know when John Charles Ryan arrived in Australia from Portlaw, Waterford, Ireland. He is one of only 2 arrivals that I can't trace with any accurac…

What a Weekend!

Last weekend I went to visit my uncle and spent a lot of the weekend scanning everything of genealogical value in the house. Fortunately for me my great grandparents lived with my mother, aunt and uncle and their parents for a number of years and all the precious family history has been preserved.

My aunt, who was interested in family history back in the early 1970s got my nanna to write on the back of all the old photos, so we know who everyone is. There are no surprises. There was only one missing photo and it has been missing for many decades. It was one of my great great grandfather John Charles Ryan taken in a buggy outside W.H. Ariel and Co in Kent Street, Sydney where he worked. Perhaps someone has it!

Over a number of years my aunt has filed and labelled everything. My only problem was that we didn't have a digital copy of any of it, so for a long time I have have been worried about the safety of these treasures.

I had a busy weekend. I scanned letters, receipts, guarantee…

Childhood Deaths - Norman George Dawson

Norman George Dawson (1913- 1931)

Norman is the next in a series of posts I have been writing about childhood deaths in my family.


Norman George Dawson, who was born in Brisbane was the 2nd of three children born to Bertrand George Dawson (my great uncle) and his wife May Katrina Victoria Otteson. 


My Fault Entirely


While Norman George Dawson (17) was riding a bicycle on January 23, he collided with the gutter in Barry-parade, and as a result of injuries he died in the Brisbane General Hospital on the following day. Yesterday, Mr W Harris, P.M., held an inquest into his death.


May Catrina Dawson, of Brunswick-street, New Farm, said she was the boy's mothers. He told her he was riding home from work, and in endeavouring to avoid a motor car he hit the gutter, and was thrown against a brick wall.


James Muir Glendinning, of Newstead-terrace, Newstead, said he was driving  a motor truck along Barry-parade. He intended to turn into Alfred-street, when he saw a boy on a bicycle. The boy cross…

Jacob Scheef - Letters to Home - 1 July 1885

My husband's family are very fortunate as his great grandfather travelled back to Germany from Armidale, NSW from May to September 1885. While visiting family he sent many letters back to Australia and kept a diary of his time overseas. I'll post his letters on the day they were written. These letters can be seen at the University of New England (UNE) Archive in Armidale, NSW, Australia.Biographical Entry


Beilstein the 1 July 1885 My Dear Wife and Children I have arrived safely in Germany and I found a very great change among my brothers and sisters as they are all dead except my sister Rosina but I would not have known her and she would not have known me if we did not know that we were brother and sister by our name and still we always keep looking at one another and fancy that we must be mistaken the way I got myself known to Schantz our brother in law was through saying that I had a message from myself and that I wished to see him. Well we were almost talking a half hour before…