Monday, December 31, 2012

Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme

Thanks once again to Geniaus for coming up with theAccentuate the Positive 2012 geneameme

At this time of year many geneabloggers take stock of what they have achieved or not achieved in the previous twelve months and set themselves goals for the coming year. I have been reading several of these posts this week.

I feel that a lot of my geneablogging friends are too hard on themselves; several have reported on their successes this year but quite a number have lamented that they haven't achieved as much as they set out to do or that they haven't blogged with the frequency they envisaged.

You are a bunch of highly motivated people who have made great strides in the genealogy sphere. Let's share the good news.

My response

Perhaps I had been one of those who lamented about the lack of progress this year. So for the last hour (or more) I have sat here contemplating my efforts and I have to admit they are not so poor. I just wish I had more time to devote to this exciting pastime. 

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was great great great great grandmother Jane Sawtel (Saltwell) who married Edward Bettis (Bettes) on 24th February 1828, at Stondon-Massey, Essex, England. Until a couple of weeks ago I only knew her name was Jane. 

2.  A precious family photo I found was one of my great, great grandfather John Mylan and members of his family taken in Cooma. Thanks to my aunt who has entrusted this photograph to me.

John Mylan and family, Countegany, Cooma. Taken before 1918.

3.  An ancestor's grave I found was that of my great great grandmother Sarah Jane Merchant who is buried in Tenterfield. I blogged about this earlier in the year. 

Sarah Jane Merchant is buried between two of her children in Tenterfield - mid photo no headstone

4.  An important vital record I found was the baptismal record of my great great grandmother Jane Smith Fleming in Stranraer in 1853. (I'd never actually looked for it before this year!)

5.  A newly found family member and I exchanged our Glock family research.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was a beautiful linen tablecloth circa 1920 with a B embroidered in the corner sent to me from from Eilis, the proprietor of Arsenic and Old Lace in Atlanta Georgia in appreciation for a connection made through my blog posts about Sam Dawson. (1), (2), (3) and (4)

7.   My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was The Humble Apron

8.   My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was My First Anniversary Post.

9.  A new piece of software that I still have to master is TNG. My site The Tree of Me is up and running but I only have a small proportion of my data there. Each time I try to upload it all I get an error saying the file is too big. It probably only needs me to spend a little more time trying to solve the problem. 

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Feeddler Pro. I use this as my RSS reader to keep organise my blogs I read. 

11. A genealogy seminar from which I learnt something new was all about the land in NSW. We spent time exploring the Spacial Information eXchange and other sites.

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at the Coffs Harbour Family History Group on Trove.

13. A journal article I had published was called iPads : Instant access and engagement for students with disabilities in The Australian Educational Leader (Volume 34 Number 2 2012). 

14. I taught a friend how to use google maps so she could make a personal map of all the places here ancestors came from.

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was Tracing your Railway Ancestors by Di Drummond. 

16. A great archive I visited was the Bedford and Luton Archives and Records Service when I was in England earlier in the year. This led to an interesting discovery about Elis Hare Dawson, my husband's great great grandfather. 

17. Two new books were waiting for me yesterday when I came home from a few days away. I'm looking forward to reading History of Magherafelt, Ireland and Old Stranraer and Cairnryan

18. It was exciting to finally meet Graham one of my Ogden relatives. 

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was getting a photo taken in Greenock, Scotland at the address my great grandfather, Knox Moore lived before he came to Australia.

20. Another positive I would like to share is that I have made a great start at organising my digital records according to the archival principles of Sassy Jane discussed here. Mind you, this only concerns my paper files. My photos are still a mess and not as simply accessed. Perhaps I'll make progress on this in 2013.

Thanks to Geniaus for starting this meme. It has certainly made me think of all the positives that have happened this year in my quest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Where was this photograph taken?

This week I had to go to Lismore for a couple of days for work. This morning I took the opportunity for an early swim at the local pool. Later in the morning I remembered that I had a photograph of my grandfather Don Dawson taken in what I had been told was Lismore. From memory there was a war memorial and some sort of large army vehicle and I thought I had been told it was somewhere near the pool. All I had to do was find the specific location. I decided that I wanted a then and now photograph. I'd get my photo taken in the same place as my grandfather.

Now where was the photo taken? There is a memorial at the pool and a large army gun. However, when I searched through the images on my computer and found the photograph there was no similarity as you can see by the images at this site.

