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.


  1. Great find!

    I have a lot of google alerts set up. Most are very specific, so they are hardly ever triggered - but when they are it's for something very relevant to me.

  2. I have a others set up that I hope will one day prove valuable.

  3. Postcards are great. A possible way of dating the card is by the back. Often there is a Company name and number of the card and then Postcards clubs may be able to date it for you, it would be worth a look and an email to http://members.ozemail.com.au/~msafier/postcard/qccs.html which is the Queensland Postcard Club as they have done a lot of work on dating cards.

  4. Fantastic find - I've only snagged one funeral card on eBay so far -. Thanks for the reminder - I'll go and add more alerts.

  5. Thanks for the website link. Certainly worth knowing about. Unfortunately the only identifying mark on the card is that it was printed in England. However, it may be recognised by a member.

  6. Geniaus, I need to set up several more alerts I think. You never know what may turn up. The funeral card would have been a great find.

  7. Generation software is a very good program began genealogy, genealogy, but the middle may feel a bit inadequate. Once you go beyond the very basic research, you will want to be able to use advanced software programs and source files, which is located in the areas of deficiency.

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