Thursday, September 29, 2011

My great great grandmother Jane McColm had 2 death certificates

My great, great grandmother Jane Smith McColm has 2 death certificates. When she died on 22nd January 1888 just 3 weeks after giving birth to her 7th child, Ethel Peel McColm, her husband Malcolm obviously didn't know where to register her death.

Sound strange to you? Jane died at the Railway Yard at Wallangarra on the Queensland-N.S.W. border. (I've just realised that the postcard I purchased a couple of weeks ago, has further meaning.) What did her husband do? He registered her death in both Stanthorpe (Qld) and Tenterfield (N.S.W.)

It is very interesting to compare the two death certificates.

The first one I discovered was the N.S.W. one. This stated that she was 40 years old and came from Wigtownshire in Scotland. Her father, James Fleming, was a druggist and her mother was Jane Milroy. Jane was married to Malcolm McColm and had no children. She died of puerperal fever. I wasn't happy with this certificate. I knew she had children - my great grandmother was one of them. Wigtownshire in Scotland also didn't give me the information I required.

A couple of years later I was browsing the Queensland indexes when I found her death registered again. I ordered the certificate and was delighted. The registrar in Stanthorpe was much more thorough than the one in Tenterfield.

Jane, 33, was born in Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland and she had 7 children, Elizabeth 9, Samuel 8, James 6, Jane 4, Mary 3, and Ethel Peel 5 weeks and 2 days. Ethel's age doesn't tally with the duration of Jane's illness, but the certificate is typed and not a copy.

I am so pleased that Malcolm registered Jane's death twice. The experience left me wondering about the quality of information registered in Tenterfield at that time. A less than diligent Clerk of the Court!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meme: The Tech-Savvy Genealogist

Geniaus started this meme earlier in the week. It was adjusted by TransylvanianDutch. Geniaus' list of 50 items was expanded to 80. Let's see how I go.

The list should be annotated in the following manner: 
Things you have already done or found: bold face type

Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item 

Which of these apply to you?
1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad  [iPad]
2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes [iPad]
3. Use a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader for genealogy related purposes [Kindle - don't use as much now I have an iPad]
4. Have used Skype or Google Video Chat to for genealogy purposes
5. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
6. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
7. Use multiple genealogy software programs because they each have different functionalities [Reunion and TNG (still working on this)]
8. Have a Twitter account
9. Tweet daily
10. Have a genealogy blog
11. Have more than one genealogy blog
12. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
13. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise  [would like to be able to see comments directly in my email]
14. Have a Facebook Account
15. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
16. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
17. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society
18. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
19. Have added content to a Person Page on Fold3 (formerly Footnote)
20. Have registered a domain name
21. Post regularly to Google+ (Holiday time only)
22. Have participated in a genealogy-related Google+ hangout
23. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers
24. Have a blog listed on Cyndi's List
25. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
26. Have converted a family audiotape to digital
27. Have converted a family videotape to digital
28. Have converted family movies pre-dating videotape to digital. (Lots of family movies just waiting)
29. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner
30. Can code a webpage in .html
31. Can code a webpage in .html using Notepad (or any other text-only software)
32. Can write scripts for your webpage in at least one programming language
33. Can write scripts for your webpage in multiple programming languages 
34. Own a smartphone
35. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
36. Have a local library card that offers you home access to online databases, and you use that access.
37. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
38. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
39. Have hosted a genealogy blog carnival
40. Use an Internet Browser that didn’t come installed on your computer
41. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
42. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes
43. Have a personal genealogy website (Set up, but no public access yet)
44. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
45. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
46. Have tweeted during a family reunion (Twitter didn't exist when I went to my last reunion)
47. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files  [Still working on it!]
48. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
49. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
50. Own a netbook
51. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
52. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
53. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
54. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
55. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
56. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
57. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
58. Know about RootsTech
59. Have listened to a BlogTalk radio session about genealogy
60. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud
61. Schedule regular email backups
62. Have contributed to the FamilySearch Wiki
63. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
64. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format
65. Brought a USB device to a microfilm repository so you could download instead of print.
66. Have a wearable USB device containing important files. (Watch, keychain necklace, etc) [Sounds like a great idea!]
67. Created a map on Google Maps plotting ancestral homes or businesses.
68. Recorded the GPS coordinates for a tombstone, or ancestral home
69. Edited the Wikipedia entry for an ancestor, or their kin [Does the town I grew up in count?]
70. Created an entry at FindAGrave for a person
71. Created an entry at FindAGrave for a cemetery
72. Uploaded the MediaWiki software (or TikiWiki, or PhpWiki) to your family website. 
73. Have downloaded a video (for genealogical purposes) from YouTube or other streaming video site using, or in some other fashion
74. Have transferred a video from a DVR to your computer for genealogical purposes
75. Have participated in a ScanFest
76. Have started a Genealogy-related meme at least one other geneablogger participated in.
77. Have started a Genealogy-related weekly blogging theme other geneabloggers participated in.
78. Have used Photoshop (or other editing software) to ‘clean up’ an old family photo
79. Done digital scrapbooking
80. Printed out a satellite photo from Google Maps of a cemetery, and marked where a tombstone was located on it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ebay and Genealogy