Don Dawson

A search of Trove has uncovered an article in The Argus about the unveiling of the War Memorial in Lismore. Unfortunately it doesn't mention its exact location in Lismore.

The Argus (Melbourne), 20 April, 1931, p. 12

So assuming this photograph was taken in Lismore is was taken after 1931. The question still remains was the memorial in the photograph a Boer War or World War 1 memorial? The website, Boer War Memorial discusses the Lismore Boer War Memorial.

The Northern Rivers’ citizens wanted to erect a suitable memorial to honour the patriotism of local men who had served during the war. Lismore was selected as the site for the memorial and committees in surrounding towns and villages worked for over two years to raise money for the memorial’s construction. The design finally chosen was that of a life-sized figure of a lancer.

The memorial was unveiled in 1902 in the middle of the intersection of Woodlark and Keen Streets. So I can deduce that the photograph was not taken near the Boer War Memorial.

A search of the register of War Memorials in NSW states that there are two marble wall mounted memorials listing the names of the fallen from Lismore & District. These are located in the main entrance to the Lismore Memorial Baths. However, these marble memorials are not the same as those shown in the photograph.

Anyone reading this might be asking what about the building. In my rushed drive along a couple of the streets today I could not find a building that looked like this. So for the moment I have to leave my search unfinished and wonder if I will get a then and now photograph - my grandfather and I in the same place photographed probably about 80 years apart.

Does anyone recognise this location? Perhaps it's not even in Lismore!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Missing Persons - James Agnew

This week my Trove Tuesday post revolves around James Agnew - son of James and Ellen (Alicia) Agnew of Cooma.

The first mention of James Agnew in Trove occurs in a list of emigrants arriving by the ship Waverley from Dublin in 1847. He is one of the 2 sons of Alicia (who was know as Ellen in Australia) Agnew. Alicia and her family joined her husband James Snr in Australia in 1847. Her sister-in-law Catherine who is also mentioned below did not arrive on the Waverley but came the following year on the Success.

Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 1847, p. 3
Some time between 1847 (when he was about 13) and 1885 James Agnew left Cooma and headed south to Sandhurst in Victoria. His family lost track of him there and the following advertisement was placed in The Argus in 1885 by his younger sister Matilda who was anxious to contact him.

The Argus, 24 Aug 1885, p. 1
Reading this now, I would have loved more detail. When did he leave the Monaro and when did the family last hear from him? Had he married and if so, did he have children? Without Trove this reference to James Agnew would have remained lost unless there was a serendipitous find!

Perhaps as other newspapers are digitised and are searchable via Trove I may find further references to James Agnew and discover what happened to him. Family stories suggest that a descendant from Victoria visited Cooma many years later but I do not know who this was.

If you are descended from James Agnew I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Family Homes - No 3 - Moolan Downs, Queensland

My previous Family Home post showed the childhood home of Catherine Ellen Dawson. After leaving Tasmania Catherine moved to Melbourne with her mother and siblings after the death of her father Dr William Lee Dawson.

Catherine married Gustav Baumgarten in Melbourne on 30th November 1876. They lived at Pleasant Bank Vineyard at Barnawatha. According to the Cyclopedia of Victoria they had 180 acres of vines, 465 acres of agricultural and grazing land and a further 300 acres under cultivation. 

During 1908 the Baumgarten family moved from Barnawatha to Moolan Downs, near Meandarra west of Dalby. They left a thriving business with an established homestead and moved to western Queensland. One of their first tasks when they arrived was to build the dwelling shown below.

Original dwelling at Moolan Downs - c1908

The second house at Moolan Downs

The final homestead at Moolan Downs

One can only admire our early pioneering families. Gustav died at Moolan Downs only four years after their arrival in 1912. I'm not sure if the final homestead was built before his death or not. Catherine lived there until her death in 1943. Both Catherine and Gustav are buried on the property.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Ivy May Moore

Today's Trove Tuesday post is one begging for information.

My great, great grandmother, Margaret Jane Moore died in Wallangarra, Queensland on 1st August 1923. The following year two In Memoriam notices appeared in The Brisbane Courier.

The Brisbane Courier, 1st August 1924, p. 6
The first is from her loving son, daughter and grandchildren. This could have been either of her two sons, Knox and James and either of her daughters Rose, Elizabeth or Margaret. I believe it was from Knox and Rose who both still lived in Wallangarra.

