Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a fruit cake!

My grandmother Esme Moore (Merchant) was a fantastic cook. Each Friday she would bring my brother and I some special delights. Our birthday cakes were always her specialty chocolate cake.  But it seems that we weren't the only ones she cooked for. During the war she sent a fruit cake to her older brother Vic Merchant who was with the Royal Australian Air Force. Perhaps it was for Christmas 1941.

Vic Merchant, England, January 1942


I wonder if they ever sent it to the Women's Weekly?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day to you all! 


Shamrock Vector Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vectorportal/5123819042

I have many Irish ancestors from several Irish counties. There are the Irish Presbyterians: Moore, Hannah and Glenn, the Church of Ireland families: Dawson, Giles, Lee and Moore, and the Irish Catholics: Agnew, Flynn, Moylan, Brennan, Ryan, McInerney, Lagan, Birt and McElwee.

They came to Australia from Antrim, Derry, Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Cavan, Monaghan and Waterford.
They arrived in Australia from 1822 beginning with my great, great, great, great grandfather Patrick Flynn and ending with my great, great grandfather John Moore who arrived with his family in 1883.
Thank you to all of you for making your homes in Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. 
I am very proud to be able to say that I have Irish ancestry.

Friday, March 11, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to Australian Genealogy Journeys I have been presented with the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you Aillin for this honour! 




The rules for accepting the award are:

  • Accept the ward, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award and their blog link. 
  • Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
  • Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Thanks Aillin for this award. I haven't been a genealogy blogger for very long (6 weeks in fact) but have blogged in other capacities on and off for several years. My greatest problem with starting a blog was in fact finding a name for my blog. Once I'd worked that out I knew I had plenty to say.

Here are my choices:


  1.  Irish Genealogy News  
  2. Caro 's Family Chronicles
  3. Moonee Valley Family and Local History 
  4. Irish Wattle Blog
  5. Australian History for Genealogists 
  6. Cork Genealogist
  7. The Mad Genealogist
  8. Irish Genealogy: Hep! The Faery Folk Hid My Ancestors
  9. London Roots Research
  10. Family History Across the Seas
  11. Winging It
  12. Grow Your Own Family Tree
  13. Michelle's Heritage
  14. My Family History Research
  15. Genimates - thanks for encouraging me to start my blog      

It's a Small World - No 3

The signature below is of Henry William Seabrook (1806 - 1883) my great great great grandfather. Henry was a builder in Hobart Town. The story of how I received this signature is one of those serendipitous moments.

In the early 1990s I lived in Tamworth. I was pleased that the Tamworth library had the microfilms of the early Tasmanian records. I spent many days looking through these records. One day another gentleman was there using these records. We got talking about our research. When I said that I was researching the Seabrooks, he said, "He was a builder wasn't he?" From there we ascertained that his wife's ancestor John Lewis was apprenticed to Henry William Seabrook in 1855 and they had a copy of the apprenticeship papers at home. He generously gave me a copy. At the bottom of the document was this signature.



Signature of Henry William Seabrook

It's a Small World - No 2

Yesterday I was browsing my blog feeds on Feedly when I came across this post - Got Rid of Two Husbands. Imagine my surprise when I realised that the post was about the wife of a man in my extended family. I already knew about the two husbands and had read another newspaper story about the incident. However, this story gave credence to one fact that I was unsure of. The child in the story belonged to the first husband. The Mad Genealogist and I are 4th cousins once removed.

It's a Small World - No 1

Last month I enrolled in the basic level courses of the Australian Records Certificate through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I have just started my second course. Imagine my surprise this morning when I received a tweet from a librarian friend who works less than a kilometre from me to say that she had just posted her first response and that one of mine was directly below her entry. It's certainly a small world. I didn't know she had an interest in genealogy. Now we have another common interest.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Launch of Irish Graveyards

Thanks to a post at Irish Genealogy News alerting us to the launch of IrishGraveyards. The website is the result of GPS and eye mapping by a surveying company. The company then creates a digital map of the graveyard and erects a sign showing the names and locations of those buried in the graveyard.

The website allows you to search the graveyards to locate specific graves or to browse through a graveyard. The website contains a map showing graveyards which have been surveyed. The majority are in the north and west. There are photographs of each of the headstones. 

I searched the site for 4 of my Northern Ireland surnames - Agnew, Birt, Lagan and McElwee. I drew a blank with Agnew and Birt. However, the were a large number of both Lagans and McElwees. The McElwees on this particular site do not come from near my McElwee family. However, my search for Lagan has proved more fruitful.

My gggg grandparents Andrew and Rosanna Lagan (neeMcElwee) are buried at Swatragh, Derry. That graveyard is not yet part of Irish Graveyards. However, both the new and the old graveyard at Maghera have been surveyed. There are 77 Lagans buried in Maghera which is less than 10 km from Swatragh. Although the majority of the burials occurred in the 1900s, there are several for the 1800s. Making a connection with some of them could prove a challenge, but at least I know a possible place to look!


Erected by Patrick Lagan in memory of his father Andrew Lagan who died 21st May 1853, aged 95 years. Also his mother Rosie Lagan, alias McElwee who died 8th October, 1830 aged 52 years.
Also his brother Dominick died 3rd April 1855, aged ?? and also his brother John? who died 18?