Although my children have purchased many an item from ebay in the past, until about 2 weeks ago I had never placed a bid.

However, something tweaked my interest. I have a google alert set up for Wallangarra, the small country town in Queensland where I lived until I was almost 13. Most of the alerts I receive are for house sales and the Riding and Pony Club with occasional football results.  But last week there was an alert for a postcard of the Wallangarra Railway station for sale on ebay. I just had to have it!

I was the only bidder for the Wallangarra Station - Border of N.S.W. and Queensland postcard so it was mine. It had never been posted. It has a squiggly line on the back which is definitely not writing. This is a shame as it would have been great to have identified the card with a specific family. Unfortunately, I also don't know when the photograph was taken. The only thing I can positively say is that my family lived there when the photo was taken.

The only family member I believe who worked at the railway was my grandfather Jim's brother, Knox Moore. However, the railway line was significant for Wallangarra. It was the terminus of both the Queensland and the New South Wales lines and many men in the town worked for the railways.

My next quest was to see if my family did have any other associations with the Wallangarra railway station. A search on Trove for Wallangarra + Moore + railway station comes up with several useful hits.

My great grandfather Knox owned an orchard in Wallangarra and I have never thought of how he marketed his fruit. Two editions of The Brisbane Courier give me the answer. Knox Moore was described in The Brisbane Courier of 9th February 1929 as being a successful grower in Wallangarra. Others mentioned in the article included: Thomas McMeniman, Springborg Brothers, G and S Fletcher and H Brushaber. The second article describes the daily Fruit Train Service from Wallangarra to Brisbane.

                                                      The Brisbane Courier, Saturday 9th February 1929, p. 11.

It was either a very early start to have the fruit at the station ready to leave before dawn or was it delivered the evening before? It seemed a long time to get to Brisbane - a journey of just under 300km. However, after collecting fruit from Wallangarra, the train would have stopped at Wyberba, Lyra, Ballandean, Glen Aplin, Severnlea, Stanthorpe, Applethorpe, The Summit, Thulimbah, Cottonvale and Dalveen for more fruit and vegetables and in this time had only travelled about 60km.  No wonder it took almost a day to reach Brisbane.

After my successful google alert, I intend to set up several more for other towns in which my ancestors lived. You never know what you might find and where it might lead you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Geniaus has asked us to join the 99 Things Genealogy Meme. Perhaps this will make me add a few extra tasks to my genealogy work before the end of the year. 