However, it is the second notice that interests me the most. If is from her daughter Maggie and granddaughter Ivy.

I would love to contact any descendants of Ivy, the daughter of Maggie (Margaret). If anyone comes across this post and has information please contact me via the Email link on the View my complete profile link. I believe that if Ivy is still alive she would be about 97 years old in 2012.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard - Dorothy Arthur

I purchased a copy of Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard by Dorothy Arthur when I was in Ireland two years ago. For anyone with family from Ballymoney or the surrounding area, this book is a must.

Dorothy Arthur has photographed and transcribed each of the headstones, and provided some information about the families.

My families from this area are Moore, Knox, Glen(n), Henry and Hanna(h). There are representatives from each of these families buried at Ballymoney. However, at this stage I can't fit any of these people into my families. One day perhaps!

If anyone has family who may be buried at Ballymoney I am more than happy to look them up in this book for you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Murder of Eileen Brennan

Trove Tuesday was begun by Amy Houston on her blog Branches Leaves & Pollen. She asked us to blog about what we've discovered and to share it with others. I think it's a great idea. I have found so many great stories on Trove so I'm attempting to blog each Tuesday. I certainly have enough material to keep me going for several months.

Last week my Trove Tuesday post told of the murder of Ellen Sullivan. Today I have another murder to share with you. I apologise if this posts upsets anyone as it happened in 1940.

Eileen Brennan was the 3rd daughter of seven children born to Thomas Vincent Brennan and his wife Kathleen Egan. She was 22 years old when she was murdered by her employer Leo Grant. He committed suicide at the murder site.

Sydney Morning Herald 16 October 1940, p. 12

The report in The Armidale Express was more detailed and stated that Leo Grant had recently purchased the Silver Bell cake shop in Beardy Street after moving from Sydney. He also had a bank book in the name of Leo Henry Murray in his pocket. His death was reported as Grant. 

A dreadful tragedy for our family and one with I imagine many unanswered questions.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sandgate Cemetery is online

Sandgate Cemetery is a major Newcastle cemetery which opened in 1881. The Sandgate Cemetery Trust needs to be congratulated on their fantastic website. For those of you who have seen Sandgate Cemetery you will understand why I have never tried to find any relatives buried there.

Whenever we drove past the cemetery when my children were younger they tried to hold their breath. They never managed it, especially as we had to travel along two sides of the cemetery. However, now a visit is not out of the question thanks to the fantastic location tools embedded into the website.

Approximately 95% of graves now have a virtual Google Maps latitude and longitude - the remainder of graves are being progressively co-ordinated by the Sandgate team. The first image on the window that is opened is the location of the grave shown in SATELLITE view on Google Maps as shown.
If Google Earth is installed on your computer, an EARTH button will also appear. Using Google tools in EARTH view, the grave can be zoomed in and out or moved about using mouse controls.
The location of the grave is shown at the base of the orange pointer. Where a latitude / longitude has not yet been determined, then a blank google map screen will be displayed. 
They also use QR codes.
QRcodeThe QR code is like a barcode, that is becoming more and more common and popular these days with the introduction of Smart Phones and other mobile devices such as the iPad. 
To use the facility you will need to firstly download and install a QR code App for your mobile device (there are many available to select from).
Each grave site (or surname set) will have a unique QR code at the top of the Left Hand panel.
Simply open the QR app on your mobile device, snap the code from your desktop computer of the grave that you would like to visit  when you go Sandgate. All the links are now saved in the app - you are all prepared for your visit.
Simply open the app when you get to the cemetery, click any link and the web page showing you the location of the grave in google earth and its photograph will be opened.

To find family members buried there I simply searched for those who had died in Newcastle and entered the surnames in the search box. All the graves I searched for today had a google map attached and photographs of the headstones.Those without a headstone were still photographed.

My most important find was that of my great great grandparents, William Henry and Mary Allsop. I knew they didn't have a headstone but didn't know where to find them. Thanks to the map below and the photograph of their space, I will be able to visit the site on my next trip south.

This is the information from the website.

 ALLSOP, William Henry
Por: ANGLICAN_1  Sec: 14  Lot: 125    Buried on: 3/01/1921    Lat: -32.871136666  Long: 151.707169777

Marker showing grave of William Henry and Mary Allsop at Sandgate Cemetery.

Grave of my great great grandparents William Henry and Mary Allsop.

Do you know of any other cemetery websites which are as well organised as this one? 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What's my number?

Lorine McGinnis Schulze in her Olive Tree Genealogy Blog suggests looking at the number of ancestors you can identify  back 9 generations. There are a total of 1022 direct ancestors. Lorine suggests that many people will begin to double up on ancestors but this isn't the case with my family.

It is actually a little depressing when my figures are revealed. The first table documents my ancestors. It looks like I have only identified 11.1 % back to my 7th great grandparents. There are a few branches in which I can delve further into the past. These include Scottish, English and Irish (Church of Ireland) links. Roadblocks have been caused by Tasmanian death certificates - no parents names to get back to Norfolk research and Irish catholic research.

Number of Ancestors
My Numbers
GGGGGGG grandparents
GGGGGG grandparents
GGGGG grandparents
GGGG grandparents
GGG grandparents
GG grandparents
Great grandparents

The second table documents my research with my husband's families. Even more unsuccessful. However, I should be positive. A successful find a few years ago, allowed me to add 3 generations of Scheef ancestors past my husband's great grandfather.

Number of Ancestors
My Numbers
Cumulative Percentage
GGGGGGG grandparents
GGGGGG grandparents
GGGGG grandparents
GGGG grandparents
GGG grandparents
GG grandparents
Great grandparents

Spending some time on these tables has actually helped me to identify a couple of branches where I may be able to research further. I have been spending more time recently on modern extensions to our families. 

This has certainly been a worthwhile exercise and I'll look at this table this time next year and see if I have made any progress.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Saying goodbye to family members

Today I have officially said goodbye to several family members whom I have become very attached to over the last several years.

Goodbye to Peter Hope and his wife Lydia Prince, Peter's Hope line of John, Benjamin, Petri and Petri. The last Petri had been married in Hartington in 1653. I also had to say goodbye to Peter and Lydia's daughter Mary who married Thomas Hickenbottom, and their children and grandchildren. They were all so easy to trace. Altogether I had to say goodbye to 13 direct line ancestors.

Why? THEY ARE NOT MINE. I should be excited but I have to admit to being a little sad.

My ggg grandmother, Ann Hope married Samuel Ogden on 3rd September 1837 in the Parish of Prestwich, Manchester in the County of Lancester.

Her father, Peter Hope was a farmer and one of the witnesses to the marriage. The challenge for many years had been to find out who was Peter Hope. Ann Ogden's entry in the 1851 English census stated that she was born at Tillese. Of course I could not find Tillese. There seemed to be only one possible solution. Peter Hope from Alstonfield seemed to be the likely father. He was the only Peter Hope I could find with a daughter Ann. (Luckily I didn't visit Alstonfield on a recent trip to England - I had been tempted!)

However, recently we discovered Tillese. The correct name is Tyldesley which is a town in Manchester. It was also known as Tyldesley-with-Shakerley and was in the parish of Leigh.

The foundation stone for the church at Tyldesley was laid in 1822 and until 1829 its chapelry was dependent on Leigh.

So I think I am correct now in entering Ann Hope, daughter of Peter Hope and his wife Alice Hadkinson/Hodgkinson who was baptised on 1st August, 1818 at St Mary the Virgin, Leigh, Lancashire, England. As there was no church at Tyldesley Ann would have been baptised at Leigh. A search has revealed that her parents, Peter and Alice were married on 3 September 1815 at Leigh.

So welcome to the family, Anne, Peter and Alice. I certainly hope you are the correct ones.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Individual arrivals in Australia

Today I came across a nine generation chart I had made a few years ago. Many people were highlighted and it took me a minute or two to work out what it meant.

I had highlighted the names of those direct ancestors who had arrived in Australia. I decided to graph the information and this is what it revealed for my family.

Here are the results for my husband's family.


My family 
  • 42 direct arrivals in Australia
  • 7 family group arrivals
  • Arrivals between 1822 and 1883
  • 2 single arrivals still to locate

My husband's family
  • 21 direct arrivals in Australia
  • 3 family group arrivals
  • Arrivals between c 1831 and 1885
  • 1 family arrival to locate
The downside of this is that my daughter wishes one of her grandparents had arrived from Great Britain and then she could get an ancestry visa. We are 2 generations to early for this to happen.

What do your arrivals look like?