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

Here is my contribution:

  1. Belong to a genealogical society.
  2. Joined the Australian Genealogists group on Genealogy Wise
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site.
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
  12. Joined the Society of Australian Genealogists.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants. (Took photos of the remains of my great, great grandfather's house in Co. Dublin)
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name. (and those of ancestors and distant cousins)
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  33. Performed a record lookup.
  34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person.
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure. 
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology. 
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. 
  53. Used Google+ for genealogy.
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
  60. Found an ancestor on the Australian Electoral Rolls
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  62. Have found relevant articles on Trove.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
  66. Visited the National Library of Australia.
  67. Have an ancestor who came to Australia as a ten pound pom.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought at Gallipoli.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  70. Can read a church record in Latin. (Haven't needed to try yet - schoolgirl Latin may fail me)
  71. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name.
  72. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  73. Created a family website.
  74. Have a genealogy blog.
  75. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  76. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  77. Done genealogy research at the War Memorial in Canberra.
  78. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Centre.
  79. Found an ancestor in the Ryerson index.
  80. Have visited the National Archives of Australia.
  81. Have an ancestor who served in the Boer War.
  82. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  83. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK. 
  84. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
  85. Visited the National Archives in Kew. 
  86. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
  87. Taken an online genealogy course.
  88. Consistently cite my sources.
  89. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors
  90. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  91. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
  92. Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
  93. Followed genealogists on Twitter.
  94. Published a family history book (on one of my families). (Two actually.)
  95. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
  96. Offended a family member with my research.
  97. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artefacts. (Best claim is to reunite to half sisters who had lost contact with each other)
  98. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
  99. Edited records on Trove. (Currently 973 on the corrections list)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Fathers of Him

Happy fathers's day to all my husbands "fathers" who have lived in Australia.

James Jeffery Brennan (1930 - 2001)

Patrick Brennan (1898 - 1975)
Albert Scheef (1876 - 1953)

Great grandfathers
William Brennan (1851 - 1928)
Alexander Kerr (1875 - 1960)
Jakob Scheef (1835 - 1904)
Robert Waters (1855 - 1932)

Great great grandfathers
James Ryan (c1840 - 1922)
Alfred Kerr (1845 - 1918)
Thomas Squires (1855 - 1906)
Georg Glock (1806 - 1883)
Andrew Silas Waters (c1814 - 1870) 
Elis Dawson (1822 - 1888)

Great great great grandfathers
Robert Kerr (1803 - 1853)
William Spatch (c1816 - 1864)
Thomas Dawson (1801 - 1863)

Great great great great grandfather
James Key (c1788 - 1875)

My husband's oldest "father" was his great, great, great, great grandfather, James Key who died at Stonehenge near Glen Innes in 1875 aged approx 87. His youngest "father", great, great, great grandfather William Spatch, also died at Stonehenge aged 48 in 1864.

The Fathers of Me

Happy father's day to all my "fathers" who have lived in Australia.

Ronald Leslie Moore (1932 - 2001)

James Malcolm Moore (1909 - 1989)
Donovan Franklin Dawson (1899 - 1972)

Great grandfathers
Knox Moore (1873 - 1942)
Phillip Richard Merchant (1883 - 1951)
William Henry Dawson (1859 - 1916)
Michael Patrick Ryan (1866 - 1940)

Great great grandfathers
John Moore (1846 - 1929)
Malcolm McColm (1851 - 1924)
Thomas Hugh Merchant (1843 - 1902)
William Henry Allsop (1847 - 1921)
William Lee Dawson (1819 - 1871)
John Mylan (1833 - 1918)
John Charles Ryan (c1837 - 1910)
Peter Ogden (1838 - 1911)

Great great great grandfathers
James Henry Merchant (1818 - 1865)
Joseph R Hooton (1827 - 1902)
Samuel Allsop (1818 - 1877)
John McInerney (c1829 - 1868
Henry William Seabrook (1806 - 1883)
Thomas Moylan (1795 - 1838)
James Agnew (c1796 - 1864)

Great great great great grandfather
Patrick Flynn (c1791 - 1862)

My oldest "father" was John Mylan, my great, great grandfather who died in 1918 at Cooma, NSW a few days short of his 85th birthday. My youngest "father" was my great, great, great grandfather John McInerney who was accidentally killed while felling a tree between Alberton and Port Albert in Victoria in 1868 aged 39 years.