Trove Tuesday - Murder of Ellen Sullivan

While reading the obituary of Mary Anne Sullivan Ryan, wife of John Ryan of Uralla, NSW, I read that her mother had been murdered when she was twelve.

Her lot in this her adopted country was marked by a very grim tragedy, for she had the extremely shocking experiences of a young mother cruelly murdered by the blacks. This tragedy occurred in the Aberfoyle district. Mrs Ryan was then only 12 years old, being the second eldest in a family of four sons and three daughters, the youngest a baby in arms.

For several years before the advent of Trove I had searched for documented evidence of the murder of Ellen Sullivan. She died before 1856 so I had difficulty deciding which Ellen Sullivan she was and without a specific year it was too overwhelming to search several years of The Armidale Express. However, once I knew about Trove this search was one of the first I performed. Although The Armidale Express is not on Trove (can't wait for this one) I knew the news would have been published further afield.

The news can be found in The Morton Bay Courier, The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, The Sydney Morning Herald. 

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 25 August, 1852

Unfortunately Ellen's death was not the only one at that time. The 2nd October edition of The Morton Bay Courier mentions 4 other murders in the New England - those of a Mr Meldrum and Mary Ann Mason (who was pregnant) and her 2 children.

Next Trove Tuesday - another murder in the family!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Connected Learning - Nussbaum-Beach and Hall

Currently I am reading a book called The Connected Educator - Learning and Leading in a Digital Age by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall.

One comment early in the book has struck a chord with me.

I am unable to learn from you if you are not sharing online. I will never be able to find you and leverage what you know. p. 11

So this is a big thank you to all genealogy bloggers out there. I have learnt much from many of you. I have laughed at many posts. I have felt heartache with others. Reading the blogs of others has allowed me to interact with many people I don't know. It allows me to reflect on ideas and prompt me into action.

Perhaps when I get my blogging act back together again, others may be able to learn from me!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Cambridge Street, Rozelle

This is my first Trove Tuesday post. I have been so busy at work that my genealogical pursuits are being pushed further and further behind. As you can imagine this is something that I am not happy about. However, as I am on holidays for two weeks I hope to have a few posts ready to post during the coming weeks.

I have discovered many great finds from Trove but today I decided I needed to find something new. One of my families lived at 21 Cambridge street, Rozelle and/or its semi-detached neighbour for over 100 years. In fact they rented from the same family for all that time. I must remember to blog about this story.

I decided to see if Cambridge Street, Rozelle ever featured in one of the Sydney papers. So today here is my first find.

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 January, 1904, p. 3

My great, great grandfather John Charles Ryan lived at 21 Cambridge Street. Depending on the street numbering it is quite possible that Walter Jones would have lived in the next semi-detached house. Both men were in their sixties and would of course have known each other.

What thoughts would have gone through John Ryan's mind? Was his neighbour murdered, run down or  did he simply fall?

The inquest into Jones' death was resumed on 27th January, 1904.

Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January, 1904, p. 3
Not being a medical person, I'm not sure if you could fracture the base of your skull, break six ribs and receive severe facial and body contusions from a fall onto the pavement. However, I think the testament of Reginald Meers seems to be the key to the cause of the death of Walter William Jones. This second newspaper clipping really has me thinking about John Ryan's thoughts about Jones' death. John Ryan was a dray proprietor in the 1890s and I believe that later he was either a van man or a cab driver.

Walter Jones was interred in Section T, Grave 9059 of the Anglican portion of Rookwood cemetery on 23rd January 1904.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Everafter website

Today I have spent some time on the website Everafter. The following is taken from their website.

A graveyard is one of the most accessible sources for studying a community’s history. Each one is unique and has its own collection of headstones, many of which will, unfortunately, deteriorate through neglect, weather or vandalism; some eventually becoming completely illegible. 

everafter has modernised the way the deaths of our loved ones are recorded.  We provide Parishes and Councils with a complete set of up-to-date graveyard records and an online Graveyard Management System to record future burials.   

The everafter team recognise the importance of preserving the information held by graveyards and we are committed to delivering a unique, high quality service which will guarantee that an accurate record of the deceased exists everafter.

Many of the cemeteries that have been recorded are from the Magherafelt area of County Derry. There is a flickr site and youtube channel where interested people can upload photographs or videos.  The page for each cemetery has a short history of the parish, an interactive graveyard map, historical documents for the graveyard and persons of interest buried there.

My great great great great grandparents Andrew and Rosie Lagan can be found there. If I wish I can have flowers (either fresh or silk) placed on the grave for £25.

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?
The above image is not taken from the website. It was taken by me in 2010 on a trip to Ireland. The Lagans are buried at St John's Roman Catholic Church Graveyard in Swatragh.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mystery photography

A few weeks I posted this photograph asking if anyone had could guess what it is. Well now I've got the answer for you.

This photograph was taken at my father's work. I imagine it was taken in about the 1950s as I have many photographs taken at this time. My father worked at Anderson's Meat Packing Company at Wallangarra on the Queensland-NSW border.

The image shows pumped up intestines which were then placed in drying rooms. After drying the ends were cut off and packed flat in cartons. And of course you can guess what they would have been used for - sausage casings.

Here is a link to the wikipedia article about sausages.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jennings Public School - Old School Books

During a recent tidy up of my filing cabinets I discovered 2 school books that had been placed in there for safe keeping many years ago.

The first book was My Busy Book from 1965 when I was in Kindergarten at Jennings Public School. Perhaps some of you may remember the salmon coloured books from the 1960s. Fortunately it was a small school. The teacher traced many shapes each afternoon for us to fill in with various patterns the next day. She also wrote dotted words for us to trace the next day. It seems that jelly pads had yet to reach Jennings.
Unfortunately the salmon colour didn't scan.

The second of these exercise books belonged to my grandfather's brother, Matthew John Moore who attended Jennings Public School. I haven't always been in possession of this book. I attended the Jenning's centenary celebrations in 1990 and was excited to see that this book was part of the display. I asked the organisers who had donated the book for the display but was informed that it was found, along with several other books in the storeroom out the back. A few weeks after I was surprised to receive the book in the mail as a gift.

The exercise book is dated 10 November 1922 and was used for the Qualifying Certificate Examination for Matthew J. Moore who was in 6th class and was 14 years and 10 months. No (3) is written inside the front cover, so perhaps there were two previous books.

There were several parts to this examination.

  • Arithmetic - this included mental arithmetic and longer calculations. 
  • Dictation -  discussed the effect of industrialisation upon England. 
  • Geography - list principal Australian ports, principal exports of England and Canada, discuss cloud types and discuss the difference between the eastern and western rivers in New South Wales. 
  • Poetry
  • Letter writing
  • Composition
The book continued to be used the following year. However, the writing style is different, so perhaps someone else filled in the rest of the book.

Maths calculations

This is Uncle Matt's description of Wallan Garra (name is now spelt Wallangarra).
Wallangarra is the town on the Queensland side and Jennings is on the New South Wales side of the border.

In our town we have a large Station comprising Ladies Waiting Room, Stations Masters Office, Parcels office, Ticket office, a large dining room capable of seating one hundred and fifty people also a tea bar and hotel bar. The post office is at the lower end of the station. There is also a triangle where both trains can be turned. This is done by three rails. There are two hotels one built and the other in course of erection. The men about here mostly work in the Railway Department. Others have orchards and do dairying. 

As with many of my posts I now want to see what family or useful information can be gained from Matt's book.

1.  One of the letters written was to Foy and Gibson in The Valley, Brisbane asking for patterns and prices for materials. This was probably how people in Wallangarra purchased materials.

2. The composition discusses a bush walk gathering wild roses and maiden hair fern. One of the boys was bitten by a snake. A description of how to tie a tourniquet and scarify the bite was discussed. Luckily, like all boys then he had his pocket knife with him. Treating snake bites was probably general knowledge for young boys then. 

3. Two of the stories mention filling a pickle bottle with water. I wonder what these looked like?

4. Another letter says they will meet the visitor at the Station. Travel to Wallangarra in 1922 would normally have been by train.

5. The description of Wallangarra stated that one hotel was currently being built. This was the Jennings Hotel which is having 90 year celebrations at the end of the year. 

6. The triangle where the trains could be turned was used because Wallangarra/Jennings was the terminus station for Queensland and New South Wales and I presume that the engines had to be turned round.

An aside - My great grandmother, Mary McColm was one of Jennings' original pupils in 1889. Her children, including my grandfather James and his brother Matthew attended there. My father, however, went to Wallangarra State School on the Queensland side of the border. I went to Jennings like my grandfather and his mother. Unfortunately, I can't claim four generations of our family at the same school.